Applying for admission

As an international student, 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 (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 college-preparatory science, including or integrating topics that provide fundamental knowledge in two of these three subjects: biology, chemistry, or physics. One year of approved interdisciplinary or earth and space sciences coursework can meet one year of the requirement. Computer Science, Engineering, Applied Science courses can be used in area D as an additional  science (i.e., third year or beyond).
  • 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 fulfill 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. Demonstrate English-language Proficiency

Admission requirements for transfer students

Transfer applicants are students who:

  • Are/were 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

October 1-November 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 an $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 complete academic history within the UC application. You don't need to submit your academic records to UC at this point, but you should refer to them 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.

If you sat or will sit for external exams (e.g. IGCSE/GCSE/GCE exams, Year X/XII Board exams, SPM, etc.), report your subjects and grades/scores on the International Exams page of the application, under the Test Scores tab (step 6 of 7). If you sat for the same subject more than once, you must report the grades earned from each sitting.

Transfer applicants

List hours, credits or units for coursework as noted on your academic records 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.

If you sat for GCE A-level exams, report your subjects and grades on the International Exams page of the application, under the Test Scores tab (step 6 of 7).

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 for freshman applicants and up to and including the school or college/university you currently attend for transfer applicants. 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.