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Central Valley Education Complex mapHigher Education

The Merced area has easy access to many fine institutions of higher learning. Within a one-hour radius, close to 100,000 students attend colleges and universities, including: University of California, Merced, California State University, Stanislaus, California State University, Fresno and the University of the Pacific. Schools of Engineering, Business, and Computer Science are readily at hand.

University of California, Merced

On September 6, 2005, classes at the new University of California, Merced campus began. The University is the nation's first academic research institution of the 21st Century. The current core subject areas include Engineering, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences. As the University continues to grow, additional schools will be added. Currently, UC Merced is exploring the creation of a medical school.

Merced College

Merced College is a fully-accredited community college, offering diverse programs to meet the needs of the community as well as students going on to baccalaureate programs.

Merced College's Employer Focused Training Center offers business training programs tailored to teach job-specific skills. Merced College also houses the John Deere Ag Tech and Toyota Technical Education Network programs providing certified training for John Deere and Toyota technicians.

Tri-College Center

The Merced Tri-College Center is the first facility of its kind in California to combine resources from each of the three public higher education systems in the State.

Partnering in the Center are the University of California at Merced, California State University, Stanislaus, and Merced College. Housed in a new facility at Merced College’s campus, the Center offers about 75 courses each academic year, drawn from the programs of the three institutions, including upper-division, baccalaureate, and post-graduate courses.

The Center offers videoconferencing capability and state of the art computer labs.

Merced Collegiate Academy

A new educational partnership between Merced College, area high schools, UC Merced and California State University, Stanislaus offers a summer academy program of courses in which high school students may earn both high school and college credit. The goal of the Academy is to encourage high school students to take a rigorous academic program and advance to a successful collegiate career. Students also receive special counseling to prepare them for the college entry experience.

Institution Location Enrollment
University of California, Merced Merced 1,875
California State University, Stanislaus Turlock 7,980
California State University, Fresno Fresno 22,000
University of the Pacifc Stockton 6,235
Merced College Merced 9,440
Fresno City College Fresno 22,023
Modesto Junior College Modesto 16,563
Fresno Pacific College Fresno 11,475
National University Fresno 1,482
University of California, San Francisco/Fresno (medical) Fresno 196

Primary and Secondary Education

Merced offers a variety of educational experiences. Kindergarten through 8th grade classes are provided by Merced City School District and Weaver School District, with a combined student population of more than 14,500 students. The Districts' programs are augmented by 5 private elementary schools, offering academic and religious education. Merced has won state recognition for Hoover Middle School. Full programs of sports, music and other activities are offered.

Merced Union High School District is a unified district of high schools within Merced County, including three campuses located in Merced. Golden Valley and Merced High Schools offer complete traditional programs, including advanced placement and honors classes. East Campus provides alternative education. The high schools have complete sports, music and extra-curricular programs, and frequently win honors in these fields.

The Merced County Office of Education provides a continuation high school and special education services.

Merced Union High School District

  • High Schools: 5

Merced City School District

  • Middle Schools: 4
  • Elementary Schools: 12
  • Charter Elementary Schools: 1

Weaver School District

  • Middle Schools: 1
  • Elementary Schools: 2