California came up with three different college systems to fulfill the needs of every college bound student. Each system is set up to meet the demands and future of the California students.
One system is the University of California or the UC system. UC combines the education of undergraduates with a strong emphasis on graduate programs and world-class research in the sciences and humanities. There are approximately 192,000 students attending a UC. There are 8 General UC campuses and 2 Private. Fees including room, board, books, and transportation approximate $16,900 a year. A prospective undergraduate must be in the top eighth academically of high school graduates statewide and have completed 15 prescribed high school courses. The necessary grades and test scores change over time, but an applicant generally needs at least a 3.3 GPA in those 15 courses. If you meet the requirements of the UC system in general, you might not be able to enter some UC's because they have their own standards. UC offers doctoral programs in many areas and professional degrees in law, dentistry, and medicine. Priority is given to third- year residents from community colleges. Excellent community college students may be admitted to a UC based on the GPA received in college transferable courses. .
The second system is the California State University system also known as CSU. CSU's emphasis is on undergraduates just like UC. It has master's programs in every field and trains most of the state's teachers. It cannot offer doctorates unlike a UC. There are approximately 408,000 students attending a CSU. There are 23 campuses. It cost $714 per semester. Additional $9,741 for room, board, books, and transportation, much cheaper then a UC. An applicant needs to take the same 15 courses as a UC but instead of a 3.3 GPA, you only need a 3.0 and sometimes you can get in with a 2.0 if your standardized test scores were good.