This is the go-to guide for getting into UCLA. 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 UCLA, but we’ll also offer creative ways to help your application stand out from the pack. We breakdown UCLA statistics better than any article out there and show you how these have changed over time. Also, make sure to check out UCLA on CampusReel to see what it’s really like here. If you're interesting in transferring to UCLA, the read our transfer guide. Here’s what we’re about to cover:
What GPA do you need to get into UCLA?
UCLA’s average GPA is 3.89. UCLA does require GPA. This average GPA means UCLA is very selective. Often times, schools in this range are trying to increase their selectivity and “prestige”. We can’t read the minds of UCLA application readers, but they likely want to increase the average GPA from 3.89 to 4.08 this year - to play it safe, we recommend striving for the 4.08 GPA.
*BEFORE CONTINUING PLEASE NOTE: GPA and “prestige” DO NOT mean a college is right for you. UCLA 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 UCLA’s campus. These UCLA admission statistics do not sufficiently tell you what a college or university is like.
What is UCLA’s acceptance rate?
Last year UCLA’s acceptance rate was 17.28. However, check out how the acceptance rate has changed over time.
|Acceptance Rate||18.0 %||16.0 %||17.28 %|
As you can see, UCLA is a little easier to get into than last year.
Acceptance rate alone does not indicate your likelihood for getting into UCLA - 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.
Does UCLA Require Test Scores?
UCLA requires that you either take the SAT or ACT. See the table below for how UCLA’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.
UCLA SAT Requirements
UCLA’s average SAT score is 1315 - 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 UCLA is getting more or less competitive.
|25th Percentile||75th Percentile||Average|
UCLA’s average SAT score is 1315. To be a competitive applicant for UCLA your SAT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 1160, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider UCLA a “target” school (one that you are likely to get into) you should aim for a score of 1470.
UCLA ACT Requirements
UCLA’s average ACT score is 75. To be a competitive applicant for UCLA your ACT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 83, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider UCLA a “target” school (one that you have a good chance of getting into) you should aim for a score of 68.
|25th Percentile||75th Percentile||Average|
How hard is it to get into UCLA?
As you can see from the data above, UCLA is exceptionally difficult to get into. Not only should you be aiming for a 3.89 but also SAT scores around 1315. Getting into UCLA is no easy feat and you will need to set yourself apart with more than just numbers and data. Read on to learn how.
Now you know where you need to be for getting into UCLA 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.
|School Rank||Neither required nor recommended|
How to get into UCLA
Follow these steps to maximize your chances of getting into UCLA. Everything you read above will help prepare you for what you need to achieve to have a shot at UCLA, but these steps will take you even further in applying that knowledge and differentiating your application.
Main Academic Excellence that is in line with UCLA admission standards.
- Score at least a 1315 on the SAT or 75 on the ACT.
- Maintain a GPA of at least a 3.89.
Join Extracurriculars that Align with UCLA’s Values.
- Join your school band, a sports team or another group activity. If UCLA values music heavily, for example, then try to participate in an organization related to that topic.
- Volunteer in your hometown. Los Angeles has tons of ways to be involved beyond just the college. UCLA wants applicants that are also good ambassadors for the school - they want students who will give back to the local community and broader Los Angeles area in general.
- Spend your summer doing something that speaks to your values, personal growth, leadership qualities and other less quantifiable characteristics. UCLA 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
- Write a stellar essay that shows UCLA 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.
- Get teacher recs that speak to your character. If you know what you’re majoring in and include that in your UCLA app, try to have at least 1 recommendation from a teacher in that department.
- 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 UCLA’s own system crashes. Don’t risk the added stress this can cause - submit your app a few days early.