Pacifica High School College Information

What is “a-g?"

"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. " University of California Admissions

At each grade level, there are courses that you will need to pass with a grade of C- or better to attend a CSU. Your high school "a-g" courses refer to classes that fall into subject areas labeled "a" through "g". For example, area “a” is History, area “b” is English, and so on. Particular courses in each subject area are required if you wish to apply to a CSU.

Here is a quick overview of the “a-g” subject requirements for CSU: 

  • Area “a” History/Social Science: 2 years required. 
  • Area “b” English: 4 years required. 
  • Area “c” Mathematics: 3 years required, 4 years recommended.
  • Area “d” Laboratory Science: 2 years required, 3 years recommended. 
  • Area “e” Language other than English (LOTE): 2 years required, 3 years recommended. 
  • Area “f” Visual and Performing Arts (VPA): 1 year required. 
  • Area “g” College Preparatory Electives: 1 year required.

Official A-G High School Articulation Course List

For more details about the “a-g” requirements, see this chart
Be sure to review the “a-g” requirements with your counselor often to stay on track. 

Certain Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses may be used to meet these subject area requirements; ask your counselor for a list of approved CTE courses. Also, certain classes completed in 7th or 8th grade may be used to satisfy "c" (math) and "e" (language other than English) requirements. 

If you earned a D or F in an “a-g” course, you may repeat it as many times as needed to earn a C- or better. Alternatively, you can meet the requirements for some courses through validation, which means that you earn a C- or better in a higher-level course than the one in which you earned a D or F.  Talk to your counselor about the options available to you.  

All CSU campuses will require you to submit your final high school transcript to verify course grades and completion. While the minimum coursework above is the requirement for CSU admission, pursuing coursework beyond the minimum can help you gain more knowledge and skills that better prepare you for college.  For example, many first-time freshmen enrolled in a CSU complete four years of math.

To qualify for CSU as an incoming freshman:

  • Earn a high school diploma or the equivalent.
  • Complete your “a-g” subject requirements with a grade of C- or better.
  • Earn a minimum GPA of 2.0 in all “a-g” coursework.
  • Submit SAT or ACT test scores.
  • Have a qualifiable eligibility index (combination of Grade Point Average (GPA) and official SAT/ACT scores).
  • Consider the major to which you will apply. Some campuses and undergraduate programs are impacted. To learn more about the majors and campuses impacted for the 2019-2020 academic year, click here.

To view CSU admission requirements for freshmen, click here.

Transfer Students to CSU

If you would like to apply to the CSU as a transfer student, learn more about Transferring Schools

Use this helpful website to see if credits from colleges will transfer:

Advanced Placement (AP)

Advanced Placement (AP) standardized exams are designed to measure how well a student has mastered the content and skills of AP courses. A student must score three or higher on the AP exams to earn college credit. Each campus in the CSU system determines how it will apply external examinations toward credit in the major. For students not already certified in GE (​​General Education) and/or ​​American Institutions, the campus also determines how to apply credit from such exams toward the local degree requirement.​​

Click here for more college AP information

CSU- UC Comparison of Minimum Freshman Admission Requirements

Click here to see the comparison chart.