UC Acceptance Rate

UC Acceptance Rate
UC Acceptance Rate

UC Acceptance Rate

The University of California (UC) system is one of the most prestigious public universities in the United States. Established in 1868, it has grown to include ten campuses, with UC Merced being the newest addition in 2005. The UC system offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs focusing on research and innovation.

The acceptance rate for the UC system is a topic of great interest to many students, parents, and educators. This rate is the percentage of applicants admitted to one or more UC campuses. The acceptance rate can be an indicator of the UC system’s competitiveness and the quality of the applicants.

Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rates for the University of California (UC) schools for the fall 2023 first-year class are as follows:

  • UC Berkeley: 10.8%
  • UC Los Angeles: 10.8%
  • UC San Diego: 31.8%
  • UC Santa Barbara: 33.0%
  • UC Davis: 42.8%
  • UC Irvine: 43.3%
  • UC Merced: 87.0%
  • UC Riverside: 57.4%
  • UC Santa Cruz: 53.6%

As you can see, the acceptance rates vary widely from school to school. UC Merced is the most accessible UC school to get into, with an acceptance rate of 87%. UC Berkeley and UCLA are the most competitive, with acceptance rates of just 10.8%.

The acceptance rate for a particular UC school will depend on several factors, including your academic record, test scores, extracurricular activities, and personal statement. Researching and applying to schools that are a good fit for you is essential.

2022-2023 admissions cycle:

School Acceptance Rate
UC Los Angeles | UCLA 9%
UC Berkeley 11%
UC Irvine 21%
UC San Diego | UCSD 24%
UC Santa Barbara | UCSB 26%
UC Davis 37%
UC Santa Cruz | UCSC 47%
UC Riverside 69%
UC Merced 89%

Hardest UC Schools to Get Into:

  1. UC Berkeley: UC Berkeley is often among the most competitive UC campuses due to its prestigious academic programs and research opportunities.
  2. UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles): UCLA is highly competitive, with many applicants vying for limited spots, especially in popular majors.
  3. UC San Diego: UC San Diego is renowned for being selective, particularly for STEM majors.
  4. UC Irvine: UC Irvine’s admission process has become increasingly competitive, especially for specific programs within the School of Biological Sciences and Engineering.
  5. UC Santa Barbara: UC Santa Barbara can be competitive, particularly for engineering, sciences, and the arts programs.

Easiest UC Schools to Get Into:

  1. UC Merced: UC Merced, the newest UC campus, has historically had a less competitive admissions process than the more established campuses.
  2. UC Riverside: While UC Riverside has become more competitive over the years, it has traditionally had a higher acceptance rate than some other UC schools.
  3. UC Santa Cruz: UC Santa Cruz can be less competitive than the top UC campuses, but it still offers vital academic programs.
  4. UC Davis: UC Davis is generally less competitive than some top UC schools but still has competitive programs, particularly in the College of Engineering.
  5. UC San Francisco (UCSF): UCSF primarily focuses on graduate and professional programs in health sciences and biomedical fields, so its undergraduate admissions may be less competitive than other UC campuses.

Which UC is Hard to Get Into?

Admission competitiveness can vary from year to year, and it depends on various factors, including your intended major, your academic qualifications, and the specific campus you’re applying to. As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, some of the University of California (UC) campuses were known for their high competitiveness:

  1. UC Berkeley: UC Berkeley, known for its vital academic programs and research opportunities, tends to have a very competitive admissions process, particularly for popular majors like computer science and engineering.
  2. UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles): UCLA is another highly competitive UC campus, particularly for College of Letters and Science majors. The school’s location in Los Angeles also makes it a popular choice for many students.
  3. UC San Diego: UC San Diego is renowned for being competitive, especially for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) majors. Its location in the heart of the biotech industry attracts many applicants.
  4. UC Irvine: UC Irvine has become increasingly competitive, especially for majors in the School of Biological Sciences and the Henry Samueli School of Engineering.
  5. UC Santa Barbara: UC Santa Barbara is known for its vital engineering, sciences, and arts programs. Admission to these programs can be highly competitive.


What is the minimum GPA requirement for admission to the UC system?

The minimum GPA requirement for access to the UC system is 3.0.

How many campuses are there in the UC system?

There are ten campuses in the UC system.

Is it more challenging to get into UC Berkeley than other UC campuses?

Yes, UC Berkeley is one of the most competitive campuses in the UC system, with an acceptance rate of around 17%.

What is the most popular major in the UC system?

The most popular major in the UC system is currently psychology.

Can I apply to more than one UC campus at the same time?

You can apply to multiple UC campuses simultaneously using the UC application.


In conclusion, the acceptance rate for the UC system is an essential topic for anyone interested in pursuing higher education in California. While the overall acceptance rate is around 14%, this can vary widely depending on the campus and the program. To increase your chances of admission, focus on academic preparation, extracurricular activities, personal statement, and letters of recommendation. Despite the challenges faced by the UC system, it remains one of the world’s most prestigious and innovative public university systems.


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