Increasing Access to "a-g" Curriculum

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What is a high school "a-g" list?  What is Doorways?  Why do these matter?

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A current high school "a-g" list is crucial in giving universities a snapshot of what college preparatory opportunities students at your high school have had. Admissions departments for both UC and CSU campuses look at Doorways to determine what opportunities students had in high school and how well they performed in their "a-g" courses.

What is Doorways?
Doorways is a series of web sites that contain information about every college preparatory class a school offers, how schools can update that information, and extensive general information on the "a-g" guidelines.

For a course to be certified as meeting the "a-g" requirements, a detailed syllabus (as well as other pertinent information) must be submitted to UC for approval.  The UC faculty has ultimate responsibility for determining whether courses meet the rigor and content guidelines to be certified as a college preparatory ("a-g") course for UC and CSU. That work takes place at the UC Office of the President (UCOP) under faculty supervision.

When UC and CSU review applications and transcripts, they look to see how students performed in "a-g" courses, as well as what courses were available to them. That information is found through the Doorways "a-g" Course List site (To get there, go to the Doorways home page and click on "a-g Course Lists").

Every high school maintains its own list of the courses that have been certified as meeting "a-g."  These lists are available for all to see at the "a-g" Course List site described above.

California high schools, public or private, can update their lists between February and September (check Doorways "a-g" Online Updates for specific dates), either by removing old courses no longer taught or adding new ones that meet the requirements. You can obtain information and guidance at the Doorways Course Update website about submitting new courses for approval, and you can submit them online. In fact, that is the only way you can submit them; UCOP no longer accepts paper course submissions. (To get there, go to the Doorways home page and click on "a-g Online Updates").

Each year, the UC Director of Undergraduate Admissions sends out letters requesting updates for each school’s UC certified "a-g" course list. The letters are sent out in late November or early December. If your school has not received such a request recently, contact the High School Articulation Unit at to make sure your school’s contact information is correct.

The "a-g" Guide website explains the course list update process, describes guidelines for approval of new courses, and provides sample course descriptions. It can also assist high schools in designing courses that meet both the University of California "a-g" requirements and the high school’s curricular initiatives, such as for Career Academies and Small Learning Communities, career-technical education pathways, or generally to provide students with more options to meet graduation requirements.


a-g Guide

University of California Office of the President

This website clarifies the UC course approval process and provides resources for course descriptions, course lists, updating and maintaining a-g course lists.

“a-g” Course Lists

University of California Office of the President

This site contains a searchable database of high school a-g lists.

a-g Online Update

University of California Office of the President

This guide will help you create and update your high school’s a-g course list.;jsessionid=534F1AF47F6612AC96176EA20D6D6097?_flowExecutionKey=_c940D4436-9E03-7EF4-C147-A20F2BF7ABBC_k933AE3CA-4A73-6441-16B8-897695244AF6

a-g Guide - Career Technical Education (CTE) Resources

University of California Office of the President

This augmented section of the a-g guide site has extensive information about combining career technical education with a-g. Included here are a list of CTE courses that qualify for a-g, course descriptions arranged by career path, and new guidelines for qualifying CTE courses for “g” elective credit.


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Last modified on 6/15/2010

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