Revisions to the UC honors course policy

To improve the criteria and review process for honors “a-g” courses, UC faculty approved the following honors policy revisions, which will go into effect with the opening of the 2015-16 “a-g” course submission cycle on February 1, 2015.

  • The first change has to do with the number of homegrown (i.e. school-created) honors courses a school may have approved for UC-designated honors in any given “a-g” subject area.  Right now the maximum is 2 courses.  For the upcoming “a-g” course submission cycle, there will be no limit.  This change allows high schools the flexibility to offer the college-prep curriculum that is best for your students.  In addition, it expands the potential range of school-created honors “a-g” courses that carry extra weight when calculating a student’s UC GPA.
  • Second, UC will allow any qualified school-created high school honors course to be eligible for UC honors designation, including courses categorized in the college-preparatory elective (“g”) area.
  • Under the revised policy, all UC-approved school-created honors courses must still have a non-honors equivalent, but the non-honors course does not need to be offered simultaneously.  The non-honors equivalent is required to be offered at the same frequency, in the same subject area, and at the same targeted grade level.
  • Finally, the policy revisions will allow qualified school-created honors courses geared toward the 10th grade level to be eligible for UC honors approval.

These policy revisions speak to the types of “a-g” courses that are eligible for extra honors weight, which has bearing on the UC GPA calculations.  To encourage students to pursue more challenging coursework while in high school, UC assigns extra weight to grades earned in up to four years (or eight semesters) of UC-designated honors courses. There is no change to UC policy on limitations of the number of UC honors courses that carry extra weight when calculating the UC GPA.

UC’s support of Common Core

The “a-g” course criteria and the goals of the “a-g” subject requirements for freshman admission to UC are consistent with the goals underlying California’s Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Over the past 18 months, UC’s Academic Senate and the UC Office of the President (UCOP) have engaged in several initiatives to bolster statewide Common Core implementation efforts.  For details, please refer to the July 2014 UCOP briefing [PDF] that summarizes how UC faculty and UCOP Articulation support CCSS.

Save the Date: UC Articulation Conferences

Save the date for the NEW UC Articulation Conferences (UCAC) coming in October 2014. These conferences are designed for high school administrators, curriculum coordinators, and teachers to learn about the "a-g" course submission process, High School Articulation policies and the new A-G Course Management Portal (A-G CMP).

Dates and locations for UCAC 2014: Navigating Change are:

  • October 15: UC Riverside
  • October 16: UC Irvine
  • October 21: UC Berkeley
  • October 27: UC Davis

Program and registration information is available here.

A-G & Common Core Math

UC is working together with California high schools with the transition and implementation of California's Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The High School Articulation staff reviews high school courses against the “a-g” course criteria determined by UC faculty. Those criteria and the goals of the “a-g” subject requirements are consistent with the goals underlying the Common Core State Standards. During this transition, please refer to our FAQs [PDF] that address many of the concerns and questions regarding the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and the "a-g" subject requirements, specifically in the area of mathematics.

Big changes for 2015-16!

The University of California is launching a new “a-g” course database system in February 2015 that aims to make life easier for K-12 teachers, counselors, curriculum developers, and administrators. The design of the new A-G Course Management Portal, or A-G CMP, is underway and is part of the UC High School Articulation unit’s initiative to improve the overall “a-g” course submission and review process. Major highlights and updates to our progress will be shared as often as possible, so please continue to check back for further updates.

Course evaluation and resubmission changes for the 2014-15 submission cycle 

The High School Articulation unit will continue to implement a phased timeline to improve the overall “a-g” course review process. All new course submissions, resubmissions and course list revisions must be submitted to UC via the Online Update website by Monday, September 15, 2014 at midnight PST.

The course submission cycle will be divided into the following three distinct phases – please note changes to the phase and resubmission deadlines:

Submission Timeline

Course not approved after the September 15 deadline must be resubmitted as new courses using the “New Course” section during the next update cycle opening in February 2015.

UC accepting online lab science courses without labs from publishers

Online course publishers offering online laboratory science courses without a standardized, on-site, wet lab component can submit their courses to UC for "a-g" review. UC will provisionally approve the online laboratory science courses. Final "a-g" approval will be awarded per institution based on the on-site, wet laboratory activities the individual school, district or program has developed to supplement the online curriculum they purchased or licensed from the publisher. High schools, districts and programs will be prompted to include descriptions of the required labs when submitting their previously approved course submission to add the publisher's laboratory science course to their "a-g" course list. 

New policy for online "a-g" coursework 

As of May 2012, UC Faculty approved a revised version of the University’s online course policy. Online courses already approved by UC and offered by online providers and online schools will remain valid for “a-g” purposes through the end of the 2013-14 academic year. Effective for the 2013-14 year, all online courses offered by an online course publisher or online school will be required to undergo the review process outlined in the new online policy. Beginning with the 2014-15 year, non-online high schools and programs offering non-commercial, teacher-created online courses will be required to comply with the new online policy and review process. The principal certification process for online courses will no longer be acceptable beginning with the 2013-14 academic year.

Clarification of the mathematics subject requirement

All students applying to UC for admission in fall 2015 must complete a Geometry course or an appropriate integrated sequence with a grade of C or better in order to satisfy the math ("c") subject requirement. Appropriate, higher-level courses will continue to validate a D or F grade earned in Geometry. Math courses completed in the seventh and eighth grades with a grade of C or higher can be used toward fulfilling this requirement. Students are not required by UC to repeat these college-preparatory math courses once they have entered high school. Students are required to list these math courses in the “Seventh/Eighth Grade Course” section on the UC application. A middle school transcript is not required. It is preferable that seventh- and eighth-grade college-preparatory math courses be listed on the high school transcript, however, this is not a requirement.

Community college “a-g” course lists now available

UC now houses “a-g” course lists for the 112 California community colleges. These course lists can be used to identify the community college courses that can be used to satisfy the “a-g” subject requirements. These course lists are works in progress, and will be continuously updated and expanded as course offerings change and as courses not yet included are reviewed. This work is made possible with financial support from the California Department of Education.

Community college course offerings change from semester to semester and year to year, so please refer to the college’s current catalog for the most accurate information.