Area Studies - 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 Area Study 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 Area Study
  • Upper-division major or minor courses may not overlap with Area Study or other general education requirements
  • Special Studies Courses 195 may not be used for any Area Study
  • Rady School of Management (MGT) courses may not be used - see an academic counselor if pursuing a Business minor in lieu of an Area Study

Watch our instructional video that further explains how to choose your Area Studies.

Choosing Your Area Studies

The major, combined with your two Area Studies, 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.

[PDF Version]

Choosing Upper-Division Non-Contiguous Courses

B.S. Engineering Majors


  • Bioengineering
  • 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
  • Nanoengineering

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:

  • Foreign Language and Culture
  • History
  • Humanities*
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Theatre and Dance
  • Visual Arts

Social Sciences:

  • Anthropology
  • Cognitive Science
  • Communication
  • Economics
  • Education Studies
  • Environmental Studies*
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Health Care - Social Issues*
  • Human Developmental Sciences*
  • Law and Society*
  • Linguistics/General
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Urban Studies and Planning

* Specialized Area Studies require specific courses.

Fulfilling an Area Study with an Optional Minor

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

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

A student may overlap the equivalent of two applicable upper-division courses (a maximum of eight units) between a major and a minor.

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 Area Study, 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
  • Study of Religion
  • 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*, 120, 130, 141
  • Anthropology:  Sociocultural Anthropology:  ANSC 100*, 101, 105, 143, 144, 146, 148, 164
  • Critical Gender Studies: CGS 107
  • Cognitive Science:  COGS 174
  • Communication: COMM 108D
  • Linguistics: LIGN 146
  • Economics:  ECON 140, 141
  • Ethnic Studies:  ETHN 102, 142, 157
  • Global Health: GLBH 181
  • Psychology:  PSYC 100, 104, 124, 132, 134,154, 155, 168, 169, 172, 179, 181, 188
  • Sociology:  SOCI 107, 113, 120T, 134E, 135, 136E-F, 138, 159, 173
  • Urban Studies and Planning: USP 143, 144, 145, 147, 149

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

Human Developmental Sciences

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:

One course from:  HILD 50, PHIL 50, POLI 40 or SOCI 50

Two upper-division courses approved for the minor at

  • Must be from:  Anthropology, Communication, Economics, Ethnic Studies, Linguistics, Political Science, Psychology, Urban Studies & Planning, or LAWS 101.

Courses must be chosen from at least two different departments