What is modified senior residence for study abroad/UCDC?

October 3, 2022

Suitcases next to text "Studying abroad or through UCDC as a senior?"Planning to study abroad or participate in the UCDC Internship program after turning into a senior? If so, there's a degree requirement students sometimes forget about that you'll want to understand: Senior Residence.

This article breaks down senior residence, particularly modified senior residence, so you can pursue these amazing opportunities while making sure you're on track for graduation.

What is senior residence?

Residence requirements refer to clusters of units that have to be taken through UC Berkeley. For units to be considered in "residence," you must be registered in courses on the Berkeley campus (excluding courses taken through UC Extension) as a student in the College of Letters and Science. There are a few residence requirements you should be familiar but Senior Residence tends to require the most planning when considering off-campus programs.

Senior residence says that after you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned toward your B.A. degree), you must complete:

  1. At least 24 units in residence as an L&S student. 
  2. At least 2 semesters in residence as an L&S student. (To count as a semester in residence, at least 6 units must be passed. You may use a Berkeley Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the two required for Senior Residence.)

Now, if you're planning to study abroad as a senior and paying attention so far, alarm bells might be ringing.

But this is where modified senior residence comes in. 

Modified senior residence

Students who participate in an eligible program may have their senior residence modified to make the requirement easier to satisfy. With this modification, we split that 24 unit requirement in half and allow you to, instead, take 12 units in residence after reaching junior standing (60 units) and 12 units in residence after reaching senior standing (90 units). 

Eligible programs include: 

  • UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP)
  • Berkeley Summer Abroad
  • Berkeley Global Internships
  • UC Natural Resource System (NRS)
  • UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC)

Notice that independent study abroad programs don't qualify for modified senior residence. If you are participating in a study abroad program not offered through UCEAP or UC Berkeley, you'll need to satisfy regular senior residence. 

Get support with senior residence!

Unsure about your plan and satisfying senior residence? If you are, don't worry. Modified senior residence can be tricky to grasp and calculating whether you'll meet it on your own can be a little dicey. If you're planning to participate in one of the above programs (or have other concerns about meeting this requirement), an L&S Adviser can help you crunch the numbers to make sure you'll satisfy it with your plan. Check out our Appointments and Advice page to get connected. 

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