How to Satisfy the AC Requirement

About the 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 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 Frequently Asked Questions 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. 

Unfortunately, a Reading and Composition (R&C) course cannot be used to fulfill the AC Requirement. We encourage you to explore other courses that are eligible to meet this requirement.

For a list of courses that satisfy the AC requirement at UC Berkeley, please visit the Academic Senate's list of Approved AC Courses at UC BerkeleyIf you need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Satisfying the AC Requirement at Other Institutions

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 of Approved AC Courses at Other Institutions

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 that 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 the Academic Senate AMCULT site.

All materials should be emailed to Academic Senate Analyst Rachel Marias Dezendorf at

Students will receive a written response from the Academic Senate within two weeks of the meeting when the petition was reviewed.