Taking courses outside of SFUSD: What do you need to know?

What is a Non-SFUSD Course?

  • A Non-SFUSD course is any course taken outside of SFUSD schools during the day or evening. Credit recovery courses offered by the SFUSD’s Office of Extended Learning are part of SFUSD.
  • Courses offered by Community Colleges, Online Colleges or University programs are not part of SFUSD. A majority of these programs may not fulfill SFUSD graduation requirements or the UC/CSU “A-G” subject area requirements.
  • Current SFUSD students may enroll in courses virtually or in-person through a college or special program. Students must check with their school counselor before enrolling in the course if they want this course to be counted on their transcript or used towards graduation requirements. If the course is not approved, it still may be used for enrichment, college preparation, or exploration, but it cannot be added to their transcript.

Please Note:

  • Non-SFUSD courses should not be used to replace a course that a student can take during the school year (not including summer) unless there are special circumstances approved by the principal or school counselor. For example: a student should not take Spanish 1 at a community college if their school offers Spanish 1.
  • Course(s) taken prior to 9th grade (including the summer before 9th grade) are not accepted for high school credit on the high school transcript. The only exception to this is SFUSD World Language courses.
  • If a non-SFUSD course is being used for credit recovery, both the original grade and the non-SFUSD grade will be calculated in the GPA and included in the transcript.
  • SFUSD cannot be liable or responsible for fees charged by non-SFUSD programs

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is a non-SFUSD course?

A Non-SFUSD course is any course taken outside of SFUSD schools during the day or evening. Credit recovery courses offered by the SFUSD’s Office of Extended Learning are part of SFUSD.

2) Can I take a non-SFUSD course to replace a course that I’d normally take at school?

No. Non-SFUSD courses should not be used to replace a course that a student can take during the school year (not including summer) unless there are special circumstances approved by the principal or school counselor.

For example: a student should not take Spanish 1 at a community college if their school offers Spanish 1. 

3) How can I make sure it's approved?

Please check with your high school counselor before taking a non-SFUSD course if you want the course to count on your transcript or be used towards graduation requirements. 

4) Do I have to take a non-SFUSD Course?

No! Your school offers a variety of courses that you can take each year in high school including AP, honors, pathways, electives, special programs, dual enrollment at CCSF, and academies. Take advantage of these free opportunities!

Visit the High School Curriculum & Assessments page for details.

Steps for Taking a Non-SFUSD Course

1) Does the student want the course on their transcript?

Yes: Go to question 2A
No: No further action needed


Note: The next three questions (2A, 2B, and 2C) all need to answer "Yes" in order to move on to question #3.

2A) Is the program accredited?

Yes: Go to question 2B
No: Student may still choose to participate but credit will NOT be added to high school transcript

2B) Does the program meet required instructional hours*?

Yes: Go to question 2C
No: Student may still choose to participate but credit will NOT be added to high school transcript


Instructional Hours*

Instructional Hours High School Credit
12 hours 1 credit
60 hours 5 credits

College Level Coursework and High School Credit Equivalency:

College Unit High School Credit
1 unit 3.3 credits
2 units 6.6 credits
3 units 10 credits

2C) Does the program issue an official transcript/record of grade upon completion?

Yes: Go to question 3
No: Student may still choose to participate but credit will NOT be added to high school transcript

3) Is the course an A-G approved course on the A-G Course Management Portal*?

Yes: The course can be taken for A-G credit**
No: Go to question 4


*A-G Course Management Portal - Use this online portal to look up the institution and course in which the student is interested in taking, and check if the course is an approved A-G course

**credit that can be placed on high school transcript and used for college admission

4) Does the program provide a rigorous academic curriculum (as stated in course description/syllabus)?

Yes: Course may be considered for non A-G* elective credit ONLY
No: Student may still choose to participate but credit will NOT be added to high school transcript


*credit that can be placed on high school transcript and used for SFUSD credits, NOT for college admission

Non-SFUSD Coursework Flowchart

Use this visual to see if the course of choice can count on the high school transcript for college admission

Non-SFUSD Coursework Packet

Please download and fill out a packet if interested in taking a Non-SFUSD course. When completed, please return the packet to your counselor or administrator.