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University of California 2020-2021 Admissions: Acceptance Rate, Requirements, Deadlines, Application Process

Vaishnavi Agrawal Vaishnavi Agrawal
Study Abroad Expert

Fall 2019 saw more than 117,000 applicants seeking admissions at UC Irvine. Admissions at the University of California, Irvine is very competitive as well as selective. The university has been ranked #9 among the best public universities in America. The University of California Irvine offers more than 80 areas of study. UCI has established its position as one of the premier US universities for higher education, with 29 graduate programs which rank in the nation’s top 50 (US News and World Ranking)

UC Irvine conducts priority as well as regular admissions. After the priority filing period has ended, campuses will accept applications only if they still have openings for new students. Most campuses are unable to accept applications after the priority filing period closes.

UCI received over 95,000 applications for its undergraduate admissions in Fall 2019. Out of these, only 25,394 candidates were given admission at the University of California, Irvine. The test scores and GPA of middle 25% to 75% admitted students may give an estimate about their applicant pool:

  • High School GPA between 4.00 to 4.25
  • ACT composite score ranged between 24-31
  • ACT English Language Arts 25-34
  • SAT Evidence-Based Reading & Writing between 600- 720
  • SAT Mathematics ranged from 650- 790
  • SAT Essay score ranged from 15-18


ApplicationUG: UC application
PG: UCI Graduate Application (Online)
Application Fee (International Applicants)UG: 80 USD
PG: 140 USD
Acceptance Rate29%
Mode of StudyOn-campus, online
Mode of PaymentVisa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards (Online only)
IntakeFall and Summer
Academic CalendarSemester Wise
Financial AidNot available for International Students. Work-study available
International AdmissionsMailUCI | International Admissions UCI

University of California Irvine Admission Deadlines

Undergraduate Application DeadlineJune 13
Student Intent to Register (SIR) and Statement of Legal Residence (SLR) deadlineNew Transfer: June 1
Freshman: May 1
Deadline for Summer UCI Grant considerationJune 14
Last month for freshman applicants to take the SAT or ACT with Writing testsDecember
Official final transcripts dueJuly 1

Admission Requirements for International Students

The University of California - Irvine accepts international students on account of their equivalent secondary education, previous academic records, scores of internationally standardized tests and verified statement for supporting the academic course and living expenses.

Academic requirements:

  • Grade point average (GPA) of 3.4
  • fficial / Certified High school and college transcripts both in the original language and in English.
  • ACT/SAT, GRE, and TOEFL/IELTS official score report directly sent to the University of California - Irvine. CEEB for IELTS/ TOEFL / SAT/ GRE: 4859
  • An Affidavit of Support.
  • Academic Requirements as per the country.
  • A Confidential Statement showing enough monetary resources. (Tuition + living).
  • A copy of Passport.
  • Detailed Statement of Purpose (SOP) and 2/3 Letters of Recommendation (LORs) as per the program.

Specific requirements for India: The applicants must complete both year X and XII state board or CBSE examinations, with average marks above 70 and no mark below 60.

Language Requirements for International Students

Proficiency in the English language can be demonstrated by meeting any of the following exam benchmarks.

ACT combined English/Writing or English Language Arts (ELA)24 or higher
SAT Reasoning Writing560 or higher
Writing and Language in SAT with Essay31 or higher
English Literature, or Language and Literature in IB Standard Level Examination6 or 7
English Literature, or Language and Literature in IB Higher Level Examination5, 6 or 7
International Language Testing System (IELTS)6.5 or higher
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)Internet-based test (iBT): 80
Paper-based test (PBT): 550 or better
Revised paper-delivered test: 60 or better

Visa Requirements

Non- US students who have been offered admission by UC Irvine will require an F-1 or J-1 student visa in order to be able to study there. Applying for a visa requires:

  • Having a valid visa document (I-20/DS-2019) 
    • Received from UC Irvine
  • Paying the SEVIS fee
    • Keep the printed receipt
  • Making a visa appointment at the nearest US Consular

To receive the visa documents, proof of sufficient funds and English language proficiency needs to be submitted.

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

UCI offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and 70 minors. Academic requirements for various undergraduate courses are:

Application Portal: All candidates must apply through the UC Online Application

Application Fee: 80 USD for International applicants

  • The number of college preparatory courses completed.
  • The required standardized national examinations.
  • To satisfy the subject requirement, students must complete a minimum of 15 year-long (or 30 semester) UC-approved college-preparatory courses with a letter grade of C. At least 11 year-long (22 semesters) courses must be completed prior to their senior year. GPA of 3.0 or better must be earned in these courses with no grade lower than a C.
  • All students applying for freshman admission must submit the SAT with Essay or the ACT with Writing.
ACT English Language Arts30 or higher
ACT Combined English/Writing30 or higher
SAT Reasoning Test Writing680 or higher
EBRW SAT680 or higher
English (Language or Literature) College Board Advanced Placement Examination3 or higher
International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examination5 or higher
Standard Level Examination in English5 or higher

Graduate Admission Requirements

Over 100 graduate and professional academic programs are offered by the University of California, Irvine. 44 of their 64 Ph.D. programs have been ranked in the top 25 percentile by Academic Analytics. Admission requirements and deadlines vary with each graduate program, applicants should carefully check their respective department pages.

Application Portal: UCI Graduate Admissions Online Application Portal

Note: Applicants who have opted for Law, Business, and Medical Schools must apply through the mentioned portals. Application for all other programs can be completed through the UCI Graduate Portal.

Application Fee: 140 USD, may vary depending on the program


  • The graduate record examination (GRE) scores
    • To be sent electronically from the Educational Testing Service directly to UC Irvine.
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores 
    • Must be sent directly to UC Irvine by the testing agency. 
    • A minimum of 80 is required in TOEFL iBT for consideration.
  • UC Irvine, Graduate Division only accepts scores submitted electronically by the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test center.
    •  No paper Test Report Forms will be accepted.
  • An overall minimum IELTS score of 7 is required for admission
    • A score of no less than 6 on any individual module.

Supporting documents:

  • Three letters of recommendation are required.
  • Copies of transcripts must be scanned and uploaded for all institutions attended since high school.
    •  Both the front and back sides of the transcript have to be uploaded.
  • Some programs require the submission of additional materials as well
    • Resume
    • Portfolio
    • Supplemental Essays
    • Video Essays
    • Interviews

Graduate Courses Admissions

MBA Admission Requirements

A personal interview will be conducted by invitation only.

Application DeadlineDomestic: April 1
International: February 1
Application PortalOnline
Application Fee150 USD
Academic RequirementsGraduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or GRE. Minimum GPA: 3.0
Supporting DocumentsTest scores, transcripts of previous academic work, work experience, essays, and letters of recommendation
Additional Requirements for International StudentsMinimum TOEFL iBT: 80 or better; or
Minimum Pearson Test of English score: 53; or
Minimum IELTS score: 7
Course Fee (Annual)Resident: 45287 USD
International: 52708 USD

Admission Requirements for Civil Engineering, M.S.

Application DeadlineJanuary 15
Application PortalOnline
Application FeeResident: 105 USD
International: 125 USD
Academic RequirementsA cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 GRE scores
Supporting DocumentsUnofficial transcripts Personal History Statement Letters of Recommendation
Additional Requirements for International StudentsMinimum TOEFL iBT score: 80 or PBT: 550.
Overall minimum IELTS score: 7 with a score of no less than 6 on any individual module
Course Fee (Annual)Domestic: 11442 USD
International: 15102 USD

Master of Computer Science Admission Requirements

Application DeadlineDecember 15
Application PortalOnline
Application FeeResident: 105 USD International: 125 USD
Academic RequirementsApplicants should have the following prerequisites completed before submitting an application for admission:
A year of programming (preferred languages: Python, C++, or Java) Adequate knowledge of and proficiency in C/C++ Familiarity with discrete mathematics topics Familiarity with linear algebra topics Completion of an introductory statistics course GRE scores
Supporting DocumentsThree letters of recommendation
Personal statement (for domestic students only)
A formal statement of purpose
Additional Requirements for International StudentsMinimum TOEFL score: 80; or
Overall minimum IELTS score: 7 with a score of no less than 6 on any individual module
Course Fee (Annual)43709 USD

Admission Requirements for Graduate Program in Mathematical, Computational, and Systems Biology

Following an initial screening of applications, potential trainees are called for an interview at UCI.

Application DeadlineJanuary 15
Application PortalOnline
Application FeeResident: 105 USD
International: 125 USD
Academic RequirementsA bachelor’s degree in one of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields andGRE scores
Supporting DocumentsOfficial university transcripts, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose
Additional Requirements for International StudentsTOEFL or IELTS score
Course Fee (Annual)Resident: 11442 USD
International: 15102 USD

Admission Requirements for Medicine, M.D.

Interview by invitation occurs of shortlisted candidates

Application DeadlineNovember 1
Application PortalOnline
Application Fee90 USD
Academic RequirementsA minimum of 3 years of undergraduate coursework
A minimum of 1 full-time year at an accredited U.S. college or university.
An undergraduate degree
Supporting DocumentsThree letters of recommendation and supplemental information forms
Additional Requirements for International StudentsTOEFL
Course Fee (Annual)Resident: 39,889 USD
International: 52,134 USD

UC Irvine usually mails the applicant after four weeks of receiving their application, acknowledging that their materials have been received. UCI also provides the applicants with their UC application ID number.

Applicants can check the status of their application online through the applicant portal. Admission notifications are sent via email once each material has been reviewed. With a low rate of acceptance, UC Irvine has a competitive applicant pool and requires above-average grades and performance. International students are not provided with much financial help at UCI; it is recommended they seek funding from external sources of scholarships and loans available in the US.

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