How hard is to get into UCLA | Get Backdoors |

 I think you are anxious or filtering the college on some of your key points. That’s ok. It’s good that you are concerned about your career and want to know your competency before applying or preparing for your dream university. 

Well, I have drafted the proper answer to your query – How hard is to get into UCLA, and share the backdoor for getting into UCLA. If you want a straightforward answer to your query, I have prepared that as well –

How hard is to get into UCLA?

UCLA is among the top 15 prestigious universities in the US. The competency of getting admitted to this public university is relatively high. Last year, UCLA Admission statistics showcased the acceptance rate at 9 percent, in which only 12,844 were accepted out of 149,815 applicants. Most applicants applied for STEM majors, for which UCLA is well known.

And if you think that all the applications are not getting reviewed. While drafting the answer to the query, I had a discussion with the former admission officer of UCLA. She shared that each application is being reviewed thoroughly, and most importantly, there are some key filters they highlight in each applicant. I have unlisted them in the article.

So, I suggest you read my article thoroughly without being demotivated by the acceptance rate. It will help you increase your chances of getting into UCLA.

Why students like UCLA

I am putting this section to let you know the attributes of UCLA’s popularity, which will help you match your compatibility with the university environment.

  • Location & Weather – It is located on the west side of Los Angeles, and the Pacific Ocean is about 5 km from the University. Enjoying nature with studies is good, and LA has a Mediterranean climate.

  • Quality Education –  Faculties who give the classes have good expertise in their field and corporate world experience. You will be amazed to know some of the UCLA faculties have won prestigious national awards, such as Noble, Gammy, etc. 

  • Diversity – On the UCLA campus, you have more than 95 countries students you will find. You can check the full UCLA diversity statistics in the below link.

  • Research Opportunities – UCLA is among the R1 universities, meaning engagement is high in research. As per stats, the University’s research expenditure is more than $ 1 billion.

  • Tuition fees – For California residents, tuition fees are $ 14,478, and the University also provides scholarships and financial aid to the students.

  • Job Opportunities – The University has onsite recruitment opportunities for the students, and some of the companies have collaborated with various departments to prepare the curriculum, giving students real-world experience.

  • Networking – The reason behind having diversity at UCLA is to attract some of the bright minds on the campus and make them connect with each other. Additionally, professionals who have reached the top job level visit the campus for talks and conferences.

  • Popular Majors – UCLA’s student and faculty ratio changes with the majors you opt for. Some of the popular majors students get admitted –

applying to ucla

UCLA Filters to Review the Application

Let me clarify that UCLA believes in the holistic review of the application, which means the candidate has performed well in academics and extracurricular activities. Their vision is to give leaders to the country in different fields.

In a discussion with the former admission officer of UCLA, she said that each application is reviewed thoroughly. Below are the key filters or checkpoints for the applicant’s rejection and acceptance.

Does UCLA use a common app?

For your information, UCs do not accept applications from the common app. They have their separate application, and most importantly, you don’t need to submit separate applications for each UC but need to submit the fees for each UC you want to apply. Currently, the application fee for UCLA is $ 135 for US citizens.


To procure fair justice among the applicants, UCLA seeks out the opportunities one student has and how they take advantage. These opportunities include

    • High school you graduated from, whether they provide AP, honors, or IB Courses

    • Your socioeconomic status 

    • The location you live in

The reason behind such a filter is to compare the applicants who got the same opportunities and made better use of them. It helps the admission authority understand your thought process.

We're here for you.

You will be amazed to know UCLA instate acceptance rate is less than the out-of-state acceptance rate.

GPA and Classes

If you want to cut through the competition to the other applicants, you must have at least a 3.95 unweighted GPA for UCLA, and it is good to have the AP, honors, and IB classes related to the majors you want to pursue at UCLA.

How does UCLA calculate GPA?

On UCLA’s official website, they calculate their own GPA, which is capped at 11 and 12 GPA for the AP, Honors, and IB classes you took in your sophomore and junior years.

We're here for you.

UCLA doesn’t check the GPA in the senior year, and please don’t take more AP, Honors, and IB classes to showcase your academics. Please take them as per course load and time management.

Test Scores

In UCLA’s acceptance requirements, ACT and SAT scores are optional. Personally, I recommend you take these tests with proper preparation. If you get a good score, mention it in your application.

Giving SAT and ACT scores in the application is marked as an extra filter for the admission officer to make comparisons with other Applicants.

Having a good score signifies your competency achievement.


In the UC Application, you will get 8 personal insight questions, which you must answer in a maximum of 350 words. The good thing is that you don’t need to submit separate answers for each UC you are applying for.

As per the Former Admission Officer of UCLA, these questions are drafted to help the university understand your thought process and compatibility with the university environment. She also adds that kindly start preparing for the answers a month before the deadline, as these answers have good weightage for your acceptance.

In the UCLA application, you will get 8 questions, of which you must answer only 4. To better understand all these questions, I have shared the video, which help you a lot.

Extra Curricular

University does not want a student body that is good in academics. They should also be good at other things as well. Extracurricular Activities Example – You participate in community-serving programs or are good in any sports, work on any project, or have a YouTube channel. In that case, you can also mention your internship as well. 

I recommend the activities in which you put in your effort & time. In that participation, it showcases that you have learned something new.

Back doors to get into UCLA

If you are recruited as an athlete by UCLA head coaches and have decent grades in high school, you can get admitted easily. I found two sources that are helpful for athletes.

Daily Bruin – UCLA should not lower admission standards for athletes.

 Los Angeles Daily News UC Regents eliminate the SATs: That’s good news for the Cal and UCLA football programs

If you dream of admission to UCLA, you should attend community college for two years. You must have good grades in those substantial years and then apply to UCLA as a transfer. A good percentage of transfer students are there in their junior year. If you are looking for engineering majors, this backdoor does not work.

I have shared two videos – one is the interview of a former admission officer of UCLA You should definitely check into it. It will really help you a lot.

Frequently Asked Questions

In Fall 2023. 170,047 applicants applied for the UCLA

UCLA performs a holistic review of the applicant, which means the student should be good in academics and extracurriculars as well.

In UCLA, there is no option for early decision or early action for applicants.

It’s not tough to switch majors at UCLA. Sometimes, for engineering majors, you can face some difficulty, but not much.

I have done my best to gather the best answer to your query about how hard it is to get into UCLA. Please comment or email me if you have any add-ons or suggestions. We love our reader’s messages

About the author ....

Hi, I’m Erie Wilson “Think Tank” of this blog. Sharing knowledge related to career decisions since 2020, If you have any doubts related to choosing majors or searching for colleges, you are free to ask in the comments or send me an email.