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University Credit Program (UCP)


University Credit Program (UCP) allows high school students to directly earn university transferrable credits online, taught by faculty from three accredited and award-winning colleges in Silicon Valley. 

UCP courses are 100% recognized by all university members of College University Partnership (CUP), which represents 140+ public and private well-known universities that promote international education mobility and academic exchange. Founded in 2017 by San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley (SMCSV) and assisted by UC Berkeley and other highly ranked universities, the members recognize and advocate the two main routes to obtain a baccalaureate degree in universities: University Freshmen Admissions (UFA) and University Transfer Admissions (UTA). To promote UTA, San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley courses are articulated and students are offered guaranteed transfer admission to most of our partner universities in CUP. For the universities without a guaranteed transfer agreement, students can still take advantage of an easier transfer process, knowing that the academic credits accumulated at our colleges will count towards their Bachelor’s degree once they transfer to the 4-year university. Therefore, any credit taken by the student is legitimate university credit since it is the same in both quality and content as the CUP member universities.  

UCP Partners

University Credit Program for Institutions refers to high schools or universities who may adopt the program to obtain quick and cost-neutral benefits for both its students and the institution itself.  UCP is a cohort-based program grounded in modern education theories and practices which indicate that students perform well in group settings with their peers, AKA learning community. 

Current high school students can benefit from UCP by earning up to 6 credits per regular semester within cohorts organized by high school authority or other third parties. Since these credits are 100% university transfer credits, they will help students with their college applications as well as reduce tuition and study length (time to degree). 

University freshmen and sophomores can benefit from the University Credit Program by earning up to 12 credits per regular semester and using those credits for a variety of purposes. 


Education institutions such as high schools and universities who desire the following benefits should strongly consider adopting the University Credit Program offered by San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley.

Students benefit from:  

  • Earning university credits  
  • Enhancing their academic portfolio  
  • Strengthening their applications for US university or college application 
  • Experiencing the real American college classroom 
  • Saving large sums in tuition costs  
  • Expediting the “time to degree” by using transferrable CUP credits at the admitted university or college 
  • Taking American college courses during regular hours in the comfort of their homes or classrooms 

Institutions can benefit from:   

  • Prestige of an American college program on their campus
  • Faculty and staff dialogues and professional development across borders
  • Exclusive access to UCP resources
  • Straightforward college credits to students vs. other college prep programs
  • Low risk and fast deployment compared to other more expensive and time-consuming deployment of similar college prep
  • Minimum demand on existing staffing and resources
  • Having courses offered by accredited and award-winning colleges recognized by CUP

Adoption and Deployment Steps

The specific business process of adopting and deploying the University Credit Program for Institutions is as follows, and it can happen within 1-3 months:  

    1. Informational seminars 
    2. University Credit Program Readiness Assessment of institution’s interest and readiness 
    3. A proposal for becoming a University Credit Program partnership institution 
    4. Initial readiness meetings to discuss the proposal 
    5. Operational meetings to develop a business plan for deploying the University Credit Program
    6. Certification of University Credit Program 


The courses are offered by the three fully accredited colleges of San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley. The selection of courses is limited to the general level of academic needs of the students in the partner institution. For high school students, the courses are General Education courses or introductory courses in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).  

Student Eligibility

The institution should collect information from students interested in the University Credit Program to complete an online application as a group with copies of the required documents.  

Students must obtain the following eligibility: 

  • English levels measured by TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, or SVIEP Placement Test (see SVIEP test scores equivalencies with other testing tools)
  • Age 16 at the time of course starting
  • School transcript
  • Copy of government issued ID 

Partnership Application

If you are interested in becoming our UCP Partner, please fill out the application.

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