Registration & Enrollment - Course Information
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Regulations Governing Certain Courses

American Cultures Requirement

Students who entered Berkeley in Fall Semester 1991 or thereafter in lower division standing (as a freshman or sophomore with 0-55 transferable semester units) and all students who entered in Fall Semester 1993 or thereafter must satisfy the American Cultures breadth requirement in order to graduate. You satisfy the requirement by passing, with a grade of not lower than C- or P, an American Cultures course. You can take an American Cultures course any time during your undergraduate career at Berkeley. If you have questions about your responsibility to satisfy the American Cultures breadth requirement, please see your academic adviser. American Cultures courses offered this semester are listed on their website.

Note to Seniors: When you meet with your college advisers, be sure they check that you have satisfied the American Cultures requirement. You should also check your record yourself by using Bear Facts. Your Degree Audit Report (DARS, accessible via Bear Facts) will also indicate whether or not you have satisfied the requirement. (See "System-Generated Reports" at the bottom of the DARS report.)

American History and Institutions Requirement

UC Berkeley courses that fulfill the AH&I requirements are limited to History 7A or 7B for the American History requirement and Political Science 1 for the American Institutions requirement. (Note: Political Science 100 does not satisfy either requirement.) Before taking any of these courses to fulfill these requirements, contact your college advisor to make sure you have not already fulfilled them. Other options for fulfilling the requirements include certain transferable course taken at other colleges. For more information, click here.

Early Drop Deadline (EDD) Courses

To maximize access to courses that have historically experienced high demand and high attrition, a small number of courses have been designated as Early Drop Deadline (EDD) courses. The deadline for dropping EDD courses is 12:00 midnight on Friday of the second week of instruction. Check your college/school's website for more information. To see the list of EDD courses, click here.

Impacted Courses

Certain popular courses at Berkeley are unable to accommodate all students who wish to enroll in them. Many of these "impacted" courses are listed below. Be aware that there is a good possibility that you will not be able to enroll in these courses through Tele-BEARS. If you are requesting any of these courses, you should consider alternative courses as well. IMPORTANT: These are only the most typically impacted courses. Other classes, especially in these departments, are also frequently impacted. Therefore, you should not assume that you will have a good chance of enrolling in every course you request.

Asian American Studies 20A, 124, 141
Business Administration (Undergraduate) 100, 119, 121, 122, 126, 131, 152, 165
Chemistry 4A, 112A
Chicano Studies 50, 70, 130, 135, 141, 150A, 174
Computer Science 70, 152, 160, 169, 172, 174
Earth & Planetary Science C120
Economics 140, 157, 201A, 202A, 240A
Engineering 28, 77, 190
Ethnic Studies 10A, 41AC, 128, 130AC, 150AC, 159AC
Integrative Biology 132L
International and Area Studies 45, 102
Linguistics R6, 110, 130
Letters & Science R44
Mechanical Engineering 104, 105, 106, 107B, 109, 124
Molecular and Cell Biology C112L
Native American Studies 149
Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology 10
Peace and Conflict Studies 10, 127A, 149, 150, 164A
Physical Education 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Physics 24, 39
Plant and Microbial Biology C112L
Psychology 107
Public Health 14, 142A, 150D, 180
Social Welfare 110, 112, 114, 116, 250B, 250U
Spanish 100, 102A, 102B, 114, 135

Alternatives to Impacted Courses

You may be surprised by the following Berkeley curiosities: Most of the economists on campus work in departments other than Economics, not all psychology classes occur in the Department of Psychology, and not all great literature is English literature (though it is often taught in English translation). These may seem like trifles, but they can be the keys to broadening your range of course opportunities and finding alternatives to impacted classes.

Actually, your choices are numerous. This is an amazing campus in terms of the breadth of curriculum. You should keep in mind lists of alternatives rather than certain "must have" course titles. If you are unable to get into your first choice, start thinking creatively. Use the General Catalog and the Online Schedule of Classes to explore, and check with your major adviser to determine whether an alternative course is a viable option for you. Consider the following examples.

Economics. If you cannot get into a class in the Department of Economics, consider similar course titles in Environmental Economics and Policy (ENVECON), the undergraduate component of the Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics (ARE). Specifically, the following courses are often accepted as equivalents: ECON 3 = ENVECON 1, ECON 125 = ENVECON 101, ECON 171 = ENVECON 151. Check with your major or intended-major department to see if it accepts these courses as substitutes.

Psychology. Consider alternatives in Cognitive Science, a program in Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies. Take a developmental psychology course in the School of Education, or a biological psychology class in the Division of Neurobiology in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, or organizational psychology in the School of Business Administration. Psychologists also offer courses in the Schools of Social Welfare and Public Health.

Literature. Why rely on the Department of English when many of our language departments offer classes on the great literatures of the world--taught in English? Consider The Russian Novel or 20th Century Latin American Fiction. For an exhaustive list of non-English literature classes taught in translation, click here.

Political Science. Although all required upper division courses must be Political Science courses (with the exception of Public Policy 179, Public Budgeting), students may be interested in related courses in departments such as Development Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Public Policy, Political Economy of Industrial Societies, Legal Studies, Political Economy of Natural Resources, History, and Economics.

College of Letters and Science Breadth Requirements. Many students trying to satisfy their L&S breadth requirements attempt to enroll in a narrow range of overcrowded courses, while many courses offered in smaller and more intimate settings have open seats. Use Bear Facts, the Online Schedule of Classes, and the breadth search engine to find alternatives with open seats, and remember that the College of Letters & Science accepts many classes from other colleges in satisfaction of L&S breadth requirements. Also, consider signing up for an L&S Discovery Course: these courses have been explicitly designed to satisfy breadth, and they are taught by some of Cal's most outstanding teachers, so they are perfect for non-majors.

Independent-Study Courses

If you wish to enroll in an independent-study course (for example, a course numbered 98, 99, 197, 198, 199, 297, 298, or 299), contact the appropriate department for current listings of sections and their course control numbers. You must be in good academic standing (i.e., not on academic probation) to enroll in independent-study courses. You will not be allowed to enroll in courses numbered 197, 198, or 199 if you have not attained junior standing (60 or more completed units). Credit for 98, 99, 198, and 199 courses in a single term may total no more than 4 units. No more than 16 units of courses numbered 98, 99, 197, 198, and 199 can be used to meet the requirements for the bachelor's degree.


If you want to participate in an internship program, you should contact the sponsoring organization - for example, the ASUC; the Survey of Career Options and Professions Through Exploration (SCOPE); or the Career Center - before or during the first week of classes.

Physical Education Activity Courses

You are limited to enrolling in ONE Physical Education activity course (numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5) during Phase I of Tele-BEARS. You are allowed to add a second PE course (space permitting) during Phase II or the Adjustment Period. If you wish to add a third PE course to your schedule, you should speak with the course's instructor for instructions.

Reading and Composition Courses

The campus has added additional Reading and Composition (R&C) courses to ensure that students can satisfy the requirement before entering their junior year. Beginning Fall 2012, the campus will restrict access to R&C to lower division students.  Don’t delay in satisfying this important requirement.  For more information see the R&C FAQs.

You need to have satisfied the University of California Entry Level Writing Requirement (formerly the Subject A requirement) (see below) before you can enroll in a course that meets the Reading and Composition Requirement.

Reading and Composition courses can be selected from the following list. Not all these courses, however, may be offered in a particular semester; consult the Schedule of Classes to check whether a specific R&C course is being offered or not. Note also that not all these courses may be accepted by your particular college or school; consult your college or school for regulations governing completion of this requirement before requesting a specific course. For a brief description of each course, see the General Catalog.

African American Studies R1A, R1B
Asian American Studies R2A, R2B
Celtic Studies R1A, R1B
Comparative Literature R1A, R1B, H1A, H1B, R2A, R2B, R3A, R3B, N1A, N1B
English R1A, R1B, N1A, N1B, R50
Film Studies R1A, R1B
French R1A
German R5A, R5B
History R1
History of Art R1B
Italian R5A, R5B
L & S R44
Linguistics R6
Native American Studies R1A, R1B
Near Eastern Studies R1A, R1B, R2A, R2B
Rhetoric R1A, R1B, N1A, N1B
Scandinavian R5A, R5B
Slavic R5A, R5B, R37W
South and Southeast Asian Studies R5A, R5B
South Asian R5A, R5B
Theater R1A, R1B
Women's Studies R1A, R1B, R20W

Note that College Writing 1A satisfies the UC Entry Level Writing requirement and the first half of the Reading and Composition requirement (R&C 1A).

Repeated Courses

You may repeat only courses in which you received a grade of D+, D, D-, F, NP, or U. Repetition of a course in which you received a grade of I (incomplete) is subject to Academic Senate regulations and deadlines. If you obtain a dean's approval to have an I grade permanently retained on your record, you may not have this decision reversed, nor may you make up the course work or repeat the same course or its equivalent.

Student-Initiated Courses

The Democratic Education @ Cal (DE-Cal) program sponsors a wide variety of student-initiated courses each term. All courses are offered on a pass/not-pass basis and are governed by the same guidelines as independent-study courses (see above). A listing of DE-Cal courses is available at the beginning of the semester at the DE-Cal Office, 320 Eshleman Hall, or online at For more information on enrolling in a DE-Cal class or on creating one of your own, go to the DE-Cal Office or call 510-642-9127.

UC Entry Level Writing Requirement (formerly the Subject A Requirement)

If you have not satisfied the UC Entry Level Writing requirement, you should enroll in College Writing 1A during your first or second semester. You will not be able to enroll in College Writing 1A or any courses that require satisfaction of the UC Entry Level Writing requirement until you have taken the Analytical Writing Placement Examination, which can be taken only once. For more information, contact the College Writing Programs office at 112 Wheeler Hall, 510-642-5570.


This page was last updated on Friday, March 22, 2013