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Campus Life

When you first arrive at UC Merced, you might wonder how you will meet people. You can start by leaving the comfort of your room, exploring campus and following your interests, whether in dance, gaming, photography, robotics or anything else. Once you find your niche, you’ll feel part of the close-knit UC Merced community and start making the friends with whom you will share your entire college experience.

Life Outside the Classroom

Student LifeStudent life

Activities: There’s something for everyone, and something is always happening: Movie nights, luau beach parties, spirit days, cultural events, dance crew battles, guest speakers and more. You’ll see excited faces from all over campus at our most popular annual events – the harvest carnival and concert Treats ‘N Beats, CABsterical Comedy Jam, Winterball, Soul’d Out Poetry Jam, Bobcats Got Talent, and the biggest draw of the year, the Cowchella music festival.

Clubs and Organizations: Clubs & Organizations: The Anime Club, Black Student Union, Bobcat Theater, Pilipino American Alliance, Pre-Pharmacy Club and The Prodigy News are only a few of the more than 200 clubs and organizations UC Merced students have formed. If you can’t find a good fit, you can tap into the school’s pioneering spirit and start your own!

Greek Life: UC Merced’s fraternity and sorority community has 20 recognized chapters on campus. Collectively, Greek Life provides a wide range of academic, social and community service activities.



Whether you’re an athlete or fan of college athletics, you can get involved by showing up and teaming with Rufus to cheer on the blue and gold!

  • Mascot: Rufus
  • School colors: Blue and gold
  • Affiliation: National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
  • Conference: California Pacific (CalPac)
  • Men’s and women’s varsity teams: Basketball, cross country, soccer, volleyball
  • Athletics facilities: Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center; Student Activities and Athletics Center

More info at

Recreation and Wellness

Recreation & Wellness: If your idea of wellness is fresh air and fun outside, an energetic place to do lifts and reps, or a chance to push, pull, run and pedal in matchups with other students, you’re in luck!

Sports clubs: Archery, baseball, Bobcat Strength, cheer, cycling, dance, golf, martial arts, softball, tennis, water polo, wrestling

Intramural sports teams: Futsal, basketball, dodgeball, indoor and grass volleyball, flag football, soccer, ultimate Frisbee

Student using recreation centerThe OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE PROGRAM (OEP): The OEP is UC Merced’s hub of all things outdoors. There are activities like Week of Wilderness, Granite Clinic and Speaker Series and Open Wrench bicycle repair sessions, and you can even rent outdoor equipment and kayaks. Outdoor Adventure trips include exploring Yosemite, skiing and snowboarding in the Sierra, rafting the American River, kayaking in the San Francisco Bay and surfing in Santa Cruz.

Fitness: You’ll find state-of-the-art cardio, fitness and group exercise equipment in our recreation center. Group fitness classes range from cycling to yoga, and personal trainers are always an option.

Healthy Competition: Flex your muscles and enter the annual Strong Cat Competition (tire flip, truck pull, farmer’s walk, weight plate over-head hold – piece of cake, right?), run in the Cat Trails 5K or 5-mile race, or pedal your heart out in a cycling road race.

More info at

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