American History and American Institutions Requirement

The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a US resident graduated from an American university should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

Before enrolling at Berkeley, students may satisfy both the American History and American Institutions in the following ways:

High School Course Work: By fulfilling the portion of the "a" subject requirement for freshman admission that consists of one year of US history or one-half year of US history and one-half year of US government in high school with letter grades of C or better.

Advanced Placement or SAT Exam: By passing the high school Advanced Placement American History exam with a score of 3 or better; or the SAT Subject Test (formerly Achievement Test) in US history with a score of 550 or better (500 or better if taken before April 1995). (NOTE: Only the American Institutions requirement may be satisfied by passing the high school Advanced Placement US Government exam with a score of 3 or better.)

International Baccalaureate Exam: By passing the International Baccalaureate Higher Level (IBHL) History of the Americas exam with a score of 5, 6 or 7.

Other College or University Course Work: By passing with a grade of C or better or P, one quarter or semester of a transferable course in basic US history or US government at a college or university before entering Berkeley. Students may also go to ASSIST, the California transfer credit information system, to find California community college courses that have been approved to satisfy the American History and American Institutions requirements.

Other UC Campus: For students transferring from another UC campus: by passing any course or courses that satisfy the AH&I requirements of that campus.

Please direct inquiries about courses from institutions not listed above to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 110 Sproul Hall.

After enrolling at Berkeley, students must satisfy the American History and Institutions Requirements by completing two courses with a grade of P, C- or better: one to satisfy the American History requirement and another to satisfy the American Institutions requirement.

American History requirement

HISTORY 131BSocial History of the United States: Creating Modern American Society: From the End of the Civil War to the Global Age
HISTORY 138History of Science in the U.S.
HISTORY 138THistory of Science in the US CalTeach
HISTORY 7AIntroduction to the History of the United States: The United States from Settlement to Civil War
HISTORY 7BIntroduction to the History of the United States: The United States from Civil War to Present
HISTORY N131BSocial History of the United States: 1914-Present

American Institutions requirement

POL SCI 1Introduction to American Politics

Students may also use a combination of one UCB courses and one approved course from another college or university.

International Students

The AH&I requirements will be waived if you have at least 90.5 semester units (senior status) and hold both a current, non-immigrant visa (F is the most common) and an I-94 departure record. You must present your visa and I-94 record to the Office of the Registrar, 120 Sproul Hall, during the semester in which you will graduate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the American History and Institutions (AH&I) requirements?

The AH&I requirements constitute two of the University's graduation requirements. They were established in accordance with Academic Senate Regulation 638, which reads as follows:
"A knowledge of American history and of the principles of American Institutions under the federal and state constitutions is required of all candidates for the degree of A.B., B.Arch., and B.S. This requirement may be met by passing an examination or examinations under the direction of the appropriate committee, or by passing any course or courses of instruction that may be accepted as satisfactory by that committee. The papers submitted in the examination shall be rated 'passed' or 'not passed'."
However, UC Berkeley does not currently offer an exam or exams to satisfy the requirements.

In CalCentral it indicates that I still need to satisfy my AH&I requirements, but I took the necessary course work (or exam) in high school or at another college. How do I fix this?

If the course you completed was approved to satisfy the requirements, but about mid-way through your first semester at UC Berkeley your records still indicate that you have not satisfied your AH&I requirements, go to 110 Sproul Hall and ask for your Admissions Officer to double-check your records.

As a California community college transfer student I satisfied the IGETC requirements. Does this mean I have automatically satisfied my AH&I requirements?

No. Unless you passed one of the approved American history or political science courses at your colleges, you have not satisfied the AH&I requirements. Use the California transfer credit system ASSIST to find out what courses are approved at the California community college you attended before transferring to UC Berkeley. Remember, many transfer students satisfied the requirement in high school.

May I take an online class from UC Cross Campus Enrollment or a community college in spring together with my regular curriculum at Cal?

You must request and receive approval from your College to be concurrently enrolled at Cal and another college during a regular academic term (i.e. Fall or Spring). Contact an advisor in your College.

May I satisfy the satisfy the American History or the American Institutions requirement by taking a class at a community college in the summer after I graduate?

You may take use a community college course taken during the summer after you’ve met all other requirements to graduate, BUT then, you must delay your graduation date from Spring to Summer as you will not have satisfied the requirement by the end of the Spring Semester.

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