UC Riverside: Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

UC Riverside

JimFeliciano/Getty Images

Located 50 miles east of Los Angeles, the University of California, Riverside is a public university with an acceptance rate of 57%. Business, social sciences, biological sciences, and engineering are the most popular undergraduate majors. The university's strengths in the liberal arts and sciences earned it a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. In athletics, the UCR Highlanders compete in the NCAA Division I Big West Conference.

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

Acceptance Rate

During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, UC Riverside had an acceptance rate of 57%. This means that for every 100 students who applied, 57 students were admitted, making UC Riverside's admissions process competitive.

Admissions Statistics (2018-19)
Number of Applicants 49,518
Percent Admitted 57%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled (Yield) 17%

SAT Scores and Requirements

Beginning with the 2020-21 admissions cycle, all of the UC schools will offer test-optional admissions. Applicants may submit SAT or ACT scores, but they are not required. University of California will institute a test-blind policy for in-state applicants beginning with the 2022-23 admissions cycle. Out-of- state applicants will still have the option of submitting test scores during this period. During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 94% of UC Riverside's admitted students submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 560 650
Math 550 690
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

This admissions data tells us that most of UC Riverside'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 Riverside scored between 560 and 650, while 25% score below 560 and 25% scored above 650. On the math section, 50% of admitted students scored between 550 and 690, while 25% scored below 550 and 25% scored above 690. While SAT scores are no longer required, an SAT score of 1340 or higher is considered competitive for UC Riverside.

Requirements

Beginning with the 2020-21 admissions cycle, all of the UC schools, including UC Riverside, will no longer require SAT scores for admission. For applicants who submit scores, note that UC Riverside does not consider the optional SAT essay section. UC Riverside does not superscore SAT results; your highest combined score from a single test date will be considered. Subject tests are not required, but are recommended for students with an interest in science and engineering majors.

ACT Scores and Requirements

Beginning with the 2020-21 admissions cycle, all of the UC schools will offer test-optional admissions. Applicants may submit SAT or ACT scores, but they are not required. University of California will institute a test-blind policy for in-state applicants beginning with the 2022-23 admissions cycle. Out-of- state applicants will still have the option of submitting test scores during this period. During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 34% of UC Riverside's admitted students submitted ACT scores.

ACT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 23 31
Math 22 29
Composite 24 30

This admissions data tells us that most of UC Riverside's admitted students fall within the top 26% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of students admitted to UC Riverside received a composite ACT score between 24 and 30, while 25% scored above 30 and 25% scored below 24.

Requirements

Beginning with the 2020-21 admissions cycle, all of the UC schools, including UC Riverside, will no longer require ACT scores for admission. For applicants who submit scores, note that UC Riverside does not consider the optional ACT writing section. UC Riverside does not superscore ACT results; your highest combined score from a single test administration will be considered.

GPA

In 2019, the average high school GPA of University of California, Riverside's incoming freshmen class was 3.83, and over 61% of incoming students had average GPAs of 3.75 and above. These results suggest that most successful applicants to UC Riverside have primarily A grades.

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

UC Riverside Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph.
UC Riverside 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, Riverside. 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, Riverside, which accepts approximately half of applicants, has a selective admissions process with above average grades and standardized test scores. However, UC Riverside, like all of the University of California schools, has holistic admissions and is test-optional, so the admissions officers are evaluating students on more than numerical data. As part of the application, students are required to write four short personal insight essays. Since UC Riverside is a part of the University of California system, students can easily apply to multiple schools in that system with one application. 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 UCR.

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.

In the scattergram above, the green and blue dots represent accepted students. The majority of students who got into UC Riverside had GPAs of 3.0 or higher, SAT scores (ERW+M) of 950 or higher, and ACT scores of 18 or higher. Note that there is some red hidden behind the blue and green, Having grades and test scores that are on target for UC Riverside is not a guarantee of admission, especially if some application components don't compare favorably to the rest of the applicant pool.

If You Like UC Riverside, You Might Consider These Other UC Schools