Undergraduate Education

As a prospective UC Berkeley undergraduate, you should give careful thought to preparing yourself adequately in reading, writing, mathematics, and other areas related to your intended major. The more comprehensive and challenging your high school or college program is, the better prepared you will be for work at Berkeley.

Please explore the tabbed information on this page to learn more about undergraduate education at UC Berkeley. 

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

As soon as you have been accepted for admission to Berkeley, you should learn the requirements you will have to fulfill to earn your bachelor's degree. These requirements are prescribed by four sources: the University, the Berkeley campus, your college or school, and your department. All are summarized in the tabs to the right. For detailed requirements of your specific program, please see the Major Requirements tab on your program's page in this Guide.

Admissions

Applying for Admission

UC Berkeley is among the more selective universities in the country; far more students apply than can be offered admission. For fall 2016, Berkeley admitted over 14,440 students of 82,570 freshman applicants (about 17% of freshman applicants) and approximately 3,760 of 17,239 transfer applicants (about 22% of transfer applicants). UC Berkeley's applicant pool is increasingly more competitive with each passing year. As such, competitive candidates will present academic profiles that far exceed the minimum requirements for admission to the University of California.

To learn more about our student profile, click here.

Admission to Berkeley is a two-step process: Satisfying minimum requirements and selection. The process is outlined below, but more details and answers to other questions can be found online on the Office of Undergraduate Admissions website.

There you will find information on how to apply, admissions policy, tuition and fees, scholarship opportunities, and more. You can apply to as many UC campuses as you wish, using the UC application form. (Note: The San Francisco campus, which is devoted to the health sciences, has its own application and filing procedures.)

You may apply either as a freshman or a transfer student. Berkeley does not accept applications for transfer applicants at the freshman or sophomore level, nor for the spring semester.

Applications for admission are available beginning in August of the year prior to the year in which you would enter Berkeley. The application filing period is November 1-30. All applications must be submitted by November 30.

Berkeley does not offer any early admissions or any early decisions.


Application Fees and Fee Waivers

The basic application fee of $70 entitles you to apply to one University campus. (The fees is $80 for international and non-immigrant applicants.) If you apply to more than one campus, you must pay an additional $70 for each campus you select. These fees are not refundable. You must submit your fees with the application or the application will not be processed.

The University will waive application fees for up to four campuses in order to assist students for whom payment is a barrier to application to the University. Students who qualify for fee waivers and who select more than four campuses must pay $70* for each additional choice. For the fee waiver request, please provide your family income and the number of dependents. The fee waiver program is for US citizens, permanent residents, and applicants eligible for AB540 benefits only.

There are two ways to obtain a fee waiver:

  1. You can apply for a fee waiver when you submit an online application. You will be notified immediately if you qualify.
  2. You may submit the College Board fee waiver. Applications for this waiver are available from your high school counselors.

Admission as a Freshman

Berkeley considers you a freshman applicant if you are currently enrolled in the 12th grade or if you have graduated from high school and have not enrolled in a regular session (fall, winter, or spring term) at any college or university following high school graduation/proficiency. Students who enroll in summer coursework, following high school graduation/proficiency, are still eligible to apply as a freshman applicant.

You can find out more information concerning minimum requirements for freshman admission to the University of California system online here. For specific information on preparing to apply to Berkeley, please see the Office of Undergraduate Admissions website.


Satisfying Requirements

All Berkeley applicants must meet the following requirement to be minimally eligible for admission the University of California:

  1. Meet the subject requirement by completing a minimum of 15 college-preparatory courses ("a-g" courses), with at least 11 finished prior to the beginning of your senior year;
  2. Earn a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better (3.4 for nonresidents) in these courses with no grade lower than a C; and
  3. Meet the examination requirement by taking the ACT Plus Writing or the SAT Reasoning Test by December of your senior year. Note: UC no longer requires SAT Subject Tests (except to qualify for consideration of admission by examination alone), but certain programs at Berkeley recommend them.

For more details on these requirements, please see below.

Subject Requirement

You must complete a minimum of 15 college-preparatory ("a-g") courses, with at least 11 finished prior to the beginning of your senior year. The 15 courses are:

  • a. History/Social Science: Two years required. Two years of history/social science, including one year of world history, cultures, and geography (may be a single year-long course or two one-semester courses); and one year of US history or one-half year of US history and one-half year of civics or American government.

  • b. English: Four years required. Four years of college-preparatory English that include frequent writing, from brainstorming to final paper, and reading of classic and modern literature. No more than one year of ESL-type courses can be used to meet this requirement.

  • c. Mathematics: Three years required; four years recommended. Three years of college-preparatory mathematics that include the topics covered in elementary and advanced algebra and two- and three-dimensional geometry. Approved integrated math courses may be used to fulfill part or all of this requirement, as may math courses taken in the seventh and eighth grades that your high school accepts as equivalent to its own courses.

  • d. Laboratory Science: Two years required; three years recommended. Two years of laboratory science providing fundamental knowledge in two of these three foundational subjects: biology, chemistry, and physics. The final two years of an approved three-year integrated science program that provides rigorous coverage of at least two of the three foundational subjects may be used to fulfill this requirement.

  • e. Language Other than English: Two years (or equivalent to the second level of high school instruction of the same language other than English) required; three years (third level of high school instruction) recommended. Courses should emphasize speaking and understanding, and include instruction in grammar, vocabulary, reading, composition, and culture. American Sign Language and classical languages, such as Latin and Greek, are acceptable. Courses taken in the seventh and eighth grades may be used to fulfill all or part of this requirement if your high school accepts them as equivalent to its own courses.

  • f. Visual and Performing Arts (VPA): One year required. One year-long approved course of visual and performing arts from the following: dance, drama/theater, music, or visual art.

  • g. College-Preparatory Electives: One year required. One year (two semesters), in addition to those required in "a-f" above, chosen from the following areas: visual and performing arts (non-introductory-level courses), history, social science, English, advanced mathematics, laboratory science and language other than English (a third year in the language used for the "e" requirement or two years of another language).

Examination Requirements

You must submit scores from either: the ACT Plus Writing or the SAT Reasoning Test. Students may submit official scores from either test (with essay). We will use the highest scores from a single test administration.

College of Chemistry and College of Engineering applicants only: While SAT Subject Tests are not required, the presence of SAT Subject Tests —particularly in a science and Math Level 2 — will be considered value-added, as would evidence of high academic performance in math and science.

Eligibility by Examination Alone

If you don't meet UC's minimum requirements, you may still be considered for admission by earning high scores on the ACT Plus Writing or the SAT Reasoning Test, plus two SAT Subject Tests. To qualify for consideration for admission to UC by examination, you must earn a minimum UC Score total — calculated according to instructions listed on the UC website — of 410 (425 for nonresidents).

In addition, you must earn a minimum UC score of 63 on each component of the ACT or SAT Reasoning Test and on each SAT Subject Test.

You may not use an SAT Subject Test to meet these requirements if you have completed a transferable college course in that subject with a grade of C or better.

Learn more by clicking here.


Additional Information Regarding Requirements

In addition, applicants who are residents of California will be offered admission somewhere in the UC system if space is available, and they:

  1. Rank in the top 9% of all high school graduates statewide (according the UC admissions index); or
  2. Rank in the top 9% of their graduating class at a participating high school. This is also referred to as "Eligibility of the Local Context (ELC)."

Eligibility in the Local Context

If you rank in the top 9% of students in your California high school class — and your high school participates in our Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) program — you may be eligible for the ELC designation.

We will identify the top 9% of students on the basis of GPA in UC-approved coursework completed in the 10th and 11th grades. To be considered for ELC, you must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and complete the following "a-g" courses prior to your senior year:

  • History/Social Science: 1 year
  • English: 2 years
  • Mathematics: 2 years
  • Laboratory Science: 1 year
  • Language other than English: 1 year
  • College-preparatory elective (chosen from the subjects listed above or in another course approved by the University): 4 year-long courses or equivalent

After you enter your coursework and grades in your application, we'll compare your GPA to the historic top GPA for your school. If you meet or exceed that GPA, you'll be designated ELC and we'll add a note to your application. Applications from California will be automatically screened for ELC eligibility when they are submitted.


Freshman Selection

All achievement — both academic and non-academic/personal — is considered in the context of your educational circumstances, with an emphasis on the opportunities or challenges presented to you and your response to them. No single attribute or characteristic guarantees the admission of any applicant to Berkeley.

The campus selects its freshman class through and assessment that includes a holistic review of your academic performance as measured primarily by:

  • Your weighted and unweighted UC grade point average (calculated using 10th and 11th grade UC-approved courses only)

  • Your planned 12th grade courses

  • Your pattern of grades over time

  • The number of college preparatory, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), honors and transferable college courses you have completed

  • Your level of achievement in those courses relative to other UC applicants at your school

  • Your scores on the ACT Assessment Plus Writing or the SAT Reasoning Test

  • Your scores on AP or IB exams

  • Honors and awards that showcase extraordinary intellectual or creative achievement

  • Sustained participation in rigorous academic enrichment and outreach programs

  • Your likely contribution to the intellectual and cultural vitality of the campus

  • Diversity of personal background and experience

  • Qualities such as leadership, motivation, and concern for others and for the community

  • Nonacademic achievements in athletics, the performing arts, employment, and/or personal responsibilities

  • Demonstrated interest in the major and/or sustained academic achievement, particularly in math and science, is an important consideration for applicants to the College of Engineering and the College of Chemistry


Helpful UC Links

UC Admissions
Academic Requirements
Guaranteed Admission


Admission as a Transfer Student

You are a transfer student if you have completed coursework during a regular session at a college or university after high school. (The summer session immediately following high school graduation does not count.) While UC gives California community college students first priority over other transfer applicants, we also accept those from four-year institutions.

You can find more information concerning general transfer admission requirements to the University of California system online here. For specific information on preparing to transfer to Berkeley, see the announcements of the individual colleges and schools. You can also obtain information online here.


Minimum Admission Requirements for Transfer Students

Requirements for California Residents

Most transfer students enter UC at the junior level. This means that they have completed 60 semester units, general education, and most, if not all, of their lower division major prerequisites.

We review all information, both academic and non-academic/personal, in the context of each student's individual circumstances. To be competitive, present an academic profile with strong grades that includes preparation for your intended major/college.

Most programs will not offer admission to students with excess units, i.e., more than 80 UC transferable semester units before enrollment. 

  • If all coursework was completed at a two-year college, this excess unit policy does not apply.
  • All coursework from a two-year college is considered lower division.

Obtain information on all requirements on ASSIST. ASSIST lists Berkeley requirements and the California community college courses approved as satisfying those requirements. If you are applying from a school other than a California community college, select "UC Berkeley" and then any community college from the pull-down menu on ASSIST. You will then have access to Berkeley requirements; take comparable courses at your school.

Requirements for Non-Residents

The minimum eligibility requirements for non-resident transfer applicants are the same as those for residents except that non-residents must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all transferable college coursework.

Transfers from Other UC Campuses

After you enroll at a UC campus, it may be possible for you to transfer to another UC campus. Applications for intercampus transfer are considered in light of your personal circumstances and the availability of space in your prospective major. These students must apply as junior transfers with 60-89 semester/90-134 quarter units.

If you wish to transfer from one UC campus to another, you must submit an application for undergraduate admission during the appropriate filing period.


Transfer Selection

The campus selects its transfer class primarily on the basis of academic performance and preparation, as assessed by a review of GPA and completion of lower division prerequisite courses for the intended major and breadth requirements.

We also consider:

  • Grade trends

  • Demonstrated interest in the major, an important consideration for all applicants

  • Personal qualities such as leadership or motivation

  • Extracurricular accomplishments

  • Employment

  • Potential contribution to the intellectual and cultural vitality of the campus


Admission of International Applicants

You are an international applicant if a visa is required to reside and study in the United States. A US citizen, permanent resident, refugee, or asylee who currently lives and studies outside the US is considered a domestic applicant with foreign credentials. International students in the US on a visa cannot be classified as California residents for tuition purposes.

Learn more by clicking here.


Readmission

You must file an "Undergraduate Application for Readmission" if you are an applicant who:

  • Formally withdrew from the University
  • Were absent for one or more semesters
  • Are returning to Berkeley as a limited-status student

For further information, including deadlines; fee information; and copies of the required application, please see the Readmission page on the Office of the Registrar's website.


Limited Status

Limited status students are a special category of undergraduates who have earned an undergraduate degree with a record of superior scholarship (an overall GPA of at least 3.3) but need additional undergraduate coursework for a specific and clearly defined purpose. Currently, only the College of Chemistry will consider admitting students in limited status.

Limited status is granted only in special circumstances; students' needs, abilities, and programs should have enough urgency to justify admitting them in place of students in regular status, and there should be no reasonable alternative available. Use of limited status to enable students to raise their scholarship average is not permitted.


Work Toward a Second Bachelor's Degree

Currently, only the College of Chemistry will consider admitting students for a second bachelor's degree for the Chemistry and Chemical Biology majors.

In practice, Berkeley admits very few students to the Limited Status or second bachelor's programs each year. If you are not eligible for the second bachelor's or the limited status programs, you may consider concurrent enrollment through UC Berkeley Extension as an alternative. For further information on concurrent enrollment, please see the UC Berkeley Extension website.

University Requirements

The University sets two general requirements for the baccalaureate degree: Entry Level Writing and American History and Institutions.

Entry Level Writing Requirement

The University assumes that you are proficient in English and in writing about academic topics. Fulfillment of the University of California Entry Level Writing requirement is a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses. If you have not taken the Analytical Writing Placement Examination (AWPE) or fulfilled the requirement by the time you enter the University, you should take the AWPE during your first semester and begin your Reading and Composition sequence the following semester. If you took the AWPE and did not pass, you should enroll in College Writing R1A during your first semester. College Writing R1A is a 6-unit course that satisfies the Entry Level Writing requirement and the first half of the Reading and Composition requirement. To meet this requirement by coursework, you must earn a grade of C or higher in a college course certified by UC Berkeley as satisfying the Entry-Level Writing Requirement.

In addition to a passing score on the AWPE, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions accepts various means of fulfilling the Entry Level Writing requirement before you enter the University. It may be satisfied in one of the following ways:

  1. 30 or above on the ACT English Language Arts test
  2. 30 or above on the ACT Combined English/Writing test (taken June 2015 or earlier)
  3. 680 or above on the College Board SAT Reasoning Test--Writing Section (taken January 2016 or earlier)
  4. 3 or above on the Advanced Placement Examination in English Language and Composition
  5. 3 or above on the Advanced Placement Examination in English Literature and Composition
  6. 5 or above on the International Baccalaureate Higher Level English A: Literature exam (formerly known as Higher Level English A1 exam)
  7. 6 or above on the International Baccalaureate Standard Level English A: Literature exam (formerly known as Standard Level English A1 exam)
  8. 5 or above on the International Baccalaureate Higher Level English A: Language and Literature exam
  9. 6 or above on the International Baccalaureate Standard Level English A: Language and Literature exam
  10. 8 or above on the Analytical Writing Placement Examination, taken at your high school's exam center

American History and Institutions Requirements (AH&I)

The 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.

Satisfying the AH&I Requirements Before Enrolling at Berkeley

Both the American History and American Institutions requirements may be satisfied in one of the following ways:

  1. High School Coursework: 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.
  2. 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.
  3. International Baccalaureate Exam: By passing the International Baccalaureate Higher Level (IBHL) History of the Americas exam with a score of 5, 6, or 7.
  4. Other College or University Coursework: 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 visit assist.org to find California community college courses that have been approved to satisfy the AH&I requirements. Inquiries about specific courses at institutions other than a California community college should be directed to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 110 Sproul Hall.
  5. For Students Transferring From Another UC Campus: By passing any course or courses that satisfy the AH&I requirements of that campus.
Satisfying the AH&I Requirements After Enrolling at Berkeley

After enrolling at Berkeley, students who have not already satisfied the AH&I requirements must complete two courses: one course to satisfy the American History requirement and one course to satisfy the American Institutions requirement.

  1. Berkeley Coursework: By passing with a grade of C- or P, at Berkeley, after July 1, 2005, History 7A, 7B, 130B, 131A, 131B, N131B, or 138 for the History requirement; and Political Science 1, 1AC, or 108A for the Institutions requirement. (Note: These courses are not necessarily offered every semester or year. Check with the department to find out when a course will be offered.) From fall 1988 through summer 2005, only History 7A or 7B satisfied the History requirement, and only Political Science 1 satisfied the Institutions requirement. Political Science 100 satisfied the Institutions requirement from spring 1985 to spring 1995. (Students who took other courses before fall semester 1988 may check with the Registrar's office for possible AH&I credit.)
  2. Other College or University: By passing with a grade of C or better or P, a course or courses at another collegiate institution, approved by the Admissions office.
  3. Combination of Berkeley and Other College or University: By mixing these alternatives (i.e., taking an approved course at Berkeley for one requirement and an approved course at another college for the other requirement).
  4. New Students: You can check the status of your AH&I requirements by logging into CalCentral midway through your first semester at Berkeley.
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.

Campus Requirements

Berkeley Campus American Cultures Breadth Requirement

The American Cultures requirement is a Berkeley campus requirement, the one course that all undergraduate students at Berkeley need to take and pass in order to graduate. You satisfy the requirement by passing, with a grade not lower than C- or P, an American Cultures course. You may take an American Cultures course any time during your undergraduate career at Berkeley. The requirement was instituted in 1991 to introduce students to the diverse cultures of the United States through a comparative framework. Courses are offered in more than fifty departments in many different disciplines at both the lower and upper division level.

The American Cultures requirement and courses constitute a new approach that responds directly to the problem encountered in numerous disciplines of how better to present the diversity of American experience to the diversity of American students whom we now educate.

Faculty members from many departments teach American Cultures courses, but all courses have a common framework. The courses focus on themes or issues in United States history, society, or culture; address theoretical or analytical issues relevant to understanding race, culture, and ethnicity in American society; take substantial account of groups drawn from at least three of the following: African Americans, indigenous peoples of the United States, Asian Americans, Chicano/Latino Americans, and European Americans; and are integrative and comparative in that students study each group in the larger context of American society, history, or culture.

These courses focus upon how the diversity of America's constituent cultural traditions have shaped and continue to shape American identity and experience. This is not an ethnic studies requirement, nor a Third World cultures requirement, nor an adjusted Western civilization requirement, nor courses on racism.

Visit the Class Schedule or the American Cultures website for the specific American Cultures courses offered each semester. See your academic adviser if you have questions about your responsibility to satisfy the American Cultures breadth requirement.

College Requirements

College and School Requirements

Each college and school has established a program of requirements for the degree, which may be in addition to those of a field of concentration. These requirements may include: (1) preparatory subject requirements for admission; (2) preparatory college-level courses for your particular field of study-to be completed, if possible, during your early period of residency in the college or school, or in some cases before entrance; (3) breadth requirements, courses outside the field of study, considered essential to a well-rounded curriculum; (4) the credit requirement, which is the total number of units to be completed, with specifications of how these credits are to be distributed; and (5) a minimum scholarship requirement.

For detailed information, please consult your college or school:
Haas School of Business
College of Chemistry
College of Engineering
College of Environmental Design
College of Letters & Science
College of Natural Resources
School of Public Health
School of Social Welfare


Reading and Composition Requirement

The Berkeley campus is strongly committed to developing high levels of ability in critical thinking and communication among its undergraduates. Hundreds of courses require long papers and a number of courses provide training in writing or speaking. In addition to the University-wide Entry Level Writing requirement, the College of Letters & Science and most other colleges and schools require two semesters of lower division work in composition, to be completed by the end of the sophomore year. The following departments and programs offer writing courses that satisfy all or part of the Reading and Composition requirement:

African American Studies
Anthropology
Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies
Celtic Studies
Chicano Studies
Classics
College Writing
Comparative Literature
English
Environmental Design
Film and Media
French
Gender and Women's Studies
German
History
History of Art
Italian Studies
Legal Studies
Linguistics
Native American Studies
Near Eastern Studies
Philosophy
Rhetoric
Scandinavian
Slavic Languages and Literature
South and Southeast Asian Studies
South Asian Studies
Spanish and Portuguese
Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies

You can also satisfy this requirement by taking courses offered during Summer Sessions.

Course content and orientation vary according to field or discipline. Contact the individual departments for details, and consult your college or school for the particular courses that satisfy its requirements.


Minimum Scholarship Requirement

If you fail to maintain the minimum GPA prescribed by your college or school, you will normally be dismissed or put on probation. Since scholarship rules are applied only at the close of regular sessions, grade points that you earn in a University of California summer session or by removing an Incomplete grade are not taken into consideration until the close of your next semester of attendance.

For further information, please consult your college or school:
Haas School of Business
College of Chemistry
College of Engineering
College of Environmental Design
College of Letters & Science
College of Natural Resources
School of Public Health
School of Social Welfare


Senior Residence Requirement

After you have completed 90 units toward the bachelor's degree, you must complete at least 24 of the remaining units in residence in no fewer than two semesters in the college or school of the University in which you will take your degree. You must begin these final 24 units in the semester in which you exceed 90 units.

For further information, please consult your college or school:
Haas School of Business
College of Chemistry
College of Engineering
College of Environmental Design
College of Letters & Science
College of Natural Resources
School of Public Health
School of Social Welfare

Majors and Degrees

Departmental Requirements

Every student must select a field of concentration and pursue a major or curriculum, normally by taking a minimum number of units in one department or school. Occasionally, as with business administration and others, the school and the department are synonymous. In some cases a major may embrace more than one department, as with the interdisciplinary studies field major in the College of Letters & Science.

Major Requirements

Major requirements that must be fulfilled before you may receive a baccalaureate degree are outlined in each program in the Degree Programs: Major & Minors section of this Guide. Please also, see your department adviser.

Planning for and Declaring a Major

Your major is your opportunity to study a discipline or interdisciplinary area in depth, so be sure to choose a major you are passionate about. UC Berkeley offers an astonishing range of major programs. You can use this Guide as a starting point to learn about the options available to you. Advisers in your college and in the departments you are considering will also be an invaluable resource to you as you weigh and explore your options.

In some colleges, students are admitted directly into a major program. If you have been admitted as an undeclared student, view your first year as a time of exploration. Do not choose your major prematurely: many of the fields taught at Berkeley will be unfamiliar to you, so there is no way anyone would reasonably expect you to choose one as soon as you arrive. Try courses in a variety of fields that tempt you, and look for the discipline that asks and answers the kinds of questions you find most vital and compelling.

Keep an eye on the lower division prerequisites for all of the majors of possible interest, so you can build them in to your class schedule for the first two years where possible. Be on the lookout for courses that are prerequisite to more than one major of possible interest to you. But also remain open to the possibility that a course you are taking just for breadth credit may lead you unexpectedly to a major that you find rewarding and compelling.

Some majors are capped: they cannot accommodate all interested students. If you are drawn to a capped major, it is particularly important to consult with the major adviser early on to maximize your chances of being chosen, and to have a non-capped major in mind as a second option.

Regulations and procedures for declaring the major, or changing your major, vary by college. In general, you will be expected to choose a major by the end of your sophomore year.

Declaration and Change of Major

Regulations and procedures for declaring the major vary for each college. You may, at any time up to the last semester of residence, file a petition for a change of major. (Note: This policy does not apply to students in the College of Engineering. If you are in the College of Engineering, you must file your petition for a change of major at least two semesters prior to your anticipated graduation date.) You must secure approval for this action from the dean or other authorized person in the college or department to which you are transferring.

Preparation for Graduate Study

If you are preparing for study toward a higher degree, you should learn, as early as possible, the entrance and degree requirements of your graduate field, in order to include all prerequisite steps in your undergraduate program.

Academic Opportunities

Cross-Registration Programs with Other Schools

UC Berkeley has cross-registration agreements with California State University East Bay; Mills College; San Francisco State University; Sonoma State University; Holy Names University; John F. Kennedy University; Dominican University; St. Mary’s College; and University of New Orleans. The program enables students to enroll in one course per semester at the host campus.  With the approval of your adviser and the dean of your school or college, you may register and pay applicable tuition and fees at Berkeley and be exempt from tuition and fees at the host campus.

In addition to these established special programs, the Intersegmental Cross-Enrollment program (at the discretion of the appropriate campus authorities on both campuses) allows an undergraduate student who meets certain eligibility criteria AND is enrolled in any campus of the California community colleges, the California State University, or the University of California to enroll without formal admission in a maximum of one course per academic term at a campus of either of the other systems on a space-available basis. CSU and CA Community College students participating in the program at Berkeley will be assessed a nonrefundable administrative fee of $46 per unit (fee subject to change). The fee is based on the per-unit fee at CA Community Colleges and is subject to change.

For detailed information about these and other visitor and exchange programs, please visit the Special Registration Programs page of the Office of the Registrar website; call 510-664-9181; or visit Cal Student Central, 120 Sproul Hall, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Studying Abroad

Berkeley Study Abroad (BSA) offers a broad spectrum of opportunities for students to gain first-hand experience living in other cultures while progressing toward their degrees and gaining professional experience. Choose from a diverse array of programs across all the major disciplines in more than 40 countries, including the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP), Berkeley Summer Abroad, and Berkeley Global Internships programs. Students earn University credit for their participation while enhancing their undergraduate experience. Students can also consider studying abroad to avoid some impacted classes on campus. Options include semester, year, and summer programs. Many programs do not require foreign language proficiency. Financial Aid recipients qualify for financial aid assistance while abroad on BSA programs, and scholarships are available for BSA students with financial need. Contact your college advisor to find out how you can fulfill breadth requirements while studying abroad.

For further information, contact Berkeley Study Abroad at 160 Stephens Hall, 510-642-1356, or see the Berkeley Study Abroad website.

Programs Not Sponsored by the University of California

Many Berkeley undergraduates choose to attend overseas study programs sponsored by institutions and organizations other than the University of California. To obtain information about these programs, you should contact the programs directly. Berkeley Study Abroad (BSA) has information on how to participate in non-UC study abroad programs, including a small library of non-UC program materials. Additionally, most students will be eligible for an approved leave of absence and access to most study systems while abroad by completing the process of Planned Leave for Study Abroad. To complete the process, students must submit a Planned Leave for Study Abroad Form directly to the BSA office by the established campus deadline before beginning the non-UC study abroad program. Credit for coursework completed is dependent on a review of your final transcript by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.  Before enrolling in any program, have your proposed program reviewed by Admissions in Sproul Hall, to determine the transferability of coursework from a particular program.  Finally, consult with a college and major adviser as to the appropriateness of your proposed courses toward degree progress and, if necessary, procedures for readmission.


UCDC (UC Washington Program)

UCDC hosts 26 Berkeley juniors and seniors each fall and spring semester. The program combines coursework at the UC Washington Center with field research in an internship that reflects each student’s particular area of interest.  All majors are welcome and participants’ research and internships vary widely.  Students receive a full semester of Berkeley credit and remain eligible for financial aid if minimum units are met.  Scholarships are also available.

Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA and have achieved junior status by the start of their semester in Washington. Also, applicants must have completed two upper division courses on the Berkeley campus that will prepare them for the research project they pursue in Washington.

For more information, contact the UCDC Program office at 243 Evans Hall, 510-642-9102, ucdc@berkeley.edu, or see the program's website (ucdc.berkeley.edu).


Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Berkeley offers many opportunities for you to conduct research projects and engage in internships either as volunteers or paid employees.

Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarships (OURS)

OURS supports undergraduates in becoming dynamic members of the research community of UC Berkeley. To this end, OURS develops and coordinates a range of programs and scholarships that bring undergraduates into fieldwork, research laboratories, the archives, and the analysis and practice of the arts. Whether assisting faculty with their research or pursuing their own research with faculty mentorship, Berkeley students, we believe, should directly experience what it means to be a part of cutting-edge research at a world-class research university. Students engaged in undergraduate research often compete for the most prestigious post-baccalaureate and graduate scholarships; OURS administers the application processes for these scholarships and supports students in developing successful proposals. For more information on the wealth of undergraduate research opportunities at Berkeley, including regular workshops on research at different levels, please visit the website for OURS. We encourage students to sign up for the “undergraduate research listserv.” The Office of Undergraduate Research is located in Dwinelle Hall; the main office is room 2422.

Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (URAP)

URAP is an ideal place for students to begin exploring how to conduct research. Over 1,300 students participate in this program each semester, working with faculty from nearly every department and college. Students accepted into the program become research apprentices and, through hands-on work and faculty mentorship, gain skills and perspectives on the production of knowledge in a wide range of fields. Fall semester applications are due in early September, and spring semester applications are due in late January. Visit the URAP website for a current list of faculty projects.  

SURF, Haas Scholars, and Stronach Baccalaureate Prize

When students are ready to embark on research of their own design, the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) and the Haas Scholars Program offer fellowships that allow students to pursue sophisticated research. The Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Prize offers up to $25,000 for students to pursue a public service oriented project of their own design after graduation. For information about these and other programs, visit the OURS website.

Scholarship Connection

Scholarship Connection is UC Berkeley's web-based clearinghouse for information on scholarships that are funded by sources outside the University. Many of the most prestigious scholarships require campus nomination.  This process is administered through OURS, and advising and application support is available to students. We encourage students to sign up for the “scholarship listserv.”


Internships

A wide variety of internships—loosely defined as structured field experience—is available to you on and off campus. The positions may be paid or unpaid, may sometimes carry academic credit, and may have educational and career value. Courses with field components occur principally in the 97, 98, 99, 197, 198, and 199 series. Check the course listings in the bulletin for specific information.

The following offices have listings of numerous internships, both on and off campus:
Career Center, 2111 Bancroft Way
Work-Study Program, 212 Sproul Hall
Cal Corps Public Service Center, 505 Eshleman Hall
Berkeley Study Abroad, 160 Stephens Hall

Individual internship programs are available through campus-based offices. Look for internships on CalJobs or consult individual offices and departments.


Honors Courses

Berkeley offers some honors courses for highly qualified students, usually in their senior year. A few of these courses are available to lower division students. See your major adviser for information.


Freshman and Sophomore Seminars

The Freshman and Sophomore Seminars arose from the conviction that early intellectual contact with faculty members would greatly enhance the undergraduate experience at Berkeley. Professors from nearly every campus department join together each semester to offer an impressive array of seminars. The courses numbered 24 (and in some cases 90) bear 1 unit of credit; they are limited to 15 students, and freshmen are given priority for enrollment. The courses numbered 84 bear 1 or 2 units of credit; they are limited to 15 sophomores. The courses numbered 39A-39Z are limited to 25 freshmen and sophomores.

Seminars, which emphasize interaction and discussion, provide a counterpoint to the learning experience in Berkeley’s large lecture halls. These seminars also offer lower-division students an unprecedented opportunity to explore a wide range of majors and even fields of study usually reserved for graduate students. As you browse through this bulletin, you will find lower-division seminars sponsored by Letters and Science departments, as well as by the professional schools and colleges.

Descriptions of all the seminars scheduled for the upcoming semester can be found in time for course enrollment registration on the program’s website, which also contains other useful information and features for undergraduates. For additional information regarding the Freshman and Sophomore Seminars, contact the program office at 231 Evans Hall or 510-642-8378.


DeCal Courses

DeCals,” short for “Democratic Education at Cal,” are courses numbered 98 or 198 that are proposed, designed and led by Cal undergraduates, with faculty approval. These remarkable courses provide an opportunity to try out a subject area outside your major, explore topics otherwise not offered on the campus, and experience peer-to-peer education. Most are 1 or 2 units, all are p/np and generally cannot fulfill major or college requirements. DeCals are offered through over 60 departments on campus. Each semester a list of current courses can be found on the DeCal student organization’s website: www.decal.org. Want to develop your own course? You can find advising, pedagogical training, and support through the Undergraduate Course Facilitator Training & Resources.

Advising & Academic Assistance

College and Department Advisers

For information regarding academic advising, please see the following college- and school-specific links:
Haas School of Business
College of Chemistry
College of Engineering
College of Environmental Design
College of Letters and Science
College of Natural Resources
School Public Health
School of Social Welfare


Student Learning Center

The Student Learning Center is dedicated to fostering academic excellence and is driven by the philosophy that students working with students promotes academic and personal success.

Academic Programs and Services

Academic Success and Strategic Learning Resources

Achieve academic success at Berkeley while maintaining health, balance, and well-being. Understand your own learning process and develop academic practices that enhance your academic performance at Cal.  Our seminar courses, workshops, and academic coaching provide guidance in the following areas: Time Management, Motivation & Goal-setting, Effective Reading Strategies, and more.

Interdisciplinary Resources for Transfer Students 

The SLC’s Interdisciplinary Resources for Transfer Students (IRTS) promotes research readiness and assists Transfer students with the shifting academic demands of upper-division course work such as research methods and writing towards a research concentration.

International Student Program 

The SLC International Student Program co-facilitates new and existing academic support services to optimize the learning experiences of international students. We also provide cultural competency training for professional and student staff working with international students at the SLC and across campus. In concert with the SLC team and in collaboration with other campus partners, our staff support and advocate for the specific and evolving needs of international students.  

Math and Statistics 

Professional staff and trained, accomplished undergraduates offer structured, engaging learning support to help you succeed and thrive in your quantitative courses.

Science 

The SLC Science Program offers support for many Science classes. Students are encouraged to work together to achieve academic success.

Social Sciences 

The Social Science Program supports the efforts of students taking courses in and/or pursuing majors in the Social Sciences. The program strives to create a community of scholars who work together to master the demands of a given discipline and support each other in achieving their academic goals.

Undergraduate Course Facilitator Training & Resources (DeCals)

UCFTR provides guidance and training to all Cal undergraduates interested in or currently facilitating DeCals or other student-initiated courses. UCFTR programing is predicated on a belief in the transformative power of ideas, the unique value of each student's experience and the potential for the classroom to be a site of engagement and innovation. UCFTR also serves as a campus liaison and informational resource to students, staff, and faculty with questions regarding any aspect of student-initiated courses.

Writing 

 The SLC Writing Program supports Cal undergraduates in their journeys to become more persuasive and purposeful writers. Via student-initiated conferences and peer-facilitated workshops, our services seek to embolden students to take ownership of their growth as writers and scholars. 

Student Athletes

The Athletic Study Center (ASC), located in 179 César Chávez Center, offers academic support services for Berkeley's student athletes. Services are geared to ensuring academic achievement through academic advising, tutoring, study groups, and a computer lab. For more information, visit the ASC website.

Academic Excellence

Semester Honors

To be eligible for semester honors, you must have completed a minimum of 12 units undertaken for letter grades at Berkeley and must have achieved the minimum grade point average (GPA) required by your school or college.


Honors at Graduation

To be eligible for honors in general scholarship at graduation, you must have completed a minimum of 50 semester units at the University of California, of which a minimum of 43 units must be undertaken for a letter grade; completed a minimum of 30 units at Berkeley; and achieved a GPA that ranks you in your school or college in the top 3 percent for highest honors, the next 7 percent for high honors, and the next 10 percent for honors.

These criteria are minimal; consult your college or school for more detailed information:
Haas School of Business
College of Chemistry
College of Engineering
College of Environmental Design
College of Letters and Science
College of Natural Resources
School of Public Health
School of Social Welfare


Honor Societies

Berkeley has a number of honor societies that elect students in recognition of academic excellence. Among these are Phi Beta Kappa, a national honor society; the Prytanean Society, founded in 1900 to honor upper division and graduate women for academic accomplishment and service to the University; the Honors Students Society; Tau Beta Pi, the national honor society for all engineering disciplines and various other engineering honor societies (see The Student Guide to Engineering Societies, available at the Engineers Joint Council office); Alpha Mu Gamma, a national society for students with demonstrated excellence in languages; and individual societies in most language departments. See your adviser for more information.


Prizes

Awards for outstanding ability in some area of creative, scholarly, or athletic achievement are available at Berkeley in two general categories: competitive prizes for creative effort or departmental awards for outstanding scholastic achievement. For more information, please see the Financial Aid website.


Scholarship Connection Website

The Scholarship Connection website is Berkeley's clearinghouse for information on scholarships that are funded by sources outside the University. Enrolled Berkeley students may search for awards on the Scholarship Connection's online database. In addition to providing information on many externally funded awards, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarships  (OURS) also administers the campus recruitment and selection for several highly competitive awards, such as the Rhodes, Marshall, and Truman Scholarships. The office offers workshops and individual advising to help applicants prepare competitive applications for these prestigious awards. For more information, visit the Scholarship Connection website.

Commitment to Teaching

Every year, the Berkeley campus honors several of its outstanding faculty members by presenting them with the Distinguished Teaching Award. More than 232 faculty members from all over campus have been recognized this way for their outstanding teaching. If you see a plus (+) before a faculty member's name, this means they are the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

At a large institution often known more for its research, such recognition serves to remind us all of the importance of teaching and the value we place on it. Students who attend Berkeley have the benefit of learning from world-renowned theorists and researchers who are also often distinguished teachers. Recipients of past awards have pointed out that their research is often enhanced by the questions and responses of their students in the classroom, while at the same time, the excitement of generating new ideas and discoveries in research stimulates them to become better teachers.

Good teachers do more than convey knowledge in a field. They clarify for students the relationships between their subject and other fields of knowledge; they ignite in their students a desire to learn; and as a consequence, they often have a life-long impact on their students’ lives and careers.

Good teaching is, of course, not limited to the people who have received Distinguished Teaching Awards. You will encounter excellent teachers in all departments, all disciplines, in large classes and in seminars. There is no one way to teach well; the styles you will encounter will be as varied as the courses you take, from eye-opening lectures to discussion sections in which you will clarify and define your own ideas. In teaching, as in every aspect of UC Berkeley, diversity is the key to a rich and challenging educational experience.

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