Your chances of getting into University of California Santa Cruz
Admission Rate & Difficulty
The acceptance rate at UCSC is 58.6%. Its admission rate is the 33rd lowest in California.
How hard is it to get into UCSC and can you get accepted?
UCSC is a more competitive school to get into. You have a good chance of acceptance if you meet the admission criteria. Last year, 36,177 out of the 61,695 who applied were admitted.
The school has very high admission requirements, generally admitting students who can score in the top 26 percent on standardized admission tests. University of California Santa Cruz typically accepts and attracts "B+" average high school students with an average GPA around 3.63. Most incoming freshmen graduate in the top ten percent of their high school class or better. 12% of those admitted chose to enroll in the school.
Can you get into UCSC?
59% 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.
Admission Requirements in Brief
To have the best chance of getting into to University of California Santa Cruz you should:
- Have a high school GPA of 3.63 or better
- Earn B+ grades in high school
- Score 1260 on the SAT
- Score 29 on the ACT
- Graduate in the top 10% of your high school class
GPA Requirements & Average GPA
What GPA do you need to get into University of California Santa Cruz?
The GPA requirements for getting into UCSC are to have around a 3.63 high school GPA. You are required to have very good grades in high school.
If your high school GPA meets these requirements, there is a good chance you will be accepted as UCSC accepts 59% of students who apply.
The average unweighted GPA at UCSC is 3.63 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 #35 in California for highest average GPA.
Importance of GPA
Since UCSC 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 3.6 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.
GPA Data Source, Peterson's Data 2022
UCSC SAT Scores
Submission of SAT or ACT scores is not required or recommended by University of California Santa Cruz.
SAT Requirements & Average SAT Score
|SAT Test||25th Percentile Score|
|Reading 25th Percentile||580|
|Math 25th Percentile||580|
|Composite 25th Percentile||1160|
|SAT Test||75th Percentile Score|
|Reading 75th Percentile||670|
|Math 75th Percentile||690|
|Composite 75th Percentile||1360|
|Average SAT Score||1260
SAT Scores you need to get in
What are the SAT requirements for you to be admitted to University of California Santa Cruz?
Average Score & Range
The average SAT score at UCSC is 1260 out of 1600 and the range for the middle 50% of accepted students is 1160-1360. Students who get into University of California Santa Cruz score in the top 31 percent of all SAT test takers.. UCSC ranks #26 in the state of California and #200 in the nation for highest average SAT composite score.
Score for Acceptance
You should target scoring 1260 or above to be most competitive with other applicants. UCSC regularly admits students with SAT scores down to 1160 on a 1600 scale. However, three quarter of admitted students score higher. If you score below a 1160, admission should be considered a reach. Some students may be accepted with minimum SAT's as low as 1060, but scores this low are outside the normal range.
Score Submission Requirements
University of California Santa Cruz 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 1260 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 1260, you have around a 59% chance of being admitted. A 1360 places you well ahead of most other applicants and gives you about a 73% chance of getting in.
UCSC ACT Scores
ACT Requirements & Average ACT Score
|ACT Test||25th Percentile Score|
|Reading 25th Percentile||23|
|Math 25th Percentile||23|
|Composite 25th Percentile||25|
|ACT Test||75th Percentile Score|
|Reading 75th Percentile||31|
|Math 75th Percentile||29|
|Composite 75th Percentile||33|
|Average ACT Score||29
ACT Scores needed to get accepted
What are the ACT requirements for students to get into UCSC?
The average ACT score for admitted students to UCSC is 29, while the middle 50% of students (25th to 75th percentile) score between a 25 and 33. The school ranks #19 in California and #129 in the U.S. for highest average ACT composite score.
Score for Acceptance
For the best chance of admission, you should have an ACT of 29. This will place you in solid competition against other applicants. At a minimum, you should aim for a 25 and score in the score in the top 22 percent nationally. The lowest ACT score likely to be admitted is a 21.
40 percent of applicants submit ACT scores to University of California Santa Cruz.
Score Submission Requirements
You do not have to to submit ACT scores with your application as University of California Santa Cruz is test optional. The policy from the school on ACT scores is "neither required nor recommended".
Find other colleges with similar ACT score requirementsData Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2021 starting class
Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score
Here are your predicted chances of getting into UCSC for different ACT score ranges. A typical applicant with a 29 score has around 59% chance of getting in. Your odds increase to about 73% with a 33 ACT score.
High School Class Rank
94% of University of California Santa Cruz freshman are in the top ten percent of their high school graduating class. For your application to be competitive, you need to graduate at the top of your class.
|High School Class Rank||Freshmen Within Range|
|Top 10% of class||94%|
|Top 25% of class||100%|
|Top 50% of class||100%|
Admission and enrollment rates by gender are detailed the the table below.
|Percent of Admitted Who Enrolled (Admission Yield)||11%||12%||12%|
Fall 2024 Application Deadline
Days left to Apply
Applicants have 1 days left until the Fall 2024 term applications are due on Nov 30, 2023.
The cost for prospective students to apply to University of California Santa Cruz is $70.
What are the requirements for admission to University of California Santa Cruz and what student information is used for admission decisions?
|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|
|Credit for Life Experiences||No|
Admission Requirements Summary
Because UCSC is fairly competitive, you have a decent chance of acceptance with the right GPA and test scores. If you have a 3.63 GPA, you have a good shot at getting in. An SAT score of 1260 will further improve your application. If you can get a 1360 on the SAT you will have a very good chance on getting in. Additionally a 29 on the ACT places you in a strong position.
Students applying to University of California Santa Cruz often consider these colleges
Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=110714 IPEDS survey data for University of California Santa Cruz.
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?
59% 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. The average SAT score is 1260. 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. The average ACT score is 29. See if your ACT score is good enough for admission.