The "a–g" subject requirementsrepresent the 15 minimumacademic preparatory courses that freshman applicantsmust have to be eligible foradmission to the University of California. Applicants mustcomplete 11 of the 15 "a–g"requirements by the end of their junior year. For moreinformation on these requirements,please visit the UC a-g interactiveWeb site. The University ofCalifornia also maintains a list ofcertified "a-g" courses for highschools in California.
"a-g" Subject Area RequirementsThe intent of the "a-g" Subject Requirements is to ensurethat students can participate fully in the first-year programat the University in a wide variety of fields of study. Therequirements are written deliberately for the benefit of allstudents expecting to enter the University, and not forpreparation for specific majors. UC faculty consider theSubject Requirements to be effective preparation, on manylevels, for undergraduate work at the University. Thispattern of study assures the faculty that the student hasattained a body of general knowledge that will providebreadth and perspective to new, more advanced study.Fulfillment of the "a-g" pattern also demonstrates that thestudent has attained essential critical thinking and studyskills.On an annual basis, public and private California highschools use the "a-g" Online Update web site to submit toUC requested updates to their existing "a-g" course list. It isrecommended that new schools develop an "a-g" courselist by the time their first class of students are Juniors.
Every year, the Director of Undergraduate Admissionsfor the University of California will send an UpdateLetter request via email to every California high schoolasking them to submit updates to the schools UCcertified "a-g" course list.This section of the web site is designed to fully explainthe course list update process and describe the facultysguidelines for approval of new courses. The entiresection is available in a printable PDF format (see linkabove). We recommend that you become familiar withthis basic information before proceeding to othersections of this web site.Validation Changes. The University uses a processknown as validation to allow students to clear, orvalidate, a course omission or "D" or "F" grade in certainsubject areas. In 2004 UC faculty clarified a couple ofvalidation rules: (a) a passing grade in the secondsemester of chemistry will no longer validate a "D" or"F" grade in the first semester, and (b) statistics will nolonger validate geometry, but will continue to validatebeginning and intermediate algebra.
(a): History/Social Science2 years required - Two years of history/social scienceincluding one year of world history, cultures, and geography;and or one year U.S. history or one half year U.S. history andone half year of civics or American government.(b): English4 years required - Four years of college preparatoryEnglish that include the reading of classic andmodern literature and frequent and regular writing.No more than one year of ESL-type courses can beused to meet this requirement.(c): Mathematics3 years required, 4 years recommended - Three years ofcollege-preparatory mathematics that include the topicscovered in elementary and advanced algebra and two and three-dimensional geometry. Approved integratedmath courses may be used to fulfill part or all of thisrequirement, as may math courses taken in theseventh and eighth grades that your high school accepts asequivalent to its own math courses.
(d): Laboratory Science2 years required, 3 years recommended - fundamentalknowledge in at least two of these three foundationalsubjects: biology, chemistry, and physics. Advancedlaboratory science courses that have biology,chemistry, or physics as prerequisites and offersubstantial new material may be used to fulfill thisrequirement. The last two years of an approved three-year integrated science program that providesrigorous coverage of at least two of the threefoundational subjects may be used to fulfill thisrequirement.(e): Language other than English2 years required, 3 years recommended - Two years ofthe same language other than English. Courses shouldemphasize speaking and understanding and includeinstruction in grammar, vocabulary, reading,composition, and culture. Courses in languages otherEnglish taken in the seventh and eighth grades may beused to fulfill part of this requirement if your highschool accepts them as equivalent to its own courses.
(f): Visual and Performing Arts (VPA)1 year required - A single year-long approvedarts course from a single VPA discipline: dance,drama/theater, music, or visual art.(g): College Preparatory Electives1 year required - One year (two semesters), inaddition to those required in "a-f" above,chosen from the following areas: visual andperforming arts (non-introductory-levelcourses), history, social science, English,advanced mathematics, laboratory science, anda language other than English (a third year inthe language used for the "e" requirement ortwo years of another language).