UC Undergraduate Experience Survey

The University of California Undergraduate Experience Survey (UCUES) solicits student opinions on a broad range of academic and co-curricular experiences, including instruction, advising and student services.


UCUES provides information about student attitudes and behaviors including time use, academic engagement and community involvement. It assesses attitudes towards many different aspects of campus life including academic advising, campus climate, courses & instruction, and interaction with faculty. It documents students' self-perceptions and goals, political beliefs, and perceptions of the role of the research university. It also collects background demographic information, such as first language, family immigration background and social class.

Specific survey topics include:
  • Academic Engagement
  • Time Allocation
  • Educational Experiences
  • Campus Climate for Diversity and Inclusiveness
  • Evaluation of the Major
  • Co-Curricular Experience  
  • Academic and Personal Development
  • Satisfaction
  • Plans and Aspirations
  • Background and Personal Characteristics
  • Academic Experience & Globalization
  • Student Life and Development
  • Community and Civic Engagement
  • Basic Needs
  • COVID-19 (for 2020 survey administration only)


UCUES employs a modular design in order to include a greater number of items without increasing the time it takes a student to complete the survey. The questionnaire contains a set of core questions administered to every respondent as well as UC modules and a campus wildcard module of additional questions that are randomly assigned.

Core questions focus primarily on topics related to academic program review, demographics, use of time and general satisfaction. The UC modules include topics on student life and development, community service, and educational experiences and globalization. A campus wildcard module allows individual campuses to survey their students on issues of campus concern.

Use of Data

UCUES has been used extensively to guide the University on improving the undergraduate experience. Campuses also use UCUES to report on the quality of their academic programs to their academic senates. Some campuses have used UCUES data in their WASC accreditation self-studies. Other campuses, as well as the Council of Vice-Chancellors of Student Affairs, use UCUES to evaluate the quality and use of their student services. A number of campuses have used UCUES to report on campus climate and the impact of diversity on students' educational experiences.

UCUES data and results have been used in UC’s Annual Accountability Reports, UC Budget for Current Operations, and to inform regents' committees, such as the Long-Range Guidance Team, the Diversity Study Group, and Student Basic Needs Committee.