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Colleges / University of California, Merced

University of California, Merced

Merced, CA 4-Year Public
Acceptance Rate85%
Acceptance Rate85%

UC Merced Admissions

If you want to apply to UC Merced, the regular decision application deadline is November 30 and the application fee is $70.

Application fees can add up, but some schools do have free applications and students with financial need may qualify for for an application fee waiver.

Students who apply to UC Merced for fall semester should receive an admissions decision no later than March 1.

UC Merced Admissions Stats at a Glance

Here is an overiew of some of UC Merced's admissions stats.

UC Merced 2022 Admissions Statistics
Mean Unweighted GPA 3.6
Admitted Students in Top 10% of Graduating Class 17%
Admissions Test Policy Optional
Waitlist No

Continue reading for more information on UC Merced's admissions stats.

Considering Applying Early to UC Merced?

These are the early application deadlines for University of California, Merced.

Application Type Offered Application Deadline Notification Deadline
Early Decision I No –– ––
Early Decision II No –– ––
Early Action No –– ––

UC Merced does not offer early decision or early action.

Some students apply to college early because they believe it will help their chances. Early deadlines may increase the chance of being admitted, since applying early shows your are very interested in a school, and your application is being considered before all the regular decision applicants apply.

See a list of some selective colleges that admit significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

Is UC Merced Hard To Get Into?

UC Merced is a moderately difficult school to get into. UC Merced evaluates applicants carefully based on multiple criteria to decide who to admit, and who to deny.

In 2021, UC Merced accepted 85% of students, around 21,982 of the 25,924 students who applied.

Schools that are moderately difficult to get into, like UC Merced, accept fewer than 85% of all applicants. At least 75% of all admitted students have GPAs in the top 50% of their high school class and scored over 1010 on the SAT or over 18 on the ACT.

Transfer student admissions is moderately difficult.

What Does UC Merced Look For in an Applicant?

Colleges consider a range of factors when choosing who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college has a different way of determining which factors are given the most weight in the admissions process. When creating your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengths and any possible weaknesses in your application, and choose schools that put the most emphasis the areas where you shine.

Admissions Factors at UC Merced

Wondering what factors are considered by UC Merced during the admissions process? Listed below are factors commonly taken into consideration during admissions decisions.

Admissions Factor Level
Application Essay Very Important
Academic GPA Very Important
Rigor of Secondary School Record Very Important
Extracurricular Activities Important
Talent/Ability Important
Character/Personal Qualities Considered
Geographical Residence Considered
Recommendation(s) Considered
State Residency Considered
Volunteer Work Considered
Work Experience Considered
First Generation Considered

Make sure to check with UC Merced for more information on admission factors.

UC Merced 2022-2023 Application Requirements

To apply, all applicants to UC Merced must submit the following items. Double check with UC Merced's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

Area Required Recommended Required for Some Details (If Any)
Transcript(S) of College Record
Standardized Test Scores
Statement of Good Standing From Prior Institution(S)
Written Essay or Personal Statement
Other Requirements minimum 3.0 high school GPA for California residents
Transcript of High School Record

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into UC Merced?

Your high school grade point average (GPA) is a number that reflects your high school academic performance. A weighted GPA or an unweighted GPA are the two possible GPA scores considered by colleges.

An unweighted GPA is an average of your scores from each class on a four-point scale. 4.0. Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0. A weighted GPA considers your average grade and the difficulty of your classes. A weighted GPA boosts your average by adding extra points for honors or Advanced Placement courses.

Students admitted to UC Merced have an average unweighted GPA of 3.6At UC Merced 17% of students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class in high school

GPAs of Admitted Students

At University of California, Merced, student GPAs fall in the following ranges.

GPA Percent of Students
4.0 GPA ––
3.75 and 3.99 14%
3.50 and 3.74 22.8%
3.25 and 3.49 24%
3.00 and 3.24 22%
2.50 and 2.9 0.2%
2.00 and 2.49 ––

This chart depicts the percentage of all enrolled, degree-seeking, first-time, first year (freshmen) students who had high school grade point average within the given ranges.

UC Merced does look at standardized tests scores during the admissions process.

UC Merced has a test optional admissions policy. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

What's a Good SAT Score for UC Merced?

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of UC Merced students scored 710 or higher and 75% of students scored 563 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of UC Merced students scored 690 or higher, and 75% scored a 563 or higher.

Want to increase your SAT Score?

Preparing for the SAT can help raise your score, but it doesn't have to take up a lot of time.

Learn how to increase your SAT score 200 points or more in just 10 minutes a day.

What's a Good ACT Score for UC Merced?

Want To Bring Up Your ACT Score? Access ACT practice tests and study tips and see upcoming ACT test dates.

Transferring to University of California, Merced

For transfer students, it is moderately difficult to get admitted to UC Merced.

For transfer students wishing to start in the Fall, the deadline to apply is November 30. Applicants should hear back by April 1.

Transfer students can enroll in UC Merced during the following terms:

• Fall Term

• Spring Term

UC Merced Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to UC Merced?

❌ Students who are admitted to UC Merced must attend in the term they start. Deferring admissions is not encouraged. If you have a unusual circumstance, contact the admissions department.

Does UC Merced accept transfer credits?

✅ UC Merced accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions.

Does UC Merced accept Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credits?

✅ UC Merced accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) credits.

Do I have to submit test scores to UC Merced?

❌ No, UC Merced is test optional, so it's up to you if you want to submit test scores or not. If you have higher than average scores, you probably want to include them. If your scores are average or below average, you it might make sense to leave them out of your application..

What is UC Merced's acceptance rate?

✅ UC Merced's acceptance rate is 85%.

What is the early decision acceptance rate at UC Merced?

❌ UC Merced does not offer early decision.

What is the early action acceptance rate at UC Merced?

❌ UC Merced does not offer eary action.

Want To Learn More About UC Merced?

To learn more about UC Merced, choose from the options below:


Student Life


Tuition & Aid

Visit the College Confidential forums to join the conversation about UC Merced

Explore other colleges in California or use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

UC Merced Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty

Somewhat Selective


How hard is it to get into UC Merced? UC Merced is a somewhat selective institution. The UC Merced acceptance rate is 85%. This means that the institution accepts 84 out of every 100 applicants.


UC Merced Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Nov 30

Transfer Applications are Due

Nov 30

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to UC Merced is Nov 30.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to UC Merced is Nov 30.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

UC Merced ACT Scores


ACT Range

Not available

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UC Merced SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

Not available


Math SAT Range

570 - 710


Reading SAT Range

563 - 690

UC Merced GPA

Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)


GPA Needed to Get Accepted

At UC Merced, the average unweighted high-school GPA for admitted students is 3.55. This is the average, which means that some applicants submit GPAs lower than this and some applicants submit GPAs above this level. If your GPA falls below the average, strong test scores or other qualifications may help you make you a more competitive applicant.

Data Source: IPEDs and Peterson's Databases © 2022 Peterson's LLC All rights reserved

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment


Campus Setting

Small Town

Acceptance Rate


Tuition and Fees

In State




Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Nov 30
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