The basics
THE USA: Applying to University

Spotlight: UCLA for Filipino students

We explain the all there is to know about studying in UCLA as a Filipino student

Photo: UCLA


UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) is one of America’s most prestigious and successful universities, which is particularly popular for Filipino students.


Its worldwide reputation and sun-drenched, glamorous surroundings have made it the most applied-to university in the USA, with over 96,000 applications a year. It’s routinely ranked among the top places to study, with U.S. News & World Report recently classing it as the eighth-best university in the world.


Academic departments

UCLA offers a wide variety of 125 majors, spread across over 100 academic departments. The top six most popular undergraduate majors are: business economics, biology, psychology, political science, economics and psychobiology.


Photo: UCLA campus, UCLA Instagram


Entry requirements for Filipino students

It can be tough for both American and foreign students to gain admission to UCLA. The university receives around 16,000 applications from international students every year, with only a 14% acceptance rate.


To be considered for admission to UCLA as a freshman, Filipino students must complete secondary school and be able to enter a university in the Philippines.


All freshman applicants are expected to take the following tests:


  • The ACT Assessment plus Writing Test, or
  • The SAT Reasoning Test

In order for your test scores to be available in time for review, all tests must be taken by December. All scores should be sent directly to the UCLA admission office through the testing agency.


English-language proficiency is also important. Applicants are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS). A competitive score is above 100 (with sub-scores above 22) on the TOEFL or a 7 or above on the IELTS.


The University of California’s online application is used to apply to UCLA. The application opens on 1 August, and must be submitted by 1–30 November in the year preceding fall term enrolment.

UCLA life

Bordered by iconic neighbourhoods – Bel Air, Brentwood, Beverly Hills – UCLA is a crossroads of ideas, cultures and limitless experiences and opportunities. It’s also just a few miles from the Atlantic coast, and some of California’s best beaches, such as Venice Beach and Santa Monica.


The campus itself is a mosaic of culture and activity. UCLA has its own museums, gardens, art gallery and planetarium, as well as more than 1,000 clubs and student organisations to get involved with. There are regular on-campus events like the Bruin Bash – the annual festival to kick off the new school year, which has featured top performers like Jay-Z, T.I. and LMFAO.


The city of Los Angeles offers some unforgettable experiences, like the Coachella music festival, strolling down the Sunset Strip or taking your first ride up the Pacific Coast Highway.


LA is a global city, where culture, business and industry blend into opportunity. Internship opportunities abound in the entertainment industry and with major corporations like Boeing, Skechers, Nestlè and Dole.


Famous alumni

UCLA boasts links with fifteen Nobel laureates: eight professors and seven alumni. The alumni Nobel laureates include Richard Heck, Nobel laureate in Chemistry, 2010; Elinor Ostrom, Economic Sciences, 2009; and Randy Schekman, Physiology and Medicine, 2013.


Fifty-two UCLA professors have been awarded Guggenheim Fellowships, and eleven are MacArthur Foundation Fellows. Mathematics professor Terence Tao was awarded the 2006 Fields Medal.


Other famous former students include:

  • Francis Ford Coppola, Academy Award-winning director
  • James Dean, actor
  • Rob Reiner, actor and director
  • George Takei, Star Trek actor and activist
  • James Franco, actor
  • Jackie Robinson, Major League Baseball player
  • James Horner, Academy Award-winning composer


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About Author


Stephen Palmer graduated from the University of Sunderland with a degree in Film and Media. Since then he has worked as a copywriter, proofreader and web editor. In his spare time he enjoys keeping fit, reading, playing video games and improving his Norwegian.


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