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Colleges / University of California, Santa Cruz

University of California, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, CA 4-Year Public
Acceptance Rate59%
Acceptance Rate59%

UC Santa Cruz Admissions

If you are applying to UC Santa Cruz, the regular decision application deadline is November 30 and the fee for the application costs $70.

Students who submit their applications to UC Santa Cruz for fall should hear back from UC Santa Cruz by March 31.

UC Santa Cruz Admissions Stats at a Glance

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

UC Santa Cruz 2022 Admissions Statistics
Mean Unweighted GPA 3.6
Admitted Students in Top 10% of Graduating Class 94%
Admissions Test Policy Not optional and are not considered
Waitlist Yes

University of California, Santa Cruz Application Deadlines

These are the application deadlines for University of California, Santa Cruz.

Application Type Offered Application Deadline Notification Deadline
Early Decision I No –– ––
Early Decision II –– –– ––
Early Action No –– ––
Regular Decision Yes November 30 March 31

Want to Apply Early to UC Santa Cruz?

UC Santa Cruz does not offer early decision or early action.

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

More on University of California, Santa Cruz Admissions

How To Get Into University of California, Santa Cruz

It is very difficult to get into UC Santa Cruz. UC Santa Cruz evaluates applicants carefully based on multiple criteria to decide who to admit, and who to deny or waitlist.

In 2021, UC Santa Cruz accepted 59% of students, approximately 35,349 of the 60,061 students who applied.

Schools that are very difficult to get into, like UC Santa Cruz, accept fewer than 60% of all applicants. At least 50% of all admitted students have GPAs in the top 10% of their high school class and scored over 1230 on the SAT and over 26 on the ACT.

For applicants who are not residents of California, getting into University of California, Santa Cruz is extremely difficult.

Transferring to University of California, Santa Cruz

Transfer student admissions is very difficult.

For Students Waitlisted to UC Santa Cruz

In 2022, UC Santa Cruz waitlisted 19,170 students and 12,541 accepted a place on the waitlist. Of those, 6,633 eventually got off the waitlist.

What's Most Important for Getting Into UC Santa Cruz?

Colleges consider a range of factors when choosing who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college determines which factors are are most important when choose which applicants to admit, and which to deny. When assembling 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 prioritize the admissions factors where you stand out.

Admissions Factors at UC Santa Cruz

What does UC Santa Cruz consider during the admissions process? Take a look at the list below to see which factors are most important during the admissions process.

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

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

UC Santa Cruz 2022-2023 Application Requirements

To apply to UC Santa Cruz, all applicants must submit the following items. Double check with UC Santa Cruz'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)
Minimum High School GPA (On 4.0 Scale) 3.0 3.4
Written Essay or Personal Statement
Other Requirements minimum high school GPA of 3.0 for California residents, 3.4 for non-residents
Transcript of High School Record

GPA and Testing

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into UC Santa Cruz?

Students admitted to UC Santa Cruz have an average unweighted GPA of 3.6. At UC Santa Cruz 94% of students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class in high school, 100% were in the top 25% and 100% were in the top 50%.

GPAs of Admitted Students

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

GPA Percent of Students
4.0 GPA 6.3%
3.75 and 3.99 27.9%
3.50 and 3.74 40.3%
3.25 and 3.49 20.8%
3.00 and 3.24 4.2%
2.50 and 2.9 0.5%
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.

Note: Some schools choose not release this information. If you have any questions regarding missing numbers, be sure to reach out to UC Santa Cruz directly.

About GPAs

Your high school grade point average (GPA) is a number that highlights 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. 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.

Standardized Test Scores

UC Santa Cruz does not consider ACT or SAT scores as part of the admissions process.

UC Santa Cruz does not have 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.

More Information on Transferring to University of California, Santa Cruz

For transfer students, it is very difficult to get admitted to UC Santa Cruz.

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

Transfer students can enroll in UC Santa Cruz during the following terms:

• Fall Term

• Winter Term

• Winter Term

UC Santa Cruz Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to UC Santa Cruz?

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

Does UC Santa Cruz accept transfer credits?

✅ UC Santa Cruz accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions.

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

✅ UC Santa Cruz accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) credits and Advanced Placement (AP) credits.

Do I have to submit test scores to UC Santa Cruz?

✅ UC Santa Cruz is not test optional. Test scores will not be considered during the admissions process, even if you submit them.

What is UC Santa Cruz's acceptance rate?

✅ UC Santa Cruz's acceptance rate is 59%.

What is the early decision acceptance rate at UC Santa Cruz?

❌ UC Santa Cruz does not offer early decision.

Want To Learn More About UC Santa Cruz?

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


Student Life


Tuition & Aid

Join the conversation about about UC Santa Cruz in the College Confidential forums

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 Santa Cruz Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty

Very Selective


How hard is it to get into UC Santa Cruz? UC Santa Cruz is a very selective institution. The UC Santa Cruz acceptance rate is 59%. This means that the institution accepts 58 out of every 100 applicants.


UC Santa Cruz Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Nov 30

Transfer Applications are Due

Nov 30

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

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

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

UC Santa Cruz SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

Not available


Math SAT Range

Not available


Reading SAT Range

Not available

UC Santa Cruz GPA

Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)


GPA Needed to Get Accepted

At UC Santa Cruz, the average unweighted high-school GPA for admitted students is 3.63. 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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