Applying to UC Santa Cruz

Photo by Elena Zhukova.


Q: How do I apply for fall 2017?
A: Fill out your online application and submit it during the application filing period of
November 1-30, 2016. The application can be used for multiple UC campuses, and it is also an
application for scholarships.


Q: What are the admissions criteria? 

A: For this information, please see our Freshman and Transfer Admissions web pages.

Freshman Admissions, Transfer Admissions


Q: What standardized tests do I need to take? 

A: Freshmen must take either the ACT Plus Writing or the SAT with Essay no later than December of the senior year. The university does not require SAT Subject Tests, but certain programs on some UC campuses recommend them, and you can use SAT Subject Tests to satisfy the "a-g" requirements (see Frosh Guide for more information).


Q: What are the average SAT and ACT scores, GPA, etc. for admitted freshmen and transfer students?  

A: For information of this kind, please see our UC Santa Cruz Facts page. 


Q: What is the acceptance rate?  

A: In fall 2016, 58.7% of freshman applicants were accepted, and 57.2% of transfer applicants were accepted. Admissions rates vary from year to year depending on the strength of the applicant pool.


Q: Do students from the East Coast have a greater chance of being accepted than West Coast students? 

A: All frosh, regardless of home geographic location, are reviewed and assessed using 14 different criteria, which can be found on the Freshman Admissions web page. UCSC seeks to admit and enroll students who will succeed at the university, including students from California and those from outside California. 


Q: What's the application fee?
The fee for applying to UC Santa Cruz is $70 for U.S. students. If you apply to more than one University of California campus at the same time, submit $70 for each UC campus you apply to. Fee waivers are available for students with qualifying family incomes. The fee for international applicants is $80 per campus.


Q: What are the application deadlines?

A: Fall Quarter 2017: November 1-30, 2016


Q: Do I need to send in references and recommendations?
A: Please do NOT send in any letters of recommendation or references. The university does not require or solicit letters of recommendation on behalf of applicants for undergraduate admission. Such letters are not forwarded to the admissions office with your UC Undergraduate Application.

If you already have letters of recommendation and references, however, we recommend that you keep them in case you'd like to appeal an admissions decision.


Q: How important is the Personal Insights section?
A: Note: Starting with the fall 2017 Application, the University of California will replace its essay section (formerly called the Personal Statement section) with a new section called Personal Insights. The section includes more specific questions with more flexibility in which questions students choose to answer.

While academic criteria (grades, courses taken, test scores) are most important, the Personal Insights are also a very important part of the application and selection process. The Personal Insight questions are about getting to know you better - your life experiences, interests, ambitions, and inspirations.

Freshman applicants will have eight questions to choose from, and they must respond to four of the eight questions. Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.

Transfer students will have one required question, plus seven additional questions, and they must answer three out of those seven questions. As with the freshman application, each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.

Additional information about the Personal Insights section


Q: What is your AP policy?
A: The University of California grants credit for all College Board Advanced Placement Tests on which a student scores 3 or higher.


Q: What do I have to do to establish residency in California?
A: Residency requirements are at registrar.ucsc.edu/fees/residency. The official determination of residency happens after you are admitted: A series of questions to determine your residency status is included in the online admission acceptance. You will be notified if you are classified as a non-resident. Please e-mail the Registrar’s Office at res-residency@ucsc.edu if you have further questions about residency.


Q: When are acceptance notices sent out?
A: For fall quarter acceptance, notices are sent March 15–31 for freshmen and March 17–April 30 for transfer students.