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 must be at least 3-semester units (or 4 quarter units). Courses must also take substantial account of groups drawn from at least three of the following: African Americans, indigenous peoples of the United States, Asian Americans, Chicanos, Latin Americans, and European Americans. Below we've included information on how to satisfy the AC Requirement at UC Berkeley and at other colleges. For additional information, please visit our FAQ's and About Us pages for additional information.
Satisfying the AC Requirement at UC Berkeley
American Cultures courses can be taken at any time during a student's undergraduate career at Berkeley, but we strongly urge students to meet the requirement as early as possible. Students must receive a grade no lower than C- or P to satisfy the requirement.
For a list of courses that satisfy the AC requirement at UC Berkeley, please visit the UC Berkeley Classes website.
If you are looking for a list of approved American Cultures courses offered at UC Berkeley since 1991, please visit the Academic Senate's list.
Satisfying the AC Requirement at Other Colleges
AC courses may also be taken "off-campus" at a community college or a partner institution. For a list of approved courses, please visit the Academic Senate's list, or refer to assist.org.
Petitioning a Course for AC Credit
Students also may submit a petition form to the Academic Senate if they believe a specific course satisfies the American Cultures Requirement.
The AC curriculum has been specially developed to enrich the student experience at UC Berkeley, and as such, is a unique reflection of UC Berkeley faculty's expertise in fields related to issues of critical diversity studies. However, there are instances in which courses offered at other educational institutions also formulate experiences which meet the expectations of the AC requirement at UC Berkeley. In this case, students have the option of submitting a petition to the Academic Senate, to have a non-AC course they have taken and successfully passed, if they believe that course satisfies the AC requirement.
It is important to keep in mind, that just because a non-AC course "looks" or "feels” like an AC course this does not mean that a petition will be approved by the Academic Senate. AC courses are governed by a very specific regulation that is interpreted and applied by the Academic Senate’s Subcommittee on the Breadth Requirement in American Cultures.
Please note, a separate campus entity, the Academic Senate Subcommittee, reviews all student petitions, not the AC Center. Student petitions are rigorously reviewed, and the Subcommittee applies the highest standards of college-level course material, course readings, and analytical skills required for course assignments. Therefore, serious consideration should be given to the strength of a substitution request before an individual submits a petition.
Basic Information: The AC Subcommittee meets once a month on Fridays during the fall and spring semesters. Student petitions must be received by 4 p.m. on the Friday before the scheduled meeting.
For a list of meetings dates and/or to download a petition form, please visit https://academic-senate.berkeley.edu/committees/amcult/requirement.
All materials should be submitted directly to the Academic Senate in 320 Stephens Hall #5842.
Students will receive a written response from the Academic Senate within two weeks of the meeting when the petition was reviewed.