Undergraduate Admission

In this section:

Admission Procedures

Admission as a Transfer Student

Admission of U.S. Students from Outside California

Admission of International Students


Admission to Special Categories

Nondiscrimination, Harassment, and Affirmative Action Policies

Undergraduate admission to the University of California is based on multiple academic factors, as well as on personal achievements. The university has minimum admission qualifications, which are the same for each of the UC campuses, but when the number of minimally qualified applicants exceeds a campus's capacity for admission, additional faculty-approved selection criteria are applied.

If you are considering applying to UC Santa Cruz, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions wants to help you learn more about the campus, its distinctive educational programs, and its selection process for both first-year and transfer applicants. For more information, see Undergraduate Admissions.

The University of California, Santa Cruz encourages applications from a diverse range of students, including applicants coming from low socioeconomic backgrounds, first-generation students, students with disabilities, current members of the military, military veterans, and non-traditionally aged students. In addition, the campus welcomes students from throughout the U.S. and the world.

Admission by Exception. Admission by Exception is granted to a very small percentage of applicants who do not meet UC requirements. Such factors as academic accomplishments in light of a person’s life experiences and/or special circumstances, socioeconomic background, special talents and/or achievements, contributions to the community, and the applicant’s answers to the Personal Insight Questions are taken into consideration.

Campus Safety. UC Santa Cruz campus crime statistics can be viewed in the annual Clery Report, available at the UC Santa Cruz Police Department website.

Graduation rates. The following graduation-rate information is listed in compliance with the 1990 Title I: Federal Right-to-Know Act, Section 103. Sixty-one percent of the students who entered as first-year students in 2013 graduated in four years; 73 percent of those who entered in 2017 graduated in five years; and 77 percent of those who entered in 2016 graduated in six years. These graduation rates are well above the national averages. Among the most recent entering cohorts, those who entered as first-year students took an average of 4.2 years to graduate, and students transferring to UCSC as juniors averaged 2.3 years.

In accord with the Education Amendments of 1976, Section 493A, more detailed information regarding retention is available at the Institutional Research website.