Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Nov 29, 2017 Katherine J Parpana
Students are responsible for seeing that all of their degree requirements are fulfilled.

These requirements are effective May 1, 2017-Apr 29, 2018.
For older requirements, see Archived General Catalogs.
More information can be found at the Office of the University Registrar website 


All students must fulfill the following University of California requirements:

American History and Institutions Requirement

The American History and Institutions requirement ensures that every graduating student will have at least a minimum knowledge of the background of this country’s development and an understanding of the political, economic and social interrelationships of its way of life.

You may meet this requirement in any of these ways:

  • Complete one high school unit in American history, or 1/2 high school unit in American history and 1/2 high school unit in civics or American government, with a grade of C or better in each course
  • Complete any one of the following courses:
    • African American and African Studies 10, 100
    • Asian American Studies 1, 2
    • Chicana/Chicano Studies 10
    • Economics 111A, 111B
    • History 17A, 17B, 72A, 72B, 170A, 170B, 170C, 171A, 171B, 174A, 174B, 174C, 176A, 176B, 177A, 177B, 179, 180A, 180B, 183A, 183B (upper division courses may be taken only with the consent of the instructor)
    • Native American Studies 1, 10, 116, 130A, 130B, 130C
    • Political Science 1, 5, 100, 102, 104, 105, 106, 108, 109, 113, 130, 131, 160, 163
    • Students electing to complete one of the above courses in order to meet this requirement are subject to the rules for prerequisites and majors.
  • Present evidence that the requirement has been accepted as satisfied at another campus of the university.
  • Present evidence that the requirement has been satisfied through courses in the area of American History and Institutions at another collegiate institution whose credits are acceptable for transfer to UC Davis.
  • Successful completion of the Advanced Placement (AP) Examination in United States Government and Politics taken May 2014 and prior with a score of 3 or higher. As of May 2015 AP examination, AP United States Government and Politics no longer satisfies the American History and Institutions requirement.
  • Successful completion of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Examination in History of the Americas Higher Level (HL) with a score of 5, 6, or 7.
  • Successful completion of the SAT Subject Examination in U.S. History with a score of 550 or higher.

International students, regardless of the type of visa they hold, must meet the university’s American History and Institutions requirement for graduation.

Unit Requirements

A minimum of 180 quarter units is required for graduation. These must be distributed according to the minimum requirements set forth by the faculty of your college.

A maximum of 15 units of Internship Courses (92, 192, or a combination) may be counted toward the 180-unit bachelor’s degree requirement.

The acceptability of transfer courses for unit credit is determined by Undergraduate Admissions. The acceptability of such courses toward specific requirements is determined by the individual college or school.

Students should refer to the Advanced Placement Examination chart and their transcripts to eliminate the possibility of duplication of credit.

Residence Requirements

The minimum residence requirement for a bachelor’s degree at the University of California is one academic year (three quarters). Thirty-five of the final 45 quarter units completed by each candidate must be earned while in residence on the UC Davis campus. Each summer session in which a student completes a course of at least 2 quarter units may be counted as half a quarter’s residence.

Regularly approved courses (laboratory, field, or other individual work) done outside of a regular session but under the direction of a department of instruction may be accepted upon the recommendation of the department in partial fulfillment of the residence requirement for the bachelor’s degree. Registration is with the consent of the instructor only.

UC Davis Extension courses are not accepted as part of the university residence requirement.

There are additional residence requirements for students enrolled in the Colleges of Letters and Science and Engineering. If you are planning to study abroad during your senior year, you should consult your college dean's office or the Biology Academic Success Center.

With the approval of the dean of a student’s college or school, a candidate for the bachelor’s degree who was in active service in the armed forces of the United States in the year preceding the awarding of the degree may be recommended for the degree after only one quarter of university residence in which the candidate completes at least 16 units or passes a comprehensive examination in the major or field of concentration.

Scholarship Requirement

To receive a bachelor’s degree, you must obtain twice as many grade points as units (a 2.000 GPA) for all courses you have attempted in the university. For specific college requirements, consult the college sections, below:

College Requirements

  • Unit
  • Residence
  • Scholarship
  • English Composition

A preliminary degree check can be used to help track your progress. You can also utilize the MyDegree online advising audit to review requirements. 

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