A Detailed Guide: UC Berkeley Admission Requirements

To improve the World, UC Berkeley always came forward from academic pioneers to the free speech movement. This University has given the brightest minds to the World. All of this because of universities' excellence in education.

UC Berkeley has 31 alumni with Noble prize winner. There are four faculties with the Pulitzer Prize. The students and alumni combined won more than 200 Olympic medals. It's enough for everyone to know how excellent is the University.

Getting admission to UC Berkeley is a difficult task, but we can help you with this guide. In this guide, we explained everything related to application form score requirements to admission requirements. But, before moving forward, let's see an overview of UC Berkeley.

UC Berkeley Overview

Founded in 1968, the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) is in Berkeley, California, the USA. Henry Durant established the University.

As per the "2021 US news ranking", UC Berkeley is the 22nd best University in the United States. As per the "2021 QS World University Ranking," UCB is the World's 30th best University.

The tuition fee for admitted students at UCB is $14,226(2020-21) for students living in the state (California). For students living out of the state, the tuition fee is $43,980(2020-21). The total enrollment in the school is 43,695. The student to faculty ratio in UCB is 19:1. For every 19 students, there's 1 teacher, which gives all students personalized attention. 52.9% of classes in UCB consist of fewer than 20 students.

UCLA has significant names in the World as its alumni. Some notable alumni are Steve Wozniak (Apple Co-founder), Shantanu Narayen (Adobe CEO), Chris Pine (American Actor), Jaylen Brown (American Basketball Players).

UC Berkeley

What UC Berkeley Looks for in an applicant?

UC Berkeley looks for the following things:

Academic performance

A strong performance in academics is necessary if you want to get admission. But keep in mind that the test scores and GPA are not the only things they will see as academics.

They will see how many courses you practiced in high school, how exhausting your high school curriculum was. The way you challenged yourself in high school is significant as it exhibits your hard work and performance beyond your comfort zone. To show UCB that you challenged yourself, you can go for honor or advance courses.

Personal qualities

UCB will also be interested to know your personal qualities. Personal quality includes your individual character, leadership ability, originality, intellectual independence, initiative, insight, maturity, responsibility, tenacity, and community concern.

Extracurricular Activities:

UCB will look for how good you are outside the classroom. The extracurricular activities which UCB will look for are athletics, performing arts, volunteer service, and leadership in school/community organization.

Why UC Berkeley

The best thing about the University of California Berkeley is the vast ethnic, racial, religious, cultural, socio-economic, political diversity across the campus. UC Berkeley is one the most accepting and least discriminating universities in the entire world. 

As one of the finest public institutions on the national level, UCB accepts students of any background that are persistently pursuing an enriching experience in higher education at the most academic level. Berkeley accepts a large percentage of transfer students who unfortunately can't afford four year's tuition at a University, but seek the benefits and advantages of higher education.

UC Berkeley SAT score requirements

UC Berkeley SAT score requirement is high. The SAT 25th percentile score of UCB is 1330. It means only less than 25% of accepted students hold a score below 1330. 

The SAT 75th percentile score of UCB is 1530. It means about 75% of accepted students hold scored less than 1530. The Average (50th Percentile) SAT score of UCB we could find is 1430.

You can also aim for percentile scores of both sections independently. For Math, the 25th percentile score is 680, and the 75th percentile score is 790. 

For EBRW, the 25th percentile score and the 75th percentile score are 650 and 740, respectively. Here, we can see you require more points in the Math section to reach the equivalent percentile score as EBRW.

If you believe you are weak in one section, try to score higher than needed in the other section. So, even if you get more points than required in one section but got less in another, you can still receive the needed composite score.

If you want to raise your score, we will recommend "APGuru's Flagship SAT Prep Program." It will help you to reach your target SAT score.

UCB Required SAT Scores

SAT Score Policy

For SAT, UCB considers your highest composite SAT score. So, you need to send your highest SAT score you received across multiple attempts. Note, UCB doesn't do any superscoring.

The policy gives an advantage to the candidate. You can take the test many times and only send the highest score.

UC Berkeley ACT Score Requirements

The composite ACT 25th percentile score of UCB is 29, and the 75th percentile score is 35. UCB doesn't have any minimum score conditions. But, a lower sum than the 25th percentile will make conditions challenging for you to get admitted.

The ACT composite score is the average score of all 4 section scores. To get the desired composite score, you require to score around what you expected in each section.

If you want your ACT score to rise, we will recommend "APguru's Flagship ACT Prep Program." It will help you in reaching your target ACT score.

ACT Score Policy:

UCB doesn't do superscoring for ACT score. For ACT, the College will consider your "highest composite score." It means, if you attempted the ACT exam many times, the University would consider the highest composite ACT score across all the attempts.

Hence, We suggest you attempt ACT many times before 


UC Berkeley GPA Requirements

UC Berkeley has a specific way to calculate GPA. To see how to calculate GPA go here. UCB has different GPA requirements for California resident students and non-resident students. 

For students in California, the GPA must be at least 3.0. For non-residential students, the GPA requirement is 3.4. You need a high school grade of "A" to get this much GPA.

UC Berkeley Application Requirement


Unlike many other colleges, UCB doesn't accept the Common App or Coalition App. To apply for any course at UB, you need to create a UC application account. To create an account, go here.

Application Fee or Fee Waiver:

You require to submit $70 as application fees while applying. The application fee is non-refundable; you will not get the refund even if you cancel later. You can pay the application fee by mail or by credit card. 

You can apply for an application fee waiver if paying the application fee difficult for you. UCB will waive your application fee up to 4 campuses. It means if you apply for more than 4 campuses, for each additional campus, you need to pay $70 as an application fee.

Note: The fee waiver is for permanent residents, United States citizens, and applicants who are eligible for AB540 benefits. UCB doesn't grant a fee waiver for international students.

A-G subject course requirements

You need to complete the A-G subject course requirements. For detailed information, go to the A-G course requirement guide.


The transcript is a report of your academic performance in high school. You need to submit the transcript after you get admitted. Please don't send a transcript at the time you apply; it will not get forwarded.

Test Score:

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, UCB will not consider SAT/ACT scores to make the admission decision. But you can still send SAT scores if you want to. 

If you submit the score, it may get considered to determine California statewide admissions guarantee eligibility. They may use it as an alternative way to fulfill minimum requirements eligibility.

Annual Income:

You require to provide your income if you are independent or your parents' annual income if you are dependent. It's necessary if you are applying for a fee waiver, or else it's optional.

Social Security Number:

You require to submit a social security number if you have one.

Citizenship Status:

You require to enter your country of citizenship. If you're not from the US, you also need to give the visa type and immigration status. 

California Statewide Student ID

If you are a California resident, provide California Statewide Student ID. It's given to all students of K12 public schools in California. But, it's an optional requirement.

Personal Insight Questions

During application, the College will provide you 8 questions, from which you need to answer 4. You have a 350 words max. to write your answer. It's up to you how you answer the question. UC recommends you choose the question relevant to your experience.

UC Berkeley uses personal insight questions for:

  • Discovering and evaluating distinctions between applicants whose academic records are usually very similar
  • Gain insight into your personal, educational, and extracurricular achievement
  • Please provide us with the knowledge that may not be evident in different parts of the application.

Check out the below youtube video explaining how to write personal insight questions provided by UC:


What If You Are An International applicant?

 For an international student, check out the requirement for application here. You have to check the education system requirements for your country here

English proficiency test requirement is also a requirement for international students. You need to present proficiency in English if you want to get accepted. For this, you can take examinations like:

UC Berkeley Acceptance Rate

You need to know the acceptance rate of UCB to understand how selective they are. The acceptance rate represents how many percentages of aspirants get confirmed. The World's top colleges are very choosy while accepting applicants. And as UCB is one of the World's highest-ranked Universities, the acceptance rate is low.

The general acceptance rate of UCB is 17.6%. It means, in every 100 candidates, around 17 get accepted. 

In short: fewer applicants get selected. You can be one of the few students who get admitted to UCB if you work hard.

What If Not Accepted? 

Suppose, You are rejected and aren't part of the other students who were accepted. Yes, it'll get saddened, and think of the hard work you had to go through just to submit it all. 

Does it mean all is lost? No, because there are alternative options you can try if you're still determined to be part of UC Berkeley. They are not the usual options, but if you still want to try, here it is: 

Alternative Option: Attend a different college and transfer to UC Berkeley later

You can try applying for a different college and transferring to UC Berkeley later. The requirements for transferring are here. While most elite colleges have a low transfer acceptance rate, UC Berkeley surprisingly has a higher rate. How high?

The transfer acceptance rate in 2020 was 25.3%, which is higher than the acceptance rates for new students. Still, you can't be unconcerned about this because UC Berkeley will already see that you applied with them before, and there may be a chance they'll reject your application. 

But on the plus side, being in a different college means you can boost yourself and do other things that UC Berkeley will surely like to see. Once you're ready to apply for a transfer, you can show them how much you've grown and let them know you are a part of the crew. 

Alternative Option B: Apply Again After A Gap Year

The next alternative is to reapply after completing a gap year. What's a gap year? It's the year between your high school and applying for college, where you will not be doing any course. 

It's a riskier option to go for because when you reapply, UCB may see you didn't do much with your time and might reject you again. 

But doing a gap year may be beneficial. The pros of doing a gap year include expanding your perspective, making a difference, and gaining professional knowledge. It's a process of growing yourself in ways that can help your overall growth as a person. 

It's also another way of maintaining excellence in other fields of interest. If you're ready to take the danger while building up to be the student UCB wants, you can go for this option. 


UC Berkeley is a college many see as their home. It's also part of the Berkeley side of California that shows how beautiful and gorgeous it is. 

When you look at its notable alumni, the high places it has, the environment, and the other things that give it a beautiful view for everyone, you can't help but feel that you do belong here. So with the guide, we've got for you, you know that you can do it and become part of this tremendous elite College in your heart!