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Admission as a Freshman

UC Freshman Applicant Definition

The University of California defines a freshman applicant as one who is either currently enrolled in, or has graduated from, a high school and has not registered in a regular session at any collegiate-level institution since high school graduation. An applicant who has completed college courses while in high school or in a summer session immediately following high school graduation is considered a freshman applicant.

UC Freshman Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to UC Davis, freshman applicants must earn a high school diploma or equivalent* and satisfy the following UC admission requirements:

  • Subject Requirement,
  • Scholarship Requirement, and
  • Examination Requirement

* The University of California will accept the California High School Proficiency Examination or the General Education Development (GED) Certificate awarded by any state's Department of Education in lieu of a regular high school diploma. However, you must also meet all other university entrance requirements: subject, scholarship and examination.

1. Subject Requirement: “a-g”

Subject requirement courses must be completed with a C grade or better and, for California residents, must be on your high school's UC-approved course list. See your school's UC-approved course list at http://ucop.edu/agguide/. At least 11 of the 15 units (one unit equals one year of study) defined by the “a-g” requirements must be taken prior to your senior year.

  • History/Social Science--2 years required
  • English (or Language of Instruction)--4 years required
  • Mathematics--3 years required; 4 years recommended
  • Laboratory Science--2 years required; 3 years recommended
  • Language other than English (LOTE)--2 years required; 3 years recommended
  • Visual and Performing Arts (VPA)--1 year required
  • College Preparatory Electives--1 year required

2. Scholarship Requirement

The Scholarship Requirement is satisfied if you earn a GPA of 3.000 or higher. All courses must be completed with a C grade or higher. Out-of-state applicants must earn a GPA of 3.400 or higher in the 15 college-preparatory “a-g” courses with no grade lower than a C .

3. Examination Requirement

Freshman applicants are required to take the:

  • ACT With Writing

OR

  • SAT Reasoning Test

Highest scores from one sitting will be used.

SAT Subject Tests are no longer required and UC Davis will consider SAT Subject Tests only if they benefit the applicant; some UC campuses recommend that applicants take certain SAT Subject Tests.

Applicants for fall must take the required test no later than December of the previous year--official scores must be received by the end of January. You are responsible for making sure that testing agencies send your scores to the University of California.

Make arrangements to take the required ACT Plus Writing exam with your high school or at the ACT website at http://act.org. The UC Davis ACT code is 0454. You may make arrangements to take the required SAT Reasoning Test or optional SAT Subject Tests through the College Board website at http://collegeboard.org. The UC Davis College Board code is 004834.

UC Pathways for California Residents

For the highest-achieving California applicants, UC has two paths:

  • Statewide Path.
  • Local Path, also known as Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC).

Learn more at http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/freshman/california-residents.

UC Freshman Admission Requirements for Out-of-State Applicants

For additional information, see http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/freshman/out-of-state.

Campus Selection vs. UC Admission Requirements

The University of California, Davis is a highly selective public research university with a strong reputation around the world. To prepare for admission and the academic rigor necessary to be successful at our campus, make sure you meet or exceed the UC admission requirements. Simply meeting these requirements does not guarantee admission to UC Davis—applicants who are admitted typically exceed them by a considerable margin. The selection criteria that UC Davis considers as part of its comprehensive review process for each UC applicant are available at http://admissions.ucdavis.edu/admission/freshmen/fr_selection_process.cfm.

Transfer Credit for College Courses

Freshman applicants taking UC-transferable college courses while in high school may receive transfer credit upon receipt of an official final college transcript.

Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations

Transfer credit is granted for each College Board Advanced Placement (AP) examination completed with an official score of 3, 4 or 5. The credit will be part of the minimum 180 quarter units you need in order to receive a bachelor's degree. Credit from AP examinations may also be used to satisfy specific degree requirements.

To learn how many units you may receive for an AP examination, see College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Examination Credit--under the column heading, Credit Toward Degree. How those units will be applied toward specific degree requirements in each college is explained for each exam category. Please note that the courses for which AP credit has been granted may not be used as a substitute for courses required as part of the UC Davis General Education Requirement; see General Education Requirement.

In general, you may not earn university credit for college courses or International Baccalaureate (IB) transfer credits that duplicate credits already earned through AP. There are, however, a few exceptions to this general rule. Since it is often difficult to know exactly which UC Davis course you should take when you have earned AP credit, you should speak with an academic adviser in your major department, dean's office, or the Biology Academic Success Center before selecting and enrolling in classes.

A Guide for Students with Advanced Placement (AP) Credit for a UC Davis Course

In general, you may not earn university credit for college courses duplicating credit already earned through Advanced Placement (AP). However, there are a few exceptions to this general rule, as the chart indicates in College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Examination Credit and summarized here.

If you have AP credit for the following UC Davis course:

Can you take the same course at UC Davis?

Art History (AHI) 1A, 1B, 1C

No

Art Studio (ART) 2

No

Biological Sciences (BIS) 10

No

Chemistry (CHE) 2A

Yes

Chemistry (CHE) 10

No

Economics (ECN) 1A, 1B

No

Engineering: Computer
Science (ECS) 30

No

English (ENL) 3

No

Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) 10

No

French (FRE) 3, 21, 22

No

German (GER) 3, 20, 21

No

History (HIS) 4A, 4B

Yes

History (HIS) 4C

No

History (HIS) 17A, 17B

Yes

Italian (ITA) 5, 4, 3

No

Latin (LAT) 2

No

Mathematics (MAT) 12

No

Mathematics (MAT)
16A, 17A, 21A

Yes

Mathematics (MAT)
16B, 17B, 21B

Yes

Music (MUS) 3A, 10

No

Physics (PHY) 1A, 1B

No

Political Science (POL) 1, 2*

No

Psychology (PSC) 1

No

Spanish (SPA) 21, 22, 23, 24

No

Statistics (STA) 13

Yes

University Writing Program (UWP) 1

No

* Effective with the May 2015 AP exam, no UC Davis course credit will be issued for Political Science (Pol) 1, 2.

NOTE: Courses for which AP credit has been granted may not be used as substitutes for courses required as part of the UC Davis General Education Requirement.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Examinations

UC Davis recognizes the International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations for college credit. Higher Level examinations presented with official scores of 5, 6 or 7 receive 8 quarter units (5.3 semester units) of degree credit and, in specific instances, are deemed comparable to various lower-division courses. Students completing the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma with a score of 30 or above will receive a maximum of 30 quarter units (20 semester units). The credit will apply toward the minimum 180 quarter units needed to receive a bachelor's degree.

To learn how many units you may receive for an acceptable IB examination, see International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level Examination Creditunder the column heading Credit Toward Degree. The chart also specifies which UC Davis lower-division course an IB examination is comparable to. Please note that the courses for which IB credit have been granted may not substitute courses required as part of the UC Davis General Education Requirement; see General Education Requirement.

In general, you may not earn university credit for college courses that duplicate credit earned through IB. There are, however, a few exceptions as the chart indicates in Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level Examination Credit. Similarly, students will not receive duplicate credit for comparable AP examinations if granted IB transfer credit. Each college may have special restrictions on the use of IB examinations. Please check with your dean's office, department adviser or the Biology Academic Success Center to determine any restriction in the use of IB examinations toward breadth requirements and lower-division major course requirements before selecting and enrolling in classes.

Page content manager can be reached at Catalog-Comment@ucdavis.edu.


Updated: September 6, 2017 9:18 AM