Fast Facts about UCLA

UCLA has been named USA’s top public university in the 2017–18 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, published today. The report also ranked UCLA No. 11 among all American universities — public or private — and No. 15 worldwide. The publication ranked 1,102 of the world’s leading research universities, drawing on 195 data points, taking into account a variety of indicators, including quality of teaching and research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. UC Berkeley, which placed No. 18 overall, is the only other American public university to rank among the world’s top 20.

UCLA consistently performs well in a variety of rankings, regardless of methodology. Last month, UCLA was ranked No. 2 among American public universities and No. 12 worldwide overall in the Academic Ranking of World Universities compiled by Shanghai Jiao Tong University. In June, UCLA was ranked No. 2 among all U.S. public universities and No. 13 among all universities worldwide in the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings. In January, UCLA was ranked No. 3 by the Princeton Review in its annual national ranking of best-value public universities. In October, U.S. News and World Report’s Best Global Universities rankings placed UCLA second among American public universities and 10th overall. Approximately 1 in 6 undergraduate applicants are admitted to UCLA.

Undergraduate admissions for UCLA comprise 10 divisions: The Social Sciences Division, Humanities Division, Physical Sciences Division, Life Sciences Division, Undergraduate Education Division, School of Arts and Architecture, Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, Herb Alpert School of Music, School of Theater, Film and Television, and School of Nursing.

Admissions at UCLA are gender-blind and race-blind, as they encourage a campus with a focus on diversity. Their admissions are based on the following 8 criteria:

  1. The applicant’s full record of achievement in college preparatory work in high school, including the number and rigorous courses taken and grades earned in those courses. In assessing achievement levels, consideration will be given to individual grades earned, to the pattern of achievement over time, and to an applicant’s achievement relative to that of others in his or her high school.
    2. Personal qualities of the applicant, including leadership ability, character, motivation, tenacity, initiative, originality, creativity, intellectual independence, responsibility, insight, maturity, and demonstrated concern for others and for the community
    3. Likely contributions to the intellectual and cultural vitality of the campus. In addition to a broad range of intellectual interests and achievements, consideration will be given to evidence of an applicant’s ability and desire to contribute to a campus that values cultural, socioeconomic, and intellectual diversity.
    4. Performance on standardized tests, including the ACT plus Writing or SAT, and any AP or IBHL examinations the applicant may have taken. Under no circumstances does UCLA employ minimum scores or “cut-offs” of any kind.
    5. Achievement in academic enrichment programs, measured by time and depth of participation, by the academic progress made by the applicant during that participation, and by the intellectual rigor of the particular program.
    6. Other evidence of achievement. This criterion will recognize exemplary, sustained achievement in any field of intellectual or creative endeavor; accomplishments in the performing arts and athletics; employment; leadership in school or community organizations or activities; and community service.
    7. Opportunities. All achievements, both academic and non-academic, are considered in the context of the opportunities an applicant has had, and the reader’s assessment is based on how fully the applicant has taken advantage of those opportunities.
    8. Challenges. For an applicant who has faced any hardships or unusual circumstances, readers consider the maturity, determination, and insight with which he or she has responded to and/or overcome them.


Admissions Process


As an undergraduate, you may apply for admission as a freshman (first-year) or as a transfer student. UCLA does not admit students into any undergraduate program who already hold Bachelor’s degrees, nor do they admit students who have the equivalent of three years (130 quarter-units or more) of transferable university work.

Freshmen (first-year) students must have completed secondary school with a superior average in academic subjects and have earned a certificate of completion which enables the student to be admitted to a university in the home country.

Students who have attended school under the British system must present five GCSE/Ordinary-Level examinations and at least three Advanced-Level examinations with superior grades. Results of Advanced-Subsidiary or Higher-Level exams should also be submitted. Students enrolled in the India/Pakistan post-secondary system must apply as undergraduates unless they have earned a Bachelor’s degree in engineering or a Master’s degree in any other area, in which case they should apply for admission to a graduate program.

All freshman applicants are expected to take the following tests:

The ACT plus the ACT Writing Test.
– or –
The SAT. Note: for tests taken in March, 2016 or later you must complete the essay portion of the SAT.

Applicants to the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science are also strongly encouraged to take the following SAT Subject Tests: Math Level 2 and a science test (Biology E/M, Chemistry, or Physics) that is closely related to the applicant’s intended major.

In order for your test scores to be available in time for our review, all tests must be taken by December of the year before you plan to enroll. You should request that your test scores be sent directly to the UCLA Undergraduate Admission Office.

Transfer applicants need to be at the junior level, that is, have taken college level coursework amounting to 90-130 quarter (60-90 semester) units of credit. UCLA gives preference to students transferring from California community colleges, and international students are no exception.



UCLA requires records from all secondary schools attended, showing subjects taken and grades received as well as any national or government certificates earned. Documents of all college or university coursework must also be sent in the original language, along with English translations. Do not send these documents now. If you apply and are admitted to UCLA, your admission packet will contain instructions on how to send your original records to us.


English language proficiency is critical to your success at UCLA. Applicants whose first language, or language of instruction for at least the last three years, is not English, are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS).

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores should be above 100 (with sub-scores above 22).
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores should be 7 or higher.

When you take the test, have your scores forwarded by the testing service to the UCLA Undergraduate Admission Office.

If you are admitted to UCLA and your native language is not English, we may also require you to take UCLA’s English-as-a-Second-Language Placement Examination (ESLPE) immediately before the term in which you enter. If your score indicates a weakness in English, several terms of your program may include special courses in English for international students. If your score shows that you are seriously deficient, you will be required to gain proficiency in English before you are allowed to pursue your studies at UCLA.


UCLA does not award scholarships or financial aid to undergraduate students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States. International students must prove that they have sufficient funds available to them to pay for their educational and living expenses. For example, students admitted to Fall Quarter 2016 will need a minimum of about $60,000 (with an additional $5,000 recommended for additional personal expenses, contingencies and summer expenses). This minimum amount usually grows each year.

UCLA also requires that all international students on non-immigrant visas have adequate medical insurance during all periods of enrollment. More information about these requirements will be sent to students when they are admitted.



With such competitive entrance requirements, the LMI advantage exists in helping you gain entry to UCLA through maximising your personal statements and essays to stand out amongst a diverse crowd of 102,000 applicants every year. On top of that, we can boost your chances of admission by helping you gain access to college-level credit taken at top universities including Harvard University, as proof of academic excellence. To find out more, contact your LMI admissions advisor today!

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