UCLA: Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

Royce Hall at UCLA
Royce Hall at UCLA ( UCLA Campus Photo Tour). Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin

UCLA is one of the most selective public universities in the country with an acceptance rate of 14 percent. If you're considering this prestigious university, here you'll find the admissions statistics you should know such as the average SAT/ACT scores and GPAs of admitted students.

Why UCLA?

  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Campus Features: UCLA's attractive 419-acre campus in Los Angeles' Westwood Village occupies prime real estate just 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean.
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 18:1
  • Athletics: The UCLA Bruins compete in the NCAA Division I Pacific-12 Conference (Pac-12).
  • Highlights: With over 125 undergraduate majors and 150 graduate degree programs, UCLA's academic breadth is impressive. Strengths in the liberal arts and sciences earned the university a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. It should be no surprise that UCLA ranks among the best public universities.

Acceptance Rate

For students entering UCLA in the 2018-19 academic year, UCLA had an acceptance rate of just 14%. This means that for every 14 students who are admitted, 86 students will receive rejection letters. UCLA is one of the most selective public universities in the country.

Admissions Statistics (2018-19)
Number of Applicants 113,761
Percent Admitted 14%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled 39%

SAT Scores and Requirements

UCLA requires scores from either the SAT or ACT from all applicants. For students who entered UCLA in the 2018-19 academic year, 77% submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75 Percentile
ERW 640 740
Math 630 780
ERW= Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

If you compare SAT scores for the University of California system, you'll see that only UC Berkeley is more selective than UCLA. Based on , we can conclude that nearly all admitted UCLA students scored in the top 20% of test-takers.On the math portion of the exam, the middle 50% of admitted students scored between a 630 and 780. This means that 25% of admitted students scored a 630 or lower, and 25% scored a 780 or higher. On the evidence-based reading and writing exam, the middle 50% of students scored between a 640 and 740. This tells us that the bottom 25% of admitted students got a 640 or lower, and the top quartile scored a 740 or higher. Students will generally need scores that are well above average to get in. The most competitive UCLA applicants will be at the top of these score ranges and have a combined score of 1500 or better.

Requirements

UCLA requires applicants to take the SAT with Essay, and the essay score is used by the admissions folks when evaluating applications. SAT Subject Tests are not required, but if you are applying to the Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, you are strongly encouraged to take the Math Level 2 and a science test. Note that UCLA does not superscore the SAT. They will consider your highest combined score from a single test date.

ACT Scores and Requirements

All applicants to UCLA must submit either SAT or ACT scores. The admissions office doesn't have a preference for one exam or the other, but the SAT tends to be much more popular in California. For the class entering UCLA in teh 2018-19 academic year, 50% submitted ACT scores.

ACT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 29 35
Math  27 34
Composite 28 34

An average ACT score is roughly a 21, so as with the SAT, UCLA students tend to score significantly above average. Nationally, only a couple public universities have average ACT scores that are higher than UCLA. If we compare UCLA's ACT scores to national score ranges, we can see that the great majority of admitted students are in the top 11% of test-takers. The middle 50% of admitted students scored between a 28 and 34 on the ACT. This means the top 25% of admitted students scored a 34 or higher, and the bottom 25% scored a 28 or lower.

Requirements

If you choose the ACT instead of the SAT, you must take the ACT with Writing. Also keep in mind that applicants to the engineering school are strongly encouraged to take two SAT Subject Tests (Math Level 2 and a science). Finally, UCLA will not superscore the ACT. They will use your highest composite score from a single test date.

GPA and Class Rank

For students who entered UCLA in the 2018-19 academic year, the average GPA was 3.89. You are certainly going to need to be primarily an "A" student to be competitive at UCLA. The class rank of admitted students is likewise high: 97% of admitted students were in the top 10% of their class, and 100% were in the top 25%.

Graph of Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Data

UCLA Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Data
UCLA Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Data. Data Courtesy of Cappex

The GPA, SAT score, and ACT score data in the graph was self-reported by applicants to UCLA. Grades are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and with a free Cappex account.

Admissions Chances

Hidden beneath the blue and green in the graph is a lot of red (rejected students). This tells us that many applicants with high GPAs and test scores get rejected from UCLA. Note also that a number of students were accepted with test scores and grades below the norm. Like all of the University of California schools, UCLA has holistic admissions, so the admissions officers are evaluating students based on more than numerical data. Students who show some kind of remarkable talent or have a compelling story to tell will often get a close look even if grades and test scores aren't up to the ideal. Make sure your application has strong essays. You'll want to put significant time and care into your personal insight questions on the UC application.

Top universities like UCLA are looking for students who will contribute to the campus community in meaningful ways, and who show the potential to make a positive impact on the world after graduation. UCLA looks to enroll a diverse student body, and they will look at personal qualities such as leadership ability, creativity, and character as well as an applicant's achievement in his or her school, community, and/or workplace.

Always keep in mind that you're going to need more than good grades and standardized test scores to be admitted. Plenty of students with solid "A" averages get rejected. The reasons can be many: weak application essays, a failure to take challenging AP or IB courses in high school, or unimpressive extracurricular activities. Also, some programs at UCLA are more competitive than others. In general, when a school admits such a low percentage of its applicants, you'd be wise to consider it a reach school even if your grades and test scores are on target for admission.

Sources: Graph courtesy of Cappex; all other data from the , the , and the .