Imaginary campus of the California University system in Sunnydale, California.

Although admitted at out-of-state, more prestigious schools--Buffy, for example, at Northwestern; Willow at "Oxford. And M.I.T. and Yale and every other college on the face of the planet" (Xander in "Choices")--the Scoobies (all except Xander) make UCS their school of choice. In "Choices" Willow announcs her choice of school and explains her reasons for not going away at school to Buffy:

WILLOW: Deep thoughts?

BUFFY: Deep and meaningful.

WILLOW: As in?

BUFFY: As in, I'm never getting out of here. I kept thinking if I stopped the Mayor or ... but I was kidding myself. I mean, there is always going to be something. I'm a Sunnydale girl, no other choice.

WILLOW: Must be tough. I mean, here I am, I can do anything I want. I can go to any college in the country, four or five in Europe if I want.

BUFFY: Please tell me you're going somewhere with this?

WILLOW: No. (hands Buffy a letter) I'm not going anywhere.

BUFFY: UC Sunnydale?

WILLOW: I will be matriculating with Class of 2003.

BUFFY: Are you serious?

WILLOW: Say, isn't that where you're going?

BUFFY: I can't believe it! Are you serious? Ah, wait, what am I saying? You can't.

WILLOW: What do you mean, I can't?

BUFFY: I won't let you.

WILLOW: Of the two people here, which is the boss of me?

BUFFY: There are better schools.

WILLOW: Sunnydale's not bad. A-And I can design my own curriculum.

BUFFY: Okay, well, there are safer schools. There are safer prisons. I can't let you stay because of me.

WILLOW: Actually, this isn't about you. Although I'm fond, don't get me wrong, of you. The other night, you know, being captured and all, facing off with Faith. Things just, kind of, got clear. I mean, you've been fighting evil here for three years, and I've helped some, and now we're supposed to decide what we want to do with our lives. And I just realized that that's what I want to do. Fight evil, help people. I mean, I-I think it's worth doing. And I don't think you do it because you have to. It's a good fight, Buffy, and I want in.

BUFFY: I kind of love you.

WILLOW: And, besides, I have a shot at being a bad ass Wiccan, and what better place to learn?

Season Four finds Buffy, Willow, and Oz all matriculating at their hometown university. At UC-Sunnydale, Buffy meets Riley Finn, a graduate assistant in her psychology class, taught by Dr. Maggie Walsh, Oz meets Veruca, the werewolf lead singer of a rival band, and Willow falls in love with fellow student and fellow witch Tara. The school is also home to The Initiative, run by Dr. Walsh, whose monstrous creation Adam becomes the season's Big Bad.

By Season Five, UCS figures less and less prominently. In "Tough Love" Buffy drops out of school, never to return.

At the end of the series UCS is presumably destroyed in The Battle of Sunnydale in "Chosen" along with the rest of the craterized city of Sunnydale.

--David Lavery