University of California Performing Arts Requirement

Hello all, I am an out of state, PA residing high school student about to enter my senior year. Both UCLA and UC Berkeley are very high on my college list and I would love to go there if I get admitted, but there is one issue. When I looked at the UC admissions requirement, it says that you need a one year course in visual or performing arts in high school or 3 semester units from a community or other college. I have not taken any arts classes in my high schools as they are not required and I have taken an Intro to Art class at a local community college, but that was only for 1 semester ( I ended with an A in the class). Has anyone from out of state applied to UC (specifically UCLA or UC Berkeley) without taking any visual or performing arts classes (such as band, orchestra, theatre, drawing, painting, etc.) and received admissions? Thank you and any other help or guidance is appreciated.

P.S. I am unable to take any art classes during my senior year to scheduling issues

They are not flexible in their a-general requirements. If they say required, they mean it.

Can your parents afford full pay At the UC’s? No financial aid for OOS students.

The 3 units Intro to Art course at your CC most likely meets the UC’s VA requirement. It is a requirement for all HS applicants and one would not be considered without it.

Without the course, you would have had to take something this senior year.

Yes OOS fees and housing are close to $60K per year.

Your art class would probably be covered but you have to ask each specific school site if they would accept it.

As for the OOS fees, can your parents afford all 4 years at a California public university? You wont gain instate residency for the full 4 years.

Find a way to take the class or don’t bother applying. If you don’t have the a-g courses complete, they won’t read the rest of your ap - really.

If you have the stats and want to come to CA, look at some of our private schools like USC, LMU, Santa Clara and USD. Those are all accessible without art.

I bet when you contact the UC’s they will say your course qualifies. Let us know what they say.

Not to revive an old thread, but I thought I’d post this response since it’s still relevant to this application cycle:

Good day, I have a question regarding UCLA’s application requirements. As an out-of-stater attending a private school in New Jersey, I was not cognizant of the requirement that we had to take one year of an art to be applicable to the UC system. At our school, I took AP Computer Science, Intro to Computer Science, Health and Driver’s Ed and Physical Education to satisfy the High School’s requirements for “Fine Arts” as opposed to “Visual/Performing Arts.” Are those courses satisfactory for the requirement? In my free time, I do dabble in Graphic Design (Photoshop CC) and Video Effects (Adobe After Effects CC) if that opens up any doors for me.

UCLA’s Response:

Unfortunately, those courses would not meet the VP requirement. For more information about what courses may satisfy the requirement you can go to the UCOP website

In addition, while the University of California have a set pattern of academic courses that are required for admission, we understand that these subject requirements may be difficult for some applicants to meet due to differences in school curriculum.

All applications for admission are reviewed within the context of courses available to them; if a particular required subject is not available, we will consider the application without it. We would not deny an applicant due to any one single criteria, therefore if the applicant is otherwise a strong competitive applicant but they are missing the VPA course (1 semester or the entire year) we can still admit that student.

There is no single academic path that we expect all students to follow, but the strongest applicants take the most rigorous high school curriculum available to them.

UCLA Undergraduate Admission

^ The way I interpreted that, it sounds like they’ll give you a pass on VAPA if your school didn’t have any offerings that would meet the requirement. And that makes sense; if you flat-out didn’t have the opportunity to take something to fulfill it, why would they expect you to meet that requirement? Sure there are community colleges around, but surely they also understand that not everyone can take advantage of that in high school for various reasons. And from the sound of it, they do!

If you had the opportunity to take such a class at your high school and didn’t though, I doubt you’d have any more than the slimmest of chances of them giving you leeway. There are plenty of students, both in-state and out-of-state, who read up on the requirements and fulfilled them. I would think that you’d have to be an absolute top candidate for them to overlook missing a basic requirement when you had the chance to fulfill it.

Honestly I think the main takeaway here is this: If you’re interested in a particular school (or system), read up on their specific requirements and make sure you meet them. It’s your responsibility to do your due diligence, not the school’s responsibility to accommodate your not reading up on the requirements.

And no this isn’t directed at anyone in particular. It’s more a general comment to anyone who’s determined to go to a particular school but doesn’t read the requirements well before applying, and finds out there’s some requirement they missed. It just so happens that there’s an influx of OOS students every year coming in saying they didn’t know about the VAPA requirement for UCs before applying, and to be frank, that’s on them.