Frequently Asked Questions

UC Berkeley Students

What is the American Cultures (AC) requirement?

AC is a Berkeley campus requirement, the one course that all undergraduate students at Cal need to pass in order to graduate. The AC requirement introduces students to the diverse cultures of the United States through a comparative framework. Courses are offered in more than forty departments in many different disciplines at both the lower and upper division level.

Who needs to take an AC course?

All students who entered Berkeley in fall 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 1993 or thereafter.

I am a graduating senior with no time left and I just found out I need AC to graduate. What should I do?

You can enroll in an AC course during summer session at U.C. Berkeley or a Community College, or through concurrent enrollment at a community college. Discuss your options with your academic advisor.

Can I take my AC course on a pass/not pass basis or do I need to take it for a letter grade?

The AC requirement may be taken for either a letter grade of C- or better, or on a Pass/Not Pass basis.

How do I find an AC course?

There are two ways to find an AC course. You can access a list of current courses from the AC website or you can search the Online Schedule of Classes by typing "American Cultures" in the "additional information" box and using any other parameters you choose to narrow your search.

Are all approved AC courses at Berkeley offered on a regular basis?

No. Just because a course is on the approved list of AC courses at Berkeley doesn't mean it will be offered again in the future. For current course offerings, please consult the Online Schedule of Classes or use the side navigation bar to access a list of AC courses for the current semester.

Should I try to take an AC course in my first semester?

Many AC courses are offered each term, but they often have high demand and long waitlists. Although you don't have to take an AC course in your first semester, the best advice is to satisfy your AC requirement early.

Can I also use my AC course to satisfy a breadth requirement?

Yes. Many AC courses also satisfy college and major requirements, in addition to satisfying the campus-wide AC requirement.

Do I have to take my AC course here at Berkeley? Can I take it online or at a community college?

Yes, several community colleges offer courses that count towards the AC requirement. These courses are listed here(link is external). Please always consult with an advisor in choosing community college courses.

I know I passed an AC course at Berkeley, but my transcript still shows that I haven't satisfied the AC requirement. How can I fix this?

If you passed an American Cultures course at Berkeley, go to 120 Sproul Hall, the Registrar's Office and fill out a correction form. If you passed an American Cultures course at a community college before transferring to Berkeley, go to 110 Sproul Hall, the Admissions Office.

I've noticed that History 7B at Berkeley is an AC course. I took a course with the same course number at another college. Does this count for AC credit?

It only counts if the course is listed as one of the approved courses at other colleges that satisfy the AC requirement. If not, then you would need to petition the AC subcommittee to determine if the course meets the criteria for AC. Unless the course meets very specific criteria outlined in the Academic Senate regulations, it probably doesn't satisfy the requirement. Currently the only History 7B course outside of UC Berkeley that satisfies AC is at Berkeley City College.

I was told that History 7A at Berkeley has been an AC course since fall 1998. I took History 7A before this. Does the course I took count for AC credit?

No. If you took the course prior to its being approved as an AC course, you would need to petition the AC subcommittee to determine if the course met the criteria for AC at that time, which is unlikely.

I am an international student. Do I still need to satisfy the AC requirement?

Yes, all students, including international students, need to satisfy the requirement.

Do all AC courses have an AC suffix?

No. Most AC courses have the AC suffix, but some do not. However the schedule of courses should indicate which requirements a course fulfills.

I notice some courses (e.g. Sociology 3, Anthropology 3, American Studies 10) are sometimes offered with the AC suffix and sometimes without. Are both versions AC courses?

No. Sociology 3AC is AC-approved, but Sociology 3 is not. The same goes for similar pairs of courses. For AC purposes, these pairs of courses are different. For most other purposes (college breadth requirements or major requirements), these pairs of courses are equivalent.

Is the AC requirement the same as the AH&I requirements?

No. The AC requirement is a campus requirement. The American History & Institutions requirements are University requirements. However, students may take History 7A or 7B to satisfy both their AC and American History requirements. Students may take Political Science 1AC to satisfy both the AC and American Institutions requirement. Information about AH&I can be found Here(link is external)

Where can I find out more information about other requirements I need to graduate?

Undergraduate graduation requirements very depending on your major.  For more information on your specific requirements, visit your academic advisor.

Community College Students

UC Berkeley Students | collapse all expand all

At my previous college, I took a course that was about race and ethnicity in the US so I thought it was an AC course. My Info-BEARS report still shows that I haven't satisfied the AC requirement. Why not?

If your course is not listed as one of the approved courses at other colleges that satisfy the AC requirement, then you haven't satisfied the requirement. Unless the course meets very specific criteria outlined in the Academic Senate regulations, it probably doesn't satisfy the requirement. If you believe the course meets those criteria, then you can submit a petition.

As a community college transfer student, I satisfied the IGETC requirements. Does this mean I have automatically satisfied my AC requirement?

No. Unless you specifically passed one of the approved courses at other colleges, you have not satisfied your AC requirement.

I'm a transfer student. Do I have to complete the AC requirement in order to be admitted to Berkeley?

No. AC is a graduation requirement, not an admission requirement. So you can satisfy this requirement after being admitted to Berkeley if you haven't already completed it at community college.

How can I tell what community college courses satisfy Berkeley's AC requirement?

Many California community college courses have been approved as satisfying AC. Go to assist.org. Select University of California, Berkeley Select the year you're interested in, select a California community college, e.g., Berkeley City College Under "By Major," select > "Information - American Cultures Graduation Requirement" The community college course(s) approved for satisfying the Requirement appear on the right side of the page.

I know I passed an AC course at my Community College, but my transcript still shows that I haven't satisfied the AC requirement. How can I fix this?

If you passed an American Cultures course at a community college before transferring to Berkeley, go to 110 Sproul Hall, the Admissions Office.

My community college course is not listed on www.assist.org (link is external) or on the AC website, but I think it should satisfy Berkeley's AC requirement. Who should I contact?

If this is the case you can try petitioning the course for AC credit. The petition form is found here(link is external). Instructions for petitioning are on the form, but you can email americancultures@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail) with questions.