Semesters are defined as fall and spring terms (quarters or semesters). Summer terms are not counted.
In order to allow fair access to the College of Letters & Science to as many eligible applicants as possible each year, the College has set limits on the maximum number of semesters and units allocated for each student. It is important to plan your program carefully, with the unit ceiling in mind, to be sure that you will be able to graduate within the limits and that you will achieve as many of your educational goals as possible.
Students who enter Berkeley as freshmen and declare a single major may take an unlimited number of units if they finish their degree in eight semesters of college work. For those pursuing more than one major, nine semesters are allowed.
Transfer students with single majors are allowed four semesters to finish the degree and five semesters for those pursuing more than one major.
Students who do not complete their degree within these semester limits are subject to the unit ceiling.
Determining the Unit Ceiling
If you have declared a single major and wish to stay longer than eight semesters (four semesters for transfers), you may continue to enroll until you exceed 130 units (this includes all college work except deductible units). For example, if you have completed 130 or fewer units at the end of your eighth semester, you may enroll in the following semester in as many units as you want. But, if you have 130.1 units, you may not enroll again, and your registration will be blocked.
Students who have more than one major may continue to enroll until they exceed 136 units (which includes all college work except deductible units).
Students on financial aid should contact the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office to determine if their aid package will cover the cost of additional semesters.
Students who exceed the unit ceiling and are blocked from enrolling in fall and spring semesters may enroll in Berkeley classes during Berkeley Summer Sessions or through UC Extension's Concurrent Enrollment program.
Although it is possible to appeal for permission to extend enrollment past these limits, this is rarely granted, and only in exceptional circumstances. Since Double Majors and Simultaneous Degrees are afforded an additional semester and a higher unit ceiling, exceptional circumstances will not include needing an additional semester to complete either a Double Major or Simultaneous Degree.
To inquire about waivers of the unit ceiling, make an appointment with a College Adviser.