UCSB's degree requirements fall into four main categories and are described, in brief, below:
1. Unit Requirements
You must complete a total of either 180 or 184 units, including at least 60 upper division units.
2. University Requirements
You must fulfill the following:
- Entry Level Writing Requirement (formerly Subject A)
- American History and Institutions Requirement
- Academic Residence Requirement
- GPA Requirements
Students must complete the College of Letters and Science’s General Education Program which includes General Subject Area Requirements and Special Subject Area Requirements. Below are the objectives for each of the General Subject and Special Subject Area Requirements:
The College of Letters and Science offers four bachelor’s degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Bachelor of Music. Which degree or degrees students complete is determined by their majors, and the requirements students need to complete and the number of courses needed to complete those requirements depends on which of the bachelor degrees students are pursuing. Below are links to the requirements for each of the bachelor degrees:
Please note that a course may count toward only one General Subject Area Requirement in a student's academic program (Areas A-G) but that a course may count toward more than one Special Subject Area Requirement. Also, a course that counts toward a General Subject Area may count toward one or more Special Subject Area Requirements. For example, Art History 6C may count as a General Subject Area E course or as an Area F course. Art History 6C also counts as a Special Subject Area European Traditions course and as a Special Subject Area Writing course. The lists below indicate how courses might overlap to fulfill more than one requirement.
General Subject Areas A-E Course Lists
Area A: English Reading and Composition
Special Subject Areas
American History and Institutions Course List (AHI is UC-wide requirement rather than specifically a UCSB general education requirement. AHI courses may also count toward General Subject and Special Subject requirements.)
*These are the lists of GE courses approved as of Fall Quarter 2016. It is possible that courses will approved for GE requirements during the 2016-2017 academic year, and any additions will be reflected in GOLD. Also, the Faculty Senate will occasionally remove courses from the approved lists, but if a removed course was approved as fulfilling a requirement when a student matriculated at UCSB—see the lists in the LASAR for the given year below—it will continue to count toward the requirement for that student.
4. Major Requirements
For information about Major Requirements, please consult the General Catalog, or contact the hosting department for advising.
Another invaluable resource for understanding the structure of the Letters and Science degree is the annual LASAR (Letters and Science Academic Requirements) publication, distributed at Orientation to all students:
- LASAR (2016-17): Also available on your smart phone or tablet via Guidebook.
- LASAR (2015-16)
- LASAR (2014-15)
- LASAR (2013-14)
- LASAR (2012-13)
- LASAR (2011-12)
- LASAR (2010-11)
The complete requirements for graduation are explained in the General Catalog.
I have nearly finished the Breadth/GE requirements at another UC campus. Can I finish my remaining requirements at UCSB?
If you have not fully completed your previous UC’s Breadth/GE program requirements before you enroll at UCSB, you will need to complete UCSB’s General Education Program. You will receive UCSB general education credit where appropriate for individual courses taken at the other school, but you will most likely need additional courses to satisfy UCSB’s general education requirements.
I took a course that I feel should count for a GE requirement, but it does not appear on the list of approved courses. Can I petition for GE credit?
For general subject requirements, only courses that appear on the lists for areas A through G can satisfy those requirements. There is no possibility of appealing for GE credit for UCSB courses that do not appear on the lists.
Special area requirements (Ethnicity, World Cultures, European Traditions, and Quantitative Relations) are not possible to be satisfied by petitioning UCSB courses as well, with the sole exception of the Writing Requirement: up to two courses not listed as satisfying the Writing Requirement, by petition, may be applied to the six maximum writing requirement courses required.
I have taken a course that appears in the lists for two different general subject areas. Will I get credit for completing both areas?
Although some courses appear on more than one list, individual courses can only satisfy one of the general subject areas. However, some courses can satisfy both a general subject area and a special subject area.
Can a course count for my major and also satisfy general education?
A course can satisfy both a general education requirement and a requirement for your major or pre-major. However, keep in mind that it must be taken for a letter grade if it is to be counted towards your major.