The University of California contains ten campuses – the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) being one of them. It ranks among the top 15 public colleges in the country and is regarded as one of the most prestigious institutions. Aside from outstanding academics, UCLA has a storied athletic department and offers students a rich and dynamic campus life in Los Angeles—at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains and only five miles from the Pacific Ocean. It’s no surprise that UCLA receives more applications than any other college in the United States.  

A total of 108,877 students applied to UCLA in 2021, with only 15,602 accepted. This means that the UCLA acceptance rate is 14.3 percent. This was a decline from the 2020 UCLA acceptance rate of 16.3 percent. Applicants to UCLA are not eligible for early action or early decision. UCLA’s admission rate is extremely low, but your particular odds of acceptance may be higher or lower based on the strength of your profile.

This article will discuss the 2020 UCLA acceptance rates and the GPA you need to get into UCLA. We will also provide advice and tips on how to get into UCLA.

UCLA Acceptance Rate

Looking at an institution’s acceptance rates is important to consider when researching colleges. The acceptance rate of a college specifies how many candidates are accepted as a proportion of all candidates. When it comes to accepting students, the world’s finest institutions are extremely selective. As UCLA is one of the most prestigious universities in the world, the admittance rate is low. 

The UCLA acceptance rate for the year 2021 was 14.3 percent. This means that, for every 100 applicants, only 14 are admitted. This was a reduction from the 2020 UCLA acceptance rate of 16.3 percent. Thus, based on the 2021 and 2020 UCLA acceptance rates, UCLA and UC Berkley are considered two of the hardest UCs to get into. UCLA does not offer early decision deadlines for its applicants.

What exactly is UCLA looking for?

UCLA and the UC system as a whole have a set of standards that a student must satisfy to be considered. In general, students who receive a public school education will meet these standards; however, students who attend private schools or are homeschooled should pay special attention to them to ensure they are met.

To be admitted to the UC System, a candidate must pass a set of 15 courses known as the “A to G subject requirements.” Students must not receive a grade worse than a C in any of their A–G course requirements. The courses from A through G are as follows:

Letter  Subject  Requirement 
A History 2 years
B English  4 years
C Math  3 years
D Science 2 years
E Language other than English  2 years
F Visual and performing arts 1 year
G College preparatory elective  1 year

What GPA is required for UCLA?

You might find yourself asking – “What GPA do you need to get into UCLA?” UCLA candidates must additionally meet the UCLA GPA requirements for admission in-state.  Students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher, while out-of-state students must have a 3.4 GPA or greater. The 2020 UCLA acceptance rates have indicated that UCLA is a competitive school. Meeting the UCLA GPA requirement is usually a basic prerequisite to avoid getting your application rejected right away.

Looking at the average GPA of accepted candidates will give you an idea about the UCLA GPA requirement. UCLA’s class of 2025 (batch of 2021) had an average high school GPA of 3.9—47.3 percent earned a 4.0, and 42.2 percent had a GPA between 3.75 and 3.99.

Therefore, to answer the question “What GPA is required for UCLA?” Note that to be considered for admission to UCLA, you must be at the top of your class. You will require approximately straight As in all of your classes to meet the UCLA GPA requirement, as the average unweighted GPA of UCLA-approved students is 3.9.

You’ll also most likely need to take AP or IB classes to demonstrate your ability to do well in advanced school, especially if your GPA is below the national average.

What SAT and ACT scores do I need to get accepted into UCLA?

Although standardized exams are considered “extremely essential,” UCLA (and the whole UC System) will adopt a test-blind method until the autumn of 2024. Standardized test scores will be accepted as part of your application to evaluate eligibility for the California Statewide Admissions Guarantee or as an alternate way of meeting minimum eligibility criteria. Since UCLA is test-blind, they will not make admissions choices based on standardized test results. Standardized test results have little relevance at UCLA, although they are essential at other colleges.

Admission Tips to Get into UCLA

1. Maintain a 3.9 GPA despite taking the most difficult classes offered.

The average UCLA GPA requirement for the class of 2025 was 3.9, with 47.3 percent having a perfect 4.0. Simply defined, strong grades are required for admittance to UCLA, and the institution considers them “extremely essential” when making admissions choices. Furthermore, you’ll need to have a high GPA to get into UCLA and meet both the school’s academic criteria and the Academic Index criterion.

The Academic Index is a metric employed by highly selective colleges with a significant number of applications. Academic Index combines an applicant’s whole academic record into a single figure, making it simple for admissions officers to select applicants who do not fulfill a college’s academic requirements.

But, simply knowing the answer to the question “What GPA do you need to get into UCLA?” isn’t sufficient. Good grades aren’t always enough to impress a top institution like UCLA; you’ll also need to have achieved them in the most difficult courses possible. Competitive candidates to top 10 colleges, such as UCLA, will frequently have completed up to 12 AP classes.

2. Develop one or two Tier 1-2 extracurricular activities

Extracurricular activities are viewed as an “essential” aspect of admissions choices at UCLA. The best universities want individuals who have one or two well-developed interests and have proven accomplishment or leadership in them. A well-developed interest referred to as a “spike” is another excellent technique to get the attention of admissions officers. 

The “four levels of extracurriculars” concept is a simple method to understand how a college rates a specific activity:

Tier 1 activities are the most influential; they are rare and represent greatness, success, and leadership. Winning a national award or participating in a top merit-based summer program are examples of Tier 1 activities.

Tier 2 activities exhibit quality, success, and leadership. Still, they are more prevalent and have a lower effect than Tier 1 activities, such as state-level recognition in athletics or music, serving as student body president, or earning a regional award.

Tier 3 extracurriculars are regularly featured on applications and lack the differentiation found in higher tier activities. Tier 3 activities include serving as captain of a varsity sport or holding a leadership role in a well-known group.

Tier 4 activities carry the least weight and are often observed by admissions officers. Participation in a sport or group and general volunteer work are all examples of Tier 4 activities.

3. Create interesting essays

Essays are the finest method to distinguish yourself from other candidates. UCLA believes essays to be “extremely significant” in the admissions process and highly values them. Applicants to UCLA are asked eight questions, four of which must be answered. It will help if you put a lot of time and attention into each of the four essays you write for UCLA. The admissions committee may be influenced in your favor if you can demonstrate on your application that you are serious about attending UCLA.

Start writing your UCLA essays early, so you have time to rewrite and receive feedback.