UC Berkeley Acceptance Rate | Requirements, SAT/ACT Scores, GPA, & Admission

Are you curious about the UC Berkeley Acceptance Rate?

If your child is a forward-thinking student who wants to challenge the status quo and make a difference in the world, they should apply to the University of California, Berkeley. 

UC Berkeley, consistently ranked as one of the best public universities in the country, is the ideal place for students who want to leave a legacy of activism, innovation, and leadership.

Is your child applying for admission to UC Berkeley or do you have questions about UC Berkeley admission requirements? 

We’ve compiled all we know about the University of California, Berkeley admissions process below. 

Continue reading to learn about the UC Berkeley acceptance rate and other important information.

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About UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley was founded in 1868, making it the University of California system’s oldest institution. 

UC Berkeley is in Berkeley, California, overlooking the beautiful San Francisco Bay. Founded to educate California’s best and brightest students, the ten UC campuses have earned a world-renowned reputation for offering the highest levels of teaching, research, and public service. 

Today, the UC alumni network has over 2 million members who work and live all over the world.

UC Berkeley, also known as “Cal,” has a distinct history and personality. Berkeley has been known as a hotspot for student activism since the Free Speech Movement arose on its campus in 1964. 

However, it is also the site of significant scientific breakthroughs, such as the discovery of the flu virus and vitamin K. 

UC Berkeley is frequently in the national spotlight, whether for its political movements, scientific innovation, or numerous other contributions to society.

UC Berkeley provides students with intimate learning experiences in the classroom, with just over half of its classes having fewer than 20 students. 

In classes taught by Nobel laureates, MacArthur fellows, and Turing award winners, students are encouraged to explore and pursue their interests.

Admission Into UC Berkeley

Students admitted to UC Berkeley have grades and test scores that are comparable to those required for admission to highly selective private universities. 

The average unweighted GPA among admitted freshmen was 3.9, and only 18% of students who applied to join the freshman class in 2021 were admitted. 

Notably, Cal, like the rest of the UC system, will go test blind in Fall 2021 and will no longer use test scores in the admissions process.

Those who are admitted to UC Berkeley usually stay. Approximately 97% of freshmen return for their sophomore year—a retention rate compared to that of other highly selective colleges. 

Students typically graduate in four years, though the 76% four-year graduation rate in California is boosted by community college transfer students who enter as juniors. Over 90% of those students complete their undergraduate degrees within six years.

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What is UC Berkeley Acceptance Rate in 2024? 

Berkeley’s acceptance rate of 14% for the Class of 2025 set a new drop. However, the university received 128,196 applications for the Class of 2026. 

Although official admissions figures have not yet been released, approximately 15,000 students were admitted. This equates to an acceptance rate of 11.7%.

The acceptance rate at UC Berkeley was 14.5% this year, down from 17% two years ago. UC Berkeley applications increased from 88,066 in 2023 to 112,854 for the class of 2026. 

Essentially, more students applied for the same number of slots, lowering the acceptance rate at UC Berkeley.

The UC Berkeley acceptance rate is only one piece of the admissions puzzle. Remember that there are numerous ways to make yourself stand out.

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What is UC Berkeley Transfer Acceptance Rate in 2024? 

At UC Berkeley, the transfer acceptance rate is around 25%.

Non-transfer students, on the other hand, have an acceptance rate of around 17%.

Importantly, 95% of the roughly 5,000 transfer students accepted by Berkeley each year come from a California community college.

Although the state requires a high proportion of transfer students to be admitted each year, Berkeley has decided to prioritize students from the California community college system on its own.

This general admitted rate for transfer students, however, naturally varies by discipline. On its website, the University of California school system provides a complete list of transfer acceptance rates by discipline at UC Berkeley.

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Is UC Berkeley Hard to get into?

UC Berkeley’s admission process has become increasingly challenging due to the university’s significant increase in applicants over the years and recent threats to its enrollment capacity.

This increase in applicants is reflected in UC Berkeley’s acceptance rate, which has been cut nearly in half over the last decade, falling from 21% in 2012 to less than 12% in 2024. 

Accepted students typically have a weighted GPA of 4.25-4.61 and a track record of excellence in extracurricular activities.

Obtaining admission to UC Berkeley is undeniably difficult, but it is not impossible, especially with a detailed personal profile that goes beyond outstanding grades and test scores to prove who you are, what is important to you, and how you will contribute to the UC Berkeley community.

Between 2011 and 2022, UC Berkeley saw a 140% increase in the number of applications and a 44% decrease in the acceptance rate, indicating that competition is plentiful and fierce!

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Does UC Berkeley Require Test Scores?

The University of California System has implemented a test-blind policy that will last until at least 2025, beginning with those applying in the fall 2021 cycle. 

As a result, in-class performance takes center stage. In 2021-22, freshmen had an average unweighted GPA of 3.7 and a weighted GPA of 4.12. 

Furthermore, 96% of incoming freshmen were in the top decile of their high school class. Obviously, the majority of incoming Golden Bears received straight A’s in high school.

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What are the Admission Requirements for UC Berkeley?

Your child may be ready to apply to UC Berkeley after a high school career spent seeking academic rigor and extracurricular depth. To help them with their application, here are the UC Berkeley application requirements:

  • Application to the University of California
  • A high school transcript is required to enter grades into the online application, but it is not submitted with it.
  • Optional: AP or IB exam scores
  • Optional: Two recommendation letters

If the application evaluators require additional information to make a decision, they may ask a small number of applicants to submit recommendations. Applicants who have not been asked for recommendation letters should not submit them.

If your child applies to the Management, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (MET) Program, they must submit a supplemental essay and may receive an invitation for an interview.

If your child applies to the Haas School of Business’s Global Management Program, they must submit an extra supplemental essay and may receive an invitation for an interview.

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What are the Transfer Requirements for UC Berkeley?

Transfer students must have a minimum incoming GPA of 3.0. Importantly, the minimum GPA for College of Engineering applications is 3.5.

Students must have a 3.0 in “all transferable college-level coursework,” according to Berkeley.

In addition, students must earn at least 60 UC-transferable credits before transferring to Berkeley.

Nearly all coursework completed at another UC public/community college will count as transferable coursework. However, for students not transferring from a UC institution, they can find more information on whether credit will count towards their Berkeley application on the Berkeley website.

Furthermore, students must have completed lower-division courses in their major.

To determine if the courses taken at a previous institution will fulfill Berkeley’s requirements, students should contact the specific department they wish to join. This is particularly important as many departments require a minimum GPA for lower-level courses to approve their transferability.

For example, the College of Chemistry specifies the specific coursework requirements for transfer students as well as the expected grades for such courses.

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UC Berkeley GPA Requirements in 2024

The middle 50% of UC Berkeley class of 2026 applicants had an unweighted GPA between 3.86 and 4.00. 

Because the UC Berkeley Admissions team publishes a median range, keep in mind that some admitted students will have GPAs that are higher or lower than the range listed above. 

As a result, even if your GPA is currently lower, you can still look into how to get into UC Berkeley. Having said that, raising your GPA will increase your chances of admission.

For admissions consideration, UC Berkeley GPA requirements require students residing in California to have a GPA of at least 3.0. Non-residents must also have a GPA of at least 3.4, according to the UC Berkeley GPA requirements. 

In addition to the UC Berkeley GPA prerequisites, all applicants must meet the A-G subject course requirements.

If your GPA is near the bottom of the UC Berkeley GPA requirements, try to provide strong responses to the UC Personal Insight Questions. 

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You can also begin early, well before the UC Berkeley application deadline, by preparing your application.

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How Can You Apply to UC Berkeley?

Filling out the UC application, which you can begin as early as August 1st and must submit between November 1st and November 30th, is the first step in applying to UC Berkeley. 

You can use this application to apply to any of the ten University of California campuses. You will not have to reapply; each of the campuses you choose will receive your application and official test scores.

If you plan on applying to multiple campuses, keep in mind that each application costs $70 (or $80 if you are an international or non-immigrant applicant). 

There are fee waivers and financial assistance programs available if you are a permanent resident or a US citizen in need.

While applying to college as a high school student can be frightening and intimidating, the UC Berkeley application process does not have to be. 

Before sitting down and beginning your application, ensure that you prepare yourself and gather all the necessary documents.

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What are the Alternatives to UC Berkeley?

Below are the alternative schools to apply to if UC Berkeley is not the right choice for you:

  • Stanford University
  • University of California Los Angeles
  • University of California Davis
  • Cornell University
  • University of California Santa Cruz
  • University of California Santa Barbara
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • University of Chicago
  • University of California Irvine

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As one of the nation’s most prestigious and well-known public universities, UC Berkeley provides its students with a world-class education as well as membership in an impressive network of alumni. 

It’s no surprise that so many top-tier students flock to Berkeley every year. 

While acceptance to such a competitive institution is out of reach for every applicant, you now have our tactical strategies for how to get into UC Berkeley exactly what you need to help your child improve their chances of making their Berkeley dreams come true.

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What is UC Berkeley known for?

UC Berkeley is well-known for its academic rigor and excellence, as well as the breadth of its study options. 
It has one of the best computer science programs in the country and is consistently ranked in the top five research universities around the world.

How many students are in UC Berkeley?

UC Berkeley has a total enrollment of 45,057 students, including 31,814 undergraduates and 13,243 graduate students. 
International students account for approximately 17% of the total student body (7,892 in total) and approximately 12% of the undergraduate population.

What is UC Berkeley’s Ranking?

UC Berkeley is ranked 22nd in the United States in the 2024 US News National University Rankings, and 32nd in the world in the 2022 QS World University Rankings.

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