Academic Programs

The First Academic Plan

Preliminary announcement, University of California, Irvine, Academic Program, 1965-1966.

UCI's initial academic plan was created by the campus's founding academic administrators during four days of meetings in August 1964. Like the physical plan that established UCI's circular layout around a central park, the academic plan took a progressive form.

The plan was launched by Chancellor Aldrich, who proposed that the campus begin with a College of Arts, Letters, and Science and two professional schools: the Graduate School of Administration (now the Paul Merage School of Business) and the School of Engineering .

The College of Arts , Letters, and Science had five divisions, which remain intact to this day:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Fine Arts (now the Claire Trevor School of the Arts)
  • Humanities
  • Physical Sciences
  • Social Sciences

Emphasis was placed on the core concepts and analytical tools used in each area of study to help students cope with rapidly changing subject matter. The main goals of the academic plan and the resulting curriculum were to instill in students an interdisciplinary approach to learning, a capacity for analytical thinking, the ability to engage in creative thought and action, a sense of community involvement, and self reliance.

In order to create a climate where interdisciplinary activity could flourish, deans were given broad authority and encouraged to be innovative in creating programs and organizational structures. As a result, the academic units at UCI have had the freedom to take distinctive approaches to teaching and research, and to emphasize a wide array of interdisciplinary collaborations. Over the years, this approach has stimulated innovation throughout UCI's academic programs.

UCI's Original Academic Units (the Divisions are now Schools)

Division of Biological Sciences

  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Organismic Biology
  • Psychobiology
  • Population and Environmental Biology

Division of Physical Sciences

  • Chemistry
  • Math
  • Physics

Division of Fine Arts

  • Art
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Music

Division of Social Sciences

  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Social Science

Division of Humanities

  • English
  • Foreign Languages and Literatures
  • History
  • Philosophy
The Original Professional Schools
  • Graduate School of Administration
    (now the Paul Merage School of Business)
  • School of Engineering
    (now The Henry Samueli School of Engineering)

Academic Units Created After Founding

  • School of Information and Computer Science
    (now the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science)
  • School of Social Ecology
  • College of Medicine
    (now the School of Medicine , a unit of the College of Health Sciences )