Frequently asked questions

With the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, will UC require a re-review of math courses?

Yes. Within the next few years, UC will require a re-review of all "a-g" approved math courses to demonstrate compliance with the University’s mathematics course criteria that incorporates the Common Core State Standards. The High School Articulation unit has not yet determined the exact timeframe for when this will occur. Please continue to check back for further information.

Can higher-level math courses validate a grade of D or F earned in a lower-level course? Can higher-level math courses validate the omission of a lower-level course?

Completion of higher-level math coursework with a grade of C or higher validates D or F grades earned in lower-level courses or when a lower-level course is skipped, as specified below. A complete description and matrix of the math validation rules is available for download.

  • Algebra 2 validates Algebra 1.
  • A yearlong Algebra 2/Trig course validates Algebra 1, 2 and Geometry*. If only the first semester (Algebra 2) is completed, then only Algebra 1 is validated.
  • Statistics validates Algebra 1 and 2, not Geometry.
  • Advanced Mathematics courses, such as Trigonometry, Precalculus, Math Analysis, Linear Algebra and Calculus, validates Algebra 1, 2 and Geometry*.

Using a higher-level math course to validate a grade of D or F earned in a lower-level course will not replace the D or F grade calculated into the UC GPA. Only if the exact course or semester in which the D or F grade earned was repeated would the repeated grade replace the original deficient grade in the UC GPA.

*Beginning with students applying to the University for fall 2015 admission, a yearlong Geometry course must be completed. Higher-level math courses will continue to validate a D or F grade earned in a Geometry course, but will not validate the omission of Geometry from a student's math course sequence.

A student earned a grade of C or better in the second semester of a math course, but earned a D grade in the first semester. Can the second semester grade validate the D grade?

The math (“c”) subject area is one of two subject areas where a grade of C or better earned in the second semester of the course can validate a grade of D or F received in the first semester. This validation rule pertains to all levels of math courses, including Geometry.

Using a second-semester grade of C or better to validate a D or F grade earned in the first semester will not replace the deficient grade calculated into the UC GPA. Only if the first semester of the course is repeated would the repeated grade replace the original D or F in the UC GPA.

Some students take Algebra 1 in eighth grade. Will this course count toward fulfilling the math requirement?

Math courses completed in the seventh and eighth grades with a grade of C or higher can be used toward fulfilling the mathematics (“c”) subject requirement. Students are not required to repeat these courses once they have entered high school. Students will list these courses in the “Seventh / Eighth Grade Course” section on the UC application. They are not required to submit a middle school transcript, however it is preferable that the courses be listed on the high school transcript.

Because the student has already satisfied one year of the three-year requirement, they are only required to complete courses in Geometry and Algebra 2 in high school. However, the University recommends students to continue with math coursework beyond the intermediate algebra level.

Does the University have a recommended course sequence for mathematics? Will UC approve an integrated math sequence to satisfy the "c" subject requirement?

UC does not have a preferred math course sequence. Individual schools or districts may determine the best sequence that will enrich their students’ learning whether they choose the traditional Algebra 1 - Geometry - Algebra 2 sequence or an integrated math sequence.

What mathematics course sequences will UC accept as satisfying the mathematics (“c”) subject requirement?

With Common Core being implemented statewide starting in the 2014-15 school year, UC recognizes the significant curriculum changes that must be made as high schools develop mathematics transition pathways to meet school- and district-based needs. UC will accept variations in math transition pathways, including, but not limited to, the course sequences described below. These combinations of the traditional pathway and the integrated pathway are not an exhaustive list, but are examples of how students may fully meet the mathematics (“c”) subject requirement:

  • Algebra 1 → Geometry → Mathematics 3
  • Algebra 1 → Mathematics 1 → Mathematics 2 → Mathematics 3
  • Geometry → Mathematics 2 → Mathematics 3
  • Geometry → Mathematics 3
  • Mathematics 1 → Mathematics 2 → Mathematics 3
  • Mathematics 1 → Geometry → Algebra 2
  • Mathematics 1 → Geometry → Mathematics 3
  • Mathematics 1 → Mathematics 2 → Algebra 2
  • Mathematics 1 → Mathematics 2 → Advanced Mathematics
  • Mathematics 2 → Mathematics 3

Does UC approve three- or four-semester long math courses?

One-year mathematics courses taken over three or four semesters are acceptable to meet the “c” requirement, but credit will be granted for only one year of coursework. All grades earned are computed into the UC GPA calculation. Two-year (or four-semester) math courses should be listed as two separate courses on an “a-g” course list and appropriately categorized as “Yr 1 or 2” and “Yr 2 of 2”.

Are students required to complete four years of mathematics to gain admission to UC?

No. UC does not prescribe math coursework beyond elementary algebra, geometry, and intermediate/advanced algebra because the completion of courses covering these single-discipline or integrated topics will satisfy UC's mathematics (“c”) requirement for admission. Using a comprehensive review process, admissions evaluators look beyond grades and test scores to assess applicants’ academic achievements based on the opportunities available to them and the demonstrated capacity of each student to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus.

UC faculty advise students preparing for college-level studies to continue challenging themselves academically throughout their high school careers. This may translate into students taking advanced math coursework that aligns with the student’s personal interests and intended college major. To be competitive for admission to highly selective programs, such as Engineering, students are encouraged to complete mathematics coursework well beyond advanced algebra. And, while Statistics is excellent preparation for a broad variety of majors, it is not optimal preparation for prospective engineering majors.