Comprehensive review

Each campus, in consultation with the UC Office of the President, develops targets that specify the number of new freshmen and advanced-standing students expected to enroll.

When a campus has more qualified applicants than it has room to accommodate, it applies 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 specific evaluation process and weight given to each factor differ from campus to campus and year to year. In addition, selective programs have additional criteria for selecting transfer applicants.

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:

  • Completion of a specified pattern or number of courses that meet breadth or general education requirements.
  • Completion of a specified pattern or number of courses that provide continuity with upper division courses in the student's major, such as a UC Transfer Pathway, AA degree for transfer (offered at a CA community colleges only), or UC campus-specific major prerequisites.
  • Grade point average in all transferable courses-especially in a UC Transfer Pathway or in major perquisites.
  • Participation in academically selective honors courses or programs.
  • 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.
  • Completion of special projects undertaken in the context of the college curriculum or in conjunction with special school events, projects or programs.
  • Academic accomplishments in light of the student's life experiences and special circumstances.
  • Location of the student's college and residence.
  • Completion of a UC Transfer Pathway or an AA degree for transfer offered by a California community college.

Our priority

Junior-level transfer students from California community colleges are given priority consideration for admission.

Beyond the numbers

Because the pool of students who apply to UC is different every year, the level of academic performance necessary for admission to a particular campus or major is different, too.

Acceptance rates depend on the number of applicants, their academic qualifications and the spaces we have available.

Campus review

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