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Prospective Students


Thinking about attending UC Merced?  If so, we hope you join us!

Review our majors and minors

Apply for admission

Attend a group event or meet individually with a UC Merced Regional Admissions Advisor for help during the admissions process

Visit UC Merced--take a live or virtual tour

Attend Admissions webinars, workshops, virtual college fairs, or school visits in Fall 2022

Attend Bobcat Day at UC Merced on Saturday, April 22, 2023

  • Registration for Bobcat Day opens on March 1, 2023




Wondering what your next steps might be after admission to UC Merced?

Or hope to connect with campus through social media, text messaging, or the Parent Newsletter? 

Visit the site exclusively for admitted students and families:

Review the Computer Purchase Recommendations for students in every major.

If you plan to do an engineering major, see the School of Engineering Student Laptop Policy.




Fall 2023 admits:  the 4 placement exams are expected to open in late April or early May 2023 with a mid-May 2023 deadline.

First year students admitted to UC Merced may need to take 4 placement exams:

  • UC Merced Writing Readiness Review  (new for Fall 2022 admits)
    • This new writing placement tool at UC Merced is FREE
    • The Writing Readiness Review replaces the former UC Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE) that was last offered in May 2022
  • UC Merced math placement exam
  • UC Merced chemistry placement exam
  • UC Merced computer science & engineering (CSE) placement exam

Read the information on the Placement Exams page to determine which placement exams you are required to take.

  • You will receive messages about the placement exams on your UC Merced email usually 5-7 business days after you submit your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). 

  • Admissions will send the first message about placement exams in mid-April to first year admits who already submitted their SIR.

  • Messages will continue to go out as first year admits submit their SIR.




The UC Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) is a reading and writing proficiency requirement intended to ensure that entering first year (freshman) students have the writing skills necessary to succeed in lower division university-level courses at a research university.


All UC schools require that first years complete ELWR by the end of their second semester at the UC school.

  • Ways to satisfy ELWR can be found at this link.

  • For UC Merced admits, the new Writing Readiness Review will determine placement in Writing courses at UC Merced.


There are two introductory Writing courses at UC Merced:

  • Writing 1 (WRI 001, Academic Writing, 4 units)--satisfies UC ELWR

  • Writing 10 (WRI 010, College Reading & Composition, 4 units)


If you place into Writing 1, you will need to complete both Writing 1 and Writing 10.

Writing 10 is a required General Education (GE) course for all students at UC Merced.


If you are a fall semester admit who took a California community college course during high school that is the equivalent of Writing 1 (check the ASSIST site for transferability), have the official college transcript sent to UC Merced before July 1.

If you are a fall semester admit who earned an AP English exam score that satisfies Writing 1, have College Board send the official AP exam score to UC Merced before July 1.

If you have not satisfied ELWR before your arrive at UC Merced, you will take Writing 1 in your first semester and must earn a grade of C or higher to satisfy ELWR.




Note:  information for Fall 2023 admits is expected to be available in March 2023.


Fall 2022 admits--to prepare for Fall 2022 registration:

  • Read your UC Merced email daily after you submit your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR).

    • You will receive messages on your UC Merced email in April, May, and June related to registration for Fall 2022 classes.

  • Confirm (or change) your major.  First year admits will have a one-time opportunity to change majors between early April to May 18, 2022.

    • See Step 6 in the Next Steps tab on the admitted students site.

    • NOTE:  School of Engineering faculty will not allow changes into the Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) or Undeclared--Engineering majors at this time.  Your next opportunity to declare CSE or UND-ENG will be after Fall 2022 grades have posted.

  • Take placement exams by the deadline.  Which exams do you need?  Check this link.

  • Send official copies of your high school transcript (must include date of graduation) and college transcripts for college courses taken in high school to UC Merced before July 1, 2022.

    • NOTE:  Official college transcripts are required for ALL college courses taken, including dual enrollment classes that appear on your high school transcript.

  • Send official copies of your test scores (AP, IB, ACT, SAT) to UC Merced before July 15, 2022.

  • Review the Registration section on our Bobcat Advising Center site.

  • Between Wed. June 22 - Thurs. June 23:  a course recommendations message for first years (freshmen) will be sent to your UC Merced email.

    • Course recommendations will be based on your intended major, placement exam scores, and any AP or IB exam scores or college transcripts received at UC Merced.

    • The course recommendation message will include information about your BAC temporary summer academic advisor.  This academic advisor reviewed your academic record, created your individualized course recommendations, and will be your contact for academic questions from late June through late August.

  • Between Mon. June 27 - Thurs. June 30:  first year admits will have randomly assigned online registration times.

    • Enroll in 12-16 units at your assigned registration time.

  • Registration will remain open 24 hours a day throughout summer for schedule adjustment.

  • As a condition of your admission, you must be enrolled in Fall 2022 classes before August 1, 2022.



After you establish your UC Merced email account:

  •      Use only your UC Merced email to contact academic advisors, professors, or staff in different offices on campus.
  •      Include your first and last name and UC Merced ID number in any messages.
  •      Using your UC Merced email and including your student ID number will help all offices at UC Merced respond to you as quickly as possible.

To access your UC Merced email, log on to your student portal at and click the email icon.