American History and American Institutions Requirement

American History and Institutions Requirements (AH&I)

The American History and Institutions (AH&I) 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:

  1. High School Course WorkBy satisfying the portion of the area “History/Social Science (a)” requirement for freshman admission that consists of one year of U.S. history; or one-half year of U.S. history and one-half year of civics or American government with letter grades of C or better.
  2. SAT Exam: By passing the SAT Subject Test in US history with a score of 550 or better (500 or better if taken before April 1995).
  3. Advanced PlacementBy passing the Advanced Placement (AP) ‘United States History’ exam with a score of 3 or better. (NOTE: Only the American Institutions requirement may be satisfied by passing the high school Advanced Placement ‘United States Government and Politics’ exam with a score of 3 or better.)
  4. International Baccalaureate Exam: By passing the International Baccalaureate Higher Level (IB-HL) History of the Americas exam with a score of 5 or higher.
  5. Other College or University Course Work: By passing with a grade of C or better or P (if Pass is equivalent to a C [2.00]), one quarter or semester of a UC-transferable course in basic US history or US government at a college or university before entering Berkeley. Students may also refer to ASSIST, to find California community college courses that have been approved to satisfy the American History and American Institutions requirements.
  6. 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. For inquiries, please contact the Central Evaluation Unit by opening a case with Cal Student Central.

After enrolling at Berkeley, students who have not already satisfied the AH&I requirements may pursue one of the following options:

  1. Berkeley Coursework (two options): (1) Complete either two pre-approved courses on the Berkeley campus with a grade of C- or higher or P, to include one course from the ‘American History Requirement’ list, and a second course from the ‘American Institutions Requirement’ list below, or (2) complete one approved course from the ‘Both American History and American Institutions’ list below.
  2. Other College or University: Complete two pre-approved transfer courses with a grade of C or higher or P, one for American History and another for American Institutions. For California Community Colleges, students must complete an approved equivalent to HISTORY 7A  or HISTORY 7B, as well as an approved equivalent to POL SCI 1. Equivalent courses are published on ASSIST. For other colleges or universities, open a case via Cal Student Central and request a review of course options for your campus of interest
  3. Combination of Berkeley and Other College or University: Students may also use a combination of one approved Berkeley course and one approved course from another college or university, provided one course satisfies American History and the other satisfies American Institutions per the guidelines noted above.

American History Requirement

HISTORY 7AIntroduction to the History of the United States: The United States from Settlement to Civil War4
HISTORY 7BIntroduction to the History of the United States: The United States from Civil War to Present4
HISTORY 125AAfrican American History and Race Relations: 1450-18604
HISTORY 125BAfrican American History and Race Relations: 1860-20164
HISTORY 128ACCalifornia, the West, and the World4
HISTORY 130American Foreign Policy4
HISTORY 131BSocial History of the United States: Creating Modern American Society: From the End of the Civil War to the Global Age4
HISTORY 131CIn the Shadow of War: A Social History of the U.S. Military4
HISTORY 132CAmerican Religious History4
HISTORY 133AThe History of American Capitalism4
HISTORY 133BWall Street / Main Street4
HISTORY 135BEncounter & Conquest in Indigenous America4
HISTORY 137ACThe Repeopling of America4
HISTORY 138History of Science in the U.S.4
HISTORY 138THistory of Science in the US CalTeach4

American Institutions Requirement

HISTORY 137ACThe Repeopling of America4
POL SCI 1Introduction to American Politics4
POL SCI N1ACIntroduction to American Politics4

Both American History and American Institutions Requirement

HISTORY 137ACThe Repeopling of America4

Exemption for Nonimmigrant Visa Status

Students with a current nonimmigrant Visa Status (F is the most common) are exempted from this requirement once they complete 90.5 units, so long as their visa status does not change prior to graduation.

For students with a nonimmigrant visa status who plan to apply for residency while at Berkeley, it is advisable to complete American History and Institutions so as not to delay graduation should residency be approved before completing the final term.

For inquiries, please contact the Central Evaluation Unit by opening a case with Cal Student Central.

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.”

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?

For newly admitted students, please note that your status with regard to AH&I may not be up to date until the 8th week of your first semester when the initial transfer credit and exam review is completed. If after the 8th week, the status is still ‘Unsatisfied,’ please contact the Central Evaluation Unit by opening a case with Cal Student Central.

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

No. Unless you passed one of the approved American history or political science courses at your community college(s), you have not satisfied the AH&I requirements. Use ASSIST, to find out what courses are approved at the California community college you attended before transferring to UC Berkeley. Transfer students may also complete AH&I with high school course work. Please contact the Central Evaluation Unit by opening a case with Cal Student Central to find out how best to submit a high school transcript.

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 Berkeley and another college during a regular academic term (i.e. Fall or Spring). Contact your College advising office.

May I satisfy the American History or the American Institutions requirement by taking transfer courses in the summer after I graduate?

You may use transfer courses taken during the summer after you’ve met all other requirements to graduate, BUT you must delay your Expected Graduation Term (EGT) from spring to summer as you will not have satisfied the requirement by the end of the spring semester. Please contact your College advising office to find out more about how to change your (EGT).

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