“A-G” Requirements

What are the “a‐g” requirements?

The abbreviation “a‐g” refers to the 15 high school courses students must complete to satisfy the subject requirement for admission to the University of California and California State University.  To be eligible, students must complete each course with a grade of C or better — and at least seven of the 15 must be taken in the last two years of high school. Learn more here.

Will a student who earns a “D” in a course fail to graduate from high school?

While students are encouraged to pursue the highest grade possible in every class, a grade of “D” is considered passing for graduation purposes. Students with “D” grades in core subjects, however, are rarely considered for admission to UC/CSU, and are encouraged to retake the course to earn a higher grade. Additionally, “D” grades lower students’ grade point average (GPA), and could put them in danger of not meeting the minimum 2.0 GPA.

If a student plans to go directly to work after graduation, why does s/he have to complete the “a‐g” requirements for college admission?

All graduates must be prepared for success in life after high school – to enter college AND to enter the workforce. The skills needed to complete the “a‐g” requirements will ensure our students are competitive as they enter the workforce. Additionally, it provides all students with the option to pursue a college education later in life.

If a student is fluent in a language other than English, can s/he receive World Language credit for this?

Any student who can demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English can receive up to two years of credit in World Language. All bilingual students are encouraged to attempt the proficiency exam.

Will students enrolled in programs for exceptional children (special education) have to complete all of the requirements for the OUSD diploma, including the “a‐g” course sequence?

Students who receive special education services may have adjustments made to their graduation requirements, per their Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 Plan. These adjustments will be made by the students’ IEP/504 team.

Will a student enrolled in special education courses who is unable to meet the ‘a‐g’ requirements still earn a diploma?

Using California state minimum graduation requirements as a guide, students’ graduation requirements will be determined by the IEP/Section 504 team. Depending on the courses completed, this student may earn a diploma or a Certificate of Achievement/Completion. (See Education Code 56390).

Foster youth sometimes transfer between several schools and districts during high school. Will foster youth be required to complete the full “a‐g” course sequence, along with all the remaining credit requirements in order to earn an OUSD diploma?

California state law provides an exception for high school graduation requirement foster district within a reasonable time frame (by the end of their 4 year of high school). Foster youth in these circumstances must complete at least the minimum requirements for graduation set by the State of California. This includes:

  • three courses in English,
  • two courses in mathematics (including Algebra 1),
  • two courses in science (including a biological and a physical science),
  • three courses in social studies (including world history, US history, and American government/economics),
  • one course in either visual/performing arts or world language, and
  • two courses in physical education (unless otherwise exempted).

Foster youth must also pass the ELA. (See Education Code 51225.3 or AB167).

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