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College Admission Requirements - CalEdFacts

This content is part of California Department of Education's information and media guide about education in the State of California. For similar information on other topics, visit the full CalEdFacts.

College Admission Requirements

Students planning to apply to a four-year California public university are required to complete course work that exceeds the state-mandated requirements for high school graduation.

High school students applying to a campus of the California State University (CSU) system or the University of California (UC) must complete four years of college-preparatory English; three years of mathematics, including algebra, geometry, and intermediate algebra; two years of history–social science; two years of laboratory sciences; two years of the same foreign language; one year of visual and performing arts; and one year of academic electives.

For information about the specific courses approved for admission by the CSU and the UC, review the admissions requirements for each system on the California Colleges Web site. External link opens in new window or tab. The site also has extensive resources on planning for college and careers.

Information regarding how to plan for and apply to the CSU system is located on the CSU Mentor Web site. External link opens in new window or tab.

The UC recommends that students applying for freshman admission complete three additional years of advanced study: one each in mathematics, science, and foreign language. The list of courses at each California high school, certified by the UC system as meeting its freshman admission course requirements, is located on the UC Web site. External link opens in new window or tab.

California community colleges are required to admit any California resident possessing a high school diploma or equivalent. California community colleges may admit any nonresident possessing a high school diploma or equivalent or any person over the age of 18 who, in the judgment of the board, is capable of profiting from the instruction offered.

Community colleges may admit minors who do not hold high school diplomas, or equivalent, to its credit courses as special part-time or special full-time students. Most community colleges have established requirements for K–12th grade concurrently enrolled students.

To learn about admission to California Community Colleges (CCC), visit the CCCApply Web site. External link opens in new window or tab.

Additional information is available on the CDE Graduation Requirements Web page.

Questions:   College Preparation and Postsecondary Programs Office | 916-323-6398
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