Introduction to the College
At the core of the College of Engineering's mission are values that drive us to educate inclusive leaders and create knowledge equitably in service of a diverse society.
There are many reasons why Berkeley Engineering is ranked among the top three engineering schools in the world:
We offer a dynamic, interdisciplinary, hands-on education.
We challenge conventional thinking and value creativity and imagination.
Our students and faculty are driven by social commitment and want to change the world.
We are a village of entrepreneurs and collaborators within the big city of a renowned public university.
We make a world of difference.
Explore majors and minors available through the College of Engineering.
UC and Campus Requirements
University of California Requirements
All students who enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing Requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley.
The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a U.S. resident graduated from an American university should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.
American Cultures (AC) is the one requirement that all undergraduate students at UC Berkeley need to take and pass in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity, and culture in the United States. AC courses offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.
Students in the College of Engineering must complete no fewer than 120 semester units with the following provisions:
- Completion of the requirements of one Engineering major program of study.
- A minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.000 (C average) and a minimum 2.000 GPA in upper division technical course work required of the major.
- The final 30 units and two semesters must be completed in residence in the College of Engineering on the Berkeley campus.
- All technical courses (math, science, and engineering) that fulfill a requirement for the major must be taken on a letter-graded basis (unless they are only offered P/NP).
- Entering freshmen are allowed a maximum of eight semesters to complete their degree requirements. Entering junior transfers are allowed a maximum of five semesters to complete their degree requirements. Summer terms are optional and do not count toward the maximum. Students are responsible for planning and satisfactorily completing all graduation requirements within the maximum allowable semesters.
- Adhere to all college policies and procedures as they complete degree requirements.
- Complete the lower division program before enrolling in upper division engineering courses.
Humanities and Social Sciences Requirement
To promote a rich and varied educational experience outside of the technical requirements for each major, the College of Engineering has a six-course Humanities and Social Sciences breadth requirement, which must be completed to graduate. This requirement, built into all the Engineering programs of study, includes two Reading and Composition courses (R&C), and four additional courses, within which a number of specific conditions must be satisfied. See the humanities and social sciences section of our website for details.
Class Schedule Requirements
- Minimum units per semester: 12
- Maximum units per semester: 20.5
- College of Engineering undergraduates must include at least two letter graded technical courses (of at least 3 units each) in their semester program. Every semester students are expected to make satisfactory progress in their declared major. Satisfactory progress is determined by the student's Engineering Student Services Advisor. (Note: For most majors, normal progress will require enrolling in 3-4 technical courses each semester). Students who are not in compliance with this policy by the end of the fifth week of the semester are subject to a registration block that will delay enrollment for the following semester.
- All technical courses (math, science, engineering) that satisfy requirements for the major must be taken on a letter-graded basis (unless only offered as P/NP).
Minimum Academic (Grade) Requirements
- Minimum overall and semester grade point averages (GPA) of 2.000 (C average) are required of Engineering undergraduates. Students will be subject to dismissal from the University if during any fall or spring semester their overall UC GPA falls below a 2.000, or their semester GPA is less than 2.000.
- Students must achieve a minimum GPA of 2.000 (C average) in upper division technical courses required of the major curriculum each semester.
- A minimum overall GPA of 2.000 and a minimum 2.000 GPA in upper division technical course work required of the major are required to earn a Bachelor of Science in the College of Engineering.
To earn a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, students must complete at least 120 semester units of courses subject to certain guidelines:
- Completion of the requirements of one Engineering major program of study.
- A maximum of 16 units of special studies coursework (courses numbered 97, 98, 99, 197, 198, or 199) is allowed towards the B.S. degree, and no more than 4 units in any single term can be counted.
- A maximum of 4 units of Physical Education from any school attended will count towards the 120 units.
- Passed (P) grades may account for no more than one third of the total units completed at UC Berkeley, Fall Program for Freshmen (FPF), UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP), or UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) toward the 120 overall minimum unit requirement. Transfer credit is not factored into the limit. This includes transfer units from outside of the UC system, other UC campuses, credit-bearing exams, as well as UC Berkeley Extension XB units.
Students in the College of Engineering must enroll in a full-time program and make normal progress each semester toward the bachelor's degree. The continued enrollment of students who fail to achieve minimum academic progress in their declared major shall be subject to the approval of the dean. (Note: Students with official accommodations established by the Disabled Students' Program, with health or family issues, or with other reasons deemed appropriate by the Dean may petition for an exception to normal progress rules.)
As an engineer, you’ll be finding solutions to the world’s most pressing problems — but first, you’ll need to get the finest possible training in your field. Our globally renowned program attracts the best and brightest students to study with top-tier faculty who are making groundbreaking discoveries. We believe in a solid foundation of math and science but also in the importance of enriching our rigorous curriculum with research opportunities, support services, and team activities. At Berkeley Engineering, we’re fully invested in preparing our future engineers to meet today’s challenges with creativity and innovation. There’s never been a better time to be an engineer.
There are many reasons why the program attracts the best and brightest. Students are encouraged to learn more about Berkeley Engineering by exploring the College's website.
Engineering Student Services (ESS) provides a wide array of programmatic and advising services to College of Engineering undergraduate students. Whether students want to get expert advice on the right classes to take, find an inspiring research position, learn how to negotiate job offers, take advantage of free tutoring, or start a student club, ESS helps them achieve their goals.
Each College of Engineering undergraduate student is assigned an adviser who fosters the academic achievement, intellectual curiosity, and growth of the student. This person is referred to as the Engineering Student Services (ESS) Adviser. Advisers are assigned based upon the student's major and partner with the student throughout his or her entire undergraduate career. An ESS Adviser helps with a wide range of issues including course selection, academic decision-making, graduation requirements, college policies, degree progress, and academic and personal support services to help students reach their academic goals. Explore the ESS website for detailed information on advising services.
College of Engineering students are assigned a faculty adviser who serves as the professional mentor to a student throughout his or her years at Berkeley. Faculty advisers assist with technical course selection, curriculum planning based upon the student's goals, connection to research opportunities, and advice on planning for graduate school and/or industry.
Academic departments also have advisers who ensure that students get connected to faculty, programs, facilities, courses, clubs, and research opportunities that create a meaningful educational experience in the student’s major department.
Sometimes it's helpful to have an experienced student's perspective on how to juggle classes, study, manage time, choose the best enrichment opportunities, or navigate the waters of a large university like UC Berkeley. In cases like these, Engineering Student Services (ESS) Peer Advisers are an amazing resource! They can also assist in answering questions like how to drop a class or choose an elective, and they can provide information about life in their particular majors and the College of Engineering in general.
ESS Peer Advisers provide general information to engineering undergraduates regarding university and college requirements and procedures. This includes information about registration, deadlines, research and leadership opportunities, student organizations, campus resources, and special events. Peer Advisers also meet with prospective students and lead workshops throughout the semester. Learn more about the Peer Advising program by visiting our website.
Dedicated engineering career counselors give feedback on resumes and cover letters, provide advice on finding internships, and coach students on preparing for career fairs and interviews.
It has been said that engineering is the liberal arts of the 21st century — because it’s fundamental to so many other fields. And since Berkeley Engineering offers nearly every possible sub-discipline, you can pursue your specific passion, from bioengineering to nuclear technologies. Whichever field you choose, you’ll find that our engineering students all receive a robust, multidisciplinary education. They have direct access to top faculty, who happen to be some of the brightest minds in their professions. They’re hands-on in the lab or studio. And they’re all driven to find the most innovative, impactful ways to change the world.
To learn more, read on:
Engineering Student Services (ESS)
230 Bechtel Engineering Center
Tsu-Jae King Liu, PhD
Executive Associate Dean
Karl van Bibber, PhD
Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence
Grace O'Connell, PhD
Associate Dean for Students
Evan Variano, PhD
Associate Dean for Faculty
Masayoshi Tomizuka, PhD
Associate Dean for Post-Baccalaureate Programs
Tarek Zohdi, PhD
Department of Bioengineering Chair
Sanjay Kumar, PhD
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Chair
Mark Stacey, PhD
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Chair
Claire Tomlin, PhD
Engineering Science Chair
Scott Moura, PhD
Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Chair
Alper Atamturk, PhD
Department of Materials Science and Engineering Chair
Lane Martin, PhD
Department of Mechanical Engineering Chair
Chris Dames, PhD
Department of Nuclear Engineering Chair
Peter Hosemann, PhD