High School


Freshman Admission Requirements

When you enter UC Riverside as a freshman, you open the door to an ideal college experience – exciting, memorable and academically inspiring. Let us show you how to open that door step by step.

Print a Freshman Checklist

Am I an incoming freshman?

You are considered a freshman applicant if you are still in high school or have not yet enrolled at a college or university after graduating (excluding the summer immediately after graduation).

Take Required Classes

You must complete a minimum of 15 college-preparatory (“a-g”) courses:

  1. History/Social Science: 2 years
  2. English: 4 years
  3. Mathematics: 3 years, 4 recommended
  4. Laboratory Science: 2 years, 3 recommended
  5. Language other than English: 2 years, 3 recommended
  6. Visual and Performing Arts: 1 year
  7. College-Preparatory Elective: 1 year
  • Finish 11 “a-g” classes before your senior year.
  • Take at least 7 “a-g” classes during your junior and senior years.
  • Only UC-approved courses are acceptable.
  • You can satisfy “a-g” requirements in other ways (college courses; receiving appropriate scores on certain SAT Subject, Advanced Placement, or International Baccalaureate exams, etc.).

Earn a Minimum GPA

  • You must earn an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher (CA residents) or 3.4 or higher (nonresidents) in “a-g” courses taken during grades 10 and 11 (including summers before and after).
  • You must earn a grade of C or better in all “a-g” courses.

Earn Extra Points for Honors Courses

  • You can earn extra GPA points for up to 8 semesters of UC-approved honors-level “a-g” courses taken in the last 3 years of high school (maximum of 2 year-long courses from grade 10).
  • A =5, B=4, and C=3, D or F= 0 extra points.
  • Approved honors-level courses include acceptable Advanced Placement classes, higher- (and some standard-) level International Baccalaureate classes and transferable college courses.

Understand Our Selection Process

As a top-ranking university, UC Riverside seeks extraordinary students and admission is competitive. Using the measures described below, we calculate an Academic Index Score (AIS). The higher your AIS, the more likely you are to be admitted. However, final admission is always determined within the context of campus enrollment goals.

We consider:

  • Your grade point average
  • Your scores on the ACT with Writing and/or SAT Reasoning Test
  • Taking and passing AP and IB courses with grades C or better

We give extra consideration to:

  • First-generation college students (neither parent has a four-year college degree)
  • Low-income students (as determined by household size and income)

Learn more about how UC applications are reviewed.

See Steps 2 and 3 above for required exams and how to apply.


High School Juniors:
Guarantee Your Admission

Reserve your spot at UC Riverside before anyone else can even apply!

UC Riverside is the only UC that offers the Guaranteed Admission Program (GAP) for outstanding high school juniors. Unlike early decision programs, GAP is nonbinding. You may apply, be admitted and then choose whether or not to attend.

Qualify for GAP

  • Complete 13 of 15 UC-approved “a-g” courses by the end of your junior year. (Finish fourth-year English and either performing arts or an elective as a senior).
  • Earn a minimum (weighted) 3.9 GPA in all “a-g” coursework (and maintain academic excellence as a senior).
  • Score at least 1600 on the SAT Reasoning exam or 23 on the ACT Plus Writing. SAT Subject exams are not required, but can be a bonus.

Apply for GAP

  • Complete your free online GAP application at gap.ucr.edu during the enrollment period of June 16-July 31, 2014. Find answers to FAQs there, too.
  • You still must submit a UC application by November of your senior year even if you are admitted to UCR through GAP.


Do I have to send my transcripts? Do I have to take the SAT Subject Tests? Find fast answers to these and other frequently asked questions, here .

Contact Us

Email a UCR admissions counselor at admissions@ucr.edu or call (951) 827-3411.