The legal name of the university is: University of California, Merced (use with “the”). Approved abbreviation: UC Merced (do not use with “the”).
Do Not Use "UCM"
With a little more than a decade since the campus opened, we are collectively still establishing the “brand“ of the University of California, Merced. Our market research has shown that people in California — not to mention those in the nation and the world — are often only vaguely aware of the existence of a new UC campus in Merced. The “M” in UCM might stand for virtually any place that begins with an M. Some nearby examples: Mariposa, Modesto, Madera, Manteca.
In news stories and other narrative articles, use the full name of the university — “the University of California, Merced” — on first reference, and “UC Merced” in subsequent use.
The University of California, Merced, has been designated a “doctoral-granting university with higher research activity” — or R2, the second-highest classification for American research universities — in its first appearance on the highly cited Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
The R2 classification recognizes UC Merced as a selective institution that awards more than 20 doctoral degrees, primarily in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
[Conversation] “I am a student at UC Merced.”
[Telephone introduction] “This is Joe Smith calling from UC Merced.”
[Letter] UC Merced is the newest campus of the UC system.