Selection Process

Selection is based on holistic review for first-year applicants, and comprehensive review for transfers, of all information—both academic and personal—presented in the application.

UC Berkeley pioneered the holistic review process at UC (now adapted by most of the UC campuses), enabling us to admit a diverse undergraduate class representing 53 states/commonwealths and 74 countries, with 17% who are first-generation college-going and 65% who receive financial aid. “Holistic review” refers to the process of evaluating first-year applications where no one piece of information is weighted more heavily over another. “Comprehensive review” refers to the process of evaluating transfer applications where all academic and personal attributes are considered, but more emphasis is put on academic preparedness for the major.


UC Berkeley is among the more selective universities in the country, becoming more competitive each year. Due to student demand, selectivity varies among Colleges.

The goal of our selection process is to identify applicants who are most likely to contribute to Berkeley’s intellectual and cultural community and, ultimately, to the State of California, the nation, and the world.

About transcripts and portfolios

As part of the UC application process, UC Berkeley and other UC campuses do not ask applicants for transcripts, portfolios or other supporting documents. Applicants are expected to self-report their grades from their own transcripts, honestly and accurately. If a student is admitted and enrolled, the official transcripts are checked against what the student reported in the application. Any discrepancies can result in cancellation of enrollment.

When it comes to other supporting materials – such as art portfolios, resumes, etc. – UC Berkeley does not consider these during the application review. We expect the reported grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, personal insight questions, and additional comments to give us the full picture of a student’s experience and aspirations. This is why it is so important to answer each section of the application thoughtfully and thoroughly.