UC San Diego typically receives more than 100,000 first-year applications each year. The most competitive applicants present an academic profile beyond the minimum UC admission requirements.

Application Review

To identify and admit students who are prepared to contribute and thrive as part of the Triton community, UC San Diego conducts a holistic review of first-year applicants. Every application, including the personal insight questions, is thoroughly reviewed. Consideration is given for the academic and personal factors listed below.

Academic Achievement

Grade Point Average (GPA)

GPA in 10th and 11th grade college preparatory A-G coursework including additional weight for available UC-approved honors, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or UC-transferable college courses.

Achievement in College Preparatory A-G Courses & Beyond

The number of, rigor of and grades earned in courses beyond the minimum A-G course requirements including available UC-approved honors, AP, IB, or transferable college or university courses as well as your senior year schedule.

Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC)

Students identified by the University of California as ELC, ranking in the top 9% of your California high school class.

Performance of Standardized Tests

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.

Note: UC San Diego does not consider SAT or ACT test scores as a factor in admissions or scholarship decisions.

Personal Qualities

We value cultural, socioeconomic and intellectual diversity and are looking for students who will actively contribute to our campus. We're looking for students who demonstrate exceptional characteristics like leadership, motivation, tenacity, initiative, originality, creativity, intellectual independence, responsibility, insight and maturity. We also value students who demonstrate concern for others and for their community. Below are the important personal qualities we consider when determining your admission.

Academic Enrichment

We're looking for time and depth of your participation, academic progress made during your participation and intellectual rigor of the particular program.

Creative, Intellectual, Social or Professional Achievement

Show us how you contribute to your team, job or community. We’re looking for additional evidence of exemplary, sustained achievement in any field of intellectual or creative endeavor, including your accomplishments in the performing arts and athletics, employment, leadership in school or community organizations or activities and community service.

Challenges, Hardships, Unusual Circumstances

We are looking for students with maturity, determination and insight who have had to overcome challenging circumstances. Tell us about contextual factors that bear directly on your achievement, including linguistic background, parental education level and other indicators of support available in your home.

Portfolio Review

Students applying to Music, Theatre & Dance, or Visual Arts may submit an optional portfolio/audition video when they apply to UC San Diego. Your submission will be reviewed by the department to which you are applying and their evaluation shared with the Office of Admissions. This evaluation may add value to your overall application. Visit The School of Arts and Humanities Undergraduate Students page for additional information. The portfolio is optional and applicants can still be admitted without providing the additional material.

The Office of Admissions does not accept submissions sent directly to our office.

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.