Area Studies (AS) - B.S. Engineering Majors Only

Two Area Studies are required:

  • Each must contain three four-unit courses, two of which must be upper-division (numbered 100+)
  • Must be non-contiguous (unrelated) to the major and to each other
  • At least one course from each AS must be taken at UC San Diego


  • Courses may be taken Pass/Not Pass
  • No more than two language courses may be applied to an AS
  • Upper-division major or minor courses may not overlap with AS or other general-education requirements
  • Special Studies Courses 195 may not be used for any AS
  • Rady School of Management (MGT) courses may not be used - see an academic counselor if pursuing a Business minor in lieu of an AS

Choosing Your Area Studies

The major, combined with your two AS, must represent all three disciplines:

  1. Humanities and Fine Arts
  2. Natural Sciences, Math, and Engineering
  3. Social Sciences

Contact Warren Advising during walk-in advising or online at to have your choices added to your degree audit.  We recommend declaring by the end of your second year.

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B.S. Engineering Majors

Bioengineering:  Biotechnology
Bioengineering:  Bioinformatics
Bioengineering:  BioSystems
CSE (B.S. only):
Computer Engineering
Computer Science
Computer Science:  Bioinformatics
Aerospace Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

Chemical Engineering
ECE (B.S. Only):
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Engineering Physics
Structural Engineering

Area Studies

Choose one Area Study from each of the two disciplines listed below

Humanities and Fine Arts

Social Sciences

Classical Studies
Foreign Language and Culture*
Italian Studies
Theatre and Dance
Visual Arts

Cognitive Science
Education Studies
Environmental Studies*
Ethnic Studies
Health Care - Social Issues*
Human Development Program*
Law and Society*
Political Science
Urban Studies and Planning

* Specialized AS require specific courses.

Fulfilling an Area Study with an Optional Minor

You may use a minor in lieu of an AS if it is non-contiguous to your major and your other AS:

  • An interdisciplinary minor may count in lieu of an AS if at least four of the minor courses are from the discipline in which the AS will be replaced.
  • A business minor may be used in lieu of a Social Science AS only when specific, allowable courses are chosen. See a Warren academic counselor for more information.

There may not be any overlap between major and minor coursework at the upper-division level.

Interdisciplinary Area Studies

Interdisciplinary AS

Requires three courses, two of which must be upper division.

All three courses may be from different departments within the same discipline, either Humanities and Fine Arts or Social Sciences. 

Language courses, if allowed for the PofC, count as humanities/fine arts courses:

  • maximum of two language courses can be used for a Humanities and Fine Arts interdisciplinary AS
  • Language courses may not be used for a Social Sciences Area Study

See the department/program websites for approved courses:

Specialized Humanities and Fine Arts Area Studies

Foreign Language and Culture

Requires one foreign language course (a minimum of four units) in one language. 

Requires two upper-division Humanities and Fine Arts courses in the study of that culture.

You may have difficulty finding upper-division courses in the study of the culture of some languages. See an academic counselor with questions.


Requires any combination of three four-unit courses, two of which must be upper-division, from:

  • History
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Theatre and Dance
  • Visual Arts

Other courses, if applicable, may be petitioned prior to enrollment. Linguistics/Language courses are not allowed.

Specialized Social Science Area Studies

Environmental Studies

Required courses:

  1. ENVR 30
  2. ENVR 110

One course from:

  • Anthropology:  Archaeology:  ANAR 182
  • Anthropology:  Sociocultural Anthropology:  ANSC 160
  • Communication:  COMM 171
  • Economics:  ECON 131, 132, 145
  • Environmental Studies:  ENVR 102, 140
  • Ethnic Studies:  ETHN 103
  • Political Studies:  POLI 104E, 125A, 162
  • Sociology:  SOCI 149
  • Urban Studies and Planning:  USP 124, 144, 171

Health Care - Social Issues

Required courses:

  1. SOCI 40
  2. One course from:  USP 143, 144, 145, 147

One course from:

  • Anthropology:  Biological Anthropology:  ANBI 100*, 141
  • Anthropology:  Sociocultural Anthropology:  ANSC 100*, 146, 164
  • Cognitive Science:  COGS 174
  • Economics:  ECON 140, 141
  • Ethnic Studies:  ETHN 102, 142, 157
  • Psychology:  PSYC 104, 124, 132, 134,154, 155, 163, 168, 169, 172, 179, 181, 188
  • Sociology:  SOCI 107, 113, 120T*, 134E, 135, 136E-F, 138, 143, 159*

*ANBI 100, ANSC 100, SOCI 120T and SOCI 159 must be health related. Approved topics will be listed on the program website.

Human Development Program

Required course:

  1. HDP 1

Two upper-division Human Development Program courses from:

  • Anthropology
  • Communication
  • Human Development Program
  • Linguistics (LIGN)
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Law and Society

Required courses:

  1. POLI 40 or SOCI 50
  2. LAWS 101

One course from:

  • Anthropology:  Sociocultural Anthropology:  ANSC 100*, 140
  • Critical Gender Studies:  CGS 106, 107
  • Communication:  COMM 114F, 114M, 114N
  • Economics:  ECON 118, 119
  • Environmental Studies:  ENVR 110
  • Ethnic Studies:  ETHN 152
  • Law and Society:  LAWS 102S, 105
  • Linguistics:  LIGN 105, 176
  • Political Science:  POLI 104A-B-C-D-F-I-L-M-N, 140A, 145A, 150A
  • Psychology:  PSYC 162
  • Sociology:  SOCI 120T*, 140, 140F, 141, 142, 144, 145, 146, 152, 159*, 160E, 163
  • Urban Studies and Planning:  USP 121, 122, 124

*ANSC 100, SOCI 120T and SOCI 159 must be law related. Approved topics will be on the program website.