UCLA Requirements for Admission

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UCLA Requirements for Admission, The University of California, Los Angeles is a public land-grant research university in Los Angeles, California. UCLA’s academic roots were established in 1882 as a teachers college then known as the southern branch of the California State Normal School

UCLA Requirements for Admission

What are UCLA’s admission requirements? While there are a lot of pieces that go into a college application, you should focus on only a few critical things:

  • GPA requirements
  • Testing requirements, including SAT and ACT requirements
  • Application requirements

In this guide we’ll cover what you need to get into UCLA and build a strong application.

School location: Los Angeles, CA

This school is also known as: University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA, UC Los Angeles

Admissions Rate: 12.3%

If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.

The acceptance rate at UCLA is 12.3%. For every 100 applicants, only 12 are admitted.

This means the school is extremely selective. Meeting their GPA requirements and SAT/ACT requirements is very important to getting past their first round of filters and proving your academic preparation. If you don’t meet their expectations, your chance of getting in is nearly zero.

After crossing this hurdle, you’ll need to impress UCLA application readers through their other application requirements, including extracurriculars, essays, and letters of recommendation. We’ll cover more below.

UCLA GPA Requirements

Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.

The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school’s average GPA for its current students.

Average GPA: 3.9

The average GPA at UCLA is 3.9.

(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.

With a GPA of 3.9, UCLA requires you to be at the top of your class. You’ll need nearly straight A’s in all your classes to compete with other applicants. Furthermore, you should be taking hard classes – AP or IB courses – to show that college-level academics is a breeze.

If you’re currently a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 3.9, you’ll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.

SAT and ACT Requirements

Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.

You must take either the SAT or ACT to submit an application to UCLA. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.

UCLA SAT Requirements

Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school’s average score.

Average SAT: 1405

The average SAT score composite at UCLA is a 1405 on the 1600 SAT scale.

This score makes UCLA Strongly Competitive for SAT test scores.

UCLA SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1290, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1510. In other words, a 1290 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1510 will move you up to above average.

Here’s the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:

Section Average 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
Math 715 640 790
Reading + Writing 690 640 740
Composite 1405 1290 1510

SAT Score Choice Policy

The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.

UCLA has the Score Choice policy of “All Scores.”

This means that UCLA requires you to send all SAT scores you’ve ever taken to their office.

This sounds daunting, but most schools don’t actually consider all your scores equally. For example, if you scored an 1300 on one test and a 1500 on another, they won’t actually average the two tests.

In fact, we researched the score policies at UCLA, and they have the following policy:

We require all scores and will use the highest scores from a single administration.

Some students are still worried about submitting too many test scores. They’re afraid that UCLA will look down on too many attempts to raise your score. But how many is too many?

From our research and talking to admissions officers, we’ve learned that 4-6 tests is a safe number to submit. The college understands that you want to have the best chance of admission, and retaking the test is a good way to do this. Within a reasonable number of tests, they honestly don’t care how many times you’ve taken it. They’ll just focus on your score.

If you take it more than 6 times, colleges start wondering why you’re not improving with each test. They’ll question your study skills and ability to improve.

But below 6 tests, we strongly encourage retaking the test to maximize your chances. If your SAT score is currently below a 1510, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the SAT and retaking it. You don’t have much to lose, and you can potentially raise your score and significantly boost your chances of getting in.

UCLA ACT Requirements

Just like for the SAT, UCLA likely doesn’t have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.

Average ACT: 31

The average ACT score at UCLA is 31. This score makes UCLA Strongly Competitive for ACT scores.

The 25th percentile ACT score is 27, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 34.

Even though UCLA likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 27 or below, you’ll have a very hard time getting in, unless you have something else very impressive in your application. There are so many applicants scoring 31 and above that a 27 will look academically weak.

ACT Score Sending Policy

If you’re taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.

Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.

This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school’s ACT requirement of 34 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you’re happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.

ACT Superscore Policy

By and large, most colleges do not super score the ACT. (Super score means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.

We weren’t able to find the school’s exact ACT policy, which most likely means that it does not Superscore. Regardless, you can choose your single best ACT score to send in to UCLA, so you should prep until you reach our recommended target ACT score of 34.

SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements

Both the SAT and ACT have an optional essay section.

UCLA requires you to take the SAT Essay/ACT Writing section. They’ll use this as another factor in their admissions consideration.

SAT Subject Test Requirements

Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.

We did not find information that UCLA requires SAT subject tests, and so most likely it does not. At least 6 months before applying, you should still double check just to make sure, so you have enough time to take the test.

Our Expert’s Notes

We did more detailed research into this school and found the following information.

You must have a 3.0 GPA (3.4 for non-residents) or higher and no grades lower than a C in required high school courses. You can also substitute SAT subject tests for courses. If you don’t meet the requirements, it is possible to gain admission with a high enough score on the ACT/SAT plus on two SAT subject tests. Finally, a few students each year who don’t meet the above requirements due to extraordinary circumstances are granted “admission by exception,” based on information provided in the personal statement.

Final Admissions Verdict

Because this school is extremely selective, getting a high SAT/ACT score and GPA is vital to having a chance at getting in. If you don’t pass their SAT/ACT and GPA requirements, they’ll likely reject you without much consideration.

To have the best shot of getting in, you should aim for the 75th percentile, with a 1510 SAT or a 34 ACT. You should also have a 3.9 GPA or higher. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score.

For a school as selective as UCLA, you’ll also need to impress them with the rest of your application. We’ll cover those details next.

But if you apply with a score below a 1510 SAT or a 34 ACT, you unfortunately start out with the odds against you and have a tiny chance of getting in. There are just too many students with high SAT/ACT scores and strong applications, and you need to compete against them.

Admissions Calculator

What are your chances of admission at University of California, Los Angeles?

Chances of admission with these scores:12.64%

Here’s our custom admissions calculator. Plug in your numbers to see what your chances of getting in are.

SAT Score

Your GPA


Note: Your admission decision relies not only on your GPA and SAT/ACT scores, but also on your coursework difficulty, extracurriculars, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. This tool provides only a simplistic estimate of your chances of admission. Instead of treating this tool as a crystal ball, we recommend you consider the big picture of what your chance means:

  • 80-100%: Safety school: Strong chance of getting in
  • 50-80%: More likely than not getting in
  • 20-50%: Lower but still good chance of getting in
  • 5-20%: Reach school: Unlikely to get in, but still have a shot
  • 0-5%: Hard reach school: Very difficult to get in

We recommend you apply to schools across a range of chances. Applying to some safety schools will guarantee you have a college to go to, while applying to some reach schools will give you a shot at getting into the school at the top of your range.

Application Requirements

Every school requires an application with the bare essentials – high school transcript and GPA, application form, and other core information. Many schools, as explained above, also require SAT and ACT scores, as well as letters of recommendation, application essays, and interviews. We’ll cover the exact requirements of UCLA here.

Application Requirements Overview

  • Common Application Not accepted
  • Universal Application Not accepted
  • Electronic Application Available
  • Essay or Personal Statement Required for all freshmen
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • InterviewNot required
  • Application Fee$70
  • Fee Waiver Available?Available
  • Other Notes

Testing Requirements

  • SAT or ACT Required
  • SAT Essay or ACT Writing Required
  • SAT Subject Tests
  • Scores Due in Office January 15

Coursework Requirements

  • Subject Required Years
  • English4
  • Math3
  • Science2
  • Foreign Language2
  • Social Studies
  • History2
  • Electives1

Deadlines and Early Admissions

  •  
    • Offered?DeadlineNotification
  • Regular Admission
    • YesNovember 30March 31
  • Early Action
    • No
  • Early Decision
    • No

Admissions Office Information

Our Expert’s Notes

We did more detailed research into this school’s admissions process and found the following information:

You must meet University of California admission requirements, as listed on UCLA’s website. You won’t submit letters of recommendation or transcripts, just the UC application and your official test scores. The application opens in August but can only be submitted during the month of November.

Other Schools For You

If you’re interested in UCLA, you’ll probably be interested in these schools as well. We’ve divided them into 3 categories depending on how hard they are to get into, relative to UCLA.

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