University of California (UC)

UC Campuses

The campuses of the University of California provide exciting environments that foster world-class educational and research opportunities and generate a wide range of benefits and services that touch the lives of Californians throughout the state.

The UC family includes more than 220,000 students, more than 170,000 faculty and staff, 37,000 retirees and more than 1.5 million living alumni.

Opened in 2005, the UC system's tenth campus at Merced—the nation's first public research university to be built in the 21st century—is the first new UC campus in 40 years.

The University of California system includes ten campuses, three national laboratories, five medical centers and many facilities throughout the state. UC campuses are home to hundreds of libraries, museums, performing arts spaces, botanical gardens and natural reserves. UC is also actively involved in locations beyond these locales — in places throughout California, around the world and online.


Los Angeles
San Diego
San Francisco
Santa Barbara
Santa Cruz


To apply to the University of the California system, please visit
Application period starts November 1st and ends November 30th!

Our admission guidelines are designed to ensure you are well-prepared to succeed at UC.

If you're interested in entering the University of California as a freshman, you'll have to satisfy these requirements:

  1. Complete a minimum of 15 college-preparatory courses (a-g courses), with at least 11 finished prior to the beginning of your senior year.

    The 15 courses are:

    a. History/social science

    2 years

    b. English

    4 years

    c. Mathematics

    3 years

    d. Laboratory science

    2 years

    e. Language other than English

    2 years

    f. Visual and performing arts

    1 year

    g. College-preparatory elective
    (chosen from the subjects listed above or another course approved by the university)

    1 year

  2. Earn a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better (3.4 if you're a nonresident) in these courses with no grade lower than a C.

  3. Meet the examination requirement by taking the ACT With Writing or the SAT Reasoning Test by December of your senior year. We don't require SAT Subject Tests, but certain programs on some campuses recommend them, and you can use subject tests to satisfy the "a-g" requirements listed above.  

California students

Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) Program

Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) is a program by which the University of California identifies top-performing California high school students. Unlike the broader statewide eligibility pathway, which seeks to recognize top students from throughout the state, ELC draws qualified students from among the top 9 percent of each participating high school.

The ELC program was implemented to:

  • increase the pool of eligible students
  • meet the guideline of the California Master Plan for Higher Education, which states that the top 12.5 percent of public high school graduates will be considered UC-eligible
  • give UC a presence in each California high school and stimulate a college-going culture at those schools that typically do not send many graduates to the university

The ELC program also fulfills an important UC admissions goal: to recognize and reward the academic accomplishment of students who have made the most of the opportunities available to them.

To be designated as ELC, a student must have attended an eligible, participating California high school, satisfactorily completed a specific pattern of 11 UC-approved courses prior to the start of senior year, and have a UC-calculated GPA that meets or exceeds the top 9 percent GPA benchmark established by UC for their school. To maintain the ELC status, the student must satisfy the general admissions requirements including the successful completion of the 15 required “a-g” courses, maintain a 3.0 GPA and submit an official copy of ACT with Writing or SAT Reasoning Test scores.

California high school students who are eligible in the statewide context or eligible in the local context and are not admitted to any campus to which they apply will be offered a spot at another campus if space is available.