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Get Into UCI: Acceptance Rate, SAT & ACT Scores

Discover the UCI acceptance rate, admission requirements, and what you need to do to boost your chances. Learn the best tips and hacks to help you get into UCI.
UC Irvine Acceptance Rate and admission requirements


The University of California, Irvine, is considered one of the top-rated public universities in the US. Every year, hundreds of thousands of students send in their applications in hopes of getting to pursue their dreams in its serene environment and leveraging its state-of-the-art facilities. Located in a secure yet lively community and with 224 degree programs offered, it has become a top choice for students across the country and around the world. 

Yet, around 3/4 of the students who apply to UCI get turned down yearly. Why is that? This article will take a critical look at the UCI acceptance rate over the years and identify helpful trends. By the end, you should have all the details you need to make your application process a stress-free experience.  

A Look at UC Irvine Acceptance Rate Over the Years 

Okay, so lots of students are under the impression that UC Irvine’s acceptance rate is pretty low, but is that true? Let’s look at the actual numbers. In 2023, the school got up to 121,095 applications from first-year students, and 31,181 of them were granted admission. This means that an impressive 25.7% of the students were admitted. Not bad at all. The acceptance rate is even higher if you look at the admissions rate for transfer applicants. Up to 21,995 people applied, and 9,545 got in. This makes the acceptance rate for transfer students about 43.5%. 

If you look at the previous years, you will notice that the acceptance rate appears to have been dropping as the number of applicants increased. For example, in 2019, that rate was 26.6%. But in the fall of 2020, the acceptance rate at UC Irvine was a little lower at 26.5%, meaning that out of the 95,600 applicants, the number of students admitted was somewhere around 25,335. 

Over the years, that rate has dropped to 29% in the 2022-23 session and now to 25.7% as of August 2023. Clearly, the admissions process is now more competitive than it used to be. So, what are the eligibility criteria that you must meet? This brings us to the ACT and SAT policies. 

What Is the UC Irvine SAT and ACT Policy?

If you are hoping to gain admission to UCI, you must meet certain requirements. Chances are that you are that the criteria you have in mind are the ACT and SAT scores for UC Irvine. However, the school does not presently consider SAT or ACT scores for admissions or scholarship purposes. What a relief, right? Anyone who has spent time worrying about their college admissions prospect gets it. Still, even if you no longer have to worry about the UC Irvine SAT scores, it is generally a good idea to still take the test, especially if you will be applying to more than one school (and you probably will). 

Many colleges, like the University of Auburn, still consider SAT or ACT scores for admissions. Besides, even the test-optional schools, like Carnegie Mellon University, might still consider your test scores for class placement or other related purposes. It’s best to learn about how your SAT score range impacts your college admissions and what to do about it. The more prepared you are, the better, isn’t it? We think so, too.

What Are the UC Irvine High School GPA Requirements?

While it’s true that you no longer have to worry about the UC Irvine SAT requirements, you still have to meet the other yardsticks for admissions. Chief among these is your high school GPA scores. For California residents, the GPA requirement is 3.0, while non-California residents need at least a GPA of 3.4 in the required “A-G” subjects courses with nothing less than a C. If you are having trouble with any of your relevant AG subjects, you might want to discuss it with your parents and see if it’s possible to sign up for extra coaching classes or get a private online tutor who can give you the help you need. 

How to Know If You Have a Good Chance of Getting Into UC Irvine

There’s more to the UC Irvine admissions than just your academic performance. The school prides itself on the excellent performance of its students, academically and through their extracurriculars. The comprehensive review process favors candidates who are academically sound and can demonstrate outstanding achievements in diverse activities that show that they are well-adjusted people. As such, you want to ensure that you stand out from the group by meeting as many of the following as you can:

  • Ensure your grades are good and you meet the average GPA required
  • Have a talent/skill/ability that makes you unique, like languages, arts, science, etc.
  • Experience volunteering for worthy causes 
  • A record of extracurricular activities that highlight your passions
  • Can write a kickass application essay that captures the best parts of your personality and values, as the personal insights questions are crucial to your application
  • Some work experience won’t hurt either

Tips for High School Students Applying to the University of California Irvine

Application processes can be stressful. Thankfully, having access to the right information can make everything a lot easier. Here are some tips that you can apply now to increase your chances:

  • Study efficiently. Create a strategic study plan, especially for the subjects you consider difficult. This will improve your grade points in high school and boost your admission chances. One of the ways to start would be mastering these 5 life-changing science tips to simplify your studies.
  • If you don’t yet have any volunteering experience, start to plan for it. Also, you have to consider some relevant extracurricular activities as these are necessary for your application. But more than that, these kinds of non-academic pursuits can enhance your social skills and help you discover valuable insights about yourself.  
  • Apply early. You don’t want to miss a deadline or make mistakes in your application because you waited until the last minute. Besides, it’s easier to fix any issues that crop up if you start early, as you will have more time.
  • Put your best foot forward. The personal Insights Questions is your chance to shine. Don’t be afraid to ‘sell’ yourself. Share your hopes, experiences, dreams, ambitions, inspirations, and any other relevant information. Still, don’t brag, and try not to exaggerate the facts. 
  • Don’t wait to be spoonfed all the necessary info. Regularly check the UC Irvine website for news or changes in the application process. Read blogs like this one and try to stay up-to-date with the latest news concerning your dream college.


The UCI acceptance rate ranks high among the most competitive in the country. That’s why students applying to UCI must offer a good record of academic performance and demonstrate that they are high-value applicants. By understanding what is required, you can begin now to take calculated steps toward increasing your chances and ensuring that you get into your dream school. Follow the tips here and remember to enjoy every bit of the experience. Best of luck!



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