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UCLA Admissions Standards

UCLA, the University of California Los Angeles GPA, SAT Scores and ACT Scores for Admission.
UCLA, the University of California Los Angeles GPA, SAT Scores and ACT Scores for Admission. Data Courtesy of Cappex

With an acceptance rate of under 20 percent, the University of California Los Angeles is one of the most selective public universities in the country.

A snapshot of the admitted freshmen class for the fall of 2017 shows these stats for the middle 50 percent:

  • High School GPA: 4.13 to 4.31 on a five-point scale
  • ACT Composite Score: 30 to 34
  • ACT English: 28 to 32
  • SAT Evidence Based Reading and Writing: 640 to 730
  • SAT Mathematics: 640 to 770
  • SAT Essay: 16 to 20

How do you measure up at UCLA?  Calculate your chances of getting in with this free tool from Cappex.


On the graph above, blue and green represent accepted students. As you can see, the majority of students who got into UCLA had a GPA over 3.5, an SAT score (RW+M) above 1100, and an ACT composite score of 22 or higher. Chances of admission improve as those numbers go up. Realize, however, that hidden beneath the blue and green on the graph is a lot of red. Many students 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. Like all of the University of California schools, UCLA has holistic admissions, so the admissions officers are evaluating students based on more than numerical data. Students who show some kind of remarkable talent or have a compelling story to tell will often get a close look even if grades and test scores aren't up to the ideal. Make sure your application has strong essays. You'll want to put significant time and care into your personal insight questions on the UC application.

Top universities like UCLA are 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 his or her school, community, and/or workplace.

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UCLA Waitlist and Rejection Data

Waitlist and rejection data for the University of California Los Angeles, UCLA
Waitlist and rejection data for the University of California Los Angeles, UCLA. Data courtesy of Cappex

The graph at the top of this article might suggest that students with a strong A average and good SAT scores are very likely to be admitted to UCLA. The reality, however, is that you're going to need more than good grades and standardized test scores to be admitted. Plenty of students with solid A averages get rejected. The reasons can be many: weak application essays, a failure to take challenging AP or IB courses in high school, or unimpressive extracurricular activities. Also, some programs at UCLA are more competitive than others. 

In general, when a school admits just a quarter of all applicants, it's best to consider it a reach school even if your grades and test scores are on target for admission.

To learn more about UCLA, high school GPAs, SAT scoresm and ACT scores, these articles can help:

Articles Featuring UCLA

GPA and Test Score Graphs for Other UC Schools

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