Honors courses

  1. For California high schools with a UC-approved “a-g” course list, why are some courses listed as honors by the school not included on the UC-approved course list (or in the online application)?
  1. Does UC grant extra grade points for a grade lower than C in an honors course?
  1. How many college/university courses may a student take? Will the grades be weighted in the GPA calculation for freshman admission?
  1. How do you calculate an out-of-state applicant's GPA? Do you give extra credit for the school’s honors courses?
  1. If a student takes an AP course and successfully completes it, but does not take the related AP exam, will they still receive the additional honors/AP credit?
  1. Can a student earn AP credit and/or a weighted GPA for a class taken freshman year?
  1. How would the evaluation of an applicant be affected if they drop an AP course during the second semester of the senior year?
  1. If a student completes both the AP English Language and AP English Literature exams with scores of 3, 4 or 5, how much credit will they receive?

For California high schools with a UC-approved “a-g” course list, why are some courses listed as honors by the school not included on the UC-approved course list (or in the online application)?

In some cases, a school categorizes a course as honors that is not accepted as such by the University. The course name that appears on your school's course list (available on the Course Management Portal) may contain the word "honors" but lack the designation in the "Honors Type" column. It will not appear as an honors course in the application nor will the grade be weighted in the UC GPA calculation.

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Does UC grant extra grade points for a grade lower than C in an honors course?

No. Grades of D/F are not assigned extra honors points. We assign extra grade points for up to eight semesters (with no more than 4 semesters from 10th grade courses) of UC-certified honors-level, AP, IB or college/university courses taken in grades 10, 11 and 12 in which the student earned a grade of C or better.

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How many college/university courses may a student take? Will the grades be weighted in the GPA calculation for freshman admission?

High school students may take as many college/university courses as they wish. When calculating the GPA to determine if a student's eligibility meets/exceeds the minimum GPA requirement, we limit the number of honors points to 4 courses (8 semesters), with no more than 2 courses (four semesters) from 10th grade. This total includes college-level courses in the "a-g" college-preparatory subjects that are transferable to UC.

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How do you calculate an out-of-state applicant's GPA? Do you give extra credit for the school’s honors courses?

UC calculates an out-of-state applicant’s GPA the same way it calculates the GPA of a California resident. The campus would use all courses the student took to meet “a-g” requirements from the summer before 10th grade to the summer after 11th grade. In calculating a nonresident's GPA, UC will grant honors weight for AP or IB courses only, but not for school-designated honors courses.

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If a student takes an AP course and successfully completes it, but does not take the related AP exam, will they still receive the additional honors/AP credit?

Yes. Completing the course still earns the extra honors point. Not taking the exam only means that the student will not receive unit credit toward UC graduation requirements.

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Can a student earn AP credit and/or a weighted GPA for a class taken freshman year?

Since courses taken in the freshman year do not count toward the student's UC GPA, the student would not receive the extra grade point usually awarded for AP and other honors courses. However, if the student passed the AP exam with a score of 3, 4 or 5, they would receive unit credit toward UC graduation requirements.

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How would the evaluation of an applicant be affected if they drop an AP course during the second semester of the senior year?

UC campuses do look at how many honors courses students are taking during senior year and expect a strong academic schedule during that year. Dropping a course might affect how the student’s application is evaluated.

If planned coursework will change from what was described reported on the application, the student must write to the UC Application Center (at ucinfo@applyUCsupport.net) as soon as possible, providing an explanation of why they dropped the course. Their correspondence will be made available to all campuses to which the student applied.

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If a student completes both the AP English Language and AP English Literature exams with scores of 3, 4 or 5, how much credit will they receive?

The student will receive a maximum of 8 quarter (5.3 semester) units for one or both exam scores. For more information on the amount of unit credit UC awards for all AP exams, see exam credit.

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