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Freshman Requirements

General Requirements, by Subject Area

The following sequence of high school courses is required by the University of California of high school students to be minimally eligible for admission. It also illustrates the minimum level of academic preparation students we expected to achieve in high school to successfully prepare for university level work.

The A-G requirements can be summarized as follows:

A History / Social Science – Two years required, 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 – Four years of college preparatory English that includes frequent and regular writing, and reading of classic and modern literature.

C Mathematics – Three years of college preparatory mathematics that include the topics covered in elementary and advanced algebra and two- and three-dimensional geometry.

D Laboratory Science – Two years of laboratory science providing fundamental knowledge in at least two of these three disciplines: biology (which includes anatomy, physiology, marine biology, aquatic biology, etc.), chemistry, and physics.

E Language Other Than English – Two years of the same language other than English.

F Visual & Performing Arts – One year, including dance, drama/theater, music, or visual art.

G College Preparatory Elective – In addition to those courses required in “a-f” above, one year (two semesters) of college preparatory electives are required, chosen from advanced visual and performing arts, history, social science, English, advanced mathematics, laboratory science, and language other than English.

Applicants from California high schools: The courses taken to fulfill requirements must be certified by the University as meeting the requirements and must be included on the high school UC certified course list. Lists for all California high schools are available on the web (Click here).

UC/CSU Freshmen Eligibility Requirements

While University of California and California State high school course requirements for freshmen applicants are the same, there are some differences in other freshmen eligibility requirements between the two systems. Find out more information on the following web sites:

California State University – Admissions
University of California – Admissions

Examinations for College Bound Students: Listed below are some of the many standard tests offered to college bound students:

  • PSAT: Taken at the beginning of the junior year, the PSAT/NMSQT is offered once each year and is the pre-curser test to the SAT I. The results of the PSAT are diagnostic and used to determine National Merit Scholar standing as well as eligibility for a number of national scholarship awards. This exam is offered at Springs Charter Schools in October of each year. Students register through the guidance office and preference for spaces is given to juniors. Sophomores and freshmen may take the PSAT at the Springs for practice. There is a small fee.
  • SAT I & ACT: Both SAT I and ACT are national college admissions examinations that measure a student’s ability to do college level work. Colleges and Universities may require either test for admissions and many colleges will take the better score of the two exams. Students are allowed to take each test multiple times without penalty. Students are encouraged to begin taking these tests in the spring of their junior year. Check with the college or university of your choice to determine which exams you should take.

Practice Tests

Practicing for PSAT, SAT and ACT exams helps improve test scores. Two web sites that provide free practice exams are and Peterson’s Guide also provides practice tests for a small fee. The College Board web site allows individuals to sign up for the SAT Question of the Day providing excellent ongoing practice for all high school college bound students.

Fee Waivers

Fee waivers are available for all SAT and ACT tests and college applications for low income students. Look for more information on each application, test and college web sites or contact your Springs counselor for details.

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