UC graduation requirements

All UC students must satisfy certain requirements before they can receive their undergraduate degree. Good news: Some of these requirements can be met during high school.

Entry-Level Writing Requirement

As a UC undergraduate, you must demonstrate a proficiency in writing. You may meet our Entry-Level Writing Requirement in any of the following ways:

  • Score 30 or higher on ACT English Language Arts.
  • Score 30 or higher on ACT Combined English/Writing (last administered June 2015).
  • Score 680 or higher on the Writing section of the SAT Reasoning Test (last administered January 2016).
  • Score 680 or higher on the Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing section of the new SAT exam (effective for students enrolling in fall 2018/students applying to UC in November 2017).
  • Score 3 or higher on the College Board Advanced Placement Examination in English (Language or Literature).
  • Score 5 or higher on the International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examination or 6 or higher on the Standard Level Examination in English (Language A only).
  • Complete with a grade of C or better a transferable college course in English composition worth four quarter or three semester units.
  • Achieve a passing score on the UC Analytical Writing Placement Examination, given in the spring every year. If you're admitted to UC and live in California, you'll receive detailed information in April about the exam. If you're not a resident of California, you may take the exam in the fall after you enroll.
  • Complete an appropriate English course at UC with a grade of C or better.

American History and Institutions Requirement

All undergraduate degree programs at UC require study in American History and Institutions. This requirement may be met through examination or enrollment in specific courses. Each campus decides how its students may meet the requirement.

Many students fulfill this requirement before entering college by completing a one-year high school course in U.S. history or a half-year course in U.S. history and a half-year course in American government. (This satisfies this requirement at all UC campuses except UC Santa Barbara, which requires students to complete a college-level course. At UCLA, students may complete the course(s) in high school, but must have earned a B average or better.)