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Academic Requirements

The University of California sets slightly different criteria for applicants who are not California residents. If you are an out-of-state applicant, you must meet the same admission requirements as a California resident student. However, there is one important difference: you must earn a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.4 or better in the 15 college-preparatory courses ("a-g" courses) with no grade lower than a C.*

*UC has temporarily suspended the letter grade requirement for A-G courses completed in spring 2020 for all students. A-G courses completed in spring 2020 with Pass (P) or Credit (CR) grades will satisfy appropriate A-G requirements.

UC's Required "a-g" Subject Areas

Course Content
Course Requirement
a. History or social science
Must include U.S. history and world history/cultures/geography
2 years required
b. College-preparatory English
College-preparatory composition or literature
4 years required

c. Mathematics
At minimum: elementary algebra, geometry and advanced algebra
3 years required, 4 years recommended

d. Laboratory science
Must include two of these three areas: biology, chemistry and physics
2 years required, 3 years recommended

e. Language other than English
Must have two years of the same language
2 years required, 3 years recommended

f. Visual/Performing Arts
One year-long course from: dance, drama/theater, music or visual art
1 year required from a single discipline

g. College-preparatory elective(s)
One year in addition to those required from "a-f" categories
1 year required

Note: For online coursework, please refer to the UC list of Approved Online Course Providers.

Additional Information

Some other distinctions that you should keep in mind as an out-of-state applicant:

  • There is no pre-approved course list for schools outside of California. Referring to the official "a-g" Course List (a database of UC-certified course lists in California schools) and/or the 15 college-preparatory course categories can provide guidance on the types of courses that have been UC-approved. Honors courses are calculated differently. In calculating an out-of-state student's GPA, UC will grant honors weight for AP or IB courses only, but not for school-designated honors courses. The weight is given to letter grades of A, B, or C.
  • Letters of recommendation are not required. Please do not submit them as part of your application. However, some campuses/majors may require letters of recommendation as part of a supplemental application review.
  • We require you to self-report your grades when filling out your application. UC does not require official transcripts to be sent with the application, however, you must refer to your transcript to ensure the information you enter is accurate. Send in a final, official transcript by July 1 if you are admitted.
  • As a public institution, we prioritize admission for California residents. However, all of our campuses offer admission to out-of-state students.

For more information about freshman out-of-state admissions, please refer to the University of California Out-of-State Application Guide.

Estimated Average Costs for California Nonresidents

For the most up-to-date cost information for out-of-state students, please use Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships Cost of Attendance Calculator.


For admission purposes, we ask questions about residency on the application. We use this information to make an initial determination of whether or not a student is a California resident or a nonresident student to assess admissions requirements.

Please keep in mind that this process is different than determining residency for the purposes of fees and tuition. Residency for fee and tuition purposes is determined by the campus’ Office of the Registrar after admission, based on documentation provided in admission application and/or additional documentation requested after admission. Please refer to the University of California website for more information on California Residency.