How Hard Is It to Get Into UCLA Honors Program?

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Are you an academically excellent student seeking a highly interactive and challenging learning environment? Then you should consider enrolling in an honors program. One option that often comes up when you research such programs is the UCLA honors program. What is it? How hard is it to get into the UCLA honors program? Here’s an article that explains all you should know about the UCLA honors program.

What is the UCLA Honors Program?What is the UCLA Honors Program?

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public land-grant research institute in Los Angeles, California. The UCLA Honors Program is a top-selective program at UCLA designed for students interested in pursuing the extra challenge and rewards of the Honors curriculum. The Honors Program allows students to work individually with faculty members that have gained reputations in specific fields of study.

The program, launched in 2018, is open to departmental majors with a 3.25 overall GPA. The College Honors is the highest academic recognition the college confers on graduating students who have completed the UCLA Honors Program. The program is designed to allow exceptional undergraduate students to pursue individual excellence. As expected, joining the UCLA Honors Program has other benefits beyond pursuing individual excellence in certain fields. Some of the UCLA Honors Program benefits include:

  • A chance to study and interact with distinguished faculty members
  • An opportunity to join a vital learning community from a young college age

Is it Hard to Get into UCLA Honors Program?

Is it Hard to Get into UCLA Honors Program?

The straightforward answer to the above question is yes. This difficulty is largely due to the number of UCLA honors applications the school receives every year. UCLA attracts academically strong candidates from different parts of the world. Therefore, the honors program comprises individuals from highly diverse backgrounds willing to embark on academic, intellectual, and personal growth journeys while studying in one of the world’s most recognized research institutions.

In truth, more people apply to UCLA yearly than any other institution in the United state, so you’d rightly expect that the honors program is a harder piece of cake. But it’s not impossible. You can stand out by earning exceptional grades and high AP exam scores.

3 Requirements to Get Into UCLA Honors Program

3 Requirements to Get Into UCLA Honors Program

While it’s true that being admitted to UCLA is the first step to getting into its honors program, there’s more to it. Like most other colleges, UCLA only admits students with proven track records of excellence. In other words, you’ll need a combination of a high GPA and excellent test scores to qualify for admission. Beyond these, there are a few requirements that you must meet to qualify for admission to the UCLA honors program. Let’s review some of them.

Excellent Results

The first and most crucial requirement that admission officers check is your results. Like most honors programs, the UCLA honors program has a minimum score and GPA requirement that you must meet to qualify for admission. For example, in 2021, UCLA honors college required a 3.9 GPA and either 1439 on the SAT or a 32 on the ACT to be admitted. These scores are considered well above the national average and require much work for the student to achieve.

Intellectual Curiosity

In addition to having excellent grades, your essay must show a high level of intellectual curiosity to qualify you for admission into the UCLA honors program. For a student to be considered good enough for the program, they must have involved themselves in creatively oriented and intellectually rigorous activities during high school. The admission committee requires this because students need to enjoy learning and engaging in intellectual challenges to excel in the program. Additionally, students should understand the need to embrace hard work from a young age, especially since the classes they’ll take as honors students are typically a lot tougher.

A detailed Recommendation

Apart from your intellectual ability and what you bring to UCLA, the college also wants to know that respected people know and trust you. Therefore, you’re required to submit two letters of recommendation alongside your UCLA honors application. You should write the letters on your school letterhead with a signature. They should know enough about you to answer any questions that will follow.

How to Get Into UCLA Honors Program: 5 Tips to Increase Your Chances

How to Get Into UCLA Honors Program: 5 Tips to Increase Your Chances

As expected, getting into the UCLA honors program takes a lot. The numerous UCLA honors program benefits come with their own sacrifices. But it’s not impossible. With a few tweaks here and there, you’ll set yourself up to get into and succeed in the UCLA honors program. That said, here are a few tips to help you beat the limited UCLA honors program acceptance rate.

Earn Good Grades in Challenging Courses

Like in almost every honors program, earning a high GPA while taking challenging courses can put you in an advantageous position as you strive toward success.

In fact, the UCLA website clearly states that the school considers grades in considerably important courses during the admission process. This means that beyond getting good grades, admission officers want to see your courage in sitting for and tackling challenging courses. Therefore, we typically advise newcomers to take as many challenging courses as possible, especially during junior and senior years.

Demonstrate Interest

UCLA is one of the most popular colleges in the world for obvious reasons. No wonder it gets so many applications every season. A relatively low acceptance rate means you’ll need to go the extra mile to qualify for any program at UCLA (whether undergraduate or honors). One of the ways to demonstrate interest. Admission officers typically consider students that demonstrate high interest before considering others. So it makes sense that you demonstrate interest.

One of the ways to demonstrate interest is by visiting the campus. Another is to participate in optional interviews. This way, you can prove to admission officers that you truly love and want to enroll in the program.

Another option is to contact the professors in your prospective major, follow social media platforms, and participate in online programs organized by the college.

Secure Strong Letters of Recommendation

This one’s a no-brainer. Your recommendation letters and their writers tell a story about your reputation and readiness for the program. Experts say letters of recommendation reveal so much about your character beyond what test scores and grades will show. So admission officers pay attention to it. Thus, ensuring your recommenders can positively describe your accomplishments, skills, and attitude is important.

The UCLA honors college requires two recommendation letters from teachers and other respected persons. Remain polite when you go to request a recommendation letter, even if they decide not to give you one. Additionally, ensure to know your application deadline and ask for recommendations weeks or months before the deadline.

Achieve a High Score on the SAT/ACT 

The past few years have seen more schools adopt test-optional policies – especially because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the SAT/ACT score remains an important indicator of admission chances. Schools like UCLA still lean heavily towards using these standardized test scores to determine students’ academic ability. So, it makes sense to register and prepare well for them as you work towards a UCLA honors admission.

While preparing for both exams, we recommend a detailed use of practice tests and questions, many of which are free and available online. You can also hire a private tutor or enroll in one of the numerous SAT/ACT prep classes going on throughout the year.

Get Help Where Necessary

Applying to the UCLA honors program can be overwhelming, especially if you’re taking the journey alone. We recommend having an exam expert on your corner to help guide you through the process. As you enter the final stages of your preparations, you should seek advice and recommendations from teachers and guidance counselors. These people are familiar with the process and, as such, will help you see your mistakes. They can also help you note what needs correcting or adjusting.

It also makes sense to consult your parents, relatives, friends, and older siblings, who are experienced enough to put you through the admission process.

Wrapping Things Up: How Hard Is It to Get Into UCLA Honors Program?

If you’re ready to reap the rewards of a challenging and engaging college experience, there’s no better time to apply for the UCLA honors program than now. The UCLA honors program benefits are innumerable, especially since it offers unique networking opportunities, special events, funded research presentations, and more. But it’s not so easy getting into this program. The relatively low acceptance and high application rates mean you must stand out to be accepted. But that’s not to scare you, as we’ve included tips in this article to help you succeed. Follow the tips to increase your chances of getting into the UCLA honors program.

Explore our other guides on university admissions and learn how to increase your chances of getting accepted! Check them out below.

> How Hard Is It to Get Into UC Berkeley Honors Program?

> How Hard is it to Get Into UCSB?

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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