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Freshman Admission Requirements

Freshman applicants must earn a high school diploma (or equivalent) and satisfy the following UC admission requirements:
  • Subject Requirement 
  • Scholarship Requirement 
  • Examination Requirement 

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee admission. Students admitted to UC San Diego exceed UC admission requirements.

Subject Requirement (courses you must take)

"A-G" courses

"A-G" Courses Years
A. History/social science 2
B. English 4
C. Mathematics 3 (4 recommended)
D. Laboratory science 2 (3 recommended)
E. Language other than English
   (or other second language)
2 (3 recommended)
F. Visual and performing arts 1
G. College preparatory elective 1

Scholarship Requirement (GPA you must earn)

  • California residents: You must earn a GPA of 3.0 or better with no grade lower than C. 
  • Non-California residents: You must earn a GPA of 3.4 or better with no grade lower than C.
GPA is based on "A-G" courses taken during 10th and 11th grades. See Subject Requirement for "A-G" course explanation.

Examination Requirement (test(s) you must take)

You must submit scores from either:
  • ACT Plus Writing OR
  • SAT Reasoning Test with critical reading, math and writing; scores must be from same sitting
  • Recommended for engineering, biological or physical sciences majors:
    Math Level 2 and a SAT Subject Test closely related to your major.
In order for your test scores to be available in time for our review, all tests must be taken by December of the year before you plan to enroll (your senior year).
  • Only your highest scores from a single sitting will be considered.
  • When you report your ACT or SAT scores to one campus they will be shared with every UC campus to which you've applied.
  • Official test scores must be reported no later than January for students applying for the fall term.
What about the new SAT coming in March 2016? Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate
  • If you complete Advanced Placement courses, we recommend that you complete the related AP examination to demonstrate subject mastery.
  • Similarly, International Baccalaureate scores can be used to showcase academic mastery.
  • To receive unit credit toward the baccalaureate degree, you must submit an official copy of your AP or IB scores directly from the testing agency. This can be done in the summer following high school graduation.
Other Entrance Exams
  • Entrance exams taken after high school graduation are not considered.
International Students
  • If your native language is not English and your secondary/high school education was in a country where English is not the language of instruction, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination (academic modules) and have the scores reported to the UC San Diego Office of Admissions. A minimum score of 83 is required for the TOEFL, or a minimum score of 7 is required for the IELTS.

Homeschooled students

  • You must receive a high school diploma, or a General Education Diploma (GED), or a Certificate of Proficiency.
  • You must meet the Examination requirement listed on this page. 

California residency for tuition purposes

  • Living at a California address does not mean you automatically have resident status in terms of tuition.The financial independence requirement makes it extremely difficult for most undergraduate students whose parents are not California residents to qualify for classification as a resident at the University of California.
  • This includes students from community colleges and other post-secondary institutions within California.
  • Transfer students who were classified as residents of California at their previous school should not assume that they will be classified as residents at UC San Diego.
  • See the Registrar's Office webpages for more information on California residence for fees and tuition.


A freshman applicant is currently in high school or has graduated from high school but has not enrolled in a regular (non-summer) session at a college or university. If you've completed college courses during high school (through summer after graduation), you're still considered a freshman applicant.

UC Applicant Resources

UC Online Application Guide
Application opens August 1

Submit between November 1 and 30

Testing Websites