University of California Los Angeles

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Updated August 6, 2020

The University of California Los Angeles, better known as UCLA, is a public university located in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 1882 as the State Normal School of Los Angeles, the campus initially only offered teaching programs and awarded certificates that gave students the background necessary to teach at various schools across the country. The university changed its name to the University of California – Southern Branch in 1919, but later became the University of California at Los Angeles in the 1920s. Though it has a population of more than 30,000 students, it isn't the largest campus in the UC School System, but it is one of the two oldest campuses in that system.

With a deep commitment to its students, a low class size, affordable prices and other great features, UCLA ranks as one of the country's best schools. Both Washington Monthly and ARWU named the university one of the top 10 in the country, while Forbes and U.S. News and World Report ranked the university slightly lower on similar lists. U.S. News and World Report also listed several of its individual programs as the best in the nation, including naming its online engineering program as the number one online engineering program and listing its education program as the 13th best in the United States. UCLA also found its name on lists of the world's best colleges put out by ARWU, Times and QS.

University of California Los Angeles Accreditation Details

UCLA did not have accreditation during its early years, because few of these organizations existed at the time. It initially sought out and received accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in 1949. The WASC requires that all schools it grants accreditation to go through a renewal process on a regular basis, and UCLA continually receives its renewal each time. Administrators working for the campus constantly check for new forms of accreditation that become available for specific programs as well and complete the mandatory steps to gain that accreditation. Some of the organizations that granted the campus accreditation for its individual programs include:

  • The Assocation to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • American Library Association Committee on Accreditation (ALA/CoA)
  • California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC)
  • Computer Sciences Accreditation Commission of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board
  • American Bar Association (ABA)
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC)

University of California Los Angeles Application Requirements

UCLA requires that all students meet the minimum requirements for admission before applying to the university. Students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Those who had a lower GPA during their earlier years may still receive acceptance. UCLA only requires a higher GPA during the last 60 credit hours of work students completed. All students applying must also have an undergraduate degree they earned at an accredited college or university. The Department of Education has some application requirements of its own. Students must take and submit their scores from the General Records Examination and submit a minimum of three letters of recommendation. At least one of those letters must come from someone familiar with the professional work the student did.

As with most colleges today, UCLA has an online application process. Students must complete the online application, but they can create an account to start the application and return to complete it later. After submitting the completed application, the university will notify students within 72 hours if the university received the application or if students need to take any further steps. Graduate students will receive an acceptance or rejection letter to the email address listed on their accounts, but they can also log into their accounts to view the university's decision.

Tuition and Financial Aid

One of the more commonly asked questions among students applying for graduate school is how much it will cost. UCLA ranks as one of the more affordable colleges in the country. California residents pay around $16,000 a year for graduate school, and students living in or coming from other states pay around $31,000 a year. Students living off campus are responsible for paying their own rent and other expenses, and all students must pay for their own textbooks and school supplies. Those entering the university should fill out the FAFSA. UCLA will notify students prior to the start of classes regarding the financial aid packages they will receive.

UCLA offers an apprentice program for students enrolled in the graduate school who live on campus or close to campus. These programs pay all the fees and tuition costs and give students health insurance in exchange for students working on campus in research and teaching positions. Students must also agree to work a minimum of 10 hours every week. Online graduate students also receive financial aid that pays for a portion of their costs or the total cost of their tuition. Unsubsidized student loans are the most popular option for graduate students.

Master's of Education

The Master of Education program available at the University of California Los Angeles consists of multiple programs designed for students who want to work in professional positions outside of the classroom. Some of these programs include Human Development & Psychology, Social Sciences and Comparative Education, Social Research Methodology and Higher Education & Organizational Change. Though the university does offer some programs for teachers who want a general degree in education, these programs are Masters in Education programs. Some of the degrees available include Student Affairs, Principal Leadership and Educational Leadership. These programs provide students with the strong foundations and backgrounds needed to work as school counselors, principals and superintendents.

Earning a degree in one of these fields requires a combination of research, classroom experiences and professional experience. Students taking courses through the online Department of Education can work with their professors and advisers to find professional experiences in their own areas, but students living in California will need to complete experiences registered with the university. Graduate students must also complete some type of research paper or project that shows everything they learned in the program prior to graduating. The University of California Los Angeles pairs each new student with an adviser to guide the student through the steps required for graduation.

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