University of California-Merced

UC Merced: 2020 Requirements, Scores & GPAs

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This is the go-to guide for getting into University of California-Merced. 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 UC Merced, but we’ll also offer creative ways to help your application stand out from the pack. We breakdown UC Merced statistics better than any article out there and show you how these have changed over time. Also, make sure to check out University of California-Merced on CampusReel to see what it’s really like here. If you're interesting in transferring to UC Merced, the read our transfer guide. You can also use the below calculator to help determine your likelihood of acceptance at UC Merced

What are your chances at UC Merced?

Your SAT Score
Your ACT Score
Select a score
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  • Your GPA*

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at UC Merced 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 University of California-Merced?

    University of California-Merced’s average GPA is 3.59. University of California-Merced does require GPA. This average GPA means University of California-Merced is very selective. Often times, schools in this range are trying to increase their selectivity and “prestige”. We can’t read the minds of UC Merced application readers, but they likely want to increase the average GPA from 3.59 to 3.77 this year - to play it safe, we recommend striving for the 3.77 GPA.

    *BEFORE CONTINUING PLEASE NOTE: GPA and “prestige” DO NOT mean a college is right for you. University of California-Merced 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 UC Merced’s campus. These UC Merced admission statistics do not sufficiently tell you what a college or university is like.

    What is University of California-Merced’s acceptance rate?

    Last year University of California-Merced’s acceptance rate was 60.69. However, check out how the acceptance rate has changed over time.

    2016 2017 2018
    Acceptance Rate 74.0 % 70.0 % 60.69 %

    As you can see, University of California-Merced is getting more and more difficult to get into. If this trend continue it’s likely that UC Merced will be even more competitive by the time you apply.

    Acceptance rate alone does not indicate your likelihood for getting into UC Merced - 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 UC Merced?

    Your SAT Score
    Your ACT Score
    Select a score
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  • Your GPA*

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at UC Merced 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 University of California-Merced Require Test Scores?

    University of California-Merced requires that you either take the SAT or ACT. See the table below for how University of California-Merced’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.

    University of California-Merced SAT Requirements

    University of California-Merced’s average SAT score is 970 - 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 University of California-Merced is getting more or less competitive.

    25th Percentile 75th Percentile Average
    Math 450 550 500
    Reading 420 520 470
    2019 Total 870 1070 970
    2018 Total - - -
    2017 Total - - -

    University of California-Merced’s average SAT score is 970. To be a competitive applicant for University of California-Merced your SAT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 870, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider University of California-Merced a “target” school (one that you are likely to get into) you should aim for a score of 1070.

    University of California-Merced ACT Requirements

    University of California-Merced’s average ACT score is 62. To be a competitive applicant for University of California-Merced your ACT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 54, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider University of California-Merced a “target” school (one that you have a good chance of getting into) you should aim for a score of 71.

    25th Percentile 75th Percentile Average
    Math 18 24 21
    Reading 17 23 20
    Writing 19 24 21
    2019 Total 54 71 62
    2018 Total - - -
    2017 Total - - -

    University of California-Merced Requirements

    Now you know where you need to be for getting into University of California-Merced 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 Neither required nor recommended
    GPA Required
    School Record Required

    How to get into UC Merced

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

    Main Academic Excellence that is in line with UC Merced admission standards.

    1. Score at least a 970 on the SAT or 62 on the ACT.
    2. Maintain a GPA of at least a 3.59.

    Join Extracurriculars that Align with UC Merced’s Values.

    1. Join your school band, a sports team or another group activity. If University of California-Merced values music heavily, for example, then try to participate in an organization related to that topic.
    2. Volunteer in your hometown. Merced has tons of ways to be involved beyond just the college. University of California-Merced wants applicants that are also good ambassadors for the school - they want students who will give back to the local community and broader Merced area in general.
    3. Spend your summer doing something that speaks to your values, personal growth, leadership qualities and other less quantifiable characteristics. UC Merced 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 University of California-Merced 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 UC Merced 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 UC Merced’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 UC Merced?

    Your SAT Score
    Your ACT Score
    Select a score
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  • Your GPA*

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at UC Merced 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?

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