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California Public Universities

California Public Colleges/Universities include:

The UC and CSU systems generally have the same required courses (referred to as the a-g requirements, see SRHS Planning Guide) for admission. All courses must be taken with a grade of C or better.  Of the 15 units, 7 must be taken in the junior and senior years. To be a competitive applicant, rather than simply being eligible to apply, students should take additional science, language and math. For more detailed information regarding required courses:

 

 

AREA

REQUIRED

RECOMMENDED

REQUIRED

UNITS

A

History

World History P / H and

US History P / AP or

US Government 

 

2

B

English

4 years English, P / H / AP  

4

C

Math

3 years required

Algebra 1 P

Geometry P,

Advanced Algebra 2

4 years recommended

Pre-Calculus P / H

AP Calculus AB / BC

 

3

D

Science

2 years required 

1 year Biology Science

1 year Physical Science

 

  

3 years recommended 

Biology P / H / AP and

Chemistry P / H or 

Physics P / H / AP 

(Only CSU will accept

Physical/Earth Science for Admission)

2

E

Language Other than English

Two years required of the same language

3-4 years recommended 

Same language P / H / AP 

2

F

Visual And Performing Arts

A year long course in Fine Art, Drama or Music

 

1

G

Electives

Taken in any of the above areas.

Additional courses

recommended

1

     

TOTAL

15

Eligibility

In addition to taking required courses, students must also demonstrate academic preparation by their GPA and standardized test scores.  The UC and CSU requirements differ and students are advised to speak with their counselors or view the current information on the following websites.

Selectivity

Students who have taken the required courses and have proven to be eligible by virtue of their GPA, rigor of classes completed and standardized test scores, are no longer guaranteed admission to a UC or CSU campus.  Admission selection for UC and the more selective CSU campuses is based on a more comprehensive review which includes rigor of courses completed, essays, special talents and extracurricular activities.

Campus Variations

Students are advised to thoroughly research the campuses within the UC and CSU systems.  Campuses vary greatly in terms of size, culture, academic specialties, intensity and competitiveness.  Each campus has its own website and conducts frequent campus tours. To better guarantee admission to one of the campuses within each of these systems, they are advised to apply broadly. This means that you need to apply to 3-4 campuses with differing levels of competitiveness.

General Tips
  • Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (part of the CSU system), is the only campus that reviews the applicants by dept rather than the Admission's office so therefore students need to be more focused and state their major when applying. This is the only campus that has an early decision feature designed for those students that are clear about Cal Poly as their very first choice and are a strong candidate. They need to apply in Oct and if accepted, are obligated to attend.
  • File applications for CSU campuses in Oct-Nov, UC campuses in November.

Some campuses will accept applications after the Nov 30th priority deadline but applying late will greatly jeopordize your chances of acceptance