UCSD Acceptance Rate 2023

UCSD Acceptance Rate 2023 [Admission Guide]

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If you are interested in the acceptance rate of UCSD, then you are on the right page.

Knowing about the UCSD acceptance rate before applying will help you know how easy it is to get admitted.

With over 100,000 applications from both freshmen and transfer applicants in 2022, it is obvious that UCSD is one of the schools in the country will a large applicant pool.

In the year 2022, UCSD had its lowest acceptance rate for freshmen at 23.8%

One of the reasons why the University of California, San Diego has a large number of applicants each year is because it is part of the UC schools and also a Public Ivy school with high research activity.

For this reason, this article will throw more light on the following:  

  • UCSD acceptance rate by major
  • UCSD acceptance rates and requirements for first-year, transfers, and international students
  • UCSD GPA requirements
  • UCSD SAT and ACT requirements 
  • Tips for getting into UCSD and lots more.

In the meantime, we will begin with an overview of the University of California SD.

You may also want to read about UCLA Acceptance Rate 2023.

UCSD Acceptance Rate

About University of California, San Diego

The University of California San Diego is a public research university located in the city of San Diego, California.

Also, it was founded on November 18, 1960, by Roger Revelle as a campus and it admitted its first undergraduate student in 1964.

Presently, UCSD is one of the top research universities in the world and it is recognized among the US Public Ivy colleges.

This school offers about 125 undergraduate programs, 35 master programs, 47 doctoral programs, 5 professional programs, and nine joint doctoral programs respectively.

There are about 33,343 undergraduates and 9,532 postgraduate students at UCSD.

Because of its wide range of academic programs, UCSD is highly recognized.

In recent times, the number of applicants to this institution has eventually increased, as a result, the UCSD acceptance rate has been affected.

Let’s cut to the chase as we see the UCSD acceptance rate history.

UC San Diego’s first-year acceptance rate history

In other, for us to know the UCSD acceptance rate pattern, it is necessary to look at the number of applicants and those admitted for ten years.

Below is the UCSD acceptance rate for first-year applicants from 2012 to date.

Year of EntryClass of.ApplicantsAdmittedAcceptance Rate

Meanwhile, you can read about Carnegie Mellon Acceptance Rate and How to Get in Easily.

UCSD acceptance rates by major 

Each of the UCSD majors has different acceptance rates due to some factors within the majors’ specifications

UCSD’s acceptance rate by major shows you how competitive each of the majors are before you apply.

In light of this, we will highlight a few majors and their admission rates.

  • Engineering: 20%
  • Medical school: 1.72%
  • Art and human science: 5%
  • Health science: 2%
  • Data science: 15%
  • Social science: 37%
  • Physical science: 12%
  • Biology science: 17%
  • Cognitive science: 5%

Apart from the UCSD acceptance rate by major, it’s also necessary to know its acceptance rate for the different modes of entry.

What are the UCSD acceptance rates for transfer, California residents, and non-residents?

Although UCSD’s most recent first-year acceptance rate is 34%, that of the other mode of entry differs.

Generally, first-year applicants are always more compared to the number of transfer applicants.

In most cases, these first-year applicants are more in-state than out-of-state, while a few are international applicants.

In this section, we will consider these acceptance rates.

UCSD acceptance rate for transfer students

The 2022 UCSD transfer acceptance rate is 58.7% which is higher than that of 2021 which was 54.78%.

As of 2021, UCSD received 22,501 transfer applications and accepted 12,327.

So far, the University of California, San Diego admits about 10,000 transfer students each academic year and 33% of its undergraduate class are transfer students.

UCSD acceptance rate for California residents and non-residents

The UCSD acceptance rate for residents dropped from 34% the previous year to 29%.

Interestingly, the acceptance rate for out-of-state applicants is 59%.

However, the acceptance rate for transfer California residents is higher than that of non-residents.

UCSD acceptance rate for international applicants

While some say that UCSD is not selective as it regards international admissions, its international acceptance rate is 31%.

Similarly, you may like to read about the University of Michigan Acceptance Rate [2023].

UCSD acceptance rate 2023

UCSD admission requirements

There are some differences between the UCSD first-year requirements, transfers, and international requirements.

With this in mind, we will take a look at each one of them.

UCSD first-year application requirements

Every first-year student must meet up with the following requirements.

This is also applicable to international first-year applicants.

1. Possess a high school diploma:

Before you apply, you must have either a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) test.

2. Have a complete coursework:

For you to be eligible for admission to UC San Diego, you must complete the A-G courses and at least 11 of the 15 courses before your senior year of high school.

You should have a minimum of a “C grade” in each course.

  • History/social science (2 years)
  • English (years 4)
  • Mathematics (3-4 years)
  • Laboratory science (2-3 years)
  • Language other than English (2-3 years)
  • Visual and performing arts (1 year)
  • College preparatory elective (1 year)

3. Answer your Personal Insight Questions:

You will be asked to answer 4 out of the 8 personal insight questions.

It is important to answer the questions you are familiar with so that you can express yourself easily. 

No question is superior to the other, you are to write about who you are, what is important to you, why you choose UCSD and more about your experiences

Your answers are limited to a maximum of 350 words, so make each statement count.

4. GPA requirements:

While first-year California residents need a minimum GPA of 3.0 to apply, non-residents including international applicants must apply with at least 3.4 with no grades lower than C.

Also, you may like to read about MIT Acceptance Rate 2023 [What You Need To Know].

UCSD international requirements

In addition to the general requirements, international students are to apply with the following:

1. English proficiency test:

If English is not your native language and you were not taught in English then you must apply with an English proficiency test.

You can choose to write either one of these English tests.

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): minimum score of 83.
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): minimum score of 7.
  • Duolingo English Test (DET): Minimum score of 115

2. Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate Tests:

The Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) scores are also important factors for you to be eligible.

By all means, the UCSD admission team expects that an official copy of your AP or IB, TOEFL, or IELTS scores is sent directly from the testing agency. 

UCSD transfer requirements

1. Coursework requirement:

You must complete a minimum of 60 University of California transferable semester (90 quarter) units by the end of the spring term before your admission in the fall.

Aim to have at least a C grade in each of these courses.

Also, you are to complete the 7-course pattern; 2 English compositions, 1 mathematical concept & quantitative reasoning, and 4 courses from at least 2 of the following:

  • Arts and humanities
  • Physical and biological sciences
  • Social and behavioral sciences

You can get more details about the coursework requirements at the transfer student application requirements.

2. GPA requirements:

You must apply with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in your UC-transferable courses.

Although, most admitted transfer students have higher GPAs.

3. Personal Insight Questions:

This is a bit similar to the Personal Insight Questions for first-year students.

The difference is that you will be asked to answer 3 out of the 7 questions.

Meanwhile, you can read about the Stanford University Acceptance Rate 2023 [With Admission Tips].

UCSD average GPA requirements

As mentioned earlier, all applicants should have at least a GPA of 3.0 – 3.4 before applying.

Regardless, the first-year admitted student had an average GPA of 4.12 – 4.30 and the transfer students had an average GPA of 3.48 – 3.91, of which 25% has less and 25% had more.

UCSD average SAT and ACT requirements

SAT and ACT scores are optional for all applicants, they are usually not considered by UCSD admissions.

On the other hand, these tests can be used for course placement after you enroll or to fulfill the minimum requirements for your eligibility.

Apart from your application requirements, other factors will determine your admission into UCSD.

Without further ado, let’s examine what UCSD wants to see in each applicant.

Is UCSD hard to get into?

With an acceptance rate of 23.8% you can say that UCSD is very competitive and selective for first-year students but moderately selective for transfers.

Meeting the requirements isn’t enough because most applicants do.

Without further ado, let’s examine what UCSD wants to see in each applicant apart from academic performance.

Also, you can read about Dartmouth Acceptance Rate 2023.

What does UC San Diego look for in a student?

UCSD seeks applicants with not just academic excellence but also non-academic achievements, and unique personal qualities.

Below are what you must put into consideration before applying.

1. Academic excellence:

This includes your performance in GPA, AP, IB, or UC-transferable college courses, SAT or ACT scores, TOEFL or IELTS tests, A-G courses, Honours, and class rank (top 9%).

2. Good Personal Qualities:

This includes your character; passion, motivation, empathy, leadership, creativity, contentment, maturity, honesty, etc.

3. Great Nonacademic Achievements:

This includes teamwork, job experience, community service, leadership roles, awards, sports participation, employment,

Before applying make sure you have all these handy and presentable because you need them to scale through the admission process.

Again, the UCSD admission team will be impressed with the challenges you’ve faced, the unusual circumstances you passed through, your victories, and what you learned from defeating situations.

You have to convince them that you are not just ready and able for the student journey at UCSD but that you have a lot to offer.

Tips for applying to UCSD

The following tips will guide you on your way to UCSD

  • Aim for good grades or at least a minimum of C in each course.
  • Prepare early and answer your insight questions carefully by reading the instructions.
  • Take an English proficiency test if English is not your first language TOEFL, IELTS, or DET.
  • Write AP or IB exams. 
  • Developed these personal qualities; leadership, creativity, honesty, passion, and lots more.
  • Be involved in activities that contribute to society.
  • Be focused 
  • Apply early

You may like to read about Georgetown University Acceptance Rate [2023 Admissions].

UCSD application dates

AUGUST 1 UC application opens for the next academic term.

NOVEMBER 1- 30 Ensure you submit your application to the University of California between November 1 – 30.

Conclusion: on UCSD acceptance rate

To summarize, the UCSD acceptance rate is most selective for first-year applicants.

This acceptance rate has reduced because of the larger number of students applying each year.

So, to be a part of successful UCSD applicant, you must work with each of the UCSD admission criteria to the latter.

Finally, no matter how selective and competitive UCSD has been and will be, only remain determined to win.

Frequently asked questions about UCSD

  1. What GPA do you need to get into UCSD?

    You need at least a 3.0 -3.4 GPA to get into UCSD.

  2. Is UCSD difficult to get into?

    Yes, the UCSD acceptance rate is 23.8%.

  3. Is UCSD Ivy League?

    No UCSD is not an Ivy League School but a Public Ivy.

  4. Is UCSD top 10 schools?

    Recently, the University of California, San Diego was ranked number 8 among public U.S. universities according to the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR).

  5. What is the UCSD acceptance rate?

    The UCSD acceptance rate for first-year applicants is 23.8% and for transfers is 58.7.

Check out NYU Transfer Acceptance Rate [How To Gain Admission Fast].


  1. ucsdnews.ucsd.edu – UC San Diego increases access to Californians and underrepresented students
  2. triton.news – UCSD Admits the Highest Number of Applicants Systemwide
  3. ucsdnews.ucsd.edu – UC San Diego Admits Record 52,946 First-Year and Transfer Students
  4. wikipedia.org – University of California, San Diego
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