Update your A-G List

Writing A-G courses

Your course description should include relevant information that would assist those reviewing your course in having a better understanding and clarity about how the course meets the A-G subject requirements.

What we look for in an A-G course description

  • Course Overview: Describe the overarching content and goals of the course.
  • Unit summaries and assignments: Include one summary and one sample assignment for every unit in the course. Use these sections to show how the unit content and assignments meet A-G subject requirements.
  • Unit labs for science D courses: For each unit, describe a teacher-supervised, laboratory activity that involves inquiry, observation, analysis and write-up.

When you see Unit Summary, think of how you would answer, “What are your students learning in this unit?”

Our UC High School Articulation analysts expect to see 3-5 sentences that succinctly describe the critical thinking, depth, and progression of skills and content covered in the unit. 

When you see Unit Assignment, think of how you would answer, “How do your students demonstrate learning in this assignment?”

Include 3-5 sentences that summarize a key assignment for each unit. Make sure you mention how students complete each assignment, what (e.g. 3 page essay, diorama, model) students produce, and what (e.g. list of concepts, design process, collaboration skills) students learn. When describing what students learn, focus on explaining how that learning aligns with the A-G criteria for the course's given subject area.

UC honors designation

If you are seeking UC honors designation for your course, you will need to include additional information, such as a final exam or project, to meet the general UC honors requirements below and subject area specific UC honors criteria. You can find the subject area specific UC honors course criteria on each individual subject area requirements page.

Beginning with the 2016-17 submission period, the following course criteria are effective for honors-level courses seeking A-G approval:

Honors courses designed by an institution to demonstrate distinctive features that set it apart from regular high school courses in the same A-G subject area are eligible for the UC honors designation. These courses should be comparable in terms of workload and rigor to Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) or introductory college-level courses in the subject.

There is no limit to the number of UC-designated honors-level high school courses that may be approved for an institution's A-G course list.

General UC honors course criteria

  1. Honors-level courses are specialized, advanced courses designed for 10th-, 11th- or 12th-graders who have already completed foundation work in the subject area. High school courses offered at the grade 9 level that schools might locally designate as “honors” are not eligible for the UC honors designation.
  2. Courses must have established prerequisites, as appropriate to the discipline.
  3. Honors-level courses must have a comprehensive final examination or a substantive, culminating project. The purpose of the final exam/project is for students to exhibit depth of knowledge and sustained mastery of subject material.
  4. In general, it is highly recommended [but not required] high school courses being considered for the UC honors designation will have a non-honors equivalent course offered at the same frequency (e.g., annually, every other year, etc.), in the same subject area, and at the same grade level.

Writing A-G Courses Webinar: March 17, 2021

HSA Webinar Series: Writing A-G Courses

  • The complete webinar recording from March 17, 2021 can be found here.
  • A pdf of the slide deck can be found here
  • A set of FAQs from the webinar is forthcoming. 

Sample course descriptions

The purpose of these course excerpts is to give course authors a model for how to construct course overviews, unit overviews, and sample assignments. We encourage all course authors to consistently review the subject area criteria specific to the courses they are submitting.

Registered users can access the repository of A-G approved courses in the A-G CMP and view full course descriptions.