Degree requirements

Once you have been accepted for admission to Berkeley Engineering, you should learn the requirements you will need to fulfill to earn your bachelor’s degree. These requirements are prescribed by four sources:

  • The University of California
  • The Berkeley campus
  • The College of Engineering
  • Your major

You’ll want to be familiar with all of these requirements to plan your course of study. Start here to find the information you need as well as the worksheets and reports that will help you track your progress toward your degree.

University of California requirements

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

Entry-level writing

The university assumes you are proficient in English and in writing about academic topics. If you have not taken the Analytical Writing Placement Examination (AWPE) or otherwise fulfilled the Entry-Level Writing requirement by the time you enter the university, you should take the AWPE during your first 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.

For more information on satisfying the Entry-Level Writing requirement, visit the College Writing Programs website.

American history and institutions

The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a U.S. resident graduating from an American university should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States. These requirements may be satisfied before or after you enroll at Berkeley. The Office of the Registrar can provide more information.

Berkeley campus requirements

American cultures

To graduate from Berkeley, all students must satisfy the American Cultures (AC) requirement, which introduces students to the diverse cultures of the United States through a comparative framework. Courses meeting this requirement can be found in more than 50 departments and programs across the Berkeley campus. Visit the American Cultures website for more information.

The AC requirement must be completed by earning either a letter grade of C- or better, or Pass if taken on a Pass/Not Pass basis.

College of Engineering requirements

The College of Engineering has its own specific requirements for graduation.

Reading and composition

College of Engineering graduates are required to demonstrate proficiency in reading and writing by completing two Reading and Composition (R&C) courses. Nearly 60 Berkeley courses in languages, literature and other liberal arts satisfy this requirement. R&C courses must be taken for a letter grade and must be completed by the end of the sophomore year. You may satisfy the first half of the R&C requirement and fulfill the university’s Entry-Level Writing requirement, before or after you enroll at Berkeley. Find R&C courses.

Humanities and social sciences

To round out your technical education, you’ll complete at least six Berkeley courses that satisfy the College of Engineering’s Humanities and Social Sciences (H/SS) breadth requirement. Foreign language courses are among those that satisfy the H/SS requirement. See the humanities and social sciences section of our website for details.

Other college requirements

In addition, these criteria must be met:

  • You need to maintain a minimum overall grade-point average of 2.00 (C average) and a minimum grade-point average of 2.00 in upper-division technical coursework required of your major.
  • Your final 30 units must be completed in residence in the College of Engineering on the Berkeley campus, in two consecutive semesters.
  • All technical courses (math, science and engineering) required of the major must be taken for a letter grade.

Your major's requirements

Each major in the College of Engineering has a set of requirements that must be met for graduation. The specifics may vary according to the year you are admitted. See the major requirements section of our website for details.

Learn more

The Berkeley Academic Guide is your campuswide guide to information on requirements; majors, minors and degrees; courses and curricula; academic policies and more. The College of Engineering Undergraduate Guide explains college requirements in detail and offers a planned course of study for each engineering major.