Overview of University of California at Riverside (UCR)

Situated 50 miles east of Los Angeles, the University of California, Riverside is a public institution with a large selection of undergraduate and graduate degree programs for students to select from. A robust student/faculty ratio backs students, and professors take a personalized approach to the teaching and learning process. Outside of the classroom, students will find plenty of opportunities to engage with the campus community via the university’s many clubs and organizations. In athletics, the UCR Highlanders play in the NCAA Division I Big West Conference.


  • Total Enrollment: 23,922 (20,581 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 46 percent male/54 percent female
  • 98 percent full-time

Cost of Attendance Information

  • Tuition and Fees: $13,827 (in-state); $42,819 (out-of-state)
  • Books: $1,436
  • Room and Board: $16,485
  • Other Expenses: $4,016
  • Total Cost: $35,764 (in-state); $64,756 (out-of-state)

Financial Aid Information

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 87 percent
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 83 percent
    • Loans: 51 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $18,277
    • Loans: $5,590

Academic Programs Offered

  • Most Popular Majors: Social Sciences; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Psychology; and Engineering

Retention and Graduation

  • First-Year Student Retention (full-time students): 89 percent
  • Transfer-Out Rate: 16 percent
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 55 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 75 percent

NCAA Athletic Programs

  • Men’s Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Tennis, Track and Field
  • Women’s Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball

Overview of University of California at Riverside (UCR) Admissions

The University of California, Riverside, which accepts approximately half of applicants, has a selective admissions procedure. Students whose SAT/ACT scores and GPA are within the institution’s requirements have a good chance of being admitted. Applicants must complete an online application and send test scores from either the SAT or ACT and high school transcripts. Glowing recommendation letters can bolster your application, along with being involved with student organizations and attempting a challenging course load. Students with unique talents and accomplishments can still receive strong consideration even if their GPAs are outside of the admissions offices mean range. After applying, students will receive a message from an admissions counselor about the application process’s next steps. Interested students should check out the university’s website, which has helpful tips and contact information for the admissions offices.

Admissions Data             

Throughout the 2018-19 admissions phase, UC Riverside had an acceptance rate of 51%. For every 100 students who submitted applications, 51 students gained admission, making UC Riverside’s admissions procedure competitive.

SAT Requirements and Scores

Throughout the 2018-19 admissions phase, 92% of students provided SAT scores. This admissions data reveals that most UC Riverside’s students fall within the top 35% nationally on the SAT.  50% of admitted students scored between 560 and 650 on the evidence-based reading and writing part, while 25% score under 560 and 25% scored over 650. 50% of students scored between 550 and 680 on the math part, while 25% scored under 550, and 25% scored over 680. Applicants with a cumulative SAT score of 1330 or higher will have a competitive advantage at UC Riverside.

ACT Requirements and Scores

Throughout the 2018-19 admissions phase, 42% of students provided ACT scores. This admissions data reveals that most UC Riverside’s students fall within the top 31% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of admitted students to UC Riverside received a cumulative ACT score between 23 and 29, while 25% scored over 29, and 25% scored under 23.


In 2019, the median 50% of the University of California, Riverside’s incoming class had high school GPAs between 3.66 and 4.09. 25% had a GPA of over 4.09, and 25% had a GPA of under 3.66.  Successful applicants to UC Riverside have A and B grades primarily.

Safety Net Schools: Easy to Gain Admission

If past admission data predicts that you would be a competitive candidate for UC Riverside, it should be easy to gain admissions to the schools below. If UC Riverside is currently out of your reach, then you are sure to be a competitive candidate for the schools below.

University of Alabama, Quinnipiac University, Ohio University, University of North Texas, California State University Long Beach, Pace University, Florida Gulf Coast University

Same Tier: Just As Hard to Gain Admission

If you’re a competitive candidate for UC Riverside, you should have an equal chance of gaining admissions at these schools.

Temple University, Auburn University, University of Arizona, Seton Hall University, University of Houston, San Diego State University, University of Oklahoma

Reach Institutions: Gaining Admissions Will be More of a Challenge

These schools are more challenging to gain admission into than UC Riverside. If you improve your GPA and SAT/ACT scores, then you’ll be a competitive candidate for these schools.

University of Connecticut, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Syracuse University, United States Military Academy, Penn State University Park, University of Cincinnati

Applying to UC Riverside

Application Deadline: November 30

Undergraduate Admissions Website:

Undergraduate Application Link(s):

Graduate Admissions Website:

Graduate Application Link(s):

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