Class of 2026 UC General Discussion Thread

Capped weighted maximum is 4.4 and possible to be slightly over this value if you take the calculation out an extra decimal point along with P/NP classes which many schools offered during the pandemic.

But even Capped GPA is 4.4, top 6 UC is no safe, right?

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The 2021 Freshman admit data is not yet available and the first admission cycle not using
test scores as part of the application review criteria so it is difficult to determine if the admit rates would be similar to the 2020 data that I have posted. Remember this is overall data for in-state, OOS and International applicants and not major specific.

I would say No that the top 6 UC’s are not “safe” but it really depends on several factors. The # of applicants last year were at a record high resulting in lower admission rates for all but UC Merced so no guarantees for this admission cycle.

2020 Freshman admit rates for UC GPA of 4.20 or above capped weighted:

UCB: 37%

UCLA: 38%

UCSD: 78%

UCSB: 81%

UCD: 86%

UCI: 60%

UCSC: 92%

UCR: 97%

UCM: 98%

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Thank you for helping so many families on CC!

Is there a list of major specific admit rates for each campus? Thanks!

No there is no major specific admit rates for all the UC’s. The most comprehensive data by major can be found for UCI.

There is some admit data by major and/or College on some of the other UC websites but not based on GPA. Some links below:

If such data was available, I would definitely post it for each UC.


You are amazing, thank you!!

For ECs do the student need to walk them through the growth or show that they are in a leadership position and its impact is good enough i.e. implicitly showing the growth? For example, before being the president of the club, do they have to show what all was done in the earlier years to reach the leadership position?

No, a student does not need to go into so much detail about obtaining a Leadership position, just what kind of impact they had on the EC as a Member or Leader.


Hi all.
Am I correct in my understanding that the UCs do not provide non-need merit scholarships to OOS applicants?

I believe this to be the case but want to get confirmation from the experts here.

Thanks a lot!

I don’t know that merit aid is given to ZERO OOS students, but I think it is so few as to be practically none.

Taking UC Irvine as an example and looking at the latest Common Data Set, only 5% of freshmen without need received merit aid. And only 4% of the incoming freshman class was from OOS. Even if merit aid were given to 5% of the OOS students (which assumes it is handed out at the same rate given to in-state students— probably a generous assumption), the numbers work out to about 11 total OOS students getting merit aid — just a handful.


The UC’s offer Reagent and Chancellor scholarships to top students (1-2%) but the majority are small amounts which can be paired with need-based aid (in-state students only).

UC Regents Scholarships and the amounts/year:
Amount: Awards vary by campus and are not transferable if you transfer to another UC campus.

  • UC Berkley $2,500
  • UC Davis $7,500
  • UC Irvine $5,000
  • UCLA $2,000
  • UC Merced $7,000
  • UC Riverside $10,000
  • UC San Diego $2,000
  • UC Santa Barbara $5,000
  • UC Santa Cruz $5,000

Each UC campus does have again very competitive scholarships for OOS and International students ie. UC Davis Dean’s Scholarships for around $13K/year.

In general, you should run the Net Price Calculator for the UC’s. Do not expect any FA and plan to pay full fees at $67K/year. Costs are a major issue for OOS students and that is why the acceptance rates are higher for OOS/International applicants but matriculation rates are low.


Thanks @CMA22, good to know.

Thanks a lot @Gumbymom. That’s very helpful!

We are going to be full self-pay at all D22’s colleges, but any merit scholarship she receives will definitely be welcome. So wanted to check on this.
Appreciate the info.

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Hi Parents please advise, I have won many speech and debate awards, can I list them all together as one section under awards/honors or list them individually?

I would list them together unless you have a significant award you want to highlight.

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Thank you very much!

A question around alternate majors at UCSB.

Two scenarios:

Choose CS in college of engineering as first major and Data Science in College of Letters and Science as alternate.

Choose Data Science as the first major and CS in COE as the alternate.

Is the first choice more risky: one may not get into CS, and receive a lesser consideration for Data Science compared to those who select Data Science as first choice.

Overall, does one improve consideration and chances of admission with first choice in L&S and second choice in COE, or vice versa, or they are equivalent.

Also is it advisable to select both majors from L&S.

How does this work for other UCs (i.e. are chances maximized by having major and alternate major in different colleges)?

See my response in the UCSB thread. UCSB recommends applicants if applying to The College of Engineering to select an alternate in the College of Letters and Sciences.

Some UC’s do not consider alternate majors like UCB and UCLA. Some are like UCSB where alternates outside of COE are considered.

This is the complete guide on how UC’s admit by major:
UC admission by major:
Division (L&S, CNR, CoC, CED, CoE) matters for admission selectivity.
Within CoE (but not the other divisions), major matters for admission selectivity. Changing majors within the CoE after enrolling is not guaranteed, unless one is CoE undeclared.

Note that L&S admits students as undeclared; admission to capped majors (e.g. CS, economics, psychology, ORMS, statistics, art practice, and a few others) is by college GPA in prerequisite courses (and portfolio for art practice) after attending for a few semesters.

The business major is in a separate division and admits students in a competitive holistic process. Frosh intending business majors begin in another division (usually L&S), take the business major prerequisites, and apply (usually in their second years). They also need to take prerequisites for a backup major in case they are not admitted to the business major.

All students who apply to UC Berkeley and select a major within the College of Natural Resources are evaluated based on their application, not on the particular major they select.

Alternate majors not considered.

Admission decisions are made based upon the qualifications of the applicant pool and the number of available spaces within each academic area:
• College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences admits by college
• College of Biological Sciences admits by college
• College of Letters and Science admits by College but within specific divisions: ie. (Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies; Mathematics and Physical Sciences; Social Sciences)
• College of Engineering admits by academic department

Students applying as “undeclared” or “undeclared/exploratory” are considered within the college/division to which they applied.

Applicants are encouraged to list an alternate major, but not in the
same area as the primary major (e.g., Computer Science Engineering with alternate Computer Science in the College of L&S). Occasionally, we admit to the alternate major.

UCI admits into the University first and then into the major. In the case that UCI is unable to accommodate all qualified applicants in their first-choice major, those students who indicate a valid alternate major may be offered admission in that major or Undeclared.

For the College of Letters and Science, the applicant’s major is not considered during the review process.

The Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science admits students by declared major, with more emphasis on science and math programs.

The School of Nursing also places more emphasis on science and math programs and requires the submission of an additional supplemental application.

The School of the Arts and Architecture; Herb Alpert School of Music; and the School of Theater, Film and Television admit students by declared major (within the school), and put more emphasis on special talents through a review of portfolios and/or auditions, which are the most significant admission factors for these schools.

UCLA only guarantees review of an applicant’s first-choice major.
We typically do not admit to the alternate major

The campus does not admit students on the basis of academic major or choice of UC San Diego undergraduate college. Alternate majors are considered and capped majors are highly competitive. Also note: Capped majors require additional pre-req courses and specific GPA to be able to qualify if changing majors. Also if applying to a capped major, select an non-capped major as an alternate.

College of Letters and Sciences: Choice of major is not considered in selection to the College of Letters and Science. The exceptions to this rule are dance and music performance majors. Both majors require applicants to complete an audition in late January or early February.

College of Engineering: Students are selected by major for all engineering and computer science majors. Only applicants with a solid background in advanced high school mathematics will be considered for admission to engineering. This includes high grades in all math courses through grade 11 and enrollment in pre-calculus or higher in grade 12. A student not selected for their first choice major will be reviewed for admission to an alternate major outside of the College of Engineering if one was selected.

College of Creative Studies:
Applicants to the College of Creative Studies submit a supplementary application in addition to the general UC Application, which is reviewed by Creative Studies faculty. Students are selected within Creative Studies majors only. Applicants not selected for Creative Studies will automatically be considered for admission to the College of Letters and Science.

Important Note for Prospective Engineering Students: Choice of major does not influence the selection of first-year students, except for those applicants interested in a major offered by the Jack Baskin School of Engineering (BSOE). Freshmen who are interested in a BSOE program should be sure to indicate a BSOE proposed major. Students who do not indicate a BSOE program or who apply as undeclared might not be able to pursue a BSOE program.

Admission by major but alternate/2nd choice major will be considered if applicant does not meet their first choice admission standards.

For Business: Freshmen students must apply to Pre-Business under the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS). The College breadth requirements and the prerequisites for a Business major are completed during the freshman and sophomore years. An application is submitted at the end of the sophomore year. Upon acceptance, students become Business majors and are then advised in the Business Department. Students from any academic major may also complete a Business minor.


I’d add that a well qualified OOS applicant to most UCs would get merit aid at privates like LMU, Chapman, USD, Santa Clara and St Mary’s - frequently making them cheaper than in-state UC. They get the private school experience with a public school price tag.

Don’t know your kid’s qualifications but,