UC aims to ensure that students have access to a broad range of high-quality online courses that maintain the “human touch” and integrity of assessment.

The University's policy on online learning accommodates synchronous, asynchronous and blended online courses while simultaneously addressing specific features that the UC faculty consider necessary for a quality online learning experience. As such, UC offers a streamlined two-step process for the approval of online courses that satisfy the “a-g” subject requirements.

Revised online course policy

Beginning with the 2013-14 academic year, students intending to satisfy the “a-g” subject requirements with online courses may use only UC-approved online courses. In addition, all online courses will have a three-year approval term and institutions offering “a-g” online courses must adhere to specific guidelines and expectations established by the UC faculty.


Online courses and the “a-g” requirements

UC accepts online courses to satisfy the “a-g” subject requirements. All online courses undergo a two-step course review process first requiring an assessment of the curriculum against the iNACOL Standards for Quality Online Courses before the course is submitted to UC for “a-g” review. 


iNACOL Standards for Quality Online Courses

The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) has established quality standards for online courses in the areas of content, instructional design, student assessment, technology, and course evaluation and support. Before an online course can receive UC “a-g” approval, the course must be assessed against the iNACOL course standards.


Online course publishers

The University welcomes the submission of online courses directly from online publishers that sell or license their curriculum to California high schools and districts. These courses must first be assessed against national quality standards for content, instructional design, student assessment, technology, and course evaluation and support.


Online schools

Accredited, diploma-granting online schools are eligible to establish and maintain an “a-g” course list if they also adhere to iNACOL's Standards for Quality Online Programs. Courses from online schools must meet national quality standards, in addition to the “a-g” course criteria.


List of “a-g” approved online courses

Each online course publisher and online school has a list of approved “a-g” courses.


Online science and VPA courses

UC will accept online laboratory science courses if the course includes supervised, on-site, wet labs. However, UC does not accept online visual and performing arts courses.


Three-year approval term for online courses

Approval of online "a-g" courses is valid for three years. Courses are required to complete the two-step course review process every three years.


Principal certification of online courses

Beginning with online courses completed during the 2013-14 year, principals can no longer certify non-UC-approved online courses.