The University of California was founded in 1868 and enrolled its first class of 38 undergraduates the following year. From these beginnings, UC has evolved into a system with over 236,000 undergraduates, graduates and medical residents, distributed over ten campuses, five medical centers and numerous other facilities through the State of California.

The information on students presented here provides an overview of UC's undergraduate and graduate populations throughout their careers at the University. This begins with their initial application to UC, and through a variety of data tables, charts and reports, the InfoCenter begins by describing the characteristics of the population of UC applicants and admitted students. It then follows this group through to enrollment, and finally reviews their relative success and academic outcomes. Financial information is also presented on the costs, financial aid programs and student indebtedness involved in a UC undergraduate education.

Similar statistics are also presented for UC population of graduate students.

Along with traditional spreadsheets and reports, this information appears in a series of web-based, interactive data dashboards. These dashboards incorporate a variety of indicators, allowing the user to access a wealth of information. They are also interactive, allowing the users to create customized views of the data using a series of selectors and drop-down menus that can present trends over time for a specific campus, or show intercampus comparisons for a specific year.

The primary source for the student data presented here is UC's Corporate Student System (CSS), a collection of databases built on data originating and regularly updated by the ten UC campuses. CSS contains core information about undergraduate student admissions, enrollment and performance, and is used to meet the management, analytical, and operational needs of the University system. Additional data concerning students originate with the University of California Undergraduate Experience Survey (UCUES), which solicits student opinions on all aspects of UC experience; from the Department of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which provides comparisons between UC campuses and other AAU institutions.