UCI: 2020 Requirements, Scores & GPAs

This is the go-to guide for getting into UC Irvine. We suggest you read until the end... Not only will we layout the exact GPA and test scores you should aim for when applying to UCI, but we’ll also offer creative ways to help your application stand out from the pack. We breakdown UCI statistics better than any article out there and show you how these have changed over time. Also, make sure to check out UC Irvine on CampusReel to see what it’s really like here. If you're interesting in transferring to UCI, the read our transfer guide. You can also use the below calculator to help determine your likelihood of acceptance at UCI

What are your chances at UCI?

Your SAT Score
Your ACT Score
Select a score
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  • Your GPA*
    on a 4.0 scale

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at UCI or any other U.S. college

    Please note all chances are estimates based on test score and GPA averages.

    *or select a school above for a specific calculation

    Need chances at another college?

    What GPA do you need to get into UC Irvine?

    UC Irvine’s average GPA is 4.0. UC Irvine does require GPA. This average GPA means UC Irvine is brutally selective - the most competitive applicants in the world are already applying to the school, in hopes of taking up residence in Irvine, and, somehow, you need to be better. Generally speaking, if your GPA is not at least equal to 4.0 then UC Irvine may be a reach. However, UC Irvine considers the ENTIRE application - we can make up for a weak GPA with more factors that we’ll discuss below. If your GPA is equal to or greater than 4.0, you’re sitting right in the sweetspot.

    *BEFORE CONTINUING PLEASE NOTE: GPA and “prestige” DO NOT mean a college is right for you. UC Irvine may seem amazing on paper, but you may hate it... That’s why 700,000 students transfer colleges every year - they end up going to the wrong school. It’s crucial to watch the videos on CampusReel and make sure you can envision yourself on UCI’s campus. These UCI admission statistics do not sufficiently tell you what a college or university is like.

    What is UC Irvine’s acceptance rate?

    Last year UC Irvine’s acceptance rate was 38.68. However, check out how the acceptance rate has changed over time.

    2016 2017 2018
    Acceptance Rate 41.0 % 37.0 % 38.68 %

    As you can see, UC Irvine is a little easier to get into than last year.

    Acceptance rate alone does not indicate your likelihood for getting into UCI - it’s a very high level understanding of the true competition. Use the acceptance rate as a general guide for curating a list of 10-15 schools that fall into different ranges of competitiveness. Then, use the below data to get a deeper understanding of how your application will compare to the rest of the pool.

    What are your chances at UCI?

    Your SAT Score
    Your ACT Score
    Select a score
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  • Your GPA*
    on a 4.0 scale

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at UCI or any other U.S. college

    Please note all chances are estimates based on test score and GPA averages.

    *or select a school above for a specific calculation

    Need chances at another college?

    Does UC Irvine Require Test Scores?

    UC Irvine requires that you either take the SAT or ACT. See the table below for how UC Irvine’s accepted students have performed on both tests. You may be wondering how many test scores should you submit. Generally, don’t freak out about taking the test too often. Industry consensus is that you can submit up to 6 tests as a reasonable limit.

    UC Irvine SAT Requirements

    UC Irvine’s average SAT score is 1195 - this is the sum of the math and reading portions of the SAT (the 1600 scale). Check out the below table for a deeper look into how students performed - it’s also very interesting to look at the average test score over time. The trend over time helps give insight into whether UC Irvine is getting more or less competitive.

    25th Percentile 75th Percentile Average
    Math 570 710 640
    Reading 490 620 555
    2019 Total 1060 1330 1195
    2018 Total - - -
    2017 Total - - -

    UC Irvine’s average SAT score is 1195. To be a competitive applicant for UC Irvine your SAT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 1060, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider UC Irvine a “target” school (one that you are likely to get into) you should aim for a score of 1330.

    UC Irvine ACT Requirements

    UC Irvine’s average ACT score is 82. To be a competitive applicant for UC Irvine your ACT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 72, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider UC Irvine a “target” school (one that you have a good chance of getting into) you should aim for a score of 93.

    25th Percentile 75th Percentile Average
    Math 25 32 28
    Reading 23 31 27
    Writing 24 30 27
    2019 Total 72 93 82
    2018 Total - - -
    2017 Total - - -

    How hard is it to get into UC Irvine?

    As you can see from the data above, UC Irvine is difficult to get into. Not only should you be aiming for a 4.0 but also SAT scores around 1195.

    UC Irvine Requirements

    Now you know where you need to be for getting into UC Irvine from a grade and test score perspective. Let’s quickly outline what else you’ll need to provide for your application to get reviewed, and then we’ll move onto the most important section: differentiating your app.

    Recommendations Status
    School Rank Recommended
    GPA Required
    School Record Required

    How to get into UCI

    Follow these steps to maximize your chances of getting into UCI. Everything you read above will help prepare you for what you need to achieve to have a shot at UCI, but these steps will take you even further in applying that knowledge and differentiating your application.

    Main Academic Excellence that is in line with UCI admission standards.

    1. Score at least a 1195 on the SAT or 82 on the ACT.
    2. Maintain a GPA of at least a 4.0.

    Join Extracurriculars that Align with UCI’s Values.

    1. Join your school band, a sports team or another group activity. If UC Irvine values music heavily, for example, then try to participate in an organization related to that topic.
    2. Volunteer in your hometown. Irvine has tons of ways to be involved beyond just the college. UC Irvine wants applicants that are also good ambassadors for the school - they want students who will give back to the local community and broader Irvine area in general.
    3. Spend your summer doing something that speaks to your values, personal growth, leadership qualities and other less quantifiable characteristics. UCI needs to see past your test scores and grades - they need to know that you will be a valuable and contributing member of their community. You are more than grades and test scores - your experiences should demonstrate that.

    Prepare Your Application

    1. Write a stellar essay that shows UC Irvine something they can’t figure out from the other parts of your application. For a detailed guide on writing the best college essay, check this out.
    2. Get teacher recs that speak to your character. If you know what you’re majoring in and include that in your UCI app, try to have at least 1 recommendation from a teacher in that department.
    3. Apply Before the Deadline. Too many students wait until the last minute to submit their application, and too much can go wrong during this precious time window. Since many students are applying on the last day, it’s possible that UCI’s own system crashes. Don’t risk the added stress this can cause - submit your app a few days early.

    What are your chances at UCI?

    Your SAT Score
    Your ACT Score
    Select a score
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  • Your GPA*
    on a 4.0 scale

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at UCI or any other U.S. college

    Please note all chances are estimates based on test score and GPA averages.

    *or select a school above for a specific calculation

    Need chances at another college?

    Related College & Universities:

    Transfering to California State Polytechnic University-Pomona
    Transfering to California State University-Fresno
    Transfering to California State University-Northridge