University of California accepts an Earth Science Laboratory Course

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce that the UC Academic Senate Board on Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS), and the UC Office of the President have approved a high school course entitled Honors Earth Science that will meet the UC Area d Laboratory Science admissions requirement. The course was designed principally by NESTA teacher Wendy Van Norden.

The Honors Earth Science course is intended for high school juniors and seniors. It has prerequisites of algebra, biology, and chemistry, and it confers honors status, similar to the status of an AP course. In principle, any high school that adopts this course should receive UC's "d" Laboratory Science credit for it. Widespread adoption of this course in CA high schools should significantly increase the awareness of Earth Science by CA high school graduates, UC's entering students, and the public at large.

This course does not conflict with or replace existing 9th grade Earth science classes. It is intended as a third-year science class for college-bound students. The UC BOARS committee has made clear that 9th grade Earth science classes will not receive "d" certification.

For further information about this newly recognized Earth Science course please take a look at the course outline that appears on the website of Harvard Westlake School. There is also an Honors Geology curriculum available at Harvard-Westlake that also has "d" certification at

We hope that this new development will encourage high schools throughout California to offer this course, and thus better prepare their students to function as informed citizens in the 21st century.


Wendy Van Norden, Harvard-Westlake School, North Hollywood, CA. ,
Tom Traeger, La Canada High School, La Canada, CA,
Ray Ingersoll, Earth and Space Sciences, UCLA,
Bruce Luyendyk, Earth Science, UCSB,
Eldridge Moores, Geology, UC Davis

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UC Accepts Earth Science
Wendy Van Norden

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