The University of California is widely considered one of the most prestigious public university
systems in the nation. It includes ten campuses, the first of which (UC Berkeley) was founded in
1868; the tenth and newest campus (UC Merced) opened in 2005. Today the UC
system includes over 21,000 faculty, 144,000 staff, and 251,000 students. The University of California's
campuses boast large numbers of distinguished faculty in almost every field. As of 2016,
UC faculty and researchers have won 62 Nobel Prizes.
Besides world-class classrooms and labs, UC has
dozens of museums, concert halls, art galleries, botanical gardens, observatories and marine
centers. UC directly manages and operates the Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory and is a partner in the management of two other Department of Energy
National Laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
and Los Alamos National Laboratory. UC also manages the National Science Foundation funded
San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego.