Freshman Admission Guide

Guide for Freshman Applicants PDF

As an undergraduate, you may apply for admission as a freshman (first-year) or as a transfer student. You are a freshman applicant if you will be completing high school; if you have already graduated from high school, you can be considered a freshmen if you have not enrolled at any college or university following your graduation. You are a transfer applicant if you have completed college level coursework after high school graduation: see transfer admission information.

Admissions at UCLA

At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), we welcome applications from students across the nation and around the world. Without a doubt, our greatness comes from the variety of experiences and backgrounds that students like yourself bring to our campus community. In 2018–19, freshman students from over 100 countries and nearly all 50 states enrolled at UCLA. Located in Westwood Village, about five miles from the beach cities of Santa Monica and Venice and approximately 13 miles from downtown Los Angeles, we pride ourselves as research university with a long tradition of academic and research excellence.

For nearly a century, UCLA has educated future leaders for every endeavor—from academia to the arts, from private industry to public service. As a UCLA graduate, you will join esteemed alumni who earn high rates of admission to the world’s top graduate and professional schools, and are well prepared for service to society. UCLA’s College of Letters and Science and five professional schools – Arts and Architecture; Engineering and Applied Sciences; Music; Nursing; and Theater, Film and Television – feature renowned faculty and offer over 125 majors. We invite you explore and learn about the opportunities awaiting you as an undergraduate student here at UCLA.

At UCLA we’re looking for more than just straight-A students. We seek students with unique stories whose rich experience brings the type of perspective and leadership that we value. UCLA receives the most admission applications of any university in the United States. Our admissions requirements are also among the most selective in the nation.

Academic Requirements

To be considered for admission to UCLA as a freshman, you must fulfill the academic subject and test requirements. We understand that UCLA’s subject requirements may be difficult for some applicants to meet due to differences in school curricula. All applications for admission are reviewed within the context of courses available to them; if a particular required subject is not available, we will consider your application without it.

There is no single academic path that we expect all students to follow, but the strongest applicants take the most rigorous high school curriculum available to them.

Please feel free to contact UCLA Undergraduate Admission if you have any questions about academic requirements.

The Personal Insight Questions

The University’s personal insight question portion of the application allows you to provide information that will give us more insight about you during the review process.

Remember, the personal questions are just that — personal. The important thing is expressing who are you, what matters to you and what you want to share with us. You will have eight questions to choose from. You must respond to only four of the eight questions. Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words. Which questions you choose to answer is entirely up to you: You should select questions that are most relevant to your experience and that best reflect your individual circumstances.

Personal Insight Questions

  1. Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time.
  2. Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.
  3. What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?
  4. Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.
  5. Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?
  6. Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.
  7. What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
  8. Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?

How We Review Our Applicants

  • All applications are reviewed in a consistent manner and all achievement – both academic and nonacademic/personal – is considered in the context of your educational circumstances, with an emphasis on the opportunities or challenges presented to you and your response to them.
  • No single attribute or characteristic guarantees the admission of any applicant to UCLA.
  • Application review consists of a comprehensive evaluation at all of your information (academic and personal). All applications are read twice, in their entirety, by two separate/independent admissions professionals.
  • We are familiar with most California schools and many around the nation. Our understanding of different schools and curricula is also supported by information we receive directly from schools, including communication with school personnel. The UC application is designed for students to self-advocate, and we welcome information applicants think might be helpful in understanding their accomplishments within their school communities. Additional information about the school(s) you have attended can be included in the “academic comments” section of your application.
  • Please note that neither letters of recommendation are accepted nor interviews offered. In some instances they may be required as part of the supplemental applications for School of Arts & Architecture, School of Music, School of Nursing and School of Theater, Film & Television
  • There is no formula for gaining admission to UCLA. There are no minimum GPA or test scores that guarantee admission. Students with vastly different credentials come from thousands of high schools across the country and around the world. What unifies our students are the talents they bring to UCLA and their passion to explore all that UCLA has to offer.
  • The review focuses on consistent and ongoing participation in extracurricular activities, community service, special programs, and paid employment, with an emphasis on leadership, initiative, and tenacity. We also consider the contributions that students have made to their school or community.

Application Tips

    General Tips

  • The University of California’s online application (UC Application) is used to apply to UCLA and all UC campuses.
  • All academic and non-academic information plus personal insight question answers are reported via the online UC application. UCLA uses self-reported academic information when making the preliminary assessment of your application for admission. In completing your application, you will be asked to list all courses and grades from all schools and colleges you have attended. Complete the educational history section of the application exactly as it appears on your school records. Later, we will request official transcripts to verify the completeness and accuracy of this information.

  • Requested Information

  • Transcripts are not required at the time that you submit your application. Official transcripts will be required after a student has been admitted.
  • UCLA requests that you report all changes in your high school academic record as well as any changes in your mailing address that occur after you submit your application. You will receive information on how to do this following the submission of your application.

  • Major Choice

  • Applicants to The College of Letters and Science will be asked to select a major of choice, however, applicants who have not yet selected a major are welcome to apply with an “undecided/undeclared” status.
  • The Samueli School of Engineering admits students by major (including Undeclared); students applying to Engineering may select an alternate major, within Engineering, if they wish.
  • Applicants to the School of Arts and Architecture; Music; Nursing; and Theater, Film and Television will receive additional information regarding the respective school’s supplemental application following the submission of your UC application.
  • We guarantee review of first-choice majors only.

Cost of Attendance and Financial Commitment

UCLA is a need-blind university. Financial status is not taken into account when reviewing applications for admission. Professionals in the Financial Aid office are dedicated to helping you make UCLA affordable. Leveraging numerous financial aid options, we create a strategy that works for each family to cover the cost of your education.

Most families pay less than the full price of tuition. In fact, over 55 % of our 2017-18 undergraduates were awarded need-based scholarships or grant aid with an average gift award of $23,980. To keep UCLA affordable, we offer an array of housing options and meal plans – as well as financial aid for housing – so that you have the flexibility as to how much you pay for room and board. Read more on how to make UCLA affordable. UCLA also offers payment plan options for both tuition and housing so that families can make smaller, regular tuition payments throughout the academic year instead of larger, lump-sum payments.

Read more on the estimated budget for students.

Types of Financial Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be filed starting October 1. The UCLA priority deadline for FAFSA filing is March 2. Students who submit their application after this priority deadline will have reduced eligibility for aid. Based on your FAFSA and other information you submit, UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarships will determine your eligibility for a variety of funding options, including scholarships, grants, work-study programs and loans. AB540 eligible students who are not citizens or permanent residents can apply for aid via Dream Act application with the same priority deadline of March 2.

If you are a California resident, the California Student Aid Commission provides grants to qualified students, which assist you with your educational expenses. If you are not a California resident, your home state might offer college grants even if you attend an institution in another state. Check the U.S. Department of Education website for a list of state higher education agencies that can direct you to the proper resources.

The UCLA Scholarship Resource Center is available to help you identify scholarships for which you are qualified. Other resources, including community service organizations in your hometown, faith-based groups and your high school career/college counseling center are options to explore. We also encourage you to initiate a search for additional scholarship resources via the internet.

Lastly, an online search will reveal various websites and databases dedicated to helping you locate the best scholarship opportunities. For information about searching for UCLA scholarships for first-year students and other outside scholarships, please review our Scholarship Resource Center website.

California Residence

Students admitted as non-resident will generally have non-resident status for their entire undergraduate education at UCLA. UC Residence Guidelines are published by the UC Office of General Counselor and are applied throughout the University of California system, including UCLA. UCLA’s Registrar’s Office determines residence status for tuition purpose only after the student has been admitted.

For Additional Information

Please refer to University of California Admission Requirements for information on subject, test score, and scholarship requirements.

Refer to the Applying for Admission for information about how to apply and for application filing deadlines.

Refer to Majors and Minors for a complete listing of undergraduate majors.

Refer to Tuition/Fees/Student budget for more information on financial aid, cost of attendance, and student budget.