UC Davis is a highly selective public university with a strong international reputation.
You should prepare for admission to UC Davis by first ensuring that you meet UC admission requirements. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee admission to UC Davis—applicants who are admitted generally well exceed UC admission requirements.
UC Davis reviews all applications using our specific selection criteria. For freshman applicants, the strength of the high school record is the single most important component, followed by performance on standardized test scores and other criteria, such as demonstrated leadership, special talent and individual initiative. For transfer applicants, academic performance and preparation for the selected college and major are considered first and foremost. In some cases, personal characteristics, experiences and circumstances will be considered.
Freshman Admission Requirements
To be considered for admission to UC Davis, freshman applicants must earn a high school diploma (or equivalent) and satisfy the following UC admission requirements:
- Subject Requirement,
- Scholarship Requirement, and
- Examination Requirement.
Meeting the UC admission requirements does not guarantee admission to UC Davis. Applicants that are admitted to UC Davis, generally well-exceed UC admission requirements
UC Admission Requirements
Courses You Need to Take
The following courses must be completed with a C grade or better and, for California residents, must be on your high school's UC-approved course list. At least 11 of the 15 units shown in the "a-g" requirements below must be completed before your senior year of high school.
|"A-G" Subjects||Units (One Unit=One Year of Study)|
|a. History/social science||Two units|
|b. English (or language of instruction)||Four units|
|c. Mathematics||Three units (Four units recommended)|
|d. Laboratory science||Two units (Three units recommended)|
|e. Language other than English (or other second language)||Two units (Three units recommended)|
|f. Visual and performing arts||One unit|
|g. College preparatory elective||One unit|
Grades You Must Receive
The scholarship requirement is satisfied if you earn a GPA of 3.0 or better in "a-g" courses taken during the tenth and eleventh grades. Applicants who are not California residents must earn a GPA of 3.4 or better.
One Test You Must Take
Freshman applicants are required to take the ACT Assessment plus Writing or the SAT Reasoning Test* no later than December—official scores must be received by the end of January. When you report your ACT or SAT scores to one campus they will be shared with every UC campus to which you've applied, if authorized on your UC application. Only your highest scores from a single sitting will be considered.
* SAT Subject Tests are not required and UC Davis will consider submitted SAT Subject Test scores only if they benefit the applicant.
The UC Guarantee
If you're a California resident applying to UC as a freshman and complete the UC Admission Requirements by the end of your senior year, the University of California offers two guaranteed paths for admission to a UC campus: Statewide Context and Local Context.
Through this pathway, the top 9 percent of graduating students in California according to the UC Admission Index are guaranteed admission to a UC campus. To be eligible, you must complete any 11 UC-approved Subject Requirement units before your senior year.
Through this pathway, also referred to as Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC), the University of California designates the top 9 percent of graduating students at each participating Calfornia high school guaranteed admission to a UC campus. To be eligible, you must complete the following 11 UC-approved units before your senior year:
|History/social science||One unit|
|English (or language of instruction)||Two units|
|Laboratory science||One unit|
|Language other than English (or other second language)||One unit|
|College preparatory elective||Four units|
Transfer Admission Requirements
To be eligible for transfer admission to any University of California campus, you must complete the following specific subject and scholarship requirements. Some majors require additional major-specific preparation as well. If you’re not a California resident, you must meet additional non-resident admission requirements.
Junior-Level Class Standing
You must have completed 60 semester or 90 quarter transferable units by the end of the spring term prior to fall enrollment.
While the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences occasionally considers applications from students with less than junior-level standing, very few lower-division transfers are admitted. All other academic divisions will only consider applications from junior-level transfers.
Subject RequirementYou must complete the following UC requirements in English and math with grades of C or better:
- two transferable college courses (3 semester or 4-5 quarter units) in English composition
- one transferable college course (3 semester or 4-5 quarter units) in mathematical concepts or quantitative reasoning
- arts and humanities
- social and behavioral sciences
- physical and biological sciences
These courses, along with any prerequisite courses for your major, must be completed by the end of the spring term before your transfer to UC Davis for fall enrollment.
You must earn at least a 2.40 GPA in your UC-transferable classes to meet UC requirements. However, UC Davis requires a minimum 2.80 GPA to be selected for admission, and many of our most popular programs may require a higher GPA.
Coursework requirements are the same for non-California residents. You must earn a 2.80 GPA or higher to be considered eligible for admission.
If you will require a visa to live or study in the United States, you are considered an international applicant and must follow additional admission procedures for international applicants. You are not considered an international applicant if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, even if you have completed coursework at a school in another country.
International Admission to UC Davis
International students enrich the UC Davis campus community with their cultural and academic experiences, and we welcome your application! The campus attracts approximately 1,400 undergraduate students from around the world and is home to a diverse community of international students and scholars.
As an international student, you may be required to take an English proficiency test and provide additional documentation based upon your country of origin. Before you begin the admission process, you should ensure that you meet the UC Admission Requirements for either freshman or transfer applicants, as described on the Freshman and Transfer Admission Requirements web pages. International students must meet the same admission requirements and will be included in the same selection process as U.S. students. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee admission to UC Davis. Applicants who are admitted typically well exceed UC admission requirements. View our Admitted Student Profile for freshmen and transfers to learn more about the academic performance of our recently admitted students.
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