- Before you get started, explore courses and degree options via the Berkeley Guide.
- Search for classes using keywords and filters in the Berkeley Guide Class Schedule.
- Build your class schedule in CalCentral using the Schedule of Classes and the Schedule Planner.
- Undergraduates are limited to no more than 13.5 units during Phase 1 and 17.5 units during Phase 2, which includes waitlisted units. (For graduates, the limit for Phase 1 is 12 units, and for Phase 2 it is 20.5 units.) This is a hard cap enforcement.
- Students have from the start of their appointment time until the end of the given phase to add, drop, or swap classes, change grading options, change discussion sections, and make variable unit updates.
- During the Adjustment Period in August (fall)/January (spring), students may enroll up to their college’s maximum unit limit. The adjustment period comes to an end on the add/drop deadline.
Follow the instructions in the "Enroll in Classes Late" section if:
- You are an undergraduate student and you have not enrolled in classes by the end of the fourth Wednesday of instruction (11:59 p.m. PST)
- You are a graduate student and you have not enrolled in classes by the end of the fifth Friday of instruction (11:59 p.m. PST)
For more information on enrollment procedures in CalCentral, please see Enrollment Rules Explained.
Refer to the Berkeley Academic Guide Course Catalog to learn if a course has prerequisites. If prerequisites are cited, they are considered to be required for academic success. For some classes scheduled for 2019-20, prerequisites will be automatically enforced by the enrollment system. If the system does not find the requisites in your academic record, you cannot enroll without first receiving permission from the department or instructor. Sometimes receiving permission to enroll may require that you provide proof of having completed acceptable transfer courses or exams. The enrollment system currently checks for satisfaction of prerequisites for all classes that satisfy the University’s Reading and Composition requirement.
The enrollment system checks for satisfaction of prerequisites for all classes that satisfy the College’s Reading and Composition requirement. Prerequisites for Reading and Composition courses must be in progress at Berkeley or posted as an acceptable exam or transfer course to a student's Transfer Credit Report. Departments will not accept other proof of completion and will not provide permission to enroll.
For 2019-2020, the enrollment system also will check for satisfaction of prerequisites for the courses listed on this Google sheet. The sheet is accessible to anyone logged into Google with a berkeley.edu address.
How Do I...?
- Go to the Class Schedule and use the powerful search and filters to find amazing classes for the term you are planning.
- Visit Twitter.com/BerkeleyGuide to see Suggested Classes with open seats. Follow @BerkeleyGuide on Twitter to see open classes as they are recommended by departments and faculty.
- Plan your schedule within CalCentral.
- Set up a meeting with your adviser at your college and/or department to enroll.
Normal Course Loads
Undergraduates: A course load of 15 units per semester is considered a normal undergraduate course load, and you are expected to enroll in at least 15 units.
Graduate Students: A course load of 12 units per semester is considered a normal, full-time graduate course load.
Reduced Study Loads
If you are an undergraduate and anticipate being enrolled in fewer than the minimum number of units required by your college or school, contact the dean's office of your college or school as soon as possible (preferably before the end of the previous semester, or at least well before the end of Phase II) to request approval to be enrolled in a less-than-full course load.
You can add/drop classes within CalCentral.
The Student Calendar includes dates you can add/drop (and when the add/drop fee applies).
Enroll in a Class
If you want to enroll in (add) a class, keep in mind:
- Departments may reserve seats in classes for students who meet certain criteria, based on major, level, etc. These classes are indicated in the Berkeley Guide Class Schedule and CalCentral.
- If you qualify for a seat reservation category but it is full, you will receive the message: "The enrollment category for which you qualify is full."
- If you attempt to add a course and you do not meet the restrictions, you will not be allowed to enroll and you will receive the message, "You have not met the enrollment restrictions (or criteria) for this class," or "Students at your course level are not permitted to enroll in this class."
- You'll be charged a $5 fee for each class added after the third week of instruction (11:59 p.m. PST on Friday). If you are not officially registered by the end of the third week of instruction, you'll be charged a $150 late-registration fee when you become officially registered (enrolled in at least one class, having no blocks on your CalCentral account, and paying at least 20% tuition and fees).
- You have until the add/drop deadline to change the unit value of a variable unit course.
Time Conflict Process
If you attempt to enroll in classes with overlapping days/times, you will only be able to do so if a class is set up to allow you to enroll in other classes with time overlaps. You must click YES after you receive the error message “A scheduling conflict exist, please press 'yes' to accept and continue."
If a class is not set up for students to enroll in classes with time conflicts, you will be unable to enroll in classes with time conflicts.
Drop a Class
To drop an enrolled or wait-listed class from your schedule, go to your current class schedule and select the class you wish to drop. You must confirm the transaction before the class can be dropped from your schedule. Please be aware some courses have early drop deadlines (EDD). The deadline for dropping EDD courses is midnight on Friday of the second week of instruction. Check your college/school's website for more information. You will be allowed to drop below full-time units until the end of the fourth week of instruction. If you do not plan to attend/enroll for the semester, you will not be able to drop your last class. You must submit a withdrawal form on CalCentral > My Dashboard > Add a Withdrawal Request.
Students will be charged a $10 late fee for each class dropped after the end of the second Friday of instruction (11:59 p.m. PST).
What is the new add-drop deadline for undergraduates?
11:59 p.m. (Pacific time) on Wednesday of week four of the semester.
When does this change take place?
Effective fall 2018.
What do all undergraduates need to keep in mind?
Most importantly, they will want to make sure to drop themselves from any waitlists of classes they don't intend to take. Enrollment managers will be adding students from waitlists on Thursday and Friday of week four. If you are added into a class on Thursday or Friday of week four it will be too late to drop it. Waitlisted students who do want to get into the class will want to check in with the instructor or GSI to see if they want waitlisted students to attend or not, and if they do, then definitely attend and keep up on the work.
Who made this decision?
Add and drop deadlines are set by the colleges. All of the undergraduate colleges have a stake in consistent deadlines, because students from every college take courses in every other college. The Council of Undergraduate Deans, the body where the undergraduate colleges convene to make collective decisions, has made this decision.
What are the advantages of this change?
- It will be easier for students to get into the classes they want.
- Waitlisted students will be able to enroll in time to succeed in their classes.
- Classes will stabilize earlier, which means faculty and students can settle in to teaching and learning earlier.
- In classes with group projects, the groups will no longer be disrupted or undermined by students dropping in week five.
- We believe that students are likely to do better in their classes: they will commit to their final class schedules earlier, as opposed to stretching themselves too thin.
Who has been consulted in the process of finalizing this decision?
The Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education, the Registrar, the Departmental Advisory Group in L&S, the directors of advising in all the undergraduate colleges, the Office of Planning and Analysis, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, the ASUC, the Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion and the units that report to him, the Academic Senate, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarships, and other units.
Will the EDD deadline or deadline to change the grading option change?
No, these deadlines will not be affected. Early Drop Deadline classes can be dropped only through the end of week two of the semester.
Will the deadline to change the units one earns for a course change?
Yes, the new deadline will be Wednesday of week 4, to coincide with the new add/drop deadline, since this is essentially adding or dropping units.
What other changes are being made to align with this new deadline?
URAP (the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program) will make its decisions earlier so that students can add these units before the deadline. DE-Cal facilitators are being asked to begin their courses on time for students to meet the new deadline.
What is the process for petitioning for a late add or drop?
Each school or college has its own policies and procedures regarding student requests for exceptions after the add/drop deadline. Please see your college adviser if you have questions.
What are the deadlines for concurrent-enrollment students?
The deadline for concurrent-enrollment students to add classes will be Wednesday of week four of the semester, at 11:59 p.m. (Pacific time). The deadline for concurrent-enrollment students to drop classes will be Friday of week four of the semester, at 11:59 p.m. (Pacific time).
What are the deadlines for students in the Fall Program for Freshmen?
These deadlines have not changed. The add-drop deadline in FPF is still Friday of week three.
Will this deadline change impact my financial aid?
An earlier drop deadline will not impact aid policies.
Financial aid will continue to evaluate your eligibility for Federal Pell Grant and/or Cal Grant based on your enrollment at the end of week five. If you are enrolled in less than 12 units at that time, your awards may be adjusted.
Satisfactory Academic Progress will continue to be evaluated based on the number of units you are enrolled in at the end of week five. Please review our SAP policy for more information on which units count in the SAP evaluation.
Does this policy affect graduate students?
No, the new deadline applies only to undergraduates.
How will I know how I am doing in my classes in time to make a decision about whether to drop them?
Be sure to do all the homework. If you are having trouble with homework or understanding lectures and class concepts, attend office hours. If you continue to have trouble with material even after discussing it with your professor or graduate student instructor, this could be an indication that the class is not right for you.
If you are unable to enroll in a class because it is full, there are two ways you may be added to a wait list: automatic or manual. You can find out the wait list options through CalCentral.
1) Automatic. You can place yourself on the class's wait list within CalCentral. Automatic wait lists are processed every six hours through the end of the third week of instruction. Students on automatic wait lists are enrolled sequentially, provided there are seats available for their enrollment group.
Note: If you are already enrolled in a class that conflicts with the scheduling of a class you are wait-listed for, it is considered a time conflict. You will not be automatically enrolled from a wait list if there is a time conflict in your schedule.
2) Manual. An instructor or department can change a wait list from automatic to manual (or vice versa) at any time. An instructor/department also can selectively choose to add students from a wait list and may not adhere to the sequential order of students on the wait list. (Students added this way are not charged a $5 add fee.) Departments may enroll students from a manual wait list beginning the first day of Phase I through the end of the fifth week of instruction.
Wait-listed students usually receive first priority for enrollment. However, there is no guarantee that you will be enrolled in the course. Being enrolled from a wait list depends on a number of factors, such as whether the list is "automatic" or "manual," your position on the list, the size of the course, and whether enough space becomes available (through drops or an increase in seats).
Units for wait-listed courses are counted as part of your unit total. You need to be actually enrolled (i.e., not on the wait list) in at least one course to be considered officially "registered" (in addition to having paid at least 20 percent of your registration fees and having no registration holds).
If you no longer wish to take a wait-listed course, you are responsible for dropping yourself from the wait list, preferably by the end of the second week of instruction. If you have already been enrolled from a wait list, you are responsible for dropping the class.
If you are not officially registered by the end of the third week of instruction (subject to change), you will be charged a $150 late-registration fee if you become officially registered after this time.
If you are an undergraduate student and you have not enrolled in classes by the end of the fourth Wednesday of instruction (11:59 p.m. PST), you must obtain approval from an adviser in your college or school in order to enroll.
If you are a graduate student and you have not enrolled in classes by the end of the fifth Friday of instruction (11:59 p.m. PST), you must file a Petition for Late Enrollment/Registration to enroll in classes.
You must be enrolled in at least one class to be considered a registered student at Berkeley (in addition to having paid registration fees and having no registration blocks or holds). However, you are expected to be enrolled in at least the minimum number of units approved by your college or school by the end of the third week of instruction. Minimum unit requirements are as follows:
Undergraduate Minimum Unit Requirements:
Haas School of Business: 13 Units
College of Chemistry: 13 Units
College of Engineering: 12 Units
College of Environmental Design: 12 Units
College of Letters & Science: 13 Units
Rausser College of Natural Resources: 12 Units
Graduate Minimum Unit Requirements:
All graduate students: 12 Units
Graduate students under special programs, such as fellowship or financial aid recipients, have different minimum unit requirements. Consult your department.
If you wish to enroll in more units than the maximum, you must seek approval from your college or school dean's office (declared majors in Letters and Science should go to their department for approval). Requests are reviewed by the college after the adjustment period. Maximum unit limits are as follows:
Undergraduate Maximum Unit Limits:
Haas School of Business: 20.5 Units
College of Chemistry: 19.5 Units
College of Engineering: 20.5 Units
College of Environmental Design: 20.5 Units
College of Letters & Science: 20.5 Units
College of Natural Resources: 20.5 Units
Graduate Maximum Unit Limits:
Law School students: 16.0 Units
All other graduate students: 20.5 Units
As of January 2020, the policy for auditing classes has changed. Please see the complete Policy for Auditing Classes at UC Berkeley for details.
You should always drop any unwanted classes from your schedule immediately. Don't wait for or assume an instructor will drop you from a class.
But, an instructor may drop you from a class if you do not attend every class meeting during the first three weeks of instruction or if you do not meet the prerequisites.