UC/CSU 'a-g' Requirements


At Woodcreek High School, we believe that while not all students attend college, our goal should be to ensure that all students have as many options as possible when it's time to make choices about where to go after high school. Completing a course sequence for college readiness helps to provide those options. The course requirements for the UC and CSU systems are consistent with the requirements of the vast majority of colleges in the country, so we use them as our point of reference. They are referred to as the UC/CSU 'a-g' requirements (see the table below for the specific requirements). When we talk about a student meeting 'a-g' requirements, we mean they have taken the courses required in each subject area and have earned C's or above in these courses. This standard exceeds state and district graduation requirements, but we know from a great deal of research that students who meet 'a-g' requirements are better prepared for almost any type of post-secondary education than students who meet only the minimum graduation requirements.

A Note About 'D' Grades

A grade of 'D' indicates that a student did not reach a high enough level on tests and other assessments to be considered proficient in the subject area. Woodcreek no longer issues D's in English courses, and we are moving that direction in other subject areas as well. In math and foreign language classes, students must earn a C to move to the next level. Although a D is considered a passing grade for minimum graduation requirements, post-secondary institutions do not recognize a D as passing, and we believe a D indicates that the student needs to be remediated in the course. When a student earns a D in an "a-g" required course, our counselors will automatically re-enroll the student in that portion of the course. This can be frustrating to students who have technically earned the credits and want to move on, but we believe it is the right thing to do to support student learning as well as to ensure the student's preparation for success beyond high school. 

Of course, we hope to avoid having students earn D's and F's in the first place, so if you see your child slipping in a class, please contact the teacher and then the counselor, and we will work with you to get your student the help he/she needs.

"I don't need to meet 'a-g' requirements. I'm just going to Sierra."

It is true that community colleges do not have admissions requirements like four-year universities do. But when students enter community college without having completed college-entrance requirements with C's and above, they find themselves taking high-school-level courses for the first year or two. This significantly decreases their chances of completing their community college work and transferring to a four-year university. We are supportive of students attending community college, but we want them to be ready to take and succeed in college-level courses when they get there.
Additional information is available from the University Office of the President Doorways site.


# of

Notes About Meeting the Requirement

a - History/Social Science2

One year World History, cultures and geography
One year US History

b - English 4 
c - Mathematics34 years recommended
Courses must be Algebra 1 and above
Courses taken in middle school (Algebra 1 and Geometry)
     can be counted
d - Laboratory Science23 years recommended
Two years chosen from Biology, Chemistry or Physics
e - Language Other Than English


3 years recommended
f - Visual and Performing Arts1One year from Dance, Drama/Theatre, Music or Visual Art
g - College-preparatory Elective1

Course needs to be designed for 11th or 12th grade
Two options for completing this requirement:
1.  take 'a-f' course that exceeds minimum requirement for that area and has a pre- or co-requisite.
2.  take a course specifically approved for 'g'.