What Is a Brief History of UCLA?

The University of California, Los Angeles began as a two-year state teachers' college, opened its current Westwood campus in 1929 with 5,500 students, and grew to become a major university that offers over 125 majors and 150 graduate degree programs as of 2015. The university boasts 13 Nobel Laureates and 12 MacArthur Fellows in its history. UCLA also has an extremely successful athletics department that has won 112 NCAA national championships, including a record 11 Division I men's basketball championships.

The history of UCLA dates back to 1881, when the school opened as the California State Normal School in downtown Los Angeles. The school moved its campus to Hollywood in 1914. In 1919, the school became the second branch of the University of California and was known as the Southern Branch of the University of California.

As part of the University of California system, the school expanded quickly. The school awarded its first four-year degrees in 1925 and began constructing a new campus in 1927. The school awarded its first Ph.D. degree in 1938.

The university achieved a major medical breakthrough in 1956, when the UCLA Medical Center performed the first open-heart surgery. In 1969, the Internet began at UCLA when the university was the first node on ARPANET. In 1981, UCLA physicians discovered the first cases of AIDS. In 2007, the university won its 100th NCAA championship, becoming the first NCAA school to achieve that feat. By 2010, the university earned $1 billion in research grants in just one year.