University (All UC students)
- Entry Level Writing
All students entering UC as a first-year student must fulfill the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) by the end of their first year of enrollment at Berkeley. ELWR may be satisfied with a qualifying test score, a college-level English composition course taken prior to starting at Berkeley, or by passing the Berkeley Writing Assessment.
- American History and American Institutions
A knowledge of American history and of the principles of American institutions under the federal and state constitutions is required of all undergraduates. Review the Berkeley Academic Guide – Undergraduate Education for more details.
- American Cultures
The American Cultures requirement, a curriculum that critically engages and exposes students to important issues of inequality throughout the United States by helping them develop a deeper understanding of race, culture, and ethnicity in the context of American society. Review the American Cultures website for more information on satisfying this requirement.
- Minimum Overall GPA
All undergraduate students must earn an overall GPA of 2.00 for graduation
- Minimum Total Units
All undergraduate students must earn a minimum of 120 semester units for graduation.
No more than 4 PE Units and 16 Special Studies (97, 98, 99, 197, 198, and 199) may apply to the 120 unit minimum. (Note: these limitations are applied in the Academic Progress Report (APR) and not on CalCentral, MyAcademics.)
- ⅓ Passed Grade Limit
You may count up to ⅓ Passed Grade units toward the 120 overall minimum units you need for graduation.
Types of Passed Grades
There are two types of Passed Grade units:
- Courses that are only available on a Passed/Not Passed (PNP) basis (these include DeCals, Berkeley Connect, and research units, among others).
- Those that you elect to change to the Passed/Not Passed (EPN) grading option for courses that initially default to a Letter Grade upon enrollment.
For spring 2020 only, the Academic Senate approved a third Passed/Not Passed grading basis, called the 'Default Passed/Not Passed' (DPN) and encouraged students to use this option to satisfy requirements otherwise needing a Letter Grade, in acknowledgement of the abrupt impact caused by the switch to remote instruction part way through the semester.
Keep in mind that most requirements cannot be satisfied by an elected (EPN) Passed (P) grade. Be sure to confirm that you can fulfill a requirement using the EPN Passed grade option with your college or major department.
How the ⅓ Passed Grade Limit is Calculated
The limitation is calculated as ⅓ of the units you need to reach the overall minimum of 120 units, minus your Transfer Unit total. This value (120 - Total Transfer Units) is considered to be the baseline for the calculation. To estimate your ultimate limit, a 1/3 Passed Grade Limit Estimator is available in CalCentral, My Academics in the ‘Degree Progress’ card. Read on to learn how to use the Estimator.
A freshmen who has transferred 8 units of Advanced Placement:
120 – 8 = 112 units is the baseline
112 X 0.33 = 37 units (this is the maximum ⅓ Passed Grade Limit)
A transfer student who has 70 total transfer units:
120 – 70 = 50 units is the baseline
50 X 0.33 = 16.5 units (this is the maximum ⅓ Passed Grade Limit)
How to use the 1/3 Passed Grade Limit Estimator in CalCentral, My Academics
- Review your 'Current Units' shown in the left-hand column of the Estimator
Transfer Credit = Total transfer course units + Total exam units
Berkeley Letter Grade = Total Letter Grade (GRD) units (completed or in progress*) + Total Passed Grade (P) units earned in spring 2020 (either as DPN or PNP)
Berkeley P/NP = Total non-spring 2020 Passed Grade (P) units (CPN, EPN, or PNP completed or in progress*)
*Note: In progress includes the courses you are currently pursuing + any course enrollment you have added during Phase I & II for the next term.
- If you are below 120 Total Sum units
Use the Estimator to project how many Letter Grade units you need to earn to confirm your ratio will be at or below 33% by the time you graduate.
- Determine the baseline for your ratio calculation by subtracting your Transfer Credit Total from 120.
- Estimate the amount of Letter Grade units you will need to meet this requirement by multiplying the baseline by 0.67 (2/3).
Then go to the Estimator :
- Enter the value in the 'Units to Add' box needed to raise or lower your current Berkeley Letter Grade total to match your 2/3 estimate (to lower, enter a negative value, e.g. -3).
- Enter the value in the 'Units to Add' box for Berkeley P/NP needed to bring your 'Total Sum' to 120.
Continue to update the unit values to shift the ratio as needed to confirm how many Letter Grade vs. Passed Grade units you need to earn to stay at or below 33% by the time you graduate. Be sure to make adjustments within your in progress units so the opportunity to change a grading option (by the published deadlines) will still be available to you.
If you wish to project beyond 120 Total Sum units by adding more units to raise your Total Sum, the estimator will continue to calculate the ratio within your baseline. To accomplish this, the estimator will consider all of your Berkeley Letter Grade units first, and then only include the Berkeley P/NP units needed to reach your baseline before calculating the ratio (e.g. if your baseline is 105, Berkeley Letter Grade total is 65 and Berkeley P/NP total is 45, the estimator will use 40 of the P/NP units (65 + 40 = 105) to calculate the ratio).
- If you have 120+ Total Sum units
The estimator is already calculating the ratio according to your baseline. If you are above 33% and do not plan to add any more enrollment, you need to add Berkeley Letter Grade unit values and subtract (i.e. enter a negative value) Berkeley P/NP units in equal amounts until your ratio is equal to or below 33%. This will let you know how many Passed Grade (EPN) units you need to change to back to Letter Grade (GRD) units by the grading option deadline.
If your ratio is above 33% and you do not have any available Berkeley P/NP units to convert back to Letter Grade, you will need to enroll in additional units for Letter Grade to meet this requirement. Adjust the Berkeley Letter Grade up until your calculation is at 33% to determine how many courses you need to add to your enrollment.
If you are below 33%, to determine how many units you can change to Passed Grade (EPN) by the grading option deadline, add unit values to your Berkeley P/NP total and subtract unit values in equal amounts from Berkeley Letter Grade until your ratio is 33%
For more information, review the 1/3 Passed Grade Frequently Asked Questions at the end of this webpage.
- Senior Residence
There are many paths and opportunities as you pursue your Berkeley degree. This includes the opportunity to attend other campuses and transfer units, as well as participating in the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP), or Berkeley Summer Abroad.
Given these opportunities, the faculty ask that — at a minimum — you spend your senior year in residence as part of your graduation requirements. You are considered a senior once you reach 90 units (which may include both Berkeley and transfer units). After finishing 90 semester units, to meet Senior Residence requirements, you must complete at least 24 additional units in courses offered through the UC Berkeley campus over at least two terms. Each of these terms must consist of at least 6 earned units.
When should you pay close attention to this requirement?
If you plan to complete your entire senior year at Berkeley (i.e. you plan to complete the last 30 units needed to reach the minimum 120-unit requirement as a Berkeley student enrolled in Berkeley courses, over two terms of enrollment), you should not have an issue with this requirement.
Pay close attention to Senior Residence:
- If you plan to pursue a Simultaneous Degree Be sure that you are declaring your second degree in time to satisfy Senior Residence in both colleges.
- If you plan to participate in a UCDC; UCEAP; Berkeley Summer Abroad; or Berkeley Global Internships program that consists of six or more earned units. You qualify for Modified Senior Residence; see details at the bottom of this webpage.
- If you plan to participate in a non-UCEAP study abroad program or pursue transfer coursework late into your junior year and/or into your senior year. There may be a concern with your ability to meet Senior Residence. Read on for more details and consult your college adviser to learn how to complete this requirement.
What counts as a semester and unit in residence?
To count as two semesters for the purposes of Senior Residence, one of the terms must be fall or spring. A Summer Session may count as a semester in residence provided you earn at least 6 units. If needed, a student may complete 6 units over more than one session as long as you attend all sessions in the same summer. Therefore, senior residence may be completed between a fall and spring, a fall and summer, or a spring and summer. The two terms for Senior Residence do not need to be completed consecutively.
What counts as a course completed in residence?
All courses you pursue as a Berkeley student on the Berkley campus, as well as any Berkeley web-based units (courses with a ‘W’ prefix) count as Senior Residence units.
The following units, however, do not count toward Senior Residence:
- Transfer courses (including units from other UC campuses)
- UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP)
- UC Berkeley-Washington Program (UCDC)
- Berkeley Summer Sessions courses completed abroad
- UC Berkeley Extension courses
- UC Berkeley Extension (XB)
- Concurrent Enrollment (You may be taking a course on the Berkeley campus, but you are not a Berkeley student when taking these courses.)
- Intercampus visitor courses.
What is Modified Senior Residence and when does it apply?
If you have participated in a UCDC; UCEAP; Berkeley Summer Abroad; or Berkeley Global Internships program that consists of six or more units, you may complete a modified version of Senior Residence to support your engagement in these enrichment programs. Modified Senior Residence requires that students complete 24 of their final 60 semester units in residence (excluding those units that do not count as noted above). At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after reaching 90 units.
All colleges assign general education requirements, from Reading and Composition to breadth providing the opportunity to engage in many disciplines. The Berkeley Academic Guide – Colleges, Schools, & Divisions can connect you to specific requirements for your college.
Berkeley offers an amazing array of major options. To learn more about your major of choice or explore options to help you decide on a major, consult the Berkeley Academic Guide – Degree Programs.
- Minor (optional)
Pursuing a minor is one of the many enrichment opportunities you can pursue as part of your undergraduate degree. Consult the Berkeley Academic Guide – Degree Programs to research minor programs.
- Are FPF (Fall Program for Freshmen) and UCEAP (UC Study Abroad) courses factored into the ⅓ Passed Grade Limit?
Yes. Fall Program for Freshmen and UCEAP units are included the calculation as Berkeley Letter Grade units. While you are enrolled in UCEAP, the estimator presumes that the placeholder course (PSEUDO 62) posted in CalCentral is equivalent to 16 Letter Grade units. Please be aware that once your final EAP courses are posted, the ratio may adjust depending on whether or not you elected to take any EAP courses as Passed/Not Passed as well as by the final unit value of your courses (which are ultimately posted as converted quarter units).
- How is the 1/3 ratio caculated as I am making degree progress?
As you begin your first year or transfer semester and proceed with your career here at Berkeley, the Academic Progress Report (APR) calculates the percentage of Passed Grade units within your total Berkeley enrollment (i.e. completed and in-progress Berkeley courses). The APR informs you of your status (‘Satisfied’ if you are at or below 33 percent and ‘Not Satisfied’ if you are above 33 percent). This should help you to be aware of your ratio as you work toward your degree, and to consider the impact of your Passed grade enrollment relative to your baseline limit. (Especially if you do not plan to exceed the overall minimum of 120 units required for graduation by your Expected Graduation Term (EGT).)
If you wish to project how many Letter Grade versus Passed Grades you need to be sure your ratio is at or below 33% by the time you graduate, use the 1/3 Passed Grade Limit Estimator available on your CalCentral, My Academics dashboard.
- How is the 1/3 ratio caculated as I reach 120 units?
Once you reach your baseline (which is equal to 120 units minus your total transfer units), the calculation changes and focuses on your total Letter Grade units. If your total Berkeley/UCEAP letter-graded units are equal to, or greater than, ⅔ of your baseline, the Passed Grade total will diminish as it will represent less and less of your baseline total. Consequently, your percentage as reported in the Estimator will represent less than your actual Passed Grade total.
If you plan to complete the Letter Grade units within your in-progress enrollment, essentially any further enrollment in Passed Grade units will not be factored into the limit, and the status in your APR will remain ‘Satisfied’ through to graduation.
Conversely, if your total Letter Grade units are less than ⅔ of your baseline, the calculation will continue to take into account the greater impact of your Passed Grade total and your percentage will remain in excess of 33 percent. If you are still within the grading option deadline, and you are close to graduation, this may mean you will need to change some of your Passed/Not Passed units back to Letter Grade. Or, if you plan to exceed 120 units by your Expected Graduation Term, you will need to take more letter-graded units to meet the ⅔ minimum and diminish the Passed grade ratio to meet this graduation requirement.
- What does it mean if my percentage in the CalCentral Estimator is 0 percent (0%)?
This means that your total baseline units are equal to your total Letter Grade units, consequently the Passed Grade unit total has no impact on your ratio. For example, if you have 70 transfer units, your baseline is 50 units (120-70=50). If you complete 50 Letter Grade units, and 10 Passed Grade units, your ratio will be 0%. The Passed Grade units are not considered in the calculation since the Letter Grade unit total represents 100% of the baseline. The requirement will remain ‘Satisfied’ in the APR through to graduation regardless of any additional Passed grade units you may complete.
- I was enrolled at Berkeley in spring 2020? How do Passed Grades from this semester impact the calculation?
The Default Passed/Not Passed (DPN) and units only available as Passed/Not Passed (PNP) from your spring 2020 earned units are factored into your baseline as Letter Grade units. This may aid in securing your ⅔ Berkeley Letter Grade total sooner as you plan for graduation.