skip to Main Content

Admission of Incoming Freshmen into Undergraduate Programs

A new student can be admitted into the college through several ways: (A) through the UPCAT, (B) through the Iskolar ng Bayan Program, and (C) through International Qualifications.

UPDATE [2021-01-21]: Due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the UP System will not proceed with UPCAT 2021. Admission applications for Academic Year 2021-2022 shall be processed through an online portal. Please visit for more details.


January 7, 2021 – Start of Online Application Period

February 15, 2021 – Deadline for Filing of Applications


Please disregard the information below.

A. Admission Through the UPCAT

UPCAT, or the UP College Admission Test, is the mostly utilized mechanism of entry into the university. You are qualified to apply as a freshman to UP through the UPCAT for AY 2019-2020 if:

  • you are a high school graduate from 2018 or earlier, OR
  • you are a senior high school student expecting to graduate before July 2019, OR
  • you have final grades for three (3) high school years preceding the year of graduation; AND
  • you have not taken any college courses before SY 2019-2020 and have not taken the UPCAT before.

The UPCAT consists of 4 subtests: ScienceMathLanguage Proficiency (in English and Filipino), and Reading Comprehension (in English and Filipino). Standardized UPCAT scores are combined with the weighted average of the last 3 years of high school final grades to determine the UP admission grade. To implement the policy of demographic access, the selection of campus qualifiers also considers socioeconomic and geographic factors.

Qualifying for a Campus

All UPCAT applicants are ranked based on the UPG to determine Campus Qualifiers.

  • Selection is based on the applicant’s choice of campus and rank, plus the campus quota and cut-off grade.
  • If you do not qualify for your first choice of campus, you are automatically screened for your other choices.

Qualifying for a Degree Program

Campus qualifiers are ranked according to grade predictors of their chosen degree programs.

  • Acceptance into a degree program is based on rank per chosen degree program and program quota
  • If you don’t make it to your first choice of program, you will be screened again for your next choice

If you still do not make it to your last indicated course choice, you will remain qualified for that campus but must then find a degree program with available slots (DPWS) in that campus. The campus Registrar’s Office will help you find that program.


If you do not qualify to any of your campus choices, you may appeal for admission to a program in another UP campus if your admission grade is within the campus’ posted cutoff grade, and the program has available slots. Present your Non-Qualifier’s Slip indicating your admission grade (sent to you in the mail) to the Registrar’s Office of the campus you want to enter. There is no guarantee of acceptance as each campus may have additional criteria for admission through appeals.

How to Apply for the UPCAT

  1. Fill our application Form 1 (UPCAT Application Form for Freshman Admission) online or manually.
  2. Give UPCAT Form 2 (Secondary School Record) to you high school principal/school head to be filled out.
  3. Pay the UPCAT Application fee.
  4. Submit the completed UPCAT Forms 1 and 2 and all other required documents.
  5. Claim your Test Permit.


  • July 10, 2018 – Start of Application Period
  • July 30, 2018 – Deadline for Filing of Applications for Metro Manila Private Schools
  • August 3, 2018 – Deadline for Filing of Applications for Metro Manila Public Schools
  • August 10, 2018 – Deadline for Filing of Applications for Regional Private and Public Schools
  • September 15/16, 2018 – UPCAT

For more information, please visit

B. Admission Through the Iskolar ng Bayan Program

Filipino graduates from the Top Ten of the graduating classes of public high schools may apply for freshman automatic admission (i.e. without having to take the UPCAT) for AY 2018-2019, provided you meet other UP admission requirements, as provided by a transitory provision of the Iskolar ng Bayan Law of 2014.

  • You are also entitled to free tuition and other school fees for the first year of college.
  • Application forms for the Iskolar ng Bayan program may be obtained from the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) or Office of Scholarships and Student Services (OSSS) of the CU chosen by the applicant.
  • There are limited slots per campus for the Iskolar ng Bayan Program.

C. Through International Qualifications

Foreign OR Filipino applicants who have graduated or are graduating from a secondary school/home school abroad (i.e. international applicant) and have not enrolled in college before AY 2018-2019 may be admitted as freshmen by Automatic Admission (i.e. without taking the UPCAT), provided they meet other requirements, including qualifications for college admission by national or international foreign-administered examinations as specified. For details please visit

An international applicant may apply for automatic admission (i.e. without taking the UPCAT) if s/he meets the following requirements:

  1. Completion of a high school program in the country where s/he had secondary education (including the completion of a one- or two-year pre-university education in a country where such is a prerequisite for admission to a bachelor’s degree program); AND
  2. Qualifications for college admission by any of the following national or international foreign-administered examinations: the SAT, OR the General Certificate of Education (GCE) Examination, OR the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB), OR other equivalent examinations approved by UP.
    1. SAT: (scores must not have been taken more than 4 years before application)
      • Old SAT: TOTAL of at least 1200; Math and Critical Reading of at least 600 each
      • Redesigned SAT: TOTAL of at least 1270; Math of at least 620 and Evidence-based Writing + Critical Reading of at least 650
    2. GCE: 2 ordinary (O) level passes and 3 advanced (A) level passes; OR
    3. International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
  3. In the case of an applicant whose native language or whose medium of instruction in the secondary school is not English, a minimum score (500 if paper based or 173 if computer based) in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

For Confirmation of Admission, please see UP Manila Undergraduate Admission.

Back To Top