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.

Admission requirements for freshman applicants

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 as a university student

UC has slightly different admission requirements for applicants who are international students. If you're applying as a freshman, you must:

1. Complete 15 year-long academic courses with a 3.4 GPA:

  • 2 years of history/social science (In place of U.S. History, history of your country)
  • 4 years of composition and literature in language in which you are instructed
  • 3 years (four years recommended) of college-preparatory mathematics that include the topics covered in elementary and advanced algebra and two- and three-dimensional geometry.* (Approved integrated math courses may be used to fulfill part or all of this requirement).
  • 2 years of laboratory science (biology, chemistry, and/or physics) OR 2 years of integrated science 
  • 2 years of a second language
  • 1 yearlong course (or 2 semesters) of visual and performing arts
  • 1 additional course from any subject areas above

*Math courses taken in the seventh and eighth grades/intermediate school may be used to fuflfill part of this requirement. Integrated math courses (e.g. Math I, Math II, etc.) with geometry content may be equated with a standard course in geometry. 

2. Meet other requirements specific to your country

3. Take the ACT with Writing Test, SAT or SAT with Essay by December of your last year at secondary school 

If you are currently residing or attending school in a country where the ACT with 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 understand that students living in certain countries where these tests are not offered (e.g., 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.

4. Demonstrate English-language Proficiency

Admission requirements for transfer students

Transfer applicants are students who:

  • Are enrolled in a regular session (fall, winter or spring) at a college or university after high school/secondary school

If you're applying as an international transfer student, you must meet UC's admission requirements for transfer applicants.

Keep in mind: As part of the 7-course pattern, you’re required to take two transferable college courses (3 semester or 4-5 quarter units each) in English composition. UC does not accept English composition courses from international universities where English is not the language of instruction.

When to apply (freshman and transfer)

Application filing periods

Fall quarter/semester

November 1-30

Winter quarter/spring semester

July 1-31

Spring quarter

October 1-31

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

You must pay a $80 application fee for each campus to which you apply.

Academic records

Filling out the application

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.

Freshman applicants: Record all courses and 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.

After you apply

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.

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.

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.