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University of California (UC)

University of California

The University of California opened its doors in 1869 with just 10 faculty members and 38 students. Today, the UC system includes more than 233,000 students and more than 190,000 faculty and staff, with more than 1.7 million alumni living and working around the world.

Thinking about which University of California campus — or campuses — to apply to can be an exciting, thought-provoking and possibly intimidating process. You have nine choices available. That means nine geographic locations, tempos and personalities to consider.

Explore your options

It's helpful to understand that while all UC campuses provide creative and challenging learning opportunities, not every campus is suited to every student.  Along with thinking about what you want scholastically — which is certainly important — reflect on what you're looking for socially and geographically, too.

Admission Requirements

Our admission guidelines are designed to ensure you are well-prepared to succeed at UC.  If you're interested in entering the University of California as a freshman, you'll want to be sure to review these requirements carefully.

Information for international students

Applicants from around the world are welcome at UC. In addition to satisfying the academic requirements, you'll also need to pass an English exam and secure a visa.

Can I afford a UC education?

Most families pay less than the full price of attending UC. In fact, more than half of our undergraduate students pay no tuition at all. Over two-thirds of UC undergraduates receive grants and scholarships, with an average award of around $16,300. But to get financial aid, you need to apply.


The UC Application includes these questions to get to know who you better.  Think of them as interview questions.  Whatever questions you answer, make sure you show your personality—just as you would in real life.You have eight questions to choose from but you must respond to only four.  Each response is limited to 350 words and the questions you choose to answer are entirely up to you - no questions is "better" to answer than another.  Need some help? 


  • Test-optional for fall 2021 and fall 2022: Campuses will have the option to use ACT/SAT test scores in selection consideration if applicants choose to submit them, and will develop appropriate policies and procedures to implement the Board’s decision.
  • Test-blind for fall 2023 and fall 2024: Campuses will not consider test scores for California public and independent high school applicants in admissions selection, a practice known as “test-blind” admissions. Test scores could still be considered for other purposes such as course placement, certain scholarships and eligibility for the statewide admissions guarantee.

Freshman admission profiles summarize the academic qualifications of applicants and admitted freshmen to each UC campus for fall 2019.  While the information is helpful in determining your fit for a campus, please be cautious in drawing conclusions from this information.  The numbers are useful only as a general guide to selectivity and not as a predictor of your chances for admission to a particular campus.


UC Major Selection 

In most cases, students are not admitted or denied to a UC campus by major, however there are some exceptions.  Most campus will evaluate students applying to the college of Engineering, Nursing or Fine/Performing Arts by additional standards.  Majors located in the college of Letters and Science do not factor into the admission process.  Majors in other areas may be capped, but this will vary by campus.  Do your research! 

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