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UC San Diego (UCSD) Out-of-State Acceptance Rate 2023/2027

If you are an out-of-state high school senior seeking an active lifestyle, attractive year-round climate, diverse student population, and rigorous academic offerings, you’ll want to look more into what UC San Diego has to offer.

In this article, we’ll summarize the most up-to-date information regarding the acceptance rate and tuition data for out-of-state candidates, as well as unique admission tips for first-year applicants and more.


Like so many of its UC system counterparts, UC San Diego consistently ranks as one of the top public universities in the nation.

In 2022, the U.S. News and World Report ranked UC San Diego as the #34 public school in the United States. 

According to Academic Ranking of World Universities, UC San Diego is also ranked #5 as Best Public University.

UC San Diego offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, enrolling 33,096 undergraduate and 9,872 graduate students.

The faculty, researchers, and alumni of UC San Diego have won 27 Nobel Prizes as well as 3 Fields Medals, 8 MacArthur Fellowships, and 3 Pulitzer Prizes.

They are the southernmost of the ten campuses of the University of California and considered an extremely safe place to live and attend school.

The university runs a shuttle system, which is provided free for students, faculty, and staff, that services the main campus.

UC San Diego was founded in 1960. Initially attracting students in biology, engineering, and marine science, the university is still renowned for its science programs today.

UC San Diego Out-of-State Acceptance Rate

The out-of-state acceptance rate at UC San Diego is 9%, based on a snapshot of the 2022 admitted first-year and transfer classes from the UC San Diego Office of Institutional Research.

Gaining acceptance to UC San Diego is a competitive process for out-of-state residents, as the eligibility requirements are slightly more selective, and the UC campus system is designed to favor California high school students and community college transfer students.

For the 2021-2022 admissions cycle, UC Irvine received 131,226 applications from first-time first-year candidates, with a higher number of out-of-state applicants.

Notwithstanding the high demand for applicants, UC San Diego still accepted fewer than 10,000 potential students out of the 131,226 applications they received.

The total acceptance rate was 23.8%, which is lower than it was in the past year. See College of Williams and Mary Out-of-State Acceptance Rate.

Interestingly, 1,633 fewer California residents and 4,852 fewer candidates from other states in the U.S. received admission offers, in addition to 2,971 fewer international applicants.

As we’ll discuss at length in the admission requirements section that follows, UC campuses have adopted a test-blind policy for the last several years.

This policy favors California residents since any California high school seniors who graduate within the top 9% of their classes are automatically admitted into a UC college, pending their application.

That said, out-of-state students who belong to a historically marginalized demographic may have a better chance of gaining admission (as long as they boast impressive academic records) since UC campuses are committed to cultivating highly diverse campuses.

When applying to UC San Diego from out-of-state, it is best to apply to other appealing colleges, simply based on how competitive it is to gain entry to any UC campus as a non-California resident.

UC San Diego Out-of-State Tuition

The tuition to attend UC San Diego as an out-of-state scholar is $48,387 yearly.

Out-of-state enrollees can expect a total cost of attendance to equal roughly $60,576 annually; this balance includes personal expenses, transportation fees, housing and food expenditures, and estimated prices of books and supplies.

It is important to note that this total balance is for students who live on campus, UCSD estimates that housing and meals will cost a few thousand fewer dollars than they would if students lived on campus.

How does this figure compare to in-state attendee expenses?

Comparatively, in-state scholars pay $17,361 in total tuition expenses and an estimated $29,550 for the total cost of attendance, which is significantly less than out-of-state balances.

Out-of-state applicants have several reasons to be encouraged to submit their admission materials. See UC San Diego Acceptance Rate.

First, UC campus schools benefit tremendously from out-of-state and international payments, which can be used to design innovative facilities, create more opportunities for undergraduate research, and offer more majors that respond to the modern needs of a global society and workforce.

Second, most students at UC San Diego receive some sort of financial assistance, mostly from state or institutional scholarships (which they are not required to pay back).

In the 2021-2022 year, 84.2% of demonstrated financial need was met through an average financial aid package of $26,607 per student.

UC Irvine also offers non-need-based aid and need-based aid through opportunities like federal or state work-study programs and student loans.

Of those first-year admitted students who applied for financial aid in 2021-2022, UC San Diego met 83% of need-based aid requests with an average financial aid package of $25,036.

This means that, for each incoming undergraduate cohort, tuition rates will be reduced by $25,036 throughout their attendance at any UC campus.

UC San Diego Requirements and Tips for Out-of-State Students

As a member of the UC campus system, UC San Diego stipulates the same eligibility requirements and evaluates applications on the same 13 criteria, which we’ll describe in this section.

Out-of-state applicants’ academic records should include a minimum of 15 required credits in areas like mathematics, science, social studies, and English language arts. That said, competitive applicants will have taken many more high school credits.

The most important criteria for admissions at San Diego are a high cumulative GPA, a compelling set of personal essay responses, and an academic record reflective of excellence in advanced-level coursework (i.e., IB, AP, and honors).

98% of the incoming 2021 first-year class held a position in the top tenth of their high school graduating class.

One distinction between in-state and out-of-state candidates is that the former is held to a 3.0 minimum GPA, while the latter must earn at least a 3.4 or higher.

No student – from any location – will be admitted to a UC campus school if their transcript includes a grade lower than a C.

Currently, UC San Diego and its fellow UC system schools do not consider standardized test scores for admission, though they may be used for placement purposes.

Nor do they read letters of recommendation, so it is not worth your time to send either of these materials. Instead, you’ll want to focus on drafting four exceptional 350-word responses to the eight possible personal essay prompts.

It is in your essay responses where the best chance exists to highlight your talents, interests, and achievements. Some advice for out-of-state applicants: focus on quality over quantity.

It is common for candidates to share long lists of different endeavors in which they’ve been involved. Instead, we suggest going more in-depth on one or two of your proudest contributions.

Did you work on a senior capstone project? Conduct interdisciplinary research? Lead or participate in a one-of-a-kind community service effort?

UC San Diego clearly states its commitment to diversity and inclusion – if your high school career is marked by actionable progress toward social justice or equity, it may be wise to explain your role in those milestones.

Final application materials for out-of-state students include evidence of English language proficiency and submission of any AP or IB exam scores – to reiterate, these will not be used for admission; rather, they will be used for determining placement in certain classes.

Out-of-state admitted students who earn scores of 3, 4, or 5 on AP exams will receive credit toward UC San Diego graduation.


All you’ve just read was on UC San Diego (UCSD) Out-of-State Acceptance Rate, which laid emphasis on the most up-to-date information regarding the acceptance rate and tuition data for out-of-state candidates, as well as unique admission tips for first-year applicants and more.

Don’t forget to share your thoughts with us through the comment section, if you found it helpful.

Last Updated on June 26, 2023 by Admin

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