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How do I get into UCLA — General Information

University of California – Los Angeles is a public university located in Los Angeles, California. UCLA was founded in 1919 and has a total undergraduate enrollment of just over 31,000 students. It is the most applied-to university in the country. 

What we’ll cover in this How to Get into UCLA guide: 

  • Academic standards (UCLA SAT scores; UCLA GPA requirements)
  • Details of UCLA Early Decision
  • UCLA application deadline
  • UC personal insight questions
  • Information about UCLA admissions
  • UCLA Class of 2025 statistics, and more.

When thinking about how to get into UCLA, pay attention to every part of your application. This includes maintaining a high GPA, pursuing your passions through extracurriculars, and writing genuine, thoughtful responses to the UC Personal Insight Questions. 

Figuring out how to get into UCLA takes strategy. We can help. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers) includes UCLA graduates. Want to maximize your UCLA admissions odds? Create your account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272. 

How hard is it to get into UCLA?

According to Forbes, UCLA is considered a most selective school with an acceptance rate of 12%. Over 139,000 students applied for the UCLA Class of 2025. Of those applicants, UCLA admissions accepted roughly 31,000 students. 

Although there are no set UCLA GPA requirements, the average GPA sits around 3.95. The average UCLA SAT scores range from 1290-1520, though UCLA currently does not use test scores in their application review process. UCLA is ranked #20 in National Universities, according to the U.S. News 2022 edition of Best Colleges. 

If you want to know how to get into UCLA, know that admission is extremely competitive. UCLA would be considered a “reach” for any student. Becoming a UCLA Bruin will take much more than just meeting the UCLA GPA requirements or UCLA SAT scores. 

To maximize your admissions odds, start preparing well before the UCLA application deadline. There is no UCLA Early Decision deadline, so just pay attention to the RD UCLA application deadline. 

What is the average GPA for UCLA?

No GPA will guarantee you admission to UCLA. However, you should try to match the average UCLA GPA requirements. The average GPA for the UCLA Class of 2025 was 3.95. Because UCLA GPA requirements can change, you should strive to maintain a high GPA. 

For the UCLA Class of 2025, the UCLA GPA requirements state that students must have at least a 3.0 GPA (or 3.4 GPA for non-California residents) to be competitive. So, if you do not meet the UCLA GPA requirements, try to improve the other aspects of your application.

Although UCLA does not review test scores for admission, understanding the average UCLA SAT scores is also helpful as you research how to get into UCLA. 

UCLA pays the most attention to your junior year GPA. So, make sure you do well in your high school classes. That starts with choosing the right courses for you. Take advantage of the resources at your school—this will give you a better shot at meeting the UCLA GPA requirements. 

Curious about how to get into UCLA if you can’t meet the average UCLA GPA requirements? Read our article here. You’ll find helpful tips to make your application stand out, even if your academic profile doesn’t match the UCLA GPA requirements or UCLA SAT scores.

What does the University of California application require?

There are multiple parts to the UCLA application, and each piece is essential to your “how to get into UCLA” strategy. Applicants are encouraged to submit all UC Personal Insight Questions, optional test scores, and other materials to UCLA admissions well before the UCLA application deadline, as there is no UCLA Early Decision option offered. 

The UC application opens August 1st, and the application filing period is open from November 1st – November 30th. There is no UCLA Early Decision option available. This means UCLA admissions must receive all materials by the final UCLA application deadline of November 30th

You must submit: 

UCLA admissions does not accept the Common App or Coalition App. Instead, you will use the UC application portal to submit all your documents. Watch our webinar for tips on the UC application portal. 

UCLA admissions has chosen not to review standardized test scores through the Fall of 2024. Like those students in the UCLA Class of 2025, students do not have to provide ACT or SAT scores for admission, nor will they be used in the application review process. 

Applicants must also submit the UC Personal Insight Questions. We will expand on the UC Personal Insight Questions later in this guide. 

Visit the UCLA admissions website for more details about the application process. Again, there is no UCLA Early Decision option available. 

Applying to colleges and universities that require the Common App? Read our guide here

What extracurriculars does UCLA like? 

Want to know how to get into UCLA? Start by finding your passions and interests. 

In addition to your academics, extracurriculars make up the rest of your candidate profile. Your candidate profile is a 1-2 sentence description of who you are, what you do, and why colleges should admit you. A strong candidate profile can set you apart from other applicants. For that reason, it is a key part of your “how to get into UCLA” plan. 

UCLA admissions wants to see that you engage in activities that highlight your passions. So, think about the quality of your activities rather than the quantity.

Be sure to showcase any extracurriculars that emphasize your special talents, skills, and achievements. Apart from the UCLA GPA requirements, UCLA admissions looks for applicants who show leadership, creativity, intellectual curiosity, and a willingness to enrich the campus community. Plus, UCLA SAT scores will not factor into your application narrative, which makes your extracurriculars even more important. 

Provide as much context as possible when writing about your extracurriculars. This helps the UCLA admissions team understand the nature of the activity as well as your involvement. 

Want more tips on how to get into UCLA? Read about how extracurriculars are used in the admissions process here

What is the acceptance rate at UCLA?

The UCLA acceptance rate is a key component to consider in your “how to get into UCLA” approach. UCLA has an acceptance rate of 12%, making it a highly competitive school. 

UCLA admissions received 139,488 applications for the UCLA Class of 2025. Of those students, roughly 31,000 students were admitted. 

Acceptance rates depend on factors such as the number of applicants, their qualifications, and the available space in the freshman class. Because the pool of applicants changes each year, the grades UCLA admissions looks for can change. 

Although UCLA admissions does not consider standardized test scores, we encourage you to take standardized tests if you’re applying to schools outside of the UC system. The average UCLA SAT scores ranged from 1290-1520. The average ACT score ranged from 29-34. 

Studying for the test well in advance of the UCLA application deadline can help you earn scores that align with the average UCLA SAT scores, even though test scores are not evaluated in the review process. Your scores won’t matter at UCLA, but they can be a useful tool to see how you compare to other students. Also, remember that there is no UCLA Early Decision option available.

Want more information about how acceptance rates can affect the UCLA admissions process? Read our blog article

Tips on writing the Personal Insight Questions

Another central factor in your “how to get into UCLA” strategy is the UC Personal Insight Questions. There are a total of 8 UC Personal Insight Questions, and applicants must choose 4 of the UC Personal Insight Questions to complete. Each response is limited to 350 words. 

Choose the questions that are most relevant to you. The UC Personal Insight Questions are designed to give UCLA admissions a better understanding of who you are and what matters to you. Without the help of UCLA SAT scores, this part of your application is even more important. 

Be sure to write genuine, thoughtful responses to the UC Personal Insight Questions. This is because even if your GPA falls below the UCLA GPA requirements, the UC Personal Insight Questions could make your application stand out. We suggest starting the writing process for the UC Personal Insight Questions well in advance of the UCLA application deadline. Since UCLA SAT scores don’t matter in admissions, the PIQs are key to a strong application. 

Here are some helpful tips to consider as you write your UC Personal Insight Questions: 

  • Start early. 
  • Write persuasively. 
  • Use “I” statements. 
  • Proofread and edit. 
  • Solicit feedback. 
  • Copy and paste. 
  • Relax.

All the UC Personal Insight Questions have equal weight in the UCLA admissions process. So, it doesn’t matter if you choose certain questions rather than others. Be sure to highlight your personality, background, interests, and achievements as you complete the UC Personal Insight Questions. Also, make sure to add how you will enrich the UCLA campus in your UC Personal Insight Questions. 

Want more tips on how to write the UC Personal Insight Questions? Read our UCLA essay guide.

What does UCLA use to determine acceptance?

When thinking about how to get into UCLA, many students are only concerned about the UCLA GPA requirements or UCLA Class of 2025 acceptance statistics. However, even without UCLA SAT scores, there are other aspects to consider in your “how to get into UCLA” approach. 

After the UCLA application deadline has passed, UCLA admissions begins the holistic review process. In other words, UCLA admissions will take your entire application into consideration—not just your academic profile. 

The UCLA admissions review process is based on 13 criteria, including quantitative and qualitative data, academic and personal accomplishments, and the context of opportunities afforded to the student. All applications are reviewed at least twice by two members of the admissions team and then given a holistic rank. UCLA looks for applicants who show leadership, initiative, intellectual curiosity, and tenacity.

UCLA admissions uses the following criteria to determine admission: 

  • Full record of achievement in college preparatory work in high school.
  • Personal qualities.
  • Likely contributions to the intellectual and cultural vitality of the campus.
  • Achievement in academic enrichment programs.

UCLA does not consider demonstrated interest in the review process. Instead, all achievements (academic and personal) are considered in the context of the applicant’s circumstances. 

It will take much more than just meeting the UCLA Class of 2025 admission statistics or UCLA GPA requirements to perfect your “how to get into UCLA” strategy. Since your readers will not review UCLA SAT scores, make sure you strengthen your academics and extracurriculars. 

Additionally, be sure to bolster your candidate profile well in advance of the UCLA application deadline, as there is no UCLA Early Decision deadline offered. This will help solidify your “how to get into UCLA” plan. 

Want more tips on how to get into UCLA? Visit the UCLA admissions website for further details about the review process.

Will UCLA look at my social media accounts? 

As you picture how to get into UCLA, you might wonder if your social media presence could affect the admissions process. Rest assured, UCLA admissions does not look at students’ social media profiles during the review process. 

However, this doesn’t mean that you can or should post derogatory or offensive content. While these kinds of posts may not directly affect your application, there are real-world instances in which your social media presence can impact your life. For example, many potential employers will review your social media accounts when you apply for a job or internship. 

We recommend using social media responsibly. Although UCLA admissions will not check your Instagram or Facebook accounts, there is always a chance that your profiles could impact your career or academic prospects.

Is UCLA a good school for me?

As you explore how to get into UCLA, it is important to ask yourself whether UCLA is the right place for you. Yes, U.S. News ranks UCLA #20 in National Universities, and students who attend UCLA can benefit from the 18:1 student-faculty ratio and an environment that promotes education, research, and service. But, this doesn’t mean that UCLA is for everyone. 

As evidenced by the high UCLA GPA requirements, the average range of UCLA SAT scores, and admission statistics from the UCLA Class of 2025, academics at UCLA are top-notch. Additionally, students have over 125 majors to choose from and can sample many subjects through UCLA’s 10-week quarter system. 

Additionally, UCLA offers a rich campus life with over 5,000 events offered each year, there are plenty of options to choose from.

UCLA seeks students who are intellectually curious and ready to enrich the campus community. As you prepare your “how to get into UCLA” approach, be sure to showcase your personal story and experiences, particularly those that relate to your point of view and leadership skills. 

As you think about how to get into UCLA, ask yourself the following: 

  • Does an environment that values academic freedom, excellence, and diversity appeal to me?
  • Does UCLA offer the major I want to study? 
  • How can UCLA help me achieve my future goals? 

If you decide that UCLA is the place for you, be sure to submit all materials well before the UCLA application deadline. Remember, there is no UCLA Early Decision option available. 

Want some insider advice on how to get into UCLA? Watch our webinar here

Additional tips to get into UCLA 

1. Build your candidate profile

As you construct your “how to get into UCLA” approach, keep in mind that UCLA looks for applicants that “have excelled academically and gained valuable perspective from the personal experiences that have helped shape their lives.” Pursue your interests and seek out experiences that will strengthen your candidate profile well before the UCLA application deadline. Since there’s no UCLA Early Decision option, craft a solid candidate profile early. 

2. Write compelling responses to the UC Personal Insight Questions

The UC Personal Insight Questions are designed to learn more about who you are apart from your academic profile. Be thoughtful and genuine as you craft your responses. Make sure to express who you are, what matters to you, and what you want to share with the UCLA admissions. In lieu of a UCLA Early Decision deadline that shows your commitment to UCLA, use the UC Personal Insight Questions to show your authentic voice and unwavering commitment to becoming a UCLA Bruin.  

3. Become UCLA Ready

UCLA admissions values students who seek academic excellence and strive to give back to their community. Below are some techniques to become UCLA-ready as you complete your “how to get into UCLA” exploration: 

  • Challenge yourself with classes beyond the minimum requirements. 
  • Explore extracurriculars to determine your passions. 
  • Spend time making your community a better place. 

Don’t let the UCLA GPA requirements or admission statistics from the UCLA Class of 2025 stop you from applying. Additionally, if your scores don’t meet the average UCLA SAT scores, that’s okay! Focus on making your application as strong as possible. Although there is no guarantee you will be admitted to UCLA, following the tips and advice in our “how to get into UCLA” guide will help you prepare the strongest application possible. Good luck!


This guide was written by Claire Babbs, UT Austin ’12. If you want to know how to get into UCLA, we’ve got you covered. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers) includes UCLA graduates. Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.