First Year Student Requirements

Who is considered a Non-resident First Year Student Applicant?

You don’t live in California, nor is your permanent residence in California:

  • You are completing high school with very good grades and are on track to earn your high school diploma.


  • You have already been graduated from high school AND you have not enrolled in a regular session at any college or university after high school graduation.

To be successful in the application process, you must complete required examinations by December of your senior year and complete a rigorous program of college prep courses as described below.  Be sure you are careful to complete all parts of the application, including the personal statement, academic self-reported information, extracurricular activities and all other pertinent sections of the application.

Admission Requirements

Required Examination: You are expected to complete these exams as early as possible, but no later than December of your senior year.

Either the ACT plus Writing Test OR SAT Reasoning Test

All UC campuses share the application for admission to the University of California. If you have your official test results sent to one campus, it would be available to all campuses to which you applied.

Optional Examinations:
The SAT Subject Tests are not required.  However, you are welcome to submit scores if you would like to:

  • Use Subject Tests to satisfy “a-g” subject requirements.
  • Show your mastery of a particular subject or set of subjects. 

“a-g” Courses You Must Complete:
Complete a minimum of 15 required college-preparatory courses, with at least 11 finished prior to the beginning of your senior year.  These courses must be completed with grades of C or better.

a. History/Social Science – 2 YEARS REQUIRED
History/social science, including one year of world history, cultures and geography; and one year of U.S. history or half a year of U.S. history and half a year of civics or American government.

b. English – 4 YEARS REQUIRED
College-preparatory English that include frequent and regular writing, and reading of classic and modern literature.  

At minimum: Mathematics courses that include the topics covered in elementary and advanced algebra and two- and three-dimensional geometry.

At minimum: Laboratory science in at least two of these three foundational subjects: biology, chemistry and physics.  

e. Language Other than English – 2 YEARS REQUIRED, 3 YEARS RECOMMENDED
At minimum: 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.

f. Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) – 1 YEAR REQUIRED
A yearlong arts course from a single VPA discipline: dance, drama/theater, music or visual art.

g. College-Preparatory Electives – 1 YEAR REQUIRED
Approved electives include advanced or additional courses chosen from the subjects listed above or another course approved by the university, (i.e., economics, physical science, psychology, and sociology).

Calculating Your Grade Point Average: 
The grade point average used to determine admission decisions is computed on grades earned in your “a-g” courses from the summer following 9th grade through the summer before 12th grade.  Your grade point average should be approximately 3.4.

Other Factors We Consider - In our application review process we use all the information listed above on this page and additional factors.
See additional factors considered.