What’s in a name? A lot! A single, unified identity plays to the strength of our university. The following guidelines have been developed to facilitate a common system of language, or nomenclature, that enables clear, consistent communications about our campus.

In short, please use “UCI” in all references to this university except when writing for a non-local audience, in which case “the University of California, Irvine” should be used on first reference, followed by “UCI” on second and subsequent references.

General Rules

When writing for an audience who is familiar with us (web features and news briefs, for example):

First and subsequent references: UCI

When writing for an audience who may not be familiar with us (press/news releases, for example):

First reference: the University of California, Irvine

Second and subsequent references: UCI

In all headlines, subheads and captions: UCI

For references to other universities, see the UCI Editorial Style Guide entry for college and university names. For wordmark guidance, see UCI’s brand and visual identity standards.


The University of California, Irvine opened in 1965 and for much of its history has been referred to by its full name or the initials UCI. “UCI” has been preferred over “UC Irvine,” in part, because in our early days the city of Irvine did not yet exist and awareness of the Irvine name was limited. The campus’s founders likened the abbreviated UCI name to such prestigious research universities as MIT and UCLA. Logos were created and signs erected. Over time, “UCI” has indeed become synonymous with one of America’s leading public research universities. There is only one UCI!

Today, the University of California, Irvine has become known internationally for excellence in research, teaching and public service. And, thanks in no small part to the university’s success, the city of Irvine is widely regarded as a business, residential and academic center. But while the acronym UCI remains permanently etched in the minds of many, it is not always recognized or understood by those unfamiliar with the campus or outside our geographic area. Even those who recognize that “UC” stands for University of California don’t always associate our “I” with Irvine. To address this issue, the university’s brand and visual identity standards include the optional use of the “UC Irvine” wordmark. But “UCI” remains the cornerstone element of our signature.