Minimum admission requirements

UC's minimum admission requirements represent exactly that — the minimum academic standards students must attain to be considered for admission. However — and this is important for your students to understand — meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to a particular campus. Often, admission to our campuses and/or programs is extremely competitive and requires students to satisfy far more demanding standards.

Subject requirement

Freshman applicants will be required to complete a minimum of 15 yearlong "a-g" courses in grades 9-12. Seven of these courses must be taken in the last two years of high school. Students must complete: 

a. History/social science

2 courses

b. English
(composition/literature in the language of instruction)

4 courses

c. Mathematics
(including elementary algebra, geometry and intermediate algebra)

3 courses

d. Laboratory science
(from two disciplines)

2 courses

e. Language other than English
(foreign language)

2 courses

f. Visual and performing arts

1 course

g. College-preparatory elective*

1 course

*To be chosen from the fields above or another course approved by UC

Eleven "a-g" courses must be completed prior to the 12th grade/last year of secondary school. No particular course pattern is required for this review. 

A specific 11-course pattern is required for consideration in UC's Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) program and must be completed prior to the beginning of 12th grade. Courses completed during summer after 11th grade will be considered. Although a minimum of 11 courses are required for admissions consideration, completion of at least the full 15 yearlong college-preparatory required courses will be expected of all students by the end of their senior year.

Applicants should also be reminded that admission to the University of California is competitive, and most applicants present more than the minimum requirements when applying for admission. For example, students offered admission for the fall 2013 term completed, on average, 26 yearlong courses, or 7 honors-academic courses per year.

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Examination requirement

Freshman applicants must submit the following test scores:

  • ACT Plus Writing, or
  • SAT Reasoning Test

Students applying for admission for the fall term must take these tests no later than December of their senior year, and preferably earlier. For students who take a gap year, exams must be completed by the time of their high school graduation.

SAT Subject Tests

The SAT Subject Tests are not required for admission. Students may submit scores if they wish to showcase academic mastery, just as scores on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests show ability and subject mastery. Competitive majors on some campuses may recommend particular SAT Subject Tests to demonstrate subject proficiency.

Additionally, Subject Tests may be used to fulfill "a-g" requirements.

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Scholarship requirement

In order to be considered for admission, applicants must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 (3.4 for nonresidents) in all "a-g" courses completed in grades 10 and 11, with no grade lower than a C. We award extra grade points for grades received in approved honors-level courses to a maximum of eight semesters, including no more than four semesters taken in the 10th grade.

    High school proficiency examination

    If students do not have a high school diploma, we will accept the Certificate of Proficiency awarded by the State Board of Education upon successful completion of the California High School Proficiency Examination. We'll also accept proficiency examinations from other states, and the General Education Development (GED) Certificate, in place of a diploma.

    However, students must still meet the subject, scholarship and examination requirements.

    Good to know

    Review the freshman and transfer sections to see how our requirements are presented to students.