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University of California

The University of California (UC) is an intellectual powerhouse, home to more than 174,000 students and comprising several undergraduate campuses across the entire state: Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and San Diego. The UC system is recognised as the foremost public research institution in the world and is one of the most popular destinations for King's students.

Pre-application briefing

An important briefing for prospective King's students applying to study abroad at UC takes place during the annual Go Global weeks. To be considered for UC, King's students are required to access this information either in person or online. 

Exchange places

The exchange agreement between King's and the University of California allows for up to 40 Full Year Equivalent (FYE) places for each institution. This equates to 40 students going for a full academic year OR 80 students for a single semester OR a mixture of the two.

Eligibility for King's students 

Important: Final decision on students' study abroad applications to their host institution, including campus allocation, rests entirely with UC. Students must also meet their departments’ academic requirements to obtain final departmental approval to study abroad (it is usually at least a 60% average prior to departure, however this can vary amongst departments). Students should double check with their Study Abroad Tutor if they are unsure of their academic requirements.

King’s students that wish to study abroad at this institution should check the ‘Undergraduate options by department' page to see if this institution is indeed an option for them. 

Campus selection

Students studying abroad at UC requires all exchange students to choose three campuses where their "major" (i.e.their primary subject, for instance Film Studies or Biochemistry) is taught. Students don't apply individually to specific campuses, but apply to UC as a whole. The central exchanges office at UC will then select which campus students attend.

It is important, therefore, that any student wishing to apply be open to going to ANY of the California campuses, not just one or two. On acceptance, individual campuses will then write to exchange students with further information, and some may write sooner than others.

Subject-specific information

  • King's students in the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine applying for UC will be expected to have Mathematics A-level/International Baccalaureate Higher Level Mathematics, as Calculus is a core pre-requisite for study of science at UC
  • BSc Economics & Management students are also required to have Calculus knowledge, as it is a core pre-requisite. This is satisfied by taking the modules 'Mathematics for Economists' and 'Statistics for Economists' at King's in first year
  • BSc Business Management students do not meet the requirements for the study of business, economics and management at UC
  • BSc Politics/ BSc Political Economy students will not be able to take the required macroeconomics modules required by King's, at UC, and so should not select UC as an option
  • BA Philosophy students are not guaranteed registration on upper division Philosophy modules (equivalent to King's level 5 and 6), particularly at Berkeley, so should be prepared to be flexible with their modules selections there
  • King's students wishing to study abroad at UC in their third year should have at least a 60% (2:1) average in their first year at King's (as required by UC)

Academic calendar

An academic year at two of the UC campuses: Berkeley campus and Merced campus, comprises two teaching semesters, each lasting 15 weeks, which are similar to, and indeed equate with, the two King's teaching semesters:

  • Fall semester (August - December)
  • Spring semester (January - May)

All other UC campuses teach across three quarters, instead of semesters, each quarter lasting 10 weeks:

  • Fall quarter (September - December)
  • Winter quarter (January - March)
  • Spring quarter (April - June)

King's students allocated one of the quarter-system campuses for the first King's semester of a given academic year will go for the UC Fall quarter.

Those allocated for the second semester of the King's academic year will go for both the UC Winter and Spring quarters. 

Estimated living costs

Please see here for current estimated living costs, but actual expenses may vary depending on student lifestyle. The cost of travel to and from the country is not included in these estimates.

A reminder that King's students on exchange are not required to pay tuition fees to the host university, but you may incur administrative and/or orientation fees at the host. There may also be mandatory insurance costs, and transcripts may incur a fee.

Please note that in order to have their visas sponsored for study in the US, students will be required to document the highest amount for their campus choice at UC.

University of California - San Francisco

The UC San Francisco (UCSF) campus is devoted solely to health and biomedical sciences. Its schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy, and its graduate division in the biological sciences, all rank among the nation’s top professional programs. UCSF is known for its scientific discoveries, teaching excellence, and patient care. Surrounded by picturesque neighbourhoods, UCSF is adjacent to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. See here for more information about UCSF.

Please note: the University of California San Francisco is a Pharmacy partner only.

Eligibility for King's students

Important: Final decision on students' study abroad application to their host institution rests entirely with that host institution. Students must also meet their departments’ academic requirements to obtain final departmental approval to study abroad. It is usually at least a 60% average prior to departure, however this can vary amongst departments. Students should double check with their Study Abroad Tutor if they are unsure of their academic requirements.

King’s students that wish to study abroad at this institution should check the ‘Undergraduate options by department’ page to see if this institution is indeed an option for them. 


Explore King’s

Accommodation Take a look at our comfortable, safe residences to suit your budget, located close to King's teaching campuses. 
Student life Art, food, music, shopping – you'll never find yourself with nothing to do in the world's most vibrant city.
Extra-curricular Discover the huge variety of extra-curricular opportunities at King’s, from MOOCs to language courses.
London living With four campuses by the River Thames and one in south London, King's is right in the heart of the capital.

Next steps

View a prospectus

Learn more about the degree programmes on offer at King's. Download or view a prospectus in PDF format.

Undergraduate prospectus

Postgraduate guide