American History and Institutions Requirements

Undergraduate Graduation Requirement

All UC Berkeley undergraduates must satisfy the following course requirements in order to graduate:

  • American Cultures (AC): This requirement may NOT be waived. See more info below.
  • American History and Institutions (AH&I): International students may waive this requirement. See below.

American Cultures (AC)

American Cultures (AC) is a Berkeley campus requirement, the one course that all undergraduate students, including international students, need to pass in order to graduate. AC courses offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture. Courses are offered in more than fifty departments in many different disciplines at both the lower and upper division level. You can take your AC course at any stage in your Berkeley career.

The AC requirement is not the same as the American History & Institutions (AH&I) requirement and may not be waived.

More information on AC courses:

AH&I Requirement: Obtaining a Waiver

Only international students with nonimmigrant status are eligible to waive the AH&I requirements if they:

  • have completed at least 90.5 semester units (senior status),
  • hold a valid non-immigrant status (F-1 is the most common)

How to waive this requirement: When an international student reaches senior status, the AH&I requirement will be automatically waived in their Cal Central dashboard. In the past, students used to have to go to Cal Student Central in person to get it waived. That is no longer the case. If a student is having problems, they should open a case with Cal Student Central.

Note:  Nonimmigrant international students who change their residency status  with the University (ex: from F-1 non-resident to Permanent Resident) may not be eligible for the waiver and will need to fulfill the AH&I requirement to graduate. Please consult with Cal Student Central.

International students who graduated from a California high school or transferred from a California community college may have satisfied the requirements during their high school and/or college curriculum. For complete information on the requirements, please check the Berkeley Academic Guide.

If you have questions about the AH&I requirements, please contact your college or major advisor.