To be considered for admission to the University of California, you must complete 15 yearlong high school courses with a grade of C or better — at least 11 of them prior to your senior year.
The 15 courses are:
a. History/social science (2 years)
b. English (4 years)
c. Mathematics (3 years)
d. Laboratory science (2 years)
e. Language other than English (2 years)
f. Visual and performing arts (1 year)
g. College-preparatory elective (1 year)
(chosen from the subjects listed above or another course approved by the university)
You must earn a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better (3.4 if you're a nonresident) in these courses with no grade lower than a C.
You must meet the examination requirement by taking the ACT Plus Writing or the SAT Reasoning Test by December of your senior year. We don't require SAT Subject Tests, but certain programs such as math and engineering on some campuses recommend them, and you can use subject tests to satisfy the "a-g" requirements listed above.
If you're a state resident who has met the minimum requirements and aren't admitted to any UC campus to which you apply, you'll be offered a spot at another campus if space is available, provided:
- You rank in the top 9 percent of California high school students, according to our admissions index, or
- You rank in the top 9 percent of your graduating class at a participating high school. We refer to this as "Eligible in the Local Context" (ELC).
The Holistic Review: How UC's Evaluate your Application
UC's evaluate your academic achievements in light of the opportunities available to you and your demonstrated capacity to contribute to the intellectual life at UC. The 14 factors they weigh are:
- Academic grade point average in all completed "a-g" courses, including additional points for completed UC-certified honors courses.
- Scores on the following tests: ACT Plus Writing or the SAT Reasoning Test.
- The number of, content of and performance in academic courses beyond the minimum "a-g" requirements.
- Number of and performance in UC-approved honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate Higher Level and transferable college courses.
- Identification by UC as being ranked in the top 9 percent of your high school class at the end of your junior year (Eligible in the Local Context, or ELC).
- Quality of your senior-year program as measured by the type and number of academic courses in progress or planned.
- Quality of your academic performance relative to the educational opportunities available in your high school.
- Outstanding performance in one or more specific subject areas.
- Outstanding work in one or more special projects in any academic field of study.
- Recent, marked improvement in academic performance as demonstrated by academic GPA and the quality of coursework completed or in progress.
- Special talents, achievements and awards in a particular field, such as visual and performing arts, communication or athletic endeavors; special skills, such as demonstrated written and oral proficiency in other languages; special interests, such as intensive study and exploration of other cultures; experiences that demonstrate unusual promise for leadership, such as significant community service or significant participation in student government; or other significant experiences or achievements that demonstrate the student's promise for contributing to the intellectual vitality of a campus.
- Completion of special projects undertaken in the context of your high school curriculum or in conjunction with special school events, projects or programs.
- Academic accomplishments in light of your life experiences and special circumstances, including but not limited to: disabilities, low family income, first generation to attend college, need to work, disadvantaged social or educational environment, difficult personal and family situations or circumstances, refugee status or veteran status.
- Location of your secondary school and residence.
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