How to Get into UCLA as an International Undergraduate Student? - UniVisory
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How to Get into UCLA as an International Undergraduate Student?


How to Get into UCLA as an International Undergraduate Student?

Established in 1919, UCLA or the University of California, Los Angeles, is one of America’s most prestigious public research universities. Studying at UCLA while enjoying the amazing Southern California weather and the daily busy life in Los Angeles is a dream of every student aspiring to study abroad.

Preferring overseas education is the new trend in the education world, but UCLA is a whole different vibe for its students. Along with its unique lifestyle and location, the whole interior and education system attracts more students from worldwide. Talking about the UCLA ranking, it stands second among all the public universities in America and eleventh in the world list. Therefore, UCLA is one of the most demanding universities in the US, especially for Indian students.

Some of the most known courses in the university include Mathematics, Psychology, Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Medicine, Arts and Humanities, Life sciences and medicine, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Geography, linguistics and English language and literature. Besides that, UCLA introduced about 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, considered a wide range of courses admissions. A limited seat with various study courses truly makes it one of the best Ivy League colleges in the USA.

Some notable alumni of UCLA who are ruling the world with their specialisations are James Dean, Karim Abdul Jabbar, Ben Stiller, Gabrielle Union and many more. 

If you are one of those students who want to study in the USA after the 12th and are all set to pursue your undergraduate courses at UCLA, go through this article to get a brief idea about the university.

What UCLA Looks Into? 

Like any other top university, UCLA also looks for academic and extracurricular achievements applicants. UCLA is one of the Ivy League colleges in the USA looking for students who have value for education and some interesting skills or talents besides an impressive GPA. The deserving applicants must have a history of challenging themselves in every stage of life. Moreover, the university looks for applicants who have a good presence of mind, leadership skills and self-awareness. They must know about the daily affairs happening worldwide. Applicants must also have a passion for activities outside the classroom, including games, sports, dance, etc.

UCLA provides its students with the most comfortable and friendly service so that they become civic-minded. This also helps the students to open up more and engage with their communities without any resistance. 

Academic Preparation

If you have not yet enrolled in any regular classes at universities or colleges, you are considered a freshman. However, UCLA does not allow any student to repeat its bachelor’s degree more than once. This act is applied to pay respect to the college record. 

And if you are a transfer student, you must have taken college-level coursework with an amount ranging between 90–130 quarter units of credits. UCLA provides personal credits to the transfer students coming from other California universities and the international applicants. 

These are the recommended courses you can opt for:

  • History/Social Science: 2 years History/Social Science.
  • English: 4 years of college-preparatory English.
  • Mathematics: 3 to 4 years of mathematics.
  • Lab Science: 2 to 3 years of laboratory science.
  • Foreign Language: 2 to 3 years of Language other than English.
  • Visual and Performing Arts: 1 year of Visual and Performing Arts (if available).
  • College Preparatory Elective: 1 year of College Preparatory elective.

Application Requirements

UCLA accepts only e-applications:

  • High school transcript once the admission process ends. 
  • Autobiographical information
  • A list of extracurricular activities, work and summer activities
  • Personal essay
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Waiver of the application fee

Note: UCLA doesn’t accept LORs or recommendations

A few tips from UniVisory:

  • Focus on school coursework and strive for a high GPA.
  • Challenge yourself outside of the course curriculum.
  • Aim for >1510 SAT or >34 ACT.
  • Find your passion, commit to those activities, balance tiers of activities and look for angularity in activities.
  • Craft a personal essay that is unique and stands out from the crowd.
  • Write engaging & thoughtful supplemental essays.
  • Prepare for the interview if required.
  • Apply Early Decision as a part of a broader strategy.

Note: Non-English documents must be translated and sent along with the original documents.

The Acceptance Rate at UCLA

The acceptance rate in UCLA is 14.3% as of 2020 for transfer students and freshmen. Since the admission demands are increasing every year, UCLA now selects only 1 among every 6 freshmen. Therefore, if you want to study in the USA after the 12th, you need to pull up your socks and work hard. University of California—Los Angeles is extremely popular among Indian students. Out of 213062, UCLA consists of 586 students from India. The average cost of undergraduate study in UCLA per year (i.e., tuition, room, board and fees) is $55294. (Approx. 42 Lakhs INR). Note that undergraduate students who are neither citizens nor permanent residents of the United States are not eligible for UCLA scholarships or financial help. International students can either get scholarships from their own government or demonstrate that they have enough money to cover their educational and living expenses.

Extracurricular and Community Activities

The University of California puts great value on extracurricular and community activities. ECA, like sports, games, debate and community activities, increases students’ spirit and skills. It also convinces them to lead a healthy lifestyle and focus more on studies. UCLA is well known for this required balance of education and CCA activities. Thus, it entertains a range of activities to keep its students refreshed all the time. Extracurricular activities can be grouped into four “tiers” in general. It is recommended to have Tier 1 or Tier 2 extracurriculars to improve your prospects at UCLA. 

Personal Essay

UCLA instructs its students to answer about 4 personal questions among 8 different types of questions. And each answer is limited to not more than 350 words. These eight questions must focus on your leadership qualities, creative mind, skills or talent, educational opportunities, life challenges, favourite academic subject and the words and incidents which describe your personality. It is recommended to review your essay from a teacher, advisor or dean before you decide to submit the final copy.

Supplemental Essays

Besides the personal essay, UCLA also has an optional supplement essay that needs you to mention your interests, talents, community and activities. Your essays should generally represent UCLA’s core ideals of education, research and service. You should demonstrate your academic curiosity and your drive to positively impact the world through your essays.

Anyone applying to UCLA (or any UC for that matter) will need to answer four of the UC personal insight questions, at 350 words each. You’ll choose from eight prompts.


Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.


Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.


What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?


Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.


Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?


Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.


What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?


Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admission to the University of California?

Here’s how to answer all prompts: 

  • Start early to give yourself the time to think about these questions. 
  • Be sure to have a logical structure to your answers and take input from your teachers or colleagues to understand better. 
  • Don’t allow too many clichés in your essay, as what might seem funny to you may not sound funny to the university. 
  • Your answers should have a clear understanding of your personality. 
  • Use a lot of examples to justify your answers. Finally, give a lot of time for revisions to ensure you don’t make any mistakes in your essay. 

Final Words

If you prefer overseas education, give your luck a try at UCLA. It is one of the best universities in the whole world for undergraduates. International students are also welcomed wholeheartedly in this university and are treated the same as the others. Starting from its location to academic distinction, everything single thing here is worth your hard work. So, all you need is a strong GPA, passion for education and extracurricular achievements to fulfil your dream of studying abroad. To get more information about studying abroad for Indian students, connect with UniVisory, your ideal study abroad consultant,for expertise educational advice!

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