C
#9 Best Public Universities in California

UCSC Admission Requirements

Santa Cruz, California

 6 Reviews

Chances of getting into University of California Santa Cruz

Admissions

Acceptance Rate 
65%
Admission Difficulty for University of California Santa Cruz
Measure Difficulty
Admission Standards Very High 
Applicant Competition Low 
How hard is it to get into UCSC and can I get accepted?

The acceptance rate at UCSC is 65%.  It ranks #43 in California for lowest rate of acceptance. UCSC is a moderately competitive school to get into with a strong chance of acceptance if you meet the requirements. Last year, 35,591 out of 54,988 applicants were admitted.

The school has very high admission requirements for SAT and ACT scores, generally admitting students who score in the top 26 percent (SAT 1160/1360 ACT 25/33). University of California Santa Cruz typically accepts and attracts "B+" average high school students with an average GPA around 3.51. Most incoming freshmen graduate in the top ten percent of their high school class. 12% of those admitted chose to enroll in the school.

The UCSC application fee is $70 and applications are due by Nov 30.

Testing Requirements

You are required to submit admission test scores with your application. University of California Santa Cruz is not a test optional school. Note: Please consult the school directly to determine if testing requirements are temporarily suspended due to COVID-19.

UCSC SAT Scores

SAT Requirements & Average SAT Score

SAT Range 
1160-1360
Applicants Submitting SAT 
85%
SAT Scores for University of California Santa Cruz
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
SAT Reading 25th 580
SAT Math 25th 580
SAT Composite 25th 1160
SAT Scores for University of California Santa Cruz
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
SAT Reading 75th 670
SAT Math 75th 690
SAT Composite 75th 1360
Average SAT Score 1260

SAT Scores you need to get in

What are the SAT requirements for students to be admitted to University of California Santa Cruz?

University of California Santa Cruz typically prefers applicants to be in the top 31 percent of SAT test takers. The school consistently takes SAT composite scores down to 1160 on a 1600 scale, below which admission should be considered a reach. We estimate some students could be accepted with SAT's as low as 1060. The estimated average SAT composite for admitted freshman is 1260 out of 1600. UCSC ranks #20 in California and #154 in the nation for highest average SAT composite score. A competitive SAT score is critical as 85 percent of applicants submit SAT scores to the school.

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2020 starting class

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

University of California Santa Cruz admission chances by SAT score
SAT Score (1600 scale) Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
1360 and Above Good >78%
1260 to 1360 Avg + 65%-78%
1160 to 1260 Avg - 49%-65%
1060 to 1160 Reach 34%-49%
Less than 1060 Low <34%
Calculate My Chances 
Connect with UCSC

Engage with counselors on a personal level to demonstrate your interest in their school and get answers to all of your admissions-related questions.

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UCSC ACT Scores

ACT Requirements & Average ACT Score

ACT Range 
25-33 
Applicants Submitting ACT 
40%
ACT Scores for University of California Santa Cruz
ACT Test 25th Percentile Score
ACT Reading 25th 23
ACT Math 25th 23
ACT Composite 25th 25
ACT Scores for University of California Santa Cruz
ACT Test 75th Percentile Score
ACT Reading 75th 31
ACT Math 75th 29
ACT Composite 75th 33
Average ACT Score 29

ACT Scores needed to get accepted

What are the ACT requirements for prospective students to get into UCSC?

Admission data indicates that UCSC regularly accepts students with ACT's of 25 and above. Successful applicants typically send ACT scores in the top 22 percent nationally. We estimate the school accepting minimum ACT composite scores around 21 in some instances. Prospective students submitting an ACT composite of 29 or higher should be in the upper half of applicants - and students with a 33 and above have very competitive chances. The school ranks #16 in California and #103 in the U.S. for highest average ACT composite score. 40 percent of applicants submit ACT scores to University of California Santa Cruz.

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2020 starting class

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

University of California Santa Cruz admission chances by ACT score
ACT Score Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
33 and Above Good >78%
29 to 33 Avg + 65%-78%
25 to 29 Avg - 49%-65%
21 to 25 Reach 34%-49%
Less than 21 Low <34%
Calculate My Chances 

UCSC GPA

Estimated GPA Requirements & Average GPA

Avg. High School GPA 
3.51
Typical High School Grades 
B+

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

Applicants require very good grades in high school to get into UCSC. The average high school GPA of the admitted freshman class at University of California Santa Cruz was 3.51 on the 4.0 scale indicating that primarily B+ students are accepted and ultimately attend. The school ranks #46 in California for highest average GPA. If your high school GPA meets these requirements, there is a good chance you will be accepted as UCSC accepts 65% of students who apply.

 What do these ratings mean?

High School GPA's for admitted University of California Santa Cruz students
High School GPA Freshmen Within Range Competitiveness 
4.0 3.7% Good
3.75 to 3.99 19.3% Good
3.50 to 3.74 32.1% Avg -
3.25 to 3.49 27.3% Reach
3.00 to 3.24 14.3% Reach
2.50 to 2.99 3.3% Low
2.00 to 2.49 0% Low
1.00 to 1.99 0% Low
less than 1.00 0% Low

GPA Data Source, Peterson's Data 2021

Similar Requirements

High School Class Rank

96% of University of California Santa Cruz freshman were in the top ten percent of their high school graduating class.

High School Class Rank for admitted University of California Santa Cruz students
High School Class Rank Freshmen Within Range
Top 10% of class 96%
Top 25% of class 100%
Top 50% of class 100%
Data Source, Peterson's Data

Applying

Admission Statistics

University of California Santa Cruz admission statistics
Women Men Total
Applied 30,445 24,543 54,988
Accepted 19,540 16,051 35,591
Acceptance Rate 64% 65% 65%
Enrolled 2,021 2,172 4,193
Percent of Admitted Who Enrolled (Admission Yield) 10% 14% 12%
Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2020 starting class

Fall 2022 Application Deadline

Applications were Due
Nov 30, 2021
Days left to Apply
None

The application deadline for Fall 2022 has passed. Applications were due on Nov 30, 2021.

Application Fee

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

Application Requirements

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

University of California Santa Cruz Application Requirements
Test Scores Required
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 Santa Cruz
AP Credit Yes
Dual Credit Yes
Credit for Life Experiences No

Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=110714 IPEDS survey data for University of California Santa Cruz.

FAQs

Does University of California Santa Cruz prefer SAT or ACT?

85% of students submit their SAT scores to UCSC. 40% of applicants send their ACT scores when applying.

What is my chance of getting into University of California Santa Cruz?

65% of those who apply are granted admission to UCSC. Admission competition is low and the college has very high admission standards. See if your grades and scores are good enough for admission.

What SAT score is required for University of California Santa Cruz?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have SAT scores between 1160 and 1360. 85% of students submit SAT scores when applying. See if your SAT score is good enough for admission.

What ACT score is required for University of California Santa Cruz?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have ACT scores between 25 and 33. 40% of students submit ACT scores when applying. See if your ACT score is good enough for admission.