University of California Requirements and Campus Guide

School Name: University of California

School Location: Los Angeles, CA

School Type: Public Research University

Class of 2025

  • Total Applications: 139,463

General Info

SAT / ACT: Test Blind for All Applicants


  • High Reach


  • Application Deadline: November 30
  • Results: March – April

School Info

  • Schedule: Quarter
  • Curriculum Type: General Education
  • Greek Life: Yes
  • Athletics: D1: Pac-12

UCLA Requirements and Guide to Campus Life
Here’s everything you should know before you apply to UCLA

The University of California, Los Angeles, otherwise known as UCLA is a public university located in Los Angeles, California, and is one of the nine schools in the University of California system. UCLA is ranked as the #1 public university in the country and is one of the most applied to colleges amongst high school applicants. Here’s what you need to know and the UCLA requirements to meet in order to become a future Bruin!

What can I study at UCLA?

There are almost 150 different academic programs to choose and study from at UCLA. Academic departments range from Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences to Biomedical Physics to Social Welfare or Urban Planning. There are abundant opportunities for cross-curricular and multidisciplinary studies at UCLA.

The University is also known for their Capstone Initiative, a unique UCLA requirements for undergraduates to produce the culmination of their academic experience. Students can base their capstone from their experiences taking a seminar or can be an individual project based on the major that student has concentrated in.

UCLA’s study abroad program also includes UCLA travel study as well as their global internship program. Through UCLA’s travel study program, students take courses in cities across the world and with UCLA professors. Students can study global health in Peru, business leadership in Bangkok, or European politics in France, to name a few. UCLA’s global internship program provides students the opportunity to intern and gain work experience on an international level. Students can intern in countries all over the world, from Japan to Columbia to the UK.

Where is UCLA?

UCLA is located in the affluent neighborhood of Westwood near well-known areas such as Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities in the world, and UCLA students have the unique opportunity to experience the best of LA right at their fingertips.

UCLA is nestled in an area near well-connected freeways and public transportation. Students at UCLA are also only mere miles away from famous LA beaches, Sawtelle Boulevard, and the Santa Monica pier. Westwood Village is steps away from UCLA’s main campus and has a wide variety of restaurants, coffee shops, stores, and movie theaters. Students line up for Diddy Reese’s famous ice cream sandwiches and have VIP access to the iconic Regency Theaters. There is no shortage of fun, food, and good times near UCLA’s main campus!

What is UCLA’s student body like?

UCLA prides itself on having an incredibly diverse student body that reflects the diversity of the city of Los Angeles. The entirety of UCLA’s student body for the 2018-2019 academic year, including undergraduates and postgraduates and interns and residents, comes to an astounding 45,921 individuals. The majority of UCLA students identify as Asian, and 27% of students identify as white and 22% as Hispanic. 12% of the student body populations are international students.

The majority of students hail from sunny Southern California, but students come from all over the country and the world to attend UCLA. For the 2018-2019 academic year, 47 of the 50 states were represented among the student body as well as 84 different countries. UCLA admission requirements are quite high, with top 75th percentile of SAT Reading and Writing being 740, and Math being 780. The 75th percentile of ACT scores was 34. Students can apply as incoming freshmen, but there are also students who transfer from community colleges or other private universities.

How do I apply?

In order to apply to UCLA, you must apply through the University of California (UC) admissions portal. Applicants use the portal to submit one application to several UCsof their choice. In fact, admissions encourages students to apply to several UCs in order to increase their likelihood of admission into at least one.

The UC application has several components. Applicants begin by inputting their personal, identifying information under the “About You” tab. This is where you select the languages you speak, who is represented in your family, your home address, and contact information.

Once applicants input their information, they can select the UC campuses they are interested in applying to and the different majors they’d want to study at each campus. Applicants could also select alternate majors they’d want to study, in case they do not get to study the first major of their choice. Some majors may require supplemental materials or applications.
Applicants are also required to fill out information regarding their academic history and test scores, as well as the activities and awards they have accomplished. This is where students can describe their high school, the grading system used at their school and the different classes they have taken since 7th grade. Students can also input their standardized test scores in this section.

In response to COVID-19, UCLA has released the following statement regarding standardized testing:

“The University recognizes the challenges that students are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, in response, UC is suspending the standardized test requirement for students applying for fall 2021 freshman admission.

Students applying for fall 2021 are not precluded from taking standardized tests (SAT or ACT) and sending scores if they are able, however, campuses will adjust their internal processes accordingly to ensure that no student is harmed in admissions selection should they not submit a test score.
This modification to the test requirement is not intended as an admissions policy shift but is rather a temporary accommodation driven by the current extraordinary circumstances.”

As of May 21, 2020 the UC Office of the President released the following statement:

“The University of California Board of Regents today (May 21) unanimously approved the suspension of the standardized test requirement (ACT/SAT) for all California freshman applicants until fall 2024. The suspension will allow the University to create a new test that better aligns with the content the University expects students to have mastered for college readiness. However, if a new test does not meet specified criteria in time for fall 2025 admission, UC will eliminate the standardized testing requirement for California students.”

Applicants may also qualify for different scholarships, based on their program of study, previous experiences, and applicants’ racial and cultural identities. There is no limit to the number of scholarships applicants can select!

The “Personal insight questions” is where applicants can select four of the eight prompts so that the admissions committee can better understand who the applicants are. You can read about how best to answer each prompt here!There is an “additional comments” section in which students can elaborate on what the admissions committee describes as “unusual personal or family circumstances or clarifying other parts of the application.”

What is living on UCLA’s campus like?

UCLA provides many different options for both on-campus and off-campus housing. First year students who matriculate in the fall quarter are guaranteed three consecutive years of on-campus housing. This eases the burden of having to find housing in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Los Angeles! Students can live in double or triple rooms or even suites across the residential halls. UCLA is also well-known for their high rise residential apartments.

UCLA also houses students in their off-campus apartments. Located within a five mile radius of UCLA’s main campus, UCLA’s privately owned apartments can come furnished for students looking to live beyond the dormitories. Going off-campus is an option that upperclassmen often choose, as it allows greater flexibility with amenities, and even parking, which is hard to find in Los Angeles!

How much does UCLA cost?

UCLA prides itself on making their education accessible to their students. 52% of UCLA students receive some form of financial aid, and 34% of undergraduates qualify for the Pell Grant, through which qualified students can be eligible for aid from the federal government. For the 2020-2021 academic year, the cost of tuition is $13,239, and the total cost for undergraduates hailing from California is $35,335 compared to out-of-state residents who live at UCLA, whose total cost amounts to $65,089. California residents whose family income is less than $80,000 and who qualify for financial aid, do not have to pay any system wide tuition or fees. In fact, about 57% of undergrads from California pay no tuition across the University of California schools. For students hailing from states outside of California, a supplemental tuition of $29,754 is added to their total cost of attendance. The UC system can help out-of-state residents apply for federal funding, but cannot guarantee financial assistance from their own system.