University of Arizona – Acceptance Rate, GPA, and Requirements

Home to nearly 50,000 students, the University of Arizona is perhaps best known for being one of NASA’s top most-awarded research universities. 

The school has received hundreds of millions of dollars to explore the Martian Arctic, sample an asteroid, and orbit Saturn.

Faculty are currently working to build the world’s most technologically advanced telescope – the Giant Magellan Telescope – in the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab at UofA, which will produce images with a resolution ten times sharper than those of the Hubble Telescope.

In addition to an excellent astronomy program, UofA boasts fantastic business and sciences programs. 

Students who view athletics as a pivotal component of their college experience will find themselves among some of the most successful teams in the NCAA.

The men’s basketball team attended the NCAA tournament for 25 years in a row between 1985 and 2009, which is the third-longest consecutive run in NCAA history. 

UofA’s women’s softball team is among the winningest in the nation, having secured victories at eight NCAA College World Series.

Located in Tucson, Arizona, students at the UofA can expect to see over 300 days of sunshine per year – the city is also included in Redfin’s list of the top ten most bikeable large cities. Students enjoy Tucson’s immense size and opportunities as well as the small-town feel. 

There are plenty of outdoor activities to engage in; in fact, Saguaro National is just a few miles away!

All in all, the University of Arizona is a well-rounded institution that has much to offer to its students. 

UofA was ranked in the top 20 U.S. public research institutions and the best value school for academics, facilities, financial aid, and more. 

Continue reading to learn more about what makes the University of Arizona such an exceptional choice for students, including details about its acceptance rate, admissions process, stable tuition guarantee, and other program details.

University of Arizona Acceptance Rate

University of Arizona
Michael Barera, University of Arizona (Old Main), CC BY-SA 4.0

The University of Arizona accepted 87% of applicants for the fall 2021 incoming first-year class – of 48,202 applications, 41,996 were accepted and the school yielded 8,622 new students.

Just over half of incoming students (52%) are from the state of Arizona, while 45.5% come from out-of-state, and 2.5% are international learners.

Students aspiring to join the University of Arizona campus must meet the core competency requirements, which are determined by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR). 

The core competency requirements include four units of English Composition or Literature, four units of mathematics, three laboratory science units, two social science units, and two-second language units.

University of Arizona Out-of-State Acceptance Rate

With an out-of-state applicant acceptance rate of nearly 90%, the University of Arizona might be considered one of the most welcoming campuses for out-of-state students. 

For the fall 2021 incoming class, the school received over twice as many applications from out-of-state students as they did from Arizona residents.

Of Arizona residents, 12,845 applied, 11,659 were admitted, and the school yielded 4,496 – that’s an acceptance rate of almost 91%. 

Pertaining to out-of-state applicants, 29,945 applied, 26,891 were accepted, and the school yielded 3,853.

International students apply in fewer numbers, but experience an equally high acceptance rate of almost 64% – most recently, 5,412 international students applied, 3,446 were admitted, and the school enrolled 73 from many countries around the world.

GPA for the University of Arizona

University of Arizona Communication Building
Michael Barera, University of Arizona (Communication), CC BY-SA 4.0

The average high school GPA of a student admitted to the University of Arizona in the fall 2021 semester was 3.61.

That being said, there is no minimum GPA requirement for admission to the school.

UofA has an Assured Admission policy, meaning that candidates are granted automatic admission if they graduated from a regionally accredited secondary school and either (1) rank in the top 25% of their graduating senior class, or (2) maintain a 3.0 unweighted GPA through their sixth high school semester in the core competency requirements. 

Students who do not meet the requirements for Assured Admission should not despair – the University of Arizona uses a comprehensive review process to consider a variety of factors when determining whether or not to admit a student.

SAT & ACT Requirements for the UofA

The University of Arizona is one of many schools which no longer require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores for general admission. 

Students are also not required to submit standardized test scores to be considered eligible for merit scholarships or to gain entrance into the UofA Honors College.

Some students still opt to submit their standardized test scores; in these instances, scores are used to help place students into appropriate classes or orientation groups. 

For students who chose to submit standardized scores in the admitting term of fall 2021, the average SAT Superscore was 1275, and the average ACT composite score was 26.6.

Other Requirements and Admission Tips

University of Arizona Henry Koffler Building
Michael Barera, University of Arizona (Henry Koffler Building), CC BY-SA 4.0

There are three steps for submitting a complete application to the University of Arizona. 

First, applicants should begin a general application, using their high school transcripts to fill out essential information. Second, students will report their grades and any in-progress senior year coursework. Third, applicants should submit the application fee, which is $50 for Arizona residents and $80 for non-Arizona residents.

Applicants do not need to submit their official high school transcripts until they are admitted to the UofA and have completed their senior year classwork. 

If interested candidates anticipate needing financial aid, they should submit the FAFSA by the priority deadline of March 1.

For admission to the fall semester, the application window opens on July 1 of the previous year and closes on May 2 (before the fall semester). 

It usually takes the Office of Admissions 2-4 weeks to process an application, review the materials, and mail a decision (once they have received all of the applicant’s materials).

The W. A. Franke Honors College has a separate timeline and additional set of application requirements. 

To start, applicants should mark their interest in applying on the UofA general admission application; from there, they will have the opportunity to complete a new Franke Honors application via their Future Wildcat portal.

Potential Honors College students should provide a personal statement (we’ll share more information about personal statements in the next section).

Additionally, applicants should provide contact information for a letter of recommendation and an activities resume.

The priority application deadline for admission to the Franke Honors College in the fall is November 15 of the previous year, with decisions released by December 15. 

The final application deadline is February 15 of the same year, with notification status delivered by March 15.

Essays for the University of Arizona

Technically, UofA applicants are not required to submit an application essay; however, the 500-word personal statement provides an ideal venue for students to share their interests, talents, and stand-out characteristics. 

Perhaps a student established a school club, overcame a family hardship, or has spent their high school career progressing toward a significant goal. 

Applicants can use their personal statements to share their stories.

The Franke Honors College personal statement prompt is in addition to the optional personal statement from the general admissions application. 

Here is a chance to talk about one’s background and the impetus behind one’s academic pursuits. 

Candidates can also discuss their professional or personal goals and share why they are so enthusiastic about being a part of the  Honors College.

If the applicant has a particular skill or talent, they can also use the personal statement to discuss those abilities. 

Alternatively, if they have overcome a specific obstacle and learned a valuable lesson, they can also write about that experience.

Is the University of Arizona Right for You?

The University of Arizona is unique in that it is equally welcoming to both in-state and out-of-state residents. 

The city of Tucson is home to an abundance of cultural centers, outdoor activities, and a thriving foodie scene, making it an attractive location to attend four years of college.

For many students, tuition is ultimately a deciding factor when determining which college to attend. Fortunately, there are many ways to receive financial assistance, and most graduates who look back on their time at UofA remark that it was worth the investment.

The estimated cost of tuition for Arizona residents is $12,700; for non-residents, that number climbs to $37,200. 

Nine out of ten UofA students receive some form of financial aid, and the Guaranteed Tuition Plan promises regular tuition and a mandatory fee package for four consecutive years without any increases.

UofA students are 12% less likely to take out student loans than those attending other universities. 

Graduates from the University of Arizona also earn a solid average starting salary of $54,900 – the highest figure among graduates from Arizona’s other public universities.

In addition to tuition and the potential for a high post-graduate starting salary, other students narrow their list of potential colleges due to the programs offered. 

Business, management, and marketing are several of the top majors at UofA. 

According to the 2022 U.S. News & World Report rankings, the Eller College of Management has cemented its place in the top 10 schools offering elite online programs – their online MBA program is ranked #7 overall and #5 among public universities.

UofA’s biomedical engineering program is another popular option – students have the opportunity to work on immersive projects alongside an award-winning faculty. 

From developing rapid tests for various diseases and designing wearable health monitors to creating artificial organs and testing treatments for illnesses, biomedical engineering students receive excellent preparation for real-world job contexts. 

As with any major decision, college-bound students should get clear on their values and the most important factors to them. 

The University of Arizona will check many boxes regarding research opportunities, a diverse community, and a predictable financial plan.