The intent of the “a-g” subject requirements is to ensure that students have attained a body of general knowledge that will provide breadth and perspective to new, more advanced study in state and competitive colleges (not required for community colleges).
Courses from California high schools and online schools used to satisfy the "a-g" subject requirements must be approved by UC and appear on the institution's "a-g" course list. These courses are to be academically challenging, involving substantial reading, writing, problems and laboratory work (as appropriate), and show serious attention to analytical thinking, factual content and developing students' oral and listening skills.
The subject requirements are:
- History/social science (“a”) – Two years, including one year of world history, cultures and historical geography and one year of U.S. history, or one-half year of U.S. history and one-half year of American government or civics.
- English (“b”) – Four years of college preparatory English that integrates reading of classic and modern literature, frequent and regular writing, and practice listening and speaking.
- Mathematics (“c”) –Three years of college-preparatory math, including or integrating the topics covered in elementary and advanced algebra and two- and three-dimensional geometry.
- Laboratory science (“d”) – Two years of laboratory science providing fundamental knowledge in at least two of the three disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
- Language other than English (“e”) – Two years of the same language other than English or equivalent to the second level of high school instruction.
- Visual and performing arts (“f”) – One year chosen from dance, music, theater or the visual arts.
- College-preparatory elective (“g”) – One year chosen from the “a-f” courses beyond those used to satisfy the requirements above, or courses that have been approved solely in the elective area.