Students know that they are supposed to take rigorous courses to prepare them for college, but they don't always know which ones to specifically choose. California has two public four-year college systems--the University of California (UC) system and the California State University (CSU) system. For entrance, both require students to complete with a grade of "C" or better 15 college-prep courses, known as the "a-g" subject requirements. While these requirements are most important for California students, many other state and private colleges recommend a similar--or more intensive--lineup of classes.
Here's the overview of A-G courses:
A. History/Social Science 2 years
B. English 4 years
C. Mathematics 3 years (Both UC and CSU recommend 4 years)
D. Laboratory Science 2 years (UC recommends 3 years)
E. Foreign Language 2 years (UC recommends 3 years)
F. Visual/Performing Arts 1 year
G. College Prep Elective 1 year
Is your student taking the courses necessary to meet the UC and CSU entrance requirements?
Ask your school counselor for help in selecting the courses that meet these requirements. Many schools name their classes differently, so it’s important to check with your counselor to be sure you are on track. If you are part of LAUSD, your official transcript will include a summary of what areas you’ve satisfied and what areas require additional course work.
Please be aware that the requirements to graduate from your high school may not coincide with the A-G requirements. This is why it’s essential to find out where you stand – especially prior to 10th and 11th grade when you will have a chance to make adjustments if necessary.
As mentioned above, this distribution of classes often coincides with what other colleges are looking for, but again, there can be some variations. When selecting private or other state schools, it’s essential to look at what the school’s academic entry requirements are to be sure you are meeting them. This can be especially important if you are planning on a major such as engineering, where the math and science requirements may be more demanding.