San Diego, CaliforniaLocation
    UniversitySchool type
    EStd 1960established year

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

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    Anam Shams

    Content Curator

    University of California is a public university that offers admission at an acceptance rate of just 30% and was established in 1960. It has a total enrollment of 30,285 students, its location is urban and the size of the campus is around 1,976 acres. It uses a quarterly academic calendar with a student-faculty ratio of 19:1 and is undoubtedly a renowned name in the US Education System.

    The seventh oldest of the 10 campuses of the University in San Diego is home to about 22,700 undergraduates and 6,300 postgraduates. Around 23.7% of the student population consists of international students. The University offers programs at undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs. There are more than 130 undergraduate programs covering all major disciplines. The University has 6 colleges, however students can only give a preference of the college and it is only at the discretion of the University to decide which college to assign based on student ranking.

    Some important points to be considered before applying for admission to the University of California are:

    • The university accepts international applications through the online portal for both graduate and undergraduate programs.
    • Applications are accepted on a semester based academic calendar. Undergraduate applicants can apply any time between August 1 and November 30 whereas graduate programs have separate deadlines.
    • The University does its own evaluation of transcripts and so it does not accept those evaluated by other agencies.
    • Graduate program applicants can submit 3 applications for the same term by paying application fee once.
    • Students can seek a waiver from paying an application fee of 140 USD by submitting "Fee Waiver Request".
    • The university does not offer federal or state financial aid to international students.

    COVID-19 Admission Updates

    • Students who have been admitted and cannot physically arrive on campus due to COVID-19 pandemic can accept the admission offer, register for fall 2020, enroll in the remotely offered courses and join the normal classes in winter session.
    • Admission offer acceptances shall be sent before May 1, 2020. However, if the students need more time to decide, they must contact the Admissions Office.
    • Tuition and other fees will remain the same, if learning remotely, except for the service fee and material fee.
    • Admitted students shall have a secured housing facility, if they have applied for it, on their arrival on campus.
    • For students who apply for freshman entry in the fall of 2021, UC temporarily suspends the standard test requirement i.e. SAT and ACT score requirements.
    • The Walk-In Hours of graduate-admission departments have been suspended until further notifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time the admissions office is reachable through telephone and email.

    University of California, San Diego Highlights

    Application Portal Online portal
    Application Fees 140 USD
    Average SAT score 1320-1510
    Average ACT score 28-34
    Acceptance Rate 30%
    Retention Rate 94%
    Graduation Rate 86%
    Academic calendar Semester-based Calendar
    Mode of Payment MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and JCB
    Financial Aid Grants, scholarships, student employment, loans

    University of California, San Diego Application deadlines

    The applicants must submit their applications by the deadlines mentioned below:

    Undergraduate Applications August 1 – November 30
    Graduate Applications Varies from program to program

    University of California, San Diego International Student Admissions

    International applicants from all over the world are accepted at the University of California – San Diego. International applicants must meet general requirements for first-year and transfer students in addition to specific international requirements. Applicants who have received their high school or college education outside the U.S. must send all required documentation to the University of California San Diego including their certificates, transcripts and international baccalaureate certification and other records.

    Basic Admission Requirements 

    For admission to University of California, applicants must follow these steps to ensure you submit a complete application:

    • Applicants from India must provide their Higher Secondary Certificate or Senior Secondary Certificate.
    • Applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency through scores in TOEFL, IELTS and PTE
    • Submission of ACT Assessment plus ACT writing test or SAT Reasoning Test with critical reading, mathematics and writing scores for undergraduates.
    • Submission of GRE/ GMAT scores for graduate program applications.
    • Provide proof of sufficient financial support for residence and dining in addition to tuition fee.
    • All international transcripts since 9th grade must be submitted from the institution issuing them and these transcripts must be in English language.
    • For international applicants, the transcripts, statements, academic reports and test score results must be translated in English if they are originally in another language.

    English Proficiency Test Scores for University of California, San Diego

    Applicants must demonstrate their ability in English for both Bachelor and Master programs. For applicants who have not obtained U.S. education, any of these globally accepted tests would usually demonstrate English skills:

    Test Undergraduate Requirements Graduate Requirements
    TOEFL First-year Applicants
    Internet-based: Overall 83
    Paper-based: Overall 550
    Transfer Students
    Overall 83 or higher
    Internet-based Test: Overall 85
    IELTS First-year Applicants Overall band: 7 or higher
    Transfer Students
    7 or higher in each module
    Overall band: 7 or higher
    Pearson Test of English – PTE Not Required Overall Score: 65 or higher

    Country-Specific Requirements for University of California, San Diego

    Country Requirement
    13-year system Complete all 13 years before entering UC Graduate from secondary school Earn a certificate of completion
    UK Must have completed at least 5 IGCSE/GCSE/GCE O-levels At least 3 academic GCE A-Level exams
    India Must complete both 10th and 12th state board or CBSE examinations, with average marks above 70.
    South Korea Official middle and senior high school academic records/transcripts, a senior high school diploma, and completed required high school classes with above-average grades
    Malaysia Completed either the SPM and STPM or the SPM and at least 3 academic GCE A-Level exams
    New Zealand Must complete year 13 and earn at least 42 credits at NCEA Level 3.
    Sri Lanka Must complete the Sri Lankan GCE O and A level exams. A minimum of 3 academic A-level exams is required.

    Visa Process for International Students

    Applicants will need to apply for an F-1 visa to study in the USA to be able to study in the U.S. Students will also need a residency permit or right of residency for studying at University of California. Apply well in advance to ensure that your request is processed in due course. As soon as applicants are admitted to the university, they must begin to arrange their paperwork to ensure it's all in order in time to arrive.

    As soon as applicants receive their I20/DS-2019 document from the university, they must complete their online visa application.

    Applicants applying for a visa must prepare the following documents:

    1. A valid passport
    2. Form I-20 or DS 2019 documents approved by the university.
    3. Bank statement for financial support proof or a letter of a sponsor.
    4. Additional documents as required by the U.S. Embassy in their home country.

    University of California, San Diego Undergraduate Admissions

    University of California offers more than 50 undergraduate courses to all the applicants. The basic admission process for all the courses is the same:

    Where to Apply: Online Application Portal

    Application Fee: 140 USD (For International Applicants)

    Admission Requirements: Applicants must fulfill the following prerequisites at the time of admission:

    • College Preparatory Course – Applicants must have a grade “C” on the following subjects:
    • History/Social Science – 2 years
    • Mathematics – 3 years
    • English – 4 years
    • College preparatory elective – 1 year
    • Laboratory science – 2 years
    • Visual and performing arts – 1 year
    • Language other than English – 2 years
    • GPA requirement – Applicants must possess a GPA of 3.4 or better.
    • Submit ACT and SAT scores; 28-34 and 1320-1510, respectively.
    • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency through scores in TOEFL, IELTS and PTE.
    • If taken an AP/ IB course, then submit official scores from the testing agency.

    These documents are to be mailed to the below-mentioned address:

    University of California, San Diego

    Office of Admissions

    La Jolla, CA 92093-0021

    United States

    University of California, San Diego Graduate Admissions

    The University of California offers more than 60 graduate courses to all the applicants. The basic admission process for all the courses is the same. However, most courses and study programs have different entry requirements. All graduate applicants must have a completed bachelor’s degree with minimum 3.0 GPA or grade B and will have to submit GMAT/ GRE scores for admission in addition to other supporting documents.

    Where to Apply: Online Application Portal

    Application Fee: 140 USD (For International Applicants)

    Admission Requirements:

    Applicants must fulfill the following prerequisites at the time of admission:

    Course Application Portal Application Deadline Entry Requirement English Requirement
    MBA Online Portal Fall semester GRE/ GMAT scores; 2 Letters of Recommendation; A valid CV/Resume is recommended; A statement of Purpose; 3 essay questions TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE are accepted
    Master of Science in Chemical Engineering Online Portal Fall – December 19 GRE scores; 3 Letters of Recommendation; A valid CV/Resume is recommended; A statement of Purpose not exceeding 2500 words TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE are accepted
    Master of Advanced Studies in Data Science and Engineering Online Portal Fall – June  GRE scores; 2 Letters of Recommendation; Statement of purpose not exceeding 4-6 sentences; A valid CV/Resume; A professional experience of 2 years TOEFL scores accepted
    Master of Arts in Mathematics Online Portal Fall – February 3 GRE scores; 3 Letters of Recommendation; A valid CV/Resume; A statement of Purpose not exceeding 2500 words; A list of all Mathematics textbooks studied in PDF format TOEFL (Internet-based Test): overall 85 or higher; TOEFL for Math Department: Speaking score must be 23; IELTS overall score must be 7 band; IELTS speaking score must be 7 band
    Master of Arts in History Online Portal Fall – January 3 GRE scores; 3 Letters of Recommendation; A valid CV/Resume; A statement of Purpose not exceeding 2500 words; Writing sample TOEFL, IELTS scores are accepted

    The University of California is selective in terms of admission when sending offers of place to students seeking to study in the USA. The application review process takes up to 4 weeks. It prefers to offer admission to students who display the potential to take up studies at the graduate level and successfully complete it.

    The process of application review is conducted by the respective program’s faculty members. Due consideration is given to each and every aspect of the application including academic records, recommendation letters, statement of purpose, work experience etc. and students are expected to be particularly careful in providing documents. It is the responsibility of the faculty to recommend approval or denial of an application to the graduate dean. The official notification of admission is sent by the Dean via email.

    University of California, San Diego FAQs

    Ques. Which application portal of University of California is accessible to applicants?

    Ans. New applicants at University of California shall log into the applicant portal once they receive an email with instructions about the login to create their account.

    Ques. When should the transcripts be sent to the admissions office for undergraduate admission to University of California?

    Ans. Undergraduate applicants for University of California do not need to submit their transcripts during the review process. However, first-year as well as transfer applicants must send their transcripts latest by July 1.

    Ques. How does the University of California assign a college to students?

    Ans. Applicants are asked to list out the colleges as per their preferences in their applications to the University of California. The admission office assigns suitable colleges according to the ranks of the applicants.

    Ques. Can applicants apply to more than one program at University of California?

    Ans. Yes, applicants can apply for more than one program at the University of California provided that they are not from the same department.

    Ques. How can applicants check application status at the University of California?

    Ans. Application status at University of California can be checked by logging into . Once the decision is made, the Dean shall send an email to the students for confirming their decision.

    Ques. How can one apply for Application Fee Waiver at the University of California?

    Ans. A fee waiver at University of California can be demanded in the "Fee Waiver Request" area of the application. In order to review the application submitted to the institute, applicants must indicate which criteria they meet and upload the corresponding documents. They will be notified by email of the status of exemption from payment.

    Ques. Can I apply to more than one program in the same department or school?

    Ans. Yes. You can apply to more than one program, but you may not apply to more than one program within the same department, at UC San Diego.

    Ques. I am not a resident of California. Can I receive financial aid or can I establish residency?

    Ans. Students from other US states are not eligible for California financial aid. However, UC will help you receive federal financial aid for which you are eligible. International students are not eligible to receive federal or state financial aid. TO be granted a visa, international students must prove sufficient funds to meet all expenses for studying in the US.

    Ques. Did I take the SAT with Essay?ACT writing test. How should I report my test score at University of California, San Diego?

    Ans. UC no longer collects the essay/writing scores for the SAT/ACTs. If you choose to report your test scores, you should report your highest total/composite score for a single sitting, but do not include the essay/writing score.

    Ques. Does UC San Diego require international applicants to have their transcripts evaluated?

    Ans. No, UC San Diego performs its own evaluation and does not accept those performed by evaluation agencies. Likewise, UC San Diego does not accept evaluation reports as the official English translation of foreign academic records. However, ICAP documents from WES can be accepted in place of official transcripts and degree certificates.

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