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?

A: You must take one of the following:

  • ACT, plus the ACT Writing Test
  • SAT
    Note: The SAT exam changed significantly as of March 2016. Applicants may submit scores from either or both the old and new SAT, however, those who take the new SAT must complete the essay section for UCLA (or any University of California campus) to recognize the exam. We will accept scores from either the old or new SAT for all freshman applicants who graduate from high school prior to 2020; applicants who graduate in 2020 or later must take the new SAT.

Note: for each test above, we will use the sitting with the overall highest composite score; we do not combine test scores from multiple sittings.

SAT Subject Tests are not required, however, applicants to the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science are strongly encouraged to take the following SAT Subject Tests: Math Level 2 and a science test (Biology E/M, Chemistry, or Physics) that is closely related to the applicant's intended major.

Q: If I take the ACT/SAT Test more than once, does UCLA combine the scores and take the average of all of them, or do you only look at the first score?

A: If you take the ACT/SAT more than once, we automatically consider the sitting with the highest composite score. We do not combine scores from different sittings or penalize you for taking the tests more than once. (Likewise, if you take the same SAT Subject Test more than once we will use the highest score.)

We must receive official reports of your scores from the testing agencies and all exams must be completed no later than the first week in December of the year in which you file your application (i.e., a student who applies for admission to the Fall 2020 term in November 2019 would have to take all required tests by December 2019).

Q: I'm an international student; do I need to take the ACT, SATs or just the TOEFL?

A: International applicants are not exempt from the ACT/SAT requirement. All freshman applicants must take either the ACT (plus the writing section) or the SAT (including the essay portion, if taken March 2016 or later) by the December of the year they file their application.

Note: International students whose language of instruction was not English for the past three years are also required to take either the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

More on the TOEFL/IELTS

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