Degree Requirements

You must satisfy four groups of requirements before you can become eligible for candidacy for a bachelor's degree.  The foure groups are:

  • University requirements, which apply to all Colleges;
  • General Education requirements, which apply to all Colleges;
  • College requirements; and
  • Major requirements

You are responsible for seeing that all of your degree requirements are fulfilled. The following Graduation Requirement Self-Check will help you ensure that all requirements are met.

Graduation/Degree Requirement Self-Check (GE3) (GE3 Effective Fall Quarter 2011)

Graduation/Degree Requirement Self-Check (GE2) (Previous GE2 requirements)

University Requirements

University and campus requirements apply to all undergraduate students regardless of college and major.

Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR)

The University of California requires every undergraduate student to demonstrate college-level proficiency in English composition. Satisfaction of the Entry-Level Writing requirement is a prerequisite to all other undergraduate courses in English and must be fulfilled before General Education courses can count toward the General Education Writing Experience Requirement. For more information about the Entry Level Writing Requirement, visit:

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. 

General Education (GE) Requirement

The General Education requirement promotes the intellectual growth of all undergraduates by ensuring that they acquire a breadth of knowledge that will enlarge their perspectives beyond the focus of a major and serve them well as participants in a knowledge-based society. It seeks to stimulate continued intellectual growth by providing students with knowledge not only of the content but also of the methodologies of different academic disciplines. It involves students in the learning process by its expectation of considerable writing and class participation. It encourages students to consider the relationships between disciplines.

For more information on the GE requirements visit

Campus Unit Requirement

A minimum of 180 quarter units are required for graduation. A maximum of 12 units of Internship Courses (92, 192, or a combination) may be counted toward the 180-unit bachelor's degree requirement.

Campus Residence Requirement

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 Davis campus.

Campus 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. An exception to this rule is made for those students undertaking certain honors courses.

More Information

In-depth, detailed information about each of the University level requirements can be found in the General Catalog or on the Registrar's website at:

College of Letters and Science Requirements

Letters and Science requirements are established for the students of the College of Letters and Science.

Area (Breadth) Requirement

The College Breadth Requirement promotes the intellectual growth of students by asking them to acquire a broader background of knowledge than is provided by the usual major. The Breadth requirement also guides students in exploring the interdependence of knowledge and, in the case of the A.B. degree, provides students the opportunity to become acquainted with performance in the fine arts.

English Composition Requirement

All undergraduates must fulfill a two-course writing requirement, by completing each course with a grade of C- (or P) or higher or by testing out of one or both courses. All courses require a minimum of 6,000 words of writing, designed to introduce students to academic and professional writing, advance their analytic skills, and improve their writing process. Students may satisfy the writing requirement by completing:

  1. one course from UWP 1, English 3, Comparative Literature 1, 2, 3, 4, or Native American Studies 5; and
  2. after completing 84 units, one course selected from UWP 101, UWP 102 series, or UWP 104 series.

The Upper Division Writing Examination is a challenge exam which allows students to test out of the writing requirement. The exam does not yield credit. Students may take the exam a maximum of two times. More information, including how to register for the exam, can be found at

Students are advised to complete this requirement in their junior year.

Foreign Language Requirement (A.B. only)

The Foreign Language requirement is proficiency in at least one language at the 15 unit level. This does not mean that you must have 15 units of foreign language coursework. The foreign language proficiency can be satisfied by examination or by taking coursework. This requirement can be satisfied with any foreign language offered at UC Davis or for any foreign language in which transfer credit is given.

Students should plan to complete the Foreign Language Requirement by the end of their first or second year, as program priorities permit.

College Unit Requirements

A minimum of 180-units is required for the bachelor's degree. Of these units, 64 must be earned in upper division courses. You are normally expected to fulfill all degree requirements within the 180- to 225-unit range. Once 225 units have been completed, approval must be obtained before you will be permitted to register for further courses.

For certain courses, limits have been established on the number of units that can be counted towards the 180-unit minimum required for the degree. Detailed information on unit credit limitations can be found at

College Unit Limitations

Students in the College of Letters and Science are subject to a limitation on the number of units that may be completed employing the Passed/Not Passed grading option. Graduating seniors and other students planning to undertake graduate or professional studies, should consult an advisor before electing for Passed/Not Passed grading in courses required for the major program.

College Residence Requirement

While registered in the College of Letters and Science, a minimum of 27 upper division units, including 18 upper division units in the major, must be completed on the Davis campus; work completed while registered in the UC Education Abroad Program or the UC Davis Extension Open Campus Program does not satisfy campus or College Residence requirements.

College Scholarship Requirement

The minimum grade point average to satisfy the scholarship requirement is 2.000 for all courses counted toward the major and for all upper division courses used to satisfy major requirements. Only grades earned in courses taken at UC Davis will be included in the grade point computations. To obtain these minimum averages in the major, you may repeat courses that are graded D or F. If you have to repeat a course more than once, you need the dean's approval.

More Information

In-depth, detailed information about the College of Letters & Science level requirements can be found in the General Catalog or on the Registrar's website at:

Major Requirements

Major Requirements are set by the department or program sponsoring the major. Course requirements for each major are listed in the General Catalog or on the Registrar's website at:

You can also learn more about the requirements for a major by talking with a Major Advisor and visiting the departmental website.

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