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UCLA Admissions Guide: Acceptance Rate and Requirements

Many students struggle to understand how the UCLA acceptance rate works. This doesn’t have to be you. Learn the UCLA admission requirements and tips to help you get into UCLA.

The University of California, Los Angeles, or UCLA for short, is one of the most prestigious schools known for birthing history-makers and some of the world’s best geniuses across various fields. Over the years, the college has maintained its track record of excellence across different disciplines, including the sciences, arts, languages, and more. Here, you can find young minds from different parts of the world learning, exploring, and excelling together. It’s no wonder that every year, hundreds of thousands of high school students send in their applications with high hopes of being admitted into its hallowed halls. And every year, less than 10% of them will have that dream come true.

Compared to most universities in the United States, UCLA has one of the lowest numbers of college admissions. But this doesn’t mean that you should throw in the towel and give up your dream. In fact, if you put in the right effort and arm yourself with accurate information, you will find that it has one of the most straightforward admission processes, offering you the best chance for success. Keep reading to learn all about the UCLA acceptance rates and its requirements to improve your chances and make your dream come true.

UCLA Acceptance Rate: What You Need to Know

The acceptance rate at UCLA this year was 8.8%, which was slightly higher than the 8.5% rate of last year. This is a much lower ratio compared to 2020, when the acceptance rate was a whopping 14%. Still, it sharply dropped down to 9.1% by the following year. Since then, there has been a plunge in the number of students admitted into the school. How come?

The reason for this is simple. Over the years, the school has received an increasing number of applications, leading to even more competition and pressure for applicants. But this is not unique to UCLA. In fact, most of the top universities and colleges in the US have tightened their admission requirements while reducing their acceptance rate as the number of applicants has skyrocketed in recent years. 

What Are the UCLA SAT Requirements?

One of the first things students want to know before kickstarting their applications is the SAT and ACT scores UCLA requires. If that sounds like you, then keep reading.

Does UCLA Require SAT or ACT?

The UCLA average SAT score for students who got admitted was 1400, with the lowest scores allowed for applications being 1290. On the other hand, the UCLA average ACT composite was between 29-32. But that was until 2020. Since then, UCLA no longer requires the SAT or ACT for its admissions or scholarship purposes. Instead, according to the admissions info on the official site, you are expected to complete 15 A-G courses and have an average grade point of 3.0 (residents) or 3.4 (for non-residents) in the specified courses with nothing less than a C. 

Clearly, UCLA  considers more than just numbers. The UCLA GPA requirements are just a one-factor aspect of your review process. It also involves a critical evaluation of your full academic performance and other relevant extracurricular activities. You want to put your best foot forward in your essays, also known as personal insight questions, and prove how well-rounded you are as an individual. So, if UCLA has no ACT and SAT requirements anymore, is there no reason to write these standardized tests?

It’s far from that. In fact, many students sending the UCLA application still take the ACT or SAT tests. For one, it’s a smart idea if you are going to apply to other schools besides UCLA. And even if UCLA is your first choice, you should try to get into different colleges to secure your spot. Besides, remember that the higher your ACT test scores, the easier it is to get into the highly competitive ones. Some students still choose to submit their ACT and SAT scores for course placement reasons. Many of them take the time to prepare themselves by learning the 5 expert techniques for unbeatable results.

Additional Tips to Get Into UCLA

Wondering how else to get into UCLA besides the SAT-ACT route? Well, here are some tips that work.

  • Take your studies seriously. This seems obvious, but UCLA has high standards and expects applicants to be high achievers. So, start as early as possible to join study groups and look into areas of improvement where you might need to devote more time and attention. 
  • Study effectively. There is more to studying than simply poring over your books for hours. If you are wondering how to optimize your study time, especially for ACT tests or just in general, try the proven life-changing science tips that can help you simplify your studies. The habits you build now will come in handy when you get into UCLA.
  • Practice your essay writing religiously. This is essential as your essays or personal insight questions will be one of your key requirements for admissions. Look up prior examples on the internet and try writing your own improved versions. 
  • Choose your extracurricular activities wisely. The goal is not to be a jack of all trades and a master of none but to have a couple of interests or some volunteering experience to highlight your passions and personality.
  • Ask for help. This is important if you want to succeed in your UCLA application and generally in life. Everyone has that one subject that makes them want to chew on their pen and gulp down the pieces in frustration (strangely specific, but you get the picture). This is a good time to start looking into online coaching for these subjects, especially if you plan to take advanced courses to boost your chances.
  • Try not to stress too much. While this is a pretty stressful time for most students, it’s essential to remain calm and approach your application process with a clear mind and a positive attitude. This is far more beneficial than being frightened, which can lead to needless mistakes.


It takes a lot of preparation and careful planning to become one of the admitted students at UCLA. Still, getting accepted into this university involves more than just hitting the numbers in your GPA and scoring high points in the ACT or SAT. Instead, you should focus on building interests in several academic and non-academic pursuits to stand out and strengthen your applications. This way, whatever the UCLA acceptance rates will be, you will get into your dream university.



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