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Open Access Publications from the University of California

How California Determined Admissions Pools: Lower and Upper Division Student Targets and the California Master Plan for Higher Education


The 1960 California Master Plan for Higher Education made a number of recommendations in the area of admissions. Key was a proposed target of at least 60% of all undergraduate students being at the upper division level at the University of California and what became the California State University system. At the time, approximately 51 percent of the instruction at both UC and the State Colleges (CSU) were at the upper division. It was assumed that there was a high correlation between upper division instruction and the status of undergraduates as Juniors and Seniors. The plan, subsequent actions by the Board of Regents. and amendments to the California Education Code, reinforce the general concept that the 40/60 ratio is a minimum target, with the 40 percent a ceiling, and the 60 percent upper division a floor. This paper was developed at the request of the UC Office of the President and outlines the development of this policy and its key role in setting current UC and CSU admissions pools.

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