Academic Policies Information

While college staff, faculty, and advisers will provide you with information and advice, it is your responsibility to understand and comply with all academic policies and to complete all degree requirements on time. This includes tracking your completion of major, university, and Berkeley campus requirements, as well as complying with senior residence, minimum progress, and scholarship requirements.

Academic Misconduct

Students found responsible for violating university academic dishonesty policy in a course may not change the grading option or drop the course. If changes are made, student will be reinstated in the course as originally scheduled.

Dept. of CBE

The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering's  Academic Misconduct Policy can be viewed here.

Class Schedule Requirements

Minimum & Maximum Unit Limits / Semester

  • Minimum units per semester – 13
  • Maximum units per semester – 19.5

Reduced Course Load (RCL)

Students who are approved for a reduced course load (by DSP or for other reasons) must meet these requirements:

  • RCL of 8-12 units: schedule must include a minimum of 2 required technical courses
  • RCL of 7 or below units: schedule must include at least 1 required technical course

Students should consult with their adviser if needed.

Additional Enrollment Requirements

  • 12 units of course work each semester must satisfy degree requirements
  • Chemical Engineering first-years are required to enroll in at least one chemistry course each semester, and in at least one chemical engineering course each semester thereafter
  • Chemistry majors must enroll in a minimum of one chemistry course each semester
  • All majors are expected to complete the lower-division math and physics requirements as soon as possible because they are prerequisite to other required courses

Reading & Composition

  • Chemical Engineering majors – A-level R&C course (e.g., English R1A) by end of the first year
  • Chemical Biology and Chemistry majors – A- and B-level courses by end of the second year

Double Majors, Simultaneous Degrees, and Minors

Students who wish to pursue double majors or simultaneous degrees

  • must submit the appropriate paperwork before what would normally be their final two semesters
  • may use no more than two upper division courses to satisfy requirements of both majors
  • must have a GPA of at least 2.5
  • may not drop then re-add the same major at a later time

Double majors in Chemistry (B.S. and B.A.) and Chemical Biology are not permitted.

Students with majors in two different colleges/schools at UC Berkeley are pursuing simultaneous degrees. For application instructions, please carefully review the Petition to Declare Simultaneous Degrees packet. The packet includes supplemental application materials (if applicable), and the simultaneous degree application form.

  • College of Chemistry students: Complete the forms and submit for initial approval to your staff adviser. Then submit the CoC-approved forms to the second college for final review and approval.
  • Non-CoC students: Submit the completed forms to your home college for initial approval. Then submit the home-college-approved forms to Maura Daly (121 Gilman; please make an appointment) for final review and approval.

Minors: College of Chemistry students who wish to pursue a minor must follow the overlap rules of the department or unit which sponsors the minor.

Late Class Schedule Changes

College policy requires students to finalize their class schedules by the established deadlines. If you need to add or drop a class, change a grading option,* or change the unit value in a variable course after the deadline, submit the One-Time Late Schedule Change Request . Students are restricted to one (1) late schedule change in Fall or Spring during their undergraduate career; Summer Session courses are exempt.

*Required technical courses must be taken for a letter grade. Permission to change the grade option to P/NP in required technical courses will not be granted except in very rare circumstances to be approved by the Undergraduate Dean.

The deadline for this petition is 5:00 pm on Friday, the last day of classes. No late petitions will be accepted.

Late drop policy for Summer Session courses and courses in Fall and Spring that are shorter than 16 weeks:

  • Students must submit late drop requests at least one day before the final exam/project. Requests must include a link to the course syllabus, with a clear indication of the final exam date.
  • If there is no final exam/project, late drop petitions must be submitted on or before the last day of the session, regardless of whether the grades have been posted.

Late Schedule Changes Due to Extenuating Circumstances
College of Chemistry undergraduates may request a late schedule change due to documented extenuating circumstances (e.g., serious illness, accident, mental health issues, etc.). If approved, late schedule changes due to extenuating circumstances will NOT count as your one-time ("free") late action.

Please review the Late Schedule Change w/Extenuating Circumstances Request form for more information.

The deadline to submit this form is 5:00 pm on Friday, the last day of classes. No late forms will be accepted.

Limit on Semesters

  • Students who entered as freshmen – 8 semesters
  • Chemistry & Chemical Biology majors who entered as transfer students – 4 semesters
  • Chemical Engineering majors who entered as transfer students – 5 semesters

Students who wish to delay graduation should request approval before what would normally be their final two semesters. Requests for additional semesters are usually approved for students wishing to pursue a simultaneous degree, to study abroad, to participate in an internship, or who are dealing with documented medical issues, though all requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Undergraduate Dean.

  • Summer sessions are excluded when determining the limit on semesters.
  • The College of Chemistry does not have a rule regarding maximum units that a student can accumulate.

Passed/Not Passed Courses

Students in good standing may take some courses on a passed/not passed basis. Such courses are acceptable only for free electives and for the following:

  • Foreign Language requirement
  • Breadth requirement (excluding Reading and Composition)

Courses which satisfy the American History and Institutions and the American Cultures requirements may also be taken on a passed/not passed basis.

Required technical courses must be taken for a letter grade. Permission to change the grade option to P/NP in required technical courses will not be granted except in very rare circumstances to be approved by the Undergraduate Dean.

Credit for passing passed/not passed courses counts toward graduation, but passed/not passed grades are disregarded in computing a student's GPA.

Students on academic probation (below a C average, either overall or for the previous semester) are not allowed to take courses on a passed/not passed basis with the exception of recreational physical education courses and courses offered only on a passed/not passed basis.

Students found responsible for violating university academic dishonesty policy in a course may not change the grading option or drop the course. If changes are made, the student will be reinstated in the course as originally scheduled.

Taking Classes at Other Institutions

Once you begin your education in the College of Chemistry, completing lower division requirements at institutions other than UC Berkeley requires permission. If you wish to take classes at another school over the summer, or during a semester in which you are not enrolled at Berkeley, consult with your CoCUSS adviser after completing the steps below. If you GPA is below 3.0, your request may be denied.

Upper division requirements must be fulfilled at Berkeley (though students participating in a sanctioned study abroad program may request a waiver of this requirement on a case-by-case basis).

Instructions for requesting permission to take lower-division requirements at other institutions

California Community Colleges

If you wish to take math, physics, biology, engineering, or Reading & Composition courses at a California community college, use to determine course equivalency. Take a screenshot of the equivalency and send it to your adviser for review.

All Other Institutions

If you wish to take math, physics, biology, or engineering courses at another school, you must have the course evaluated for equivalency, using the guidelines below. Forward the results of the evaluation to your CoCUSS adviser.


Bring the following course materials in person to Prof. Ming Gu during his office hours (861 Evans Hall; Spring 2019 hours: M,T,W 4:15-5:30 & F 12:30-2pm;

1) A detailed syllabus/course outline showing which sections of the book were covered

2) The textbook, or the table of contents for the book

3) A completed course equivalency form

Please review the course outline for Berkeley’s Math 1A, 1B, 53, or 54 in preparation for your meeting with the equivalency adviser. Compare topics and hours of lecture per topic with the course you have completed. Evaluations will not be done by email.


Complete this Physics Course Evaluation Request form. You will be required to provide a course description and textbook info, and to upload a copy of the course syllabus, which must include a weekly list of topics. The evaluation process can take up to six weeks.

Please note that to be eligible for equivalency to Physics 7 or 8, the course must have a lab component and be calculus-based.

Contact Kathleen Cooney in Physics Student Services for more info (; (510) 664-7557).

Biology 1A/L

Submit your syllabus for evaluation to Mike Meighan, the Bio 1A coordinator (

Engineering (MSE 45/L or Engineering 7)

Submit your syllabus for evaluation to Dr. Shannon Ciston, Director of Undergraduate Education, Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (

Reading & Composition

Use the Transfer Courses (by Institution) tool to determine whether your non-CA community college reading and composition course is equivalent to R1A and/or R1B at Berkeley. If your course is not listed, it has not been evaluated and will not be considered equivalent.

Other Humanities & Social Science breadth courses

Virtually all other humanities and social science classes can be used to satisfy the College of Chemistry’s breadth requirement, though please confirm with your adviser.

Taking non-UC Berkeley courses during the academic year

Students who are enrolled at Berkeley are not usually allowed to enroll at another institution during the fall or spring semester. Consult with your CoCUSS adviser to discuss whether your specific circumstances warrant simultaneous enrollment.

Withdrawal, Cancellation, & Readmission