Applying for freshman admission to the University of California can be somewhat intimidating. These step-by-step instructions will assist students in the application process and provide a better understanding of the system. The University of California has nine undergraduate campuses. Only one application is required for all locations.
Step 1 – Admission Guidelines.
Before completing an application form, students must meet the following requirements:
-Complete 15 college preparatory courses (11 must be completed prior to the start of the senior year) and have a 3.0 GPA (California resident) or 3.4 GPA (non-resident).
-Take the ACT or SAT exam.
Step 2 – Online Application.
Students will need this information before applying:
-High school transcripts – needed for reference. Official transcripts will be forwarded directly to the University of California upon acceptance.
-Test scores – SAT Reasoning Test or ACT Plus Writing, Advanced Placement, TOEFL, IELTS or International Baccalaureate exams taken.
-Check key deadlines here. The application process is open from November 1-30 for the following fall semester.
-Check open majors here.
-Annual income – for parents (if dependent) or student (if independent).
-Social Security number.
-California Student ID number.
-Email address – for additional correspondence and required documentation.
-Credit card – for application payment. A $70 non-refundable fee is required for each UC campus application. Payment can also be made by check.
-Personal statement – students will be prompted twice during the application process to express personal hopes, ambitions and life experiences. A maximum of 1,000 words and minimum of 250 words is suggested for essay prompts. Follow the guidelines found here (PDF).
-Letters of Recommendation – although these are not required at time of application, they may be required during review.
Step 3 – Decision notification.
Fall-term applicants who applied during the month of November usually receive notification of acceptance during the month of March. Late applicants or winter/spring semester applications should contact the admissions office for notification dates.
Students waiting for notification should complete the financial aid and Cal Grant Verification process through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website. Refer to key deadlines webpage for time frames on when to submit this application.
Step 4 – After application.
-Print the application for future reference.
-Order all relevant test scores to be sent to UC (all campus locations will receive a copy).
-Update the application with course changes, corrections or new information.
Step 5 – Provisional acceptance and Statement of Intent to Register (SIR).
Letters of acceptance are considered provisional until the University of California receives official transcripts and required coursework has been completed. Students must complete a Statement of Intent to Register form (paper or digital) to accept or decline the acceptance offer by May 1st for the fall semester. It is recommended that students receive notifications from all UC campus applications prior to submitting their SIR. After the student has accepted the offer, they should request official transcripts be forwarded to UC admissions.
Step 1 – Transfer student application.
Typical transfer students apply after attending a community college or in their junior level of a four-year program. Seven UC campus locations offer a Transfer Admission Guarantee to California community college students. For requirements and application go here.
-Junior transfers must have a minimum 2.4 GPA (2.8 GPA for non-residents) in 60 semester units of transferable college credits.
-A limited number of lower-division transfers are accepted. Check UC admissions website for specific requirements.
Step 2 – Application process (Opens October 1st for the following fall semester).
The application process is similar to freshman application noted above. The following items are unique to transfer applications:
-College transcripts – needed for reference. Official transcripts will be forwarded directly to the University of California upon acceptance.
-Personal statement – students will be prompted during the application process to give personal information about their goals for the future. Follow the essay guidelines here (PDF).
Transfer applicants must update their application with any changes to their academic record, courses (add/drop) and grades. FAFSA forms must also be completed to qualify for financial aid.
Step 3 – Notification.
Decision notifications for transfer applicants are made between March 1 and May 1 for the fall semester. An acceptance notice will be final upon receipt of an official transcript in good standing. Transfer students must accept or decline the offer with a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) by June 1st.