The intent of the “a-g” subject requirements is to ensure that students have attained a body of general knowledge that will provide breadth and perspective to new, more advanced study.
Courses from California high schools used to satisfy the "a-g" subject requirements must be certified by UC and appear on the school's "a-g" course list. These courses are to be academically challenging, involving substantial reading, writing, problems and laboratory work (as appropriate), and show serious attention to analytical thinking, factual content and developing students' oral and listening skills.
The subject requirement
- History/social science (“a”) – Two years, including one year of world history, cultures and historical geography and one year of U.S. history, or one-half year of U.S. history and one-half year of American government or civics.
- English (“b”) – Four years of college preparatory English that includes frequent and regular writing, reading of classic and modern literature, and practice listening and speaking.
- Mathematics (“c”) – Three years of college-preparatory mathematics that include the topics covered in elementary and advanced algebra and two- and three-dimensional geometry.
- Laboratory science (“d”) – Two years of laboratory science providing fundamental knowledge in at least two of the three disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
- Language other than English (“e”) – Two years of the same language other than English or equivalent to the second-level of high school instruction.
- Visual and performing arts (“f”) – One year, including dance, drama/theater, music or visual art.
- College-preparatory elective (“g”) – One year chosen from the “a-f” courses beyond those used to satisfy the requirements above, or courses that have been approved solely for use as “g” electives.
California high schools can submit their courses to UC for “a-g” certification using the Online Update website. A course's "a-g" approval is based on the “a-g” course evaluation guidelines and the subject-specific course criteria established by UC faculty. Once approved, the "a-g" course is added to the school's "a-g" course list. To satisfy the subject requirements, the course must appear on the school's course list for the year the student took the course.
Looking for an “a-g” course list?
Search our database of high school, program and community college “a-g” course lists on the "a-g" Course List website.
Samples of courses approved in the “a-g” subject areas are available for reference as you prepare your own course for UC approval.
Other options to satisfy the "a-g" requirements
UC-transferable college courses or satisfactory scores on SAT Subject, AP or IB exams can also be used to satisfy the “a-g” subject requirements.