Check out our International Student Resource Guide and other publications that provide an overview of UCI and detail important aspects of student life.
Important information for international applicants.
Read about our admissions requirements for international students.
COVID-19 Updates: For commonly asked questions and more detailed information regarding changes to admission requirements for fall 2021, visit our COVID-19 FAQ page here.
Secondary School Requirements:
To be considered for freshman admission, international applicants must meet the same subject requirements as all other applicants.
You must have completed secondary school with excellent grades/marks in academic subjects and have earned a certificate of completion that enables you to be admitted to a university in your home country and is equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma. You also must have never been enrolled as a university student.
The following academic subject requirements must be completed with a minimum average GPA of 3.4:
- 2 years of history (in place of U.S. History, history of your country)
- 4 years of English (or in the language of instruction at your school)
- 3 years (four years recommended) of college-preparatory mathematics*
*Math courses taken in the seventh and eighth grades/intermediate school may be used to fulfill part of this requirement. Integrated math courses (e.g. Math I, Math II, etc.) with geometry content may be equated with a standard course in geometry.
- 2 years of college-preparatory science, including or integrating topics that provide fundamental knowledge in two of these three subjects: biology, chemistry, or physics.
- 2 years of a second language
- 1 yearlong course (or 2 semesters) of visual and performing arts
- 1 additional course from any subject areas above
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.
As an international student studying in a foreign education system, you may be required to meet additional requirements specific to your secondary school curriculum or country:
English Proficiency Requirements
If you’ve completed all your secondary school/high school in a country where English is not the language of instruction, you can demonstrate proficiency by taking one of these exams and earning the required scores:
- Score 24 or higher for the ACT English Language Arts (ELA)
- Score 31 or higher on Writing and Language in the SAT
- Score 3, 4 or 5 on the AP examination in English Language and Composition, or English Literature and Composition
- Score 6 or 7 on the IB Standard Level examination in English (Language A only)
- Score 5, 6 or 7 on the IB Higher Level examination in English (Language A only)
- Score 6.5 or higher on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Score 6.5 or higher on the IELTS Indicator (Fall 2021 only)
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination:
- Internet-based test (iBT): Minimum score of 80 or better
- iBT Home Edition: Minimum score of 80 or better (Fall 2021 only)
- Paper-delivered test: Minimum score of 60 or better
- Duolingo English Test (DET): Minimum score of 115 (Fall 2021 and 2022 applicants)
International transfer applicants must meet the same transfer requirements for admission as any other applicant.
When You Apply and Fill Out the Application
When you apply to UCI, your academic record must be reported within the UC application. You do not need to send in your transcripts/academic records to UCI at this point, but you should refer to them as you fill out the application to ensure the information you entered is accurate.
Report all completed coursework as it appears on your academic records at each school. Do NOT convert scores yourself and be sure to include explanations if grades do not fit in the given space and are abbreviated.
If you have taken or will take external exams (e.g. IGCSE/GCSE/GCE exams, Year X/XII Board exams, SPM, etc.), report your subjects and grades/scores on the International External Exams page of the application.
If you reported external exams such as AP/IB/GCSEs/A Levels, you will be expected to complete all exams listed on your application.
International Student FAQs
Unfiltered Life at UCI is a student-run blog aiming to give an authentic snapshot of what life is like at UCI.
Set up a time to speak with one of our international admissions counselors.
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