A to G CSU & UC Requirements

What is A-G?

Students applying for admission to a California State University (CSU) or University of California (UC) campus must complete the 15 units high school coursework listed below (one unit equals to two semesters or one academic year of study). Be advised that not all high school courses satisfy this requirement. Every SFUSD high school has a list of eligible CSU and UC course outline; students should consult the school counselor for verification. In addition, both CSU and UC have qualifying eligibility indices based upon the Grade Point Average (GPA) and Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)/American College Test (ACT) scores.  For details on CSU admission, go to the website http://www.csumentor.edu. For details on UC admission, go to the website http://www.ucop.edu/pathways.


a-g Subject Requirements


a. HISTORY/SOCIAL SCIENCE: 2 years required

Two years of history/social science, including one year of world history, cultures and geography; and one year of U.S. history or one-half year of U.S. history and one-half year of civics or

American government.


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 for UC)

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 for UC)

Two years of lab science providing fundamental knowledge in two of these three core

disciplines: biology (which includes anatomy, physiology, marine biology, aquatic biology, etc.), chemistry and physics. The final two years of an approved three-year 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 for UC)

Two years of the same language other than English. Courses should emphasize speaking and understanding, and include instruction in grammar, vocabulary, reading, composition and culture. Courses in language other than English taken in the seventh and eighth grade may be used to fulfill 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 or visual art.



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). 


CSU NOTE: All required courses (regardless of when taken) must be passed with a C or better. Courses in foreign language and mathematics taken in the 7th and 8th grade are determined by level of enrollment in advanced curriculum in the 9th grade. All other subject must be taken in 9th through 12th grade. Admission requirements may change from year to year. Please check current information on admission forms or websites.


UC NOTE: An alternative way to gain admission to a UC campus is through the "Eligibility by Examination Alone" path. A third path titled "Eligibility in the Local Context" (ELC) is also available. Under ELC, the top 4 percent of students in each California high school who are on track to graduate and have completed specified academic coursework by the end of the junior year will be designated UC eligible and will be guaranteed a place at an UC undergraduate campus. See UC’s website for further information.

(As presented in the SFUSD “Student Handbook” 9/2009)