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Your Guide to University of California, Riverside

Your Guide to University of California, Riverside

Dive into the enriching life at the University of California, Riverside - a hub of academic excellence and fun-filled student life. Team


3 min read

August 03, 2023

Situated in the bustling heart of Southern California, the University of California, Riverside (UCR) is a reputable public research university that provides a dynamic and inclusive environment for students worldwide. Located in the city of Riverside, it is one of ten campuses within the renowned University of California system. With a sprawling campus of about 1,200 acres, UCR boasts a vibrant, multicultural community nestled among rolling hills and scenic landscapes that are as diverse as its student body.

UC Riverside is a great campus in the desert of California's southern region.

History and Excellence

UCR's journey began in 1954 when it first opened its doors as a liberal arts college, the College of Letters and Science. Over the years, it has grown into a premier research university, consistently ranking among the top-tier institutions in the United States and worldwide. The university now serves over 25,000 students, offering a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs through its College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, the School of Business, the School of Public Policy, and the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering.

Renowned for its commitment to diversity and inclusivity, UCR has been recognized as a Hispanic-serving institution and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institution. This reflects its mission of providing opportunities for underrepresented students, fostering a rich tapestry of cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives.

Moreover, UCR is widely known for its strong programs in agriculture and citrus research, given its proximity to the Citrus Experiment Station. It also excels in environmental research, and its entomology program is among the best in the world.

The beautiful gardens on campus add heavily to the beauty of the area.

Campus Life and Beyond

Living in Riverside provides UCR students with a host of transportation options. The university encourages green commuting; hence students have easy access to bike paths, a campus shuttle, and public transit systems. The Riverside Transit Agency provides convenient and affordable bus service, and Metrolink offers rail service throughout Southern California. For those preferring personal vehicles, there are plenty of parking spaces available on campus.

Exploring Riverside's local area is a must for students at UCR. Downtown Riverside, with its unique blend of history, arts, culture, and food, is only a short drive away. It's home to the historic Mission Inn, the largest mission revival style building in the United States. You can also visit the fantastic Riverside Art Museum. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the city's proximity to hiking trails, lakes, and mountains, while beach lovers can reach Southern California's famed coastline in less than an hour.

Students can also enjoy UCR's campus itself, which is home to the Botanic Gardens, a living plant museum spread over 40 acres with more than 3,500 plant species from around the world. For sports fans, the campus boasts state-of-the-art athletic facilities, including the Student Recreation Center and the UCR Soccer Stadium, and hosts numerous collegiate sports events throughout the year.

Like many campuses in California, UC Riverside has plenty of natural visual candy for your eyes to feast upon.

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Top 5 Things to Do at and Near UCR

Visit the UCR Botanic Gardens

This gem on the UCR campus is a must-see. With over 40 acres of beautiful gardens, it's a great place to study, relax, or even go for a jog. The gardens host several events throughout the year, including plant sales and bird-watching tours, making it a vibrant part of the UCR community.

Attend a Highlander Sports Event

Embrace your school spirit by cheering on the Highlanders at a sports event. Whether you're into basketball, baseball, soccer, or track and field, watching a game is an exhilarating experience. Plus, student admission to regular-season home games is free!

UC Riverside hosts a solid and diverse sports program that can make for a great spectator experience.

Explore the Culinary Scene

With Riverside's diverse culinary scene, food lovers will never be short on options. From food trucks on campus to gourmet restaurants downtown, there's a taste for every palate. Local favorites include the Salted Pig, a gastropub specializing in pork-based dishes, and Riverside Food Lab, a food hall featuring a range of vendors.

Participate in the Riverside Art Walk

Held on the first Thursday of every month in Downtown Riverside, the Art Walk is a cultural treat. Explore local galleries, meet artists, enjoy live music, and indulge in delicious food. It's an enriching off-campus experience not to be missed.

Hike Mount Rubidoux

For those who love the outdoors, the nearby Mount Rubidoux offers a wonderful escape. The easy, paved trail leads to a cross at the top, from where you can enjoy panoramic views of Riverside and beyond. Sunrise and sunset hikes are particularly popular among students.

Whether you're an art enthusiast, a foodie, a sports fan, or an outdoors lover, you'll find plenty to do at and near the University of California, Riverside. The university not only provides a rich academic environment but also ensures that students have a fulfilling and well-rounded experience. Indeed, the variety of cultural, athletic, and recreational activities available both on and off-campus make UCR a unique and special place to learn, grow, and have fun.

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