UC Merced: Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

View of UC Merced at night.

Qymekkam / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

University of California, Merced is a public university with an acceptance rate of 66%. Students will generally need a strong application and good test scores to be admitted. As part of the application, students are required to write four short personal insight essays. Since UC Merced is a part of the University of California system, students can easily apply to multiple schools in that system with a single application.

Considering applying to UC Merced? Here are the admissions statistics you should know, including SAT/ACT scores and GPAs of admitted students.

Acceptance Rate

During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, UC Merced had an acceptance rate of 66%. For every 100 students who applied, 66 students were admitted, making UC Merced's admissions process somewhat competitive.

Admissions Statistics (2017-18)
Number of Applicants 25,131
Percent Admitted 66%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled (Yield) 13%

SAT Scores and Requirements

University of California, Merced requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 94% of admitted students submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 510 600
Math 510 590
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

This admissions data tells us that most of UC Merced's admitted students fall within the top 35% nationally on the SAT. For the evidence-based reading and writing section, 50% of students admitted to UC Merced scored between 510 and 600, while 25% scored below 510 and 25% scored above 600. On the math section, 50% of admitted students scored between 510 and 590, while 25% scored below 510 and 25% scored above 590. Applicants with a composite SAT score of 1190 or higher will have particularly competitive chances at UC Merced.

Requirements

UC Merced requires the SAT writing section. Note that UC Merced considers the highest SAT with essay score from a single test date. SAT Subject Tests are not required, but can be used to satisfy A-G requirements or show mastery of a particular subject.

ACT Scores and Requirements

UC Merced requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 51% of admitted students submitted ACT scores.

ACT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 17 23
Math 18 24
Composite 19 27

This admissions data tells us that most of UC Merced's admitted students fall within the top 55% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of students admitted to UC Merced received a composite ACT score between 19 and 27, while 25% scored above 27 and 25% scored below 19.

Requirements

UC Merced requires the ACT writing section. Note that UC Merced does not superscore ACT results; your highest combined score from a single test administration will be considered.

GPA

In 2018, the average high school GPA of University of California, Merced's incoming freshmen class was 3.59. This information suggests that most successful applicants to UC Merced have primarily A and B grades.

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

UC Merced Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph.
UC Merced Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph. Data courtesy of Cappex.

The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to University of California, Merced. GPAs are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and calculate your chances of getting in with a free Cappex account.

Admissions Chances

University of California, Merced, which accepts approximately two-thirds of applicants, has a somewhat selective admissions process. If your SAT/ACT scores and GPA fall within the school's average ranges, you have a strong chance of being accepted. Keep in mind that California residents who apply must have a GPA of 3.0 or better with no grade lower than a C in 15 college preparatory "a-g" courses. For non-residents, your GPA must be 3.4 or better. Local students from participating high schools may also qualify if they are in the top 9% of their class. See how to calculate your UC Admissions Index.

UC Merced, like all of the University of California schools, has holistic admissions, so the admissions officers are evaluating students based on more than numerical data. Students who show special talent or have a compelling story to tell will often get a close look even if their grades and test scores are a bit below the norm. Impressive extracurricular activities and strong essays are all important parts of a successful application to UC Merced.

In the graph above, the green and blue dots represent accepted students. The majority of students who got into UC Merced had GPAs of 3.0 or higher, SAT scores (ERW+M) of 950 or higher, and ACT scores of 18 or higher. Keep in mind that there are a few red dots hidden behind the blue and green, so some students with grades and test scores on target for UC Merced still get rejected.

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