Comprehensive review

Each campus, in consultation with the UC Office of the President, sets goals that specify the number of new freshmen and transfer students expected to enroll for the fall term.

Most campuses have more qualified applicants than they have room to accommodate, thus, they apply standards that are more demanding than the minimum requirements.

Using a process called comprehensive review, evaluators look beyond test scores and grades to evaluate applicants' academic achievements in light of the opportunities available to them and the capacity each student demonstrates to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus.

To guide the campuses in their comprehensive review of applicants, UC faculty developed the factors listed below. All campuses place the highest importance on academic achievement in evaluating applications. However, the evaluation process and specific weight (if any) given to each factor can differ from campus to campus and year to year. 

Factors we consider

The following criteria provide a comprehensive list of factors campuses may use to select their admitted class. Based on campus-specific institutional goals and needs, admissions decisions will be based on a broad variety of factors:

  1. Academic grade point average in all completed "a-g" courses, including additional points for completed UC-certified honors courses.
  1. Scores on the ACT Plus Writing or SAT Reasoning Test. 
  1. Number of, content of and performance in academic courses beyond the minimum "a-g" requirements.
  1. Number of and performance in UC-approved honors and Advanced Placement courses.
  1. Identification by UC as being ranked in the top 9 percent of their high school class ("eligible in the local context," or ELC).
  1. Quality of a student's senior-year program, as measured by the type and number of academic courses in progress or planned.
  1. Quality of their academic performance relative to the educational opportunities available in their high school.
  1. Outstanding performance in one or more academic subject areas.
  1. Outstanding work in one or more special projects in any academic field of study.
  1. Recent, marked improvement in academic performance, as demonstrated by academic GPA and the quality of coursework completed or in progress.
  1. Special talents, achievements and awards in a particular field, such as visual and performing arts, communication or athletic endeavors; special skills, such as demonstrated written and oral proficiency in other languages; special interests, such as intensive study and exploration of other cultures; experiences that demonstrate unusual promise for leadership, such as significant community service or significant participation in student government; or other significant experiences or achievements that demonstrate the student's promise for contributing to the intellectual vitality of a campus.
  1. Completion of special projects undertaken in the context of a student's high school curriculum or in conjunction with special school events, projects or programs.
  1. Academic accomplishments in light of a student's life experiences and special circumstances.
  1. Location of a student's secondary school and residence.

For more information, download the comprehensive review factsheet [PDF].

Beyond the numbers

While we place the highest importance on academic achievement, that alone does not guarantee admission to a particular UC campus.

Download the comprehensive review factsheet [PDF]

Campus review 

The comprehensive review process varies by campus. See how it's applied: