Completing your UC Application

University of California

Steps to Completing your UC Application:

Materials You Need: You will need a copy of your transcript, test scores, social security number (optional), CA statewide Student ID (for public HS students) and a credit card. In addition, we recommend going to the UCOP Doorways website  to see the course listings for your school. This will help you determine which classes should be entered for each A-G requirement and if the class is considered honors. You can also look at at the 2017/18 Freshman Application Tips and Tools for information, links and advice.

Understanding Comprehensive Review: Every UC school participates in Comprehensive Review, which means the admissions offices evaluate students on multiple factors. If you are interested in how each campus reviews applications and the factors they are considering, look on the Comprehensive Review Page for campus wide information and then click on each campus on the right-hand-side to see the specific information for each school.

Transcripts, Test Scores and SAT 2 Subject Exams: You do not need to send a transcript to any UC schools. When sending your test score to the UC schools, you only need to send your scores to one UC campus. The campuses share SAT/ACT information between campuses. While SAT Subject Tests are not required, students vying for slots in competitive majors take the tests to demonstrate subject proficiency. Click here for the majors at each school site that strongly recommends subject exams. Please make sure we talk about the issue of SAT subject exams when you come to your session and DO NOT SEND any SAT2s until we talk about your options.

Extra Information on the Application: Maximizing use of the “Additional Comments” sections
Applicants can use the first additional comments box, following the “Academic History” section, to explain their course selection decisions, a circumstance that prevented the student from taking more rigorous courses, gaps in education, differences in terms or grading systems, or a situation that affected their grades.

The second comment area immediately follows the “personal insight questions” section. Applicants may choose to provide information about a learning difference, circumstances or opportunities that had a significant impact on their educational journey, or uncommon events that provide context for what they’ve accomplished or was unable to accomplish.

The two additional comments boxes in the application are optional and should not be used as a continuation of a student’s personal insight question responses. Instead, students should use this section to explain anything that has not been discussed in other parts of the application or might benefit from further clarification.

Designating a Major: Every year students stress over designating a major or choosing “undecided” on the UC application. The good news is students can choose different majors at each campus to which they apply. The bad news is that each school in the UC system deals with major selection slightly differently.  We highly recommend reading the UC Campus Policies and Procedures for Reviewing Freshman Applicants to gather information about designating undeclared, SAT subject exams and notification dates. The best thing students can do is go to the website of each individual campus to determine what role major plays in admissions. The school names below are hyperlinked to individual school websites for information. Below we have copied the wording regarding selecting a major from each individual campus for students and families to review.

BERKELEY UC Berkeley is among the more selective universities in the country, becoming more competitive each year. Due to student demand, selectivity varies among Colleges, and—in the College of Engineering—among majors; for example, it is more difficult to gain admission to the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences major than to the Mechanical Engineering major.

For applications to the College of Letters and Science and Natural Resources no consideration is given to the indicated major in the review process. However, for the professional colleges of Chemistry, Environmental Design, and Engineering demonstrated interest in the major is also taken into consideration. Furthermore, in the colleges of Chemistry and Engineering, Berkeley faculty in these disciplines have asked that readers place added emphasis on sustained achievement in mathematics and science, and have indicated a preference that these applicants take the Math Level 2 SAT Subject Test and a science test (Biology, Chemistry or Physics) that is closely related to the applicant’s intended major. Major options at UCB

Admission decisions are made based upon the qualifications of the applicant pool and the number of available spaces within each academic area:

  • College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences admits by college
  • College of Biological Sciences admit by college
  • College of Letters and Science admits by division within the college (Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies; Mathematics and Physical Sciences; Social Sciences)
  • College of Engineering admits by academic department

Students applying as “undeclared” or “undeclared/exploratory” are considered within the college/division to which they applied. Major options at UCD

We also recommend that applicants indicate first and second choice majors when they apply.  If UC Irvine is unable to offer admission to all qualified applicants in their first-choice major, students who have indicated a valid alternate major may be offered admission in that major. Not sure what you want to major in? If you are a freshman applicant, you can apply as an undeclared major within a specific school or as undecided/undeclared if uncertain about choosing a particular field. After enrolling at UC Irvine, students who wish to change their major must submit a Change of Major Petition. Major options at UCI


For the College of Letters and Science, the applicant’s major is not considered during the review process. The Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science admits students by declared major, with more emphasis on science and math programs. The School of Nursing also places more emphasis on science and math programs and requires the submission of an additional supplemental application. The School of the Arts and Architecture and the School of Theater, Film and Television admit students by declared major (within the school), and put more emphasis on special talents through a review of portfolios and/or auditions, which are the most significant admission factors for these schools. Major options at UCLA

 Major is not a factor in admissions for UC Merced. Major options at UCM

Does not discuss the use of major in the admissions process. The website does mention that students applying to majors in the Bourns College of Engineering and the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences are strongly encouraged to take SAT subject exams in Math Level 2 and either Chemistry or Physics. Major options at UCR

The campus does not select students on the basis of academic major or choice of UCSD undergraduate college. Major Options at UCSD

 Choice of major is not considered in selection to the College of Letters and Science. The exceptions to this rule are dance and music performance majors. Both majors require applicants to complete an audition in late January or early February.College of Engineering students are selected by major for all engineering and computer science majors. Only applicants with a solid background in advanced high school mathematics will be considered for admission to engineering. This includes high grades in all math courses through grade 11 and enrollment in pre-calculus or higher in grade 12. A student not selected for their first choice major will be reviewed for admission to an alternate major outside of the College of Engineering if one was selected. Applicants to the College of Creative Studies submit a supplementary application in addition to the general UC Application, which is reviewed by Creative Studies faculty. Students are selected within Creative Studies majors only. Applicants not selected for Creative Studies will automatically be considered for admission to the College of Letters and Science. Major options at UCSB

SANTA CRUZ While all freshman applicants are considered for admission to the UC Santa Cruz campus under the campus selection criteria previously described, acceptance into engineering majors is based on high school GPA, courses completed in mathematics and sciences, scores on standardized tests, and/or the personal statement. Major options at UCSC