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California Public Universities

California Public Colleges/Universities include:

  • 23 California State University (CSU) campuses
  • 9 University of California (UC) campuses 
  • There are helpful graphs and reference books toassist  you in beginning to distinguish among the various schools with in our public school systems.





Required Courses

The CU and CSU systems generally have the same required courses (referred to as the a-g requirements, see SRHS Planning Guide) for admission. All courses must be taken with a grade of C or better. Of ...more


In addition to taking required courses, students must also demonstrate academic preparation by their GPA and standardized test scores.  The UC and CSU requirements differ and students are advised to speak with their counselors or view the current information on the following websites.


Students who have taken the required courses and have proven to be eligible by virtue of their GPA, rigor of classes completed and standardized test scores, are no longer guaranteed admission to a UC or CSU campus.  Admission selection for UC and the more selective CSU campuses is based on a more comprehensive review which includes rigor of courses completed, essays, special talents and extracurricular activities.

Campus Variations

Students are advised to thoroughly research the campuses within the UC and CSU systems.  Campuses vary greatly in terms of size, culture, academic specialties, intensity and competitiveness.  Each campus has its own website and conducts frequent campus tours. To better guarantee admission to one of the campuses within each of these systems, they are advised to apply broadly. This means that you need to apply to 3-4 campuses with differing levels of competitiveness.

General Tips

  • Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (part of the CSU system), is the only campus that reviews the applicants by dept rather than the Admission's office so therefore students need to be more focused and state their major when applying. This is the only campus that has an early decision feature designed for those students that are clear about Cal Poly as their very first choice and are a strong candidate. They need to apply in Oct and if accepted, are obligated to attend.
  • File applications for CSU campuses in Oct-Nov, UC campuses in November.

Some campuses will accept applications after the Nov 30th priority deadline but applying late will greatly jeopordize your chances of acceptance