The UCI Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools (OARS) is responsible for the admission of new undergraduate freshmen and transfer students. Inquiries may be addressed to UCI Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools, 260 Aldrich Hall, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-1075; http://www.admissions.uci.edu/. OARS is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; telephone (949) 824-6703.

The information on admission to UCI presented below is organized as follows:

Categories of Application
Admission as a Freshman Applicant
Nonresident Freshman Admission Requirements
Admission as a Transfer Applicant
Admission of International Students
Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Credit
Application Procedures

Categories of Application

An undergraduate applicant is a student who wishes to complete a program of study leading to a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, or Bachelor of Science degree.

A freshman applicant is a student who is currently in high school or has graduated from high school but has not enrolled in a regular session at a college or university after high school graduation. Summer sessions immediately following graduation are excluded in the determination of freshman status.

The University considers a transfer applicant as a student who has completed high school and who has been a registered student in a regular session at another college or university. Students who meet this definition cannot disregard their college record and apply as freshmen. A student can be considered as a California community college transfer applicant to UCI if (1) the student was enrolled at one or more California community colleges for at least two terms (excluding summer sessions); (2) the last college the student attended before admission to a UC campus was a California community college (excluding summer sessions); and (3) the student has completed at least 30 semester (45 quarter) UC transferable units at one or more California community colleges.

A nonresident applicant is a student whose legal permanent residence (as determined by the University) is outside of the State of California. Nonresident applicants are generally required to pay Nonresident Supplemental Tuition and must also present a higher grade point average than is required of California residents. Refer to the Nonresident Admission Requirements section for further information.

An applicant for readmission is a student who was formerly registered and enrolled at UCI and who has interrupted the completion of consecutive quarters of enrollment. See Readmission: Undergraduate and Graduate Students.

A second baccalaureate applicant is a college graduate who, because of a change of objective, wishes to obtain a second bachelor's degree in a major different from that of the first degree.

An international applicant is a student who holds or expects to hold a student, exchange, visitor, or diplomatic visa and who wishes to attend school in the United States.

Admission as a Freshman Applicant

The undergraduate admissions policy of the University of California is guided by the University's commitment to serve the people of California and throughout the world, from every culture and ethnicity and from across the economic spectrum.

The University's admission requirements described in detail in the Minimum Admission Requirements for Freshmen section, are designed to ensure that students are adequately prepared for University-level work. Meeting admission requirements entitles an applicant to be considered for admission but does not constitute an offer of admission.

In recent years, the number of freshman applicants to UC Irvine has exceeded the number of spaces available. Since the campus cannot admit all eligible applicants, it must use standards that are more demanding than the minimum UC requirements to select students. These standards, which the University calls selection criteria, are used to identify applicants who have demonstrated the highest academic achievement and who have a variety of other qualities that can contribute to the strength and diversity of the campus community.

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. Students who wish to change their major after enrolling at UCI must submit an Undergraduate Petition for Change of Major to the academic counseling office in the school or program of their prospective major.


UCI seeks to select students who have a demonstrated record of academic and personal achievement. The primary criterion for admission to UCI is academic excellence, including the number of college preparatory courses completed; the level of achievement in these courses, including honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and college courses completed; and the quality of the senior-year program as measured by the type and number of academic courses in progress or planned. Also considered are the high school grade point average (GPA) calculated on UC-specified subjects (UCI uses a maximum of eight honors grade points in determining the UC GPA) and the required standardized national examinations.

The level of performance needed to gain admission varies from year to year depending on the size and the academic quality of the applicant pool and the number of enrollment spaces.

A secondary criterion in UCI's selection process is personal achievement outside the classroom. A range of pursuits is considered, including academic activities, the creative and performing arts, community service and leadership, athletics, participation in pre-collegiate programs that develop academic ability, and other extracurricular activities. Persistence counts more than scattered involvement, while initiative and curiosity are also important.

The admissions process at UCI is also sensitive to individual circumstances and the effect these may have had on the resources available to and the experiences of applicants. While all applications receive careful consideration, reviewers take note of any extenuating circumstances and/or a variety of cultural and economic situations, including students who are the first in their families to attend college, who have a low family income, or who have worked in support of their family during high school. The emphasis, however, is less on the personal circumstances of the applicant and instead is more focused on how the applicant has responded to challenges while achieving academic success.

Each application is read at least twice. Every attempt is made to become familiar with the unique accomplishments of each applicant.

Students interested in the majors below should be aware of the following provisions.

Dance and Music:

Dance applicants must audition in late January in ballet, modern, and jazz, prior to the fall quarter when entrance is anticipated, and be selected by faculty.

All Music applicants apply to the B.A. degree program and audition in late January/early February with an instrument or voice, prior to the fall quarter when entrance is anticipated; admission to the B.Mus. degree program is by a second audition later after matriculation.

Engineering: Applicants to any of the Engineering majors must complete four years of high school mathematics through pre-calculus or math analysis and are advised to have completed one year each of physics and chemistry. Applicants are strongly encouraged to take and submit the Math Level 2 SAT Subject Test.

Computer Science and Engineering (offered jointly by the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences and The Henry Samueli School of Engineering): Applicants must complete four years of high school mathematics through pre-calculus or math analysis and are advised to have completed one year each of chemistry and physics. One semester of programming course work is also advised. (This requirement does not apply to other majors offered by the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences.) That preparation along with honors courses and advanced placement courses, is fundamental to success in the program. The Henry Samueli School of Engineering recommends that freshman applicants in Engineering majors take the Math Level 2 SAT Subject Test.

Nursing Science: Admission to the Nursing Science major is limited and selective. Applicants must complete two years of basic science providing fundamental knowledge in the core disciplines of biology and chemistry. Advanced laboratory science classes that have biology or chemistry as prerequisites and offer substantial additional material may be used to fulfill this requirement. Students must earn grades of C or higher in order to fulfill their subject requirements. Students with the highest combination of overall grade point average, grade point average in science courses, and scores on the SAT or ACT examinations will be given priority. Applicants to the Nursing Science major must submit a supplemental application.


The University defines a freshman applicant as a student who is currently in high school or has graduated from high school but has not enrolled in a regular session at a college or university after high school graduation. Summer sessions are excluded in the determination.

Freshman applicants who are not residents of California should refer to the Nonresident Admission Requirements section.

Applicants who do not meet the requirements for admission at the time of high school graduation may be considered for admission after they meet the requirements for admission as a transfer applicant (see Admission as a Transfer Applicant). Transfer credit will be granted for an acceptable course from an accredited college or university taken while still in high school if reported on a valid transcript issued by the college which conducted the course.

The requirements described below represent the minimum academic standards students must attain to be considered for admission to the University. Meeting minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission. Admission to UCI and the program of choice often requires students to meet more demanding standards.

Subject Requirement

To satisfy the subject requirement, students must complete a minimum of 15 yearlong UC-approved college-preparatory courses with at least 11 finished prior to their senior year. These courses are also known as the "a-g" subjects/courses. (A one-year course is equal to one unit; a one-semester course is equal to one-half unit.) A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better must be earned (3.4 if the student is a nonresident) in these courses with no grade lower than a C.

The 15 required "a-g" courses are:

a.   History/Social Science: 2 years required. Two years of history/social science, including one year of world history, cultures, and geography (may be a single yearlong course or two one-semester courses); and one year of U.S. history or one-half year of U.S. history and one-half year of civics or American government.

b.   English: 4 years required. Four years of college-preparatory English that include frequent writing, from brainstorming to final paper, as well as reading of classic and modern literature. No more than one year of ESL-type courses can be used to meet this requirement.

c.   Mathematics: 3 years required; 4 years recommended. Three years of college-preparatory mathematics that include the topics covered in elementary and advanced algebra and two- and three-dimensional geometry. Approved integrated math courses may be used to fulfill part or all of this requirement, as may math courses taken in the seventh and eighth grades if the high school accepts them as equivalent to its own courses.

d.   Laboratory Science: 2 years required; 3 years recommended. Two years of laboratory science providing fundamental knowledge in at least two of these three foundational subjects: biology, chemistry, and physics. The final two years of an approved three-year integrated science program that provides rigorous coverage of at least two of the three foundational subjects may be used to fulfill this requirement.

e.   Language Other Than English: 2 years required; 3 recommended. Two years of the same language other than English. Courses should emphasize speaking and understanding, and include instruction in grammar, vocabulary, reading, composition and culture. American Sign Language and classical languages, such as Latin and Greek, are acceptable. Courses taken in the seventh and eighth grades may be used to fulfill part or all of this requirement if the high school accepts them as equivalent to its own courses. (Students are strongly encouraged to complete three or four years of one language in preparation for the UCI Language Other Than English and/or the International/Global Issues general education requirements.)

f.   Visual and Performing Arts (VPA): 1 year required. One yearlong course of visual and performing arts chosen from the following: dance, drama/theatre, music, or visual art.

g.   College Preparatory Elective: 1 year required. One year (two semesters), in addition to those required in "a-f" above, chosen from the following areas: visual and performing arts (non-introductory-level courses), history, social science, English, advanced mathematics, laboratory science, and language other than English (a third year in the language used for the "e" requirement or two years of another language).

Courses Satisfying the "g" Requirement

History: All history courses should require extensive reading and writing. Courses should enable students to establish a breadth of understanding of history (for example, world history, political history, or economic history) and should provide an understanding of the human past, including its relation to the present. Courses should develop a student's critical thinking, ability to evaluate historical data, and ability to analyze and synthesize evidence.

Social Science: Courses should be in one of the social sciences: anthropology, economics, geography, political science, psychology, or sociology, or, alternatively, courses should be interdisciplinary, drawing knowledge from two or more of these fields. Course objectives should include as many of the following as are applicable to the field: (1) to understand the development and basic features of major societies and cultures; (2) to examine the historic and contemporary ideas that have shaped the world; (3) to understand the fundamentals of how differing political and economic systems function; (4) to examine the nature and principles of individual and group behavior; and (5) to study social science methodologies.

In order to develop a student's critical thinking, ability to evaluate ideas and information, and ability to analyze and synthesize qualitative and quantitative evidence in the laboratory and in the field, a social science course must include a body of basic knowledge, extensive reading, and written and oral exposition.

Courses which are designed to meet state-mandated social studies graduation requirements are acceptable provided that they meet the above criteria. Courses of an applied, service, or vocational character are not acceptable social science electives.

English: All English courses should require substantial reading with frequent and extensive practice in writing which is carefully evaluated and criticized. A course in creative writing, journalism, speech, or debate is acceptable if it meets the general requirements in reading and writing stated above. An advanced-level course in English as a Second Language (ESL) or English Language Development (ELD) may be acceptable provided it meets the standards outlined under the "b" requirement.

Advanced Mathematics: Acceptable electives are courses in mathematics with second-year algebra as a prerequisite such as trigonometry, linear algebra, precalculus (analytic geometry and mathematical analysis), calculus, and probability and statistics.

A computer science course is an acceptable mathematics elective if it fulfills the following objectives. The course should enable each student to express algorithms in a standard computer language such as C++, Pascal, Java, BASIC, FORTRAN, or COBOL. By the end of the course, each student should complete substantial programming projects in the language used. The course should also involve the study and mastery of various aspects of computer science: how computers deal with data and instructions, the internal components of a computer, and the underlying computer logic.

Laboratory Science: Acceptable courses should cover topics from the biological or physical sciences in which students make their own observations and measurements and analyze these data to obtain further information.

An introductory science course normally offered in the ninth grade, (such as earth science or physical science) is an acceptable science elective provided it is designed to prepare students for laboratory science courses in the tenth grade and beyond. The course must provide an introduction to the fundamental principles of physical and/or biological science. Laboratory activities as defined above shall be included. (A terminal course designed only to meet graduation requirements is not an acceptable science elective.)

Language Other Than English: It is recommended that elective courses be in the same language used to satisfy the language other than English "e" subject requirement. Elective courses in this language must have at least two years of the language as a prerequisite. In order for a second language to qualify as an elective, at least two years of this language must be completed.

Visual and Performing Arts: Courses in this area consist of instruction in dance, drama/theatre, music, and visual arts. Courses should enable students to understand and appreciate artistic expression and, where appropriate, to talk and write with discrimination about the artistic material studied.

Courses devoted to artistic performance and developing creative artistic ability should have prerequisites (either one year of introductory course work or experience approved by the instructor) and should assume proficiency beyond the introductory level.

Courses must require on average the equivalent of a five-period class per week. Work outside of class must be required; for example, portfolio/performance preparation, reading, writing, research projects, and/or critical listening/viewing.

Dance courses offered for physical education credit or under any other departmental arrangement are acceptable provided they include content satisfying the above criteria.

Courses which are primarily athletic or body conditioning are not acceptable visual and performing arts electives.

College Preparatory Elective: The general objectives of the "g" requirement are to improve students' analytical abilities, promote artistic development, and strengthen oral and written skills. The requirement is intended to encourage prospective University students to fill out their high school programs with courses that (1) strengthen general study skills, particularly analytical reading, expository writing, and oral communication; (2) provide an opportunity to begin work that could lead directly into a major program of study at the University; (3) experience, at some depth, new areas of academic disciplines that might form the basis for future major or minor studies at the University.

Courses that fulfill the "g" requirement should allow students to prepare for college-level work in the subject area, so that the level attained at the end of such courses would be well beyond the introductory or survey level. Courses that have narrow objectives aimed at meeting specific societal or personal lifestyle goals are not acceptable.

California High School Students. Courses taken to fulfill the subject requirement must be certified by the University as meeting the requirement and must be included on the UC-certified course list of the school the student attended. The high school counselor or principal will have a copy of this list. In addition, the lists are available online at http://www.ucop.edu/doorways.

Out-of-State High School Students. The UCI Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools will review and accept courses that meet the requirements for applicants graduating from out-of-state schools.

Examination Requirement

All freshman applicants must submit examination scores as described below. Students applying for admission for fall quarter should complete their examination requirements during May or June of their junior year or during their senior year, but no later than the December test date. (Typically, this means that students will take either the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT With Writing Test in October or November.) Scores earned prior to March 2005 will not be accepted. All students applying for freshman admission must submit the following college admissions test scores:

   The SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT With Writing.

   Report ACT and/or SAT scores on the admission application, then request that an official copy of the scores be sent to UC Irvine from the testing agency. Applicants can have their official score report sent to one UC campus, and all campuses they apply to will receive it.

   In the College Board's Score Choice module, ensure that all scores are sent to UC. UC requires all scores and will use the highest scores from a single administration.

   For the ACT With Writing test, UC will focus on the highest combined score from the same test administration.

   For the SAT Reasoning Test, UC will focus on the highest total score from a single test date.

   UC does not require results of tests taken for the purpose of talent programs in middle or junior high school (e.g., Johns Hopkins Center for Talent Youth, Duke University's Talent Identification Program, etc.). Those test scores do not have to be sent to UC.

   UC does not accept test substitutions.

   SAT Subject Test scores are no longer required. However, submission of SAT Subject Test scores may add positively to the review of a student's application.

More information about these examinations is available online. For the SAT Reasoning and Subject Tests, see http://www.collegeboard.com. For the ACT With Writing, see http://www.act.org.

Do not use the score choice option to withhold reporting of SAT Subject Test scores. IMPORTANT: Please note the SAT Subject Test recommendations below.

   The Claire Trevor School of the Arts recommends that freshmen applicants take any SAT Subject Tests that will demonstrate the student's strengths.

   The Henry Samueli School of Engineering recommends that freshmen applicants in Engineering majors (including the joint CSE major) take the SAT Subject Test in Math Level 2.

   The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences recommends that freshmen applicants take the following SAT Subject Tests: Biology M, Chemistry, and/or Math Level 2.

   The School of Physical Sciences recommends that freshmen applicants in Chemistry, Earth System Science, Mathematics, and Physics majors take the SAT Subject Test in Math Level 2.

   The Program in Public Health recommends that freshmen applicants take the following SAT Subject Tests: for the major in Public Health Sciences: Biology E, Biology M, and/or Chemistry; for the major in Public Health Policy: Biology E, Biology M, and/or World History.

California Students

State residents who have met the minimum requirements and are not admitted to any UC campus to which they apply will be offered a spot at another campus if space is available, provided:

   The applicant ranks in the top 9 percent of California high school students, according to the UC admission index (see http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/freshman/california-residents/admissions-index/index.html); or

   The applicant ranks in the top 9 percent of his or her graduating class at a participating high school. UC refers to this as "Eligible in the Local Context" (ELC).

Eligible in the Local Context (ELC)

An applicant who ranks in the top 9 percent of students in his or her California high school class—and whose high school participates in the ELC program—can qualify for admission to UC.

The top 9 percent of students will be identified on the basis of GPA in UC-approved course work completed in the tenth and eleventh grades. To be considered for ELC, an applicant must complete 11 of the required a-g courses (refer to the Subject Requirement section), have at least a 3.0 GPA, and have taken the SAT Reasoning or ACT With Writing examination.

Eligibility By Examination Alone

Students are no longer guaranteed admission based solely on their examination scores. Nevertheless, students who excel in their examinations yet do not fulfill the admission requirements described in the Minimum Admission Requirements for Freshmen section will still receive a full review of their application. For more information, visit http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions and see Admission by Exam.

Nonresident Freshman Admission Requirements

Nonresident freshman applicants must meet the same admission requirements as those for residents, except, nonresident applicants must have a 3.4 GPA and do not qualify for ELC. Refer to the Expenses, Tuition, and Fees section of this Catalogue for information regarding residence classification for tuition purposes and the Nonresident Supplemental Tuition.

Admission of International Students

See the Admission of International Students section on page 40 of this Catalogue for information regarding English proficiency and other details.