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Admission Requirements: UC and CSU


California has an extensive system of public universities within its borders. The University of California  has 10 campuses throughout the state and as mandated by the California Master Plan for Higher Education, they admit the top 12.5% of high school graduates. The California State Universities are 23 campuses strong and admit the top one-third of high school graduates. Below are the factors considered for admission.

Minimum Subject Requirements: 
*All courses from a-g list
Minimum grade of "C" earned in all a-g college prep courses
UC: 11 of the required15 a-g (college prep) courses must be completed by end of junior year 
UC: Minimum weighted GPA in a-g (college prep) classes from 10th and 11th grade: 3.0.









Social Science

(US, World History, Government)

2 years  
(b) English 4 years  
(c) Math (Algebra 1, Geometry,Algebra 2)

3 years

(CSU recommends a 4th year of CP Math)

4 years

(Precalculus, Statistics)


Lab Science (UC: Biology, Chemistry;

CSU: Biological, Physical)

2 years 3 years
(e) Language other than English^ Level 2 Level 3
(f) Visual and Performing Arts 1 year  
(g) College Prep Elective 1 year  


*Check the UC website for UC and CSU approved a-g courses for our school by selecting "a-g Lists" and typing in "Washington High School" at Also lists which courses receive Honors/AP credit (weighted GPA) and which subject category each course fulfills. (A maximum of 8 semesters can receive extra weight in the GPA.) A list of current Washington High School courses is available under the "Graduation Requirements" page.

Higher GPA, higher level coursework (i.e., Advanced Placement, Honors and/or higher level classes) and higher test scores (SAT, ACT) increase odds of acceptance at more competitive/impacted campuses.

^Language Other Than English (LOTE): Colleges recognize the last year of World Language student has taken with satisfactory grades as the number of years completed. I.e., student takes Spanish 1 in junior high and Spanish 2 and 3 in high school. UC/CSU would count 3 years as completed. If student is a native speaker and begins in higher level like Spanish 3, UC/CSU would count 3 years as completed.

UC and CSU Admission Comparison Chart: 
Freshman Admission: CSU/UC Comparison

College Options Comparison:
College Options Comparison: California 


California State University:
University of California:

Tests Required for Admission:

  • CSU: SAT or ACT
  • UC: SAT or ACT with Writing 
    SAT Subject Tests may be submitted for consideration just as AP scores are.
  • Websites:

UC Admissions Calculator:

This is a valuable tool that you can use to determine if you are on the path to gaining admission to the University of California. Follow the directions on this link to see where you stand while you continue to complete the college prep requirements and have taken the SAT or ACT. The top 9% of California students who have met the minimum course requirements and have taken the SAT/ACT are guaranteed admission into at least one UC campus, although it may not be the campus the student has chosen.

CSU Admissions Calculator:

Follow the directions on computing your college prep GPA on the CSU link, or compute using the interactive tool at left on orange ribbon titled "Calculating Weighted College Prep GPA." The CSU Admissions Calculator will tell you what your eligibility is:

Additional Elements for UC application:

  • Personal essay
  • Inclusion of awards and achievements, school and community activities while in high school
  • NOTE: CSU and UC do not accept letters of recommendation 

Admission by Examination:

Another option for satisfying  one or all of the UC/CSU a-g Subject Requirements is through examination alone.  Students who meet certain minimum scores as defined by UC on the SAT, SAT Subject Tests and/or Advanced Placement (or International Baccalaureate) tests can satisfy subject requirements. These scoring standards are available from your counselor or on the UC website.

Application Process:

Application Due Date:  NOVEMBER 30. CSU online application access begins October 1 and UC begins November 1. Students apply to CSU and UC online and should begin their application soon after the application period opens and finish well  in advance of the due date to ensure access on the web. The application can be completed in multiple time periods and progress can be saved. Download a hard copy of completed application for your records.  SAT or ACT must be taken no later than December and for some colleges earlier; check with individual college. SAT or ACT must be completed no later than October for early decision/action applications.


College Admissions Stress:

Don't overlook the pressures you are dealing with and how to take a more balanced approach toward doing your best while making time for activities you enjoy, time with friends and family, relaxation and sleep!
UC Tuition/fees and on campus living cost estimates:
CSU Tuition/fees and on campus living cost estimates: