Information for Advisors

Welcome Advising Colleagues!

The American Cultures (AC) Center is extremely grateful for your support of the AC curriculum. The advice you provide to students about AC helps prepare them for the exciting opportunities within this unique UC Berkeley curriculum. And in recognizing that critical role, we would like to share some information about and opportunities to assist you in advising students on the AC curriculum. 

General Information about the AC Requirement

Apartheid Divestment Sproul Protest 1985

History of the AC Requirement

Unlike other requirements on campus, students organized and protested for the campus graduation requirement that would eventually become the American Cultures Requirement. After a successful campaign to divest billions from South African businesses, students fought for ways to "desegregate the campus" and "the curriculum." The result was the American Cultures requirement, a curriculum that constitutes a new approach that responds directly to the problem encountered in numerous disciplines of how better to present the diversity of American experience to the diversity of American students whom we now educate. The AC Center encourage advisors to watch our short video that discusses the history and intent of the AC Requirement and its connection to the South African Apartheid Divestment movement.

General Information about How to Satisfy the AC Requirement

All UC Berkeley undergraduates (admitted after fall 1991) must fulfill the AC requirement in order to graduate. The AC requirement is fulfilled by taking a pre-approved course from UC Berkeley or a partner institution that is at least 3-semester units (or 4 quarter units).

Presentations to Advisors

The American Cultures Center staff is happy to schedule a meeting with you and your advising colleagues to share information about the latest initiatives, programming, and policies of the American Cultures Requirement. If interested, please email americancultures@berkeley.edu.

Opportunities for Students

The American Cultures Engaged Scholarship (ACES) Program

Some AC Courses offer students the opportunity to learn from community organizations and experts about some of the nation's most pressing social issues and what innovative practices and opportunities are being implemented to address those issues. These courses are known as ACES or American Cultures Engaged Scholarship courses. The ACES Program homepage page provides more information about the program generally and lists which ACES Courses are being offered.

Protesters on the streets at night holding signs against gentrification efforts

ACES Student Projects

American Cultures Engaged Scholarship (ACES) courses also offer students and faculty the opportunity to work with community organizations to develop cutting edge research projects associated with some of the challenges pressing society. Please visit our ACES Student Projects page to learn about some of the powerful projects growing from the collaborative understanding and effort developed in UC Berkeley's ACES courses.

Veena

Adobe Fellows Program

In many AC courses, creative projects are central to “lifting” the analytical work of the classroom into broader circulation. The Adobe Fellows Program is a two-year pilot project to support faculty and students in utilizing digital design tools to deepen and enhance the academic experience and to explore new avenues for public dissemination of research and teaching centered on social impact issues.

acstudentprize

Student Prize

The AC Student Prize provides students with the opportunity to highlight work developed in an American Cultures course that promotes understanding of race, ethnicity, and culture. Recipients of the AC Student Prize will receive a $1,000 award, be honored at a public award ceremony and have their submission published on the American Cultures eScholarship site.

AC Courses

firefighter lights fire on open field during a controlled burn to manage and conserve area

AC Courses

AC Courses are offered in over forty academic departments during any given semester of the academic year. Students learn about and engage with issues critical to America's dynamic ethnic, racial and socio-cultural landscape in disciplines such as Engineering, Integrative Biology, Education, Anthropology, City and Regional Planning, Architecture, Ethnic Studies, Environmental Science, the School of Public Health, and others.

Black and white image of a man writing "Evolution" using both hands on a piece of paper on a wall using both hands, man is able to write with right hand due to assistive technology

Spotlight on AC Courses

The AC Center works with AC instructors in developing introductory videos about their AC Courses. Please peruse the Spotlight Videos on AC Courses to learn more about the AC courses that are offered. Please contact the AC Center for any questions about these courses.

Please visit our FAQ Page to read responses to the questions regularly asked of the AC curriculum.