University of California Admission Information – 2018


  1. Freshman admission profiles by campus
    1. snapshot of the admitted freshman class for fall 2018
    2. PDF file with details for each campus
  2. UC student data (UCOP)
    1. for Fall 2018 with applications and admissions data (PDF files)
  3. Admissions by source school
    1. By year, UC campus, and high school
  4. Freshman fall admissions summary
    1. 1994 to 2017 with different views
  5. Freshman Admission Rates by Campus and Residency for 2015 to 2017 (PDF)
  6. Student Profile / Statistic
    1. UC Berkeley Student Profile
    2. UCLA Undergraduate Admission Statistics


  1. Ultimate Guide to the University of California Schools – include student reviews on pros & cons
    1. 1st tier: UC Berkeley and UCLA
    2. 2nd tier: UCSB, UCSD, UC Davis, and UC Irvine
    3. 3rd tier: UC Santa Cruz and UC Riverside
    4. 4th tier: UC Merced
      School Number of Undergraduates Middle 50% SAT Score  Middle 50% ACT Score Acceptance Rate
      UC Berkeley 30,574 1290-1480 30-34 18.3%
      UCLA 30,873 1280-1500 30-34 16.1%
      UC San Diego 26,590 1250-1470 29-34 34.1%
      UC Santa Barbara 20,607 1210-1450 28-33 32.8%
      UC Davis 29,546 1190-1430 26-32 43.6%
      UC Irvine 27,331 1190-1420 26-32 36.6%
      UC Santa Cruz 16,328 1170-1380 26-31 51.4%
      UC Riverside 19,799 1090-1310 23-30 57.4%
      UC Merced 7,375 1020-1230 20-27 70.0%
      School US News Ranking Forbes Ranking
      1. UC Berkeley 21 29
      2. UCLA 21 48
      3. UCSB 37 83
      4. UCSD 42 93
      5. UC Davis 46 102
      6. UC Irvine 42 106
      7. UC Santa Cruz 81 210
      8. UC Riverside 124 259
      9. UC Merced 165 unranked
  2. UC & CSU Admissions Data – Fall 2017 (Washington High School)
    University of California Admit














    Berkeley 17.2% 14,624


    61.7% 4.22 1385 32
    Davis 43.6% 30,945


    59.7% 4.1 1310 29
    Irvine 36.6% 31,103


    67.7 4.12 1305 29
    Los Angeles 16.1% 16,494


    56.3% 4.22 1390 32
    Merced 70%  15,804
    94.3% 3.66 1125 23
    Riverside 57.4%  25,062
    88.2% 3.82 1200 26
    San Diego 34.1%  30,204
    61.3% 4.16 1360 31
    Santa Barbara 32.8% 26,879


    69% 4.1 1330 30
    Santa Cruz 51.4%  27,216
    70.8% 3.91 1275 28
    California State University Admit Rate Admits Applicants California Residency Average GPA(weighted) Average SAT

    (Math & Reading)

    Average ACT
    Bakersfield  93% 5,400


    99%  3.2 905 19
    Cal  Maritime 85% 223
     78% 3.3  N/A N/A
    Cal Poly

    San Luis


    31% 14,651
    N/A 3.92 1239 28
    Cal Poly Pomona 39% 13,307
    98% 3.49 1062 24
    Channel Islands 74% 7,613


    N/A 3.22 925 20
    Chico 65% 14,441
     99% 3.33 1000 21
    Dominguez Hills 58% 2,672
    N/A 3.13 851 17
    East Bay 74% 10,938


    98% 3.1 901 19
    Fresno 52% 10,404
    99% 3.33 900  19
    Fullerton 42% 17,515
    99% 3.56 997 22
    Humboldt 75% 9,765
    93% 3.26 992 22
    Long Beach 36% 20,326
    99% 3.5 1033 22
    Los Angeles 64% 22,567
    N/A 3.18 880 17
    Monterey 49%  7,576


    98% 3.32 977 20
    Northridge 45% 15,687
    99% 3.2 920 19
    Sacramento 67% 15,377
    99% 3.3 949  20
    San Bernardino 65% 8,916
      94% 3.21 893 N/A
    San Diego 34% 20,238
    87% 3.69 1113 25
    San Francisco 68% 23,841
    99% 3.23 997  21
    San Jose 68% 16,890
    98% 3.4 1040 23
    San Marcos 85% 9,102


    99% 3.19 N/A N/A
    Sonoma 55% 16,890


    N/A 3.2 N/A N/A
    Stanislaus 67% 4,665
    99% 3.36 938 19
  3. College Corner: Statistics nuts, rejoice! UC admissions by the numbers
  4. UC acceptance rates are shockingly low (March 29, 2018)
    1. acceptance rate (1997, 2007 & 2017) for each of the UC campus
    2. UC Merced, UC Riverside and UC Santa Cruz, still accepted over 50 percent of applicants in 2017
    3. A very noticeable jump is the 13-fold increase in international students‘ applications, and their rate of acceptance has soared as well. In 1997, 2,019 international students applied to be freshmen at UC schools and 798 (39.5 percent) were accepted. In 2017, 27,193 applied and 18,067 (66.4 percent) were accepted.
  5. State’s public colleges chasing out-of-state students, tuition (July 9, 2016)
    1. The UC system relied on state money for almost a quarter of its budget as recently as 2002 but that figure is 9 percent in 2016, after $1 billion in cuts.
    2. According to the College Board, the average cost of attending a four-year public university, including room and board, increased from $11,655 in 2000 to $19,548 in 2015, in inflation-adjusted dollars.
    3. In California, nonresident enrollment has been about 15.5 percent on UC campuses overall, but as high as 29 percent at the marquee campus, Berkeley.
    4. University of Alabama, where the student body of 37,000 is more than 50 percent nonresident
    5. Of the out-of-state undergraduates at Alabama’s Tuscaloosa campus, more than 3,000 receive merit aid in the form of free or discounted tuition — an average of $19,000 per student. In 2015, the university gave $100 million in merit aid.
  6. California Community College new enrollments at UC
  7. Transfers by Major
  8. Admissions by source school
  9. Undergraduate Graduation Rates

UX Career

Which UX Career is Right for You?

Job Title Roles & Responsibilities Key Skills to Know
UX Designer
  1. a “full stack designer” in that you should have experience in the design process from research through wireframing and even a bit of visual design or front-end development
research methodologies, wireframing, ideation, prototyping
User Researcher Maria Anders user interviews, survey design, data analysis, usability testing
Information Architect
  1. responsible for the a product’s organization
  2. determine how information should be arranged and displayed to make it easy to understand and use
  3. ultimately helps the user interpret her surroundings, navigate around a product, and easily discover what it is that she’s looking to find or do
card sorting, understanding of cognitive psychology, library sciences, user research analysis
Interaction Designer
  1. how the a product feels and responds to a user
  2. very focused on precise user interface details include anything from designing movement, animation, and visual aesthetics
  3. how products react and respond to users
visual design, knowledge of HTML CCS and Javascript, animation
User Interface Designer
  1. are most concerned with the look and feel of the actual page visuals and layout
  2. ultimately choose where buttons should be placed, what colors are used, and what style the drop down menu will display
visual design, user interface patterns, typography, layout best practices
Product Designer content strategy, sketching, scope defining
Front-End Developer
  1. a mix of programming and layout that powers the visuals and interactions of the web
HTML, CSS, Javascript, Javascript frameworks

Other References:

  1. UI, UX: Who Does What? A Designer’s Guide To The Tech Industry
  2. User Research Basics
  3. What are the UX Roles Within the User Experience Field?

Why Do Companies Prefer MBAs?

Why Do Companies Prefer MBAs?
By Jennifer deJong, Monster Contributing Writer

  • MBAs are sought after for their ability to think critically, deal with ambiguity and solve complex problems.
  • the master of business administration degree represents a way of thinking, not just a set of financial skills and business knowledge
  • looking for the 50,000-foot view — the strategic thinker who takes an analytical approach
  • Operations managers who have risen through the company’s ranks are experts at getting things done. But MBAs from the outside can bring a fresh perspective, like figuring out how to improve key business processes, such as filling catalog orders.
  • Training Critical Thinkers
    • an MBA can evaluate a company by looking at its financials, they also ask if the numbers make sense in terms of other realities
    • process of earning the degree teaches MBAs to think critically –  relies heavily on the case-study approach
    • requires students to evaluate business dilemmas and formulate the best plan of action
    • case studies typically reflect current issues
  • Professional Problem Solvers
    • know how to frame problems, ask questions and collect data
    •  MBA candidates who are ready to answer more than just stock questions –  done some research, called a few customers; you get a sense of how they might spend their first 60 days on the job, and that is impressive
    • ability to deal with ambiguity and create changes that help the company compete
    • demonstrate the ability to maximize talent, enroll others, champion change, look at the big picture and optimize the company’s interests
    • degree itself is not a guarantee, as many MBAs have gaps – It comes down to the person and their accomplishments. For example, if an MBA candidate says, “I lead the team that revised the billing process,” company recruiters dig deeper. If the process improvement didn’t yield a result, the candidate may not make the cut
  • MBAs: Not All Alike
    • Getting an MBA is a big accomplishment, but once you have it, you still have to compete for jobs.
    • Top schools are brand names – when you are competing against a brand name, the burden of proof is on you, even though core MBA courses remain remarkably similar across different institutions.

Is there value in pursing a higher education?

By Mark Storer, Bay Area News Group, April 26, 2015

  • most important thing to learn in college had more bearing on who he/she is rather than what he/she does
  • on individual level, when we look only at earnings potential as the value of education, we miss a large part of the picture
  • it is completely possible for education to lead people down a path that does not increase (or possibly even decreases) lifetime earnings, but could lead them to personal and professional fulfillment
  • college is an institution; the location of that institution and the people who make up that institution are the source of the mind expansion, horizon-broadening that takes place during the college years
  • statistical date returned over more than 40 years of research show that those with Bachelor’s degrees or higher earn more than their counterparts who don’t get a degree
  • Does College Matter? (2014 Annual Report) Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
    • even for entrepreneurs, college is still the best place to develop skills, meet mentors and learn about what it takes to compete in the market
    • college environment is ideal for entrepreneurial-minded students to try out their ideas
    • it’s a pretty safe environment
    • college will hook your up with a mentor, in some cases provide funding and then you get to go out and validate your idea
    • colleges have the sort of perfect ecosystem that will support the pursuit of ideas
    • average college graduate earns enough “extra” to recover the cost of attending most colleges in fewer than 15 years
    • after that, the earnings advantage remains leaving the typical college graduate with a significant net return
    • College Calculator

The value of higher education from the employer’s perspective

By Maggie Sharpe, Published in Bay Area News Group on April 26, 2015

Before Recession
During Recession
(Employment Decline)
High School 1/2 16%
Associate Degree 1/3 11%
Bachelor Degree 3/4 7%
  • Fullbridge (with offices in San Francisco) – a career accelerator program to help young professional success in the global economy
    • Higher education is the baseline for most employers
    • Companies also look for: internships, work experience, extracurricular activities and career accelerator programs
    • Leadership and participation in skills-building programs
    • Corporations value candidates with confidence and a strong desire to learn
    • hard skills: Excel proficiency, time management
    • soft skills: being able to work with others, work well in teams and eventually become a leader
  • college degree indicates how teachable a person is – value a culture of continual learning; discipline needed to complete the rigors of a structured academic program; ‘bias for execution’ – know how to get things done
  • real-world experience
  • possesses a deep level of functional expertise
  • Eight attributes used by “Energy Recovery” in San Francisco in its annual employee performance appraisal – changing the game (innovation), all in (commitment), problem solving, professional maturity, work ethic/commitment to excellence, effective communication, collaboration, and flexibility/adaptability
  • unique mix of rebellious spirits, distinctive styles and technical know-how and a whole lot of gumption
  • ones that embrace and contribute to company culture, lead by example, and who support and care for one another
  • you can teach people new skills, but you can’t train someone to give genuine heartfelt care
  • look beyond the CV and dig deeper into an individual’s passion, personality and drive
  • people who aren’t afraid to take chance, who want to make a different – people who care about their work impacts others around them
  • higher education provides people with a great foundation for acquiring knowledge, skills and abilities
  • San Francisco State University, College of Business : Bill Kimpton Hospitality Scholarship

Related Reads:

  1. A College Degree Sorts Job Applicants, but Employers Wish It Meant More
  2. What do employers really want from college grads?
  3. Internships become the new job requirement

Admissions to University of California – April 2015

UC delays release of admissions data amid budget negotiations (04/17/2015, San Jose Mercury News)

  • Last year, admission rates at UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara fell to less than half of what they were in the mid-1990s
  • “I’ve always had students who looked at Davis as a safety school and it’s not, and neither is Santa Cruz,” said Linda Clark, a guidance counselor at Northgate High School in Walnut Creek.
  • Lucinda Perez, a straight-A student from Oakland who will be the first in her family to attend a university, is a finalist for the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholars program, which gives winners a full ride to the college of their choice. But the 18-year-old had a miserable March. One after another, the UC rejections came in: Berkeley, UCLA, Davis and Santa Cruz.
  • In 2008, the Oakland Tribune published a story about Perez’s small public high school, Life Academy of Health and Bioscience, because some 40 percent of its graduates, most of them first-generation college-goers, had been admitted to a UC campus. This year, by contrast, nearly half of Life’s 62 graduating seniors applied to the university, but only nine — about 15 percent of the class — got in and four were wait-listed.
  • “I know the students are feeling or hearing that nobody seems to be getting in,” said Malissa Goldstein, a Lynbrook guidance counselor who has yet to see a final tally. “I think the biggest surprise for us is UC Merced has denied some of our highly qualified applicants, as has UC Riverside.” Those campuses have traditionally had the system’s highest admission rates.
  • Goldstein believes the trend is driven, in part, by fear: Each year, students alarmed by dropping admission rates are applying to more campuses than they otherwise would, pushing the volume of applications on each campus ever-higher — and admission rates lower and lower.
    • Diverse pool of Californians apply to UC in record numbers (01/12/2015)
      • 193,873 students applied for admission to at least one UC campus — 158,146 of them as freshmen and the remainder as transfer students
      • combined numbers represent an overall rise of 5.8 percent over fall 2014, the 11th consecutive year of increases
      • freshman applicants alone, the percentage increase was 6.5 percent over last year
      • On average, California students — including transfers — each applied to four UC campuses
      • Every UC undergraduate campus received more applications from California residents than it did last year
      • Merced showing the largest percentage increase, 14.8 percent for freshmen alone
      • number of California high school seniors applying to UC — 102,994 overall — marked an increase of 3.2 percent over last year and comes on the heels of state projections that the number of California high school graduates is shrinking
  • At Coliseum College Prep Academy, a small public high school in East Oakland, fewer than 1 in 3 UC applicants were admitted to a single campus, according to a college counselor, compared with more than 75 percent in 2012 and 2013. The high school’s valedictorian, Carlos Rangel, was admitted to UC Berkeley, one of the system’s two most-selective campuses — but was wait-listed at UC Davis, where, not long ago, he would have been a shoo-in.

Myths for College Admissions

Common Myths

  1. Taking the SAT versus the ACT will increase your chances of getting into a UC.
    UC has no preference for one examination over the other. If a student takes both exams, UC will use the higher score to the student’s advantage.
  2. A student who attends a “good” school and has a parent/guardian who have college degrees are disadvantaged in the process.
    Take a look at example from the above news article. There should not be any disadvantage if parent has college degree but for student who’s parent don’t have college degree, there may be some “additional” point but then again the most important thing is student’s academic level (GPA, test score) has to be in the admission range.
  3. UC discriminates against Asian Americans.
    U.C. undergraduates are composed of about 40% Asian Americans. Asian-Americans are the single largest ethnic group among UC’s 173,000 undergraduates. In 2008, they accounted for 40% at UCLA and 43% at UC Berkeley — the two most selective campuses in the UC system — as well as 50% at UC San Diego and 54% at UC Irvine. Asian-Americans are about 12% of California’s population and 4% of the U.S. population overall. Universities and Colleges would like to maintain some kind of diversity for it’s student population. May be the Asian American students cannot really blame the UC system. There are just too many Asian Americans who have great GPAs and test scores. Reference: University of California Percent Change in CALIFORNIA Freshman ADMISSION COUNTS by Campus and Race/Ethnicity (PDF) – For 2014: UC Berkeley – 42%, UC Davis – 42%, UC Irvine – 46%, UCLA – 42%, UC Merced – 35%, Riverside – 45%, UCSD – 47%, UCSB – 36%, UC Santa Cruz – 32%; Overall UC – 36%
  4. My Student gets 4.1 GPA (weighted) but cannot get into any UC.
    Read the example in above news article with one student gets straight A (assume 4.0 unweighted). A GPA of 4.1 is the average GPA for admitted students for the few top UCs. Reference: UCLA – Profile of Admitted Freshmen Fall 2014 – Weighted: 4.0 or above – 91.58% of all admitted, 3.70 – 3.99 – 6.15%, 3.30 – 3.69 – 1.84%, 3.00 – 3.29 – 0.32%, below 3.00 – 0.11%; overall average – 3.94 for all applicants, 4.39 for admitted, 4.31 for enrolled; Unweighted: 4.0 (the highest) – 12.57% for all applicants, 40.52% for all admitted, 32.53% for all enrolled

Interested in Medical School

You may think it is too early to even think about or prepare for it but in reality it is harder compare your college application. You need to start in your Freshmen year to prepare for it if you are serious (or at least remotely think this can be one thing you want to do after you get your undergraduate degree).

There are 133 medical schools in US and 17 in Canada so together there is 150 medical schools you can apply to. Medical school in other countries can always be considered but that is probably more work (like accreditation check, intern opportunity, recognize by US medical board, etc.). If you look at the top 50 medical schools listed in US News, 90% has an admission rate of about 6% which is like getting into Harvard when you first apply for college. Average is 9%. Minimum undergraduate GPA is 3.5 to quality and average admitted students have 3.6. Remember there is NO more “weighted” GPA for college for 3.6 is real.
There is test like MCAT which is much harder compare to SAT or ACT. As a UCSD student, they let you take FREE test prep courses at UCSD Extension. For most of this graduate school application required test like GRE, it is a 16 hours course. For MCAT, it is 35 hours. Probably you need at least a composite MCAT score of 30.
Some of the requirements to apply to medical school is similar to high school to college application which is letter of recommendations, interview, extra-curriculum, research, health care related experience, etc. For high school to college application, a lot of these requirements are optional but for medical school application, it is MUST.
You should start reading about some of these requirements to get yourself prepare starting as Freshmen, not as senior like when you are in high school.
What Are Medical Schools Looking For?
  • Academic Considerations
    • Major: any major is fine but key is to meet the pre-health core curriculum (additional work in biology or chemistry; courses with significant analytical reading and writing components to maintain or improve their verbal skills)
    • GPA: overall (4 years) and not just Sophomore/Junior like from high school
    • MCAT: only twice a year and not 7 times like SAT/ACT; general take in April of Junior; 3 multiple choice sections: Verbal Reasoning, Physical Sciences (physics and intro chemistry) and Biological Sciences (biology and organic chemistry) and writing section (2 essays)
    • Research Experience: get something published
  • Non-Academic Experiences
    • Extracurricular and Job Experiences: religious, sport, club; develop interpersonal skill, teamwork, leadership, time management; serious commitment (long term verse many different ones; depth verse breath)
    • Health Care Related Experience: internship at clinics, hospitals, nursing home, shelters; shadowing a physician; work directly with patients
    • Experience to work with people: community service, volunteer work like tutoring, short term mission trip; work with people with different background (ethnic, religious, socio-economic, etc.); compassion for others
  • Personal Considerations
    • Letters of Recommendation: from 4 faculty members; actively participate in class and get to know the faculty who teach you
    • Interview: All medical schools require an interview, often two or three, with members of their faculty and, sometimes, medical students on the admissions committee.
    • Professional Behavior: professionalism; personal accountability
What Medical Schools Are Looking For (blog entry from a Harvard Med School Girl)
  • reference to 2 good articles
Beyond the Numbers: Making Your Medical School Application Stand Out
3 things every medical school is looking for in an applicant
  • People who can handle intensive workloads while being able to maintain some sort of life outside school.
  • Every school is looking for a particular ‘breed’ of medical student.
  • Personalities fitting the current wind of change.
Medical School Admissions – An Insider’s Guide
Searching For Admission: The Smart PreMed Student’s Guide to Applying for Medical School
Web Resources
List of schools
Research Opportunity
Interview Tips
Select Medical School
101 Things You Wish You Knew Before Starting Medical School
If you are interested in physical therapy (PT) or occupational therapy (OT):
  • GRE instead of MCAT
  • volunteer work (200 hours) are required
  • first aid and CPR certification
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • interview

10 Practice Essay Prompts

  1. Discuss a significant personal archievement.
  2. Evaluate the pros and cons of a political issue, and discuss how that issue related to your community.
  3. Write an essay describing a person who has influenced you.
  4. Write about your favorite book, poem, or play.
  5. The admissionos committee has a copy of your autobiography opened to page 367. What does it say?
  6. discuss a challenge you overcame and how it changed you.
  7. What is the best advice you have received, and why?
  8. If you could time travel, what period in history would you visit, and why?
  9. You have been selected to meet with the president of the United States for one hour. What will you discuss?
  10. If you could switch bodies with someone for a day, who wouldyou choose, and why?

Source: College Planning Workbook, Spark Publishing, 2008, p. 138-167.

UC Personal Statement

UC Davis – The Personal Statement

  • Write it yourself.
  • Write it about yourself.
  • Provide any relevant information about yourself that you don’t think is captured elsewhere in the application.
  • Write about experiences, accomplishments, etc. that occurred during or after high school.
  • Provide specific examples of your accomplishments or activities in which you’ve participated.
  • Keep your statement focused.
  • Have your statement checked by a teacher, counselor or other adviser for spelling, grammar and clarity.

Writing and Reading UC’s Personal Statement (PowerPoint presentation)

What characteristics is UC looking for?

  • Thoughtful, incisive reflection — some sense of who the student is.
  • Personal qualities including, but not limited to, leadership, creativity, initiative, persistence, maturation, commitment to others.
  • Students who have done more to enrich their education.
  • Students who have had meaningful participation, not just a listing of activities.  Quality over quantity should be the general guideline.
  • Students who demonstrate tenacity, self-discipline and motivation for academic success.
  • Students who have demonstrated a sensitivity to and respect for differences, e.g., through sustained community service.
  • Students who are informal leaders — the type of student who makes things happen — a catalyst who motivates others, who initiates or takes responsibility for something that meets a perceived need.

What the personal statement is not:

  • A visionary statement of what you plan for your future, without concrete examples of what initiatives you have already taken that will lead you to your goals.
  • An elaboration on someone you admire, without a specific description of what you, yourself, have done or not done as a result of your inspiration.
  • An exaggeration of problems but an acceptance of responsibility for choices, academic performance,  and/or behaviors.
  • An exhaustive listing of activities, honors, awards but rather a judicious selection of important indicators.
  • Solely a sample of  writing skills although appropriate grammar, level of  usage and spelling are expected.