Graduate Division

Notable Alumni

Alumni of the University of California, Irvine's world-class graduate programs go on to excel in a variety of career paths, from academia to industry and government. As pioneers, they contribute to UC Irvine’s success as one of the top-ranked public universities in the United States. As renowned scientists and engineers, Pulitzer Prize winning writers, and distinguished educators and business professionals, they also play a vital role in our nation’s economic and cultural development. Could you be next? Following are but a few examples of UCI graduate alumni who have made their mark and continue to make a difference:


  • Kathie L. Olsen, Ph.D. ’79, Neuroscience
    • Former Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the National Science Foundation (NSF).
    • Currently Senior Advisor in the NSF’s Office of Information and Resource Management.
  • Anthony James, B.S. ’73, Ph.D. ’79, Biological Science
    • Distinguished Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics at UCI.
    • Internationally recognized biologist, and member of the National Academy, who leads a global effort to develop new methods of controlling dengue fever transmission by mosquitoes.


  • Wright Massey, M.B.A. ’92
    • Founder and CEO of Brand Architecture, an architecture and design firm.
    • Formerly the Director of Design for the Disney Stores and Vice President of Development of Starbucks, where he created the company’s national and international brand identity and store design.


  • Richard Ford, M.F.A. ’70
    • Won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for Independence Day.
  • Yusef Komunyakaa, M.F.A. ’80
    • Won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for Neon Vernacular.
  • Michael Chabon, M.F.A. ’87
    • Won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize in fiction for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.


  • Paul Mockapetris, Ph.D. ’82, Information and Computer Science
    • Co-inventor of the Domain Name System (DNS), a hierarchical naming system for computers, services or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network. An often-used analogy to explain the Domain Name System is that it serves as the “phone book” for the Internet by translating human-friendly computer hostnames into IP addresses (e.g., to
  • Roy Fielding, B.S. ’88, M.S. ’93, Ph.D. ’00, Information and Computer Science
    • Internet pioneer and founder of The Apache Software Foundation, which provides support for the Apache community of open-source software projects.
    • The familiar HTTP acronym (short for Hypertext Transfer Protocol) at the start of Web addresses is the standard for transferring documents. While pursuing his graduate studies at UCI, Fielding became a principal author of the version still in use today, HTTP/1.1.
  • Jim Whitehead, M.S. ’94, Ph.D. ’00, Information and Computer Science
    • Originator of WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning), a set of extensions to HTTP (Hypertext Transport Protocol) that allows people to edit and manage files collaboratively on remote web servers.
    • Currently an Associate Professor of Computer Science at UC Santa Cruz.


  • Siegfried Reich, Ph.D. ’86, Chemistry
    • Co-discovered the powerful HIV protease inhibitor Viracept, which has saved the lives of thousands of AIDS patients. The use of this drug, in combination with several others, constitutes one of the great triumphs of modern medicine.
    • Vice President of Drug Discovery at SGX Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; former Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Agouron Pharmaceuticals.