UCLA: Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

Royce Hall at UCLA
Royce Hall at UCLA ( UCLA Campus Photo Tour). Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin

UCLA is one of the most selective public universities in the country with an acceptance rate of 12.4%. If you're considering this prestigious university, here you'll find the admissions statistics you should know such as the average SAT/ACT scores and GPAs of admitted students.

Why UCLA?

  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Campus Features: UCLA's attractive 419-acre campus in Los Angeles' Westwood Village occupies prime real estate just 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean.
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 18:1
  • Athletics: The UCLA Bruins compete in the NCAA Division I Pacific-12 Conference (Pac-12).
  • Highlights: With over 125 undergraduate majors and 150 graduate degree programs, UCLA's academic breadth is impressive. Strengths in the liberal arts and sciences earned the university a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. It should be no surprise that UCLA ranks among the best public universities.

Acceptance Rate

During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, UCLA had an acceptance rate of 12.4%. This means that for every 100 students who applied, 12 students were admitted, making UCLA's admissions process highly competitive.

Admissions Statistics (2018-19)
Number of Applicants 111,322
Percent Admitted 12.4%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled 43%

SAT Scores

During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 80% of UCLA's admitted students submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 640 740
Math 640 790
ERW= Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

This admissions data tells us that most of UCLA's admitted students fall within the top 20% nationally on the SAT. For the evidence-based reading and writing section, 50% of students admitted to UCLA scored between 640 and 740, while 25% scored below 640 and 25% scored above 740. On the math section, 50% of admitted students scored between 640 and 790, while 25% scored below 640 and 25% scored above 790. While SAT scores are no longer required, an SAT score of 1530 or higher is considered competitive for UCLA.

ACT Scores

During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 44% of UCLA's admitted students submitted ACT scores.

ACT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 27 35
Math  26 34
Composite 27 34

This admissions data tells us that most of UCLA's admitted students fall within the top 15% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of students admitted to the UCLA received a composite ACT score between 27 and 34, while 25% scored above 34 and 25% scored below 27.

Testing 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.

Submitting SAT Scores

For applicants who submit SAT scores, note that UCLA does not consider the optional SAT essay section. UCLA 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 applying to the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Submitting ACT Scores

For applicants who submit ACT scores, note that UCLA does not consider the optional ACT writing section. UCLA 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 UCLA's incoming freshmen class was 3.9, and over 88% of incoming students had average GPAs of 3.75 and above. These results suggest that most successful applicants to UCLA have primarily A grades.

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

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

The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to UCLA. 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

UCLA, which accepts fewer than 15% of applicants, has a highly competitive admissions pool with above-average SAT/ACT scores and GPAs. However, UCLA, 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 UCLA 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 UCLA.

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.

The university is also looking for students who will contribute to the campus community in meaningful ways, and who show the potential to make a positive impact on the world after graduation. UCLA looks to enroll a diverse student body, and they will look at personal qualities such as leadership ability, creativity, and character as well as an applicant's achievement in their school, community, and/or workplace. Also, note that some programs at UCLA are more competitive than others.

Hidden beneath the blue and green in the graph is a lot of red (rejected students). This tells us that many applicants with high GPAs and test scores get rejected from UCLA. Note also that a number of students were accepted with test scores and grades below the norm. In general, when a school admits such a low percentage of its applicants, you'd be wise to consider it a reach school even if your grades and test scores are on target for admission.

All admissions data has been sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics and UCLA Undergraduate Office of Admissions.