University of California-San Diego (UCSD) Acceptance Rate

Written by Zuhra Jalal

The University of California-San Diego also known as the University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego, and UCSD acceptance rate is 37.2%. That means for every 100 applicants applied, only 37 are admitted. UCSD is very selective keeping all the requirements at the top priority.

For any School admission, the first thing you consider is the acceptance Rate. That tells you how competitive the institute is and how serious its admission requirements are.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s go through the UCSD profile, and understand admission criteria and cultural nuances including UCSD acceptance rate.

University of California-San Diego

UCSD is a Public University founded in 1960. Its total undergraduate enrollment is 31,842 in 2020. It ranked one of the best colleges in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities. It is located at 9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, CA 92093, United States.

The University offers a variety of grants and scholarships for students from the institute, state, and federal governments. Though UCSD acceptance rate is quite low (In 2020 it was 36.6%), however, it all depends on your chances of acceptance which are tied to the strength of your profile.

UCSD Admission Requirements

Image credit UCSD

For getting admission into college, there are a few critical things that need to be focused on. It’s not one thing that is important, a lot of pieces go into a college application. However, to get into UCSD consider these three important things:

  • GPA requirements 
  • Testing requirements, including SAT and ACT requirements 
  • Application requirements 

To build a strong profile and application to get into UCSD, focus on the above-mentioned requirements. If you meet the requirement of GPA, SAT/ACT scores, and other components of the application, you will have a greater chance of getting into UCSD. However, if you shortfall on your GPA/SAT/ACT scores, you will have less chance of getting into UCSD, even if you fulfill other requirements. Hence, focus on all things together. 

GPA requirements for UCSD

The average GPA at the University of San Diego is 3.93 making it extremely competitive for GPS. Meanwhile, for high school students, the average GPA to get into UCSD is 4.08 on a 4.0 scale. That means a student aiming to get admission at UCSD must get straight A’s in all classes to compete with other applicants. Additionally, students need to take hard classes-AP or IB courses to show that college-level academics is a draft.

If you are struggling with your GPA, and it’s at or below the School average of 4.07, you will need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate Low GPA. This will help you to compete with applicants having higher GPA scores and comply with UCSD acceptance rate.

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UCSD SAT and ACT requirements

SAT requirements are different for every school, however, you need SAT or ACT to submit an application to UCSD with a strong application.

Though there are no cutoff scores for SAT, however, there is a hidden requirement that includes School’s average score. The average SAT score combined at UCSD is 1360 on the 1600 SAT scale. That makes it a bit competitive for SAT scores.

Also, the 25th percentile New SAT score is 1250, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1470. This means 1250 on the New SAT places you below average, while 1470 will move you up to above-average score.

Average SAT Scores includes:

  • Math                                         700
  • Reading +Writing                     660
  • Composite                                1360

UCSD SAT Score Choice Policy

Students need to understand the school Score Choice policy for a better testing strategy. The University of California-San Diego has the Score Choice policy of ‘’All Scores.’’ You need to send all the SAT scores you have ever taken. Following policy is used at UCSD:

  • Require all SAT Scores, use the highest Scores from a single administration

It is safe to submit tests 4-6 without being worried about the number of tests, it is a reasonable number .However, more than 6 can make the College wonder why you’re not improving that will ultimately make them question your ability and skill

It is strongly recommended to prepare for SAT, and retake for improvement to maximize your score. However, do not go beyond limits. Taking the test significantly increases the chance of scoring better. Therefore, below 6 tests are encouraged by experts and academics.

UCSD ACT Requirements

Similar to SAT, ACT doesn’t have a cutoff score, however, if you score too low, your application won’t be considered. Since there is much competition, one needs to have high ACT scores to get into UCSD College.

The average ACT score for the University of California-San Diego is 30. That makes the test very competitive for students. 25th percentile score is 26 and the 75th percentile score is 33 for the ACT.

Even though UCSD likely says that they have no minimum score for the ACT, you are likely to get less chance of getting in if you score low. Unless and until you have something else impressive on your application to compensate for your low score.

UCSD ACT sending Policy

If you’re taking the ACT instead of SAT, you have an advantage in how you send the scores. Also, it can change your testing strategy. As you have absolute control over the test you send to the College. Therefore, you can take as many tests as you want to score the highest. You are free to choose your SAT score to be sent to the college. It is opposite to SAT, where the college requires you to send all the test scores.

Note: SAT/ACT Writing Section requirement has an optional essay section. UCSD acceptance rate requires you to take the Essay/Writing section and will consider it another factor for admission.

Other things to consider for UCSD Admission

Besides GPA and SAT/ACT scores, admission decision relies on Coursework difficulty, Letters of recommendation, extracurricular, and personal statement. All these things are highly important for UCSC acceptance and increase the chance of getting into any College including UCSD.

It is also recommended to apply to colleges/Schools across for securing admission. Applying to different schools will secure your chance of getting into any college. All the school requires high school transcripts, application forms, and other information requiring SAT and ACT score, letters of recommendation, application essays, and interviews. It’s a long process that needs patience, and enthusiasm, and information at the right time to prepare for application.

Summary of the most important statistics around costs and competitiveness

University of California-San Diego (UC San Diego)

  • In-state Tuition ($13,530)
  • Net Price ($13,9130)
  • Average financial Aid ($8,462)
  • Total Undergraduates (26584)
  • Average SAT Score ( 1220-1450)
  • Acceptance Rate (37%)
  • Application fee ($70)
  • Electronic Application available

Frequently asked Questions

1.What is the University of California-San Diego famous for?

UCSD is famous a student-centered, service-oriented, and research-focused public institute that provides equal opportunity for all coming from diverse backgrounds. It is recognized as one of the top fifteen research-based universities around the globe.

2.What GPA do I need to get into UCSD School?

To be eligible to get admission to UC San Diego, California residents must earn a GPA of 3.0(or better). Non-California residents and international students must earn a GPA of 3.4 or better with no grade less than ‘’C’’.

3.Is UCSD is a hard School?

Indeed, UCSD is one of the best Schools with high level and challenging academic courses. Classes require a fair amount of hard work and studying. It has a quarter system and encourages students to reach their goals through hard work.


As UCSD as a public school is very selective, and strong academic scores are critical for admission. If you have a high GPA, SAT score, it will increase your chance of getting in. Moreover, the rest of your application also helps to get in. As you will get to compete with many others, it is important to focus on high scores for tests and also high GPAs keeping in mind UCSD acceptance rate.

Furthermore, visit the official website to get timely information on admissions, deadlines, and admission criteria. Timely information will help you formulate your strategies and preparation for the test. It will likely increase your chance of getting admission on time.

About the author

Zuhra Jalal

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