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UC Entrance Requirements

UC requirements are a good baseline for 4-year colleges in general and are nearly identical to CSU requirements. For a list of the approved courses that are offered at Palo Alto High School which fit the "a" through "g" categories, see the UC approved courses list.

High School Course Subject Requirements

"A" History/Social Science - 2 years required

Two years of history/social science, including one year of world history, cultures and geography; and one year of U.S. history or one-half year of U.S. history and one-half year of civics or American government.

"B" English - 4 years required

Four years of college preparatory English that include frequent and regular writing, and reading of classic and modern literature. Not more than two semesters of ninth-grade English can be used to meet this requirement.

"C" Mathematics - 3 years required, 4 year recommended

Three years of college preparatory mathematics that include the topics covered in elementary and advanced algebra and two- and three-dimensional geometry. Approved integrated math courses may be used to fulfill part or all of this requirement, as may math courses taken in the seventh and eighth grades that your high school accepts a equivalent to its own math courses.

"D" Laboratory Science - 2 years required, 3 years recommended

Two years of laboratory science providing fundamental knowledge in two of these three core disciplines: biology, chemistry and physics. The latter two years of an approved three-year integrated science program may be used to fulfill this requirement. Not more than one year of ninth-grade laboratory science can be used to meet this requirement.

"E" Language other than English - 2 years required, 3 years recommended

Two years of the same language other than English. Courses should emphasize speaking and understanding, and include instruction in grammar, vocabulary, reading, composition and culture. Courses in language other than English taken in the seventh and eighth grades may be used to fulfill part of this requirement if your high school accepts them as equivalent to its own courses.

"F" Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) - 1 year required

One year of visual and performing arts chosen from the following: dance, drama/theater, music or visual arts. Students must complete one full year in one area of visual or performing arts. For example, students cannot take one semester of Painting and Drawing (Visual Art) and another semester of Theater (Performing Art) and expect to fufill the requirement.

"G" College Preparatory Electives - 1 year required

One year (two semesters) of a subject in addition to those required in "a" through "f" above, chosen from the following areas: visual and performing arts (non-introductory level courses), history, social science, English, advanced mathematics, laboratory science, and language other than English (a third year in the language that is used for the "e" requirement, or two years of another language).


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