University of California Admissions

This section provides a summary of the University of California admission requirements. For more information about the University of California undergraduate admission requirements go to

There are three pathways to get into the University of California:
Eligibility in the Statewide Context
Eligibility in the Local Context
Eligibility by Examination Alone

IMPORTANT DEADLINES: University of California

Application Priority Filing Period: November 1 - 30
( for Fall Quarter or Semester of the Next Year )

Online Registration: Click on the “Apply Online” section.
University of California Online Registration


To satisfy this requirement, you must complete the 15 units of high school coursework listed in below on this page. (A unit is equal to an academic year, or two semesters, of study.) These courses are also known as the “a-g” subjects or requirements.

At least 7 of the 15 units must be taken in your last two years of high school.

California High School Students
If you attend high school in California, the courses you take to fulfill the Subject Requirement must be certified by the University as meeting the requirement and must be included on your high school’s UC-certified course list. Your counselor or principal will have a copy of this list. In addition, the lists are available at

Changes to Subject Requirement
Beginning with applicants for fall 2003, the Subject Requirement includes one unit of coursework in visual and performing arts (dance, drama/theater, music or visual arts). The number of college preparatory electives required has been reduced from two units to one, so the total number of Subject Requirement units remains at 15. The visual and performing arts (VPA) requirement is also referred to as the “f” requirement and the college preparatory elective requirement as the “g” requirement.

About the “a-g” Course Lists
To satisfy the University's Subject Requirement for admission, prospective freshmen must complete a series of high school courses known as the “a-g” requirements.

The “a-g” requirements include 15 units of high school courses, 7 units of which must be taken in the last two years of high school. (A unit is equal to one academic year, or two semesters, of study.)

To be accepted by the University, courses taken to satisfy the “a-g” requirements must appear on the school’s official University of California certified course list. Courses must be listed on students’ transcripts as they appear on the certified course list.

A-G List Information
a. History/Social Science 2 years required
Two years of history/social science, including one year of U.S. history or one-half year of U.S. history and one-half year of civics or American government; and one year of world history, cultures and geography.
b. English 4 years required
Four years of college preparatory English that include frequent and regular writing, and reading of classic and modern literature. Not more than two semesters of ninth grade English can be used to meet this requirement.
c. Mathematics 3 years required, 4 years recommended
Three years of college preparatory mathematics that include the topics covered in elementary and advanced algebra and two- and three-dimensional geometry. Approved integrated math courses may be used to fulfill part or all of this requirement, as may math courses taken in the seventh and eighth grades that your high school accepts as equivalent to its own math courses.
d. Laboratory Science 2 years required, 3 years recommended
Two years of laboratory science providing fundamental knowledge in at least two of these three disciplines: biology (which includes anatomy, physiology, marine biology, aquatic biology, etc.), chemistry and physics. Laboratory courses in earth sciences are acceptable if they have as prerequisites or provide basic knowledge in biology, chemistry or physics. The appropriate two years of an approved integrated science program may be used to fulfill this requirement. Not more than one year of ninth grade laboratory science can be used to meet this requirement.
e. Language Other than English 2 years required, 3 years recommended
Two years of the same language other than English. Courses should emphasize speaking and understanding, and include instruction in grammar, vocabulary, reading and composition. Courses in language other than English taken in the seventh and eighth grade may be used to fulfill part of this requirement if your high school accepts them as equivalent to its own courses.
f. Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) 1 year required
One year of visual and performing arts chosen from the following: dance, drama/theater, music and/or visual art.
g. College Preparatory Electives 1 year required
One year (two semesters), in addition to those required in “a-f” above, chosen from the following areas: visual and performing arts (non-introductory level courses), history, social science, English, advanced mathematics, laboratory science and language other than English (a third year in the language used for the “e” requirement or two years of another language).


Contact Info

MESA Schools Program
College of Science DH-241
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192-0099
T: 408.924.3798  |  F: 408.924.4026
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