check Apply Now The Application is Open

You are considered a freshman (first-year university student) if you have completed your secondary education and earned a certificate of completion that enables you to be admitted to a university in your home country and is equivalent to a U.S. High School Diploma and have never been enrolled full-time as a college or university student. If you have enrolled as a full-time college or university student, you will need to apply as a transfer student.

International applicants must meet the same freshman or transfer requirements for admission as any other applicant in addition to the following requirements:

English Proficiency Requirement

International Students Applying as a Freshman

For international students to be considered for admission to UC San Diego, you must meet specific English proficiency requirements. If you are a transfer applicant, you can fulfill the requirement with grades of “B” or better in your two required transferable courses in English composition. All other applicants must fulfill the requirement with an exam. Report your scores to the undergraduate admissions office before January.

TOEFL minimum scores

  • Internet-based: 83
  • Paper-based: 550

IELTS minimum score of 7 (Academic module)

AP Exam accepted scores

  • English Language and Composition: 3, 4, 5
  • English Literature and Composition: 3, 4, 5

IB Exam accepted scores

  • English (Lang. A) higher level: 5, 6, 7
  • English (Lang. A) standard level: 6 or higher

International Students Applying as a Transfers

If your native language is not English, and your high school or college/university education was in a country where the language of instruction was not English, you must provide evidence of English proficiency in one of the following ways:

  • Achieve grades of B or better in the required UC-transferable English composition courses.

  • Submit a TOEFL score of 83 or higher (internet-based test).

  • Submit an IELTS examination with a 7 or better band score (academic module).

TOEFL and IELTS exams must be completed no more than two years prior to transfer.

When you apply

Report all completed coursework as it appears on your academic records at each institution. The application will analyze your scores using your country's grading standards. Do NOT convert scores yourself or have them converted professionally. Be sure to include explanations if grades do not fit in the given space and are abbreviated.

Additional Freshman Requirements

Secondary School Requirements

To be considered for admission, you must have completed secondary school with a superior average in academic subjects and have earned a certificate of completion that enables you to be admitted to a university in your home country and is equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma.

Use the dropdown selector to identify the names of certificates, diplomas and other documents that are the equivalent of a U.S. high school diploma. In addition to these international secondary school completion requirements, keep in mind that admission to UC San Diego is competitive. You must achieve excellent results on your final secondary school exams.

Afghanistan

Baccaluria

Argentina

Bachiller especializado

Australia

Senior Secondary School Certificate of Education (also called Year 12 Certificate or Senior Certificate or Higher School Certificate), issued by the appropriate State or Territory Department of Education

Austria

Maturity Certificate (Reifezeugnis)

Bahamas

General Certificate of Education in at least three Advanced "A"€ Levels following completion of the Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education

Bahrain

Tawjahiya (Secondary School Leaving Certificate)

Bangladesh

Higher Secondary Certificate

Belgium

Certificate of Higher Secondary Education (Certificat d'€™Enseignement Secondaire Superiéur/Getuigschrift van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs)

Belize

Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) or the General Certificate of Education in at least three Advanced “A” Levels, following the completion of the Caribbean Examinations Council Secondary Education Certificate and Diploma

Bolivia

Bachiller or Bachiller en Humanidades

Brazil

Diploma/Certificado de Ensino Médio

Canada / Alberta

Advanced High School Diploma

Canada / British Columbia

Secondary School Graduation Diploma (Dogwood Diploma)

Canada / Manitoba

Manitoba High School Diploma

Canada / New Brunswick

New Brunswick High School Graduation Diploma

Canada / Newfoundland and Labrador

High School Graduation Diploma

Canada / Northwest Territories

Territory High School Graduation Diploma

Canada / Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma

Canada / Ontario

Ontario Secondary School Diploma

Canada / Prince Edward Island

Senior Secondary School Diploma

Canada / Quebec

Diploma of College Studies/Diplome d'Etudes Collegiales (DCS/DEC), pre-university track, following the completion of the Secondary School Diploma/Diplome d'Etudes

Canada / Saskatchewan

Secondary School Diploma

Canada / Yukon

High School Diploma

Chile

Licencia de Educación Media (academic)

China, Peoples Republic

Senior High School Graduation Certificate (i.e., Redbook)

Colombia

Bachillerato

Costa Rica

Diploma de Conclusion de estudios de educacion diversificado o Bachillerato

Cyprus

Apolyterion or Lise Diplomasi

Czech Republic

Maturity Certificate

Denmark

Studentereksamen

Ecuador

Bachillerato en Humanidades/Ciencias

Egypt

Thanaweya a' Amma (General Secondary Education Certificate)

El Salvador

Bachiller/Bachillerato General or Diploma of Upper Secondary School

Ethiopia

Ethiopian Higher Education Entrance Examination (EHEEE)

Finland

Lukion päästötodistus / Dismissionsbetyg (Upper Secondary Completion Certificate)

France

Baccalaureat

Germany

Abitur (Certificate of General University Maturity)

Ghana

Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE)

Greece

Apolyterion Eniaiou Lykeiou

Guatemala

Bachiller en ciencias y letras

Honduras

Bachillerato

Hong Kong

HKDSE Certificate

Hungary

Érettségi Bizonyí­tvány (Maturity Certificate)

Iceland

Studentspróf

India

Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) or Senior Secondary Certificate

Indonesia

STTB from SMA

Iran

Pre-University (Peesh-daneshgahii)

Ireland

Ardteistiméireacht (Leaving Certificate)

Israel

Teudat Bagrut

Italy

Diploma di Maturita / Diploma di Esame di Stato

Jamaica

CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination) in at least 3 two-unit courses/subjects

Japan

Upper Secondary School Leaving Certificate

Jordan

General Secondary Education Certificate (Tawjihi)

Kenya

Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education

Korea

High School Graduation Certificate

Kuwait

General Secondary Education Cert. (Shahadat Al-Thanawia Al Aama)

Malaysia

STPM/Advanced Level Exams

México

Bachillerato

Netherlands

VWO Diploma

New Zealand

NCEA Level 3

Nicaragua

Bachillerato

Nigeria

WAEC Senior School Certificate

Norway

Vitnemål fra Videregående Skole

Pakistan

Higher Secondary Certificate

Panamá

Diploma de Educación Media / Bachiller

Paraguay

Bachillerato (Bachiller en Humanidades y Ciencias)

Péru

Certificado de Educación Secundaria Común Completa / Bachillerato Academico

Philippines

12 Year Secondary School Graduation

Poland

Świadectwo Dojrzalości liceum ogólnoksztalcacego

Romania

Diploma de Bacalaureat

Russian Federation

Certificate of (complete) General Secondary Education - (Аттестат о среднем (полном) общем образовании)

Saudi Arabia

General Secondary Education Certificate - (Shahadat Al-Marhalat Al-Thanawiyyat)

Scotland

Scottish Qualifications Certificate (SQC) Advanced Higher Grade

Singapore

Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced A Level Examination (minimum 3 H2 subjects)

South Africa

Senior Certificate with Matriculation Endorsement/Exemption

Spain

Bachillerato/Titulo de Bachiller

Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan General Certificate of Education Advanced Level

Suriname

Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs / VWO

Sweden

Högskoleförberedande Examen

Switzerland

Federal Maturity Certificate

Taiwan (Rep. of China)

Senior High School Diploma

Thailand

Certificate of Secondary Education (Matayom VI)

Turkey

Lise Diplomasi

United Arab Emirates

Secondary School Leaving Certificate/Shahadat Al-Thanawiya Al- Amma

United Kingdom

GCE A Levels (minimum of 3 academic subjects with C or better)

Uruguay

Bachiller Diversificado de Enseñanza Secundaria

Venezuela

Bachillerato en Ciencias, Humanidades o Artes

Vietnam

Senior High School Certificate/Băng Tó‘t Nghiê‡p Trung Hoc Pho Thông

Test Requirements

All freshman applications (including international students) are expected to take the following tests:

You must take all tests by December of the year before you plan to enroll. Make arrangements with the Educational Testing Service to take these tests in your home country and request that your scores be sent directly to the UC San Diego Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Your Country's Educational System

This information is meant to supplement the general eligibility requirements for freshmen, not to replace them.

Your international school must have an appropriate level of recognition in the educational system it follows. You must also be earning a certificate of completion that will allow you to enter a university in that educational system. If your international school follows a U.S. curriculum, your school must have U.S. accreditation and you must graduate with a U.S. high school diploma or an equivalent credential.

International Baccalaureate

If you are completing your IB diploma or simply taking IB courses, make sure to report your IB status in your application. There are instructions in the application for reporting IB coursework and examinations.

13-year Educational Systems

If pre-university education is 13 years long in your country, you must complete all 13 years before entering UC San Diego. You must graduate from secondary school in your country, earning a certificate of completion that enables you to attend a university in your country. Admission to UC San Diego is not offered prior to completion of the 13th year.

British & Singapore

You must complete at least 5 IGCSE/GCSE/GCE O Levels and at least 3 GCE A Levels to be considered for admission. If you receive "A", "B" or "C" grades on your GCE A level examinations, UC San Diego may consider granting you transfer credit toward your bachelor’s degree. The exact credit amount will be determined after you have been formally admitted and provide your official certificate.

China

You must complete 12 years of education and receive your certificate of graduation (i.e., Red Book). All grade 12 subjects must be completed, passed with a C result or better, with an overall 3.0 (or equivalent). We do require grade 9 transcripts, including if it was completed at a middle school. Students in an A Level program should refer to the British entry above.

India & Pakistan

You must complete your standard XII years of education and sit for 10th and 12th year board/state examinations.

Malaysia

You must complete your SPM and STPM or A Levels to be considered for admission.

Sri Lanka

You must complete Sri Lankan O and A Levels. You may also complete O and A Levels through a British Examination Authority.

Residency For Tuition Purposes

To be granted a visa, international students must prove sufficient funds to meet all expenses for studying in the U.S. This financial independence requirement makes it extremely difficult for most undergraduate students whose parents are not California residents to qualify for classification as a resident for tuition purposes at the University of California. This includes students from community colleges and other post-secondary institutions within California.

Read more about Residency for Tuition Purposes.

Required Documents from Schools Outside the United States

Your admission to UC San Diego is provisional pending the receipt and review of your official transcripts, records and exam results.

If any of your high school or college education occurred outside the United States, you must submit required records, transcripts, International Baccalaureate certification, or other documents to UC San Diego.

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:

  • The information below is for newly admitted freshman students who attended a school outside of the United States.
  • Admitted transfer students who attended high school outside of the United States are not required to send their official high school documents.
  • The country-specific information below may be in addition to the items listed on your Triton Checklist.
  • The deadlines for UC San Diego to receive your documents are July 1 for transcripts and July 15 for IB test scores.
  • If you are a prospective student who is planning to apply or recently applied, view the U.S. High School Diploma Equivalents on this page.

Combined U.S. and International Records

All international transcripts (beginning from grade 9) must be submitted – even if your current school lists them.

Include grade 9 middle school records and any grades you may have repeated when studying in the United States.

Authentic original records (transcripts) from your overseas school (or schools) must be sent directly to UC San Diego from your former institution. Authentic means official records:

  • school or institution must send them
  • envelope cannot be opened or unsealed
  • original documents only - photocopy not accepted

UC San Diego Mailing Address:

University of California, San Diego
Office of Admissions
ATTN: TRANSCRIPTS
9500 Gilman Dr. # 0021
La Jolla, CA 92093-0021
United States

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Full transcripts indicating internal marks from your secondary school (grades 9–12) must be submitted on or before the July 1 deadline. All courses in your final year must be passed with a C result (or equivalent) or better, with an overall 3.0 grade point average (or equivalent).

Ask that your school authority provide predicted results, if possible, together with an explanation of when your final marks and certificate will be available.

You must contact IBO directly to request that IB certificates or diplomas be sent electronically to UC San Diego. The deadline to receive your results is July 15.

UC San Diego Mailing Address:

University of California, San Diego
Office of Admissions
ATTN: TRANSCRIPTS
9500 Gilman Dr. # 0021
La Jolla, CA 92093-0021
United States

Advanced Levels (A Levels)

By July 1 – your school must send official copies of your GCSE/IGCSE Statement of Results, AS Level Statement of Results (if applicable), and all internal marks (when available).

A Level Statement of Results must be submitted as soon as they are available. You must pass at least 3 A Level exams with a C result or better to finalize your UC San Diego admission.

Official A Level results must be sent directly from the examining authority (Cambridge, OCR, Edexel etc) in the form of the “Certifying Statement of Results” after A Level Certificates are released. Advanced standing credit for A Level exams will only be posted to your record upon receipt of the official document.

What Documents Are Required By Country?

To find out what documents must be submitted to UC San Diego, locate the country or region where your education took place.

Australia

Internal school marks (grades 9-12) and State/Territorial Year 12 certificate including external exam results.

Bangladesh

Attested copies of your SSC and HSC (including marksheets) sent directly from the schools of attendance. Copies sent by any other method will not be considered official.

Brazil

Certificado de Conclusão do Ensino Médio (certificate of secondary school completion/diploma) issued by the Colegio or Ministério da Educação and Histórico Escolar (academic transcripts) issued by the institution attended.

Canada

Your admission will only be cleared upon receipt of the provincial or territorial Ministry of Education (MOE) secondary school record and diploma. You may submit your internal school transcripts until the MOE record is available. The MOE transcript must indicate that you earned the provincial/territorial diploma. All grade 12 classes must be passed with a C result or better, with an overall 3.0 (or equivalent).

(OSSD, Dogwood Diploma, Secondary School Diploma, DES+DEC, etc.)

China

Original records in English from middle school and high school – grades 9-12. All grade 12 subjects must be completed and you must earn and submit your Certificate of Graduation. All grade 12 classes must be passed with a C result or better, with an overall 3.0 (or equivalent). All transcripts must be sent directly from the school to UCSD or via Parchment. Notarized translation booklets will not be accepted. If you also completed an A level program at your school, see the UK entry.

Your admission to UC San Diego will be cleared only upon receipt and review of the following documentation:

  • Lower Middle School record (grade 9)
  • Upper Middle School record (grades 10-12) – this record must be cumulative; partial incomplete documents with addendums/additions will not be accepted.
  • Photocopy of graduation certification (“red book”) including all required stamps – authenticated and sent directly to UCSD with the Upper Middle School record from the school

Costa Rica

Clear, legible photocopy of graduation certificate or diploma issued by Ministerio de Educación Pública (Bachiller en Educación Media, Técnico Medio, Diploma de Conclusión de Estudios de Educación Diversificada) and Certificado de Notas/Calificaciones (academic transcripts) issued by the institution attended sent directly to UC San Diego.

France and French Patterned Systems

Clear, legible photocopies of official Diplôme du Baccalauréat and Relevé de Notes de l’Examen Final (academic transcript) issued in French showing all subjects taken and grades obtained certified by the French government, either by a local municipality or an overseas French Embassy/Consulate [photocopie certifiée conforme par le gouvernement Français (soit par votre Mairie soit par un Ambassade/Consulat)].

Germany

Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife or Abitur sent directly from institution attended.

Greece

Apolyti Lykeiou (School Leaving Certificate) indicating all exams taken and grades obtained sent directly to UCSD from school attended.

Hong Kong

Old system: HKCEE & HKALE results sent directly from testing authority. You must sit for and pass at least 3 A level exams with C results or better Advanced standing credit for A Level exams will only be posted to your record upon receipt of this document.

New system: Official HKDSE Certificate and senior secondary academic transcripts issued by the school.

India

Attested copies of the Statement of Marks for the STD X and XII Board exams (SSC, AISC, ISCE, HSC, HSSC, AISSC etc.) sent directly from the schools of attendance. Copies sent by any other method will not be considered as official.

Indonesia

Surat Tanda Tanat Belajar (STTB) or Sekolah Menengah Unum Tingkat Atas (SMA) certified true/attested copy sent from school.

Israel

Examination results for the Teudat Bagrut (matriculation certificates) issued by the institution attended.

Italy

Diploma di Maturita and Pagelle Scolastiche (academic transcripts) for all years of secondary study – issued by the institution attended.

Japan

Original records in English from middle school and high school – grades 9-12 including certification of graduation. All grade 12 classes must be passed with a C result or better, with an overall 3.0 (or equivalent). All transcripts must be sent directly from the school to UCSD or via Parchment.

Korea

Original records in English from middle school and high school – grades 9-12 including certification of graduation. All grade 12 classes must be passed with a C result or better, with an overall 3.0 (or equivalent). All transcripts must be sent directly from the school to UCSD or via Parchment.

Kuwait

Examination results for the General Secondary Education Certificate issued in English and sent directly to UCSD from the appropriate Regional Office of the Ministry of Education – not from a third-party agency or family member.

Malaysia

All examination results issued by the appropriate examining body (e.g. Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), Unified Examination Certificate (UEC)). Full completion of the entire 13 year secondary education program is required. If you completed an A level program at your school, see the UK entry.

Mexico

Academic transcripts/records for grades 9-12 and Certificado de Educacion Secundaria + Certificado de Bachillerato sent directly from the schools attended.

New Zealand

External examination results for the Universities Entrance, Bursaries and Scholarships Examination or National Certificate sent directly by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

Norway

Graduation certificate (Vitnemål fra den Videregående Skolen) issued in English, indicating all exams taken and grades obtained sent directly by the school. Please note that the University of California does not grant advanced standing credit for the secondary diploma.

Pakistan

Certificate of Examination (SSC & HSC) issued by the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education and the corresponding Mark sheet/result card sent directly to UCSD from the Board and verified by the Controller of Examinations.

Poland

Graduation Certificate (Swiadectwo Ukonczenia) indicating all exams taken and grades obtained sent directly to UCSD from school attended.

Saudi Arabia

Intermediate School Certificate + General Secondary Education Certificate (Tawjihiyah) sent directly to UCSD from the appropriate Regional Office of the Ministry of Education – not from a third-party agency, school or family.

Singapore

O level and A level Certificates sent directly by Singapore MOE. You must sit for and pass at least 3 A level exams with C results or better. Advanced standing credit for A Level (H2) exams will only be posted to your record upon receipt of the official A level results from the Singapore MOE.

Spain

Graduation certificate (Título de Bachiller) showing all exams taken and grades obtained, sent directly from school attended.

Sri Lanka

External examination results for the General Certificate of Education, O-Level and A-Level sent directly from the department of examinations. No advanced standing credit is allowed for Sri Lankan A Level exams.

Sweden

Graduation certificate or diploma issued in English (Avgångbetyg från Gymnasiet, Slutbetyg från Gymnasiet, Teknikerexamen) showing all exams taken and grades obtained, sent directly from school attended.

Switzerland

Graduation certificate (Maturitätszeugnis/Certificat de Maturité/Attestato di Maturita) showing all exams taken and grades obtained sent directly from school attended.

Taiwan

Original records in English from middle school and high school – grades 9-12 including date of graduation. All grade 12 classes must be passed with a C result (or equivalent) or better, with an overall 3.0 (or equivalent). All transcripts must be sent directly from the school to UCSD or via Parchment.

Thailand

Academic transcripts and Matayom Suksa VI (Certificate of Upper Secondary Education) issued in English and sent directly by the school.

Turkey

Clear, legible photocopy of Graduation certificate issued by the Ministry of National Education (e.g. Lise Diplomasi, Meslek Lise Diplomasi) and academic transcript issued by the school.

UAE

Examination results for the General Certificate of Secondary Education issued in English – sent directly to UCSD from the appropriate Regional Office of the Ministry of Education – not from a third-party agency or family.

United Kingdom

By July 1 – original or school-certified copies of GCSE/IGCSE certificate(s), AS Level certificate(s) (if applicable), and all internal marks (forms 4,5,6). A Level Statement of Results must be submitted as soon as provisional results are available. You must pass at least 3 A Level exams with a C result or better to finalize your UCSD admission. Official A Level results must be sent directly from examining authority (Cambridge, OCR, Pearson Edexcel, etc.) in the form of the “Certifying Statement of Results” in the Autumn after A Level Certificates are released. Advanced standing credit for A Level exams will only be posted to your record upon receipt of this document.

Vietnam

Academic transcripts (years 9-12) issued in English or exact word for word official translations and Examination Results (Ðiểm Kỳ Thi Tốt Nghiệp THPT) for the High School Graduation Examination (Kỳ thi tốt nghiệp trung học phổ thông THPT) sent directly from the school attended.

My country or region is not listed

If the country or region where you studied is not listed above, or if you have questions about what specific documentation is required in your situation, contact our International Specialists in the UC San Diego Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools:

Learn More

International Brochure

Academic requirements for students outside the U.S.

Triton Brochure

UC San Diego Viewbook

Requirements and Majors

Minimum requirements for applying to UC San Diego

View More Resources & Publications