UC Santa Cruz Class of 2027 Official Thread

Welcome prospective Banana Slugs. It’s that time of year again as the UC application has now opened and submission starts October 1 through November 30. I am @Gumbymom one of the two UC Forum Champions/Moderators. My Co-Forum Champion is @lkg4answers and we are knowledgeable on the increasingly complicated UC admissions process and hopefully we can help any prospective UC applicants with their questions.

UC Santa Cruz like all the UC’s are test blind this admission cycle and will use 13 areas of criteria to review Freshman applicants. Each campus will weight the various areas of criteria differently so one size does not fit all. The UC application website has plenty of information that can help determine if UC Santa Cruz is a good option when applying. Below is some admit information specific to the school.



  • Very important : Academic GPA, Personal Insight questions, Rigor of secondary school record, State residency
  • Important : Character/personal qualities, Extracurricular activities, First generation college student, Geographical residence, Talent/ability
  • Considered : Volunteer work, Work experience
  • Note : GPA in required subjects most important.

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 )

Note for Prospective Engineering Students:). 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. Students interested in Computer Science either BA or BS, must apply to this major.

Best of luck to all applicants and here is a link to last year’s Class of 2026 discussion thread: https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/t/uc-santa-cruz-freshman-class-of-2026-discussion

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UCSC has ten colleges. Students do not need to select or rank the colleges on their UC application. If a student chooses to enroll at UCSC, they will be asked to select five colleges when they submit their intent to register.

Thanks for starting this thread! D23 is applying and it’s her #2 UC choice (behind Cal because of her specific major). We had a great tour this summer and loved it - SUCH a beautiful campus. 2nd year housing seems to be an issue in the town - glad to see they are renovating to add more on-campus housing and will hopefully be building more, though not in time for the class of 2027. Good luck everyone! Go Banana Slugs!


Would you happen to know if the requirements to get into BA Comp Sci vs. BS Comp Sci are different ? Is one harder to get admitted into than the other?

I was able to see the course map for both online and they seem equally robust in content/coursework and very similar unless I am missing something.


For admission purposes, there is no difference in being admitted to the BS or BA. For UCSC, you are admitted into a “proposed major” and then you have to meet the course and grade requirements before you can officially declare the major. Same declaration courses for both BA and BS.

The difference between the BA and the BS program is there are 2 extra Math courses (Stats/Probability and MVC/Vector Calc) required for the BS degree and 3 upper division courses. The BA program allows for more flexibility in the Breadth courses and electives.

A BA or BS will make no difference on your career outcomes. Select the program which best fits your interests.

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Hi Gumbymom,
Might be something I can easily find, but couldn’t get a clear answer. I want to make sure. Does UCSC require letters of recommendations from teachers and school counselors? Thanks!

The only UC that asks for LOR’s is UC Berkeley currently and only from a small percentage of applicants. So No, UCSC does not ask for LOR’s.

Here is the 13 areas of the UC application review: How applications are reviewed | UC Admissions

The most important for all the campuses is Academic record/UC GPA’s, HS course rigor and the PIQs.

Thank you so much!


My S23 is applying to UCLA for film and television, and they require two teacher recommendations - I realize this is unusual for a UC.

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Some special UC programs such as Film, Design/Architecture etc… will have supplemental applications which can include LOR’s.

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Someone who said he was ‘in the know’ (a relative of theirs works in athletic recruiting for one of the UC’s) told me today that my student should not apply to both UCSC and UCSB, that these 2 UC’s ‘talk to each other’ and they would cancel each other out. This seems unlikely/improbable considering UC says the universities don’t communicate with each other over applicants, but it was enough to make me wonder if anyone else has heard something about this?

I just checked out the 2021 Stats discussion for UCSB, and looks like the vast majority of those accepted to UCSB who applied to UCSC were also accepted at UCSC, so, maybe he’s just full of it? :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

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UC’s do not communicate between each other regarding applicants and in their application review. Unfounded hearsay.

From the UC website:

Do campuses make their admissions decisions independently from other UC campuses?

Each UC campus evaluates each application without knowing the status of the same application at another campus. In making admission decisions, campuses do not consider where you’ve applied or your admission status to other campuses. All campuses consider your application simultaneously, yet independently of all other campuses you applied to.


If anyone’s planning a visit, the NY Times just published How to Spend a Perfect Weekend in Santa Cruz. Obviously it’s more focused on the town than UCSC, but might have some good suggestions for things to scope out while you’re there.

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Some Preliminary Waitlist information Fall 2022 from the UC Counselor conference. UCSC’s waitlist was a long drawn out process last year. I will be starting a separate discussion thread in February 2023 prior to decisions with more information and previous year’s data.

Waitlist offers: 18136
Waitlist admits: 1581

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when do we get notification from UC davis to create portal. still waiting for them

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You should hear back from all the UC’s by Mid-December. Make sure you check the Spam/Junk folder just in case.

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Hi Gumbymom,
Thanks so much for all of your data and patience!
Got a couple questions for you:

  1. Do you think UCSC will release the first wave of acceptances on Feb 21 or 27? Would you please post the 2022 admit dates if you have those handy.
  2. Just want to confirm that UC does not take senior year grades. My son only got one mid-year report request and I was hoping it would be more considering he got a 5.0 GPA for the first time.
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UCSC has not given a specific date for their admission decisions in the last few years. Usually a small admit wave at the end of February followed by a larger admit wave in March.

No, the UC’s do not consider Senior grades in the application review and will not accept Mid-year transcripts. Some UC’s will ask for Mid-year grades as part of their Waitlist opt in but UCSC has not been one of those campuses.