University of California

United States of America

Language of instruction


The University of California is the foremost public research university in the state of California, made up of ten campuses. The UC system is located throughout California, encompassing the state’s cultural and geographic diversity.

Each campus offers attractive and distinct facilities, specialised schools, and creative and challenging learning opportunities. UC Berkley and UCLA are currently tied as the top public university in the US, and UC Berkley is ranked as the 4th best public university globally.

Semester dates

Semester system campuses:

Berkeley and Merced

UQ Semester Host Semester Dates
Semester 1 Spring Semester February–May
Semester 2 Fall Semester August–December
Quarter system campuses:

Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz

UQ Semester Host Quarter Dates
Semester 1 Winter & Spring Quarters January–March & April–June
Semester 2 Fall Quarter September–December

All students who apply for exchange in UQ Semester 1 to a Quarter campus must complete both the winter and spring quarters.

Students are typically only able to participate in a single semester of exchange at the University of California, due to the popularity of this university.

View UC's academic calendar.

Guides and additional information

UC has online resources available to help get the most out of your exchange:


The University of California has 10 campuses across the state. UC exchange programs are available at:

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

UC San Francisco is not available for exchange.

When applying to UC, students must be prepared to attend any of UC's campuses - even if it is not one of your four nominated choices.

Exchange deadlines

22 June for Semester 1 of the following year.

TBC for Semester 2 of the following year.

Student testimonials


Full-time study load

Semester campuses:

  • 15–17 units at UC is equivalent to 8 UQ units.

Quarter campuses:

  • 15–17 units in UC's fall quarters is equivalent to 8 UQ units.
  • 24 units across UC's winter and spring quarters is equivalent to 8 UQ units. (12 per quarter)

UC's major courses require a more intensive study load than most UQ majors. Most UC students enrol in 15–17 units per semester or fall quarter, through a combination of major and general education courses. It is advised, when planning your course schedule, to take no more than two courses within a UC major.

Minimum academic requirements

You will need a minimum cumulative GPA of 5.5 to study at UC campuses.

It is highly recommended you have a full study load of UQ general electives is you wish to study at UC.

You must be willing to attend any of the 9 UC campuses where courses in your area of study are available.

Find courses

If courses do not appear in the database, search UC's course catalogue by selecting your campus of interest and view Course enrollment.

Search the Credit Precedent Database to find courses offered by your host university that have been previously approved for credit at UQ. The database should be used as a general guide only. 

Study areas taught in English

Aerospace engineering
Animal studies
Art history
Biological engineering
Biological sciences
Biomedical engineering
Biomedical science
Business information systems
Chemical engineering
Chemistry and biochemistry
Civil and structural engineering
Classical languages
Communication, digital media and PR
Computer engineering
Earth and Geographical Sciences
Electrical engineering
English literature
Environmental engineering
Environmental studies
Exercise science
Film, TV and media
Food science
Geotechnical engineering
History and ancient history
Human resources
Information technology
Innovation and entrepreneurship
International business
International relations
Materials engineering
Mathematics and statistics
Mechanical engineering
Nutrition science
Peace and conflict studies
Political science
Public policy
Social work
Software engineering

Exchange deadlines

22 June for Semester 1 of the following year.

TBC for Semester 2 of the following year.


UC cannot guarantee university-owned housing for exchange students. Due to the application process at UC, you will not be allocated a UC campus until May (for Semester 2 applicants) or November (for Semester 1 applicants). The allocation date will impact your ability to plan, apply for and secure accommodation. Please keep this in mind when selecting your first preference host university as the campus allocation date is beyond the control of the Global Experiences Team.  ​Many campuses offer special housing for international students. Check your host campus housing website for details on the accommodation options available to you.

Housing information for available campuses:

Cost of living

The cost of living varies across UC campuses, with some located in big cities and others in smaller, more rural areas. If cost is a deciding factor, recommended campuses are ones located outside the large metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Proximity to the ocean is a considerable factor impacting the cost of living. The University of California provides a general outline of the estimated costs of attending for exchange students (listed under Money Matters). The estimated living expenses at each UC campus are also provided.

Additional Mandatory Fees

Each UC campus also has additional mandatory fees which are outlined on the UC Before you Arrive page (per campus under Financial Information. These fees cannot not be waived.

Students are also responsible for the shipping cost of their DS-2019 visa certificate and any other fees associated with the issue of their US visa.

Financial support

A range of funding for student exchange including scholarships, grants and loans are available to UQ students.  


Students approved to participate in the Student Exchange Program are automatically covered by UQ’s Travel Insurance for the country of their host university only.

For more information, read the Student Travel Insurance Policy Summary on UQ’s Travel Insurance web page (login required).

If you plan to travel outside of your host country, you should purchase additional insurance.

All UC students are required to have UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UCSHIP)and will be automatically enrolled in the host campus' insurance plan. Insurance coverage and costs vary by campus. The cost of insurance will be applied to your student billing account.

Exchange students may be eligible to waive the Health Insurance Plan, if the campus permits, and if they have additional cover that meets UC campus' minimum waiver requirements.

Before purchasing an additional policy, students should confirm that the policy meets the UC campus' minimum waiver requirements. Please note that the waiver of the Health Insurance Plan is not guaranteed and subject to approval from the UC campus.

A waiver is not automatic. Do not assume that a waiver will be approved or that you will receive a waiver based on the experience of a friend from UQ who studied at the same institution on exchange.

Exchange deadlines

22 June for Semester 1 of the following year.

TBC for Semester 2 of the following year.

Organise your visa

It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visa for the country where you will be studying. As the Global Experiences team is not a visa-issuing authority we cannot provide visa advice.

UC has visa and immigration information for exchange students.

Contact the US Embassy and Consulates for more visa information.

Travel risk levels

The University of Queensland cannot and does not allow UQ Abroad students to travel to any country with a risk level of 3 (Reconsider your need to travel) or above, as assessed by the Australian Government.

If a country's risk level changes to 3 or above, UQ Abroad programs to that country are suspended until the risk level improves.

Find out the risk level and travel advice for your host country on the Smartraveller website.

Register your travel plans

We recommend that you register your travel plans on the Smartraveller website so that the Australian Government can contact you or your family in an emergency.

Non-Australian citizens should register with their closest consulate.

Exchange deadlines

22 June for Semester 1 of the following year.

TBC for Semester 2 of the following year.