Frequently asked questions

UC requires at least one full-length work for course approval in the “b” subject area. Are non-fiction full-length works acceptable?

Yes, non-fiction literature is acceptable as the full-length work required for all English courses.

Can courses in creative writing, speech, debate or journalism be approved in the English (“b”) subject area?

Courses in speech, debate, creative writing or journalism typically do not meet the criteria for approval in the “b” subject area, but may meet the criteria for approval in the elective (“g”) subject area. In order for these courses to be approved in the "g" subject area, they must include elements of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Do ESL / ELD courses require a separate course submission for UC approval?

Yes. UC faculty has distinct guidelines for English as a Second Language (ESL) / English Language Development (ELD) courses and requires a separate new course submission for "a-g" approval. Please remember that students may use a maximum of one year of ELD / ESL coursework to satisfy the “b” subject requirement.

Sheltered / SDAIE English courses that are identical in content to regular "a-g" approved English courses do not require a separate course submission because the two sections differ only in instructional methodology, rather than in course content.

A student completed his first year of high school in a foreign country. Which of their courses can be used to satisfy the "b" subject requirement?

The "b" subject requirement can also be referred to as the Language of Instruction subject requirement. In high schools where the language of instruction is not in English, a composition and literature course taught in the native language can count toward the “b” subject requirement. The student is then only required to complete three more years of courses from the English (“b”) subject area at their U.S. high school to fulfill the requirement.

For more information on how students with international or mixed records can satisfy the "a-g" subject requirements, please refer to the Quick Reference for Counselors [PDF] (pages 12 & 13).