Since our inception, every accomplishment, every breakthrough, every leap and bound has been fueled by our unwavering determination to make a difference. From our innovative academics and groundbreaking research to our record-breaking athletics and top-tier medical centers —Greatness is the UCLA hallmark.
UCLA Defining Moments Timeline
UCLA ranks no. 1 in California and no. 6 in the U.S. for the number of Peace Corps volunteers.
Prof. Lloyd Shapley of the UCLA College wins Nobel Prize in Economics.
UCLA exceeds $1 billion in competitively awarded research grants and contracts in a single year.
The new Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center opens.
UCLA is the first university to win 100 NCAA team championships.
Prof. Terence Tao of the UCLA College wins the Fields Medal, math’s highest honor.
FDA approves the first genetically-targeted breast cancer treatment: Herceptin, developed by UCLA’s Dr. Dennis Slamon.
Prof. Louis J. Ignarro of the School of Medicine wins the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Prof. Paul Boyer of the UCLA College receives the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
UCLA physician Guido Guglielmi invents the Guglielmi detachable coils, revolutionizing the treatment of brain aneurysms.
Prof. Donald Cram of the UCLA College receives the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
UCLA hosts gymnastics and tennis competitions for the 1984 Olympic Games and serves as an Olympic Village.
UCLA physicians report the world’s first AIDS cases.
Prof. Julian Schwinger, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics (1965), joins the faculty of the UCLA College.
UCLA becomes the first node on the ARPANET and Professor Leonard Kleinrock sends the first message. The Internet is born.
UCLA Ethnic Studies Centers are established, among the first in the U.S.
Alumnus and faculty member Paul Terasaki develops the tissue-matching test that makes organ transplants possible.
UCLA wins the first of 10 NCAA men’s basketball championships under Coach John Wooden.
Prof. Willard Libby of the UCLA College is awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
The first open-heart surgery in the western United States is performed at UCLA Medical Center.
Alumnus Ralph Bunche ’27 becomes the first person of color to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
UCLA awards its first Ph.D. degree.
Graduate study is authorized for the Master of Arts degree.
The Westwood campus opens with 5,500 students; Royce Hall is one of the first four buildings.
The Regents of the University of California adopt the name "University of California at Los Angeles" in place of "Southern Branch."
The Vermont Avenue campus of the University of California (known as UC's "Southern Branch") opens, offering two-year undergraduate teachers-training programs.