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While we're excited to welcome our newest students to the Anteater family this fall, we recognize that COVID-19 has created an uncertain environment for students making decisions about their educational pursuits. We want to assure our admitted students that UCI takes this situation and the concerns of students and their families seriously. 

Almost all undergraduate courses will be delivered in a remote format in the fall quarter. All academic units are developing comprehensive plans that are flexible enough to handle the uncertainty associated with the pandemic and provide the courses students need, independent of the mode of delivery. With over 200 online courses that are regularly taught by UCI faculty and significant experience in remote instruction, UCI is prepared to adapt instruction to satisfy the needs for freshmen for all intended majors.

To assist in your planning for fall 2020, we have compiled some frequently asked questions regarding admissions, financial aid, visas, and academic support below. The list of FAQs will be updated on an ongoing basis. More information to come soon.


  • The University of California acted last night (March 31) to implement temporary measures which relax undergraduate admissions requirements for students looking to enroll at UC for fall 2020 and future years as applicable. These measures will help mitigate some of the extraordinary challenges students and their families face in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “We want to help alleviate the tremendous disruption and anxiety that is already overwhelming prospective students due to COVID-19,” said John A. Pérez, chair of the Board of Regents, the governing board for UC. “By removing artificial barriers and decreasing stressors – including suspending the use of the SAT – for this unprecedented moment in time, we hope there will be less worry for our future students.”

    “The COVID-19 outbreak is a disaster of historic proportions disrupting every aspect of our lives, including education for high school students, among others,” said University of California President Janet Napolitano, who endorsed the changes. “The University’s flexibility at this crucial time will ensure prospective students aiming for UC get a full and fair shot — no matter their current challenges.”

    The global health crisis has forced the closure of high schools across the country and prompted sudden shifts to remote instruction. Some schools adopted “pass/fail” or “credit/no credit” grading instead of letter grades for A-G courses needed to qualify for UC admission. These measures had the potential to adversely affect not only the incoming freshman class, but all high school students seeking a UC education, making it challenging to meet University requirements. Meanwhile, K-12 standardized testing and college entrance exams have been cancelled, further thwarting student progress.

    In response, the Regents approved a series of critical, short-term measures:

    • Suspending the letter grade requirement for A-G courses completed in winter/spring/summer 2020 for all students, including UC’s most recently admitted freshmen.
    • Suspending the standardized test requirement for students applying for fall 2021 freshman admission.
    • Providing that there will be no rescission of student admissions offers that result from students or schools missing official final transcript deadlines, and student retention of admission status through the first day of class until official documents are received by campuses.
    • For transfer students, temporarily suspending the cap on the number of transferable units with “pass/no pass” grading applied toward the minimum 60 semester/90 quarter units required for junior standing.

    In addition to the University’s actions, the College Board recently announced changes to Advanced Placement (AP) exam content and formats for spring 2020. UC recognizes the effort that students have already applied in these challenging courses and will award UC credit for 2020 AP exams completed with scores of 3, 4 or 5, consistent with previous years. 

    “The goal of these changes is to ensure a fair process that does not affect the life chances of students who, but for the coronavirus pandemic, would have become full-time students at the University of California,” said Kum-Kum Bhavnani, chair of the Academic Senate. The Senate exercises direct control over academic matters of central importance to UC and made the admissions recommendations to the Regents.

    UC requests submission of final transcripts by July 1. If schools are unable or unsure about their ability to issue transcripts by this date, they may notify UC at and include a date when transcripts are expected to be available.

    For more information on the changes, visit here.

  • Yes. If an applicant for freshman or transfer admission completed secondary school/high school in a country where English was not the language of instruction, s/he must demonstrate English proficiency.
  • UC has temporarily suspended the letter grade requirement for A-G courses completed in spring 2020 for all students, including UC’s most recently admitted freshmen. A-G courses completed in spring 2020 with Pass (P) or Credit (CR) grades will satisfy appropriate A-G requirements.
  • UCI will accept Pass or Credit grades in major preparatory coursework completed in spring 2020 for all majors.

    Pass or Credit grades in major preparation are acceptable for admission purposes only; articulation of courses with Pass or Credit grades will be determined by the individual department after you enroll at UCI.

  • UC recognizes the effort that students have already made in these challenging courses and will continue to award UC credit consistent with previous years for 2020 AP exams completed with scores of 3, 4, or 5.

  • UC is currently in communication with IBO and the various A-level exam boards to gather additional information about planned assessments for the spring 2020 cohort. The University will share further information as soon as details are available.
  • We understand that many institutions may have changed their grading policy to P/NP for the winter and spring 2020 terms. While we expect students to complete all requirements as listed, we are committed to ensuring that students who have been impacted by the P/NP change are not penalized.

    Please notify our office about changes to your reported winter and spring terms by submitting the "Update to Conditioned Courses" form in your portal

  • If a course you planned to enroll in to complete major preparation or minimum eligibility at UCI was canceled in the spring, you will be able to complete it in the summer.
  • In general, UCI does not defer undergraduate offers of admission. Under certain circumstances, a request for deferring admission may be considered on a case-by-case basis. The deadline for deferment requests is September 15, 2020.

    If a freshman applicant’s request for deferment is granted, and all conditions are met, they will be admitted to the term requested. The applicant may not enroll in any coursework at another college or university during their gap year. If any college coursework is completed during that time, the applicant will be required to reapply as a transfer applicant, and must complete the UC Transfer Course Pattern and all major prerequisites. For information about transfer requirements go here.

    Read more about UCI’s deferment policy, conditions, and considered circumstances.

  • The University recognizes the challenges that students are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, in response, the UC system is suspending the standardized test requirement for all freshman applicants until fall 2024.
  • Students are not precluded from taking standardized tests (SAT or ACT) and sending scores if they are able. Doing so can support their statewide UC eligibility, application for certain scholarships, and help them fulfill some University graduation requirements. Students will not be at a disadvantage should they not submit a test score. This modification to the test requirement is not intended as an admissions policy shift but is rather a temporary accommodation driven by the current extraordinary circumstances.

  • The temporary suspension of the letter grade requirement for A-G courses applies to all A-G coursework completed in spring and summer 2020, including coursework completed by students currently in 9th, 10th, and 11th grades.

    The Pass or Credit grade in spring and summer 2020 will continue to meet A-G requirements for any student enrolled in high school during the 2019-20 academic year.

  • UCI cannot instruct individual schools or districts on how to choose to implement their grading policy. If your high school allows different grading options for different courses, you can choose the grading option that you feel is most beneficial for each course. Keep in mind that Pass grades will not be included in the GPA calculation, nor will they receive an extra point in the GPA if they are approved honors, AP or IB courses. However, UC-approved honors courses, including AP and IB, will be included in the honors course tallies, ensuring students are considered in comprehensive review as taking a challenging curriculum.
  • This does not lower the bar for admission, but accommodates the real barriers students have faced as tests have been cancelled and classes have moved to Pass/No Pass grading. Admission to UCI will continue to be competitive.
  • Pass (P) or Credit (CR) grades will meet A-G subject requirements but will not be calculated in the GPA. UC will continue to calculate the GPA for admission purposes using all A-G courses passed with letter grades in grades 10 and 11, including summer terms following grades 9, 10 and 11. Extra points in honors-level coursework will continue to be capped at 8 semesters of honors points in A-G courses completed with letter grades of A, B and C in grades 10 and 11.

  • The TOEFL website indicates the home exam is available in every country where TOEFL iBT is typically available, except Mainland China and Iran. Despite those assurances, UC will monitor testing conditions and availability in all countries to identify any potential issues for our prospective students. Additionally, if no acceptable TOEFL testing opportunities are identified for students in Mainland China and Iran, UC will provide additional guidance for prospective applicants from those countries. In the meantime, UC also accepts scores on IELTS to demonstrate English proficiency.
  • Homeschool students who are working with their local high school to complete an approved curriculum and earn an accredited high school diploma can meet A-G requirements with Pass or Credit grades in coursework completed in spring or summer 2020.

    The typical route to admission for students not homeschooling through the local high school is through Admission by Exam or Admission by Exception. These will continue to be the paths to admission for this population of homeschool students. We will take into consideration the various test cancellations which may have impacted a student’s ability to qualify for Admission by Exam.

Submitting Official Documents


  • UCI is committed to providing as many students as possible with a meaningful on-campus residential experience. We will have space for students in single and double rooms. The rooms have been modified to accommodate current public health guidance including the addition of room dividers and increases to cleaning and sanitation schedules. For more information, please visit UCI Housing’s FAQ page.

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