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#13 Best Public Universities in California

UC Merced Admission Requirements

Merced, California

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Your chances of getting into University of California Merced

Admission Rate & Difficulty

Percent Admitted 

86.6%
Admission Difficulty for University of California Merced
Measure Difficulty
Admission Standards Very Easy 
Applicant Competition Very Low 

Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate at UC Merced is 86.6%.  Its admission rate is the 77th lowest in California.

Admission Selectivity

How hard is it to get into UC Merced and can you get accepted?

University of California Merced is an easy school to get into and you have a very good chance of acceptance if you meet the admission criteria. Last year, 24,068 out of the 27,793 who applied were admitted.

The school has very easy admission requirements, generally admitting students who can score in the top 62 percent on standardized admission tests. University of California Merced typically accepts and attracts "B+" average high school students with an average GPA around 3.55. 10% of those admitted chose to enroll in the school.

Can you get into UC Merced?

87% are accepted, can you get in? Use the admission calculator to see if you have the grades and test scores needed to get in. See your admission chances based on your extracurriculars, intended major, background, and more.

Calculate your admission chances
Calculate your admission chances

Admission Requirements in Brief

To have the best chance of getting into to University of California Merced you should:

  • Have a high school GPA of 3.55 or better
  • Earn B+ grades in high school
  • Score 1050 on the SAT
  • Score 21 on the ACT

UC Merced GPA

GPA Requirements & Average GPA

Avg. High School GPA 

3.55

Typical High School Grades 

B+

What GPA do you need to get into University of California Merced?

GPA Requirements

The GPA requirements for getting into UC Merced are to have around a 3.55 high school GPA. You are required to have very good grades in high school.

If your high school grades are above the average 3.55 GPA, you have a very good chance of being admitted as UC Merced accepts 87% of applicants.

Average GPA

The average unweighted GPA at UC Merced is 3.55 on the 4.0 scale. To achieve the average GPA for admission, you need to earn B+ letter grades and regularly score around 87-89 percent on tests and assignments in high school.  The school ranks #48 in California for highest average GPA.

Importance of GPA

Since UC Merced is a test optional college, extra focus will be placed on your GPA when the school considers your application. As a result, it is very important that you meet the GPA requirements.

See additional colleges accepting applicants in the 3.5 GPA range.

Competitiveness by GPA Ranges

The table below outlines the number of admitted freshmen by GPA range as well as how competitive your GPA will be as compared with other applicants.

High School GPA's for admitted University of California Merced students
High School GPA Freshmen Within Range Competitiveness 
4.0 17.0% Good
3.75 to 3.99 14.0% Avg +
3.50 to 3.74 22.8% Avg -
3.25 to 3.49 24.0% Avg -
3.00 to 3.24 22.0% Reach
2.50 to 2.99 0.2% Low
2.00 to 2.49 0% Low
1.00 to 1.99 0% Low
less than 1.00 0% Low

 What do these chances mean?

GPA Data Source, Peterson's Data 2022

Calculate My Chances 

UC Merced SAT Scores

Test Optional

Submission of SAT or ACT scores is not required or recommended by University of California Merced.

SAT Requirements & Average SAT Score

SAT Range 

960-1140

Applicants Submitting SAT 

94%
SAT Scores for University of California Merced
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
Reading 25th Percentile 480
Math 25th Percentile 480
Composite 25th Percentile 960
SAT Scores for University of California Merced
SAT Test 75th Percentile Score
Reading 75th Percentile 570
Math 75th Percentile 570
Composite 75th Percentile 1140
Average SAT Score 1050

SAT Scores you need to get in

What are the SAT requirements for you to be admitted to University of California Merced?

Average Score & Range

The average SAT score at UC Merced is 1050 out of 1600 and the range for the middle 50% of accepted students is 960-1140. Students who get into University of California Merced score in the top 68 percent of all SAT test takers..  UC Merced ranks #54 in the state of California for highest average SAT composite score.

Score for Acceptance

You should target scoring 1050 or above to be most competitive with other applicants. UC Merced regularly admits students with SAT scores down to 960 on a 1600 scale. However, three quarter of admitted students score higher. If you score below a 960, admission should be considered a reach. Some students may be accepted with minimum SAT's as low as 870, but scores this low are outside the normal range.

Score Submission Requirements

University of California Merced is a test optional school meaning do not have to submit SAT scores with your application. The position on SAT scores from the college is "neither required nor recommended".

View other colleges which accept students in the 1050 SAT score range.

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2021 starting class

Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

The table below outlines your predicted admission chances based on SAT score alone. If you are an average applicant with a score of 1050, you have around a 87% chance of being admitted. A 1140 places you well ahead of most other applicants and gives you about a 93% chance of getting in.

University of California Merced admission chances by SAT score
SAT Score (1600 scale) Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
1140 and Above Good >93%
1050 to 1140 Avg + 87%-93%
960 to 1050 Avg - 78%-87%
870 to 960 Reach 65%-78%
Less than 870 Low <65%
Calculate My Chances 

UC Merced ACT Scores

ACT Requirements & Average ACT Score

ACT Range 

19-24 

Applicants Submitting ACT 

51%
ACT Scores for University of California Merced
ACT Test 25th Percentile Score
Reading 25th Percentile 16
Math 25th Percentile 17
Composite 25th Percentile 19
ACT Scores for University of California Merced
ACT Test 75th Percentile Score
Reading 75th Percentile 21
Math 75th Percentile 22
Composite 75th Percentile 24
Average ACT Score 21

ACT Scores needed to get accepted

What are the ACT requirements for students to get into UC Merced?

Score Range

The average ACT score for admitted students to UC Merced is 21, while the middle 50% of students (25th to 75th percentile) score between a 19 and 24.  The school ranks #49 in California for highest average ACT composite score.

Score for Acceptance

For the best chance of admission, you should have an ACT of 21. This will place you in solid competition against other applicants. At a minimum, you should aim for a 19 and score in the score in the top 56 percent nationally. The lowest ACT score likely to be admitted is a 16.

51 percent of applicants submit ACT scores to University of California Merced.

Score Submission Requirements

You do not have to to submit ACT scores with your application as University of California Merced is test optional. The policy from the school on ACT scores is "neither required nor recommended".

Find other colleges with similar ACT score requirements

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2021 starting class

Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

Here are your predicted chances of getting into UC Merced for different ACT score ranges. A typical applicant with a 21 score has around 87% chance of getting in. Your odds increase to about 94% with a 24 ACT score.

University of California Merced admission chances by ACT score
ACT Score Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
24 and Above Good >94%
21 to 24 Avg + 87%-94%
19 to 21 Avg - 80%-87%
17 to 19 Reach 71%-80%
Less than 17 Low <71%
Calculate My Chances 

High School Class Rank

High School Class Rank for admitted University of California Merced students
High School Class Rank Freshmen Within Range
Top 10% of class 17%
Top 25% of class 0%
Top 50% of class 0%
Data Source, Peterson's Data

Applying

Admission Statistics

Admission and enrollment rates by gender are detailed the the table below.

University of California Merced admission statistics
Women Men Total
Applied 14,708 13,085 27,793
Accepted 13,003 11,065 24,068
Acceptance Rate 88% 85% 87%
Enrolled 1,219 1,191 2,410
Percent of Admitted Who Enrolled (Admission Yield) 9% 11% 10%
Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2021 starting class

Fall 2024 Application Deadline

Applications Due

Nov 30, 2023

Days left to Apply

None

The application deadline for Fall 2024 has passed. Applications were due on Nov 30, 2023.

Application Fee

The cost for prospective students to apply to University of California Merced is $70.

Application Requirements

What are the requirements for admission to University of California Merced and what student information is used for admission decisions?

University of California Merced Application Requirements
Test Scores Neither required nor recommended
High School GPA Required
High School Class Rank Neither required nor recommended
Completion of College Preparatory Program Required
Recommendations Neither required nor recommended
Demonstration of Competencies Neither required nor recommended

Credits Accepted

High School Credits Accepted at University of California Merced
AP Credit Yes
Dual Credit Yes
Credit for Life Experiences No

Admission Requirements Summary

Because University of California Merced is lightly competitive to get into, you have a very good chance of acceptance with the right GPA and test scores. If you have a 3.55 GPA, you are almost certain to getting in. Combining this with an SAT score of 1050 and ACT of 21 will almost guarantee your admission.

Other Colleges to Apply To 

Students applying to University of California Merced often consider these colleges

Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=445188 IPEDS survey data for University of California Merced.

FAQs

Does University of California Merced prefer SAT or ACT?

94% of students submit their SAT scores to UC Merced. 51% of applicants send their ACT scores when applying.

What is my chance of getting into University of California Merced?

87% of those who apply are granted admission to UC Merced. Admission competition is and the college has very easy admission standards. See if your grades and scores are good enough for admission.

What SAT score is required for University of California Merced?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have SAT scores between 960 and 1140. The average SAT score is 1050. See if your SAT score is good enough for admission.

What ACT score is required for University of California Merced?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have ACT scores between 19 and 24. The average ACT score is 21. See if your ACT score is good enough for admission.