How competitive is UCLA engineering?


Do you want to study engineering and is UCLA among your options? Do you want to know how likely you are to get into?

In this article we are going to answer the question ‘’How competitive is UCLA engineering?’’, We will indicate the requirements to get into UCLA, how many applicants it receives and how many are admitted.

How competitive is UCLA engineering? 

For 2018-2019 UCLA received 111,322 applications and admitted just  12,4% and the average GAP is 3.89.

The University of California, Los Angeles was founded in 1919 and is considered one of the best universities in the United States and in the world.

It’s also known by its acronym UCLA and is located in the Westwood residential area in Los Angeles. With a student body of approximately 29,000 undergraduate students and 13,000 graduate students

The purpose of this public institution is to create, disseminate, preserve and apply knowledge to the overall improvement of society. This translates into the promotion of free access to information and the promotion of intellectual debate. Their research is marked by excellence and interdisciplinarity, and their students by diversity.

Worldwide, it’s usually ranked among the 15 best universities in the world in the most prestigious rankings, and is generally the second best public university, only behind UC Berkeley. 13 Nobel laureates (six professors and seven students) and 12 MacArthur scholars have passed through its classrooms.

UCLA has also been connected to many other highly regarded figures, such as philosopher Bertrand Russell, United States Vice President Al Gore, writer Jared Diamond, YouTube director Susan Wojcicki, and artists such as Ben Stiller, James Franco, Greg Graffin and Francis Ford Coppola.

Numerous Olympic medalists have also come out of it because sports have an important presence in the university. It’s the one that has achieved the most sports awards at the national level and the presence of athletes from the institution is frequent in all editions of the Olympic Games.

The campus covers 170 hectares and is located in the North Los Angeles area. It has 163 buildings of various architectural styles and several gardens, museums and fountains.


The application for a place is made online, through the official UCLA website, in addition, the registration must be accompanied by:

  • High school grades.
  • Writing of two essays. 
  • Results of the exams: ACT or SAT, also in the case of foreign students, the marks of the international baccalaureate and the TOEFL or IELTS.
  • Payment of the registration fee 
  • Annual income, of whoever is responsible for the payment of the University, this step is optional except for those who request an exemption from the application fee or for the Educational Opportunity Program.

In addition to the academic requirements, the personal and extracurricular merits of each student are also taken into account.

What GPA do you need to get into UCLA?

Grade Point Average (GPA), is a number that indicates and shows your performance in the courses you have taken.

It’s usually rated on a scale of 1 to 4, and what it does is assess whether you have met the standards set by the college study program you chose.

UCLA’s average GPA is 3.89. UCLA is highly selective, you will need good grades to compete with the other students.

You’re definitely going to have to be primarily an “A” student to be competitive at UCLA. The rank of the admitted class is equally high: 97% of admitted were in the top 10% of their class, and 100% were in the top 25%.

If you have a low GPA, you will need to make up for it with a good grade on the other requirements.

What is UCLA’s acceptance rate?

UCLA’s admissions processes are highly competitive. It has a total admission percentage of

Admissions Statistics (2018-2019)
Number of Applicants111,322
Percent Admitted12,4%

Does UCLA Require Test Scores?

All applicants must take the SAT or ACT to UCLA. The admissions office doesn’t have a preference for one test or the other, but the SAT tends to be much more popular in California.

There are multiple choice tests whose objective is to measure the preparation that a high school student has with respect to the university.

The relevance of the test scores varies from university to university, however, it must be clear that the higher scores, the more options the student has of being admitted to the university of their choice.

Required: Score at least a 1315 on the SAT or 91 on the ACT.

SAT Scores

UCLA required scores from the SAT or ACT of all applicants. For students entering UCLA in the 2018-19 academic year, 77% presented SAT results.

SAT score (admitted students)
Section25th Percentile75th Percentile

If you compare the SAT results for the University of California system, you will see that only the University of Berkeley is more selective than UCLA. Based on national SAT data, we can conclude that almost all admitted UCLA students scored in the top 20% of test-takers.

On the math section of the exam, the middle 50% of admitted students scored between 630 and 780. This means that 25% of admitted students scored 630 or lower, and 25% scored 780 or higher.

On the evidence-based reading and writing test, the mean 50% of students scored between 640 and 740. This tells us that the bottom 25% of admitted students scored 640 or lower and the quartile higher scored a 740 or higher.

Students will generally need scores that are well above average to enter. The most competitive UCLA applicants will be at the top of these score ranges and have a combined score of 1500 or better.

ACT Scores

For the class entering UCLA in the 2018-19 academic year, 50% had ACT scores.

ACT Scores
Section25th Percentile75th percentile

An average ACT score is approximately 21, so on the ACT, UCLA students tend to score significantly above average.

Nationally, only a few public colleges have average ACT scores that are higher than UCLA. If we compare UCLA ACT scores to national scoring ranges, it can be seen that the vast majority of admitted students are in the top 11% of test takers.

Now, 50% of those admitted scored between 28 and 34 on the ACT. This means that the top 25% of those admitted scored a 34 or higher, and the bottom 25% scored a 28 or lower.

Admission Chances

Many of the applicants with high averages and test results are rejected by UCLA. However, there are also numbers of students who were accepted with low grades. Like all UCLA schools, UCLA assesses students beyond numerical data.

Students who display some form of remarkable talent or have a fascinating story to tell often watch closely, even if grades and test results are not ideal. Make sure your application has strong trials. You will want to put significant time and care into your personal insight questions about the UCLA application.

UCLA is not just looking for good grades, it’s looking for students who truly contribute to college. Students with diverse creative abilities who contribute to the community.

UCLA Engineering Undergraduate Programs

The Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science (HSSEAS) offers:

  • Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering.
  • Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering.
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering.
  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering.
  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.
  • Bachelor of Science in Materials Engineering.
  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.

How competitive is UCLA engineering?

The Samueli School of Engineering is difficult to get into.

For the 2018-2019 period, 3,774 students applied, of which only 463 were admitted. That means that the admission percentage is 12.3%, lower than the general percentage of the university. Despite this, only 224 students were actually able to enroll.

The career most demanded by students is Computer Science, where 1,496 students applied, but only 115 were admitted, with the lowest admission percentage among all, 7.7%.

The highest percentage of admission was by Computer Science & Engineering, with 21.5% (although only 71 people were admitted).

On the other hand, even though Materials Engineering was the least demanded (only 88 students applied), only 8 people were admitted, and only 3 of them signed up.

Without a doubt, getting into UCLA is difficult, but getting into engineering is even more difficult.

In your application. You should consider:

1- Write an amazing essay: Show UCLA that you are the perfect candidate. Avoid being repetitive, be creative and authentic. Pay particular attention to the spelling and grammar of other written documents.

2- Letters of recommendation: make sure you choose a professor who knows you and who has preferably studied in the department you want to study.

3- Be punctual: Don’t wait until the last minute to send your application. The system can collapse. Many students apply at the last minute, don’t take the risk.

It’s of great importance that you keep in mind that studying engineering and its different branches requires a lot of dedication and discipline. If you want to achieve it successfully, you must stand out, not just with a good average. You must have a comprehensive profile, with an active social role.

For this reason, it’s good that you identify the needs of each subject so that, with enough time and the necessary resources, you can resolve any questions or concerns.

For example, in the case of Calculus, either Differential or Integral, you generally need to put more dedication, as it handles many complicated and difficult to understand topics. Meanwhile, in the case of General Chemistry class, learning is much easier because it is a practical subject.

As an engineering student, it is important that you supplement your knowledge and skills with classes that can expand your engineering career, such as business or design classes.

To be a good engineer, you need to have a wide variety of knowledge to help you cover different aspects of your job to enrich it.

As a good engineer, you must be able to solve any situation that comes your way, regardless of whether or not it’s your specialty. 

FAQS: How competitive is UCLA engineering?

How hard is it to get into UCLA engineering?

All UCLA engineering majors are difficult to get into. For 2019 the admission percentage was 12.3%

Does UCLA have a good engineering program?

Yes. UCLA Engineering is considered one of the best in the world, and in the United States, it’s the best of public universities.

Is UCLA or USC harder to get into?

You have to consider that USC is a private school. It has a slightly lower admission percentage than UCS, although this can vary over the years.

Is UCLA competitive?

UCLA is highly competitive. Considering that it is one of the best public universities in the United States, it can receive more than 120,000 applications annually.

Is UCLA a party school?

UCLA students know how to balance their academic studies with fun, so yes, UCLA is a party school. They have weekly theme parties.

In this article we answered the question ‘’How competitive is UCLA engineering?’’, We indicated the requirements to get into UCLA, how many applicants it receives and how many are admitted.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know.


Statistics – UCLA Undergraduate Admission. (2020). Retrieved October 3, 2020, from website:

UC Admission Requirements – Freshman – UCLA Undergraduate Admission. (2020). Retrieved October 3, 2020, from website:

‌Flores, R. (1982). The Struggle for Minority Admissions: The UCLA Experience. Chicano L. Rev., 5, 1.