Year of fine arts requirement

My daughter is currently a junior.We would be OOS for California, She was reviewing the curriculum requirements for UCSD and noticed she does not have the year of fine arts because she has taken business and computer science classes as her electives in high school. She is researching schools, and is very interested in some California schools. She is trying to figure out if she has to squeeze in 2 semesters of fine arts her senior year. Can anyone tell me if their kids got in without having a year of fine arts? She is Science and math focused and wants to study Biomedical Engineering. She has a 35 ACT, 4.6 GPA, and will have taken 11 AP’s and 3 dual enrollment classes. She does not want the fine arts requirement to eliminate her chances, buts squeezing in 2 semesters of fine arts will take away her lunch for her senior year.

We live in CA. It’s been over a decade since S went to a UC, but at time S took a summer course at a community college “history of cinema” He watched movies for 6 weeks. It not only satisfied UC’s one year fine arts admission (f) req, but it also satisfied UCSD’s GE req. Whether a course at your state’s community college would satisfy this req, I do not know. I do know that UCs do not give financial aid to OOS. You’d be looking at 65k per year. Good luck

This is incorrect. UCs do give financial aid to OOS students, the amounts are just limited.

Some OOS students have been admitted without the year of fine arts requirement. However, it’s risky and not assured by any means.

If your D does take two semesters at her HS, they have to be within the same subject…for example, one semester music, one semester drawing would not work.

You could also consider a community college class or an online class…I know there are CC and online classes that fulfill the requirement, but would contact admissions to see if there is a list of approved classes/vendors/CCs.

@gumbymom do you know more?

The UC’s will admit a student without the fine arts requirement only if they can show that such courses were not available to the student due to extenuating circumstances.

The UC website specifically states this is a minimum requirement so as suggested above she can do the following:

**AP or IB Examination:
Score of 3, 4 or 5 on the AP History of Art, Studio Art or Music Theory Exam;
score of 5, 6 or 7 on any one IB HL exam in Dance, Film, Music, Theatre Arts or Visual Arts

College courses:
Grade of C or better in any transferable course of 3 semester (4 quarter) units that clearly falls within one of four visual/performing arts disciplines: dance, drama/theater, music or visual art**

A Community college course looks it would take up the least amount of time and she could look for a class on-line this summer which would fulfill the requirement and not impact her Senior year courses.

Does her HS offer any online summer Art courses? Both son’s did their Arts requirement during the summer.

They used to give limited need-based FA (not including the out-of-state additional tuition), but they no longer do (although some current out-of-state students may have started when they were and are getting it as continuing students). These days, out-of-state students would have to earn a merit scholarship to get any net price reduction (although some such scholarships have a need-based award amount rather than a fixed amount).

@ucbalumnus I was referring to those need-based award amounts, but reading back that is unclear. Sorry

However, those are actually merit scholarships that need to be earned beyond admission (and there are not that many of them); it is just that the award amount may be need-based.

@ucbalumnus I’m aware.

Thank you all for your responses! She is looking at taking Ceramics 1 and Ceramics 2. Assume those would meet the Visual Arts requirement. She has missed the deadline to take the courses online through summer school, but we are rechecking with her counselor to see if they make any exceptions, and will also check out the junior college near us

Since she has to apply direct into Engineering college, my question was if certain colleges might be more flexible on the requirement. Computer science and business electives she took are FAR more applicable to her field than a fine arts class would be

@MidwestMom6: If she is targeting the UC’s, then no they will not be flexible since this is a minimum requirement and there is not extenuating circumstances to keep her from taking these classes or they are not offered at her HS. Other colleges, especially private schools could be flexible. Colleges do not expect HS students to specialize. They expect HS applicants to be well rounded and have all the course requirements completed or in-progress at the time of application.

Thank you! She has decided to take Photography 1 during summer school and Photography 2 in the fall to meet the requirement! She wants to give herself the best shot possible!

It sounds like she’s got a good plan for getting that requirement out of the way. She could get the entire 2-semester requirement done with one summer community college course in visual or performing arts or art history. One 3 or 4 credit college course is the equivalent of a full year of a high school class.

@MidwestMom6 Good job to her. Photography 1 &2 will work. The Fine Arts requirement is just that required and is definitely nothing to be messed with if you want to get into impacted UCs especially out of state

Just a note: I’ve had students take photography and have had a rough time of it. This is not because of the coursework, but because of the time needed to get their photo assignments done. There’s a lot of “busy work”.
If she’s taking AP coursework in her senior year, plus her extracurriculars, and her sports schedules (which the UC’s have “tended to like” in my kids’ admissions) then taking photography will add a huge time drain. In other words, the “California” HS photography classes are not in “easy A”. Make sure the syllabus at your high school, for the photography course matches a California high school syllabus’ description for photography.

The kids learn about light and shadows and they’re out, at all hours of the morning and evening trying to capture those lights and double exposures for the course requirements. Some instructors require that the students use the classroom cameras to take those pictures. If the camera is checked out, your child needs to wait for a camera.
My suggestion would be that she go to community college and take an art course and get it over with. Taking photography in high school, with a California requirement, is going to be very time-consuming if it’s anything like the courses the kids take here in California.

Oh, and assume $65K a year. The merit scholarships are maybe ~$2000 a year at the most, depending on the UC school. All of the UC‘s are impacted for computer science.

2 posts were split to a new topic: UC Fine Arts requirement and OOS