Students come from all over the world to attend UCLA. Indeed, part of what makes UCLA great is the wide variety of experiences and backgrounds our students bring to our campus community. Each year we admit students from nearly 90 countries. UCLA is truly an international institution located in one of the world’s most international cities.
Read on to learn more about being an international applicant.
As an undergraduate, you may apply for admission as a freshman (first-year) or a transfer student.
You’re a freshman applicant if you completed secondary school and have not enrolled in a regular session at any college or university. UCLA does not admit students into any undergraduate program who already hold Bachelor’s degrees, nor do we admit students who have the equivalent of three years (130 quarter-units or more) of transferable university work. You may not disregard your college record and apply as a freshman.
Transfer applicants need to be at the junior level, that is, have taken college level coursework amounting to 90-130 quarter (60-90 semester) units of credit. UCLA gives preference to students transferring from California community colleges, including international students. Historically, over 80% of admitted international transfers were attending a California community college when they applied.
To learn more about applying, including important dates and deadlines, visit the freshman or transfer page.
Education System Requirements
Depending on your country and educational system, you may have to meet additional admission requirements. Learn more about country-specific requirements.
Language Requirements for International Students
English language proficiency is critical to your success at UCLA. If all of your high school/secondary school education was completed in English, you are considered proficient and do not need to satisfy this requirement. However, if you've completed all or some high school or secondary school in a country where English was not the language of instruction, you will be required to demonstrate English proficiency if you have had less than 3 years of instruction in English. To demonstrate English language proficiency, students are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS), or the Duolingo English Test.
We look for a competitive score above 100 (with sub-scores above 22) on the TOEFL, 7 or above on the IELTS, or a 120 or higher on the Duolingo English Test (DET).
Current Applicants: TOEFL, IELTS, and DET scores can be updated post-submission directly through the UC Application website. Note that while official test scores are not required to be sent along with the application for our review process, all test information must be accurately self-reported on the application site no later than January. You may send your TOEFL scores to one UC campus, and all campuses you apply to will receive them. Conversely, IELTS and DET results must be sent to each campus you apply to. DET scores must be submitted through the DET testing portal. Be sure to include your UC Application ID when sending DET scores.
If you’re admitted to UCLA and your native language is not English, we may also require you to take UCLA’s English-as-a-Second-Language Placement Examination (ESLPE) immediately before the term in which you enter. If your score indicates a weakness in English, several terms of your program may include special courses in English for international students. If your score shows that you are seriously deficient, you’ll be required to gain proficiency in English before you’re allowed to pursue your studies at UCLA.
UCLA does not award scholarships or financial aid to undergraduate students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States. International students must prove that they have sufficient funds available to them to pay for their educational and living expenses. For example, students admitted to Fall Quarter 2022 will need a minimum of about $68,474 (with an additional $5,000 recommended for additional personal expenses, contingencies and summer expenses). This minimum amount usually grows each year.
UCLA also requires that all international students on non-immigrant visas have adequate medical insurance during all periods of enrollment. More information about these requirements will be sent to students when they are admitted.
Transcripts and Official Records
We require records from the secondary schools you have attended that show subjects taken and grades received, as well as any national or government certificates earned.
Documents of all college or university coursework must also be sent in the original language, along with English translations. Please do not send these documents now. If you apply and are admitted, your admission packet will have instructions.
Message About Agents and Consultants
UCLA Undergraduate Admission does not partner with agents to represent the University or to administer any part of the application process. The engagement of agents or private organizations for the purpose of recruiting or enrolling international students is not endorsed by UCLA.
UCLA expects an application to be the work of the student and any deviation violates University policy which may lead to rejection of application materials, revocation of an admission offer, cancellation of admission, or involuntary withdrawal from the University. There is no formula for gaining admission to UCLA. Students with vastly different credentials come from thousands of secondary schools across the country and around the world. What unifies our students are the talents they bring to UCLA and their passion to explore all that UCLA has to offer.
Admitted International Students
If you’re an international student who has already been admitted, visit the UCLA Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars to find out more about the international community UCLA.
As another resource, you can find the same information in our International Admission Guide (PDF).
Frequently Asked Questions
Please report your results in the “International External Exams” section of the UC Application.
UCLA will not consider SAT or ACT scores. Demonstration of English proficiency is still required through TOEFL, Duolingo English Test (DET), or IELTS scores.
If you attended school outside of the U.S. where the primary and secondary education totals 13 years, list your 13 year of coursework in the 12th-grade section and work backward through the 11th to 8th-grade sections.
If you graduate from a high school outside of the U.S., then you are considered an international applicant. If you graduate from a high school located in the U.S., you are considered a domestic applicant. However, keep in mind this only applies to the application process and might not apply for in-state residency and tuition.
For the profile of admitted students, you can visit the freshman profile page and the transfer profile page.
UCLA doesn’t provide funding to international students at the undergraduate level. Regulations of the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement require that persons entering this country on a student visa demonstrate that they have sufficient funds available to them to support their living and education expenses. You may find the following scholarship search sites helpful:
You should also consider contacting your consulate as there may be scholarships you’re eligible for through your home country.
Learn more from UCLA Dashew Center for International Students & Scholars