Chances of getting into UC Davis, Merced, and Berkeley?

I am a current high school senior applying to UC Merced, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, CSU Stanislaus, CSU Fresno, and University of the Pacific.

*US citizen
*California resident (from the valley)
*Public high school (about 500 in my senior class)
*Female, Asian American
*Current High School Senior (class of 2022)

Intended Major(s)
*Some type of Biology B.S. (some schools have different bio majors)
*Chemistry alternate?
*planning on premed track (would LOVE to be an MD or DO)
*would love to double major in bio and English if it meant that I could still graduate in 4 years and do premed (see my other discussion thread)

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • 4.0 Unweighted HS GPA:
  • 4.7 Weighted HS GPA (weighting system, add 1 point for any A, B, or C earned in an AP/honors class)
  • UC/CSU Recalculated GPA: 4.36 (that’s what my CSU app said)
  • Class Rank: Top 5% (my school doesn’t do actual class rank. My school district only designates Top 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50%, but the highest rank my high school offers is Top 5%. My counselor did say that I’m probably in at least the Top 1%, which would be the top 5 students. My senior class has about 531 students.)
  • ACT/SAT Scores: n/a, all the schools I’m applying to are test optional/test blind

*I will have taken 9 AP classes and 8 Honors/Pre-AP classes by the time I graduate. I haven’t taken any AP tests, but will take 4 this year (Bio, English Lit, Calc AB, US Gov).
*3 years of Spanish
*like I said, currently in AP Calculus AB with an A in the class so far

*Two “Eagle Awards” (this is a school award where each teacher nominates one student for good character, given during the 2019-2020 school year)
*CHSSA State Qualifier (jr yr)
*some speech awards, (1st, 2nd place)

*representative for school district student council for 2 years (jr+sr)
*Speech Team for 2 years (jr+sr)
*Protecting Health and Slamming Tobacco Club for 2 years (jr+sr)
*will be CSF Lifetime Member (4 yrs)
*College Club for 2 years (jr+sr)
*Marvel Cinematic Universe Club (sr)
*Pre-Med Alliance (sr)
*Book Club (sr)
*School Newspaper (soph)(the club actually turned into a class after my soph year and since the class didn’t fit into my schedule, I couldn’t continue it)
*Adavnced Peer Tutor for an Honors Algebra 2 class (this is actually a class and the work I do is similar to a TA, but the title is different)

I know I don’t really have that much leadership and that I don’t have too many sustained ECs. Hopefully I can still get into some UCs.

*Essays: 8.5-9/10?
*LOR: 10/10 (I hope, my teachers kept telling me how easy it was and how happy they were to write one for me)

Cost Constraints / Budget
*plan on going to state schools because I want to go to med school and save money
*can’t afford private schools
*probably won’t get much financial aid
*will only go to University of the Pacific if I get their Powell Scholarship (43k a year)


  • Safety
    CSU Stanislaus (will probably live at home because it’s more affordable, virtually no impacted majors)
  • Likely
    -UC Merced (ELC)
  • Match
    -CSU Fresno (would be Likely or Safety except for the fact that Biology is an impacted major, as are most of the majors at Fresno. And I would only go there if I got their Smittcamp Scholarship, which is basically full-ride with free tuition and room and board)
    -UC Davis
    -UC Berkeley (or is it more of a reach?)
  • No Reach schools

I forgot to mention that I am a legacy for University of the Pacific (one parent was 2+3 dental there)

Look up your high school courses here and see which courses that you took have an orange band/yellow star next to them. It should include all of your AP classes but not all of your honors classes. Then go to the GPA calculator and calculate your UC/CSU GPAs.

Berkeley is a reach for everyone.


This may help you with UCs. Note: the UC weighted capped GPA is the same as the CSU GPA if you have not taken any college courses while in high school. If you have, the difference is that CSU counts college courses and their grades twice each, but UC counts them once.

Recalculate your HS GPA with GPA Calculator for the University of California – RogerHub . Use the weighted capped version for the table below.

Fall 2020 admission rates by campus and HS GPA range from Freshman fall admissions summary | University of California :

Campus 4.20+ 3.80-4.19 3.40-3.79 3.00-3.39
Berkeley 37% 14% 2% 1%
Davis 86% 55% 16% 7%
Irvine 60% 38% 9% 1%
Los Angeles 38% 8% 1% 1%
Merced 98% 97% 95% 88%
Riverside 97% 90% 65% 30%
San Diego 78% 39% 8% 1%
Santa Barbara 81% 40% 9% 2%
Santa Cruz 92% 82% 59% 26%

These are for the whole campus. Different divisions or majors may have different levels selectivity (usually, engineering and computer science majors are more selective).

CSU Fresno lists the previous year admission thresholds at Impaction - Admissions and Recruitment . Unfortunately, the web page does not seem to state how those numbers are calculated, though they are probably based on some multiplier of CSU-recalculated GPA. Before CSUs went test-blind, they calculated it as GPA * 800 + SAT_CR + SAT_M. Possibly CSU Fresno just dropped the SAT components off the calculation when CSUs went test-blind, but you probably want to ask directly to confirm.

CSU Stanslaus is not impacted, and the only impacted majors are nursing and pre-nursing, according to Impacted Undergraduate Majors and Campuses, 2021-22 | CSU . So if you meet base-level CSU admission requirements, you should be admitted to any other major there.

As a pre-med, would you consider UCR, which has an early application to medical school program (UCR medical focuses on those who want to practice medicine in inland southern California):

With an acceptance rate of 37% for students with academic credentials in the range of the OP’s, UCB seems like a match for this top-1% student.

That is a pretty aggressive or risky definition of “match” – more realistically, that would suggest that it is a “low reach”.

I didn’t say the OP has a 37% chance of admission. I said students within her range are accepted at a 37% rate. The majority of these students may only approach the top-1% level of the OP. Therefore, the OP’s chance of acceptance at UCB may be significantly greater than 37%, even if only in a 40%–45% (arguably high match) zone.