Listed below are questions that students and parents alike frequently ask high school counselors. Please refer to the answers listed on this web page before making appointments with your alpha counselor. In the case of more specific questions, please feel free to contact your counselor.
What are the requirements for high school graduation and college entrance?
High school graduation from MSJ and MINIMUM college entrance requirements into the UC and CSU systems differ in a few areas. Please note the following chart.
|MSJ ||CSU/UC |
| English - 4 years || English - 4 years |
| Science - 2 years |
( 1 physical & 1 life)
| Social Studies - 2 years |
| Social Studies - 3 years || Science - 2 years |
(Biology & Chemistry or Physics)
| Math - any 3 years |
| Math - 3 years |
Algebra I & II and Geometry
| Foreign Language/Fine Art - |
1 year of either
| Foreign Language - |
2 years of the same language taken consecutively
| Fine Art - 1 year |
| Health - 1 semester/Geography 1 senester |
PE - 2 years
| College prep elective - 1 year |
| Electives - 70 units || |
| Service learning |
+ 40 hours
| SAT I or ACT and SAT II's for UC's |
How can my student get into the Honors Program at Mission San Jose High School?
Honors program criteria:
- Students who have "Advanced" scores on their English, math and/or science CST scores and an "A" or "B" in that subject for the past 3 semesters qualify for an honors class in that respective subject.
- Students who have received a grade of "A" for the past 3 semesters qualify for an honors class in that respective subject.
- GATE identified in all or certain subject areas.
- *Placement is dependent on seat availability.
How can a student make up credits for classes he or she failed or received a grade of D?
Students may repeat a class in which they failed or received a "D" during summer school, or if their schedule permits, during the school year with the student's administrator's approval. Comparable classes may be taken at the community college with administrative and counselor approval, but unless that class is needed for graduation, it will remain on their college transcript only. Fremont Adult School is an option for those students not desiring college prep credit.
What foreign language should my student enroll in for college admittance?
Any foreign language that a student has an interest for or a talent in. Foreign language levels earned in junior high will be accepted as meeting college entrance requirements if a grade of C or better is earned and the student completes two or more years consecutively. Universities encourage students to enroll in languages other than their primary language.
Do I need to take 4 years of a Foreign Language to apply to private universities? How many years of Foreign Language does the CSU and UC Systems require?
Sometimes. It is your responsibility to research which private universities require 4 years of Foreign Language, and you must plan your schedule accordingly. The University of California only requires 2 years of Foreign Language, and 3 years are recommended.
Can a student earn physical education credits during the summer?
PE will only be available in summer school to students who have received a D or F final grade. Intervention dollars/guidelines limit our ability to offer acceleration opportunities to students.
When should a high school student take his or her college admittance test?
California State Universities require students to take either the SAT I or ACT. The SAT II exam is now recommended, not required, by the UCs. The exception is for students applying to an engineering major, who are required to submit an SAT II Math score.
Both of these systems accept test scores through the December test date of the student's senior year (except for Cal Poly SLO and San Diego State University. These universities accept scores through the October test date of the student's senior year). Students should plan accordingly so that they may take these tests again if they desire an improved score. It is best if the student takes this exam after he or she has completed the course work. For example- if a student is enrolled in Chemistry her junior year and she wishes to take the SAT II Chemistry exam she should take this exam in April or June when the chemistry class is ending.
What is the difference between the high school Fine Arts requirements and the college entrance Fine Arts requirements?
For a high school diploma, a student must complete either one year of a foreign language and/or one year of a fine art. For example, if a student completes the first year of Spanish, then this requirement has been met for high school graduation; if a student chooses to fulfill the requirement by taking one year of an art class such as Photography, then s/he has met the one year requirement for graduation purposes. The 1 year of fine art/foreign language requirement is two semesters, or a total of 10 units.
The college entrance requirement, however, specifies that a student must take one year of a visual or performing art (V.P.A.) for admission purposes. The foreign language requirement for college is a separate two year minimum requirement, and has no relation to the fine art requirement for admission purposes. Students should follow our UC A-G List, which is posted on our web site, to make sure that the fine art class they have chosen has been UC approved. Some examples of how to fulfill the one year V.P.A. requirement include: Art I, Digital Imaging, Drama, Band, and so on.
High School Requirement
1 year Fine Art or Foreign Language
1 year Fine Art
| || |
2 years (minimum) Foreign Language
What is a weighted GPA?
A weighted grade-point-average is one that includes extra points for all approved UC A-G underlined honors and Advanced Placement courses, and all college courses. For every underlined class, a student will receive an extra point in the grade-point-average, so that for every A, a student receives 5 points, for every B a student receives 4 points, and for every C a student receives 3 points. Our high school transcript does not weight grades, so the G.P.A. listed on the bottom of the transcript is unweighted, and students must calculate honors and A.P. courses on their own. Please refer to the CSU Application Booklet for a chart on how to weight a grade-point-average for college admission purposes or ask your counselor or Career Center technician.
What are college admissions officers looking for?
College admissions officers are seeking the best prepared students for their particular programs. In general, they look at courses taken, grades earned and college entrance exam scores. They look for candidates who will be successful at their institution, who can bring something of value to the student body. Evidence of special talents, interests, activities, athletic ability, leadership or public service may help a candidate get into the school of choice. Read your college catalog or admissions information pamphlets or check college web sites. Colleges may need or want different talents or students with various backgrounds.
What is the best extra curricular activity in which to be involved?
Students should involve themselves with the school or community activity that they find most rewarding. The activities that bring personal meaning to you, improve your special talents or meets the school or community's needs will be the ones in which you will likely excel. In depth involvement and excellence will help you stand out from the crowd of other hopeful college applicants. In other words improve yourself in the ways that you find most rewarding personally. It is better to be involved or to excel in one or two areas than to have a superficial list of activities that you jumped into so that you could have a long list on your college application.
I'm a band student. Does it count for physical education credit?
It can. Students who take band all 4 years will have fulfilled their 2-year PE requirement.
Each semester of Marching band, along with the full year of band during the school year, waives 5 units of PE Credit. Therefore, all four years of the band program are required to waive the entire 20 unit PE requirement. If, for example, students drop out of band during any particular year, then those students owe us the balance of the PE credit.
One year of band= 5 units
Two years of band = 10 units
Three years of band = 15 units
Four years of band = 20 units
Students must take PE 1 and then PE 2, in that order, to fulfill any missing PE units. If students are upperclassmen, such as juniors or seniors, they are still required to enroll in freshman and sophomore PE classes to fulfill any outstanding PE credits that were outstanding as a result of dropping from the band program.
The ROP class I enrolled in is not a good fit for me. What are my options?
First, research these classes before you sign up! Talk to the career center technician, your counselor, teachers and other students. Read the ROP pamphlets. Class changes may not be possible, but if another ROP class is open, a transfer may occur. These transfers can be difficult due to class time conflicts.
Can I take Health and Geography online to create space and take a second elective?
No, because even though Geography (Computer Skills) may be taken online, we do not have semester classes to offer your student to replace Geography. Students MAY NOT take Health online, per board policy. Therefore, the two separate courses, Health and Geography, make up one year-long course, and it is a logistical problem to find a one semester class for students who want to opt out of Geography. We do not offer semester classes.
If I take band, can I choose a second elective?
Yes, you may cross PE out on your registration form. Band takes the place of PE. Please make a note of this and write in the Band class above the deleted PE class. Remember that you must add the 7th period Marching Band course for Fall Semester only. This means that students can take band AND one elective, such as a world language.
Is my outside foreign language school approved through F.U.S.D.?
Maybe. Please check the F.U.S.D. website, @ www.fremont.k12.ca.us and go to the “Parents and Students” Tab, Parent Resources, and look under “District Information”, and under the second link you will see the heading: “Approved Foreign Language Schools”.