Applying for admission
As an international undergraduate, you may apply to UC as either a freshman or as a transfer student, depending on your level of education.
Freshman applicants are students who have:
- completed their secondary education and have earned a certificate of completion which enables them to be admitted to a university in their home country
- never been enrolled full-time as a college or university student
Transfer applicants are students who have:
- completed at least 60 semester (90 quarter) units of college/university credit
Required tests for freshman applicants
While we don't require SAT Subject Tests, some campuses recommend certain exams for specific majors.
These tests must be taken no later than December of the last year of secondary school.
If you are currently residing or attending school in a country where the ACT Plus Writing or the SAT Reasoning Test is offered, you are required to take one of the tests, self-report your scores on your application and submit official test results to UC by the stated application deadlines.
We are sympathetic to the fact that students living in certain countries where these tests are not offered (e.g., China, the Islamic Republic of Iran) are challenged to fulfill this requirement. However, given the large number of applications we receive from students throughout the world, we very rarely make exceptions to the requirement.
When to apply
Application filing periods
Winter quarter/spring semester
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. Check open & closed majors before applying.
You must pay a $80 application fee for each campus to which you apply.
When you apply to UC, you are required to report your academic record within the UC application. You don’t need to submit your academic record to UC at this point, but you should refer to it as you fill out the application to ensure the information you enter is accurate.
Freshmen Applicants: List all courses and marks. Record the marks/grades earned exactly as reported by the international school — whether as numbers, letters, percentages or words.
Transfer Applicants: List hours, credits or units for coursework as noted on your transcripts if their coursework is not reported as quarter or semester units, and record the marks/grades earned exactly as reported by the international school — whether as numbers, letters, percentages or words.
Sometimes it takes a significant amount of time for us to receive records from schools abroad. To help speed consideration of your application, we recommend that you make legible photocopies of your official academic records. After you submit your undergraduate application, you may be requested to send your copies to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at each campus to which you have applied.
If you are admitted, we must receive an official academic record directly from each institution you attended, beginning with grade nine and up to and including the school or college/university you currently attend. Each academic record must list the:
- dates you attended the institution;
- titles of courses and examinations you completed;
- grades (marks) you received;
- credit, hours or units earned;
- any degree or diploma you may have received. Diplomas or certificates you received for completing government and university examinations must show the subjects you passed and the grades received.
Statement of explanation
Occasionally, prospective students aren't able to provide adequate records, have unexplained absences in their records or have been out of school for a significant length of time. In those instances, we ask that you help us understand your situation by detailing it in a Statement of Explanation.
Letters of recommendation
You should not submit letters of recommendation for the UC application. However, some campuses/majors may require letters of recommendation as part of a supplemental application review.
Be sure to check for an email message from a campus requesting a letter of recommendation, and/or check for specific majors at the campuses to see if your intended major requires an audition, submission of a portfolio or supplemental application, specific prerequisite coursework, test scores or GPA.
Good to know
In the United States, the academic record is called a "transcript." It may be called by another name, such as a leaving certificate, maturity certificate, bachillerato or baccalauréat in your country.
How to apply
Date, deadlines, open and closed majors — everything you need to apply is here.
SAT Subject Tests
Find out if any SAT Subject Tests are recommended for your intended major.