At UCI, the beach is more than just an easily accessible place to surf, swim and sun. It’s also part of the curriculum.

Affordability, academic excellence and alumni success are all important criteria when selecting which college to attend. For those who want all of that plus easy access to the beach, there’s really only one choice: UCI. For the second year in a row, Money magazine has ranked UCI the No. 1 college for beach lovers. To determine this, the editors pared down Money‘s recent list of “best colleges for your money” (UCI was seventh) to just those campuses nearest a coastline – with UCI coming out on top. There are lots of ways to spend time in the sand here: surfing spots from Huntington Beach to San Clemente, strolling along the boardwalk and pier at Newport Beach, soaking up the glamour of Laguna Beach or enjoying the tranquility of Corona del Mar. But at UCI, the beach is also part of the curriculum. Students involved in the OCEANS Initiative – an interdisciplinary approach involving the natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, the arts, education, law and governance – conduct marine research at both local and global scales.