Register for an A-G List

Schools

School A-G course list registration

Schools can register for an A-G course list anytime during the year. If you register when the course submission period is closed, you will need to wait until the next course submission period opens on February 1 to begin submitting courses.

Any public or private California high school may establish an A-G course list if they are accredited (or a candidate for accreditation) and a diploma-granting institution. Non-California high schools are not eligible to establish A-G course lists with the exception of online schools that serve California students.

Before completing the registration form, schools should be ready to provide:

  • A school code from The College Board
  • Proof of accreditation (official letter or certificate) as a high school from one of the UC-recognized regional accrediting agencies
  • County-District-School (CDS) code
Accreditation

In December 2002, the Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS) approved a policy that requires all public and private schools to be accredited in order to establish and maintain an A-G course list.

The University requires accreditation because this process (1) ensures effective quality control of college-preparatory work at high schools, and (2) offers the choice for schools to affiliate with an accrediting agency that assures quality and responsiveness to local needs.

Six regional agencies perform high school accreditation on behalf of prospective students and their high schools. UC does not approve or recommend specific regional accreditation agencies and nothing in UC policy or practice should be interpreted as limiting the accreditation of high schools to a single regional accrediting agency. This UC policy is consistent with relevant state law and with the goals of the BOARS committee.

The six regional accreditation agencies are:

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and School Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI)
  • Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC)

Course list managers can update school’s accreditation on the A-G Course Management Portal.

Online schools

In addition to meeting the requirements for all school types, online schools need to complete a self-assessment, included in the new school registration form, to ensure the school operates according to the National Standards for Quality Online Programs.

Charter schools

UC uses two labels to distinguish charter schools based on the relationship of the charter to the district:

  • Dependent - charter schools that have been created and funded by the district board and are considered an integral part of the district’s schools
  • Independent - typically those charter schools that are formed and directly funded by parents, teachers, community members or charter school networks
Non-classroom based/independent study schools

Non-classroom based/independent study schools are public, charter, or private high school in which at least half of the students receive 80 percent of their instruction off campus. Schools that provide all or most of their courses through Internet-based methods, with time and/or distance separating the teacher and student will instead abide by UC’s online school policy.

Non-classroom based/independent study schools are expected to meet the following criteria to maintain an A-G course list and offer A-G approved coursework:

  • Students are expected to spend at least one hour per week per A-G course engaged in interactive instruction and/or academic tutoring/advising.
  • Students are expected to have regular access (i.e., at least weekly) to a teacher who is a subject expert teacher* in that subject area.
  • Students taking an approved A-G course should receive prompt responses to inquiries.
  • Students should be assessed to ensure mastery of the content standards. Acceptable assessments include, but are not limited to, tests, essays, projects, research papers, presentations and exams. All courses must require a final exam or a significant final project.
  • Major assessments (i.e., unit tests, final exams) shall be proctored by a qualified professional (e.g., a school teacher, administrator, or counselor).
  • Student work shall be evaluated by an impartial professional who has been actively involved in the student’s learning process.

* A subject expert teacher is defined as an instructor who has taught in a particular subject area for at least three years at the high school or postsecondary level OR has a teaching credential and a bachelor’s or advanced degree in the subject area OR has been certified as a Highly Qualified Teacher under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Online Course Publishers

As of April 2019, the University of California has an updated online course publisher policy that supports quality online A-G courses through shared oversight.

  • Visit the Announcements page for the implementation timeline.
  • Visit the FAQs page for answers to specific questions about the updated policy.
  • Visit the Online courses page for details on certifying and self-reporting online publisher courses.
Online course publisher directory & registration criteria

Online course publishers can now register to be included in UC's publicly available directory that serves as a statewide resource to California high schools seeking online courses to fulfill A-G subject requirements for University admissions.

Online course publishers are eligible to register for the directory if they meet at least #1 through #4 of the following criteria:

  1. Author their own curriculum;
  2. Rely on the student’s home high school to report the completed online course (grades and credits earned) on the student’s official high school transcript;
  3. Submit documentation (e.g., letter of intent, purchase agreement) that public high schools in at least two California school districts (or at least two private high schools) have committed to using the online publisher’s courses for their students’ college preparation (i.e., to fulfill A-G subject requirements); and
  4. Agree to maintain at least two years of data on California high school course enrollments for UC audit purposes.
  5. Only for publishers offering instructors with their online courses: Online course publishers that also employ instructors must earn accreditation as a supplementary education center/program from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
Annual online A-G course verification

UC will conduct a random review of self-reported online publisher courses during the annual A-G course submission period.

  • Online course publishers that authored the randomly identified courses will submit course descriptions via the A-G Course Management Portal (CMP) to be reviewed using existing A-G course review procedures and A-G course criteria.
  • Courses that do not align with the A-G course criteria will be removed from high schools’ A-G course lists for the upcoming academic year, and online course publishers and high schools will be notified. Reasons for removal will be shared for recalibration of principal certification processes, and opportunities for A-G training will be offered, as needed.
  • Online course publishers whose college-prep courses are found more than once to not align with A-G course criteria will be removed from UC’s directory of registered online course publishers. Such publishers will need to have the specific course(s) in question certified by Quality Matters before they may register again to re-join UC’s directory.
UC-endorsed online courses from K-12-focused publishers

If an online course publisher independently seeks and earns Quality Matters (QM) certification for their courses:

  • The registered online course publisher will be spotlighted in UC’s public directory.
  • The online course publisher’s QM-certified courses will be exempt from UC’s annual online A-G course verification process.

UC/CSU Extended Learning Programs

What is a UC/CSU extended learning program?

UC/CSU extended learning programs (ELPs) serve high school students and offer college-preparatory courses that fulfill the A-G subject requirements for University admission. Such programs are affiliated with the University of California or California State University and be housed on/by a UC/CSU campus, research center, or system office.

Extended learning program requirements

To qualify for an A-G reference list, an extended learning program must meet all of the below criteria:

  1. Be a regionally accredited supplemental education center/program that is affiliated of the University of California or California State University. As such, the program must be housed on/by a UC/CSU campus, research center, or system office.
  2. Have as an organizational goal: to better prepare students for university through rigorous high school curriculum.
  3. Offer high school-level curriculum that is taught by qualified instructors (i.e., credentialed teachers, certified professionals, UC- or CSU-employed instructors or faculty).
  4. Describe a plan for professional development and/or training for course instructors to adequately prepare them to teach the curriculum.
  5. Issue letter grades for completed coursework and provide official transcripts/reports cards of credits granted and grades earned.
  6. Have in place a program evaluation process to monitor program/course quality and, as requested, provide program evaluation process and results to UC.
A-G course list registration

Eligible UC/CSU programs can register for an A-G course list anytime during the year. If you register when the course submission period is closed, you will need to wait until the next course submission period opens on February 1 to begin submitting courses.

Before completing the registration form, programs should be ready to provide:

  • Basic demographic information
  • Proof of accreditation (official letter or certificate) as a supplemental education center/program from one of the UC-recognized regional accrediting agencies
  • Information about:
    • The program's goals
    • Criteria for student participation in your program
    • Criteria for your instructors
    • Plan for professional development for your instructors
    • How you issue grades and credits
    • How you evaluate and monitor the quality of courses
Maintaining a UC/CSU extended learning program A-G course list

To maintain an A-G course list, ELPs must:

  • Maintain at least one UC-approved A-G course on their A-G course list.
  • Undergo program review and re-certification by UC every 3 years.
  • Sign an agreement indicating that all of the eligibility criteria will continue to be met.
  • Maintain updated accreditation status.

School Networks

What is a school network?

A school network is a group of high schools under a governing organization that oversees the development and implementation of their schools' curriculum. A network functions similarly to a school district and allows for a more efficient approach to course list management.

Districts and school networks can have centralized or joint management. Visit the District and school network reference list management page for information on the the management types and managing district and school network reference lists.

School network registration

School networks can register January 1 - January 31. To register as a school network an organization must meet all of the below criteria:

  1. Have at least two schools within the school network that currently have active A-G course lists in the A-G Course Management Portal (A-G CMP).
  2. If establishing a charter school network, each charter school must be an independent charter in order to be included in the network.

Programs

What is a program?

Programs are eligible to register for an A-G reference list if they:

  • Develop their own curriculum/courses
  • Sell or license their curriculum to be taught by a teacher or administrator within the local high school/district
  • Provide curriculum resources and professional development opportunities to schools that adopt their courses
  • Have agreements with at least two California high school districts to offer the program’s standardized curriculum
A-G reference list registration

Eligible programs can register for an A-G reference list January 1 - May 31. This registration period ensures new programs have sufficient time to populate their reference list so schools, districts, and school networks can adopt any of those courses onto their A-G course lists before the UC application for admissions opens on August 1.

Before completing the registration form, programs should be ready to provide:

  • Basic demographic information
  • Two letters of agreement as specified in the program requirements
  • A sample course written in the same format as an A-G course submission
  • Information about:
    • The program's goals
    • Criteria used to determine high schools' participation in your program
    • Your regular communication with participating high schools
    • How you ensure curriculum is taught consistently across participating high schools
    • Plan for professional development for school-based instructors implementing your program's curriculum
    • How you evaluate and monitor the quality of courses at participating high schools
Program requirements

To qualify for an A-G reference list, a program must meet all of the below criteria, as outlined by UC faculty policy:

  1. Be a school district, county office of education, state department of education, public or private college or university, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, or a private company.
  2. Have as an organizational goal: to better prepare students for university through rigorous high school curriculum.
  3. Have standardized curriculum that is taught consistently from one educational site to another.
  4. Secure a letter of agreement, indicating intent to teach the standardized curriculum, from the head of school or district from across a minimum of two California high school districts.
  5. Describe a plan for periodic professional development and/or training for school-based instructors to adequately prepare them to teach the standardized curriculum.
  6. Have an established structure and criteria to determine and define participating school sites offering the standardized curriculum, whether it is through a membership structure, a memorandum of understanding (MOU), a joint partnership agreement (JPA), or another structure that appropriately defines the respective responsibilities and relationship between the curriculum provider and the school sites where the curriculum is taught.
  7. Have interaction and communication with participating schools, whether through regular meetings, site visits, conferences, advisory groups, email distribution lists, newsletters or other relevant channels.
  8. Have in place a program evaluation process to monitor program/course quality at individual school sites offering program courses and, as requested, provide program evaluation process and results to UC.
  9. Agree to provide to UC annually a complete list of participating/member schools offering its program courses, including any program evaluation notes that give UC clearer understanding of the impact of the program course offerings.
  10. Require the participating high schools to teach the course(s) on site or, if courses are offered online, require the schools to provide on-site mentors/supervisors.