In August 2021, the UC broadened what math courses will fill the requirements for high school students applying to the University of California.
The UC requires 3 (preferably 4) years of math in high school. This hasn't changed.
Until this year, the UCs wanted all students to have taken math through Algebra 2 or Mathematics II. The usual 3 included: Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2. To get the 4th year students took higher level courses such as pre-calculus, calculus, or AP Statistics.
Now the UC no longer requires Alg. 2 and allows junior students to take different math content related course as Statistics, Data Science, Computer Science, Finite Math, or Probability. This is effective for the 2021-2022 school term and onward. Which means this year's juniors have some more options and seniors may find that a course now counts as math course for the UC.
This allows non-STEM or engineering majors to take courses more relevant to their intended area of study. Humanities, Social Science, and Arts kids can breathe a sigh of relief that they don't "have" to take pre-calculus. Why did the UC do this? Mathematics curriculum has changed under the Common Core educational policy which leads to a broadening of the definition of "math readiness" for college.
It is also a matter of equity, for a variety of reasons many students struggle with absorbing math concepts. This change allows them to keep their mathematical wits sharp in courses that are not concentrated purely on higher math concepts.
In their own words: "By clarifying the definition of college math readiness and expanding the choices of area C math courses students can take to be eligible for UC admissions, students should be encouraged to pursue the mathematics education most relevant to their academic and career goals." UCLA Senate Statement
There are a number of budding historians, sculptors, philosophers, and lawyers for whom math, especially the more complex math in Algebra 2 and beyond, was a huge impediment. Now instead of pre-calculus they can take statistics, data science, computer science, or finite math.
It is important to check with your high school counselor to confirm which courses qualify to complete the math requirement.
I can just hear a huge sigh of relief from those of us aren't planning on going into a career where calculus or trigonometry is required.