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International: Admission Requirements


Who is an international applicant? We consider you an international applicant if you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and you need an F-1 or J-1 non-immigrant student visa in order to study in the United States.
Who is an international first year student applicant?

You are completing (or have already completed) secondary school with very good grades and earned a certificate of completion that enables you to be admitted to a university in your home country.


You have not enrolled in a regular session at any college or university after completing secondary school.

Who is an international transfer student applicant? You are now enrolled or previously were enrolled in a regular session at a tertiary institution (college or university) after completion of secondary school. You cannot disregard your college record and apply as a first year student.


Requirements: First Year Students

You are considered a first year applicant if both of the following apply to you: 

  • You are completing (or have already completed) secondary school with very good grades and earned a certificate of completion that enables you to be admitted to a university in your home country. 
  • You have not enrolled in a regular session at any college or university after completing secondary school. 

Academic Requirements

  1. Secondary school certificate of completion 
  2. GPA of 3.4 or above 
  3. Completion of 15 yearlong academic courses with a 3.4 GPA:
    • 2 years of history (in place of U.S. history, history of your country) 
    • 4 years of composition and literature in language in which you are instructed 
    • 3 years (four years recommended) of college-preparatory mathematics that include the topics covered in elementary and advanced algebra and two- and three-dimensional geometry.* (Approved integrated math courses may be used to fulfill part or all of this requirement.) 
    • 2 years of laboratory science (biology, chemistry, and/or physics) OR 2 years of integrated science 
    • 2 years of a second language 
    • 1 yearlong course (or 2 semesters) of visual and performing arts 
    • 1 additional course from any subject area above 
      * Math courses taken in the seventh and eight grades/intermediate school may be used to fulfill part of this requirement. Integrated math courses (e.g. Math I, Math II, etc.) with geometry content may be equated with a standard course in geometry. 
  4. See details for completion of country-specific admission requirements.

Option to submit SAT/ACT test scores

First year applicants for fall 2021-2022 have the option to submit SAT/ACT scores with their application. Applicants will not be penalized in the admission review process if they don't submit SAT/ACT scores. We don't require SAT Subject Tests, and you can use subject tests to satisfy the A-G requirements listed above.

Optional Examinations: 

The SAT Subject Tests are not required. However, you are welcome to submit scores if you would like to:

  • Use Subject Tests to satisfy “a-g” subject requirements.
  • Show your mastery of a particular subject or set of subjects.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

Applicants must demonstrate strong abilities in reading, writing, comprehension and verbal communication in the English language.

Learn more about demonstrating English language proficiency

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Requirements: Transfer Students

UC Merced students in YosemiteUC Merced accepts junior-level students AND lower-division transfers.

Academic Requirements

Junior-Level Requirements

  • Complete at least 60 semester (90 quarter) units of UC-transferable credit.
  • Earn at least a 2.8 GPA in UC-transferable courses.*
  • Complete (with grades C or better) the UC 7-course pattern. Each course must be transferable and worth at least 3 semester (4-5 quarter) units.
    • 2 courses in English composition
    • 1 course in mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning
    • 4 courses selected from at least two of the following subject areas: arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, physical and biological sciences
  • Complete the courses required for your major.

Lower-Division Requirements

  • Enrollment at a college or university after secondary school graduation and fewer than 60 semester (90 quarter) UC-transferable units completed prior to enrollment at UC Merced
  • Met requirements for the University of California upon secondary school graduation (required GPA, examinations and all “a-g” courses)
  • Maintain a minimum 2.8 GPA in all UC-transferable coursework*
  • Please note that at UC Merced, major-specific courses are required for selection.*
    *Some majors require a higher GPA for admission selection.

Learn more about the pathway to transferring to UC Merced.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

Transfer students can demonstrate English proficiency by completing one UC-transferable college course (3 semester or 4-5 quarter units) in English composition with a grade of C or better at an accredited U.S. college or university.

Note: UC Merced does not accept English composition courses from international universities where the language of instruction is not English.

Find more ways to demonstrate English language proficiency

About the UC Merced Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) program

If you are enrolled at a California Community College, you can use to determine if your college courses are transferable and our major articulation page to determine which courses are required for your major. Students transferring from a California Community College also are eligible to participate in the UC Merced Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) program.

TAG contracts specify the courses to be completed and GPA you must earn at a California Community College to be guaranteed admission to UC Merced in the major of your choice. 

Learn more about the UC Merced Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) program.

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