Reduced course load

The College of Engineering requires that students enroll in a minimum of 12 units each semester; however, the college will consider appeals for reduced course loads below the minimum under the following circumstances:

  • Employment: If you have financial need that requires you to work 15 or more hours per week, you may petition to take fewer than the minimum required 12 units. You must submit a Work Verification Form, and a letter from your employer must accompany the verification form. The Work Verification Form indicates the requirements for the employer’s letter. Your completed Work Verification Form and documentation of financial need must be submitted no later than the end of the fifth week of classes. Minimum units of study based on hours of employment per week are as follows:
Hours of employment 0 10 15 20 30 40
Minimum units 12 12 11 9 6 3
  • Recommendation from the Disabled Students Program: You must bring a letter from the Disabled Students Program to your Engineering Student Services (ESS) Adviser.
  • Degree list: If you are on the degree list for that semester, you may enroll in fewer than 12 units as long as you are completing (or have completed) your degree requirements.
  • Health reasons: You may petition for fewer than 12 units for health reasons as certified by your physician (ideally from University Health Services/Tang Center). You must meet with your ESS Adviser to initiate this appeal.
  • Personal reasons: You must meet with your ESS Adviser.
  • Family obligations: You must meet with your ESS Adviser.

Reduced study lists must still include at least two letter graded technical courses required of your major, unless an exemption is approved. You must meet with your ESS Adviser to initiate an appeal for a reduced course load. Please note that financial aid recipients should check with the Financial Aid Office, and international students should check with the Berkeley International Office, before requesting a reduced course load.