Pathway to a Four Year College - UC/CSU
College Admissions: To be eligible for admission to a four-year university, students must meet subject requirements. These requirements represent the minimum academic standards for eligibility. Meeting the minimum eligibility requirement does not guarantee admission. Admission to the campus and program of choice often requires students to meet more demanding standards including high entrance examination test scores. All courses taken to satisfy college admission requirements must be completed with a semester grade of C or higher.
Subject Requirements (a-g): The subject requirements are divided into 7 different categories and the subjects have been labeled with a letter ranging from "a-g." The intent of the "a-g" subject requirements is to ensure that students can participate fully in the first year program at a university in a wide variety of fields of study. The requirements are written deliberately for the benefit of all students expecting to enter a university, and not for preparation for specific majors. The subject requirements are considered to be effective preparation, on many levels, for undergraduate work at a university. This pattern of study assures the university that the student has attained a body of general knowledge that will provide breadth and perspective to new, more advanced study. Fulfillment of the "a-g" pattern also demonstrates that the student has attained essential critical thinking and study skills.
- History/Social - 2 years required. Two years of college preparatory history/social science, including one year of world history; and one year of U.S. history or one-half year of U.S. history and one-half year of civics or American government.
- English - 4 years required. Four years of college preparatory English that includes frequent and regular writing, and reading. No more than one year of ESL type courses can be used to meet this requirement.
- Mathematics - 3 years required, 4 years recommended. Three years of college preparatory mathematics that include Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry.
- Laboratory Science - 2 years required, 3 years recommended. Two years of college preparatory laboratory science providing fundamental knowledge in at least two of these three foundational subjects: biology, chemistry or physics.
- Language Other than English - 2 years required, 3 years recommended. Two years of the same language other than English.
- Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) - 1 year required. A single year long approved arts course from a single VPA discipline: dance, drama/theater, music, or visual art.
- College Preparatory Electives - 1 year required. One year of any of the approved courses in the a - f list above or a course specifically approved for the "g' elective area.
UC/CSU: The University of California and California State University systems agreed to adopt the same pattern of academic courses required for freshman eligibility, enabling high school students to take the same courses prepare for admission to both institutions. Although in most instances, the CSU and UC have fully aligned their basic requirements for eligibility for admission, in some areas, CSU and UC will continue to have different admission practices. To view a grid differentiating the requirements view CSU - UC Comparison of Freshman Admission Requirements.
The subject courses students take must be certified as meeting the UC/CSU requirement and must be included on Thousand Oaks High School's UC certified course list. Follow this link to see the list of CA approved courses - UC Doorways
Grade Point Average: All campuses use the same method of calculating a preliminary grade point average for purposes of determining an applicant's UC/CSU eligibility. The grade point average calculation will include only those grades earned in the "a-g" subject courses taken during the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades of high school. Grades earned for courses completed in the ninth grade are not counted in the GPA - if the course was completed with a grade of C or better, however, it can be used to meet the subject requirement.
Honors Points: Both the UC and CSU will award honors points in calculating the GPA for up to eight semesters of UC approved honors level, IB, and AP courses taken in 11th and 12th grades. The University does not certify 9th or 10th grade level courses as honors courses because they do not meet the honors college requirements. Most students complete UC certified honors level work in grades 11 and 12, although some advanced students may be able to complete these courses as early as grade 10. The University limits the amount of UC certified honors credit student may receive for work completed in grade 10 to no more than four semesters.
D-F Grades: UC and CSU policy states that courses in which a student has earned a D or F grade cannot be used to satisfy the subject requirement. If a student has earned a D or F grade in a required subject, the deficiency may be satisfied by repeating the course. If the exact course in which a D or F grade was originally earned is repeated and a grade of C or higher is earned, the original D or F grade will NOT be included in the GPA calculation and the new grade will be used. Each course in which a grade of D or F has been received may be repeated only once.
SAT/ACT Tests: Freshman applicants must submit either the ACT Assessment plus Writing or the SAT Reasoning Test. As of 2012, the UC will no longer require the SAT Subject Tests. To read an article that compares the SAT and ACT click here: ACT vs. SAT Princeton Review Article.
College Admissions Evaluation Process: The elements in a student's profile that a college will evaluate in the selection procedure boil down to these things (listed in the order of their importance):
- The strength or rigor of the academic curriculum the student is taking.
- The grades the student earned in those courses.
- The scores on national tests like the SAT or ACT.
- The involvement in extracurricular activities (sports, clubs, church groups, work, and volunteer work.)
- Letters of recommendation from a counselor and teachers, where applicable.
- Well-managed application (strong essay, and demonstrated interest in college where applicable.)
The UC schools use a process called Comprehensive Review to evaluate applicants. Comprehensive review consists of more than a dozen academic factors that are considered in the evaluation process. Admission is offered to students who receive the highest rankings. To learn more about comprehensive review, follow this link: UC Comprehensive Review