Helping students apply

Though we've worked hard to make the application process as streamlined and easy-to-follow as possible, students may still be intimidated by it. To help them fully understand what needs to be done and when, please review the How to Apply section for prospective freshmen.

A how-to-apply overview

Nine campuses. One application.
Students may apply to as many UC undergraduate campuses as they like with just one application. Each of their chosen campuses will receive the application and official ACT/SAT test scores.

Special requirements

Some UC majors require an audition, submission of a portfolio or supplemental applications, or specific prerequisite coursework, test scores, GPA and/or class level. 

What you should recommend to students

Apply to more than one UC campus 

This will significantly increase their chances of being admitted into the UC system. While they may not get into their first choice, all of our campuses — without exception — provide outstanding opportunities for them to learn and grow.

Submit only one application per term

Submitting multiple applications will cause a severe processing delay. 

Do not submit letters of recommendation (unless specifically asked by a campus). Transcripts should only be submitted to the enrolling campus after the coursework has been completed and before July 1st (unless specifically asked by a campus).

Spend time on the personal insight questions

The personal insight questions is an important section of the application. It helps us know students as individuals. Early on in the admissions process, students should review the personal questions guidelines and take time to write, revise and thoroughly proofread their answers before adding it to the application. They are welcome to solicit feedback from teachers, family and friends, but the responses must be their own work.

Provide accurate information

Students must refer to transcripts to complete the academic history section of the application. Please tell them not to work from memory. It's very important that all the information requested be included and is accurate. The information on the self-report will be verified when we receive admitted students' official transcripts

Apply on time

Most campuses do not accept applications after the regular filing period.

Application filing periods

Fall quarter/semester

Nov. 1-30

Winter quarter/spring semester

July 1-31

Spring quarter

Oct. 1-31

UC Berkeley and UC Merced are on the semester system. All other campuses are on the quarter system. Not all campuses are open in winter and spring. Students should check available majors before applying.

Pay the application fee

The $70 application fee entitles a student to apply to one UC campus. If a student applies to more than one campus, he or she must pay an additional $70 for each campus selected. The online application automatically determines the application fees. These fees are not refundable and are subject to change.

Fee waivers

We will waive application fees for up to four campuses for students who otherwise would not be able to apply for admission. Students who qualify for fee waivers and who select more than four campuses must pay $70 for each additional choice. To be accepted for the fee waiver program, a student's family income and size must fall within specific guidelines. The fee waiver program is for United States citizens, permanent residents, and applicants eligible for AB540 benefits. Students can apply automatically for a fee waiver within the online application.

International and non-immigrant students

Applicants must pay a higher application fee of $80 for each campus selected. Students who currently attend school in the U.S., however, may qualify to pay the lower application fee of $70 per campus.

Report test results

Students applying for fall admission must take the ACT Plus Writing, SAT (taken prior to March 2016) or SAT with Essay (taken March 2016 or later) no later than December of their senior year to ensure their application receives prompt and careful consideration. It is unlikely that scores from tests taken after December will arrive in time for our review process.

A few guidelines:

  • Students should report their ACT and/or SAT scores on their application, and then request that an official copy of the scores be sent to us from the testing agency. They can have their official score report sent to one UC campus, and all campuses they apply to will receive it. 
  • Advise students to have the testing agencies report all scores. We will use the highest scores from a single test administration.
  • For the ACT Plus Writing test, we will focus on the highest combined (composite) score from the same test administration.
  • For the SAT or SAT with Essay, we will focus on the highest total score from a single test date.
  • We do not require results of tests taken for the purpose of talent programs in middle or junior high school (e.g., Johns Hopkins Center for Talent Youth, Duke University's Talent Identification Program, etc.). Those test scores do not have to be sent to us.
  • We do not accept test substitutions.

Submit any additional required materials

Some UC majors require an audition, submission of a portfolio or supplemental application, or specific prerequisite coursework, test scores or GPA.

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Explore financial aid and scholarships

We offer a comprehensive financial assistance program for qualified students and a variety of other tools that all families can use to make higher education possible.

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Ask for help

If students have a question about the application process, call the application center at (800) 207-1710 (within the U.S.) or (310) 513-2715 (outside the U.S.) during normal business hours, or e-mail ucinfo@applyucsupport.net.

Undocumented student resources

UC’s systemwide undocumented student resource site provides tips for applying for admission and financial aid, as well as a range of programs, resources and support services offered at UC campuses for undocumented students and their families.