Interested in becoming a Triton? As a first-year applicant, you must earn a high school diploma (or equivalent) and satisfy UC minimum admission requirements. UC San Diego reviews both academic and non-academic factors in consideration for admission. Competitive applicants present an academic profile stronger than the minimum requirements detailed below.

College Preparatory 'A-G' Subject Requirement

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-G College Preparatory 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
  • California residents: take the courses in these areas that appear on your high school's UC-approved course list.
  • International applicants: learn more on the International Students page.
  • All applicants: UC will accept a grade of CR (credit) or P (pass) in A-G courses completed Winter 2020 through Summer 2021 only.

Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement

To be eligible for admission to UC San Diego, you must earn the following minimum GPA in all A-G courses.

  • 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 grades earned in college preparatory (A-G) courses taken during 10th and 11th grades (including summer sessions).


UC San Diego does not consider SAT or ACT test scores as a factor in admissions or scholarship decisions. If you choose to submit test scores, they may be used as an alternative method of fulfilling minimum requirements or for course placement should you be admitted, and enroll at the university.

International Students

Demonstration of English proficiency is required 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. Learn more on the International Students page.

To demonstrate English proficiency take one of the following:

Examination Minimum Score
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) 83
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 7
Duolingo English Test (DET) 115

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.

Selective Majors

A selective major is one with limited enrollment, due to capacity. UC San Diego’s most selective majors include Business Economics as well as all majors in the schools listed below:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Data Science
  • Engineering
  • Public Health
  • Business Economics in the School of Social Sciences

If you are applying to a selective major, we strongly recommend that you indicate an alternate non-selective major on your UC application. If you are not admitted to your first-choice selective major, you may be admitted to your alternate major if space is available.

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.
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Portfolio Review

Applicants to majors in the Arts (Music, Theatre & Dance, Visual Arts) have the option to submit a portfolio or audition. Visit The School of Arts and Humanities and click on Portfolio for more information.

College Ranking

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. You will be asked to rank UC San Diego's Colleges on the UC Application. Visit our Colleges page and review the general education requirements to learn more. When you're ready, use this ranking tool before you apply.

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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.

Triton Admission GuideTriton Admission Guide

Your guide to UC San Diego’s academics, research and resources

Admissions 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.