Degree requirements

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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 program

You’ll want to be familiar with all of these requirements to help you plan your course of study.

The College of Engineering Undergraduate Guide explains college requirements in detail and offers a planned course of study for each engineering major. The Berkeley Academic Guide is your campuswide guide to information on requirements; courses and curricula; academic policies and more. You can use your degree worksheet to track your progress toward graduation. The Humanities and Social Sciences requirement is explained in detail in the Undergraduate Guide.

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

Humanities and social sciences requirement

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

Other graduation requirements

In addition, these criteria must be met:

  • 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.
  • Satisfy the College of Engineering Senior Residency requirement by completing your final 30 units on the Berkeley campus in your final two semesters.
  • All technical courses (math, science, and engineering) required of the major must be taken for a letter grade unless only offered on a Pass/Not Pass basis.
  • Completion of at least 120 semester units. No more than 4 units of Physical Education and no more than 16 units of special studies courses (numbered 97, 98, 99, 197, 198, 199) may be counted toward the 120 units.
  • You may receive credit for courses graded Passed or Satisfactory to a limit of one-third of the total units undertaken and passed on the Berkeley Campus at the time the degree is awarded.