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University Requirements

All students must fulfill the following University of California requirements.

Entry Level Writing Requirement

The university requires every undergraduate student to demonstrate college-level proficiency in English composition by satisfying the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR). Satisfaction of the ELWR is a prerequisite to all other undergraduate courses in English.

Students can meet this requirement by scoring:

  • 680 or better on the College Board SAT Reasoning Test, Writing section (last administration January 2016); or
  • 3 or above on either Advanced Placement Examination in English; or
  • 30 or better on the ACT, English Language Arts; or
  • 30 or better on the ACT, Combined English/Writing (last administered June 2015); or
  • 5 or above on an International Baccalaureate Higher Level English A: Literature exam (formerly known as Higher Level English A1 exam); or
  • 6 or above on the International Baccalaureate Standard Level English A: Literature exam (formerly known as Standard Level English A1 exam); or
  • 5 or above on an International Baccalaureate Higher Level English A: Language and Literature exam; or
  • 6 or above on an International Baccalaureate Standard Level English A: Language and Literature exam.
    Students can also meet the requirement by earning a grade of C or higher in an acceptable 3 semester-unit or 4 quarter-unit college-level course in English composition.

All incoming California students who have not met the Entry Level Writing Requirement by April 1 must take the UC Analytical Writing Placement Examination (AWPE). The exam is administered the morning of the second Saturday in May, at testing centers throughout the state. Out-of-state U.S. students and California freshmen admitted after mid-April will take another form of the Analytical Writing Placement Examination on campus at the beginning of Fall quarter. For the time and location, see http://entrylevelwriting.ucdavis.edu/examination-schedule/analytical-writing-placement-examination.

The AWPE may be taken only once. Students who have not satisfied the requirement in one of the ways described above and who were not held for ESL coursework in the University Writing Program (see below) must enroll in Workload 57 during their first quarter of residence at the university, or as soon thereafter as space is available in the course. Workload 57, offered by Sacramento City College on the UC Davis campus, counts as 4.5 units on the study list and toward minimum progress but carries no units toward graduation. To satisfy the requirement, students must earn a course grade of C or higher; students who receive a grade lower than C must repeat Workload 57. Students who do not satisfy the Entry Level Writing Requirement by the end of the third quarter will be disenrolled from the University.

New students whose native or school language is not English (including some California residents who previously took the AWPE), and some students whose schooling combines work in the United States and in another country, will take the English Language Placement Exam (ELPE) to determine which UWP ESL course(s), if any, are needed prior to enrollment in Workload 57 and fulfillment of the Entry Level Writing Requirement. The English Language Placement Exam, which may be taken only once, will be delivered via SmartSite and taken remotely during one of several testing periods during the summer before the first quarter. Students whose ELPE results require them to take one or more UWP ESL courses will have the standard three quarters to meet the Entry Level Writing Requirement plus the number of quarters they are held for UWP ESL coursework. The ELWR time line begins with the first quarter of enrollment at UC Davis and continues each quarter. Students who do not satisfy the ELWR within the time limit will be disenrolled from the University.

American History and Institutions

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 American History or American Government and Politics with a score of 3 or higher
  • 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.

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. An exception to this rule is made for those students undertaking certain honors courses. For specific college requirements consult the college sections following.

Page content manager can be reached at Catalog-Comment@ucdavis.edu.

Updated: November 21, 2017 12:17 PM