Who is a freshman? A freshman applicant is currently in high
school or has graduated from high school but has not enrolled in a
regular (non-summer) session at a college or university. If you've
completed college courses during high school (through summer and
after graduation),you're still considered a freshman applicant.
Admission to the University of California is a two-step
Requirements: Students must meet the minimum
requirements the university has established to ensure incoming
students are prepared for university-level work.
Selection: When campuses receive applications from
more students than they can admit, as is most often the case, they
use factors that go beyond the minimum admission requirements to
select students. This process is called comprehensive review.
Freshman admission requirements
You are considered a freshman applicant if you are still in high
school or have graduated from high school but have not enrolled in
a regular session (i.e., a session other than summer) at any
college or university. The minimum requirements for freshman
admission include a subject requirement and an examination
The Subject Requirement specifies the 15 college-preparatory
courses you must complete in high school. These courses are also
known as the "a-g" subjects. At least 11 of the 15 required courses
must be completed prior to the senior year.
For students enrolled in high schools in California, the
courses you take to fulfill the Subject Requirement must be
certified by the University of California as meeting the
requirement and must be included on your school's
UC-certified course list.
More details about the
The Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement
The minimum GPA is 3.0 for California applicants and 3.40 for
Calculate your GPA by assigning point values to the grades you
earned in courses that fir the A-G subject requirements from the
summer after 9th grade through the summer after 10th grade totaling
the points and dividing the total by the number of "a-g" courses.
The university assigns grade points as follows: A=4 points, B=3
points, C=2 points, D=1 point and F=0 points (pluses and minuses
are not included).
Only the grades you earn in "a-g" courses in the 10th and 11th
grades - including summer sessions - are used to calculate your
preliminary GPA. Courses you took in 9th grade can be used to meet
the Subject Requirement if you earned a grade of C or better, but
they will not be included in your GPA for determining
Honors Courses: UC assigns extra points for up to eight
semesters of university-certified honors-level, Advanced Placement
(AP) courses and some International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, and
transferable college courses taken during high school: A=5 points,
B=4 points, C=3 points.
- No more than two yearlong UC-approved honors-level
courses taken in the 10th grade may be given extra
- A grade of D or F in an honors course does not earn an
The courses must be certified as honors courses by the
university and must be in the following "a-g" subjects:
history/social science, English, advanced mathematics, laboratory
science, language other than English and visual and performing
arts. In these subjects, as well as in computer science, acceptable
honors-level courses include Advanced Placement courses, designated
International Baccalaureate courses and college courses that are
transferable to the University of California. Acceptable honors courses
are listed on your school's UC-certified course list.
D and F Grades: If you have earned a D or F in an "a-g" course,
you must repeat the course with a grade of C or better. The
original D or F grade will not be included in the GPA calculation,
and the new grade will be used. If you repeat a course in which you
initially earned a grade of C or better, the second grade will not
The Examination Requirement specifies the college admissions
tests you must take.
To satisfy this requirement, submit scores from the following
- The ACT with writing, the old SAT, or SAT with Essay. The
scores you report for each section of the ACT or SAT must be from
the same sitting.
The Examination Requirement must be completed no later than
December of the senior year.
For the highest-achieving California applicants, there are two
paths to UC:
Statewide Path - Students rank in the top 9 percent of
California students according to the UC admissions index. The
formula used to determine if you are in this group uses a
combination of your GPA in the UC specific freshman required high
school subjects and test scores and is called the Admissions
Local Path (ELC) - Students are identified by the university at
the time of application as being in the top 9 percent of their
participating California high school's graduating class.
Because most campuses receive applications from more students
than they have space for, meeting the minimum requirements for any
of these paths may not be enough to gain admission to the campus of
your choice. Students who research and apply to several campuses
are more likely to be admitted to a campus they know they want to
Freshman admission requirements for students from other
countries (international students)
international students is available on the University of California