UC Santa Cruz Acceptance Rate and How to get in Easily

UC Santa Cruz or the University of California, Santa Cruz is a world-class research and teaching university committed to interdisciplinary learning. UC Santa Cruz’s acceptance rate is what will be covered in this article. 

This top-tier research and distinctive residential college focus on improving the lives of humans as well as our planet in general. A few ways this has been achieved is by the number of efficient solar cells being built by the school to the personalized research care for cancer patients. As a student of the University of California, you become a critical thinker, inventor, and builder who can contribute to making such a goal possible.

UC Santa Cruz is exceptional in courses such as Genomics, environmental and social justice law, astronomy, ocean sciences, technology, the arts, biosciences, humanities, and cancer research. The campus’s research activities comprise small groups within academic departments to large units with affiliations and connections outside UC Santa Cruz. As an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz, you will have the opportunity to engage in in-depth learning and pursue research and scholarship with leading experts in their respective fields.

Additionally, UC Santa Cruz offers a rich variety of resources for internships, student research, honors, and academic awards. This includes the well-regarded College Scholars Program. 

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UC Santa Cruz Acceptance Rate and How to get in Easily

About University of California, Santa Cruz

UC Santa Cruz, or the University of California, Santa Cruz or UCSC is a public research university founded in 1965 and located in Santa Cruz, California. The school‘s campus is located on Monterey Bay, on the edge of the coastal community of Santa Cruz. It lies on 2,001 acres (810 ha) of rolling, forested hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and is one of the ten campuses that make up the University of California system.

After its establishment in 1965, UC Santa Cruz started offering cross-disciplinary, progressive, undergraduate education, through innovative teaching methods and modern architecture. The ten small colleges of the residential college system were established as a variation of the Oxbridge collegiate university system.

UC Santa Cruz is grouped among “R1: Doctoral Universities – for high research activity”. It is a member of the Association of American Universities, which is a prestigious alliance of research universities in the U.S and Canada.

University of California History

Campus Planning

In 1957, there was a public indication of the need for another general campus of the University in northern California. The “South Central Coast” counties were chosen as the best region and were approved in October 1957 by the Regents. The 2,000-acre Cowell Ranch site overlooking Monterey Bay was also chosen in March 1961. In July, Dean E. McHenry was appointed chancellor and a general allocation of functions was given to the campus in the University-wide academic plan.

In February 1962, architect John Carl Warnecke headed the physical master planning design team, and Thomas D. Church, a landscape architect, was selected. In September 1963, the Regents accepted the resulting long-range development plan was accepted by.

Academic Planning

During 1961-62, University-wide and campus administrations reached a substantial agreement on several major academic features, including the The “college” as the basic unit of planning and of student and faculty identification; the initial concentration on undergraduate liberal arts education; early distinction in the arts and sciences: humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences; the residential nature of the campus; and a restricted curriculum. The agreement was created mainly to serve students’ needs such as tutorials, independent study, sports programs on an intramural basis, and seminars, and not to reflect faculty interests.

In July 1962, Santa Cruz opened the offices for the chancellor, University librarian, and planning cadre. During 1963-64, the business and finance officer and the provost of Cowell College were appointed. Later on, comprehensive curricular plans were proposed, and good progress was made toward assembling the initial faculty. By mid-1964, construction began on buildings sufficient for the instruction of the first class in the fall, of 1965. In June 1964, the standing orders were amended by the Regents to establish the Graduate Division at Santa Cruz. M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees, as well as B.S. and A.B. degrees, were offered after that. 

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Chancellor McHenry was the chief architect of the Santa Cruz concept for a “collegiate” university. The concept McHenry had for Santa Cruz was a small college synthesis that will be the best of a large university–all inside the framework and strength of a great state university system. 

UC Santa Cruz Colleges

In the fall, of 1965, UC Santa Cruz’s single liberal arts coeducational college, Cowell College and accepted its first class of 654 students. In the mid-1960s, it was expected that by 1995, the university would grow into a collegiate university of 25,000 or more. It was expected to develop as a small college on a single campus, by adding a college every year until there were 20 colleges in total, with an average of 600 members each. 

Each college is a liberal arts college but will use a different perspective to approach a liberal arts education. Humanities is also emphasized and the Adlai E. Stevenson College (1966) would focus on modern social sciences. The College also centered on the natural sciences and mathematics. Subsequent colleges would emphasize languages and literature, the arts, and so on.

Each would be headed by a provost. Campus-wide guidelines would specify broad fields to be covered for the A.B. degree, but each college would determine how best to implement them in keeping with its identity and personality.

Early concentration offered high standard undergraduate education. In the fall of 1966, Santa Cruz started the launch of a general university with additional enterprises: professional schools, graduate instruction, and research institutions. The early planned professional schools were engineering in 1967, natural resources in 1968, business in 1970) and landscape architecture in 1972. Graduate instruction and astronomical research were offered by the Lick Observatory, which was transferred to the Santa Cruz administration in 1965.

Each college within the University at Santa Cruz was designed to be a relatively self-contained, semi-autonomous educational entity, that had its own classrooms, residence halls, a large dining hall enough to accommodate all-college gatherings, and a student center, faculty studies, and a library-reading lounge. Quarters will be provided by each college within the college compound for its provost and his family, 12 apartments or so for its faculty fellows and preceptors, and guest suites for lecturers, visiting scholars, and distinguished visitors. Social and athletic events also would be hosted in the colleges.

Thus, for the essence of identity and a sense of belonging, each individual college would try to meet its students’ needs. Teaching and intellectual stimulation are important faculty concerns, and the school implements a small class structure, close instruction, and constant student-faculty dialogue during dinner and elsewhere.

This helps Santa Cruz maintain and improve the best features of the small liberal arts college, but with a crucial difference of clustering these small residential colleges within the expanding influence of a large university. Great scholars, the interchange between colleges, excellent laboratories, and libraries, and superior cultural events would provide an urban setting to counterbalance the parochialism which arises in small communities.

The faculty committee representing all colleges was expected to make college membership assignments. The college a student chooses does not preselect the field or major or field of specialization. Any student in any college can major in any discipline he/she wants. Not more than half the membership would major in their own college area of emphasis so as to encourage the stimulation that results from exchanging different points of view

In each college, students would have access to the central campus and the subject offerings for those who require facilities that are not available in a college–for example, a laboratory course in biology. There’s a student government each college would have.

Santa Cruz faculty members understand that they have to devote at least 50 percent of their time to teaching. They will be appointed within a discipline and as a fellow of a particular college. Their salary would be determined by the budget of their college. They would be responsible to the dean and provost of the division.

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Financing UC Santa Cruz

For each college, the basic essentials of a classroom, dining facilities, and dormitory, came from either federal loans or revenue or state appropriations. This helped cover about 80 percent of the construction cost of a college. State funds and other current income are provided for staffing and the operating and maintenance costs.

The additional 20 percent that came from private sources covered those augmenting facilities, such as quarters for the provost, faculty fellows, and preceptors, a conference and common room, and a library-reading room with a starting collection of books. The augmenting facilities for Cowell College were provided by the generosity of the H. S. Cowell Foundation, which furnished $925,000 toward the total construction cost of the college.

How to get into UC Santa Cruz Easily

Admission Requirements

When it comes to UC Santa Cruz’s admission requirements, you should consider a lot of things that shouldn’t be missed in your college application. The important requirement is:

  • GPA requirements
  • SAT and ACT requirements, and/or testing requirements
  • Application requirements

Keep reading to know the admission requirements based on UC Santa Cruz’s acceptance rate. 

UC Santa Cruz’s acceptance rate tells you how competitive the school is and the requirements you must meet to get accepted

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UC Santa Cruz Acceptance Rate

UC Santa Cruz’s acceptance rate is 47.7%. That means out of every 100 applicants, 48 students are admitted.

The school admission process is moderately selective. Yet, you must meet the requirements for GPA and SAT/ACT scores so as to stand a better chance of getting into UC Santa Cruz. Anything less than the minimum GPA and SAT/ACT scores will slim down your chance of getting an admission letter.

UC Santa Cruz GPA Requirements

Despite the fact that there are minimum GPA requirements specified by many schools, GPA requirements are just the minimum scores you’re expected to submit along with your application so as not to get rejected immediately. 

The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need to stand a real chance of getting in. 


UC Santa Cruz average GPA is 3.55.

If you get a GPA of 3.55, you are expected to be around average in your high school class. You’ll need a combination of A’s and B’s, and a few C’s. If you have a lower GPA, you can use courses like AP or IB classes which are quite hard to make up and help boost your weighted GPA and show you can take college classes.

However, your GPA will be hard to change in time for college applications if you’re currently junior or senior. 3.55 GPA or below will require a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. With such a GPA you will be able to compete against other applicants who have higher GPAs.

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SAT and ACT Requirements

Different schools implement different requirements for standardizing tests. The majority of the schools require the SAT or ACT, while others also require SAT subject tests. 

Before you submit an application to UC Santa Cruz, it’s either you take the SAT or ACT  test. You must perform well in the test to have a strong application.

UC Santa Cruz SAT Requirements

Despite the fact that most schools don’t have an official cutoff SAT score, there is actually a hidden SAT requirement based on the school’s average score.

The average SAT score composite is 1285 on the 1600 SAT scale.

UC Santa Cruz’s New SAT 25th percentile score is 1170, and the New SAT 75th percentile score is 1400. Getting an 1170 New SAT score puts you below average, while 1400 will put you above average.

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Below is a breakdown of UC Santa Cruz’s new SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Reading + Writing630580680

SAT Score Choice Policy

A very important part of UC Santa Cruz’s testing strategy is the score choice policy of the “Highest Section”. UC Santa Cruz has an “All Scores” Score Choice policy which means that you must send all SAT scores you’ve ever taken to the UC Santa Cruz office.

More commonly, your highest score on a single test date will be taken by the school. Even better, some schools form a Superscore -by taking your highest section score across all your test dates and combining them

We recommend taking at least 4 tests and not more than 6 tests. UC Santa Cruz knows that you want to have the best chance of admission, and retaking the test to get a higher score is a good way to do this. As far as you take a reasonable number of tests, they just focus on your score and will not care how many times you’ve taken it.

You shouldn’t take the test more than 6 times, as the admission committee will wonder why you’re not improving with each test. This will also cause them to question your study skills and ability to improve.

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UC Santa Cruz Requirements

Just like for the SAT, based on the UC Santa Cruz acceptance rate, there’s no known hard ACT cutoff mark. However, if your score is low, you won’t stand a chance of being admitted into Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz’s average ACT score is 28. The ACT score 25th percentile is 24, while the ACT score 75th percentile is 31.

University of South Carolina has no minimum ACT requirement, but if your ACT score is 24 or below, you won’t stand a chance of getting into UC, unless your application is very unique.

Therefore, if your ACT score is currently less than 24, you should prepare for the ACT test and retake it so as to stand a higher chance of getting in if you are able to raise your score. 

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That’s everything on the UC Santa Cruz Acceptance Rate and how to get in Easily.

UC Santa Cruz, or the University of California, Santa Cruz or UCSC is a public research university located on Monterey Bay, on the edge of the coastal community of Santa Cruz. UC Santa Cruz offers cross-disciplinary, progressive, undergraduate education, through innovative teaching methods and modern architecture. The ten small colleges of residential college system were established as a variation of the Oxbridge collegiate university system.

UC Santa Cruz acceptance rate is 47.7%. This means that 48 students are admitted out of every 100 applicants. To get into the University of California, Santa Cruz, you need a GPA of 3.55. This should make your high school grades average with a combination of A’s and B’s, and very few C’s.

FAQs on the UC Santa Cruz Acceptance Rate

Is UC Santa Cruz prestigious?

UC Santa Cruz is a world-class research and teaching university committed to interdisciplinary learning. The school offers cross-disciplinary, progressive, undergraduate education, through innovative teaching methods and modern architecture. 

2. What is the UC Santa Cruz Acceptance rate?

UC Santa Cruz’s acceptance rate is 47.7%

3. What GPA do I need to get into the University of California, Santa Cruz?

To get into UC Santa Cruz, you need a GPA of 3.55. Your high school grades must also be average with a combination of A’s and B’s, and very few C’s. If you have a lower GPA, you can take harder courses like AP or IB classes to make it up.

4. What is UC Santa Cruz’s Tuition fee?

At the University of California, Santa Cruz in-state tuition and fees are $14,066; while out-of-state tuition and fees are $43,820. 

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