students riding on bicycles around the bike circle

Applicant Waitlist

What Happens When You’re Waitlisted?

Learn more about the UC Davis waitlist process, including how to accept our offer, when you can expect an update on your status and additional information on financial aid and orientation.

Applying to college is an intensive — and often emotional — undertaking. If you applied to UC Davis and got waitlisted, we understand that isn’t the news you were hoping for. Take heart. UC Davis is a very competitive campus and enrollment space is limited. You are among the highly qualified applicants whose impressive academic and personal achievements still make them deserving candidates. Some may be offered admission after the SIR deadline, based on availability. 

We encourage you to learn more about the process and how to navigate the choices ahead. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

  • What should I do first?
  • Respond by April 15 for freshmen and May 15 for transfer students. For some students, the stress of being waitlisted is too much, and we understand that! But others have long dreamed of being an Aggie, and we invite those students to accept our waitlist offer by the deadline.
  • How do I accept the waitlist offer?
  • To accept our offer of a spot on the waitlist, students can login to MyAdmissions and tell us (in 200 words or less) why they want to be a UC Davis Aggie. No letters of recommendation, transcripts or other documents are needed. We simply want to know what UC Davis means to them and how UCD might fit into their future.
  • If I accept the waitlist offer, what happens if I’m offered admission elsewhere?
  • Accepting our waitlist offer does not prevent students from accepting admission to another campus. In fact, we encourage students to accept an offer of admission elsewhere and keep us “in their back pocket.” In this way, students keep their options open.
  • What else should I do in the meantime?
  • Be patient and accept an offer that you currently have available. Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict how many students might be admitted from the waitlist. The process is very specific to courses of study and the capacity of our campus to support all of our admitted students. Because of this, the list is not ranked and the number of offers extended will depend upon the number of spaces available and how many students we expect to accept the offer.
  • What happens if a space at UC Davis opens up?
  • Should space become available in a program after the SIR deadline, we look to the waitlist for candidates and extend an offer of admission. If you receive such an offer, you can cancel your statement of intent to register at another campus and accept our offer of admission. Typically, students have seven days to accept our offer. Since we cannot admit more students than we can support, it may take several weeks to exhaust admission offers to waitlisted students. Rest assured, students admitted from the waitlist will have the same enrollment experience as every other student in their entering class, from their financial aid award and guaranteed housing to orientation and summer advising.