Es más importante que nunca que los estudiantes se gradúen con los conocimientos y habilidades necesarias para asistir a la Universidad. Pero, ¿qué quiere decir estar listo para la Universidad? Esa es la pregunta que analizaremos en estas series de artículos para padres.

En nuestra sociedad actual, la gran mayoría de los empleos que proveen un ingreso de clase media exigen un título universitario o algún tipo de grado post bachillerato. A mayor educación completada, mayores serán sus ingresos, y será menos probable que se encuentre desempleado.

Es por eso que es tan importante asegurarse de que todos los estudiantes estén preparados para ir a la Universidad. Para poder ser elegido para ingresar a una Universidad Pública, (ya sea la Universidad del Estado de California o a los sistemas de la Universidad de California), los alumnos deben completar una serie de requisitos de curso llamados de “A” a “G” (A-G). Los alumnos deben cursar y aprobar los requisitos de curso A-G – esto es, 15 clases específicas de bachillerato con una calificación de C o más.

Graduate holding her diplomaMany California high schools don’t require all students to take and pass A- G courses in order to graduate with a high school diploma. That means your child may be passing all their classes, but could be taking the wrong classes and turn out to not be eligible for a CSU or UC school. For example, pre-algebra in the 9th, grade would not be considered a college preparatory, A-G class.

Often schools don’t tell families when their children are off track until it’s too late to catch up within four years. It’s crucial for parents to make sure your child is taking and passing all A-G courses from the moment they get their first class schedule as a freshman, right through graduation.

What do parents and students need to know?

High school students must take and pass all A-G courses to be eligible for a California state university.

Students must take 15 specific classes and pass them with a grade of C or better. See the list of courses below.

A-G requirements are just the minimum bar.

Students should go beyond A-G to be truly ready and competitive for college.

It’s really important to keep in mind that these are minimum standards. To get into more competitive schools, students will want to go beyond what’s required:

  • Take more academic classes than required. University admissions departments generally recommend an additional year of math (ideally getting to the highest level of math—Calculus), laboratory science, and foreign language.
  • Take the most challenging classes available. Students should ask to be placed in honors or Advanced Placement (AP) classes. AP classes are considered college-level work and if a student passes the AP exam, he or she can receive college credit for the class.

Aim high and challenge yourself!

It’s hard to catch up later.

Sometimes students who don’t have strong grades are told to set their sights lower – take easier classes, then go to a community college and later transfer to a four-year school. That may sound easier now, but it’s harder in the long run.

Most students that go this route never complete their degrees. When they go to community college, they aren’t prepared for the work and instead have to take remedial math and English classes – costing them extra time and money.

Students rise to a challenge. Recent studies have found that when students with weaker grades go directly to a four-year university, they are a lot more likely to graduate than students with similar academics who go to a community college.

Even if you plan to go to community college, you should still be taking A-G classes.

What classes does my child need to take to be eligible for a California state university?

Students must pass all 15 of the A-G courses with a grade of C or better and maintain a grade point average of at least a C (or at some schools a 3.0, which is roughly equivalent).

Course # of Years
A History/social science One year of world history, cultures and historical geography and two semesters of U.S. history, or one semester of U.S. history and one semester of American government or civics.
B English Four years of college preparatory English that integrates reading of classic and modern literature, frequent and regular writing, and practice listening and speaking.
C Mathematics Three years of college-preparatory mathematics including or integrating topics covered in:§  Elementary algebra§  Advanced algebra§  Two- and three-dimensional geometry


Also acceptable are courses that address the above content areas, and include or integrate:

§  Trigonometry

§  Statistics

D Laboratory science Two years, providing fundamental knowledge in two of the following disciplines:§  Biology§  Chemistry§  Physics
E Language other than English Two years of the same non-English language 
F Visual and performing arts One year chosen from dance, drama/theater, music or visual art.
G College-preparatory elective One year of§  An additional approved “a-f” course beyond the minimum required for that subject area, or of a course that; or§  A course that combines any of the “a-f” subject areas in an interdisciplinary fashion


What should I do to support my child to graduate ready and eligible for college?

  • Ask your school if all students are required to take A-G classes, and what are their specific plans to make sure your child is eligible for a four-year university.
  • Ask for your child to take most challenging classes available – honors and AP courses.
  • If your child falls behind because they didn’t pass a class, ask your school what their plan is to make sure your child has finished all the A-G requirements by the time they graduate.

Top Resources to Learn More

Search your school’s name to see the list of classes offered that meet A-G requirements.

A-G Planning Chart (Spanish)