As a first-year applicant, you must earn a high school diploma (or equivalent) and satisfy the admission requirements listed here and explained in detail on this site:
- Subject Requirement
- Scholarship Requirement
- Personal Insight Questions
- Portfolio Review (optional for Arts majors)
The most competitive applicants to UC San Diego present an academic profile stronger that the minimum UC requirements.
Note: UC San Diego is test free and will not consider SAT or ACT test scores when making admissions decisions.
You will be asked to rank UC San Diego’s Colleges on the UC Application. Learn more about the colleges and get guidance on how to rank them.
First-Year applicants completing California Community College coursework, please note: Neither IGETC certification nor partial-IGETC completion may apply toward the fulfillment of UC San Diego college general education requirements for incoming first-year students.
To be eligible for admission to UC San Diego, you must complete UC College preparatory courses (A-G courses) in the subjects below and earn a "C" grade or better. Complete at least 11 of the 15 courses before your senior year of high school.
|a. History/social science||2|
|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|
- California residents: courses must be on your high school's UC-approved course list.
- Non-California residents: there is no pre-approved course list for schools outside of California.
- International applicants: learn more on the International Students page.
GPA (Grade-Point Average) Requirement
To be eligible for admission to UC San Diego, you must earn the following minimum GPAs:
- California residents must earn a GPA of 3.0 (or better) with no grade lower than "C."
- Non-California residents including International applicants must earn a GPA of 3.4 (or better) with no grade lower than a "C."
Your GPA is based on the above college preparatory (A-G) courses taken during 10th and 11th grades. Students admitted to UC San Diego have GPAs that exceed these minimums.
UC temporarily suspended the letter grade requirement for A-G courses completed in spring 2020 for all students. A-G courses completed in spring 2020 with Pass (P) or Credit (CR) grades will satisfy appropriate A-G requirements.
The Pass or Credit grade in spring and summer 2020 will continue to meet A-G requirements for any student who was enrolled in high school during the 2019-20 academic year.
Pass (P) or Credit (CR) grades will meet A-G subject requirements but will not be calculated in the GPA. UC will continue to calculate the GPA for admission purposes using all A-G courses passed with letter grades in grades 10 and 11, including summer terms following grades 9, 10 and 11. Extra points in honors-level coursework will continue to be capped at 8 semesters of honors points in A-G courses completed with letter grades of A, B and C in grades 10 and 11.
UC San Diego is test free and will not consider SAT or ACT test scores when making admissions decisions. If you choose to submit test scores as part of your application, they may be used as an alternative method of fulfilling minimum requirements for eligibility or for course placement after you enroll.
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), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination (academic modules) or the Duolingo English Test (DET) and have your scores reported to the UC San Diego Office of Admissions. A minimum score of 83 is required for the TOEFL, a minimum score of 7 is required for the IELTS, or a minimum score of 115 is required on the DET. Learn more on the International Students page.
Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate Tests
If you complete Advanced Placement (AP) courses, we recommend that you complete the related AP examination to demonstrate subject mastery. Similarly, International Baccalaureate (IB) 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 your high school graduation. Other entrance exams taken after high school graduation are not considered.
Personal Insight Questions
The personal insight questions are about getting to know you better – your life experience, interests, ambitions and inspirations. This is your opportunity to tell us who you are, what’s important to you and the contributions you would make to the UC San Diego Triton community.
You must answer 4 out of 8 questions. Each answer is limited to 350 words.
All questions are given equal consideration in the application review process.
We recommend selecting questions that reveal the most about you and best reflect your experiences.
UC students and admissions staff share their best tips for writing application essays
Tips and tricks for acing this important part of the UC Application
Applicants to Arts major have the option submit a portfolio or audition for faculty review. Visit The School of Arts and Humanities and click on Portfolio FAQ for more information.
We're looking for fearless innovators. Bold risk-takers. Those with a compulsive urge to take things apart, discover what makes them tick and put them back together in surprising new ways. People who are eager to swap ideas, share experiences and explore the world with a fresh perspective. If that sounds like you, start building your future at UC San Diego.