Freshman Admission

Guide for Freshman Applicants PDF

This page provides admission selection information for freshman applicants. Refer to Applying for Admission for information about how to obtain an application and application filing deadlines.

Each year UCLA admits an extraordinary group of students. We have carefully designed our review process to ensure fairness and expand opportunity. We perform a holistic review of all applicants to UCLA in which all of your achievements, both academic and non-academic, are considered in the context of the opportunities you have had and how fully you have taken advantage of those opportunities. No single attribute or characteristic guarantees admission. Since admission to UCLA is highly selective, it is crucial that freshman applicants present complete pictures of themselves, their educational histories and their personal perspectives by thoroughly and carefully completing the application.

How UCLA Selects Its Freshman Class

We consider the following academic elements:

  • Academic grade point average (GPA), calculated using 10th and 11th grade UC–approved courses only
  • Performance on standardized tests: the ACT Assessment Plus Writing or the SAT
    Note: if you take the new SAT exam (March, 2016 and later) you must complete the essay section for UCLA to recognize the exam.
  • Quality, quantity, and level of course work taken throughout your entire high school program (including the strength of your senior year program), especially course work completed beyond the minimum "a–g" courses to meet the University of California admission requirements
  • The strength of the program taken within the context of the high school you attended
  • A progressively challenging academic program, including the number of and performance in college preparatory, honors, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and transferable college courses; passing scores on AP or IB exams; mastery of academic subjects as demonstrated by high grades and exam results; and presence of summer session/inter-session courses that enhance academic progress.
  • California high school students—Identification by the University of California as ranked in the top 9% of your school and/or ranked in the top 9% or high school graduates statewide
  • Sustained participation in activities that develop academic and intellectual abilities and honors and/or awards in recognition of academic, intellectual, or creative achievement

UCLA Undergraduate Admission reviews all applicants for admission. Freshman applicants to the UCLA College of Letters and Science are reviewed without regard for major. Therefore, no Letters and Science major (including Undeclared) is more or less selective than any other. Representatives from all other schools—the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science; the School of the Arts and Architecture; the Herb Alpert School of Music; the School of Nursing; and the School of Theater, Film and Television—further review their respective applicants and admit students by major. The portfolio/audition is the primary consideration in the review of applicants to the School of the Arts and Architecture; the Herb Alpert School of Music; and the School of Theater, Film and Television. Applicants to the School of Nursing must submit a supplemental application.

The Personal Insight Questions

The personal insight question portion of the application allows you to provide information that will give us more insight about you during the review process. Your answers to the personal insight questions should add clarity, richness, and meaning to the information in the other parts of your application. You should respond to four of the eight questions and share with us the accomplishments, perspectives, experiences, and talents that are important to you. The answers to the questions should reflect your own personal perspectives and should complement, not repeat, the information included elsewhere in your application.

The personal insight questions...

  • Offers us an understanding of you as a unique individual within the context of your family, school, community, and the world
  • Provides us with information that may not be evident in other parts of your application
  • Is a forum for you to explain how factors outside of your school environment have enhanced or impeded your ability to maximize available academic and intellectual opportunities

We use these elements from the application to increase our understanding of you as a whole person. We consider the following:

  • Your likely contribution to the intellectual and cultural vitality of the campus
  • Your personal background and experience
  • Extensive leadership and initiative in school and/or community organizations and activities
  • Exceptional achievements, such as recognition for special talents or extracurricular activities
  • Employment or personal responsibilities
  • Overcoming life challenges relating to personal or family situations, social or economic difficulties, lack of educational opportunities, or challenges particular to the urban or rural environment, including foster care if relevant
  • How military service has been instrumental in the developing of your educational plans

For Additional Information

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

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

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