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Graduation Requirements

The College of Environmental Design awards the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. To earn the B.A., you must successfully complete 120 units of course work and satisfy all requirements for the degree. The course requirements are designed to ensure that you acquire the background and the breadth you need for further learning and that you explore one subject in depth, your major.

University Requirements

Berkeley Campus Requirements

College of Environmental Design Requirements

(May be met by IGETC or UC Reciprocity for transfer students.)

  • Reading and Composition A & B (2 courses)
  • Seven-Course Breadth Requirement (consult your major handbook for the specific courses required):
    • Arts & Literature (1 course)
    • Biological Science (1 course)
    • Historical Studies (1 course)
    • International Studies (1 course)
    • Philosophy & Values (1 course)
    • Physical Science (1 course)
    • Social & Behavioral Sciences (1 course)
  • Lower-Division Environmental Design (3 courses)
    • ENV DES 1 People and Environmental Design
    • Any two of the following courses (for freshman students admitted fall 2013 and later only):
      • ENV DES 4A Design and Activism
      • ENV DES 4B Global Cities
      • ENV DES 4C Future Ecologies
  • Upper-Division College of Environmental Design Outside the Major (3 courses)

Major Requirements

Consult your major handbook for the major requirements:


City & Regional Planning

Landscape Architecuture

Sustainable Environmental Design

Individual Major

Unit and Residence Requirements

See the sections below on Unit Minimum, Semester Limit, and Senior Residence Requirement for details about these graduation requirements.

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Academic Progress Report (APR)

Check your degree progress each semester before you register for classes. To do this, log on to Cal Central and click on your Academic Progress Report and click on "Expand all." For more information or to request an APR correction, see CED's Academic Progress Report page.  

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Students with a particular interest outside of their major may wish to pursue a minor. Minors generally consist of five upper-division courses plus any lower-division prerequisites to those courses. Any course taken for your minor may also be used to fulfill major and upper-division CED non-major requirements. Courses used to fulfill a breadth requirement may also be used to satisfy a minor requirement. Students may apply the non-CED version of a CED cross-listed course towards a minor. Consult with the staff adviser identified on the pages below for more information.

CED students may also wish to pursue minors in any of the other undergraduate schools and colleges at UC Berkeley.

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Unit Minimum

CED students must enroll in at least 12 units each fall and spring semester. (Students entering UCB as freshmen with no prior units need to complete 15 units per semester to graduate in four years.)


Minimum Units. You may request permission to take fewer than 12 units if you:

  • Work 15 hours per week or more at a paid job;
  • Have family responsibilities;
  • Have a recommendation from the Disabled Students Program;
  • Have health related problems; or
  • Are a graduating senior completing all final requirements.

IMPORTANT: Even though you may be enrolled in fewer than 12 units you are considered a full-time student if you pay full tuition and fees. Remember that even if you are approved to enroll in less than 12 units in a given semester, you must still graduate within the college’s semester limit (four semesters for transfer admits and eight semesters for freshmen admits).

If you receive financial aid, you should check with the Financial Aid Office about the minimum unit requirements for your particular aid package.

There is no minimum unit limitation during Summer Session unless you are receiving financial aid.

Maximum Units. To request permission to take more than 20.5 units, see your major adviser.

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Semester Limit

Students admitted as freshmen must graduate within eight fall or spring semesters. Students admitted as junior transfers must graduate within four fall or spring semesters. Summer terms do not count toward this limit. Students approved for simultaneous degrees in two colleges may be granted an additional semester.

Because of admissions and enrollment demand at UC Berkeley and within the College of Environmental Design, exceptions to the semester limit are not considered except for those completing simultaneous degrees or studying abroad (see your major adviser for more information). The following situations do NOT justify an exception to the semester limit:

  • Pursuit of a minor
  • Preparation for graduate school
  • Enrollment in electives
  • An effort to raise the GPA
  • The need to work
  • Failure to plan ahead

Students interested in pursuing these options are encouraged to speak with an adviser about how UC Berkeley Summer Sessions, UC Berkeley Extension/Concurrent Enrollment, or enrollment in another institution might help them meet their goals.

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Senior Residence Requirement

After reaching senior status (with 90 semester units earned), students must be registered in the College of Environmental Design and must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in at least two semesters at UC Berkeley as CED students. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least six passed units. Intercampus Visitor, Education Abroad Program, UC Berkeley Washington Program, and UC Berkeley Extension units are not applied to this requirement.

Students may use Berkeley Summer Sessions to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence Requirement, provided that six units of course work are completed.

Modified Senior Residence Requirement

Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) or the UC Berkeley Washington Program may meet a Modified Senior Residence Requirement by completing 24 (excluding EAP) of their final 60 semester units in residence in the College of Environmental Design. At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after senior status (90 units) is reached.

If you are planning to go abroad or want to take courses at another institution or through University Extension, see your adviser to determine how you can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.

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To graduate with distinction, you must meet the grade-point average (GPA) requirement and complete at least 50 units in residence at Berkeley (this may include UCB Extension XB units and up to 20 units from UCDC or EAP), of which 43 units must be letter-graded (not including physical education activities courses). Transfer students need to make sure they complete the 50 units required at Berkeley if they want to qualify for honors.

Your GPA in all letter-graded courses taken at Berkeley must be equal to or higher than the GPA established for honors in the year in which you graduate. These GPA cut-offs change slightly each year.

The honors designation breakdown for students graduating Fall 2021 through Summer 2022:

Designation Required Minimum GPA
Highest Honors 3.934
High Honors 3.833
Honors 3.730

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Enrolling Elsewhere

Current students may occasionally be approved to take coursework elsewhere to complete degree requirements. This can be a great strategy for ensuring compliance with CED’s semester limit. Talk with your adviser in advance about the course evaluation process for any courses you would like to take elsewhere.

If you have been admitted to UC Berkeley as a freshman, you MUST complete the following courses at UC Berkeley: Reading and Composition R1A, ENV DES 1, ENV DES 11A, and ENV DES 11B.

Community College Transfers

If you are a student at a community college looking to transfer into the College of Environmental Design, please see Transfer Applicants in the Undergraduate Admissions section of the CED website.

California Community Colleges

Many students complete general education requirements at a community college during the summer. You will need your adviser’s approval in advance to make sure you are taking a course that will fulfill requirements and that you are not jeopardizing completion of the Senior Residence requirement. See ASSIST.org for articulation agreements between the community colleges and your UC Berkeley major. If a course is not showing as completing a requirement on ASSIST, CED will not accept it.

Note that courses in architecture, landscape architecture, visual studies, environmental design, urban studies, and city and regional planning may NOT be used to fulfill CED's breadth requirements, even if they appear on the ASSIST lists.

UC Berkeley Extension Concurrent Enrollment

If you need only one or two courses to graduate, you can save money by registering for regular Berkeley courses through the UC Berkeley Extension Concurrent Enrollment Program. However, you must have completed your Senior Residence requirement. Courses taken through UC Extension do not count toward residence. CED does not accept Extension courses with numbers in the 300 or 400 series for credit toward the degree.

You may take up to three courses per semester through the UC Berkeley Extension Concurrent Enrollment Program. If you are a matriculated Berkeley student, grades for all XB courses at UC Berkeley Extension offered in fall 2005 and thereafter will be calculated in your Berkeley grade-point average.

Special Registration Programs

UC Berkeley participates in a number of cross-registration programs with other UCs and local universities. For more information on these programs, see the Office of the Registrar’s website.

Study Abroad Opportunities

CED encourages all undergrads in the college to study abroad. Whether you are interested in fulfilling general education requirements, taking courses related to your major/career, or simply living and studying in a country that is of interest to you, we will work with you to make it happen. Check with your adviser to make sure you will complete the Senior Residence requirement. The International Studies requirement may be satisfied by participation in the UC Education Abroad Program or an equivalent program. Learn more.

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