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About Us


UC Merced Recreation and Athletics Department provides recreation and athletic opportunities for our students to lead healthy, engaging lifestyles that enhance student success, promote individual well-being, and foster a commitment to lead and serve the community.



We strive to promote an attitude of achievement by having a purpose in all we do, setting high standards, and being committed to exceptional results.


We hold that consideration of others is the cornerstone of community and encompasses trust, honesty and responsibility.  Our respectful treatment of people and resources is the foundation of our department.

Student Focus

We prioritize students in our decision making and invest in creating a positive student experience.  Students are exposed to opportunities and resources to gain life skills that will promote future success.


We embrace our diversity of talents and perspectives in order to foster an environment of collaborative effort and collective goals.

More About Us

The Recreation and Athletics Program provides a wide variety of sports and recreational activities ranging from group fitness classes to diverse intramural sports, sports clubs, comprehensive outdoor experience activities and intercollegiate athletics.

Both the Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center, and the new Student Activities and Athletics Center, feature a full complement of fitness programming along with cardiovascular machines, strength training equipment, and drop-in recreational activities such as basketball, badminton and volleyball. The Intramural Sports Program also provides structured recreational opportunities in a range of intramural sports including such offerings as soccer, basketball, archery and much more.

For those students who are looking for more competition, the Sports Club Program offers students the opportunity to be a part of club teams which compete against other colleges and universities. Our current list of competitive sport club teams includes Archery, Cheer, Dance, Softball and Tennis.

Recreation and Athletics also offers a full range of group fitness classes for students as part of our Fitness Program. These classes range from group cycling and yoga to cardio and core stability.  There are classes to fit everyone's interest and ability. In addition to group fitness classes, one-on-one personal training sessions and the interactive "Ask the Trainer" sessions are available to provide individual attention and answer any fitness related question you may have.

The Student Activities and Athletics Center is home to the Outdoor Center. The Outdoor Center is the hub of the Outdoor Experience Program (OEP). The OEP offers an array of outdoor activities for students, faculty and staff ranging from the Week of Wilderness, Granite Clinic and Speaker Series, Open Wrench Bicycle sessions and the ever popular Outdoor Adventure trips.  Outdoor adventure trips range from exploring the Yosemite backcountry, skiing and snowboarding in the Sierras, rafting the American River, and kayaking the San Francisco Bay.  Also, the Outdoor Center has an extensive equipment rental program that provides users with the opportunity to rent backpacks, sleeping bags, stoves and tents, as well as snowshoes and trekking poles.   The reasonably priced equipment rental is available to students, faculty and staff.

Partnering with UC Merced’s Recreation and Athletics is the Wilderness Center, located in the Gallo Recreation Center. The Wilderness Center is staffed by both UC Merced student and Yosemite Park Rangers. The Wilderness Center is a great resource for Yosemite National Park information. UC Merced's proximity to Yosemite National Park makes it a popular destination for day trips, too!

Regarding Intercollegiate Athletics, UC Merced currently sponsors eight varsity sports including men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and men’s and women’s volleyball.  As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), UC Merced competes in the California Pacific (Cal Pac) Conference. For more information on athletics, please visit