UC Riverside

UC Riverside Welcomes Homeschooled and Non-Traditionally Educated Students


The University of California, Riverside, commonly known as UC Riverside or UCR, is a public research university and one of the ten general campuses in the University of California system. UC Riverside realizes that quality students come from all walks of life and all manner of educational backgrounds. That’s why UCR is consistently ranked as one of the most ethnically and economically diverse universities in the United States. In fact, UCR’s extensive outreach and diversity programs have contributed to its reputation as a “campus of choice” for minority students of all kinds. UC Riverside also recognizes the unique qualities that homeschooled and other non-traditionally educated students can bring to campus. UC Riverside encourages these students to apply during the November 1-30 application period through its admission program for non-traditionally schooled students.

Examples of non-traditional educational settings include those where the high school education was: primarily home-based (homeschooling); completed as home-based after leaving a traditional high school during the last year or two; a combination of courses from various sources such as high school, community college, and online programs, with or without extensive home-based education; completed early by taking the California High-School Proficiency Exam AND performing additional studies outside of class or participating in significant educational life experiences such as charity work or experience in another country; taken at a non-accredited charter school that uses innovative educational methods and doesn’t have a UC-approved course list; any other novel educational approach to learning in a setting other than a regularly attended classroom.

UCR is the only University of California/California State University with an explicit homeschool admissions policy. UCR developed this special admission program for homeschooled and other non-traditionally educated students in recognition of the depth of learning and socialization benefits they have gained. Students who have received an innovative, customized, or self-determined education, which includes real-life learning experiences, may not only have obtained an excellent education but may also have developed the personal character and vision that can lead to success in college and life. Such qualities include: maturity and self-discipline, leadership skills, creativity and ingenuity, an intrinsic motivation to learn, determination, a desire to volunteer or perform community service, an interest in the exploration of other cultures and languages, and a possession of clear and achievable goals. These characteristics provide excellent foundations for pursuing an education at UCR, and UCR is likewise a good fit for such students.

Founded in 1907 as the UC Citrus Experiment Station, a pioneer in biological pest control, UC Riverside is now a major research institution and national center for the humanities with a current undergraduate and graduate enrollment of nearly 21,000. Some of the world’s most important research collections on citrus diversity and entomology, as well as science fiction and photography, are located at UC Riverside. Key areas of research include nanotechnology, genomics, environmental studies, digital arts, and sustainable growth and development. UCR provides many research opportunities for undergraduates as well as cutting-edge knowledge in the classroom. All of this excellence lies within a tight-knit community of recreation and social opportunities that meet every student interest, convenient shopping and entertainment, and nearby beaches, mountains, and desert. The 1,200-acre park-like main campus is located in the heart of inland Southern California, with a branch campus of 20 acres in Palm Desert.

All applicants must have a high school diploma, a GED, or a Certificate of Proficiency and submit ACT/SAT scores. In addition, non-traditional applicants should prepare a portfolio, a paper document that follows certain guidelines describing subjects they studied and learning methods used. The portfolio provides an opportunity for applicants to describe their unique educational backgrounds and their specific educational accomplishments which were not captured in the UCR application. Examples include: learning from source documents rather than a textbook, blending English and history in a single learning project, making extensive use of a museum for learning, in-depth study of a topic of great interest, or choosing a particular mathematics curriculum after determining the best match to one’s learning style. A committee of faculty members and staff who are familiar with home or non-traditional schooling will review the portfolio along with the other application materials. (Applicants with strong SAT scores and/or strong grades in several college-level courses – e.g., community college or Advanced Placement – may elect to postpone their preparation and submission of a portfolio, and instead wait to see if the review committee can make a positive decision from the rest of the application materials without a portfolio.)

Homeschooled and other non-traditionally educated students should look at the Non-Traditional Admission section of the Paths to Admission area of the UCR website for more information: http://futurestudents.ucr.edu/admissions/Pages/pathsAdmission.aspx

Updated: July 22, 2021 — 1:27 pm

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