As proud as Bruins are that U.S. News & World Report has named UCLA the nation’s No. 1 public university five years in a row, we also know that UCLA is a higher education leader in many areas that truly capture the best of what our campus provides to students, the local community and global society.

No. 1 for transfers in multiple years

In 2021, college admissions consulting firm Prepory rated UCLA the No.1 school in the United States for transfer students. In 2018, Money magazine did the same. 

For UCLA, this is more than a point of pride. Being a national exemplar for how the best universities can serve community college transfer students is the fulfillment of a public compact. The 1960 California Master Plan for Higher Education created a pathway for community college students to move on to the University of California as juniors, opening a pipeline to diplomas and, ultimately, careers.

At UCLA, nearly one-third of undergraduates are transfer students, many of whom come from historically underrepresented groups and are often the first in their families to attend a four-year college.

“UCLA is really interested in attracting students from all different communities, particularly underrepresented students,” Alfred Herrera, director of UCLA’s Center for Community College Partnerships, said in a UCLA Newsroom story about the history of success between UCLA and community colleges. “Part of it is a moral issue. If we don’t educate them at UCLA, then we’re doing a disservice to them and to our country and to our institution. We have to do this.”

No. 1 for veterans five years in a row in U.S. News & World Report

Operation Mend contingent at New York City Veteran’s Day parade
Operation Mend contingent at New York City Veterans Day parade.


There’s no honor more humbling than being ranked the best university in the country for military veterans. UCLA’s dedication and commitment to those who’ve served is reflected in our more than 100 programs and initiatives for veterans and their families, including:

  • The UCLA/VA Veteran Family Wellness Center, which has provided wellness support and services at no cost to more than 26,000 veterans and their family members — including nearly 7,000 veterans in 2020 —since opening in August 2017.
  • UCLA School of Law’s free Veterans Legal Clinic, where students assist underserved and marginalized veterans in Los Angeles as part of the school’s experiential education program. The law school is also home to the student-run El Centro Legal clinic for veterans, which offers much-needed legal services.
  • The Veteran Resource Center, which provides guidance on educational benefits, academic support, career development and community building opportunities for military-connected undergraduate and graduate students at UCLA.
  • Operation Mend, founded in 2007, which provides advanced surgical and medical treatment, along with intensive care for PTSD and mild traumatic brain injury, to veterans injured during combat operations or while training for service. The program, a collaboration among UCLA Health, the U.S. military and the Department of Veterans Affairs, is the only one of its kind in the nation to also treat caregivers alongside their veterans as full participants.

No. 1 in Niche’s “Best College Food” rankings, 2021 and 2022

Bison burger sliders, roasted cauliflower soup and tacos from the Bruin Plate Cookbook.
Bison burger sliders, roasted cauliflower and white bean soup and tacos from “UCLA’s Bruin Plate Cookbook.”


Roasted cauliflower and white bean soup. Black bean and yam tacos with Swiss chard pesto. Toasted rice-encrusted trout with coconut curried lentils. Crispy quinoa-coated chicken breast with dandelion greens and chimichurri sauce. Having those dishes among the selections in the dining halls means so much more than UCLA students being able to healthfully tour the world with their tastebuds. Topping the list of school ranking and review site Niche’s 2022 ranking of best college food in America shows that not only is UCLA a powerhouse research university that’s home to world-renowned scholars like Nobel laureate astrophysicist Andrea Ghez — it’s a place that creates a best-in-class experience for students.

UCLA is also adding two new residence halls this year, so more students will have the opportunity to fully experience on-campus Bruin life. And for those who can’t get to campus that often, UCLA Housing and Hospitality has produced two cookbooks — one for Bruin Plate, the four-star certified green restaurant, and the award-winning “Plateia: The Cookbook.”

No. 1 most applied-to university for many years

It’s not just U.S. News & World Report that thinks UCLA is No. 1. As the most applied-to university in the United States for several years running, UCLA is clearly seen as a top destination for high school and transfer students, their families, guidance counselors, teachers and mentors.

Dickson Plaza
Dickson Plaza