ACE Frequently Asked Questions

The ACE program is a first-year experience program designed to provide maximum support for your success while you 1) improve your academic English skills and 2) prepare to transition into your intended college and graduate with your bachelor degree.

No. ACE is a unique and highly selective program. If you are accepted to the ACE program, it means that your application to UC showed that you have the skills and educational qualifications to succeed, and your English proficiency is at the perfect level to get a final boost in your first year so that when you finish the ACE program, you are ready to thrive and continue to succeed at UC until you graduate!

The ACE program currently partners with UC’s colleges of: 1) Arts & Sciences, 2) Business, 3) Conservatory of Music, 4) Education, Criminal Justice & Human Services, 4) Engineering & Applied Science, and 4) Design, Architecture, Art & Planning. ACE students can choose a variety of majors within these 7 colleges. Full details are available here.

As an ACE student, you will take a combination of academic ESL courses (writing, oral communication, culture) and courses required for your intended major. In ACE, you will work with your academic advisor to create an individualized academic plan, including major-specific courses that are appropriate for your first year of study and offer you an introduction to your major.  

You can expect to complete the ACE program and transition into your intended college after just 2 or 3 semesters.  

Depending on your major, your academic ESL courses in the ACE program can meet your bachelor degree requirements in several different ways:  a foreign language requirement, humanities general education requirement, or free elective course requirement. The ESL writing courses in the ACE program prepare you to pass English Composition, which is a required course for all ESL students at UC.

No! The good news is that successful completion of your ESL and major courses in ACE does not delay your graduation from UC. You can expect to graduate on the same timeline as if you had started your bachelor program without ACE, because your ESL courses count toward your bachelor degree requirements (see above).  

No! The good news is that the ACE program does not increase your overall education cost, because your ESL courses count toward your bachelor degree requirements (see above).

ACE offers many forms of support for you: easy access to a dedicated academic advisor with ESL teaching and F-1 immigration expertise; social meetings for ACE students; a wide variety of UC International events and programs; connections to resources for your academic, cultural, immigration, psychological and professional support; and assistance with transition into your intended college when you finish ACE. Your ACE academic advisor will also offer you understanding and encouragement as you navigate cultural differences during your first year at UC. One key characteristic of the US higher education system is the importance of being your own advocate: asking for what you need as a student, and exploring different resources. For this reason, your ACE academic advisor will meet with you each semester and work with you to create a success plan to help you achieve what you define as success for yourself.