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Summer 2003
Getting In
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For California residents, there are three paths to meeting the UC’s basic entrance requirements for freshmen.

Most UC applicants follow the path known as Eligibility in the Statewide Context, which is satisfied by completing 15 units of high school coursework (one unit equals two semesters of study) in the “a-g” subjects — history/social science, English, mathematics, laboratory science, foreign language, visual and performing arts and college-preparatory electives; meeting a GPA requirement in those courses; and attaining qualifying scores on the SAT I or ACT and three SAT II exams.

In general, the lower one’s GPA in the a-g courses, the higher one’s test scores must be to ensure UC eligibility. For example, a GPA of 3.5 or higher would have to be accompanied by a combined score of 3120 on the SAT I and three SAT II exams, while a GPA of 2.8 (the lowest GPA that satisfies the scholarship requirement) would require total test scores of at least 4640. (A perfect score on the SAT I is 1600. The SAT II exams are each worth 800 points, and those scores are doubled.)

Another path is Eligibility in the Local Context. Via this path, the top 4 percent of students at each participating California high school are guaranteed admission to one of UC’s eight general campuses. Identification of the top 4 percent is based solely on GPA in required courses completed in grades 10 and 11.

Eligibility by Examination Alone is a third possible pathway to UC eligibility, requiring a minimum SAT score of 1400 on the SAT I or 31 on the ACT, plus a total score of 1760 on three SAT II exams.

Out-of-state applicants have a somewhat tougher road to UC eligibility. They must either attain a minimum 3.4 GPA in combination with qualifying test scores, or they must achieve the necessary test scores for Eligibility by Examination Alone.

— K.M.

Judy Lin-Eftekhar is a senior writer for UCLA Magazine. Karen Mack is an associate editor.


2005 The Regents of the University of California