What is an American Cultures (AC) course?

American Cultures courses are uniquely designed to critically engage in important issues within the United States by helping students develop a deeper understanding of race, culture, and ethnicity in the context of American society. If you would like to learn more about the history of American Cultures courses, please visit our History of AC page. 

Our courses are offered in more than 40 departments and programs across UC Berkeley, and can additionally be used to satisfy University requirements such as the Humanities and Social Science Breadth requirements. To learn more, visit our How to Satisfy the AC Requirement page.

American Cultures Engaged Scholarship (ACES) courses 

Some American Cultures courses provide opportunities for students to participate in collaborative social justice projects alongside community organizations. These courses are called American Cultures Engaged Scholarship courses (ACES). Examples of ACES projects include developing mobile apps, websites, and wiki pages that promote social justice, and mentoring K-12 at-risk youth, among others to create community impact. If you would like to learn more about ACES student projects, please visit our Student Projects page. To find a list of current ACES courses being offered, please visit our page ACES Courses

American Cultures Big Ideas courses 

The 'Big Ideas' courses introduce a new and exciting format to the UC Berkeley classroom in which faculty and students from different disciplinary viewpoints are brought together around a pivotal concept. Through cross-disciplinary dialogue, both enrolled students and the faculty teaching the course learn more from one another. First launched in Fall 2012, Big Ideas courses are dedicated to the premise that the most important issues and questions of our time—or any time—cannot be adequately addressed by scholars versed in one discipline alone. The co-teachers of each Big Ideas Course bring the different methodologies, underlying assumptions, and wisdom of their respective disciplines to bear on the course and its topic, and the resulting insights and discussions are richer and deeper than any one disciplinary approach could produce. For more information and current course offerings, please visit our page: AC Big Ideas Courses

Finding an AC Course

To find a current list of courses that satisfy the AC requirement at UC Berkeley, please visit Finding AC Courses.

For a list of historically approved AC courses at UC Berkeley, please visit List of Historically Approved Courses at UC Berkeley

For a list of historically approved AC courses at other colleges or programs, please visit List of Historically Approved Courses at Other Colleges

Support for your AC Course

Are you looking for help with your research for an AC course project?  Our AC Librarian, Corliss Lee, is happy to help you discover and explore library resources for your project.  To set up an appointment, please email her at

We also encourage you to explore other projects students have developed in past AC courses, in our ACES Student Projects page, or our EScholarship site to read about other students' award-winning research projects. 

For further information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.