UCLA Engineering Acceptance Rate, Ranking, and More

One of the nine schools making up the UC system, the University of California – Los Angeles is a public research university that was established in 1919. 

It is informally considered a “Public Ivy,” meaning that its rigorous academic offerings are on-par with those of the eight elite private institutions known collectively as the Ivy League. 

The school has an undergraduate enrollment of over 31,600. Counting an additional 14,300 students enrolled in graduate and professional programs, UCLA is made up of around 46,000 students. 

UCLA’s 419-acre campus is located in the Westwood neighborhood of sunny Los Angeles. The school is situated just a few miles off the coast of the Pacific Ocean, close to the base of the Santa Monica Mountains.

UCLA is made up of the original college and 12 professional schools, one of which is the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science

The School of Engineering is UCLA’s second-largest college, with a total of 6,580 graduate and undergraduate students as of the 2022 academic year.

For students who are considering pursuing a degree in engineering, the University of California – Los Angeles is an excellent school to look into. 

Read on to learn more about what the widely-revered UCLA Samueli School of Engineering has to offer, as well as acceptance rates, admission requirements, and so much more.

UCLA Engineering Acceptance Rate

UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

The acceptance rate into UCLA for engineering is just 5.5%, according to a report published by the school. 

During the 2022-23 academic year, the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering received a total of 35,342 undergraduate applications. 

From this pool of applicants, only 1,949 students were offered admission to the school.

The acceptance rate for the School of Engineering is considerably lower than the overall acceptance rate for all undergraduate students at the school. 

In the fall of 2022, UCLA received nearly 150,000 applications, offering admission to only 12,844 of these students for an acceptance rate of 9%.

It is important to note, however, that acceptance rates at UCLA Samueli vary considerably from program to program. 

For example, the computer science and engineering program has one of the lowest acceptance rates at just 3.1%, while materials science is a far less selective major program, accepting 21.6% of applicants.

Other majors that have lower-than-average acceptance rates include aerospace engineering, computer science, and computer engineering, with acceptance rates of 3.7%, 3.8%, and 3.9%, respectively. 

Looking at the above data, one can see that admission to the School of Engineering is extremely competitive — even compared to other programs at UCLA. 

Only the materials science major and two others — electrical engineering and chemical engineering — have seen acceptance rates in the double digits in recent years. 

One reason for the school’s low acceptance rates is the huge number of applications they receive. In fact, UCLA receives more applications each year than any other college in the United States.

UCLA Engineering Ranking

The UCLA Samueli School of Engineering is regularly ranked among the top 10 public engineering schools in the United States.

Looking at both public and private colleges, UCLA is the #24 best college in the country for studying engineering, according to Niche. 

In terms of both private and public schools located in California, however, the school ranks fourth in the state.

It is worth noting that college rankings can vary significantly from one source to another.  

According to US News and World Report, for example, UCLA Samueli is ranked #16 in the country among colleges that offer doctorate programs in terms of best undergraduate engineering programs.

UCLA is one of the best public undergraduate schools out there. For seven consecutive years, UCLA has occupied the #1 spot on US News and World Report’s annual ranked list of the best public universities in the United States.

In terms of engineering in particular, however, UCLA Samueli is most highly-revered for its graduate programs. The school’s MS in engineering — an online program — has been ranked as the best program of its kind in the country.

In addition to its highly-esteemed engineering programs, UCLA is also well-ranked in many other regards. UCLA has been named the #1 college in the US in terms of the quality of food served on campus and the overall best campus.

UCLA’s student life opportunities are ranked #3 best in the country, coming in second place among schools in California.

What are the Majors Available at UCLA College of Engineering?

Alboychenko08, Court of sciences UCLA, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Samueli School of Engineering at UCLA offers ten different bachelors of science degree programs at the undergraduate level. 

In addition, first-year applicants also have the option to be admitted to the school as undeclared, spending their first year of study taking various courses relating to engineering and the applied sciences. 

These are three different major programs for students interested in careers focused on computers: computer science, computer science and engineering, and computer engineering, the last of which is one of the school’s newest programs. 

There are many similarities between these three programs, but in general, the CS and CS/engineering programs focus mainly on software and theoretical issues, while computer engineering is more concerned with hardware and design. 

Another major offered at UCLA Samueli is aerospace engineering. This highly technical program focuses on the design of various aircraft, such as vehicles used for transportation, national defense, space exploration, and more.

There is the electrical engineering major, which offers students a deep understanding of some of the world’s most essential electrical devices, from telecommunication systems to home electrical circuits, automatic computation systems, and many others. 

Students in this program are encouraged to choose a concentration from three major departmental study areas: signals and systems, physical wave electronics, and circuits and embedded systems.

Mechanical engineering and civil engineering are among Samueli’s most popular major programs. Other areas of study offered as undergraduate majors at the school include bioengineering, chemical engineering, and materials engineering.  

UCLA Engineering Requirements

In order to be considered for admission to the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, students must first complete all of the application requirements standard among all programs of study at UCLA. 

The first step to applying to UCLA as a first-year student at UCLA is to fill out the University of California’s online application. 

In lieu of a personal essay, the application includes a series of eight personal insight questions — of which students are required to answer just four. 

This allows students to select questions they feel will best allow them to showcase their personal strengths, experiences, and background.

Although students are not required to submit a high school transcript at the time of applying, those admitted to the school must provide one prior to enrolling in classes.

In addition to the above, there are also program-specific requirements for applicants to the Samueli School of Engineering

For one, applicants are required to have attained junior status at the school, meaning that they have completed 60 credits of academic coursework. The minimum GPA requirement is 3.4 for all engineering programs at the school.

As they complete the required number of credits, prospective School of Engineering students must complete all core requirements for their desired major. This varies by program, but generally speaking, students should be sure to take a wide range of courses in math and the sciences. 

Core courses may include physics, circuit analysis, dynamics, statics, and many others, depending on the student’s intended major program.

Is UCLA the Right Choice for Engineering?

Ultimately, determining if UCLA is the right choice of school for engineering depends more on you than it does on the school. 

As each individual student has their own preferences and professional aspirations, it is crucial to choose the college that is most well-aligned with the student’s needs.

That being said, UCLA is truly an excellent school, and there are many reasons that thousands of students choose the UCLA School of Engineering.

For one, the school has a long history of being a key player in driving many of the world’s most significant innovations. 

For example, UCLA prides itself on being the birthplace of the internet and reverse osmosis, and many faculty members are among the world’s leading experts in the STEM fields.

Location is another significant perk of studying engineering at UCLA. Los Angeles — the second largest state in the country in terms of population — is a bustling hub home to many major businesses, offering students invaluable employment, internship, and networking opportunities.

Another huge benefit of attending UCLA is that the school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 5.8:1

As a result, students at the Samueli School of Engineering can enjoy small class sizes, receive ample one-on-one support from instructors, and get to know their peers in an intimate learning environment. 

On top of that, UCLA Samueli has a wealth of resources to offer. In addition to the many research centers, labs, and institutes on campus, the school also partners with several research entities off campus.