What are “a-g” requirements?
You have to take certain high school courses to be eligible for a University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU). They’re called “a-g” subject requirements. To count:
- You have to pass with a C or better.
- The course has to be on your high school’s “a-g” list.
Find your school’s approved “a-g” course list or talk to your counselor.
Area: “a” Subject: History/Social Science Years Required: Two years of history/social science.
- One year of U.S. History OR one semester each of U.S. History and civics or American Government.
- CSU : History/social science from the “a” or “g” subject area.
- UC : World or European history, cultures, or geography from the “a” subject area.
Area: “b” Subject: English Years Required: Four years of college-prep English with frequent writing.
Area: “c” Subject: Mathematics Years Required: Three years of college-prep mathematics. Courses include topics covered in elementary algebra, advanced algebra, and two-and three-dimensional geometry. *Four years strongly recommended.
Area: “d” Subject: Laboratory Science Years Required: Two years of college-prep science, including:
- CSU : One biological science and one physical science.
- Earth or space science can count for one year.
- Computer science, engineering, and applied science can count for a third year of science and beyond.
*Three years strongly recommended.
Area: “e” Subject: Language other than English (LOTE) Years Required: Two years of the same language other than English.
Area: “f” Subject: Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) Years Required: One year of dance, drama/theater, music, interdisciplinary arts, or visual art. Two one-semester courses in the same subject counts.
Area: “g” Subject: College Preparatory Elective Years Required: One year or two semesters in any course on the “a-g” list.
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Launch your college career
Most incoming students apply with the first-year application. Find out how.
Having good grades matters, but it's not the only thing we take into consideration when reviewing your application. Students admitted to UCI excel in their college preparatory courses and will graduate in the upper tenth of their high school senior class. These scholarly achievements are hallmark traits of most Anteaters. But remember, there’s more to a UCI student than a great academic record. We also value individuality. Tell us why your accomplishments make you great Anteater material.
UCI's selection criteria for first-year admission
We put everything you need to know to be considered for admission to UCI, all in one place. UCI uses a comprehensive review process. First-year applications are reviewed for completion of required college-preparatory coursework ("A-G"), demonstrated academic achievements, activities, talents, and skills — all in the context of your circumstances and experiences. We consider all information provided in your application, including your answers to the personal insight questions.
Definition of First-Year Applicant
The University of California system considers you a first-year applicant if you are still in high school or have graduated from high school but have not enrolled in a regular session at any college or university. If you attend a summer session immediately after graduating from high school, you are still considered a first-year applicant.
You must receive a 3.0 GPA (3.4 for non-California residents) or higher in the 15 required “A-G” subject courses, with no grade lower than a C.
COVID-19: UC temporarily suspended the letter grade requirement for A-G courses completed in winter, spring, and summer 2020 for all students. A-G courses completed in winter, spring, and summer 2020 with Pass (P) or Credit (CR) grades will satisfy appropriate A-G requirements.
The “A-G” requirements, also called Academic Subject Requirements, represent the minimum academic preparation you must meet to be eligible for admission to the University of California.
A. Two years of history — One year of world or European history, cultures and geography, and one year of U.S. history or one half-year of U.S. history and one half-year of American government or civics B. Four years of English C. Three years of mathematics (four years recommended) — Must include algebra, geometry, and advanced algebra D. Two years of science (three years recommended) — Must include two years of laboratory science, however additional years can include a range of disciplines such as: applied science, engineering, computer science, and other integrated science courses. E. Two years of a language other than English (three years recommended) — The second year or higher of the same language must be completed to fulfill this requirement F. One year of visual and performing arts — A yearlong course chosen from the following disciplines: dance, drama/theater, music, visual art, or interdisciplinary arts G. One year of college-preparatory electives
Non-California residents: There is no pre-approved course list for schools outside of California, however, out-of-state applicants should complete a variety of challenging coursework throughout high school. Referring to the A-G course list site and the 15 college-preparatory course categories can provide guidance on the types of courses that have been UC-approved. Learn more here .
UCI will not consider SAT or ACT scores for admission or scholarship purposes. After enrollment, exams may be used for class placement or some graduation requirements.
Other Considerations: Comprehensive Review
The following faculty-approved selection criteria are taken into consideration:
- Academic grade point average in all completed "A-G" courses, including additional points for completed UC-certified honors courses
- Number of, content of and performance in academic courses beyond the minimum "A-G" requirements
- Number of and performance in UC-approved honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate Higher Level and transferable college courses
- Identification by UC as being ranked in the top 9 percent of your high school class at the end of your junior year (Eligible in the Local Context, or ELC)
- Quality of your senior year program, as measured by the type and number of academic courses in progress or planned
- Quality of academic performance relative to the educational opportunities available at your high school
- Outstanding performance in one or more academic subject areas
- Outstanding work in one or more special projects in any academic field of study
- Recent, marked improvement in academic performance as demonstrated by academic GPA and the quality of coursework completed or in progress
- Special talents, achievements, and awards in a particular field, such as visual and performing arts, communication or athletic endeavors; special skills, such as demonstrated written and oral proficiency in other languages; special interests, such as intensive study and exploration of other cultures; experiences that demonstrate unusual promise for leadership, such as significant community service or significant participation in student government; or other significant experiences or achievements that demonstrate your promise for contributing to the intellectual vitality of the campus
- Completion of special projects undertaken in the context of the high school curriculum or in conjunction with special school events, projects or programs
- Academic accomplishments in light of your experiences and special circumstances, including but not limited to: disabilities, low family income, first generation to attend college, need to work, disadvantaged social or educational environment, difficult personal and family situations or circumstances, refugee status or veteran status
- Location of your secondary school and residence
Personal Insight Questions
Your personal insight questions should be exactly that – personal. This is your opportunity to tell us about yourself, what matters to you, your hopes, ambitions, life experiences, and inspirations. Key points about the personal insight questions include:
First-year applicants choose four out of eight questions to answer.
Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.
We encourage you to take your time. Be open, be reflective, and be honest. Your personal insight questions provide context for the rest of your application.
English proficiency requirements
You must provide evidence of English proficiency to be successful in university studies at UCI.
If you've completed all or some high school or secondary school at an institution where English was not the language of instruction, you will be required to demonstrate English proficiency if you have had less than 3 years of instruction in English by time of graduation.
You can demonstrate proficiency by meeting any of the following exam benchmarks:
- Score 24 or higher for the ACT English Language Arts (ELA)
- Score 31 or higher on Writing and Language in the SAT
- Score 3, 4 or 5 on the AP examination in English Language and Composition, or English Literature and Composition
- Score 6 or 7 on the IB Standard Level examination in English (Language A only)
- Score 5, 6 or 7 on the IB Higher Level examination in English (Language A only)
- Score 6.5 or higher on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Score 6.5 or higher on the IELTS Indicator (Fall 2022 only)
- Internet-based test (iBT) or iBT Home Edition: Minimum score of 80 or better
- Paper-delivered test: Minimum score of 60 or better
- Duolingo English Test (DET): Minimum score of 115
*Note: UC does not accept MyBest TOEFL; only the highest composite score from a single sitting is allowed.
Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Credit
Students who earn scores of 3, 4, or 5 on the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) examinations will receive credit toward graduation at UCI. Successfully completing the International Baccalaureate (IB) Exam can also result in credit allowed toward a UCI degree.
First-Year Admission FAQs
How will uci calculate my gpa if i receive pass/no pass grades in a-g courses .
Pass (P) or Credit (CR) grades will meet A-G subject requirements but will not be calculated in the GPA. UC will continue to calculate the GPA for admission purposes using all A-G courses passed with letter grades in grades 10 and 11, including summer terms following grades 9, 10 and 11. Extra points in honors-level coursework will continue to be capped at 8 semesters of honors points in A-G courses completed with letter grades of A, B and C in grades 10 and 11.
As a first-year student, what are my chances of graduating in four years?
73% of UCI’s students complete their requirements and graduate in four years or less.
What size are the classes?
The percentage of courses with fewer than 30 students is 68%, and 77% with fewer than 50 students. The student/faculty ratio is approximately 18:1. In general, professors teach the lecture section of your class two to three times a week and teaching assistants augment the lecture with a discussion once a week.
Can I use college level courses on my first-year application and also get degree credit for them?
Transferable courses taken at a community college are awarded extra grade points in the admission process, just as Advanced Placement and certified honors courses are. However, the university limits the number of honors-level courses you can accrue to eight semesters. In addition to the extra grade points earned, units from transferable community college courses are applied toward your UCI degree.
Does UCI accept General Education Development (GED) diplomas?
If you do not have a high school diploma, the university will accept the GED certificate in place of a diploma. However, you must still meet the subject, scholarship, and examination requirements. UCI also accepts California Certificate of Proficiency.
How does UCI use AP and IB credit?
If you earned scores of 3, 4, or 5 on the College Board Advanced Placement Examinations or scores of 5, 6, or 7 on the International Baccalaureate HL exams, you will receive credit toward graduation at UCI. The unit and subject credit allowed toward degree requirements assigned to each test are shown on the AP and IB Credit chart .
- Student Resources
- College Requirements
Colleges want to know that you have taken the kinds of classes that will prepare you to do well when you arrive at their campus. Which courses they count and which they don’t might vary from one college to another, so the best way to be sure that you are eligible at any college you might want to apply to is to satisfy the UC and CSU’s required courses. These are known as the A-G requirements. If you satisfy them, you will have the courses you need to meet the basic eligibility requirements for almost any university.
- History / Social Science (2 years) "A" Two years of history/social science, including one year of world history, cultures and geography; and one year of US history, or one-half year of US history AND one-half year of American government.
- English (4 years) "B" Four years of college-preparatory English. If taking ESL-type classes, only the highest year can be counted towards this requirement.
- Math (3 years required; 4 years recommended) "C" Three years of college preparatory mathematics; the minimum pattern is Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II. Math courses taken in the 7th and 8th grades that the student’s high school accepts as equivalent to its own may be used to fulfill a part of this requirement.
- Laboratory Science (2 years required; 3 years recommended) "D" Two years of laboratory science in at least two of these three subjects: biology, chemistry, and physics
- Language Other than English (2 years required; 3 years recommended) "E" Two years of the same language other than English. Courses taken in the 7th and 8th grades may be used to fulfill part of this requirement if the student’s high school accepts them as equivalent to its own courses.
- Visual and Performing Arts (1 year) "F" A single yearlong visual or performing arts class such as dance, drama, music, or visual art (drawing, painting, etc.).
- College Preparatory Elective (1 year) "G" One year is chosen from additional "A-F" courses beyond those used to satisfy the requirements above or courses that have been approved elective classes.
FAQ - A-G Requirements
What are the differences between college requirements and graduation requirements?
A : Graduation requirements are not the same as college requirements. Usually, you can graduate from high school but be a few courses short of meeting the A-G requirements. Graduation requirements might include courses that colleges don’t care about like PE or Health. One of the biggest things to remember is that, while many high schools consider a D to be a passing grade for graduation, UC’s and CSU’s don’t . A class must be passed with a C- or better for a UC or CSU to count it.
How do I know if a class counts?
A: Good ways to check which classes at your high school will count for college are to ask your counselor or to check for yourself on the University of California A-G Course List website . If your school does not offer all the classes you need to satisfy the A-G classes, a good way to get them is to take them at a community college.
I heard that colleges count my GPA differently than my high school does, is that true?
A : This is true. UC’s and CSU’s, for example, will count only the grades from your A-G courses, and only from your sophomore and junior years. The grades you earned freshman year don’t count in your GPA for UC’s and CSU’s, although you still have to get at least a C- to get credit for freshman classes. Some colleges will give an extra point to Honors, GATE, AP, or IB courses as well, so your GPA for college admissions might be a little different from the GPA on your transcript.
Freshman Admission Requirements
Freshman admission requirements.
To be competitive for freshman admission to UC Davis, prospective students must be on track to earn a high school diploma (or equivalent) and meet all UC freshman admission requirements. Our campus then reviews and assesses all applications as part of our UC Davis freshman application review process.
“A-G” subject requirements
A. History/social science = 2 years B. English (or language of instruction) = 4 years C. Mathematics = 3 years (4 years recommended) D. Laboratory science = 2 years (3 years recommended) E. Language other than English (or other second language) = 2 years (3 years recommended) F. Visual and performing arts = 1 year G. College preparatory elective = 1 year
California residents must earn a GPA of 3.00 or higher. Students who are not residents of California must earn a GPA of 3.40 or higher.
For high-achieving California residents, the UC offers two paths to admission: a statewide guarantee and a local guarantee. Find out if you're eligible .
Exam requirements for freshman admission
The University of California Board of Regents unanimously approved suspension of the standardized test requirement (ACT/SAT) for all California freshman applicants until fall 2024.
SAT/ACT test scores
UC Davis is test-free for all freshman applicants for fall 2021 through fall 2024. During this time we will not consider SAT or ACT test scores when making admissions decisions or awarding scholarships. If you choose to submit test scores as part of your application, they may be used as an alternative method of fulfilling minimum requirements for eligibility or for course placement after you enroll.
We don't require SAT Subject Tests, but they can be used to satisfy the A-G requirements.
Reporting Your Scores
You may report your official test scores to UC Davis at the time you take each test by requesting that your score report be automatically sent to UC Davis or any UC campus once it is available. If you've already received your scores, you can have additional score reports sent to UC Davis by contacting the testing agency for additional copies (ACT or College Board for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests). You only need to send your scores to one UC campus.
Make yourself stand out on the application.
UC Davis receives applications from many more qualified students than we can accept. We encourage our applicants to challenge themselves with advanced coursework such as that provided in Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. Most AP and IB courses qualify as honors courses for the purposes of calculating your GPA as a freshman applicant.
A score of 3, 4 or 5 on certain AP tests may be considered equivalent to classes offered at UC Davis. Learn more about AP examinations and view the AP examination chart for information on earning AP credit.
Beginning with Fall 2020 applicants, UC Davis will award 4 semester/ 6 quarter units for International Baccalaureate (IB) diplomas with a score of 30 or more, in addition to awarding 8 quarter units for individual Higher Level (HL) exams with scores of 5, 6, or 7. The university does not grant credit for Standard Level (SL) exams. Learn more about IB examinations and view the IB higher-level examination chart for information on earning IB credit.
The a-g college entrance requirements.
The University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) require entering freshmen to complete certain courses in high school, commonly known as the "A-G requirements". To meet minimum admission requirements, you must complete 15 year long high school courses with a letter grade of C or better.
Keep in mind that taking approve high school (A-G) courses is not the only way to satisfy these requirements. You also may meet them by completing college courses or earning certain scores on SAT, Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams.
College Entrance Requirements
History classes in highschool normally consists of World History, US History, and their AP counterparts. Two years are required for High School.
- UC: Two semesters required of History that could include World History, Cultures or geography from the “a” subject area.
- CSU: Two semesters required of History/Social Science from the “a” or “g” subject areas.
English classes consisted of four years for High School these classes consists ELD or ESL courses students could choose to take AP Lang/Lit.
High schools require three years of Math to be taken consisting of Algebra and Geometry students could choose to take AP Stat or AP Calc ab/bc.
- UC: It is recommended to take four years of math.
High schools will require you to take two years of Science these classes could consists of Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and their AP counterparts.
- UC: For UC schools you must take two of three of the following courses Biology, Chemistry, and Physics both course will be from "d" subject area. Three years are recommended.
- CSU: Requires two years of science consisting of one year of Physical Science and another year of biological science. Both from the “d” subject area.
E. Foreign Language
Two Years of language other than English is required. Both years must consists of the same language.
- Uc: Three years recommend.
F. Visual and Performing Arts
One year is required for Performing Arts, this class could include dance, drama/ theater, music or visual art.
G. College Prep. Elective
One year required in addition to those required in “A-F”
- Note: Performing art must be non-introductory level class.
- Subject requirement (A-G)
- GPA requirement
- Admission by exception
- English language proficiency
- UC graduation requirements
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Freshmen: Your journey to UC starts here The future belongs to those with the curiosity and determination to shape it for the better. At UC, you can be one of them.
Our admission guidelines are designed to ensure you are well-prepared to succeed at UC. If you're interested in entering the University of California as a freshman, you'll have to satisfy these requirements:
1. Complete 15 A-G courses (11 of them by end of junior year)
You need to complete a minimum of 15 college-preparatory courses (A-G courses) with a letter grade of C or better. For courses completed during Winter 2020 through summer 2021, UC will also accept a grade of CR (credit) and P (pass). You must complete at least 11 of these courses prior to the beginning of your last year of high school.
2. Earn a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better (3.4 if you're a nonresident) in these courses with no grade lower than a C.
Learn how to calculate the UC freshman GPA »
If you're a state resident graduating from a California high school who has met the minimum requirements and aren't admitted to any UC campus to which you apply, you'll be offered a spot at another campus if space is available, provided:
- You rank in the top 9 percent of California high school students, according to our updated Statewide Index, or
- You rank in the top 9 percent of your graduating class at a participating high school. We refer to this as "Eligible in the Local Context" (ELC).
Who is a freshman/first-year applicant?
You're a freshman or first-year applicant if you're currently in high school, OR you’ve graduated from high school, but haven’t yet enrolled in a regular session (fall, winter, spring) at a college or university.
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Whether you’ve just finished your undergraduate degree or you want to pivot your career, grad school may be the next logical step in your educational and professional development.
But how do you apply to graduate school so you have the best chance at receiving that coveted acceptance letter? Read on to learn how to submit the perfect graduate school application to impress admissions officers. For information on due dates and a printable timeline, check out our grad school application checklist .
How Grad Schools Evaluate Your Application
The exact criteria for graduate school admissions vary depending on the school and program. Still, there are certain qualifications, including GPA and grades from specific undergraduate courses, that all admissions officers consider. Most graduate programs look for a minimum 3.0 GPA.
A Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score of at least 318 is considered strong and can help your application. A professional resume with work experience related to your program is often helpful or required. Programs typically ask for letters of recommendation and a graduate school admissions essay as well.
Are You a Good Fit for the Program?
Whichever program you apply for, you must first make sure it’s a good match. Consider the following questions before submitting your application:
- Do you love the field of study the program you’re applying to focuses on?
- Do you have an undergraduate degree or work experience in an area related to your graduate school program of choice?
- Will earning this degree help you advance your career or earning potential?
- Do you have the resources to pay for graduate school, either through your own funds or through loans, grants and scholarships? For more information about this, see our guide on how to pay for graduate school .
Taking time to reflect on these questions can help you decide whether graduate school is right for you. You can also reach out to professors, students and alumni to get a better feel for your prospective program. You might even schedule a tour of the campus before applying.
Do You Have Relevant Internship or Research Experience?
Internships and relevant work experience may not make or break your graduate school application, but they can help set your application apart from the rest. Once you’re in a graduate program, you may be required to complete an internship or research work to graduate.
What Does Your Statement of Purpose Demonstrate?
A statement of purpose or personal statement tells admissions committees more about you. This essay should touch on your interests, especially as they relate to the graduate school program. The statement of purpose should also describe what you can bring to the program and why you want to be a part of it.
What Do Your Letters of Recommendation Demonstrate?
Letters of recommendation are important for graduate school because they show that credible academics and professionals think highly of you and believe you would be a good asset to the program you’re applying to.
An effective letter of recommendation is written by someone who knows you well academically or professionally, such as a professor, mentor or work supervisor. It should include titles of relevant research articles you’ve written, academic awards and honors and relevant academic activities like projects, presentations or research studies.
What Do Your Undergraduate Transcripts Show?
Simply put, official undergraduate transcripts verify that you attended the school you said you did and maintained a GPA that’s consistent with the program’s requirements. Undergraduate transcripts also allow admissions officers to see whether you took courses relevant to your prospective course of study.
How Are Your GRE Scores?
Most graduate school programs require students to take the GRE as part of the application process. An overall score of 318 or higher is considered a good score, so you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to study and retake the test if needed before your grad school application is due.
Is Your Prior Academic Experience Relevant?
While you don’t always need an undergraduate degree in the same field as the graduate program you’re applying to, admissions officers typically consider relevant undergraduate coursework, research projects and work experience when reviewing applications.
Statement of Purpose Tips
Your statement of purpose gives you the chance to show some individuality and let your personality shine through. You should aim to leave a memorable impression and craft a well-written, concise statement of purpose to boost your application. See our tips below for writing a statement of purpose.
Follow the Prompt Carefully
Be sure to answer all of the questions in the prompt to give admissions officers all the information they need. Additionally, make sure to follow any guidelines for things like style, font and file format. While these factors may seem small, incorrect formatting can lead to your application being disqualified.
This is your chance to tell your story. Write a statement of purpose that only you could write. Does your passion for medicine date back to an injury or illness you had as a child? Did you grow up watching Law & Order and feel inspired? These details remind graduate admission committees that you are a well rounded person with much to offer.
Discuss Your Goals
Aside from how your own personal and career goals relate to the program, you should also touch on how you can contribute to your school or program of choice. Do you plan on collaborating with colleagues or contributing to your institution’s research goals? Make this known in your statement of purpose.
Know Your Audience
What is the culture of the school or program you’re applying to? What does the institution value? Spend some time on its website and social media accounts to find out. You can even reach out to current students and alumni to get a better idea so you can tailor your statement of purpose accordingly.
Proofread and Revise as Needed
Don’t just write your first draft and send it off. After writing it, take some time to sleep on it, then come back and read and revise with fresh eyes. You should also have someone like a professor or tutor read your statement of purpose and provide feedback.
The interview is a big part of the graduate school application process if your program requires one. Make sure to come ready and prepared.
Do Your Research
Read up on the university and program you’re applying to so you can sound knowledgeable and interested during the interview. Answer questions such as, how big is the program or school? What have its graduates gone on to do? What are the program requirements?
You can also read up on any academic articles or research professors in your program have created.
Prepare Questions for Your Interviewer
Remember, this isn’t just about the school interviewing you. You’re also interviewing the program to determine if it’s a good fit for you. What career and network opportunities are available to students and alumni? What about grants and scholarships? Will you be paired with a mentor or an advisor?
Practice With Mock Interviews
Practice makes perfect. Look into common graduate school interview questions, and practice with a professor, classmate or friend. You can even practice solo using these 20 Graduate School Interview Questions .
Bring a Professional Portfolio
Depending on the nature of your work, it may be helpful to bring in a professional portfolio, such as if your speciality is print graphic design. Other subject areas like writing or research lend themselves to online portfolios, which you can send to your interviewers ahead of the scheduled interview.
What Does a Grad School Application Look Like?
In addition to your transcripts, test scores, statement of purpose and portfolio, your graduate school application will require some basic background information about you.
- Full legal name
- Any previous legal names used
- Age and date of birth
- Social Security number
Ethnicity information about applicants and current students is used by the university to see if it is meeting diversity quotas and to share with stakeholders. You may select one particular ethnicity, or choose options like “other,” “multiracial” or “decline to state.”
Scholarships, grants and special services can be available to active-duty and reserve military service members and veterans.
- Current mailing address
- Current phone number
- Current email
- The program you’re applying to
- Any speciality or concentrations available as part of your program
- Specialities in your program that you want to focus on
- Research topics or projects you want to pursue
History of Education
- Undergraduate degree and major
- Academic achievements and awards
Standardized Test Information
- *GRE scores (Check with your program as some may no longer require or accept GRE scores )
- Scores from any other required tests
Deadlines for financial aid often coincide with deadlines for admissions. Make sure to submit the FAFSA to ensure you qualify for as many financial aid resources as possible. Visit the Federal Student Aid website for more information, and check out our guide on how the FAFSA differs for graduate school .
- Relevant work history related to your program
- Internship or research experience related to your program
Do you speak the primary language spoken in the area where your campus is located? Do you speak more than one language? These are things admissions officers will want to know.
- Certifications or special licenses or training
- Special Awards
- Contact information, like phone numbers and emails, for professors, mentors and work supervisors who are willing to provide a reference
When submitting your online application, make sure to upload all required documents so your application will not be disqualified.
- Graduate school application fees can range from around $60 to more than $100. You must pay this fee before you can submit your application.
Confirm and Submit Form
- Finally, make sure to confirm that all your information is correct and all necessary documents are uploaded before you submit your application.
This article was originally published on Forbes.com on Feb. 3. 2023. Author is Ryah Cooley Cole, and Editor is Brenna Swanston.
- Parent Guide: What are the A-G Requirements?
by Shianne Winston | May 21, 2015 | Parent Guide , The Road to College
It’s more important than ever that students graduate with the knowledge and skills to attend college. But what does it mean to be college-ready? That’s the question we’ll be exploring in this series for parents.
In our current society, the vast majority of jobs that provide a middle-class income require a college degree or some kind of post high school degree. The more education you have completed, the more money you will earn and the less likely you will find yourself unemployed.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure all students are prepared to go to college. To be eligible to enter a four-year public college (either the California State University or University of California systems), students must meet a series of course requirements called A through G (A-G). Students must take and pass the A-G course requirements – that is 15 specific high school courses with a grade of C or better.
Often schools don’t tell families when their children are off track until it’s too late to catch up within four years. It’s crucial for parents to make sure your child is taking and passing all A-G courses from the moment they get their first class schedule as a freshman, right through graduation.
What do parents and students need to know?
High school students must take and pass all a-g courses to be eligible for a california state university..
Students must take 15 specific classes and pass them with a grade of C or better. See the list of courses below.
A-G requirements are just the minimum bar.
Students should go beyond A-G to be truly ready and competitive for college.
It’s really important to keep in mind that these are minimum standards. To get into more competitive schools, students will want to go beyond what’s required:
- Take more academic classes than required. University admissions departments generally recommend an additional year of math (ideally getting to the highest level of math—Calculus), laboratory science, and foreign language.
- Take the most challenging classes available. Students should ask to be placed in honors or Advanced Placement (AP) classes. AP classes are considered college-level work and if a student passes the AP exam, he or she can receive college credit for the class.
Aim high and challenge yourself!
It’s hard to catch up later.
Sometimes students who don’t have strong grades are told to set their sights lower – take easier classes, then go to a community college and later transfer to a four-year school. That may sound easier now, but it’s harder in the long run.
Most students that go this route never complete their degrees. When they go to community college, they aren’t prepared for the work and instead have to take remedial math and English classes – costing them extra time and money.
Students rise to a challenge. Recent studies have found that when students with weaker grades go directly to a four-year university, they are a lot more likely to graduate than students with similar academics who go to a community college.
Even if you plan to go to community college, you should still be taking A-G classes.
What classes does my child need to take to be eligible for a California state university?
Students must pass all 15 of the A-G courses with a grade of C or better and maintain a grade point average of at least a C (or at some schools a 3.0, which is roughly equivalent).
What should I do to support my child to graduate ready and eligible for college?
- Ask your school if all students are required to take A-G classes, and what are their specific plans to make sure your child is eligible for a four-year university.
- When your child is about to start high school, work with the school to make a four-year plan how he or she will meet all the requirements by graduation. This is a helpful template you can use.
- Ask for your child to take most challenging classes available – honors and AP courses.
- If your child falls behind because they didn’t pass a class, ask your school what their plan is to make sure your child has finished all the A-G requirements by the time they graduate.
Top Resources to Learn More
Search your school’s name to see the list of classes offered that meet A-G requirements.
A-G Planning Chart ( Spanish )
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"A—G" Courses Required by California Public University Systems
To be admitted to a California State University (CSU) or University of California (UC) campus, you must complete California's minimum high school graduation requirements and the A-G requirements (a sequence of courses) while in high school. You must also meet your local requirements for high school graduation. You must get a "C" or better in each course.
The minimum sequence of A-G courses you need to complete are:
(a) History/Social Science 2 years* (b) Language Arts (English) 4 years (c) Mathematics 3 years (d) Science (Laboratory) 2 or 3 years (e) Foreign Language 2 or 3 years (f) Visual and Performing Arts 1 year (g) College Preparatory Elective
*The California state required minimum for graduation is 3 years.
Use UC A-G Course Lists to find certified courses at your high school or community college.
Ninth grade is important because your ninth-grade classes can count toward college course requirements. For example, to get the four years of English you need to apply to either CSU or UC schools, you have to start taking English in the ninth grade. Also, classes taken in ninth grade prepare you for higher-level courses, not to mention high school graduation.
Grade Point Average (GPA) Courses Required for College Admission College Entrance Exams
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- What ARE the "A-G" requirements?
A -G Requirements
- What Grades Do I Need for College?
- OUSD A-G For All Policy (6/09)
What are “A-G” requirements?
One of the things that makes the public higher education systems in California the best in the world is the high standards that UCs and CSUs require for admission. The University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) require entering freshmen to complete certain courses in high school, commonly known as the "A-G requirements" because of the letter each subject area is assigned:
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Helping Students Navigate the Path to College – California A-G, NCAA, and NAIA Requirements Explained
Published on October 20, 2023
In your role as a High School Counselor, supporting students who are considering their post-secondary options in California can be a challenging undertaking. Navigating the different academic requirements, spanning from high school graduation to California A-G, NCAA, or NAIA, can be tricky. The following guide is designed to explain these three distinct high school academic pathways.
What are the California A-G Requirements?
To be eligible to enter a four-year public college in the California State University (CSU) or University of California (UC) systems, incoming freshmen must meet a series of high school course requirements called A through G (A-G). The California A-G course requirements include:
- Earn a letter grade of C or better in 15 specific mostly yearlong college-prep A-G approved high school courses
- Non-California students, there is no pre-approved course list, but you must still meet the 15 A-G requirements based on the UC guidelines for A-G courses.
- At least 11 of those 15 yearlong courses must be completed prior to the last year of high school.
- A = 2 Years History (World History/Geography and US History)
- B = 4 Years College Prep English (No more than 1 year of ESL/ELL may be used)
- C = 3 Years of Math
- D = 2 Years of College-Prep Natural Science
- E = 2 Years Foreign Language (of the SAME language and not English)
- F = 1 Year in Visual and Performing Arts – year long or two semesters in the same discipline
- G = 1 Year or 2 semesters college prep elective (any courses in the A-F subjects not already counting towards the 14 units of A-F requirements.
- Earn a 3.0 (in-state) or a 3.4 (out-of-state) in the 15 A-G approved courses where a C or better is earned
NOTE: For California A-G, students may meet requirements with college coursework or earn the minimum scores on specific placement tests.
Are High School Graduation Requirements and A-G Requirements the Same?
Though similar in some respects, A-G requirements serve a different purpose than high school graduation requirements. They are chosen by CSU and UC schools based on which classes they want students to have completed to earn admission. Many high schools across the country have different graduation requirements from the A-G prerequisites. That means your students may be passing all their classes and be on track for high school graduation, but turn out to be inadmissible to CSU or UC schools.
Honest Game Insight: Students’ A-G requirements can derail late in their high school career and are often unable to remedy the deficits before high school graduation. It’s crucial for students considering UC and CSU schools to ensure they are taking and passing the requisite A-G courses from the moment they get their first-class schedule as a freshman, through high school graduation.
Are California A-G Requirements the Same as NCAA Academic Requirements?
No, California A-G requirements differ from NCAA academic requirements. Students can meet high school graduation requirements, and California A-G requirements and still not meet NCAA Full-Qualifier requirements.
Similarities between the A-G and NCAA requirements include:
- Difference: Out-of-state students must meet the general requirements of A-G, but there are no out-of-state high school-specific course lists
- Similarity/Difference: Honors designations must be approved in the specific A-G course list to earn honors credit (AP and IB courses are automatically approved for the credit bump)
- Difference: International students must meet the general requirements to meet full-qualifier status, but there are no international high school-specific course lists
- Similarity/Difference: Honors and AP designations must be approved in the high school’s specific NCAA course list to earn honors and AP credit (neither is automatically approved for the credit bump unless explicitly identified)
Differences between the A-G and NCAA requirements include:
- A-G courses and NCAA-approved courses are approved by different governing bodies, have differing subject area requirements, are approved based on different criteria, and are housed in different databases
- A-G requires 15 units, while NCAA requires 16 units for both Division I (DI) and Division II (DII)
- A-G will accept credit from various exams, while the NCAA does not accept exam credit
- A-G accepts college courses taken between 9th-12th grades (except Math and foreign language can be taken in middle school), while the NCAA accepts dual enrollment courses only if they appear on a high school transcript and will accept .5 units of college credit taken after high school graduation
- NCAA course units are counted on a four-year clock starting with the start of 9th grade, A-G course units are counted from 9th through 12th grades.
- A-G requires 11 completed units in any subject areas with a C or higher prior to the last year of high school, while NCAA DI requires 10 completed units receiving a passing grade before the start of the 7th semester in specific subject areas
- A-G subject areas include Visual and Performing Arts as a required subject area while NCAA does not approve courses in the Visual and Performing Arts department
- A-G courses mostly must be yearlong courses, while NCAA counts by the NCAA-approved course credits completed on the high school transcript
- A-G course credits are not accepted if a grade below a C is earned, while NCAA will accept course credits when a passing grade is earned, including a P, which is counted as the lowest possible passing grade (D)
- A-G does not award honors weight for out-of-state honors courses, only out-of-state AP and IB courses
In order to meet NCAA DI requirements , student-athletes must meet an NCAA Core GPA of 2.3 or higher and are required to complete 16 NCAA-approved Core Courses at their high school. There are a specific number of English, Math, Natural/Physical Science, and Social Science course units that every student-athlete must complete, and each high school has its own distinct list of NCAA-approved Core Courses.
Note: students must complete 10 of those NCAA-approved Core Courses before the start of their senior year (7th semester) of high school. Seven of the ten NCAA-approved Core Courses completed by the start of senior year must be in English, Math or Natural/Physical Science. The grades in these seven courses will be “locked in,” meaning the credit and the grade earned can not be replaced by another course taken after the start of senior year.
Honest Insight: While there are slightly different academic eligibility requirements for NCAA DI and DII, in 98% of the cases, if students are eligible at the DI level, they will also be eligible at the DII level. It is best for students to schedule courses that meet DI requirements, as this will safeguard them academically for both NCAA DI and DII.
Honest Insight: Plan your academic journey strategically to have the opportunity to access the $3.6B in scholarships NCAA DI and DII award every year.
Are NCAA Academic Eligibility Requirements Same as NAIA Requirements?
Initial eligibility rules for NAIA institutions are significantly different from the NCAA eligibility rules. NAIA requirements do not require NAIA-approved coursework. Furthermore, the NAIA does not calculate a special GPA based on that coursework. Instead, NAIA qualifiers are deemed qualifiers if they meet a minimum school-calculated GPA (4.0 scale):
- 2.3 GPA for recent high school graduates
- 2.8 GPA for students who have completed their 7th semester (compared to a 2.5 in previous rules)
- 3.3 GPA for students who have completed their junior year (compared to a 3.0 in previous rules)
Students who do not meet the 2.3 minimum school GPA requirement upon graduation may still become eligible to compete at an NAIA school by meeting 2 of the following 3 criteria:
- Achieve a minimum overall high school GPA of 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
- Graduate in the top half (50%) of their high school class (if class rank is calculated)
- Score a minimum test score of 18 on the ACT or 970 on the SAT (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math)
Honest Insight: If a student does not meet the initial 2.3 GPA requirements upon graduation and the high school issuing a student’s final transcript does not calculate class rank, a student must meet both the GPA and test score requirement.
- FSEHD Graduate Admission
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- Feinstein School of Education and Human Development
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Preparing Educating Professionals
The FSEHD graduate faculty members are committed to offering you strong programs that prepare reflective professionals to work in diverse schools, organizations and communities in Rhode Island and the region.
FSEHD Graduate Admission Requirements
Application deadlines and financial assistance, admission requirements for m.a., m.ed. and m.s. programs, admission requirements for m.a.t. programs, admission requirements for c.a.g.s. in school psychology, admission requirements for c.g.s. program, information for international applicants.
Applications for admission will not be processed until all materials have been received by the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development. The applicant is responsible for assuring that all credentials are received by the following deadlines:
- Nov. 1 for spring matriculation
- March 1 for fall matriculation
- ** School Psychology has one deadline: Feb. 1. ** Clinical Mental Health Counseling has one deadline: Feb. 1.
FSEHD graduate applicants are eligible to apply for graduate and teaching assistantships.
Review and Apply for Assistantships
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Feinstein School of Education and Human Development Office of Graduate Programs and Assessment 600 Mt. Pleasant Avenue Horace Mann Hall Providence, RI 02908-1991
M.A.T. applicants contact the Feinstein School at or 401-456-8110 .
All other applicants contact Rose Misuraca at [email protected] or 401-456-8896
Students must fulfill the following requirements:
- Submit an application fee of $50.
- Earned a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college.
- Submit three professional references from persons acquainted with the applicant's academic ability and aptitude.
- Submit official graduate and undergraduate transcripts
- Have a teaching certificate (except for clinical mental health counseling and health education applicants).
- Submit official standardized test scores on the GRE. (This requirement varies based upon program-specific requirements.)
- Submit a professional goals essay.
- Submit a performance-based evaluation.
- Submit a résumé.
- Complete program-specific requirements.
Applicants must fulfill the following requirements:
- Submit two professional references from persons acquainted with the applicant's academic ability and aptitude.
- Submit official standardized PRAXIS test scores. See your intended program for details.
- Submit a statement of educational philosophy. See information below on writing your educational philosophy essay.
- Submit a résumé.
- APPLY NOW !
- Submit three professional references from persons acquainted with the applicant's academic ability and aptitude.
- Submit official graduate and undergraduate transcripts.
- Submit official standardized test scores – GRE or MAT. Click here (varies based upon program-specific requirements).
Applicants must fulfill the following additional requirements:
- Submit official translated copies of all academic credentials.
- Submit official score on Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or certification of English proficiency.
- Meet Rhode Island College health requirements.
- Submit an affidavit of support detailing funds for the educational program. (This must be submitted before an I-20 can be issued.)
Professional goals essay, statement of educational philosophy, performance-based evaluation.
Prepare a well-organized, focused essay of 300 to 500 words (double spaced and typed) describing why you want to pursue graduate education. Include in the essay a reflection on:
- Your experiences, skills and lifelong learning, which makes your pursuit of graduate study a sound choice for you.
- Your level of preparation for graduate study, knowledge in your chosen field and professional activities.
- Your professional goals and how these goals will prepare you to serve individuals and families from diverse backgrounds.
- Your reasons for choosing RIC's graduate program.
Note: This essay should demonstrate your best writing. It will be scored on its content (understanding of the goal of graduate study and its effective use of personal experience to discuss preparation and dispositions) and writing conventions.
Prepare a well-organized and focused essay describing why you want to become a teacher and the personal characteristics and skills you would bring to a career in teaching. The content of this essay is very important; however, command of effective and correct written communication skills will also be evaluated. The essay should not exceed 850 words. Include the following elements in your essay. They need not appear in the same order as presented below.
- Discuss your reasons for applying to a specific teacher preparation program and your commitment to teaching as a career.
- Individual and cultural diversity
- The potential for all children to learn
- Professional collaboration
- Teacher as a lifelong learner
- Reflect on one of the above areas which you believe you need to alter or improve to become an effective teacher. Using specific examples, explain how your attitudes or behaviors need to change and why. Discuss how you might begin to work toward that change.
As part of your application, you are required to submit a performance-based evaluation, which reflects a recent assessment of your professional work and skills. The performance-based evaluation may include, but is not limited to, any of the following:
- A personal copy, or parts thereof, of a recent employee or teaching evaluation that addresses your professional skills.
- An evaluation of your performance during a specific professional activity (e.g., student teaching final evaluation, conducting a workshop/seminar, intake interview, conducting a therapy group).
- A classroom performance-based evaluation demonstrating your professional skills (e.g., your instructor's evaluation of your performance-based class project, teaching demonstration or counseling simulations).
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Russia Talks of Retaliation After 'Ukrainian Drone Strike' Near Moscow Army HQ
Russia Talks of Retaliation After 'Ukrainian Drone Strike' Near Moscow Army HQ
A member of the security services investigates the damaged building following a reported drone attack in Moscow, Russia, July 24, 2023. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov Reuters
By Andrew Osborn
MOSCOW (Reuters) -Russia spoke of taking harsh retaliatory measures against Ukraine after two drones damaged buildings in Moscow early on Monday, including one close to the Defence Ministry's headquarters, in what it called a brazen act of terror.
Nobody was hurt in the attack, of which a senior Ukrainian official said there would be more, but one drone struck close to the Moscow building where the Russian military holds briefings on what it calls its "special military operation", a symbolic blow which underscored the reach of such drones.
Roads nearby were temporarily closed, windows on the top two floors of an office building struck by a second drone in another Moscow district were blown out, and debris was scattered on the ground, a Reuters reporter who saw the aftermath of the incident said.
"I was asleep and was woken up by a blast, everything started shaking," Polina, a young woman who lives near the high-rise building, told Reuters.
The 10 Most Corrupt Countries
A third "helicopter-type drone" which was not carrying explosives fell on a cemetery in a town outside Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement in which it vowed that all those responsible would be found and punished.
The Kremlin said it would press on with its campaign in Ukraine and meet all the aims of an operation which Kyiv and much of the West say is a brutal war of conquest.
The Moscow drone attack, though not serious in terms of its human cost or damage, was the most high-profile of its kind since two drones reached the Kremlin in May.
A swarm of 17 drones also launched attacks overnight on Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, the Russian Defence Ministry said, adding it had used anti-drone equipment and air defences to bring them down. The Russian-installed head of Crimea said an ammunition warehouse had been struck and a residential building damaged.
"We regard what happened as yet another use of terrorist methods and intimidation of the civilian population by the military and political leadership of Ukraine," the foreign ministry said of the Moscow and Crimea drone attacks.
"The Russian Federation reserves the right to take harsh retaliatory measures."
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, now deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, said Moscow needed to broaden the range of targets it struck in Ukraine, adding what he called high-impact unexpected and unconventional ones.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, whose government rarely comments on attacks inside Russia or on Russian-controlled territory, had on Sunday promised what he called "a retaliation to Russian terrorists for Odesa".
That was a reference to days of deadly Russian missile strikes against targets in the port city which Moscow says are payback for a Ukrainian attack last week on the Crimean Bridge which killed the parents of a 14-year-old girl.
Kyiv said on Monday that a Russian drone attack had destroyed Ukrainian grain warehouses on the Danube River and wounded seven people.
'ACT OF TERRORISM'
"Today at night drones attacked the capital of 'the orcs' and Crimea," said Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, using a derogatory term some Ukrainians use for Russians. "Electronic warfare and air defence are already less able to defend the skies of the occupiers."
Writing on the Telegram messaging app, Fedorov, one of the officials spearheading Ukrainian efforts to create an "army of drones", added: "No matter what happens there will be more of this."
Russia's defence ministry said its forces had used radio-electronic equipment to take out the two Ukrainian drones, forcing them to crash, thereby foiling what it called an attempted "terrorist attack".
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the RTVI TV channel Ukraine was guilty of what she called "an act of international terrorism".
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on his Telegram messaging app that two non-residential buildings were struck at around 4 a.m. (0100 GMT), adding there was no serious damage or casualties.
Citing emergency services, Russian state news agencies reported that drone fragments had been found near a building on Komsomolsky Avenue, which runs through Moscow. The site is close to various defence ministry buildings, including some reported to be affiliated to Russia's GRU military intelligence service.
Traffic was temporarily closed on the street as well as on Likhachev Avenue, where a high-rise office building had been damaged, Russian news agencies reported.
Attention is now likely to turn to where the drones were launched from and whether pro-Ukrainian saboteurs inside Russia had a role. After May's drone attack on the Kremlin, U.S. drone experts concluded they might have been launched from inside Russia.
(Reporting by Andrew Osborn in Moscow ; Additional reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore, David Holmes, Bernadette Baum and Nick Macfie)
Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters .
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Drone hits Moscow tower housing ministries for second time, says mayor
Russian defence ministry blames Kyiv for attack as Ukrainian presidential adviser says Kremlin should expect ‘more war’
- Russia-Ukraine war – latest news updates
A high-rise building in Moscow housing Russian government ministries has been hit by a drone for the second time in three days, the city’s mayor has said, as a Ukrainian presidential adviser said the Kremlin should expect more drone attacks and “more war”.
The Russian defence ministry said two drones were destroyed by air defence systems in the Odintsovo and Naro-Fominsk districts near Moscow in a fresh wave of attacks on Tuesday, while it claimed a third was jammed and went “out of control” before it crashed in the Moscow City business district, a cluster of glass skyscrapers that was built to show Russia’s growing integration into world financial markets. The ministry blamed Ukraine for what it called an “attempted terrorist attack”.
Photos and video showed that a drone had ripped off part of the facade of a modern skyscraper, IQ-Quarter, 3.4 miles (5.5km) from the Kremlin, which houses staff from several ministries, including Russia’s ministry of digital development, communications and mass media.
“The facade of the 21st floor was damaged. The glazing of 150 sq metres was broken,” the Moscow mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, said in a Telegram post, adding that no injuries had been reported.
Ukraine has not formally admitted it was behind the strikes on Sunday and early on Tuesday, though they appear to be part of a growing strategy to bring home the consequences of Vladimir Putin’s war to Russia’s civilian population.
The Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak suggested in a tweet on Tuesday that the Russian capital, whose residents have largely been able to ignore the devastation being meted out on a daily basis in Ukraine, was experiencing payback.
“Moscow is rapidly getting used to full-fledged war, which, in turn, will soon finally move to the territory of the ‘authors of the war’ to collect all their debts. Everything that will happen in Russia is an objective historical process.
“More unidentified drones, more collapse, more civil conflicts, more war …” he wrote .
Russia’s economy ministry said its employees were working remotely after the latest attack. Moscow’s Vnukovo airport was also temporarily shut and flights redirected.
The Moscow City district towers, often unoccupied at night, are located further from the Kremlin than other highly defended government targets such as the ministry of defence, where Russia had stationed a Pantsir S-1 air defence system on the roof last year, and present a large, tall target.
In a video address on Sunday, the Ukrainian president, Volodymr Zelenskiy, made the same point as Podolyak as he said the war was coming home to Russia after three drones were shot down over Moscow.
“Gradually, the war is returning to the territory of Russia – to its symbolic centres and military bases. This is an inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process,” Zelenskiy said.
The attacks on Tuesday marked at least the fifth time that unmanned aerial vehicles have reached the Russian capital since May, when two drones came down over the Kremlin. Moscow and its surrounding area are more than 500km from the Ukrainian border and the conflict there.
While the damage so far has been relatively minor, the attacks appear designed to show up Moscow’s vulnerability to drone warfare. Ukrainian bloggers on Tuesday ironically repeated claims made in April by the commander of Russia’s air defences, Lieut Gen Andrey Demin.
“There is hardly a better sky shield anywhere in the world than Moscow,” Demin assured a Russian newspaper.
The Russian defence ministry said on Tuesday that it had also foiled a Ukrainian drone attack targeting patrol boats in the Black Sea.
The attack on Moscow came as Russia launched its own drone strike, on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, injuring one person. Five Iranian-made Shahed drones were deployed, Ukrainian officials said.
Two floors of a college dormitory were destroyed and set on fire as Russia targeted “densely populated” areas of the north-eastern city, the mayor, Ihor Terekhov, said on Telegram on Tuesday, adding that three explosions had been heard in the city.
The chief of police in Kharkiv, Volodymyr Tymoshko, said there were two night-time strikes – one on the college and one on the city centre. One person was injured in the city centre.
It was unclear whether anyone was in the college building when it was struck, with local media initially saying it was empty and later reporting one person had been inside.