University of california  irvine  california   united states
US News Ranking 35
Qsranking 194
Timesranking 89

Brief background: 

The University of California Irvine was started in 1965. A public research University, it is amongst the Tier 1 Universities in the United States. This University is considered amongst the Public Ivy League Universities of the country and has excellent research programs that attract students from all across the world. It offers various Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral programs through schools such as the Paul Merage School of Business, the School of Medicine, the School of Law, the Henry Samueli School of Engineering, the School of Education and a nursing school. Graduate students of The Henry Samueli School of Engineering can earn a master’s degree in several areas, such as biomedical engineering, mechanical and aerospace engineering, engineering management, and many others. The U.S. News & World Report has ranked Samueli School of Engineering 21st in its current listing. 


The campus of the University is located in Irvine and is spread across 1489 acres.  The campus has state-of-the-art research centers, lecture halls, libraries, recreation centers, and athletic facilities. Some of the research centers at the University include Research centers at the school include the National Fuel Cell Research Center, that was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Institute of Transportation Studies and the California Energy Commission. Other facilities on the campus include a few bars and coffee shops, and a gaming zone too. 

Residing Options:

The University of California Irvine offers on-campus accommodation. However, most Graduate students choose to live off-campus as it allows them more freedom, space, and privacy. Popular areas for off-campus student accommodation are Huntington Beach, Stanford Court, Vista Del Campo, and Berkeley Court. Students end up paying more if they are closer to the campus than if they chose to live a bit far. 

Faculty and pedagogy:

The faculty at The University of California Irvine is quite excellent and a number of its professors are Nobel Prize winners as well as trailblazers in their respective fields. They are always aware of the latest developments taking place in their respective fields and are sometimes the brain behind that development too. Most professors are also extremely approachable and helpful, provided the student takes the initiative.  

Financial aid:

The University of California Irvine, being a Public University offers quite a number of need-based and performance-dependent scholarships. Students who wish to get the scholarships definitely need to have a good academic record. 

Jobs and placements:

The MS graduates of the university earn a salary between $56,865 - $105,700. The average starting salary pack for a graduate student at UC Irvine is around $66,000 according to Payscale. A Master of Computer Science (MCS) leads to the highest pay for UC Irvine graduates with a salary of $105K on average per year according to Payscale. The Division of Career Pathways organizes Job Fairs throughout the year. These include Part-time Job Fair, STEM Career Fair,  Fall Career Fair, Grad School Fair, Spring Career Fair and Internship and Career Fair. Boeing, Microsoft, Google, Ernst & Young and Walt Disney are amongst the top recruiters from the university. Around 48% of female students and 52% of male students from UCI get employed after their ME course. The graduates are highly satisfied with the salary packages that they acquire each year through the placements. The student rated their job satisfaction as 4 out of 5 on Payscale. 


Famous alumni from the University of California Irvine include names such as astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, educators Erin Gruwell and Paul Mockapetris. 


Though admittedly behind UC-Berkeley and UCLA, UC-Irvine in itself is very good and students who get an admission letter will not regret studying here. 


Located in the coastal foothills of Orange County and five miles from the immaculate Pacific Ocean beaches, UCI’s campus reaps benefits from the perfect Mediterranean climate. UCI, located in the city of Irvine, has the most optimal location, opening up a plenitude of avenues for students to go for sailing and surfing at the beaches of Newport, Laguna, trekking and camping. It is also close to famous attractions such as Disneyland and Hollywood. Irvine is also the abode of the well renowned Segerstrom Center for the Arts, which offers a range of musical, dance, and theatre productions.
The city is home to hundreds of multinational companies which opens up a wide range of opportunities for the students. It provides them with exposure which is an extremely vital aspect of college life. 
In addition to this, Irvine is also one of the safest cities in the world. It has been ranked as the “Safest Big City in America” for the past 12 years by the FBI. 
The Transportation and Distribution Services of UCI provides a multitude of options to the students for sustainable transportation facilities like carpools, vanpools, etc. The Rail 2 Rail program facilitates commuting by trains and makes the process more convenient. There are a number of metro links connecting UCI to various parts of the city.

Acceptance Rate for Indians 31%
STEM Masters Awarded to International Students 178
STEM Doctorates Awarded to International Students 43
TA Appointments 0
RA appointments 0
Research funding $75,087,138
Source : GyanDhan's analysis & partner data as of year 2018


Since its inception in 1990, the department has flourished tremendously in terms of infrastructural facilities, faculty as well as reputation. The programs offered by the department provide opportunities to work in a variety of laboratories and gain experience. The department offers the option of majoring in either just Aerospace Engineering or doing double majors in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering if the student meets the requirements. Cutting-edge computational and experimental facilities are provided to the students to facilitate experimentation and innovation. The available programs in the department are BS, MS, and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering. The research areas are Fluid Mechanics and Aerodynamics, Power and Propulsion, Energy and Environment, Design and Manufacturing, Dynamics, Controls and Robotics.

Areas of Expertise: Energy Systems / Fuel Cell Technologies; Optimization and Control; Environment and Sustainability; Aerospace Systems: Propulsion and Dynamics; Micro/Nano-mechanics and Miniaturization Engineering; Systems & Design; Combustion and Thermophysics; Structures and Solid Mechanics; Fluid Mechanics and Turbulence; Robotics and Machine Learning


The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering focuses on developing problem-solving, modeling and testing skills in the students so that they can remain at the forefront of producing advanced technology for the future. The department is home to 7 world-class centers, including 1 NSF I/UCRC. It aspires to build a solid foundation for graduates and make them globally competitive engineers. It provides the students with a conducive atmosphere to enhance learning, creativity, and preparation for the challenges of the professional world of mechanical engineering. The program is centered on training students grow into effective innovators such that they can address social as well as technical challenges adroitly. The available programs are  BS, MS (thesis and examination options), and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering.
Areas of Expertise: Energy Systems / Fuel Cell Technologies; Optimization and Control; Environment and Sustainability; Aerospace Systems: Propulsion and Dynamics; Micro/Nano-mechanics and Miniaturization Engineering; Systems & Design; Combustion and Thermophysics; Structures and Solid Mechanics; Fluid Mechanics and Turbulence; Robotics and Machine Learning
List of Labs: UCI Combustion Laboratory (UCICL); Advanced Power and Energy Program


The Department of Biotechnology is a rapidly expanding branch which provides an array of research and training facilities to its students. The department established a Center for Biomedical Engineering in 1998 which received a $3-million grant from the Whitaker Foundation. The department seeks to nurture graduates for innovation and creativity in the fields of Biotechnology and Biomedical engineering and inculcate in them a sense of ethical and social responsibility. It promotes collaboration with academia, industries and research organizations to expand the horizons for its students. Owing to its strong ties with some of the top companies of Orange County, the students get the opportunity to solve a plenitude of medical challenges and gain exposure. The available programs are BS, MS, Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. The key specialization areas are cloned gene expression, gene amplification and integration, metabolic engineering, bioseparation processes (including membrane and chromatographic separation), protein crystallization, bioreaction and bioreactor engineering, modeling, optimization and control of bioreactors, cell and tissue engineering, the biology and physiology of the human lung as an integrated, whole organ, wound healing and tissue remodeling.

Areas of Expertise: Biomedical Nanoscale Systems; Biophotonics; Biomedical Computational Technologies; Single Cell Analysis Systems; Medical Diagnostic Devices; Biomedical Image Processing; Biomedical Signal Processing; Tissue Engineering; Biomedical Fluorescence Spectroscopy; Micro / Nano Fluidics
List of Labs:  Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics; Beckman Laser Institute; Mico/Nano Fluidics Fundamental Focus Center; The Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology 

Chemical and Biochemical

The Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering works to propagate skill development and research in the areas of Chemical Engineering and allied fields. The department prides over its excellent faculty who train the students to conduct successful experimentation in the laboratory followed by implementation of technologies in full-scale production. Its strong ties with the surrounding high-tech industries provide the students with an immense amount of opportunities with regards to internships, jobs and research projects. The department offers the following programs - BS, MS, Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. And the main research areas are Energy and sustainability, nanotechnology and nanoengineering, environment. 
Areas of Expertise: Biophotonics; Optoelectronic Devices and Materials; Molecular Biotechnology and Recombinant Cell Technology; Complex Fluids and Colloids; Drug Delivery Engineering; Environmental Microbiology and Engineering; Ceramic Materials Engineering; Nanostructured Materials and Nanotechnology; Materials Engineering for Energy; Bio-Nano-Materials

Civil and Environmental Engineering

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering aims to not just construct new buildings in a sustainable way but to transform the entire region with utmost care for the natural surroundings and judicious use of resources. The department has a highly qualified faculty reinforced by excellent laboratories and state-of-the-art computing facilities. It strives to provide a congenial environment that promotes teamwork and probity. It seeks to develop intellectuals through education, research and motivation so that they can contribute positively to society in the area of Civil Engineering. The department has an outreach to various sectors of society through its interdisciplinary programs and practical oriented approach. For Environmental Engineering, the department aims to impart knowledge through vigorous and exciting undergraduate and graduate research programs. It promotes interdisciplinary research collaboration to address environmental problems and find sustainable solutions to these problems for the betterment of society. The department faculty includes world-class scholars who engage in developing new technologies in an earthquake and structural engineering. It aims at providing lifelong services to the society through a blend of technology and environmental knowledge. The available programs are BS in Civil Engineering; BS in Environmental Engineering;  MS and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering. 

Areas of Expertise: Sustainable Built and Natural Environment; Smart Materials and Structures; Hydrology/Hydrometeorology/Remote Sensing; Transportation Systems Engineering; Structural Systems Reliability; Earthquake Engineering; Water Chemistry and Reuse; Transportation Driven Pollution Control; Water and Wastewater Treatment
List of Labs: UCI Water-Energy-Nexus (WEX) Center; Center for Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing; Center for Advanced Monitoring and Damage Inspection; Institute of Transportation Studies

Computer Science

The objective of the Computer Science Engineering program is to develop problem-solving skills among students using computation techniques. The faculty aims to instill a passion for innovation amongst the students so that they can develop cutting-edge technology. The department seeks to develop the necessary skills among its students which will enable them to understand computing at different levels of abstraction. It has more than 20 research groups focused on topics like machine intelligence, soft computing, embedded systems, to name a few. The department is affiliated to various university research centers like INRF and Calit2 which widen the opportunities for conducting research and innovation.
The available Programs are BS, MS in Computer Science Engineering, Ph.D. in Computer Science, Professional Master of Computer Science, MS and Ph.D. in Networked Systems.

Areas of Expertise: Computer Graphics and Visual Computing; Scientific Computing; Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning / Data Analysis; Bio-Medical Informatics and Computational Biology; Programming Languages and Compilers; Ubiquitous Computing; Security, Privacy and Cryptography; Networked and Distributed Systems; Algorithms and Complexity; Computer Architecture and Embedded Systems
List of Labs: Center for Machine Learning and Intelligent Systems;Center for Emergency Response Technologies;Institute for Software Research;Secure Computing and Networking Center;Laboratory for Ubiquitous Computing and Interaction ;Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics;Computational Vision Lab;Center for Computer Games and Virtual Worlds;Ada Byron Research Center for Diversity in Computing and Information Technology

Electrical Engineering

The main objective of the department is to equip students with the necessary core competency for long-term success in engineering and entrepreneurship careers. The curriculum has been drafted in a way so as to foster professional electrical and electronic engineers. The department aims to train students in research and education and generate knowledge and technologies which lay the groundwork in shaping the future in the field of Electrical Engineering. Its collaboration with various industries like The Boeing Company, Microsemi Corporation, and Skyworks solutions, etc. is highly beneficial to the students in terms of exposure to a varied range of opportunities. The available programs are BS, MS, Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. The key specialization areas are network analysis, electronics, electronic system design, signal processing, control systems, and electromagnetics.
Areas of Expertise: Signal Processing; Photonics / MEMS Technology; Power Electronics; Embedded Systems; Computer Architecture; Wireless Communications and Networks; System Software; Nano/biotechnology; Communications; Analog / RF IC Design
List of Labs: Center for Pervasive Communications and Computing; California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology; Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility; LifeChips; Center for Embedded and Cyber-Physical Systems


The Paul Merage School of Business provides courses in finance to allow students to gain expertise in the field of finance and management and generate innovative ideas. Immense emphasis is paid on providing work opportunities to undergraduate students, since complementing the academic record with ample work experience is a crucial aspect of applying to a business school or even starting a business. The students are taught in a way that will enable them to unlock the challenges faced by finance in the digital world. The MF in the program allows up to 36 months of training after graduation, which proves to be lucrative for international students since this attracts companies willing to provide immigration sponsorship. The available programs in the field of finance are Master of Finance (MFin) and a Ph.D. in Finance. The key specialization areas are Financial Management, Investment,  Risk Management, Asset and Wealth Management, Real Estate Management, and Forecasting, Corporate Investment and Financing Decisions, Security Valuation, and portfolio management.

Material Science

The Department aims to instill a spirit of learning and innovation among the students which will enhance their abilities to develop cutting-edge products. The faculty trains the students to select, design, manufacture, test and evaluate materials intrinsically. Owing to the accelerated diversity in the field of Material Science Engineering, the scope is no longer restricted to just metals and alloys. The students are taught how to design semiconductors, optoelectronic and nanodevices, among other things.  The faculty takes special care to train the students for the job market as well as advanced studies and research. The available programs are BS, MS, Ph.D. in Material Science Engineering and the key specialization areas are Biomaterials, microstructured materials.
Areas of Expertise: Biophotonics; Optoelectronic Devices and Materials; Molecular Biotechnology and Recombinant Cell Technology; Complex Fluids and Colloids; Drug Delivery Engineering; Environmental Microbiology and Engineering; Ceramic Materials Engineering; Nanostructured Materials and Nanotechnology; Materials Engineering for Energy; Bio-Nano-Materials
List of Labs: Materials Characterization Center (MC2)

Annual fees for Indians $30,000
Annual off-campus living $8,000
Source : GyanDhan's analysis & university's website as of year 2018

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