Chances at the UC’s

We would really appreciate those who are familiar with UC admissions giving us an opinion on chances of our son getting into all the UCs except UC Santa Cruz and Merced if you can. Thank you!

Applying Undeclared to Humanities or just Undeclared

OOS - MD (competitive public high school). Father California resident.
Unweighted - 3.86
Weighted - 4.56
Weighted capped UC gpa - 4.12
SAT score - did not submit
AP Classes:
-Freshman Year
AP Gov (didn’t take test)
-Sophomore Year:
AP US History: Score of 4
-Junior Year
AP English - score 4
AP World History - score 5
-Senior Year:
AP English Literature
AP Statistics
AP European History
AP Psychology

11 Honors classes plus many other Advanced and Certificate of Merit classes

Extracurriculars: Editor in Chief of high school paper - managing 75 students, 4 years in increasing responsibility roles on the newspaper, creator and co-host of sports podcast. Fellow with Cong Jamie Raskin Democracy Summer, Comm Intern for political campaign, Summer journalism Prgram at American University, Guitar player, 90 hours of community service, etc.

  • 2nd generation immigrant family from Ukraine

Strong essays.

The overall admit rate table below is based on the UC Capped Weighted GPA is not major specific but can give you a general idea of how your student compares just based on the GPA.

Campus 4.20+ 3.80-4.19 3.40-3.79 3.00-3.39
Berkeley 30% 11% 2% 1%
Davis 85% 55% 23% 10%
Irvine 60% 31% 14% 1%
Los Angeles 29% 6% 1% 0%
Merced 97% 98% 96% 89%
Riverside 97% 92% 62% 23%
San Diego 72% 25% 2% 0%
Santa Barbara 73% 28% 4% 1%
Santa Cruz 91% 81% 46% 9%

Some UC’s are not as transparent about admit rates by major as others but here is more detailed information by campus.

UCB admit rates based on the Fully weighted UC GPA for the College of Letters and Sciences:

3.800-4.000 6.3%
4.001-4.199 10.6%
4.200-4.399 21.8%
4.400-4.599 34.8%
4.600-4.799 40.9%
4.800-5.000 41.5%

UCB still should be considered a Reach school but definitely attainable.

UCLA College of Letters and Sciences had 100,077 applicants, admitted 10,367 with an admit rate of 10%

UCSB had 10% of the New Freshman enrolled as Undeclared. Overall enrolled UC Fully Weighted GPA was 4.29. Overall admit rate was 25.8% with an average UC Fully Weighted GPA of 4.41.

UCSD’s most popular major based on enrolled students is Social Sciences 36.6%. 2.7% of enrolled students are Undeclared. No 2022 data listed. Overall admit rate for 2022 was 23.7% with GPA of middle 25%-75% students UC Capped weighted GPA 4.12-4.30

UCD had an overall admit rate of 37.5%. The majority of admitted/enrolled students were found in the College of Letters and Sciences with 5x as many Undeclared Social Sciences vs. Undeclared Humanities. GPA of middle 25%-75% students
UC Capped Weighted GPA 4.06 - 4.30

UCI’s Undeclared admit rate for 2022 was 35.3% with 14,106 applicants and admitted 4984 students. Overall admit rate for CA residents in Humanities was 26.7%. GPA of middle 25%-75% students UC Capped weighted GPA 4.08 - 4.29

UCR had a 90% admit rate for Undeclared Humanities Fall 2022 and an overall campus admit rate of 68.1%. GPA of middle 25%-75% students UC Capped weighted GPA 3.81 - 4.20

So based on the information above your student has a chance at all the UC’s but the UC’s are highly competitive for all students.
UCB/UCLA: Reach Schools
UCSD: Low Reach
UCI/UCSB: High Target
UCD: Target
UCR: Very Likely

Best of luck.


Thank you so much for such a detailed answer. One thing we can’t tell is how his OOS status (even though he will qualify for CA residency for tuition purposes based on his CA resident parent) will play into his chances for admission. And of course all those Honors, Advanced and CM classes do not count for his UC capped GPA, I’m wondering if these schools still look at them for rigor?

Although the OOS honors classes are not weighted in the UC GPA calculation, they will be considered for rigor. He should be classified as a California resident for tuition purposes (conditional with the Condit bill). Attending an OOS HS is the reason why UCSD wanted clarification regarding his residency status since OOS admission rates vs. in-state vary greatly for some of the UC campuses.

Berkeley 14.5% 8.6% 5.5%
Davis 32.3% 59.8% 43%
Irvine 18.2% 36.6% 21%
Los Angeles 9.2% 8.8% 5.8%
Merced 100% 78.6% 81.7%
Riverside 66% 88.1% 68.%
San Diego 23.8% 31.5% 15.5%
Santa Barbara 26.7% 28,8% 19.7%
Santa Cruz 43.2% 70.7% 55.4%
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I’ve never seen these admission rate breakdowns for OOS, In state and International by school. Are they 2022 numbers? One thing I remain confused about though are the actual admission numbers posted by Davis for 2022. From their website: “For fall 2022, the campus admitted 21,139 freshman and 8,184 transfer applicants from California. Overall, 8,874 international and 6,464 U.S. out-of-state applicants were admitted as new freshman and transfer students.” So, if they admit 59% of OOS students that number has to equal to 6464 and that seems very very low for offered admission. Am I missing something?

The admit rates are 2022 numbers.

Here is the breakdown of Freshman applicants vs. admits for UC Davis
In-state applicants:65,367 Admits: 21,139
Out of state applicants: 10,748 Admits: 6,422
International applicants: 18,610 Admits: 8,002
Total applicants: 94,725. Total Admits: 35,563

These numbers are from the UCOP website:

Thank you so much for all this info! I really appreciate it.

The chart did not load properly so here is the link to the discussion: UC Acceptance rates for 2022 incoming high school & transfers are out

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