Students who earn scores of 3, 4, or 5 on the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) examinations will receive credit toward graduation at UCI. Successfully completing the International Baccalaureate (IB) Exam can also result in credit allowed toward a UCI degree.
Discover what UCI is looking for.
Find out about our comprehensive review process and prove your English proficiency as an international student.
How you could become the next admitted freshman at UCI.
Having good grades and high college entrance exam scores matter. But they’re not the only things we take into consideration when reviewing your application.
Students admitted to UCI excel in their college preparatory courses and will graduate in the upper tenth of their high school senior class. These scholarly achievements are hallmark traits of most Anteaters.
But remember, there’s more to a UCI student than a great academic record. We also value individuality. Tell us why your accomplishments make you great Anteater material. We want to know your story. If you believe you have zot it takes to become our next admitted student, apply to UCI!
Learn about UCI’s selection criteria for freshman admission.
Everything you need to know to be considered for admission to UCI.
UCI uses a comprehensive review process. Freshman applications are reviewed for completion of required college-preparatory coursework ("a-g"), demonstrated academic achievements, activities, talents, and skills — all in the context of your circumstances and experiences. We consider all information provided in your application, including your answers to the personal insight questions.
Definition of Freshman Applicant
The University of California system considers you a freshman applicant if you are still in high school or have graduated from high school but have not enrolled in a regular session at any college or university. If you attend a summer session immediately after graduating from high school, you are still considered a freshman applicant.
- You must receive a 3.0 GPA (3.4 for non-California residents) or higher in the 15 required “a-g” subject courses, with no grade lower than a C
COVID-19 Update: UC has temporarily suspended the letter grade requirement for A-G courses completed in winter, spring, and summer 2020 for all students. A-G courses completed in winter, spring, and summer 2020 with Pass (P) or Credit (CR) grades will satisfy appropriate A-G requirements.
The “A-G” requirements, also called Academic Subject Requirements, represent the minimum academic preparation you must meet to be eligible for admission to the University of California.
A. Two years of history — One year of world or European history, cultures and geography, and one year of U.S. history or one half-year of U.S. history and one half-year of American government or civics
B. Four years of English
C. Three years of mathematics (four years recommended) — Must include algebra, geometry, and advanced algebra
D. Two years of science (three years recommended) — Must include two years of laboratory science, however additional years can include a range of disciplines such as: applied science, engineering, computer science, and other integrated science courses.
E. Two years of a language other than English (three years recommended) — The second year or higher of the same language must be completed to fulfill this requirement
F. One year of visual and performing arts — A yearlong course chosen from the following disciplines: dance, drama/theater, music, visual art, or interdisciplinary arts
G. One year of college-preparatory electives
For "A-G" requirement details, visit admission.universityofcalifornia.edu.
Non-California residents: There is no pre-approved course list for schools outside of California. Learn more about requirements for out-of-state applicants here.
Update on Standardized Testing
UCI will not be using SAT/ACT and SAT Subject Exams for comprehensive review, selection, and scholarships. However, SAT/ACT and SAT Subject Exams can be used for class placement or towards graduation requirements.
The following faculty-approved selection criteria are taken into consideration:
- Academic grade point average in all completed "A-G" courses, including additional points for completed UC-certified honors courses
- Number of, content of and performance in academic courses beyond the minimum "A-G" requirements
- Number of and performance in UC-approved honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate Higher Level and transferable college courses
- Identification by UC as being ranked in the top 9 percent of your high school class at the end of your junior year (Eligible in the Local Context, or ELC)
- Quality of your senior year program, as measured by the type and number of academic courses in progress or planned
- Quality of academic performance relative to the educational opportunities available at your high school
- Outstanding performance in one or more academic subject areas
- Outstanding work in one or more special projects in any academic field of study
- Recent, marked improvement in academic performance as demonstrated by academic GPA and the quality of coursework completed or in progress
- Special talents, achievements, and awards in a particular field, such as visual and performing arts, communication or athletic endeavors; special skills, such as demonstrated written and oral proficiency in other languages; special interests, such as intensive study and exploration of other cultures; experiences that demonstrate unusual promise for leadership, such as significant community service or significant participation in student government; or other significant experiences or achievements that demonstrate your promise for contributing to the intellectual vitality of the campus
- Completion of special projects undertaken in the context of the high school curriculum or in conjunction with special school events, projects or programs
- Academic accomplishments in light of your experiences and special circumstances, including but not limited to: disabilities, low family income, first generation to attend college, need to work, disadvantaged social or educational environment, difficult personal and family situations or circumstances, refugee status or veteran status
- Location of your secondary school and residence
Personal Insight Questions
Your personal insight questions should be exactly that – personal. This is your opportunity to tell us about yourself, what matters to you, your hopes, ambitions, life experiences, and inspirations. Key points about the personal insight questions include:
- Freshman applicants choose four out of eight questions to answer.
- Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.
We encourage you to take your time. Be open, be reflective, and be honest. Your personal insight questions provide context for the rest of your application.
Meet English proficiency requirements for success.
You must provide evidence of English proficiency to be successful in university studies at UCI.
If your secondary/high school was completed in a country where English was not the language of instruction, or if you have less than three years of instruction in English in the U.S., you are required to demonstrate English proficiency.
Various examinations and scores may be used to demonstrate proficiency in English:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination:
- Internet-based test (IBT): score 80 or higher
- Paper-based test (completed prior to Oct 2017): score 550 or higher
- Revised paper-delivered test (completed Oct 2017 or later): score 60 or higher
- Score 3, 4 or 5 on the AP examination In English Language and Composition, or English Literature and Composition
- Score 5, 6 or 7 on the IB Higher Level examination in English (Literature, or Language and Literature)
- Score 6 or 7 on the IB Standard Level examination in English (Literature, or Language and Literature)
- Score 6.5 or higher on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Score 24 or higher on the ACT combined English/Writing or English Language Arts (ELA)
- Score 560 or higher on the Writing section of the SAT Reasoning test OR score 31 or higher on Writing and Language in the SAT with Essay
- Freshman applicants may complete one UC-E approved English composition course
- Duolingo English Test (DET): Minimum score of 115 (Fall 2021 only)