Degree Requirements

LASAR (Letters and Science Academic Requirements) 2023-2024

Think of LASAR as the "brief user's guide" to a Letters and Science degree.  See the Archive below edition from previous academic years.  It covers the essential requirements and policies that students need do pursue their degrees.  For deeper dives, students should consult the General Catalog.

Degree Requirements

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:

3.  General Education Requirements

Students must complete the College of Letters and Science’s General Education Program which includes General Subject Area Requirements:

Area A:  English Reading and Compostion

Area B:  Foreign Language

Area C:  Science, Mathematics, and Technology

Area D:  Social Sciences

Area E:  Culture and Thought

Area F:  Arts

Area G:  Literature

and Special Subject Area Requirements


European Traditions

Quantitative Relations

World Cultures


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 degree requirements and number of courses needed to complete those requirements varies for each bachelor's degree.  Below are links to the requirements for each bachelor degree:

Bachelor of Arts Degree Checklist

Bachelor of Science Degree Checklist

Bachelor of Fine Arts/Bachelor of Music Degree Checklist

Please note that a GE course can count towards only one General Subject Area Requirement (Areas A-G).  However, that course may also fulfill one or or more  Special Subject Area Requirements. For example, Art History 6C can fulfill General Subject Area E course or  Area F course. It also counts as a European Traditions course (Special Subject Area) and as a Writing course (Special Subject Area). This means Art History 6C can be applied simultaneously to 3 GE requirements.

General Education Course Lists

Please note that the lists below reflect the courses that have been approved for general education requirements through the previous academic year and not approvals made during the current year.  The Course Information in GOLD should include the most recent changes.

The lists below indicate how courses might overlap to fulfill more than one requirement.

General Subject Areas A-E

Area A: English Reading and Composition

Writing 2, 2E, 2LK

English 10, 10AC, 10EM, 10LC; Writing 50, 50E, 105AA-ZZ, 107AA-ZZ, 109AA--ZZ

Area B:  Foreign Language

2023-24 Area B Course List*

Area C: Science, Mathematics, and Technology

2023-24 Area C Course List* (including IGETC categories for students with Partial IGETC certification)

Area D Social Sciences

2023-24 Area D Course List*

Area E Culture and Thought

2023-24 Area E Course List*

Area F:  Arts

2023-24 Area F Course List*

Area G:  Literature

2023-24 Area G: Course List*

Special Subject Areas

Ethnicity Requirement

2023-24 Ethnicity Requirement Course List*

European Tranditions Requirement

2023-24 European Traditions Requirement Course List*

Quantitative Relations Requirement

2023-24 Quantitative Relationships Requirement Course List*

World Cultures Requirement

2023-24 World Cultures Requirement Course List*

Writing Requirement

2023-24 Writing Requirement Course List*

American History and Institutions

2023-24 American History and Institutions Course List

AHI is a 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 courses that fulfill General Education Requirements for the 2022-23 academic year as approved by the UCSB Faculty Senate.  These lists can change from year-to-year:  Please refer to a the General Catalog for a given academic year to see that year's list. 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, 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.

LASAR Archive

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:

The complete requirements for graduation are explained in the General Catalog.

General Education FAQ

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.