Course Selection » College Entrance Requirements

College Entrance Requirements

Please scroll down to view information about college entrance requirements for various college systems.


Community colleges are two-year institutions that prepare students for transfer to a four-year college or university or for various careers.  California has the largest community college system in the nation with 112 campuses statewide and an enrollment in excess of 2.6 million students each year.  Examples of community college campuses are San Joaquin Delta College, Las Positas College, Ohlone College, Modesto Junior College, Los Medanos Junior College, Cosumnes River College, Diablo Valley College, Cuesta College, Columbia College, Santa Barbara City College, College of San Mateo, and Cabrillo College.  

To Enroll in a community college, students must be 18 years of age or high school graduates who can show that they can profit from a community college education.  It is also possible to enter community college with an equivalency exam rather than a diploma.  There are no specific courses students must complete, no necessary grade point average, nor is an SAT or ACT score necessary in order to be eligible for admission.  However, prior to registering, students are required to take placement tests to determine the course level of math and English at which they will begin.

Many students attend the community colleges with a plan to transfer to a four-year college or university.  After completing two years of regular lower-division coursework, students may apply to enter the university of their choice as juniors.  Students who do not plan to transfer may pursue an AA degree or a certificate in one of the many vocational fields with a goal of entering the world of work immediately following their community college experience.  

Delta College (Stockton/Mountain House) and Las Positas College (Livermore) offers an Early Admissions Program for entering freshmen.  Registration by Feb/March allows students to select courses early and to receive special orientation and counseling assistance.   All California Community Colleges have applications that will start in the same main application page:



The California State University is a system of 23 campuses with locations in Bakersfield, Channel Islands, Chico, Dominguez Hills, Fresno, Fullerton, Hayward, Humboldt, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Monterey Bay, Northridge, Pomona, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, San Marcos, Sonoma, Stanislaus, and the Maritime Academy. The CSU system, with over 430,000 students, will continue to select its students from the top ⅓ of California’s high school graduates.  To be eligible, first time freshman applicants must:

  1. Be high school graduates,
  2. Successfully complete the “a-g” course pattern, with a CSU GPA of a 2.0 or better
  3. Earn a qualifying eligibility index score of at least a 2900:

In most cases, students who meet all eligibility requirements will be admitted, However, a majority of the CSU’s have become competitive and can no longer guarantee admission to all eligible students.  Cal Poly San Luis Obispo uses supplemental, more stringent standards for selection.  Impacted colleges vary by year.

Required “A-G” Course Pattern for UC and CSU schools: University of California and California State University Schools require first-time freshman applicants to complete, with a grade of C or better in each course, a sequence of 15 college preparatory classes.

  1. History - 2 years required

    • One year of US History or one semester of US History and one semester of Civics

    • One year of World History 2-3

  2. English - 4 years required

    • Four years of college preparatory courses that include frequent and regular writing, and reading of classic and modern literature

  3. Mathematics - 3 years required

    • Algebra, Geometry and Intermediate Algebra

    • Integrated Math 1-3, or Integrated Math 1-4 (1-3 spread out over 4 years) is also acceptable to meet this requirement

  4. Laboratory Science - 2 years with laboratory required

    • One year biological:  Biology, AP Biology, Botany, Anatomy-Physiology, AP Anatomy

    • One year physical:  Chemistry, AP Chemistry, Physics, AP Physics, Conceptual Physics

  5. Language Other Than English (LOTE) - 2 years required

    • Two years of the same language

  6. Visual and Performing Art - 1 year required

    • One consecutive year from art, drama or music courses

  7. College Preparatory Electives

    • One additional year of a college preparatory elective course from any of the above required areas

Required Eligibility Index (for CSU only)The Eligibility Index is a weighted combination of the high school GPA during the 10th and 11th grade years of high school and a score on either the SAT or ACT.  All grades earned in”a-g” courses are used to calculate the grade point average.

Grade Point Average for CSU & UC

The high school grade point average used by CSU and UC is based on the sophomore and junior years of high school study in all approved “a-g” courses.  Weighted grade points are awarded for up to 8 semester grades of C or better in approved honors or AP courses. The minimum GPA for UC eligibility is 3.0. The minimum GPA for CSU eligibility is 2.0. andf CSU uses an eligibility index (described above).

Test Score Requirement:

  • Students must submit either SAT or ACT scores.  

  • If multiple scores are submitted to UCs, the SAT total will be calculated by adding the highest Critical Reading and the highest Math score; and ACT composite will be calculated as the average of the best scores in each of the four areas.

  • CSUs will use the highest overall sitting of either test. They will not combine sections from multiple sittings.  

  • SAT/ACT scores are not required to establish the admission eligibility of students with a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher. 


The 9 campuses of the University of California serving undergraduate students are located in Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz.  (

The UC is a system of public universities designed to serve the top ⅛ of California’s high school graduates.  To be eligible for admission to the University, students must:

  1. Receive a high school diploma or equivalency

  2. Satisfy the Subject, Scholarship and Examination requirements described below.

When there are more UC-eligible applicants than spaces available for a particular campus-as is often the case-criteria that exceed the minimum requirements are used to select students.  Meeting the minimum requirements, therefore, is not enough to gain admission to many UC campuses and programs.

Academic Requirement

  • In order to be considered for admission, applicants must have earned a minimum UC GPA of a 3.0

The UC Grade Point Average: All campuses use the same method of calculating a preliminary grade point average for purposes of determining an applicant’s UC eligibility

- The UC GPA is calculated based on all “a-g” subjects completed in grades 10 and 11, including summer sessions.
-Ninth grade courses may be used to meet Subject Requirements if a grade of C or higher is earned, but they will not be used to calculate the GPA.Weighted grades are assigned for up to four year-long courses of University certified honors level or AP courses taken in grades 10, 11, or 12, with a maximum of 2 year-long courses or 4 semester-long courses from 10th grade.
-The ACT Assessment plus the new ACT Writing Test, (Composite score is used)

or -The SAT Reasoning Test:  Critical reading, mathematics, and writing.  (Scores must be from the same test date.)

Plus SAT Subject Tests, beginning with the class of 2012, are optional and no longer required but may be recommended for certain majors at some UC’s.  Check with the UC that you are applying to and see if they have any specific subject test recommendations.


Selection Criteria
Meeting the University of California eligibility requirements does not guarantee admission to any UC campus.  The number of qualified applications exceeds the number of available enrollment spaces.  Thus, “selection criteria” are developed that exceed the “eligibility criteria” listed below.

Selection criteria may vary from UC campus to UC campus and may even be different within colleges on a campus.  While most UC’s accept a maximum of eight semesters of honors/Pre-AP/AP/college level courses for “weighted” grade calculation, some may extend the number of semesters of honors/Pre-AP/AP/college level courses given an extra grade point.  Selection criteria must be researched and studied each year by students preparing for application.  Selection criteria used for the prior year is available at each of the UC campus websites.  Students and parents are strongly encouraged to visit these websites to examine the selection criteria used each year.  

Website Access

  • Search for the University of California Office of the President web-page or go directly to  Scroll down to The UC system  and highlight Campuses..

  • A page will come up titled University of California:  It Starts Here

    • Each of the nine UC campuses are named and pictured.  Click on the picture of any campus in which you have interest.

  • Information for each campus is set up differently.  Read all information thoroughly, paying special attention to “selection criteria” applied to the current freshman class.  Keep in mind that his selection criteria often changes year-to-year and college-to-college within each campus, so we suggest that you monitor UC web pages of interest annually.  You can access each campus individually by using the following websites:

Davis http://admissions/
Los Angeles
San Diego
Santa Barbara
Santa Cruz

General Advice

UC admissions websites offer the following general advice:

  • Earn the best grades possible ( in “a-g” courses and in ALL courses)

  • Take a full load of challenging courses each year of high school, including the senior year.

  • Complete courses beyond the “admissions eligible” “a-g” requirements.

  • Engage in extracurricular activities but not to the detriment of your academic progress.

  • Complete as many honors/Pre-AP/AP/college level courses as possible wherein high achievement is likely.  (Students need to weigh the benefits of honors/Pre-AP/AP/College level course completion against the likely effect upon one’s overall grade point average.)


There are more than 4,000 colleges and universities throughout the United States for students to consider when selecting and applying to colleges.  We anticipate that many Mountain House students will apply each year to private schools throughout the country as well as to public colleges and universities in other states.

Each of of the private and out-of-state schools has a personality of its own base on such factors as selectivity, size, programs, geographical environment, and campus life.  Some are research institutions; others are comprehensive universities while still others are considered liberal arts institutions.  There are religiously affiliated schools, women’s colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and prestigious specialty schools, like the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Juilliard, and MIT.  It is the task of each student to seek a college that will be a good match and will meet the criteria considered to be important by that individual student.  

Admission to independent Universities and Colleges varies greatly.  Admission requirements range from extremely demanding to less stringent.  In Independent schools, admission may not be limited strictly by grades and test scores.  The high school curriculum, extracurricular activities, honors, letters of recommendation, special interests, talents, and personal potential play a substantial role in the admissions decisions.

Out-of-State Public Colleges in states other than California provide additional options for MHHS students.  As public institutions, a specific list of required subjects, test scores and grade point averages is generally available.  In many cases, the requirement for out-of-state students is slightly higher than for residents.

Students are urged to search for specific websites of any college or university in which they have an interest.  Admission requirements will be listed as well as virtual tours, majors available, financial aid, and general information and news about the college.

Students may call, write, or e-mail to request applications from the individual campuses; many applications can be downloaded directly from the website.  Many colleges use online applications, including and  



The tests below are nationally standardized assessments which, along with courses taken and GPA are used to determine a student’s eligibility for admission and/or scholarship to colleges and universities.

PSAT:  Preliminary SAT and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is designed for juniors as a means to prepare for the SAT, enter scholarship competition and receive information from colleges.  Freshmen and Sophomores may also want to take the PSAT if they are interested in being introduced to the college admission testing process.  As a practice test, it has been ruled that these scores are not required for admission/scholarship eligibility.  This test is given only in October.

Most four-year colleges and universities require scores from either of the following two tests:

SAT:  A 3 hour 45 minute exam that measures Critical Reading, Writing and Math.  Scored 600-2400.  Multiple choice with one 25 minute written essay.  (
ACT:  A 3 hour, multiple choice exam.  It measures ability to reason as well as knowledge of specific content in
         English, math, reading and science reasoning.  Student may take the optional writing test, which is required by UC’s.

In addition, the UC system may recommend, and other more competitive schools may require a second test:

SAT Subject Tests:  Subject exams that measure knowledge in specific areas and how well a student can apply that knowledge to solve problems.  UC no longer requires subject tests for admissions.  However, some of the UC’s may recommend taking a specific subject test for a specific major.  Check with the UC to which you are applying to see if they recommend any specific subject tests.  Only Math IIC counts for the math subject test for the UC.  In addition, some private  and out of state colleges and universities may require SAT subject tests.  Students should check requirements for the schools they plan to attend.  

UC and CSU College Prep Courses

All California public and private schools establish an “a-g” course list once they are an accredited (or a candidate for accreditation) diploma-granting institution.  MHHS has recieved candidacy status and is on track to become a fully accredited institution in the next 2 years. MHHS has already established an extensive UC/CSU course list. For an accurate up-to-date list of the a-g approved courses please visit the UC a-g course list portal by CLICKING HERE, or by clicking on the link below. As we develop our curriculum in the coming years, we will add additional courses to our approved list. The list below includes classes that we anticipate will be part of our “a-g” courses.  UC/CSU allows new schools two years to establish their course lists.  During this two-year window, all approved courses are rolled back to appear on previous years’ course lists for each year the school was opened.  Mountain House High School’s curriculum will be fully articulated with UC/CSU schools, and students graduating from MHHS will be eligible to apply for UC/CSU schools, and schools around the country.