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University of California (UC)

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Please do not contact this university directly.
For all enquiries please contact the Exchange Office at
Last updated November, 2019

Academic information

Important Notes if you are considering applying to the University of California (UC)

  • When completing the Student Exchange Programme Application Form, the University of California (comprising of nine campuses) will count as one single destination.
  • Students wishing to attend the University of California on exchange will be required to apply to three different UC campuses and be prepared to attend any one of them. Admission to your first choice of campus is not guaranteed. The University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) office will assess your application and decide which campus you will attend.

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Course information

A Student Exchange is available only at Undergraduate level.

Each University of California Campus has different course offerings and different requirements.

UC's prerequisites

Some departments at UC have specific requirements. Otago students need to have completed prerequisites prior to starting at UC.

Suitable Otago papers to meet UC's requirements:

  • BSNS 102 + BSNS 104 + ECON 112 (Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Statistics);
  • FINQ 102 or MATH 102 or MATH 160 (Calculus).
  • STAT 110 or STAT 115 (Statistics for non-commerce students)

Commerce students:

  • Applicants to business or economics must be specializing in this field at home and meet prerequisites to apply. Applicants must be willing to attend any UC campus where their major is offered.
  • At UC, the fields of business administration and economics are separate. Due to the high demand for these courses, UC cannot guarantee access to more than one major. If a UC campus has both majors, students must be prepared to select coursework in only one of their majors, that is business or economics.
  • Marketing - UC does not have a major in Marketing and the few classes offered at UC in this subject can be found under Econ or Business Econ. Student should look into UCR (Business Administration), UCSD (Econ) or UCD (classes are listed under Econ or Agricultural and Resources Economics). Some flexibility is required because UC cannot guarantee that courses in Marketing will be offered or that students will get a space in class.

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Semester dates

UCB (Berkeley) and UCM (Merced): two semester per academic year (15 weeks of instruction each).

  • Spring semester (January - May)
  • Fall semester (August - December)

All other UC campus: three trimesters per academic year (10 weeks of instruction each).

  • Winter quarter (January - March)
  • Spring quarter (April - June)
  • Fall quarter (September - December)

UC Academic Calendar

Course load and minimum unit requirements

International students are required to be enrolled full time (at least 13 semester units at most Berkeley colleges, at least 12 quarter units at all other UC campuses). Most UC students enrol in 14-17 units per term.

UC/Otago credit transfer guideline:

  • UCB and UCM: 13 UC semester credits = 54 Otago points
  • UCSD, UCI, UCR, UCLA, UCSB, UCSC and UCD term credits: 12 UC = 36 UO; 16 UC = 54 UO; 24 UC = 72 UO; 36 UC = 126 UO

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Accommodation and the cost of living


The University of California will assist students in organizing accommodation for the duration of their exchange. Accommodation is however not guaranteed and students are encouraged to apply for their accommodation as soon as possible.

Estimated cost of living

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Student visa and insurance

Student Visa and Insurance information

U.S Department of State

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Exchange experiences

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The University, city and region

The University

The University of California family includes more than 220,000 students, more than 170,000 faculty and staff, 37,000 retirees and more than 1.5 million living alumni.

University of California campuses

A map outlining the University of California campus locations

  • UC Berkeley
  • UC Davis
  • UC Irvine
  • UC Los Angeles
  • UC Merced
  • UC Riverside
  • UC Santa Barbara
  • UC Santa Cruz
  • UC San Diego

The cities and regions

Please refer to each individual campus’s website for information.

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Further information

For further information about Otago Global Student Exchange please email