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First Year: Selection Process

First Year Student Selection: How We Review Your Application

Your academic accomplishments are considered in the context of your life experiences and educational environment. Criteria for selection will include depth and breadth of academic preparation, including quality of the senior year program.

Mobile App ChallengeFactors that may be considered include:

  • Outstanding performance in one or more academic subject areas
  • Demonstrated leadership potential
  • Volunteer/community service
  • Participation in special projects or programs
  • Talents, experiences and interests that will contribute to the vitality and educational environment at UC Merced

We also consider special circumstances or personal challenges, especially as they relate to the social or educational environment and how your educational objectives and life experience have been affected. 

Selection Factors

  • GPA
  • Courses completed/planned
  • Honors courses
  • Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC)
  • Rigor of senior year
  • Progress and advancement in academic subject areas
  • Achievements in special projects
  • Positive grade trends
  • Special talents, achievements and awards
  • Participation in educational preparation programs
  • Aptitude to excel in academics framed by life experiences

You can find more Information on the Admission Requirements page.


Tips to Apply

TIP #1: Provide a Complete Academic History

“Academic history” – for freshmen this means all coursework beginning with year 9 through completion of secondary education. For transfer students this means ALL post-secondary (college/university) course work.

TIP #2: Report All Course Work Attempted From Every Institution

– attended both within and outside the United States and any degrees/diplomas earned.

  • Include complete institution name, credits/hours and grades exactly as they appear on the official transcript.
  • Do not work from memory; misreporting your academic record or omitting course work is considered an academic integrity issue.

TIP #3: Gaps in Your Education Must be Explained in Detail

  • A gap is any period of time after the completion of secondary school, when a student was not enrolled in school.
  • Use the gaps in Education section to explain what you were doing and include the beginning and end dates (month/year) for each explanation.

TIP #4: Do not Attempt to Convert Your Grades

We have experienced international admission evaluators who are knowledgeable about the different grading systems.

TIP #5: Selecting Your Grading System

If your school uses a grading method other than, A-B-C-D-F or 0-100, you will need to select OTHER from the dropdown menu so you will be able to enter the character, word, or symbol that represents your mark. Please see the below examples from the UC Application.

TIP #6: Application Help 

  • Having technical difficulties? Please contact the help desk: 800-207-1710 – toll free in the U.S. 661-336-5723 – outside the U.S. E-mail questions to:
  • Do you have non-technical questions about the application process? Please contact the application processing service: 800-207-1710 – toll free in the U.S. 661-336-5723 – outside the U.S. E-mail questions to: