As a first-year applicant, you must earn a high school diploma (or equivalent) and satisfy the following UC admission requirements:

  • Subject Requirement
  • Scholarship Requirement
  • Personal Insight Questions
  • Portfolio Review (optional for Arts majors)

Competition for admission is high, so meeting these requirements does not guarantee your admission. Students admitted to UC San Diego exceed minimum UC admission requirements. UC San Diego is test-optional for all Fall 2021 and 2022 applicants. We are test-blind for Fall 2023 and 2024 applicants.

College Ranking

You will be asked to rank the UC San Diego colleges on your 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.

Coursework

Subject Requirements

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" 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
  • 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 & International applicants must earn a GPA of 3.4 (or better) with no grade lower than "C."

Your GPA is based on the above “a-g” courses taken during 10th and 11th grades. Students admitted to UC San Diego have GPAs that exceed these minimums.

COVID-19 Update

UC has temporarily suspended the letter grade requirement for A-G courses completed in spring 2020 for all students, including UC’s most recently admitted freshmen. 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 currently 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.

Exams

In accordance with University of California (UC) policy:

Note: Ongoing litigation related to the University’s admissions processes may affect the content of these materials. However, no matter what happens in the litigation, nobody will be required to submit an SAT or ACT score for Fall 2021, and applications will not be viewed negatively based on the lack of a score.

  • UC San Diego currently plans to be test-optional for Fall 2021 admissions. Under UC San Diego’s test-optional admissions policy, nobody will be required to submit an SAT or ACT score for admission consideration, and applications will not be viewed negatively based on the lack of a score. Testing has always been only one of many factors considered in our review process. Moreover, UC San Diego recognizes that demand for SAT/ACT administrations this fall may be challenging due to COVID-related cancellations in recent months. We also understand that there are real safety concerns about gathering to take a standardized test. We want to reiterate that submission of a test score is NOT required. Your safety is more important to us than a test score. Optional means optional. We look forward to reading your application!

  • Fall 2023 and Fall 2024 Applicants: UC San Diego will be test-blind. The campus will not consider test scores in admission selection.

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 your 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. 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

This is your opportunity to tell us who you are, what's important to you and why you belong at UC San Diego by answering 4 of the 8 personal insight questions when you submit your application. We recommend selecting the questions that reveal the most about you and best reflect your experiences. All questions are given equal consideration in the application review process. There is no advantage or disadvantage to choosing one question over another. Your answers are limited to a maximum of 350 words, so make each statement count.

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Application Information

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Review

Our goal is to identify and admit students who are fully prepared to excel in our challenging academic environment.

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