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Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How to Calculate UC GPA for College Applications

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More than 275,000 students attend one of the ten University of California System (UC System) campuses, which includes some of the most prestigious colleges in the country—in fact, six UC System schools make our list of the 15 best public universities in the U.S. Along with its many programs and traditions, one aspect that distinguishes the UC System from other colleges and universities is the unique GPA calculation they use for admissions. Keep reading to learn more about the UC GPA and how to calculate it for college applications. 


What is the UC GPA Requirement?


There are course and GPA requirements for admission to all of the UC System schools. For consideration at a UC school, an applicant must complete a collection of 15 courses known as the “A to G subject requirements.” Those courses are: 







2 years



4 years



3 years 



2 years


Language other than English 

2 years (or the equivalent to the second level of high school instruction)


Visual and performing arts

1 year


College-preparatory elective

1 year 


Students cannot earn a grade lower than a C in their A to G subject requirements. In-state students must earn a minimum 3.0 GPA in their A to G subject requirements, while out-of-state students are required to earn a 3.4 GPA or higher. The UC System doesn’t consider pluses or minuses when calculating GPA—for example an A+, A, and A- all count equally. 


UC hopefuls must complete 11 of the 15 A to G subject requirements before entering their final year of high school, and only the coursework taken between sophomore and junior year—including the summer after both 9th and 11th grade—are used to calculate your UC GPA. 


How to Calculate UC GPA for College Applications


Step 1: Convert to Points


Start by converting the letter grades you earned in your subject requirement courses between summer after 9th grade through summer after 11th grade to points:


  • A=4
  • B=3
  • C=2
  • D=1


Step 2: Account for Honors


For each semester of UC honors-level coursework completed with a grade of C or better, an extra point is awarded—grades of CR (credit) and P (pass) do not earn an extra point. The number of extra points you can earn between 10th and 11th grade is capped at eight.  


For California residents, courses that count as UC honors-level work include:


  • Advanced Placement (AP) courses
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) HL/SL courses
  • UC-transferable college course
  • UC-certified honors courses  


For nonresidents, classes that count as UC honors-level work are a bit more limited. They include: 


  • AP courses
  • IB courses
  • Transferable college courses 


Step 3: Make Calculations 


Add up the points earned in your subject requirement courses between summer after 9th grade through summer after 11th along with any honors-level bonus points and divide by the number of letter grades used in the tabulation. The number you get is your UC GPA—don’t round up or down. 

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UC GPA Weighted, Unweighted, and Capped  


Qualifiers such as weighted, unweighted, and capped are all commonly used when discussing UC GPA. While they may cause some confusion, understanding them is relatively simple.


  • Weighted: sometimes also called weighted uncapped or fully weighted is the GPA in A to G subject courses between 9th and 11th grade tallied with the extra point awarded for completing a UC-level honors course. 
  • Unweighted: is the GPA in A to G subject courses between 9th and 11th grade not accounting for UC-approved honors-level work.
  • Capped: also commonly called weighted capped is the GPA in A to G subject courses between 9th and 11th grade calculated using the extra points awarded for UC-approved honors-level work, but limits the number of extra points awarded to eight semesters worth. 


UC GPA Statewide Guarantee


Just how important is your UC GPA to your odds of acceptance at a school in the UC System? In the case of California residents, very. Effective beginning 2022, the UC System will implement its “Statewide Guarantee.” The Statewide Guarantee uses the “Statewide Index,” a formula that factors in the number of UC-approved A to G subject coursework completed between 9th and 12th grade, along with UC GPA, to identify the top 9% of high school graduates in the state of California. California residents in the top 9% are guaranteed space at a UC campus, provided there is space available.   


How Important is a Good UC GPA?


UC GPA plays a large role in your odds of admission at a UC school (and, if you’re a California resident, is a significant factor in qualifying for the Statewide Guarantee), however, it is just one of many elements the UC System considers when making admission decisions. Even if you earn an astounding UC GPA, GPA alone isn’t enough to secure admission given the selectivity of the UC Schools—this is particularly true for out-of-state applicants.  


Other characteristics of a strong college profile include content and performance beyond the A to G subject requirement minimums, rigorous coursework including AP and IB classes, strong standardized test scores (if you choose to submit them), and outstanding performances in a particular area. 


Outside of academics, the schools of the UC System look at extracurricular activities when making admissions decisions. Unique talents—in everything from athletics to music and art—can also figure into admissions decisions. The UC System also looks at the unique situations facing applicants, considering factors like coming from a low-income family, being a first-generation college student, coming from a disadvantaged environment, or having a disability.    


What Are Your Chances of Acceptance at a UC System School?


Wondering about your odds of admission at a UC System school? CollegeVine can help. Our free chancing engine uses a variety of quantitative and qualitative data such as GPA, standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities to predict your odds of acceptance into not only the UC schools, but over 600 colleges and universities across the country. Furthermore, it provides insight into your college profile, highlighting areas to improve. Sign up now for free!

Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.