Is UCLA a Good School?

Ready to start your journey?

CollegeRanker is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

When it comes to choosing a college, many factors come into play. From academics to campus life, location to cost, there are countless considerations to take into account. One school that often comes up in discussions about top universities is the University of California, Los Angeles, or UCLA.

Founded in 1919, UCLA is a public research university located in Westwood, Los Angeles. With over 45,000 students and 125 majors, UCLA is one of the largest and most diverse universities in the United States. It consistently ranks highly in national and international rankings, and its graduates go on to successful careers in a wide range of fields.

But is UCLA a good school? The answer, of course, depends on what you’re looking for in a university. In this article, we’ll explore the various factors that make UCLA a top-ranked institution, as well as some potential drawbacks to consider when deciding whether or not to apply.

CollegeRanker is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Academic Programs

One of the reasons why UCLA is considered a good school is because of its wide range of academic programs. The university offers over 250 academic programs through its 12 schools and colleges. These programs cater to both undergraduate and graduate students, making UCLA a great choice for students at all levels.

Undergraduate Programs

The College of Letters and Science is the largest undergraduate school at UCLA. It offers over 125 majors across four academic divisions: Humanities, Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Life Sciences. The college also provides a number of minors and specializations that students can choose from. Students can also choose to participate in the Honors Program, which offers smaller class sizes and advanced coursework.

In addition to the College of Letters and Science, UCLA has a number of other undergraduate schools, including the School of the Arts and Architecture, the School of Nursing, and the School of Theater, Film, and Television. These schools offer specialized programs that cater to students with specific interests and career goals.

Graduate Programs

UCLA is also known for its exceptional graduate programs. The university offers over 130 graduate programs across its 12 schools and colleges. These programs cover a wide range of fields, including business, law, medicine, education, and engineering.

The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA is one of the top medical schools in the country. The school offers a number of graduate programs, including the MD program, the PhD program, and the Master’s program in Health Policy and Management. The Anderson School of Management is also highly regarded and offers a number of MBA programs.

Overall, UCLA’s academic programs are diverse and comprehensive, making it a great choice for students who are looking for a well-rounded education. The university’s commitment to academic excellence and innovation ensures that students receive a top-notch education that prepares them for success in their chosen fields.

Campus Life

One of the most important aspects of college life is the campus experience. UCLA offers a vibrant campus life with a variety of opportunities for students to get involved in extracurricular activities, student organizations, and athletics. Here are some of the highlights:


UCLA offers a variety of housing options for students, including traditional dorms, suites, and apartments. Living on campus is a great way to immerse yourself in the campus community and meet new people. The housing options are conveniently located near academic buildings, dining halls, and recreational facilities. The university also offers resources for students to find off-campus housing options.

Student Organizations

UCLA has over 1,000 registered student organizations, ranging from cultural and ethnic clubs to academic and professional organizations. Joining a student organization is a great way to meet new people who share your interests and passions. It also provides opportunities to develop leadership and teamwork skills. Some of the most popular student organizations at UCLA include the Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC), the Daily Bruin newspaper, and the Bruin Belles service organization.


UCLA has a strong athletic program, with 25 NCAA Division I sports teams. The Bruins have won 118 NCAA championships, the most of any university. Attending a UCLA athletic event is a fun way to show school spirit and support the teams. The university also offers recreational sports programs for students who want to stay active and healthy.

Faculty and Research

UCLA is known for its exceptional faculty members who are leading experts in their respective fields. With a faculty of 7,790 (as of October 2020), the university boasts numerous recipients of prestigious awards such as the Nobel Prize, Fields Medal, and Pulitzer Prize. UCLA’s faculty is dedicated to providing students with a top-notch education and pushing the boundaries of research in various fields.

The faculty members at UCLA are at the forefront of their fields, addressing issues of equality, access, and social justice in the fields of education and information. Their scholarship has an international reputation for excellence and commitment to addressing the most critical issues facing our society. The university’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies (GSE&IS) is one of the top-ranked schools in the country, with a focus on research that aims to improve educational outcomes for all students.

UCLA’s research initiatives cover a wide range of topics, from stem cell research to environmental sustainability. The university is home to over 100 research centers and institutes, including the California NanoSystems Institute, the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, and the Institute for Society and Genetics. UCLA researchers have made significant contributions to various fields, including medicine, technology, and the arts.


Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate at UCLA is highly competitive, with only about 14% of applicants being admitted. This means that out of every 100 applicants, only 14 are accepted. This makes UCLA one of the most selective public universities in the United States.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that admission to UCLA is not solely based on academic merit. The university takes a holistic approach to admissions, considering factors such as extracurricular activities, leadership experience, community involvement, and personal statements.

Application Requirements

Applying to UCLA requires submitting an application through the University of California (UC) Application website. In addition to the application itself, the following materials are required:

  • Official high school transcripts
  • SAT or ACT scores (writing scores not required)
  • Two SAT Subject Test scores (recommended, except in the case of financial hardship)
  • Application fee or fee waiver request

It’s important to note that meeting the minimum application requirements does not guarantee admission to UCLA. As previously mentioned, the university takes a holistic approach to admissions and considers a variety of factors beyond just academic performance.

Additionally, UCLA has a number of specialized programs and schools within the university that have their own unique application requirements. For example, the School of Arts and Architecture requires a portfolio submission, while the School of Theater, Film, and Television requires an audition or portfolio review.

Career Opportunities

One of the biggest advantages of attending UCLA is the vast array of career opportunities available to students. With over 42,000 full- and part-time jobs, UCLA is one of the five biggest employers in Los Angeles. This means that students have access to limitless opportunities to gain real-world experience while still in school.

Furthermore, UCLA has many programs dedicated to helping students achieve their career goals and get connected to alumni. For example, UCLA One hosts an Alumni Mentorship Program where students can pick from thousands of alumni who have signed up to mentor and advise groups of students. This program is an excellent way for students to network with alumni and gain valuable insights into their chosen career paths.

In addition, UCLA has a Career Center that provides students with a wide range of resources to help them find internships, jobs, and other career opportunities. The center offers career counseling, job search strategies, resume and cover letter reviews, and much more. It also hosts career fairs and other events that bring together students and employers.

Finally, UCLA has a strong reputation in many industries, which can be a significant advantage for students when they enter the job market. Graduates of UCLA are highly sought after by employers, and many go on to successful careers in fields such as entertainment, technology, finance, and more.

Overall, attending UCLA can be an excellent choice for students who want to maximize their career opportunities. With its vast network of employers and alumni, as well as its many career resources, UCLA provides students with the tools they need to succeed in their chosen fields.


After analyzing various sources and data, it is clear that UCLA is a highly regarded university with a strong reputation for academic excellence. Its ranking as the 20th best national university in the United States by U.S. News & World Report is a testament to its academic quality.

UCLA’s low student-to-faculty ratio and the fact that nearly half of all classes have fewer than 20 students make it an attractive option for students who value personalized attention from professors. Additionally, UCLA’s pre-college programs offer prospective students an opportunity to gain insight into the university and its academic offerings.

While there are areas where UCLA could improve, such as the limited course offerings and majors, the university’s strengths far outweigh its weaknesses. UCLA’s campus is located in a safe and vibrant neighborhood, and the university offers a wide range of extracurricular activities and resources to support student success.

Overall, UCLA is a great choice for students who are looking for a top-tier university with a strong academic reputation, personalized attention from professors, and a vibrant campus community.