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Interested in learning more about life at UC San Diego? Get a glimpse into our top-notch academics, cutting-edge research, exciting student life and more in our Viewbook.

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Learn about our 150+ majors, unique college system, admissions requirements, research and internship opportunities, exciting student life, financing your education, and more!

Selective Majors

Students interested in any major from one of the academic schools listed here should indicate their desired first choice major on the UC Application. All majors in these areas of study are selective. As interest for these programs sometimes exceeds capacity, we strongly encourage those who select one of these selective majors to also indicate an alternate major choice on the UC Application.

Transfer Major Preparation

Applicants to the following academic schools, departments and majors must complete minimum coursework to be admitted into the major. Students will be screened for the number of courses completed, the grades earned in those courses and their cumulative GPA.

  • Biological Anthropology
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Data Sciences
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Systems
  • Geosciences
  • Marine Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Public Health
  • Physics
  • Real Estate and Development
  • Urban Studies and Planning

Transfer Major Preparation

College System

UC San Diego’s unique college system creates an opportunity to make the university experience more personal and approachable by providing support and a smaller community within the larger university. Students are free to pursue their chosen major no matter which college they are affiliated with. Applicants will be asked to rank UC San Diego’s Colleges on the UC Application so encourage them to visit our Colleges page and review the general education requirements to learn more.

UC San Diego is excited to welcome Eighth College as the newest addition to our unique system with an inaugural first-year class Fall 2023. The college’s theme of Engagement and Community is at the heart of some of the world’s most pressing issues. An Eighth college education will focus on interdisciplinary approaches to solving issues within the local community and beyond. Eighth College opens will welcome the first transfer class Fall 2025.

UC San Diego's College System

Personal Insight Questions


  • Must answer 4 out of 8 questions
  • Each answer limited to 350 word maximum

First-Year Personal Insight Questions


  • Must answer 1 required question
  • Must also answer 3 out of 7 additional questions
  • Each answer limited to 350 word maximum

Transfer Personal Insight Questions

Portfolio Review

First-Year and Transfer applicants may be asked to submit an optional supplemental application and/or a portfolio/audition video for faculty review, when applying to these majors:

  • Music
    • Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts
    • Music
    • Music Humanities
  • Theatre & Dance
    • Dance
    • Theatre
  • Visual Arts
    • Art History
    • Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts
    • Media
    • Speculative Design
    • Studio

First-Year Requirements

Transfer Requirements

Admissions Snapshot


UC San Diego is test free and will not consider SAT or ACT test scores for admissions purposes.

Admit Rate
Admit Range (based on Fall 2023 admitted class)
Average Honors/AP/IB/College Courses
Average A-G Course Totals

Admissions Snapshot


The ranges shown reflect the middle 50% of our Fall 2023 admitted transfer students. Among this pool of admitted transfer students, 25% also had a GPA higher than the range posted here, and 25% had lower.

Admit Rate
Admit Ranges (based on Fall 2023 admitted class)