Admission Requirements for International Freshmen

As an international student, you can apply for admission as a freshman or a transfer. You are considered a freshman applicant if you have completed secondary school and have not enrolled at any college or university. If you have completed secondary school and enrolled at a college or university, please see information on international transfer admissions. 

International students must meet the same admission requirements and will be included in the same selection process as U.S. students. Requirements for UCSC freshman admission can be found by visiting our freshmen admissions webpage.

Applying to UC Santa Cruz

Secondary School Requirements

To be considered for admission to UC Santa Cruz, international students must be on track to complete secondary school with superior grades/marks in academic subjects and to earn a certificate of completion that enables the student to be admitted to a university in their home country. 

More information on varying secondary school requirements by country and type can be found here.

Reporting Foreign Course Work on the Application: When you apply to UC Santa Cruz, you must report ALL foreign course work as it would appear on your foreign academic record. You should not convert the grading system of your home country to U.S. grades or use an evaluation done by an agency. If your grades/marks appear as numbers, words, or percentages, please report them as such on your UC application. Each UC campus has an International Admissions Specialist who will thoroughly evaluate your international records.

Test Requirements

Over the past few years, we have been carefully analyzing students’ records and have developed a new system we believe is as good at predicting student success as the previous system that included the ACT/SAT. This combined with the on-going global pandemic limiting students access to the ACT/SAT and the University of California system being test optional for fall 2021 and 2022 means UC Santa Cruz will no longer use standardized exam scores in our holistic review and selection process. Like all UC campuses, we consider a broad range of factors when reviewing a student's application, from academics to extracurricular achievement and response to life challenges. No admission decision is based on a single factor. Exam scores may still be used to meet area b of the a-g subject requirements as well as the UC Entry Level Writing requirement.

English Proficiency Requirement - If an applicant attends a school in a country where English is not the official language of instruction or if English is not the primary language of instruction (i.e. a bilingual school), applicants will need to show proficiency in English. To be admitted, the minimum IELTS score is 6.5 and minimum TOEFL is 80. For more information please see:

Proof of English Proficiency

For instructions on how to satisfy UCSC's English Proficiency Requirement, please see our English Proficiency web page.

Additional Documents

You should not send additional documents, awards, or copies of your academic records when submitting your UC application. However, please use your official academic records to help you fill out the application completely. If admitted to UCSC, you will be given detailed instructions on how to submit your official academic records. Please visit our web page for admitted international students for more information.

See Also