International Freshman

International Freshman Admission 

Freshmen applicants are still in high school or secondary school, or have not yet enrolled at a college/university after graduation (excluding the summer immediately after graduation).

U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents, who have completed coursework outside the United States, should follow the international admissions requirements for the country in which the coursework was completed. 

UC Riverside's admissions selection process is the same for both international and U.S.-educated applicants.


If English is not the applicant’s native language, or the language of instruction at school, English proficiency must be demonstrated in one of these ways:
  • Pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of 80 or higher (iBT). 
  • Pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of 60 or higher on the Paper Based Test (PBT).
  • Pass the International English Testing Language System (IETLS) with a score of 6.5 or higher.
  • Score 560 or higher on the Writing section of the SAT or 31 or higher on the new SAT Writing and Language test. 
  • Score 24 or higher on the combined ACT English/Writing or English Language Arts (ELA).
  • Achieve a score of 3, 4 or 5 on the AP Exam in English Language and Composition or English Literature and Composition.
  • Achieve a score of 6 or 7 on the International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level Examination in English (Language A).
  • Complete a transferable college course in English Composition with a C grade or better.

English proficiency must be proven for both Freshmen and Transfer applicants. Please report all test scores as soon as possible.

Advanced Placement

We grant credit for all Advanced Placement exams on which a student scores 3 or higher. Units awarded toward UC graduation may be granted for specific subjects and/or for general education/ breadth requirements, as determined by each campus.

AP exams can also be used to meet the minimum transfer admission subject requirements in English, math and four other courses chosen from the humanities, behavioral/social sciences and biological/physical sciences.

International Baccalaureate

The IB organization awards either a diploma or a certificate for individual IB exams. Students who complete the IB diploma with a score of 30 or above will receive 30 quarter (20 semester) units toward their UC degree. Students who receive IB certificates with a score of 5 or higher on Higher Level exams will receive 8 quarter (5.3 semester) units.

A-Level Examinations

We award credit for the General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Levels (A-Levels), the Cambridge International A-Levels, the Singapore-Cambridge GCE A-Levels (H2) and the previously administered Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE), in content-based subjects similar to courses offered at UC and in which grades of A*, A, B or C are awarded. We grant 12 quarter (8 semester) units of credit for academic courses only for GCE, Singapore-Cambridge and Hong Kong A-Level exams.

To be eligible to enroll at UC Riverside, applicants must complete a rigorous college preparatory program that includes:

  • History/Social Science: 2 years
  • English/Language of School Instruction: 4 years
  • Mathematics: 3 years (4 years recommended)
  • Laboratory Science: 2 years (3 years recommended)
  • Foreign Language (English must be the foreign language studied if it was not the language of instruction.): 2 years (3 years recommended)
  • Visual and Performing Arts: 1 year
  • College-Preparatory Elective: 1 year

UC Riverside is aware that not all educational systems include courses in these areas. This will be considered during the selection process. Please find your international admissions requirements by country here.
The applicant must earn a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.4 on a 4.0 scale, equivalent to an 85 percent on a 100 percent scale. The assessment of a qualifying GPA is based on A-G courses (required high school/secondary classes) completed in years 10 and 11.

If the high school/secondary school offers a different curriculum, the applicant’s academic achievement will be based on that educational system’s grading scale.
The ACT with Writing or the SAT with Essay must be taken no later than December of the final year of secondary school.

SAT subject tests are not required. They do, however, demonstrate subject mastery, may meet an A-G requirement, or fulfill recommendations by UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE) and the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS). Both colleges recommend Math Level 2 and either Chemistry or Physics.
International students need a valid passport, nonimmigrant visa (F-1 or J-1) and the appropriate documentation to study at an accredited university in the United States. Learn more about visa and US entry requirements.


How to Apply

You will need:

  • The personal insight questions are your opportunity to tell us about yourself in your own words, and our opportunity to get to know you better.

  • Draft your answers in a word processing program first, then copy and paste them into the UC application. (You’re automatically logged out of the UC application after 30 minutes and will lose your work otherwise.)

  • Freshman applicants must answer four out of eight questions.

  • Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.

  • The personal insight questions are just one part that we consider when making our admission decision. The important thing is that you express who you are, what matters to you and what you want to share with UCR!

  • See the personal insight questions for freshman students.

  • Get writing tips.
  • You will complete the UC Application to apply to UCR.

  • The fee is $80 for each UC. 

  • You can access the UC Application beginning August 1. 

  • You can submit your application November 1-30. 

  • The application deadline is November 30.

  • If you have difficulties, email or call (800) 207-1710 (US) or (310) 513-2715 (outside US).
  • Print your receipt.

  • Watch for a confirmation email. As soon as you apply, you should receive one. If you do not, contact, (800) 207-1710 (US) or (310) 513-2715 (outside US).

  • Watch for an email from UCR Undergraduate Admissions with instructions on how to access your MyUCR admission portal account. Log in to MyUCR regularly to check your admission status, respond to messages, and track important dates and deadlines. Admission notification begins in March.

  • Order SAT/ACT test score reports. When you send your official score report to one UC campus, it becomes available to all UC campuses to which you applied. Report scores no later than July 15.

  • You can update some information on your application after you apply, such as contact information or self-report test scores. Learn more.



International admissions counselors and current students are here to help with answers and guidance.

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