What UC's do I have a reasonable shot at getting into with a 4.0 UC GPA?

I’m currently a senior so it’s too late for my UC GPA to change. Unfortunately some of the Honors classes I took in high school don’t count as UC AP/Honors approved honors so they will be counted as a regular class hence my lower GPA. I’m a CA resident and I’m First Generation, could this help make up for being on the lower end of GPA’s for some of the UC’s? Is there anything I can do senior year to increase my chances of getting in? What CSU’s should I consider?

@antoniojsy: UC GPA of 4.0 is capped weighted or fully weighted?


Freshman selection criteria for all UC’s but each campus determines how they weight the 14 areas of criteria (test scores may or may not be a consideration). First Generation/CA resident is helpful but it will not make you a competitive applicant in itself if your academics are not up to par for each campus. UC’s tend to be very GPA focused and HS course rigor and essays are Very Important.


  1. Academic grade point average in all completed A-G courses, including additional points for completed UC-certified honors courses.
  2. SAT/ACT test scores, if submitted.
  3. Number of, content of and performance in academic courses beyond the minimum A-G requirements.
  4. Number of and performance in UC-approved honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate Higher Level and transferable college courses.
  5. Identification by UC as being ranked in the top 9 percent of your high school class at the end of your junior year (Eligible in the Local Context, or ELC).
  6. Quality of your senior-year program as measured by the type and number of academic courses in progress or planned.
  7. Quality of your academic performance relative to the educational opportunities available in your high school.
  8. Outstanding performance in one or more specific subject areas.
  9. Outstanding work in one or more special projects in any academic field of study.
  10. Recent, marked improvement in academic performance as demonstrated by academic GPA and the quality of coursework completed or in progress.
  11. Special talents, achievements and awards in a particular field, such as visual and performing arts, communication or athletic endeavors; special skills, such as demonstrated written and oral proficiency in other languages; special interests, such as intensive study and exploration of other cultures; experiences that demonstrate unusual promise for leadership, such as significant community service or significant participation in student government; or other significant experiences or achievements that demonstrate the student’s promise for contributing to the intellectual vitality of a campus.
  12. Completion of special projects undertaken in the context of your high school curriculum or in conjunction with special school events, projects or programs.
  13. Academic accomplishments in light of your life experiences and special circumstances, including but not limited to: disabilities, low family income, first generation to attend college, need to work, disadvantaged social or educational environment, difficult personal and family situations or circumstances, refugee status or veteran status.
  14. Location of your secondary school and residence**

What is your intended major? Competitive majors will have lower admit rates and require higher GPA and/or Test scores to be competitive.

Based on your posted 4.0 GPA, targets are UC Merced, Riverside and Santa Cruz.

2019 Freshman admit rates for UC GPA of 3.80-4.19 capped weighted and not major specific:
UCB: 12%
UCLA: 7%
UCSD: 33%
UCSB: 32%
UCD: 47%
UCI: 35%
UCSC: 72%
UCR: 87%
UCM: 96%

b]2020 UC capped weighted GPA averages along with 25th-75th percentile range: **
UCB: 4.22 (4.13-4.30)
UCLA: 4.25 (4.18-4.31)
UCSD: 4.18(4.04-4.28)
UCSB: 4.17 (4.03-4.27)
UCI: 4.11 (3.96-4.26)
UCD: 4.11 (3.97-4.25)
UCSC: 3.94 (3.71-4.16)
UCR: 3.88 (3.65-4.11)
UCM: 3.68 (3.40-3.96)

2020 Data:
25th - 75th percentiles for SAT totals:

UCB: 1320-1560
UCLA: 1350-1550
UCSD: 1310-1520
UCSB: 1290-1510
UCD: 1230-1490
UCI: 1280-1510
UCSC: 1170-1440
UCR: 1110-1380
UCM: 980-1260

25th - 75th percentiles for ACT composite + language arts
UCB: 29-35
UCLA: 31-35
UCSD: 29-34
UCSB: 28-34
UCD: 26-33
UCI: 27-34
UCSC: 24-32
UCR: 21-31
UCM: 18-27

All CSU’s admit by major so again need to know your intended major?

For a Safety school, consider your local Cal state.

Below is the link to determine your local CSU: https://www2.calstate.edu/apply/freshman/documents/csulocaladmission-serviceareas.pdf

A 4,0 UC capped weighted GPA = CSU capped weighted GPA.

A 4.0 CSU GPA can make you competitive at the majority of the Cal State campuses.

Senior year courses will be considered to make sure you complete the a-g CSU/UC course requirements along with determining your HS course rigor. Beyond this, maintaining good grades and not getting any D’s or F’s Senior year is pretty much all you can do for CSU and UC admissions. 10-11th grades are going to make or break your applications.

Yes, some of them.

A 4.0 UCGPA plus a competent essays and ECs, will make you competitive for UCSC, UCR and UCM. The rest of the UCs are going to be a stretch.

If you are looking for the traditional college experience, SDSU, CSULB in the south and Chico and Sonma up north. Most of the CSUs have honors programs that are worth exploring.

Apply broadly and good luck.

I believe it’s fully weighted. I have 12 A’s and 3 B’s for my 10-11th year grades. 2nd semester 11th grade, I got CR (Credit) for every class which I assume is not going to be included in my GPA. In 10th I took 2 honors courses but they’re not UC approved (H/English 2 + H/Algebra 2). In 11th I took 3 AP’s.

It sucks that my public school is not good at listing our stats. They don’t rank us so I don’t know where I’m at and they estimated my UC GPA was 4.26 which is completely wrong since I tried it myself on rogerhub.

UC and CSU admissions are going to be unpredictable this year so apply widely and make sure you have 1-2 solid safety schools that you are willing to attend no matter what.

You and many other students are in the same situation so all you can do is present the best application possible with these limitations.

Why do I get credit for the 6 semesters of honors if I only got a letter grade for the first semester?

Also I’m planning on applying as an Ecology and Evolutionary Biology major, but I’m also interested in International Relations and International Studies

Oops, my mistake. Thank you for catching it. You are correct, you would only get 3 semesters of Honors points since you did not get letter grades for the 2nd semester. I will correct my above post.


What CSU’s should I consider? <
@NCalRent: If you are looking for the traditional college experience, SDSU, CSULB in the south and Chico … up north.


I want to highlight Chico. With its being off the beaten coastal path it may not be well-known to most people, but I was pleasantly surprised with the campus environment the couple of times I was there for someone graduating. A good mix of on and off campus housing, an interesting variety of architectures (compared to UC or other CSU’s) and even a nice creek running through part of it. Worth looking into.

You have many options in the Cal states and a few with the UC’s. My suggestions would be Cal Poly SLO, Cal Poly Pomona, SDSU, Long Beach, Humboldt as a safety, Chico, UC Merced, UC Riverside and UC Santa Cruz.

You might also look at Western Undergraduate Exchange schools. This is how the program works: https://www.wiche.edu/tuition-savings/wue/

Here is a list of the schools. https://wuesavingsfinder.wiche.edu/search-results.php