FAQs from Prospective Freshman Applicants

Here are the most common questions we get from freshmen who are planning to apply UCLA.

Q: What is the next available term that I can apply to UCLA?

A: The UC Application for fall admission to UCLA opens on August 1. The submission period is November 1 - 30.

Q: How do I apply?

A: You can fill out and submit a UC application on the University of California's admissions website during the filing period

Q: Where do I send transcripts or letters of recommendation?

A: UCLA does not require letters of recommendation or transcripts during the admission selection process. Our review is based on self-reported information provided on the UC Application form. In the event that additional information or materials are necessary, we will contact you directly with a specific request.

Students who are admitted (and who intend to enroll) are required to submit official transcripts; instructions about where and when to send transcripts are included in the admission packet.

Letters of recommendation may only be requested as part of the supplemental application process of a specialty school (i.e. School of the Arts and Architecture, Herb Alpert School of Music, School of Nursing, and School of Theater, Film, and Television.)

Q: How do I sign up for my admission interview?

A: UCLA does not have an interview process. Applicants to non-arts majors are reviewed solely based on information contained in their applications. Applicants to Dance, Ethnomusicology, Music, or Theater will, however, need to audition: see below.

Q: What should I say in my answers to the personal insight questions?

A: The personal insight questions can be found in the UC Application. They give students flexibility and control in what personal stories they want to tell. You should use the personal insight questions to give us a more complete picture of yourself by augmenting (not repeating) the information elsewhere in the application.

The tips we have to offer are surprisingly straightforward and based on a lot of common sense—the sort that is easily lost under the pressure of the application process.

Basic tips for the personal insight questions

Q: I'm planning to apply to the Art (Design, Music, Theater, World Arts and Cultures) major for Fall, what additional information is required?

A: Depending on the major, you may be required to submit a portfolio, participate in an audition, or send in recommendation letters.

Q: Where do I get information on financial aid and scholarships?

A: Some scholarship information is listed in the UC Application, but most financial aid is dependent on the amount of money the university has for a particular quarter and the needs of the students attending.

The first step in determining your eligibility for financial aid is to submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form between January 1 and March 2 for financial aid beginning in the following fall term.

For more information, contact the UCLA Financial Aid Office.

Q: What are the requirements for the ACT and SAT?


Update to the standardized testing requirement for fall 2021 and 2022

UCLA will be "test-optional" for fall 2021 and fall 2022. Freshman applicants are not required to submit SAT/ACT test scores.

What does "test-optional" mean?

  • You choose whether or not to submit SAT/ACT scores with your application
  • If you choose not to submit test scores, your application will still receive full consideration. Students will not be penalized in the admission review process for not submitting SAT/ACT scores.
  • Students will no longer be required to submit the SAT Essay/ACT Writing Test.

Details regarding UC’s testing policy are provided on the UC admission website for future applications terms beyond 2022.

An important note for those considering sitting for an upcoming SAT/ACT for fall 2021 admission

UCLA recognizes that demand for SAT/ACT administrations this fall may be challenging due to COVID-related cancellations in recent months. In addition, we understand that there are real safety concerns about gathering to take a standardized test. If you have any of these concerns, we want to reiterate that submission of a test score is NOT required. As we stated above, no applicant will be disadvantaged in any way for not submitting an SAT or ACT score. Your safety is more important to us than a test score. All applications will be reviewed holistically, and testing has always been only one of many factors considered in our review process. We recognize that access, safety, and proper accommodations are huge factors in a student’s ability to take one of these exams. Optional means optional. We look forward to reading your application!

Update to standardized testing requirements for students in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science:

  • SAT, ACT, and subject tests are no longer required.
  • Holistic evaluation will include standardized test scores when they are submitted.
  • Students will not be disadvantaged by not submitting standardized test scores, either SAT/ACT or subject test scores.
  • Regardless of whether students submit test scores, engineering applicants should use their application to highlight their interest and capacity for success in STEM subjects and mathematics in particular.

Q: I'm an international student, What tests do I need to take?

A: International students whose language of instruction is not English are required to take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

More on TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, UCLA's placement exam



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