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University Requirements

You must meet the following requirements in addition to your college & major requirements

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.For more information on the various ways to meet the requirement, go to

For more information about the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement, the Analytical Writing Placement exam, or the Analytical Writing Program’s course offerings, please visit the program’s website at

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. This requirement may be met in any one of the following ways:

  • By having passed with a grade of C or better one high-school unit in American history, or one-half high school unit in American history and one-half high-school unit in civics or American government.
  • By completing with a grade of P or C– or better any one-quarter UC San Diego course of instruction accepted as satisfactory by the Undergraduate Council. Any of the following courses are suitable for fulfilling the requirement: HILD 2A-B-C, HILD 7A-B-C, or any course listed under HIUS (other than HIUS Colloquia); ECON 158, 159; ETHN 103A, 112A-B, 120D, 125, 130, 131, 149, 153, 163J, 167, 169, 170; POLI 10, 10D, 100A-B-C, 102C, 102H, 104A, 110EA-EB, 110J, 142A; SOCI 10, 188K; and USP 103, 106, 167.
  • By presenting proof of having received a score of 550 or more on the SAT II subject test of the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) in American history.
  • By presenting proof of having received a grade of 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement test in American history administered by the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey.
  • By presenting proof of having satisfied the present requirement as administered at another collegiate institution within the state.
  • By presenting proof of successful completion of an acceptable one-quarter or one-semester course, with a grade of C or better, in either American history or American government at a community college within the state.
  • By presenting proof of successful completion of an acceptable one-quarter or one-semester course, with a grade of C or better, in either American history or American government at a recognized institution of higher education, junior college included, in another state.

 *International Students on F-1 or J-1 Visas: AHI is not required for students on F-1 or J-1 visas. The college will waive AHI at the end of your final quarter when processing your Degree and Diploma Application (DDA).

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

A knowledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion is required of all candidates for a Bachelor's degree who begin their studies at UC San Diego in lower-division standing in Fall 2011 or thereafter, or in upper-division standing in Fall 2013 or thereafter.

Additional requirements

Minimum Number of Units Required for Graduation

  • Minimum of 180 units.
  • At least 60 units must be upper division.

Minimum GPA

Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.

Maximum Unit Limitation (entered prior to Fall 2019)

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.

Quarter Limitation (entered Fall 2019 and later)

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.

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.

Pass/No Pass Limitation

No more than 25% of your UCSD units can be taken for the pass/no pass grading option.

Senior Residency

35 of your final 45 units must be completed at UCSD to satisfy the Senior Residency requirement. You may petition to waive this if you study abroad in your final quarter.