UC Irvine Out-of-State Acceptance Rate

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

In 2022, the U.S. News and World Report ranked UC Irvine as the #8 public school in the United States. The U.S. News and Forbes have also declared UC Irvine one of the top ten best-value schools, which may be a compelling factor for both in-state and out-of-state applicants.

Come for the climate, diversity, and value – stay for the exceptional faculty, commitment to sustainability, and accomplished athletics alumni. 

Three UC Irvine researchers have earned Nobel Prizes in areas like chemistry and physics. The school was just named the #1 U.S. institution in the Sustainable Campus and #2 “Cool” School by Sierra. 

They are also the fourth university in the entire world to receive the STARS Platinum rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

Considered an extremely safe place to live and attend school, UC Irvine is home to many cyclists and is a pedestrian-friendly campus. 

Being active is a way of life at UC Irvine. Its teams have earned 28 national titles in nine sports, and 56 alumni have competed at the Olympic level. There are plenty of opportunities for less-competitive leisure, as well. In fact, UC Irvine holds Guinness world records for the largest dodgeball game, biggest water blaster fight, and most extensive game of capture the flag. 

If you’re 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 Irvine has to offer. 

Ahead, 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 other compelling reasons to become a UC Irvine anteater.

UC Irvine Out-of-State Acceptance Rate

University of California - Irvine
AllyUnion, UC Irvine Reines Hall, CC BY-SA 4.0

The out-of-state acceptance rate at UC Irvine is 37.1%, based on a snapshot of the 2022 admitted first-year and transfer classes from the UC Irvine Office of Institutional Research. 

Gaining acceptance to UC Irvine 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 2022-2023 admissions cycle, UC Irvine received 119,210 total applications from first-time first-year candidates, with 14,354 coming from students outside of California. 

While a higher percentage of out-of-state applicants were accepted from within their own cohort, UC Irvine still accepted 15,692 California residents out of nearly 85,000 residential applications. These figures do not include international students, who submitted almost 6,000 more applications than domestic non-CA-resident candidates.

Interestingly, out of the 5,327 out-of-state applicants who were offered admission to UC Irvine, only 474 decided to enroll. This figure could be due to the fact that many candidates applying to one UC campus often apply to other UC campus schools (like UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, or UC Davis).

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. 

Based on information from the most recently published Common Data Set, UC Irvine’s campus is represented by 30.8% Hispanic/Latinx students, 33% Asian students, and 11.4% white students, among other groups.

UC Irvine does offer spaces on a waitlist. In the 2021-2022 admissions cycle, 8,765 were offered a spot, and 1,288 accepted that spot. 

However, only 189 were offered admission. When applying to UC Irvine 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 Irvine Out-of-State Tuition

The tuition to attend UC Irvine as an out-of-state scholar is $55,665, which includes systemwide fees, campus fees, and a non-California add-on of $31,026. 

Out-of-state enrollees can expect a total cost of attendance to equal roughly $76,832 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, and most first-time first-year students will live in on-campus housing.

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

Comparatively, in-state scholars pay $24,639.68 in total tuition expenses and an estimated $45,797 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. 

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 Irvine 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.

In other reassuring news, out-of-state admits can anticipate additional costs for their sophomore, junior, and senior years, since the University of California Board of Regents approved the Tuition Stability Plan in the summer of 2021. 

This means that, for each incoming undergraduate cohort, tuition rates will be held flat throughout their attendance at any UC campus. Even if a UC Irvine out-of-state scholar takes more than four years to graduate, their tuition fee will remain flat for an additional two years.

UC Irvine Requirements and Tips for Out-of-State Students

UC Irvine
Allyunion at English Wikipedia, UC Irvine view from Watson Bridge 2, CC BY-SA 4.0

As a member of the UC campus system, UC Irvine 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 UC Irvine 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 Irvine 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 Irvine 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 Irvine graduation. 

Is UC Irvine Right for You?

Irvine is a beautiful, safe, and fun place to attend college. 

Out-of-state applicants pining for endless recreational opportunities, cultural immersion, and a gorgeous Mediterranean climate may find paradise at UC Irvine, which grants unfettered access to over 40 miles of California coastline

In your free time, you can go sailing, surfing, bike riding, or even camping in the desert. Carpool with friends to Hollywood or Disneyland, and in the winter, attempt to ski or snowboard down the mountains of some of California’s most attractive resorts.

Are you looking to attend an institution that will provide ample options for careers after graduation? 

At UC Irvine, you’ll be within proximity to a third of all Fortune 500 companies, representing diverse industries in pharmaceuticals, software design and computer programming, and biotechnology and healthcare, to name a few.

Over 70% of UC Irvine undergraduate students have participated in some sort of faculty-assisted research or internship by the time they graduate.

At UC Irvine, out-of-state attendees can expect to get to know their classmates and professors. The school maintains an 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and over two-thirds of classes hold fewer than 30 participants.

There is no doubt that out-of-state students strongly consider the top programs offered by out-of-state schools before applying. 
While most of the degrees conferred at UC Irvine are in the social sciences category (17%), the university’s additional popular majors include psychology, engineering, business, and computer science. Together, these five areas constitute nearly two-thirds of all degrees conferred.