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Prospective International Students (F-1 or J-1 Visa)

UC Merced opened Sept. 5, 2005, as the newest campus in the University of California system and the first American research university of the 21st century. The university serves as a major base for advanced research, a model of sustainable design and construction, and a stimulus to economic growth and diversification throughout the Central Valley region. UC Merced is a special place where intelligent, spirited people from all parts of the world gather to learn, grow and reach their highest potentials.

Situated close to Yosemite, UC Merced is a place where nature touches every part of the campus. It's an extremely green place that is, by design, transforming the region economically, academically and environmentally. It's a place where students at all levels have opportunities to stretch themselves intellectually and experientially, in close concert with faculty members who are stars and rising stars in their fields.

The Office of International Affairs provides a wide variety of services and resources from assisting with visa regulations, arrival information and events to help better connect you with the campus and community.

*You are considered an international student if you require an F or J student visa to study and reside in the United States. If you are U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, refugee, asylee or another status that permits you to study in the U.S., you would not be considered an international student.*

Prospective Undergraduate international students seeking a bachelor's degree can visit the Undergraduate Admisisons website for admission requirements or contact the Admissions Office.

Prospective Graduate international students seeking a master's or doctorate degree can visit the Graduate Division website for admission information.

International students must show a minimum amount of financial support. For more information about the cost of attendance, visit

For more information on the International Student Scholarship, visit

For information on how to apply for your student visa following admission to UC Merced, visit How to Apply for Your Visa.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following admission to UC Merced, students will request the Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Students from the UC Merced Office of International Affairs (OIA). Students will use the Form I-20 to apply for an F-1 student visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate. For further instruction, visit OIA's web page for Newly Admitted Students. As a student at UC Merced, the International Students and Scholars Office within OIA will be your main resource for visa and immigration matters.