UC Merced Acceptance Rate, Admission, SAT/ACT, Tuition, Ranking

UC Merced is one of the campuses in the University of California system, and the acceptance rate at this school will interest you greatly.

The University of California, Merced is a new campus in the UC system. Still growing to get the level of other University of California campuses, UC Merced is an institution with the potential to achieve more in the coming years.

The University of California, Merced is already attracting a few thousand high schoolers and graduate students across the United States and other countries. With about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at UC Merced, students qualified for a place at the university will be given an opportunity to study at the newest UC campus.

If you seek to attend UC Merced, knowing the acceptance rate and admission process at the university is essential to your quest.

The information in this article best explains the admission rate, application process, and tuition at UC Merced. If you are an international student who wants to study at UC Merced, there is valuable information for you as well.

UC Merced Acceptance Rate

About UC Merced

Found in 2005, the University of California Merced is a public research institution in Merced, California and part of the UC school system.

Before UC Merced was established in 2005, the first group of faculty members came to the university in 2003. UC Merced was in the developing stages as research laboratories and academic programs were set up at the institution’s ancillary research facility in 2003.

A year later, UC Merced will hold its first graduate class as courses began in the fall term of 2004. The first undergraduate students arrive at the University of California, Merced, in September 2005 and ever since then, the number of incoming students has increased.

The total enrolment at UC Merced comprises over 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students. As the newest campus in the University of California system, UC Merced offers academic programs at undergraduate and graduate levels. UC Merced offers degree programs in engineering, social sciences, arts, natural sciences and humanities.

Also Read: 10 Best Pre Med Schools in California

Schools at UC Merced

The University of California Merced is a new campus in the UC system, and there are few schools at the research institution. The schools at UC Merced include the School of Engineering, School of Natural Sciences, and the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts.

Currently, these are the schools at UC Merced, and more schools will be established at the university in the coming years.

The University of California, Merced Ranking

When it comes to university rankings, UC Merced is ranked above other institutions that have been in existence for over 100 years. According to the recent rankings by U.Snews and World Report, UC Merced is ranked 93rd among national universities and 58th in best undergraduate teaching.

The University of California, Merced is ranked 4th in top performers on social mobility, 38th in top public schools, 57th in most innovative schools, and 129th in best value schools.

UC Merced rankings (Niche.com)

  • #13 best college dorms in California
  • #14 colleges with the best professors in California
  • #14 most liberal colleges and top public schools in California

Campus Life at UC Merced

The University of California, Merced has the perfect environment for the best college life experience. UC Merced provides the basics for on-campus housing and resources for students.

Students living on campus are just a few steps away from classes, libraries, bookstores and computer labs. The fun part of living on campus is getting to meet new friends and sharing academic ideas to achieve common goals.

UC Merced also provides dining services on campus, so you know where to eat when hungry. UC Merced dining services ensure that everyone on campus gets the best nutritious and healthy meals.

If you are a student who is passionate about specializing and learning something new, then you may want to join over 200 student clubs and organizations on campus. UC Merced has a diverse and vibrant community on campus, and every student must get involved in the process.

UC Merced Admissions

The admission process at UC Merced involves a holistic review of each application. UC Merced considers several factors before admitting a student.

First, all applicants to UC Merced are required to meet the standard of the university. Your academic performance in high school might be enough to get you into UC Merced, but what if there is more?

Admission to most UC schools is very competitive, but UC Merced has the highest acceptance rate among the nine campuses. However, admission to UC Merced is not 100% guaranteed, as there are few students denied admission during the process.

To be a worthy candidate for UC Merced admission, you will need to include your extracurricular activities and other experiences you might have in your application. Getting a good recommendation from a core academic subject teacher or school counsellor will also increase your chances of admission to UC Merced.

What Is the GPA Requirement at UC Merced?

The University of California, Merced requires students to present a high school GPA above 3.0. Students who were admitted to UC Merced in the last admission cycle had an average GPA range of 3.45-3.96.

To be considered competitive for admission to UC Merced, you should have an average high school GPA of 3.58. To get into the selective majors at UC Merced, aim for a higher GPA of 3.8 or above.


The University of California adopted the test-optional policy, and across the nine UC campuses, applicants are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores. However, the UC schools will accept self-reported test scores and if you decide to submit yours to UC Merced, here is the required average.

You will need to have an average SAT score composite of 1080 on the new SAT scale. The latest admitted class at UC Merced had an average SAT score of 1020-1270.

On the ACT, the average score at the University of California Merced is 20.

The Acceptance Rate at UC Merced

The University of California, Merced was receiving about 15,000 applications ten years ago. As the years progresses, UC Merced received more applications, and currently, over 26,000 applicants apply to the university annually.

A year ago, about 24,069 students out of 27,793 applicants were admitted to UC Merced, and the acceptance rate was estimated at 86%.

The latest admission statistics show that UC Merced admitted 18,456 students from an applicant pool of 25,417. The acceptance rate at UC Merced stands at 72.6%, which is a bit selective.

Despite the selectivity at UC Merced, its acceptance rate is above the national average for colleges in the United States. The admission rate at UC Merced is less selective when compared to that of UCLA, UC Berkeley and other UC campuses.

Also Read: UCI Acceptance Rate, Admissions, SAT/ACT, GPA, Tuition, Ranking

First-Year Admission Requirement and Application Process

The undergraduate student body at the University of California Merced exceeds 7,000. UC Merced is still in the progressive stages and has the vision to meet up with other UC schools’ accomplishments.

UC Merced will admit all first-year applicants eligible for admission and those that meet its admission requirement. 

So, who is a first-year applicant?

You are a first-year applicant and eligible for admission to UC Merced if you are presently or have graduated from high school and earned a diploma or equivalent. If you have taken any college coursework (post-high school), you will not be eligible for first-year admission at UC Merced.

For you to be considered for admission to the University of California, Merced, you must meet the course requirements.

UC Merced Course Requirement

Here is the A-G course requirement at UC Merced.

  • A. History/Social Sciences: Two years of study
  • B. English Language: Four years of study
  • C. Mathematics: Three years of study (Four years recommended)
  • D. Laboratory Sciences: Two years of study (Three years recommended)
  • E. Foreign Language: Two years of study (Three years recommended)
  • F. Visual and Performing Arts: A year of study
  • G. College Preparatory Elective: A year of study

How to Apply to UC Merced

The UC schools use the University of California Application platform. A unique application process which allows students to apply to all nine campuses in the UC system.

To apply to UC Merced, kindly follow these steps.

Apply through the University of California unique Application. Then, select UC Merced as the UC campus you want to attend in the Campuses and Majors section of the application.

Applying to any of the University of California campuses will require a $70 application fee and $80 for international students. Bear in mind that the application fee to the UC schools is non-refundable.

If you are eligible for a fee waiver, the University of California will waive application fees for four UC campuses.

Please, do not send your official high school transcript and Standardized test scores when applying to UC Merced. The University of California Merced will only require your final transcript once you are admitted.

Admission Requirement for Transfer Students at UC Merced

The University of California, Merced receives thousands of applications from transfer students, and the majority of the students hail from community colleges across California.

UC Merced has specific admission requirements for transfer students and students who satisfy these requirements will be considered for admission.

But first, who is eligible for transfer admission to UC Merced?

You are eligible for transfer admission to UC Merced if you have previously graduated from high school and enrol in a degree-seeking program at any college or university.

What is the admission requirement for transfer students at UC Merced?

First, you must have completed a minimum of 60 semesters (equivalent to 90 quarters) units of UC transferable credits to be considered for admission.

If you are a California resident, you must have a minimum GPA of 2.4 in UC transferable courses, and if you are transferring to UC Merced from outside California, you are required to present a GPA of 2.8.

Lastly, you must complete courses required for your desired major with grades satisfying the standard at the University of California, Merced.

What Is the Acceptance Rate for Transfer Students at UC Merced?

The University of California Merced receives a few thousand transfer applications annually. According to admission statistics out of UC Merced, 96% of students transferring to the university are from California community colleges.

In the last admission cycle, UC Merced admitted 2,060 students out of 3,940 transfer applicants. This leaves the transfer acceptance rate at UC Merced at 52%, which is selective.

Admission Requirement for International Students at UC Merced

Although the University of California Merced is the newest campus in the UC system, it attracts international students from different countries. UC Merced offers equal opportunity to all applicants and has no preferential treatment based on a student’s nationality, race, religion or language.

Also Read: UC Berkeley Acceptance Rate, Admissions, Tuition, SAT, ACT, Ranking

Who Is an International Applicant to UC Merced?

You are recognized as an international student by UC Merced if you are not a U.S citizen or hold permanent residency. As an international student with intentions to study at UC Merced, you must have graduated from secondary/high school and earned a certificate appropriate for university admission in your home country. 

Admission Requirement

All international applicants to UC Merced must have graduated from secondary/ high school with a certificate recognized in their country.

International students who have enrolled in a university will not be eligible for first-year admission to the University of California Merced.

If you attended secondary/high school in a country where English is not an official language or language of instruction, UC Merced requires that you submit English proficiency test scores.

The University of California, Merced will accept these English proficiency test scores.

  • TOEFL Internet-Based Test: minimum score of 80 or above
    • iBT Home Edition: minimum score of 80 or above
    • Paper-delivered Test: minimum score of 60 or above
  • IELTS: minimum score of 6.5 or above
  • Duolingo: minimum score of 155

What Is the Acceptance Rate for International Students at UC Merced?

International students make up 9% of the student body at the University of California Merced. The acceptance rate for international students at UC Merced is unknown. UC Merced’s overall admission rate account for both domestic and international students.

UC Merced Tuition and Fees

Below is the estimated cost of attendance at the University of California Merced.

 On-CampusOff-CampusAt Home
Room & Board$19,340$9,746$7,102
Books & Supplies$1,094$1,094$1,094
Personal Expenses$1,740$1,656$1,904
Health Insurance$2,210$2,210$2,210
Additional Non-Resident Tuition$31,026$31,026$31,026
Non-Residential Total$70,478$61,410$59,664
Source: https://www.ucmerced.edu/

UC Merced Contact Address

  • School Address: 5200 North Lake Rd. Merced, CA 95343
  • Phone:  (209) 228-4400

Frequently Asked Questions about UC Merced Acceptance Rate

The following are frequently asked regarding the acceptance rate at UC Merced.

What is the average GPA for admission into UC Merced?

If you have a minimum high school GPA of 3.58, you stand a better chance to get into UC Merced. Although the minimum GPA required for California residents is 3.0 and 3.4 for non-residents, if you have a GPA of 3.5 or better, you are likely to get into UC Merced selective majors.

Which of the UC schools is the easiest to get into?

Based on the acceptance rate, the easiest University of California campus to get into is UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz. These two UC campuses’ admission rate is over 50% which is less selective when compared to UCLA or UC Berkeley.

Is it easy to get into UC Merced?

It’s easier to get into the University of California Merced than UCLA or any other UC campus. The admission rate at UC Merced is currently estimated at 72%, which is far better than most UC schools.


The University of California Merced is new and promising. The tenth UC campus is already attracting students across California and other regions. There is more to explore at UC Merced as time progresses. 

Now that you know the admission requirement and application process at UC Merced, applying to the university is just one simple task to complete.



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