Are D’s disqualifying for UC’s?

OOS applicant. I had a fairly egregious freshman year of high school, for personal reasons. Since then, I have been a straight A student, so for UC purposes my GPA is good. During frosh year I received a D for a semester of biology and a D for the first semester of Geometry. I am retaking these courses now as a senior. I have an A for the second semester of Geometry, as I retook it junior year. I have spent hours trying to find the answer to this because there is conflicting information on the UC website: I am not sure if “no grade lower than a C” in ANY A-G course is disqualifying period, or if it simply means that D semester won’t be counted towards A-G requirements, which is fine by me because I am retaking them now anyway in addition to my regular classes. All other reqs. are met.

D grades will disqualify those semesters from being counted to a-g requirements unless repeated for C or higher grades (or validated with higher level courses for some cases in math or foreign language).

They do not automatically disqualify you from admission otherwise, although they will be visible to admission readers, and those in 10th-11th grade will be included in recalculated GPAs for UC (and CSU) unless repeated in 10th-11th grade, which can be harmful to chances of admission.

As stated by @ucbalumnus, a D 1st semester but a passing grade 2nd Semester validates the Geometry course for the UC’s. Science classes cannot be validated in this way. Freshman grades are reviewed for a-g course completion but as noted not calculated into your UC GPA however, since you are currently retaking the courses Senior year, you will not get credit for the semesters you received the D until you submit your final transcript with the repeat grades. Since the UC’s tend to be very grade focused and are very competitive, this can impact your chances and meeting the requirements is fine, but exceeding the requirements is necessary.

If the UC’s have a concern, they may send you a supplemental review where you can address your Freshman year grades and submit a Mid-year transcript. This is by invitation only and not a guarantee. Hopefully you have some solid Safety and Match schools beyond the UC’s in which you applied.

Best of luck.

Thanks for your reply. In your personal opinion, considering I already have a year of chemistry and am taking physics now, do you think it is even prudent to retake the courses? I am able to drop them with no penalty. I suppose I will meet the requirements regardless, as I also have a full year of computer science.

If you are also applying to CSUs, your science needs to include one year of biological science and one year of physical science, according to . Note that biology cannot be validated by a passing grade in a subsequent semester, so you need to replace the D grade semester with a passing grade to complete a year of biological science for CSU.

I would retake the courses since meeting the requirements is fine but you will be competing against applicants with a year of Biology/Chemistry/ Physics plus another science elective along CS. To be competitive you want to exceed the requirements.