Strategies for Course Selection

If you’re a new student, enroll in 13-15 units. Be flexible, you have lots of choices!

Freshmen should enroll in lower division courses numbered 1-99 (exceptions noted below).

Be fully enrolled by the end of Phase I, and in at least 13 units by the beginning of classes. Don’t count on getting into waitlisted courses!

  1. Entry-Level Writing – If you’ve already taken the Analytical Writing Exam and need to satisfy Entry-level Writing, enroll in College Writing R1A, which includes the 1st half of R&C and is worth 6 units. Review College Writing Programs for course descriptions and reading lists.
  2. R&C – Review the Reading & Composition (R&C) requirement for a list of departments that offer R&C courses, and then check the departments’ web sites for course descriptions and reading lists. R&C part A and R&C part B must be taken in sequential order. The two halves may be taken in different departments.
  3. Major exploration – Take pre-requisites or sample courses for 2 or 3 prospective majors.
  4. Many students fulfill American History & Institutions requirements in high school. International students should review the Berkeley Academic Guide for information about waiving these requirements.
  5. Quantitative Reasoning – Stat 2 is good choice for non-math students. Students may also complete this requirement by passing a test offered by the Math department.
  6. Foreign Language – Most classes meet and may have homework due daily, so consider impact on schedule and workload.
  7. Seven-Course Breadth – Pre-approved courses for each breadth are listed on our site. Breadth courses can also satisfy major requirements and the American Cultures requirement.
  8. American Cultures – Use CalCentral or go to American Cultures to find courses.

  9. Electives, Seminars, Adjunct courses, and courses: – You may need other courses to reach 120 units minimum. Explore outside your comfort zone and switch to P/NP by the end of the 10th week if necessary. Transition courses like Education 98, Chem P, or L&S1 help you adjust to Berkeley.
    • Freshmen and Freshman and Sophomore Seminars. 1-4 units, small classes.
    • Education 98/198 – 1-2 units, Study strategies for success. Offered by the Student Learning Center and topics vary each semester.
    • Math 98 – Support courses to take concurrently with Math 32 (pre-calculus), Math 1A & B, Math 16A and Stat 134. Offered by the Student Learning Center.
    • L&S 1 - Exploring the liberal arts. 2 units, P/NP, for freshmen only. Offered fall semester only.
    • Chem P – Chem 1A prep course, no credit, offered summer and fall semesters only. Recommended for students who haven’t taken chemistry since sophomore year of High School, or want a refresher so they can strengthen their skills for Chem 1A. Offered by the Student Learning Center. 1st half - review of high school chem, 2nd half - preview of Chem 1A.
    • Poli Sci 179 - Undergraduate colloquium in Political Science. OK for freshmen. 1 unit, P/NP, different guest speaker each week. May be repeated each semester. A good way to pick up a 13th unit.
    • DeCal Courses -Taught by students on a wide variety of interesting topics.

Review "How to Enroll in Classes" to understand waitlists. Monitor your waitlisted classes as you confirm your schedule.

Next Step: Review Transfers at Berkeley  or review Freshmen Four Year Planner.