Applying to University of California with 4.36 weighted [capped] GPA

Hello, Thank you for reading my question: I am planning to apply to University of California campuses this fall for admission to the 2024 fall term. My intended major is Computer Science. I have a 4.36 weighted & capped GPA, 4.0 unweighted. (taken 6 AP courses including AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science Principles, AP Calculus AB). I have some decent extra curriculars like a few prizes in non-school-related hackathons, an independent research project (not through any university or lab) in which I have published a paper in Artificial Intelligence, and an unpaid internship at an AI startup (5 hours per week for 6 months) and also, some volunteer time at a local animal shelter. What do you think are my chances are of getting into Computer Science at one of the top schools in the UC system (UCLA / UC Berkeley) and my chances of getting into Computer Science at UC Santa Cruz? Is there anything else I can do in the next six months to increase my chances?

Congratulations on being a competitive applicant. For the next 6 months, continue to be involved in your EC’s (quality and consistency vs. quantity) maintain your grades and start thinking about which 4 PIQ’s prompts you will use in your application. Also start working on your EC/Activities/Awards list since the more detail you provide the better.

What courses will you be taking Senior year? Have you considered Dual Enrollment or CC courses? How many AP classes does your HS offer and how many Honors/AP classes will you have at the end of Senior year? Will you have at least 3 years of a Foreign Language and 1 year of a Visual/Performing arts course on your transcript?

CS is impacted at all the UC’s so definitely apply widely. If you are ELC eligible, then UC Merced can be considered a Very Likely/Safety school (only if you want to attend) but I would apply directly to insure you get your choice major.

Do you plan to apply to schools other than the UC’s?

Below are the 2022 CS admits if data was available and have included a couple of Cal States for comparison.

CS admit rates if available

Campus CS
UC Berkeley 2.9%-L&S EECS-4.5%
UC Davis No data but <20%
UC Irvine 5.8%
UCLA 3.8%
UC Merced 85%
UC Riverside 36%
UC San Diego No data but <10%
UC Santa Barbara No data Historically 5-6%
UC Santa Cruz 60%
Cal Poly SLO 9%
Cal State Long Beach 54%
San Diego State 40%
San Jose State 31%

Below is the admit rates based on the Capped weighted UC GPA and not major specific:
2022 Admit rates based on the Capped weighted UC GPA.

Campus 4.00+ 3.70-3.99 3.30-3.69 3.00-3.29
Berkeley 17% 3% 1% 0%
Davis 58% 20% 5% 2%
Irvine 35% 10% 3% 0%
Los Angeles 13% 2% 1% 0%
Merced 97% 97% 95% 85%
Riverside 95% 83% 42% 17%
San Diego 37% 8% 1% 0%
Santa Barbara 41% 8% 3% 0%
Santa Cruz 69% 45% 16% 4%
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Are those 6 AP courses inclusive of what you’ve planned for the senior year? It would be good if you take Calc BC and perhaps AP Physics in your senior year, if offered at your school.

Admission will come down to your PIQs, and unfortunately there is no way to assess your chances. Your profile is solid and you have as much a chance as anyone. Please note that all of the UCs and some of the CSUs (Pomona, CalPoly, San Jose etc.) have great CS programs. So apply broadly.

Hi, thanks for your reply. Yes the 6 AP courses are inclusive of senior year courses. I am planning to take AP Physics 1, AP English Comp, and AP Psychology. (I’d previously taken AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science Principles, AP Calculus AB in junior year). Do you go to UCSC in Computer Science? If so, please let me know what the program is like?

Hello, Thank you for the detailed response. I have another question. I was diagnosed with ADHD, reading dyslexia and language disorder. I could not find the time for more extracurriculars during the school year because it took more time for me to complete my courses. Is that something that I can mention in my UC application? Will that hurt or help my chances in anyway?

Why AP English Comp? if you are focused on CS. Please reconsider and add Calculus BC if possible and assuming you otherwise meet all A-G requirements. Your learning disorder could be important info, and in the UC application you should mention this (there is an additional info field specifically to add this kind of context). Good luck!

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There’s also a PIQ about challenges - if you talk about how you overcame the challenge, that could be your opportunity to describe the effect it has had on your high school experience.

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