MAP | CALMAIL |
     
search
Registration & Enrollment - Course Information

The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a U.S. resident graduated from an American university should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.


 Satisfying the American History and Institutions Requirements Before Enrolling at Berkeley:

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

  • High School Course Work: By fulfilling the portion of the "a" subject requirement for freshman admission that consists of one year of U.S. history or one-half year of U.S. history and one-half year of U.S. government in high school with letter grades of C or better.
  • 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 U.S. 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 U.S. Government exam with a score of 3 or better.)
  • International Baccalaureate Exam: By passing the International Baccalaureate Higher Level (IBHL) History of the Americas exam with a score of 5, 6 or 7.
  • Other College or University Course Work: By passing with a grade of C or better or P, one quarter or semester of a transferable course in basic U.S. history or U.S. government at a college or university before entering Berkeley. Students may also go to assist.org to find California community college courses that have been approved to satisfy the American History and American Institutions 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.
  • Other UC Campus: For students transferring from another UC campus: by passing any course or courses that satisfy the AH&I requirements of that campus.

Satisfying the American History and Institutions Requirements After Enrolling at Berkeley:

NOTE: 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.
  • UCB Course Work: 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. (Please be aware that 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.)
  • 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, NOTE: After enrolling at Berkeley, students who still need to satisfy the AH&I requirements must take one course to satisfy the American History requirement and one course to satisfy the American Institutions requirement.
  • Combination of UCB 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). 
  • New Students: You can check the status of your AH&I requirements, by logging into Bear Facts, mid-way through your first semester at UC 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the American History and Institutions (AH&I) requirements?

The AH&I requirements constitute two of the University's  graduation requirements. They were established in accordance with Academic Senate Regulation 638, which reads as follows:

"A knowledge of American history and of the principles of American Institutions under the federal and state constitutions is required of all candidates for the degree of A.B., B.Arch., and B.S.  This requirement may be met by passing an examination or examinations under the direction of the appropriate committee, or by passing any course or courses of instruction that may be accepted as satisfactory by that committee.  The papers submitted in the examination shall be rated 'passed' or 'not passed'."

However, UC Berkeley does not currently offer an exam or exams to satisfy the requirements.

2.  Who needs to satisfy the AH&I requirements?

All UC Berkeley undergraduates must satisfy the American History and American Institutions requirements in order to graduate.  An exception is made only for international students who have at least 90.5 semester units (senior status), hold a current, non-immigrant visa (F is the most common), and an I-94 departure record.  (International students, see instructions for waiving the requirement below.)

3.  I am an international student.  How do I apply for a waiver of my AH&I requirements?

If you have accumulated at least 90.5 semester units (senior status) and hold a current, non-immigrant visa (F is the most common) and an I-94 departure record, you may ask to have your AH&I requirements waived by presenting your visa and I-94 to the Office of the Registrar in 120 Sproul Hall before the semester in which you will graduate.

4. I will be an incoming freshman next semester.  How do I know if I have already satisfied the AH&I requirements?

Nearly all incoming freshman have already satisfied their AH&I requirements with course work completed in high school or at another college. If you completed one year of U.S. history OR one-half year of U.S. history and one-half year of U.S. government in high school with letter grades of C or better, you have satisfied both the American History and American Institutions requirements. If you passed the high school Advanced Placement American History exam with a score of 3 or better, the SAT Subject Test (formerly named the Achievement Test) in U.S. History with a score of 550 or better, or the International Baccalaureate Higher Level (IBHL) History of the Americas exam with a score of 5, 6, or 7, you have satisfied both the American History and American Institutions requirements. Only the American Institutions requirement may be satisfied by passing the AP U.S. Government exam with a score of 3 or better.

5. I am a transfer student.  Can I use course work that I completed at the college I am transferring from to satisfy my AH&I requirements?

If you are transferring from another college and you took and passed one approved course in U.S. History or U.S. Government, you have satisfied both the American History and American Institutions requirement.  If you attended a California Community College, use assist.org to find out what courses are approved at the college you attended before transferring to UC Berkeley.  You may have also satisfied the AH&I requirements with high school coursework (see #4 above).

6.  In BearFacts it indicates that I still need to satisfy my AH&I requirements, but I took the necessary course work (or exam) in high school or at another college). How do I fix this?

If the course you completed was approved to satisfy the requirements, but about mid-way through your first semester at UC Berkeley your records still indicate that you have not satisfied your AH&I requirements, go to 110 Sproul Hall and ask for your Admissions Officer to double-check your records.

7.  I am a returning student.  Have the rules with regard to satisfying the AH&I requirements changed since I was first enrolled?

Changes to AH&I policy were made effective July 1, 2005. The new policy applies to all undergraduate students and is listed in the online UC Berkeley General Catalog.

8.  As a California community college transfer student I satisfied the IGETC requirements.  Does this mean I have automatically satisfied my AH&I requirements?

No.  Unless you passed one of the approved American history or political science courses at your colleges, you have not satisfied the AH&I requirements.  Use assist.org to find out what courses are approved at the California community college you attended before transferring to UC Berkeley. (Some transfer students did the necessary work in high school. See FAQ #4 above.)

9.  I still need to satisfy both my American History and American Institutions requirements.  Can I take only one course at a California community college to satisfy both requirements?

No, once you have officially enrolled at UC Berkeley, you must take one course to satisfy the American History requirement and another course to satisfy the American Institutions requirement.  Use assist.org to find out what courses are approved at the California community college you plan attend.   You may also take transferable and approved courses at other colleges to satisfy the AH&I requirements. 

10.  Can I take a course at California community college at the same time I'm enrolled at UC Berkeley?

No, not without permission from you Berkeley College/School.  Being enrolled in two institutions at the same time is called "concurrent enrollment." To do this, check with your college advisor. No special permission is needed to take courses outside of UC Berkeley during the summer term.

11.  I still need to satisfy my American History requirement and I want to take a course at UC Berkeley to do so.  Which courses count toward satisfying the American History requirement?

Currently, you may take History 7A, 7B, 130B, 131A, 131B, or 138 at UC Berkeley to satisfy the American History requirement. Please be aware that these courses are not necessarily offered every semester or year. Check with the department to find out when a given course will be offered next. 

12.  I still need to satisfy my American Institutions requirement and I want to take a course at UC Berkeley to do so.  Which courses count toward satisfying the American Institutions requirement?

Currently, you may take either Political Science 1, 1AC, or 108A to satisfy the American Institutions requirement. Please be aware that these courses are not necessarily offered every semester or year. Check with the department to find out when a given course will be offered next. 

13.  Can I petition a UC Berkeley course for the American History or the American Institutions requirement that is not on the list of approved courses?

No, you must select from the list approved UC Berkeley AH&I courses.

14.  Can I take an approved course on a pass/not pass basis or do I need to take it for a letter grade?

Only a grade of "pass" is needed to satisfy the American History or American Institutions requirement.  If you take a course for a letter grade, you must receive a C- or better to satisfy the requirement.

15.  I have taken the necessary coursework at UC Berkeley to satisfy AH&I, but BearFacts indicates that I still need to satisfy them.  How do I fix this?

Go to the Office of the Registrar, 120 Sproul Hall, and ask to have your record updated.

16.  After I enroll at UC Berkeley, can I take an exam or exams to satisfy my American History and American Institutions requirements?

No. You must take a course for each requirement. The exam option was eliminated effective July 1, 2005.

17.  Are the AH&I requirements the same as the American Cultures requirement?

No. The AC requirement is a UC Berkeley campus requirement. The American History & Institutions requirements are University requirements. There are only three courses that can be used to satisfy AC and one of the AH&I requirements: students may take History 7A or 7B to satisfy both AC and American History; students may take Political Science 1AC to satisfy both AC and American Institutions. (These courses are not offered every semester.)

18.  After entering UC Berkeley, is there one course I can take that will satisfy AH&I and AC (all three requirements)?

No. Before entering UCB, it is possible to take one course for all three, but after entering it is possible to take one course for only one or two of the requirements, not all three. See AH&I policy, approved UCB courses, and information on using assist.org. See also the AC website and the list of community college courses that satisfy AC.

19.  Where can I find out more information about other requirements I need to satisfy in order to graduate?

The official explanation of all undergraduate requirements is at http://www.berkeley.edu/catalog/undergrad/requirements.html.  For more information review the website for your College/School at Cal or visit an advisor in the College/School.

20. Can I take on-line class from community college in spring together with my regular curriculum at Cal?

You must request and receive approval from your College to be concurrently enrolled at Cal and another college during a regular academic term (i.e. Fall or Spring).
Contact an advisor in your College

21. Or, can I take the class at a community college after I graduated in summer?

Yes, you can take the course at a community college during the summer (for example, summer 2009) BUT then, you must be on the degree list for Summer as you would not have satisfied the requirement by the end of the Spring Semester.

22. Does waiving the AH&I requirement have any impact on my future plans to work or live in the US?

Assuming you remain a non-immigrant for the duration of your undergraduate degree program at UC Berkeley, waiving the AH&I requirement will have no impact on your future plans to work or live in the US.

 

This page was last updated on Thursday, May 09, 2013