The University of California Irvine receives 100s of thousands of applications annually and only accepts the best applicants.
This article explains the UC Irvine acceptance rate for 2023 first-year and transfer students and its admission statistics. Do you have what it takes to get into UCI?
Now, let’s get to business.
Is UC Irvine difficult to get into?
While UC Irvine can be very selective regarding admissions, getting in is doable. It’s one of the top 50 higher institutions in the nation, receiving thousands of applications annually. What else do you expect?
What’s funny is that you can even tick all the boxes and still get rejected or waitlisted. Some people blame UCI for yield protection when the institution doesn’t think they are a perfect fit.
Since most applicants have good enough grades and GPAs, improving areas, like essays and extracurricular activities, seems like the way to go. Just be more competitive.
There’s also the transfer student route which will save you money and increase your chances of getting in, especially if you study at a California community college. For example, a 3.40 unweighted GPA makes you eligible for the TAG program, whereas it doesn’t cut it for a first-year applicant.
Lastly, how difficult getting into UCI may be for you depends on your major. Competitive majors like nursing, CS, and the like require you to have more than just great grades.
UC Irvine acceptance rate
The UC Irvine acceptance rate for 2022 is 20.99%. This means that out of every 100 applicants, only 21 are admitted.
It received 119,165 freshman applications and 22,843 transfer applications for the class of 2026. This sums up to over 142,000 applications.
Based on residency, UC Irvine’s out-of-state acceptance rate is 73.9%. The acceptance rate for international students is 37.8%, while that of California residents is 20.1%.
- UC Merced acceptance rate
- UC Santa Cruz’s acceptance rate
- UC Riverside acceptance rate
- UC San Francisco acceptance rate
- UCLA acceptance rate
UC Irvine transfer acceptance rate
UC Irvine has a transfer acceptance rate of 40.7% for 2022 with a 30% yield. This implies that out of every 100 transfer applicants, only about 41 are admitted, out of which 12 accept the admission offer.
When we compared the transfer admit data for 2022 to the previous year, UCI saw a 13.7% decrease in transfer applications and a 3% increase in the transfer acceptance rate.
Note: A minimum of 60 UC transferable semester units must have been completed before applying. Also, it is important to declare your major of interest in your application.
UC Irvine acceptance rate by major
|Asian American Studies||27.7%|
|Business Information Management||8.0%|
|Computer Science and Engineering||40.4%|
|Criminology, Law, and Society||23.7%|
|Earth System Science||61.2%|
|East Asian Cultures||39.1%|
|Ecology and Evolutionary Biology||31.2%|
|Film and Media Studies||19.0%|
Who gets into UCI?
According to UCI’s admit data for fall 2021, these people are offered admission to study at UC Irvine.
- 56.88% Female
- 41.01% Male
- 1.53% Undeclared
- 0.58% Nonbinary
- 50.29% California residents
- 26.44% Out-of-state students
- 22.11% International students
- American Indian/Alaskan Native – 0.15%
- Asian/Asian American – 29.52%
- Black, non-Hispanic – 2.68%
- Hispanic – 21.05%
- Pacific Highlander – 0.10%
- White, non-Hispanic – 15.59%
- 2 or more ethnicities (URM) – 2.34%
- 2 or more ethnicities (non-URM) – 3.71%
- Unknown – 2.75%
- International – 22.11%
SAT and ACT Averages
While UC Irvine does not use standardized test scores for admission or scholarship purposes, some students submit them.
What GPA do you need to get into UCI?
First-year students who are residents of California need a minimum GPA of 3.0, while non-residents need a 3.4 GPA to apply. However, you need at least a 3.95 GPA on a 4.0 scale to get in.
On the other hand, in-state students need a 2.4 GPA, while non-Californians need a minimum GPA of 2.8 to transfer to the University of California Irvine.
The median GPA of students transferring from a California community college to UCI is 3.80. That’s enough to apply for the TAG program.
What does UCI look for in applicants?
Below are some of the most important selection factors used by the admission committee at UC Irvine.
1. GPA. Your GPA is a good indicator of your academic excellence during high school or your previous institution. While UCI requires nothing less than a C in the 15 A-G subject courses, you need a lot of As to stay competitive.
Being a class topper may also give you an edge over other applicants, especially if you are a California resident.
2. Residency. While most schools in the University of California system prefer in-state students, UC Irvine accepts more out-of-state students than California residents. This makes it one of the most oos-friendly institutions in the UC system.
This may be because non-residents pay about 3x the normal cost of attendance and hence are the cash cows. Note that this doesn’t displace the fact that a good chunk of its student body is in-state students.
3. Personal Statement. When filling out the UC application, applicants must answer 4 of the 8 questions. Answers must not exceed 350 words each.
This part of the application is where most applicants ignore and write some regurgitated answers they got from the internet. Though mostly overlooked, it is an opportunity to distinguish yourself.
4. Extracurriculars. Activities such as community service, sports, educational clubs, demonstration of leadership skills, etc., complement the academic curriculum and are important if you want to get into UC Irvine. You may need to up your game if you have no extracurriculars because most applicants do.
5. Honors credits. Honors classes such as Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) are rigorous and are usually considered by all schools in the UC system. Students who earn good scores on these exams will receive credit toward graduation at UCI.
6. English Proficiency (for international students). International students who studied where English was not the language of instruction must submit proof of English language proficiency for admission.
UCI accepts tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, DET, etc., for admission purposes. Also, the score must be self-reported in the UC application.
By now you know the UC Irvine acceptance rate for the class of 2026 and its admission requirements for freshman and transfer admissions. UCI’s transfer selectivity rate is almost twice that of first-year students.
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Sam is a brilliant young Nigerian biochemistry student and an aspiring entrepreneur. Despite facing many challenges, he has never lost his passion for learning and drive to make a difference in the world. Read more about him here.