About the Program
An international leader in social work practice and social policy, Berkeley Social Welfare has prepared over 11,000 social work professionals and social welfare scholars for a range of leadership, research, teaching, and advanced practice roles. Since 1942 we have offered the undergraduate major in Social Welfare leading to the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, under the jurisdiction of the College of Letters & Science. Berkeley Social Welfare's B.A. degree program was ranked #1 by USA Today College Factual in 2016.
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Social Welfare
The Social Welfare undergraduate major emphasizes an educational experience that is grounded in the liberal arts rather than specialized training in the profession of social work—thus its designation as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, and not the professional Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree.
The Undergraduate Social Welfare major reflects Berkeley Social Welfare’s goal to provide Berkeley undergraduate students with a broad-based introduction to America’s social welfare problems and social policies within a social science context. Students gain knowledge of organized networks of public and private social services, and the basic practice methods associated with the social work profession. In doing so, students acquire the knowledge needed to understand, address, and actively participate in the amelioration of critical social problems in American society.
Prerequisite Entry Requirements
Students interested in declaring the Social Welfare major should thoroughly explore the Social Welfare field as a major; become familiar with the curriculum and its required sequence; and complete the prerequisite entry requirements as soon as possible.
Social Welfare is a high-demand major. Prerequisites are strictly enforced and enrollment controls are in place for required courses to manage student demand. There are also limitations on the number of major declarations we are able to accommodate each year.
Before petitioning to declare the Social Welfare major, students must complete all of the prerequisites listed below. Prerequisites should be completed as soon as possible since student demand for the Social Welfare major currently exceeds the total number of majors we are able to accommodate.
All prerequisite courses must be successfully completed with a minimum letter grade of C. Prerequisites can be satisfied at Berkeley, or through IGETC or UC Reciprocity for transfer students. High school AP scores that are high enough to provide credit for university units can be accepted in place of a prerequisite class.
- Fulfillment of the L&S Reading and Composition (R&C) Requirement:
The College of Letters & Science (L&S) requires two semesters of lower division work in composition, Reading and Composition (R&C), parts A and B, in sequential order. All undergraduates must complete the R&C requirement by the end of their fourth semester.
- Fulfillment of the L&S Quantitative Reasoning Requirement OR a Berkeley Data Science Course:
All L&S students must complete a minimum of three (3) units of approved Quantitative Reasoning coursework in math, statistics, or computer science. This requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course. The prerequisite entry requirement for the Social Welfare major may also be satisfied by taking a Berkeley Data Science course.
- Introductory Psychology:
PSYCH 1 or PSYCH 2, or equivalent.
- Introductory Sociology:
SOCIOL 1 or SOCIOL 3AC, or equivalent.
When and How to Declare the Major
Students must be accepted into and declared in the Social Welfare major in order to be eligible for enrollment in the introductory course SOC WEL 110. Because enrollment in SOC WEL 110 is restricted to majors, students should be declared by the time the pre-enrollment period begins ahead of the semester in which they plan to take SOC WEL 110.
Students may petition to declare the Social Welfare major as soon as they have completed the prerequisite entry requirements. Students who enter UC Berkeley as freshmen and intend to major in Social Welfare should complete prerequisites and declare the major as soon as possible. Past trends indicate a student should complete the prerequisites by the end of their 3rd semester to declare the major in a timely manner for graduation within eight semesters at Berkeley. All students must declare a major before the beginning of their Junior year, or the College of Letters and Science may block registration. Also, because Social Welfare is currently a high-demand major, all students must petition to declare the Social Welfare major by the time they have accrued 80 units, including work in progress (AP, IB, and college units earned before high school graduation are excluded from the 80-unit accrual total). Transfer students must declare a major by the start of their second semester at Berkeley, or the College of Letters & Science may block registration.
Students are eligible to submit the Petition to Declare e-Form once they have satisfied all of the prerequisite entry requirements and received a letter grade for each course. Petitions must include unofficial transcripts and a 4-year program plan indicating how the applicant intends to complete the major requirements by their expected graduation date. For assistance with program planning, please make plans to meet with a major advisor or attend an information session. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
To earn the Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Welfare, students must satisfy all requirements of the University of California, the Berkeley campus and the College of Letters & Science (see College Requirements tab), in addition to the requirements for the Social Welfare major.
Social Welfare majors must complete four required upper division social welfare courses and a minimum of five approved social science electives, totaling at least 18 units, from other departments.
All courses used to fulfill major requirements must be taken for a letter grade. In order to graduate. Social Welfare majors must earn a minimum 2.0 GPA in all courses taken to fulfill major requirements.
Upper Division Core Course Requirements
|Required Core Courses|
|SOC WEL 110||Social Work As a Profession||3|
|SOC WEL 112||Social Welfare Policy||3|
|SOC WEL 114||Practice in Social Work||3|
|SOC WEL 116||Current Topics in Social Welfare (or Approved Upper-Division or Graduate Course in Social Welfare)||2|
|Social Science Electives|
|Select a minimum of five approved, upper-division social science electives, totaling at least 18 units (see below)|
Social Science Electives
All Social Welfare majors must complete 5 approved electives that will total a minimum of 18 units. All social sciences elective courses used to fulfill this requirement for the Social Welfare B.A. major must be selected from the following Master List of Approved Social Sciences Courses for Social Welfare Majors. There are no restrictions on what departments may be chosen from the Master List, except that at least 3 elective courses MUST come from the Primary Social Sciences. The remaining two electives may come from either the Primary or Secondary Social Sciences.
Approved Primary Social Sciences Courses for Social Welfare Majors
|ANTHRO 112||Special Topics in Biological Anthropology||4|
|ANTHRO 115||Introduction to Medical Anthropology||4|
|ANTHRO 119||Special Topics in Medical Anthropology||4|
|ANTHRO 121C||Historical Archaeology: Historical Artifact Identification and Analysis||4|
|ANTHRO 137||Energy, Culture and Social Organization||4|
|ANTHRO 141||Comparative Society||4|
|ANTHRO 142||Course Not Available|
|ANTHRO 147A||Anthropology of Gender||4|
|ANTHRO C147B||Sexuality, Culture, and Colonialism||4|
|ANTHRO 149||Psychological Anthropology||4|
|ANTHRO 156B||Culture and Power||4|
|ANTHRO 157||Anthropology of Law||4|
|ANTHRO 158||Religion and Anthropology||4|
|ANTHRO 189||Special Topics in Social/Cultural Anthropology||4|
|ECON 101A||Microeconomics (Math Intensive)||4|
|ECON 101B||Macroeconomics (Math Intensive)||4|
|ECON 105||History of Economic Thought||4|
|ECON C110||Game Theory in the Social Sciences||4|
|ECON 113||U.S Economic History||4|
|ECON 115||The World Economy in the Twentieth Century||4|
|ECON 119||Psychology and Economics||4|
|ECON 121||Industrial Organization and Public Policy||4|
|ECON C125||Environmental Economics||4|
|ECON 131||Public Economics||4|
|ECON 151||Labor Economics||4|
|ECON 152||Wage Theory and Policy||4|
|ECON 153||Labor Economics Seminar||4|
|ECON 155||Urban Economics||3|
|ECON 157||Health Economics||4|
|ECON C171||Development Economics||4|
|ECON 174||Global Poverty and Impact Evaluation||4|
|ECON C175||Economic Demography||4|
|POL SCI 102||The American Presidency||4|
|POL SCI 103||Congress||4|
|POL SCI 104||Political Parties||4|
|POL SCI 105||The Politician||4|
|POL SCI 106A||American Politics: Campaign Strategy - Media||4|
|POL SCI 118AC||Three American Cultures||4|
|POL SCI 122A||Politics of European Integration||4|
|POL SCI 123M||Conflict Management||4|
|POL SCI 124C||Ethics and Justice in International Affairs||4|
|POL SCI C131A||Applied Econometrics and Public Policy||4|
|POL SCI C135||Game Theory in the Social Sciences||4|
|POL SCI 137A||Revolutionary Change||4|
|POL SCI 138E||The Varieties of Capitalism: Political Economic Systems of the World||4|
|POL SCI 147G||The Welfare State in Comparative Perspective||4|
|POL SCI 150||The American Legal System||4|
|POL SCI 157A||Constitutional Law of the United States||4|
|POL SCI 157B||Constitutional Law of the United States||4|
|POL SCI 161||Public Opinion, Voting and Participation||4|
|POL SCI 164A||Political Psychology and Involvement||4|
|POL SCI 166||Latinos and the U.S. Political System||4|
|POL SCI 167AC||Racial and Ethnic Politics in the New American Century||4|
|POL SCI 171||California Politics||4|
|POL SCI 175A||Urban and Metropolitan Government and Politics||4|
|POL SCI 181||Public Organization and Administration||4|
|POL SCI 186||Public Problems||4|
|PSYCH 106||Psychology of Dreams||3|
|PSYCH 109||History of Psychology||3|
|PSYCH C120||Basic Issues in Cognition||3|
|PSYCH C129||Scientific Approaches to Consciousness||3|
|PSYCH 130||Clinical Psychology||3|
|PSYCH 131||Developmental Psychopathology||3|
|PSYCH 132||Applied Early Developmental Psychopathology||3|
|PSYCH 133||Psychology of Sleep||3|
|PSYCH 135||Treating Mental Illness: Development, Evaluation, and Dissemination||3|
|PSYCH 136||Human Sexuality||3|
|PSYCH 139||Case Studies in Clinical Psychology||3|
|PSYCH N140||Developmental Psychology||3|
|PSYCH 141||Development During Infancy||3|
|PSYCH 142||Applied Early Developmental Psychology||3|
|PSYCH 149||Early Development & Learning Science Core Seminar||3|
|PSYCH 150||Psychology of Personality||3|
|PSYCH 156||Human Emotion||3|
|PSYCH 160||Social Psychology||3|
|PSYCH 164||Social Cognition||3|
|PSYCH 166AC||Cultural Psychology||3|
|PSYCH 167AC||Stigma and Prejudice||3|
|PSYCH 169||Love & Close Relationships||3|
|PSYCH 180||Industrial-Organizational Psychology||3|
|SOC WEL 105||Introduction to Child Welfare in California and the U.S.||2|
|SOC WEL 107||Foundations, Philanthropy, and the Social Services: Grant Writing for Program Development||3|
|SOC WEL 148||Substance Abuse Treatment||2|
|SOC WEL 150AC||Race, Ethnic Relations, and Social Welfare in the United States||3|
|SOC WEL 150L||Sexuality and Social Work||2|
|SOC WEL 181||Social Science and Crime Prevention Policy||3|
|SOC WEL 185AC||Prison||4|
|SOC WEL 186||Domestic Violence||2|
|SOCIOL 110||Organizations and Social Institutions||4|
|SOCIOL 111||Sociology of the Family||4|
|SOCIOL 111AC||Sociology of the Family||4|
|SOCIOL 111C||Sociology of Childhood||4|
|SOCIOL 111P||Families, Inequality and Social Policy||4|
|SOCIOL 113AC||Sociology of Education||4|
|SOCIOL C115||Sociology of Health and Medicine||4|
|SOCIOL 114||Sociology of Law||4|
|SOCIOL 116||Sociology of Work||4|
|SOCIOL 117||Sport As a Social Institution||4|
|SOCIOL 120||Economy and Society||4|
|SOCIOL 121||Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Social and Cultural Context||4|
|SOCIOL 124||Sociology of Poverty||4|
|SOCIOL C126||Sex, Death, and Data||4|
|SOCIOL 127||Development and Globalization||4|
|SOCIOL 130||Social Inequalities||4|
|SOCIOL 130AC||Social Inequalities: American Cultures||4|
|SOCIOL 131||Race and Ethnic Relations: The United States Experience||4|
|SOCIOL 131AC||Race and Ethnic Relations: U.S. American Cultures||4|
|SOCIOL 131F||Four Centuries of Black-White Relations in the United States||4|
|SOCIOL 133||Sociology of Gender||4|
|SOCIOL 135||Sexual Cultures||4|
|SOCIOL 136||Urban Sociology||4|
|SOCIOL 137AC||Environmental Justice: Race, Class, Equity, and the Environment||4|
|SOCIOL 139||Selected Topics in Social Inequality||4|
|SOCIOL 140||Politics and Social Change||4|
|SOCIOL 145||Social Change||4|
|SOCIOL 145AC||Social Change: American Cultures||4|
|SOCIOL 145L||Social Change in Latin America||4|
|SOCIOL 146||Contemporary Immigration in Global Perspective||4|
|SOCIOL 148||Social Policy||4|
|SOCIOL 150||Social Psychology||4|
|SOCIOL 151||Personality and Social Structure||4|
|SOCIOL 152||Deviance and Social Control||4|
|SOCIOL 160||Sociology of Culture||4|
|SOCIOL 165||Social Networks||4|
|SOCIOL 166||Society and Technology||4|
|SOCIOL 167||Virtual Communities/Social Media||4|
|SOCIOL 169||Selected Topics in Sociology of Culture||4|
|SOCIOL 180C||Comparative Perspectives on U.S. and European Societies: Culture||4|
|SOCIOL 180I||Comparative Perspectives on U.S. and European Societies: Inequality||4|
|SOCIOL 185||Global Sociology||3|
|SOCIOL 186||American Society||4|
|SOCIOL 189||Selected Topics in Comparative Perspectives||4|
Approved Secondary Social Sciences Courses for Social Welfare Major
|AFRICAM 107||Race and Public Policy||3|
|AFRICAM 109||Black and Male in American Life||3|
|AFRICAM 111||Race, Class, and Gender in the United States||3|
|AFRICAM 115||Language and Social Issues in Africa||3|
|AFRICAM 116||Slavery and African American Life Before 1865||4|
|AFRICAM 117||African Americans in the Industrial Age, 1865-1970||4|
|AFRICAM 121||Black Political Life in the United States||4|
|AFRICAM 122||African American Families in American Society||3|
|AFRICAM W124||The Philosophy of Martin Luther King||3|
|AFRICAM 125||History of the Civil Rights Movement||4|
|AFRICAM 131||Caribbean Societies and Cultures||3|
|AFRICAM C133A||What is the Role of Race in Urban Schools?||3|
|AFRICAM 136||Criminal Justice and the Community||3|
|AFRICAM 137||Multicultural Communities||3|
|AFRICAM 138||Black Nationalism||4|
|AFRICAM 139||Selected Topics of African American Social Organization and Institutions||1-4|
|AFRICAM C156||Race, Space, and Inequality||4|
|AFRICAM 112A||Political and Economic Development in the Third World||4|
|AMERSTD 101||Examining U.S. Cultures in Time||4|
|AMERSTD 102||Examining U.S. Cultures in Place||4|
|ART 165||Art, Medicine, and Disabilities||4|
|ASAMST 121||Chinese American History||4|
|ASAMST 122||Japanese American History||4|
|ASAMST 123||Korean American History||4|
|ASAMST 124||Filipino American History||4|
|ASAMST 125||Contemporary Issues of Southeast Asian Refugees in the U.S||4|
|ASAMST 126||Southeast Asian Migration and Community Formation||4|
|ASAMST 127||South Asian American Historical and Contemporary Issues||4|
|ASAMST 128AC||Muslims in America||4|
|ASAMST 132||Islamaphobia and Constructing Otherness||4|
|ASAMST 141||Law in the Asian American Community||4|
|ASAMST 145AC||Politics, Public Policy, and Asian American Communities||4|
|ASAMST 146||Asian Americans and Education||4|
|ASAMST 150||Gender and Generation in Asian American Families||4|
|ASAMST 151||Asian American Women: Theory and Experience||4|
|UGBA 107||The Social, Political, and Ethical Environment of Business||3|
|UGBA 192A||Leading Nonprofit and Social Enterprises||3|
|CHICANO 135A||Latino Narrative Film: to the 1980s||4|
|CHICANO 135B||Latino Narrative Film Since 1990||4|
|CHICANO 150B||History of the Southwest: Mexican-United States War to Present||4|
|CHICANO 159||Mexican Immigration||4|
|CHICANO 161||Central American Peoples and Cultures||4|
|CHICANO 165||Cuba, the United States and Cuban Americans||4|
|CHICANO 172||Chicanos and the Educational System||4|
|CHICANO 174||Chicanos, Law, and Criminal Justice||4|
|CHICANO 176||Chicanos and Health Care||3|
|CHICANO 180||Topics in Chicano Studies||1-4|
|City & Regional Planning|
|CY PLAN 110||Introduction to City Planning||4|
|CY PLAN 113B||Community and Economic Development||4|
|CY PLAN 114||Introduction to Urban and Regional Transportation||3|
|CY PLAN 118AC||The Urban Community||4|
|CY PLAN 119||Planning for Sustainability||4|
|CY PLAN 120||Community Planning and Public Policy for Disability||3|
|DEMOG 145AC||The American Immigrant Experience||4|
|DEMOG C164||Impact of Government Policies on Poor Children and Families||4|
|DEMOG C165||Family and Household in Comparative Perspective||3|
|DEMOG C175||Economic Demography||4|
|EDUC 114A||Early Development and Education||4|
|EDUC 140AC||The Art of Making Meaning: Educational Perspectives on Literacy and Learning in a Global World||4|
|EDUC W153||Research in Education: Studying Educational Inequality and Possiblity||4|
|EDUC C181||What is the Role of Race in Urban Schools?||3|
|EDUC 182AC||The Politics of Educational Inequality||4|
|EDUC 185||Gender and Education: International Perspectives||3|
|EDUC 186AC||The Southern Border||4|
|EDUC 188F||Language, Race, and Power in Education||3|
|EDUC 189||Democracy and Education||4|
|EDUC 190||Critical Studies in Education||4|
|EDUC 191B||Gender Issues in Education||3|
|EDUC C193A||Environmental Education||3|
|Environmental Science, Policy & Management|
|ESPM 161||Environmental Philosophy and Ethics||4|
|ESPM 163AC||Environmental Justice: Race, Class, Equity, and the Environment||4|
|ESPM C167||Environmental Health and Development||4|
|ETH STD 126||Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality||4|
|ETH STD 130||The Making of Multicultural America: A Comparative Historical Perspective||4|
|ETH STD 135||Contemporary U.S. Immigration||4|
|ETH STD 136||Immigrant Women||4|
|ETH STD 141||Racial Politics in America||4|
|ETH STD 144AC||Racism and the U.S. Law: Historical Treatment of Peoples of Color||4|
|ETH STD 147||Women of Color in the United States||4|
|ETH STD 150||People of Mixed Racial Descent||4|
|ETH STD 159AC||The Southern Border||4|
|ETH STD 181AC||Prison||4|
|Gender & Women's Studies|
|GWS 100AC||Women in American Culture||3|
|GWS 103||Identities Across Difference||4|
|GWS 111||Special Topics||1-4|
|GWS 130AC||Gender, Race, Nation, and Health||4|
|GWS 132AC||Gender, Race, and Law||4|
|GWS 139||Why Work? Gender and Labor Under Capitalism||4|
|GWS 143||Women, Proverty, and Globalization||4|
|GWS C146A||Cultural Representations of Sexualities: Queer Literary Culture||4|
|GWS C146B||Cultural Representations of Sexualities: Queer Visual Culture||4|
|GWS 155||Gender and Transnational Migration||4|
|Global Poverty & Practice|
|GPP 115||Global Poverty: Challenges and Hopes||4|
|Health & Medical Sciences|
|HMEDSCI C133||Death, Dying, and Modern Medicine: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives||4|
|HISTORY 111B||Topics in the History of Southeast Asia: Modern Southeast Asia||4|
|HISTORY 111C||Topics in the History of Southeast Asia: Political and Cultural History of Vietnam||4|
|HISTORY 114B||India: Modern South Asia||4|
|HISTORY 120AC||American Environmental and Cultural History||4|
|HISTORY 125A||African American History and Race Relations: 1450-1860||4|
|HISTORY 125B||African American History and Race Relations: 1860-2016||4|
|HISTORY 131B||Social History of the United States: Creating Modern American Society: From the End of the Civil War||4|
|HISTORY 136||Gender Matters in 20th Century America||4|
|HISTORY 137AC||Immigrants and Immigration as U.S. History||4|
|HISTORY C139B||The American Immigrant Experience||4|
|HISTORY C139C||Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History||4|
|HISTORY C139D||From Civil Rights Era to the New Gilded Age: Struggles for Racial Equality and Economic Equity from 'Double Victory' to 'Occupy'||4|
|HISTORY 140B||Mexico: Modern Mexico||4|
|HISTORY 141B||Social History of Latin America: Social History of Modern Latin America||4|
|HISTORY 146||Latin American Women||4|
|HISTORY C191||Death, Dying, and Modern Medicine: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives||4|
|Interdisciplinary Studies Field|
|ISF 100A||Introduction to Social Theory and Cultural Analysis||4|
|ISF 100B||Interdisciplinary Theories of the Self and Identity||4|
|LEGALST 102||Policing and Society||4|
|LEGALST 132AC||Immigration and Citizenship||4|
|LEGALST 145||Law and Economics I||4|
|LEGALST 147||Law and Economics II||4|
|LEGALST 151||Law, Self, and Society||3|
|LEGALST 155||Government and the Family||4|
|LEGALST 160||Punishment, Culture, and Society||4|
|LEGALST 163||Adolescence, Crime and Juvenile Justice||4|
|LEGALST 168||Sex, Reproduction and the Law||4|
|LEGALST 170||Crime and Criminal Justice||4|
|LEGALST 181||Psychology and the Law||4|
|LEGALST 182||Law, Politics and Society||4|
|LEGALST 183||Psychology of Diversity and Discrimination in American Law||4|
|LEGALST 184||Sociology of Law||4|
|LEGALST 187||Diversity, Law & Politics||4|
|Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Studies|
|LGBT 100||Special Topics||4|
|LGBT 145||Interpreting the Queer Past: Methods and Problems in the History of Sexuality||4|
|LGBT 146||Cultural Representations of Sexuality||4|
|LGBT C146B||Cultural Representations of Sexualities: Queer Visual Culture||4|
|LGBT C147B||Sexuality, Culture, and Colonialism||4|
|LGBT C148||Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality||4|
|Native American Studies|
|NATAMST 100||Native American Law||4|
|NATAMST 101||Native American Tribal Governments||4|
|NATAMST 149||Gender in Native American Society||4|
|NATAMST 151||Native American Philosophy||4|
|NATAMST 176||History of Native Americans in the Southwest||4|
|NATAMST 178AC||Africans in Indian Country||4|
|NATAMST 190||Seminar on Advanced Topics in Native American Studies||1-4|
|Peace & Conflict Studies|
|PACS 119||Special Topics in Peace and Conflict Issues||4|
|PACS 125AC||War, Culture, and Society||4|
|PACS 126||International Human Rights||4|
|PACS 150||Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice||3|
|PACS 154||Multicultural Conflict Resolution||4|
|PACS 170||Conflict Resolution, Social Change, and the Cultures of Peace||4|
|PB HLTH 107||Violence, Social Justice, and Public Health||2|
|PB HLTH 112||Global Health: A Multidisciplinary Examination||4|
|PB HLTH 150A||Introduction to Epidemiology and Human Disease||4|
|PB HLTH 150D||Introduction to Health Policy and Management||3|
|PB HLTH 150E||Introduction to Community Health and Human Development||3|
|PB HLTH C155||Sociology of Health and Medicine||4|
|PB HLTH 181||Poverty and Population||3|
|PUB POL 101||Introduction to Public Policy Analysis||4|
|PUB POL 103||Wealth and Poverty||4|
|PUB POL 117AC||Race, Ethnicity, and Public Policy||4|
|PUB POL 156||Program and Policy Design||4|
|PUB POL C164||Impact of Government Policies on Poor Children and Families||4|
|PUB POL 179||Public Budgeting||4|
|PUB POL 190||Special Topics in Public Policy||1-4|
|RHETOR 152AC||Race and Order in the New Republic||4|
|Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies|
|UGIS 110||Introduction to Disability Studies||3|
|UGIS 112||Women and Disability||3|
|UGIS C135||Visual Autobiography||4|
Supplemental Elective Units
Students who choose five social science electives which do not total 18 units will need additional coursework to supplement the five electives. Supplemental units can be chosen from the approved courses in either a primary or a secondary social science department, from elective Social Welfare coursework, group study, or community service units. Courses for supplemental units may be taken on a Pass/No Pass basis.
College of Letters & Science Requirements
The Social Welfare B.A. major is under the jurisdiction of the College of Letters & Science (L&S), which is the degree-granting college.
Undergraduate students must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those required by their major program.
For detailed lists of courses that fulfill college requirements, please review the College of Letters & Sciences page in this Guide. For College advising appointments, please visit the L&S Advising Pages.
University of California Requirements
All students who will 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 US resident graduated from an American university, should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.
Berkeley Campus Requirement
All undergraduate students at Cal need to take and pass this course in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of 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.
College of Letters & Science Essential Skills Requirements
The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is designed to ensure that students graduate with basic understanding and competency in math, statistics, or computer science. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course.
The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work.
In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing, and critical thinking the College requires two semesters of lower division work in composition in sequence. Students must complete parts A & B reading and composition courses by the end of their second semester and a second-level course by the end of their fourth semester.
College of Letters & Science 7 Course Breadth Requirements
The undergraduate breadth requirements provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program. As the foundation of a liberal arts education, breadth courses give students a view into the intellectual life of the University while introducing them to a multitude of perspectives and approaches to research and scholarship. Engaging students in new disciplines and with peers from other majors, the breadth experience strengthens interdisciplinary connections and context that prepares Berkeley graduates to understand and solve the complex issues of their day.
120 total units
Of the 120 units, 36 must be upper division units
- Of the 36 upper division units, 6 must be taken in courses offered outside your major department
For units to be considered in "residence," you must be registered in courses on the Berkeley campus as a student in the College of Letters & Science. Most students automatically fulfill the residence requirement by attending classes here for four years. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless you go abroad for a semester or year or want to take courses at another institution or through UC Extension during your senior year. In these cases, you should make an appointment to meet an adviser to determine how you can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.
Note: Courses taken through UC Extension do not count toward residence.
Senior Residence Requirement
After you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned toward your BA degree), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence in at least two semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units. Intercampus Visitor, EAP, and UC Berkeley-Washington Program (UCDC) units are excluded.
You may use a Berkeley Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence requirement, provided that you successfully complete 6 units of course work in the Summer Session and that you have been enrolled previously in the college.
Modified Senior Residence Requirement
Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP), Berkeley Summer Abroad, or the UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) may meet a Modified Senior Residence requirement by completing 24 (excluding EAP) of their final 60 semester units in residence. At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units.
Upper Division Residence Requirement
You must complete in residence a minimum of 18 units of upper division courses (excluding UCEAP units), 12 of which must satisfy the requirements for your major.
Major Maps help undergraduate students discover academic, co-curricular, and discovery opportunities at UC Berkeley based on intended major or field of interest. Developed by the Division of Undergraduate Education in collaboration with academic departments, these experience maps will help you:
Explore your major and gain a better understanding of your field of study
Connect with people and programs that inspire and sustain your creativity, drive, curiosity and success
Discover opportunities for independent inquiry, enterprise, and creative expression
Engage locally and globally to broaden your perspectives and change the world
- Reflect on your academic career and prepare for life after Berkeley
Use the major map below as a guide to planning your undergraduate journey and designing your own unique Berkeley experience.
Berkeley Connect in Social Welfare
Berkeley Social Welfare is a participating department in the Berkeley Connect academic mentoring program for undergraduate majors. Undergraduate students are paired with a graduate student mentor from the Social Welfare doctoral program. Participants are grouped by declared or intended major to allow students to discover mutual academic interests. Over the course of a semester, enrolled students participate in regular small-group discussions facilitated by a graduate student mentor (following a faculty-directed curriculum), meet with their graduate student mentor for one-on-one advising, attend lectures and panel discussions featuring department faculty and alumni, and go on field trips to campus resources.
Social Welfare Undergraduate Honors Program
The honors program in social welfare provides an opportunity for qualified undergraduates to investigate thoroughly an area of interest, to work closely with a faculty member, and to produce a paper of some magnitude. Students who meet the eligibility requirements, which include a 3.5 grade point average (GPA) overall and in the major core courses, and completion of SOC WEL 110, are invited to apply to the Senior Honors Program. Selected students enroll in the Senior Honors Course (SOC WEL H195) in their senior year. The fall H195 (one unit) is a two-hour biweekly seminar addressing topic identification, library research, and the preparation of an annotated bibliography and essay prospectus. The spring H195 (one to three units) is an individual tutorial in which students prepare the honors thesis essay under the supervision of a faculty adviser.
Faculty and Instructors
Adrian Aguilera, Assistant Professor. Culture and SES and mental health, mental health services research in low-income populations, Latino and minority mental health, health disparities, cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression, mobile technology (mHealth) and mental health, digital health.
Michael J. Austin, Professor. Strategic planning, social welfare, social service management, organizational development.
Jill Duerr Berrick, Professor. Family policy, child and family poverty, child abuse and neglect, foster care, kinship care, Child welfare services.
Julian Chow, Professor. East Asian studies, social welfare, community practice and service delivery in urban poverty, ethnic, and immigrant neighborhoods, community analysis and needs assessment, program planning and development, and cultural competency services.
Jeffrey Edleson, Professor. Program evaluation, family violence, child maltreatment, engaging men, violence prevention.
Neil Gilbert, Professor. Social welfare, comparative welfare state analysis, child welfare, evaluation research, family policy, social security.
Anu Gomez, Assistant Professor. Reproductive health, violence against women, health disparities.
Erin M. Kerrison, Assistant Professor. Crime, criminal justice, drug control, gender, health disparities, inequality, law, mass incarceration, mental health, mixed methods, policing, policy, poverty, prisons, punishment, race, risk, reentry, substance abuse, trauma, violence, race and gender.
James Midgley, Professor. Development, social development, social policy, community development, International social welfare, global poverty and inequality.
Kurt C. Organista, Professor. Social welfare, race/ethnicity, HIV prevention, social behavior.
Tina K. Sacks, Assistant Professor. Racial disparities in health; social determinants of health; race, class and gender; and poverty and inequality.
Andrew E. Scharlach, Professor. Aging, social welfare, family issues, aging-friendly communities, long-term care policies.
Steven P. Segal, Professor. Psychiatry, methodology, social welfare, mental health and social policy.
Valerie Shapiro, Assistant Professor. Social work, prevention, mental health, intervention, effective, preventive, sustainability, adoption, community, coalition, collaboration, strength, school, assessment, screening, resilience, translation, dissemination, implementation, doctoral, education, communities that care, social emotional, youth, children, DESSA.
Jennifer Skeem, Professor. Psychology, mental health, criminal justice, risk assessment, intervention.
Paul R. Sterzing, Assistant Professor. Polyvictimization, Bullying, Microaggressions, Microaffirmations, Youth Violence, family violence, prevention, Mental and Behavioral Health, trauma, Risk and Protective Factors, Vulnerable Children and Adolescents, Sexual and Gender Minority Youth and their Families.
Susan Irene Stone, Associate Professor. School-based psycho-social services, school-effects, archival data analysis.
Robert H. Ayasse, Field Consultant.
Luna Calderon, Field Consultant.
Denicia Carlay, Field Consultant.
Andrea I. Dubrow, Field Consultant.
Christina Feliciana, Field Consultant.
Susana C. Fong, Field Consultant.
Isela Garcia White, Field Consultant.
Jennifer L. Jackson, Field Consultant.
Gregory S. Merrill, Field Consultant.
Catharine J. Ralph, Field Consultant.
Claudia L. Albano, Lecturer.
Jamie Bachman, Lecturer.
Sevaughn Banks, Lecturer.
Caroline R. Cangelosi, Lecturer.
Eveline Chang, Lecturer.
Barbara L. Ivins, Lecturer.
Richard J. Nizzardini, Lecturer.
Patti Park, Lecturer.
Amanda E. Reiman, Lecturer.
Christine Scudder, Lecturer.
Stanley B. Taubman, Lecturer.
Keshia Williams, Lecturer.
Anne-Therese Ageson, Professor Emeritus.
Bari Cornet, Professor Emeritus.
Eileen Gambrill, Professor Emeritus. Social welfare, professional ethics and education, social learning theory, behavioral methods.
Jewelle T. Gibbs, Professor Emeritus.
Bart Grossman, Professor Emeritus.
Rafael Herrera, Professor Emeritus.
Ralph M. Kramer, Professor Emeritus.
Peter G. Manoleas, Professor Emeritus.
Mary Ann Mason, Professor Emeritus. Law, social welfare, family and children policy.
Lorraine T. Midanik, Professor Emeritus. Social welfare, research methodology, health behavior and policy.
Henry Miller, Professor Emeritus.
Leonard S. Miller, Professor Emeritus.
Robert Pruger, Professor Emeritus.
William M. Runyan, Professor Emeritus. Human behavior, social welfare, life history.
Paul Terrell, Professor Emeritus.
Yu-Wen Ying, Professor Emeritus. Social welfare, race/ethnicity, immigrant and refugee family relationships, mental health disorders.