Higher Education

Home  /  Data Center  /  Higher Education


8 campuses within a 1-hour drive. UC Merced has been a game-changer for the city since it opened in 2005, but it’s not the only option. Students can progress from AA to PhD through the 3 colleges and universities right here in Merced. Within a 1-hour radius, there are 8 colleges attended by over 100,000 students. 

aerial image UC Merced campus

University of California, Merced


University of California, Merced is the nation's first academic research institution of the 21st Century. The LEED Certified campus attracts talent, diversity and business to the community. Research conducted at UC Merced includes bacterial diseases, diabetes, cancer, solar energy, water quality, computer science and engineering. Businesses looking for partnerships will be interested in the the UC Merced Venture Lab and the Downtown Campus Center.

More about UC Merced programs & business opportunities...


2 new schools planned:

  • School of Management 

  • School of Medicine 

Science Grant will Incubate 30 Projects

The National Science Foundation awarded UC Merced a $400,000 grant to incubate a total of 30 team projects over 5 years, beginning in late 2017. Projects focused on science, technology, engineering, or mathematics are eligible, and participants can be students at any level, alumni, faculty and mentors. Industrial projects, as well as academic research qualify. Contact the UC Merced Office of Business Development for details. 

students and professor in lab

Merced College


Merced College, part of the California Community College system, serves the dual roles of preparing students to transfer to a four-year college or university and training Merced County's workforce through associate degree and certificate programs. The college’s Business Resource Center (BRC) has become the focal point for area businesses and employers who are looking for low-cost, customized job training opportunities (read more under Hiring & Training).

  • 79 associate degree programs

  • 51 certificate programs

  • 190 online courses



Total Degrees: 1,401

Total Certificates: 379

  • Social & Behavioral Sciences (AA):164

  • CSU General Education Breadth (CT): 139

  • Psychology (AAT): 124

  • Business Administration (AST): 76

  • Nursing, Registered (AS): 55

  • Administration of Justice (AST): 52

  • Health Sciences (AA): 43

  • Psychology (AA): 41

  • Nursing, Vocational (CT): 32

  • Accounting (AA): 26

Technical Education in Agriculture

Merced College recently upgraded their labs with state-of-the-art equipment and hosted train the trainer sessions for regional high school instructors to develop career pathways to Agriculture Mechanics, Agri-Science, and Landscape Horticulture.

building on merced college campus

Fresno Pacific University (Merced Campus)


This private university based in Fresno (60 miles south) maintains a Merced Center geared toward working adults, with evening courses and options for accelerated bachelor’s degrees and graduate programs. Programs at the Merced Campus:

  • Early Childhood Development

  • Business Administration: Organizational Leadership Emphasis

  • Liberal Arts


Colleges & Universities within 1 Hour of Merced

Source:  National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator (https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/) (April 2020).

NOTE: Out-of-city distances are measured from City Hall (678 W 18th St).

illustration - magnifying glass
  1. UC Merced Science Grant: UC Merced Office of Business Development (bd.ucmerced.edu/ucmicorps) (Aug 2017).

  2. Number of programs: Merced College Profile, (www.mccd.edu/about/profile.html) (July 2017).

  3. Top degrees; technical education: Merced College Annual Report, 2017 (Aug 2017).

  4. Respective institutions' websites (July 2017).