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University Requirements

The University requirements must be completed by all UC San Diego students in addition to general-education requirements.

Required Courses

UC Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR)

The University of California requires all undergraduate students (including international students) to demonstrate a minimum proficiency in English composition within three quarters of entering the University.

Refer to the UC San Diego General Catalog for guidelines.

American History and Institutions (AHI)

Knowledge of American history and of the principles of American institutions under the federal and state constitutions is required of all candidates for a bachelor's degree.

Refer to the UC San Diego General Catalog for guidelines and the approved course list.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

A knowledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion is required of all candidates for a bachelor's degree. This requirement shall be satisfied by passing, with a grade not lower than a C- or P, a four-unit course expressly approved by the Committee on Educational Policy for that purpose. A list of approved courses is provided in the UC San Diego Catalog.

  • This requirement may be satisfied by presenting proof of having passed a one-quarter, four-unit transfer course, or its equivalent, at a recognized institution of higher education, community colleges included, that has been articulated to one of the courses approved by the Committee on Educational Policy.
  • This course may overlap with the major, minor, or general education requirements. 

Climate Change Education Requirement (CCER)

The establishment of this new graduation requirement for incoming first-year students, beginning Fall 2024, is designed to empower our students with the knowledge and skills needed to confront the urgent global challenge of climate change.  A list of approved coursework is forthcoming.


Requires twelve or more 4.0-unit, upper-division courses in addition to lower-division prerequisites for the major.

See the major department for details.

Additional Requirements

Senior Residency

Thirty-five (35) of a student's last forty-five (45) units must be taken at UC San Diego.

Pass/Not Pass

No more than one-fourth (25%) of an undergraduate student's units completed at UC San Diego may be graded Pass/Not Pass.

A Pass requires a grade of C- or higher.

GPA is not affected by a Pass/Not Pass grade, but students do receive units and course credit for a Pass.

Most majors and minors require a letter grade in all course work.

Minimum Progress

To comply with the University Minimum Progress regulation, students must complete 36 units during each academic year (Fall - Summer).

If a student is on leave or approved for Part-Time Status in any quarter, they will be exempt for the entire period.

Minimum Units for Graduation

180 units are required for a B.A. and B.S. degree including a minimum of 60 units must be taken at the upper-division level.

Maximum Unit Limitation and Quarter Limitation

For Students Who Entered Prior to Fall 2019 - Maximum Unit Limitation

  • Students are limited to 200 units for B.A. and B.S. in Arts and Sciences, 230 units for B.S. in Engineering, and 240 units for double majors.

For Students Entering Fall 2019 and Later - Quarter Limitation

  • Students entering as Freshmen will have a maximum limit of 12 quarters and Transfer students will have a maximum of 6 quarters. If a student reaches the quarter limit and needs additional time, they will be required to submit a completion plan and have it approved by their college 
  • Summer sessions, as well as quarters during which students are approved for part-time status or have withdrawn from all courses, will not count toward the allowable number of quarters.

Grade-Point Average

A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required to graduate. Some majors have an additional minimum GPA requirement for the major.

See the major department for details.