Studying abroad through a UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) or other UC Berkeley Study Abroad programs offers the opportunity to earn UC credit while studying in another country. Along with gaining the experience of living in another country, learning about its culture, and participating in a different educational system, you will take courses that earn UC credit and grades.
If you’re just starting out, visit the following resources:
- Discover Study Abroad: for links to resources and mini-articles related to studying abroad
- Berkeley Study Abroad website: the official program website
L&S Requirements for Study Abroad
Note: The calculation of units does not include high school exam units (AP, IB, etc.) and/or college credit earned in high school.
If you have earned 55 units or less
If you have 55 units or less, to be eligible to study abroad you must:
- Complete at least 30 units of college coursework (not including high school exam units (AP, IB, etc.) and/or college credit earned in high school)
- Declare a major or demonstrate the ability to declare a major by the beginning of your third year, or within one semester after returning from UCEAP
- Be in good academic standing (not on academic probation)
- Complete the Reading and Composition requirement*
* Completion of both halves of Reading and Composition (“R1A” and “R1B”) is required to participate in a study abroad program, unless the study abroad program takes place in the summer following your first year of study in college. The other criteria must be met regardless of study abroad term.
If you have earned more than 55 units
If you have more than 55 units, to be eligible to study abroad you must:
- Complete at least one semester at Berkeley
- Declare a major at least two weeks prior to the study abroad program start date
- Demonstrate the ability to satisfy the Senior Residence Requirement or Modified Senior Residence Requirement
- Be in good academic standing (not on academic probation)
- Complete the Reading and Composition requirement
Undeclared students: Review additional information and instructions in the “Undeclared Students” FAQ below.
If you have concerns that you will not meet the minimum eligibility requirements to study abroad, meet with an L&S College Adviser to discuss.
Frequently Asked Questions
What requirements can I take while studying abroad?
It is possible to take courses abroad that will satisfy the L&S foreign language requirement, seven course breadth, major/minor requirements, and unit requirements. Before studying abroad, it is important to work with L&S College Advisers and your major and/or minor advisers to determine whether the courses you plan to take will be approved to satisfy degree requirements.
Review additional details below about UCEAP courses for L&S breadth requirements and study abroad courses for major and minor requirements.
If you are undeclared, you may apply to study abroad as long as you meet the eligibility requirements by the start of your study abroad program. (Review the section above about “Major and Unit Requirements”.)
Berkeley Study Abroad may require you to complete a UCEAP academic planning form that needs approval from an L&S College Adviser if you are undeclared.
- Complete a Conditions to Declare and Program Planning form with an adviser from your intended major department to demonstrate that you will meet the eligibility requirements by the study abroad program start date.
- Bring the completed Conditions to Declare/Program Planning form and the UCEAP academic planning form to an appointment with an L&S College Adviser. In the appointment you will discuss your plans, complete a degree check, and receive the required signature. The L&S College Adviser can sign under the "major/departmental adviser" section of the required UCEAP academic planning form.
UCEAP Courses for L&S Breadth Requirements
The Berkeley Study Abroad office maintains a database of UCEAP courses that are pre-approved for L&S seven course breadth requirements. If a UCEAP course you want to take has not been evaluated for breadth requirements, you can request a review of the prospective courses by following the instructions on the 'Evaluation of breadth courses' link on the Berkeley Study Abroad college advising page.
International Studies breadth: You may fulfill the International Studies breadth requirement by full in-person* participation in a UCEAP, Berkeley Global Edge, Berkeley Summer Abroad, or Berkeley Global Internships program. All of the required courses for your program must be completed with a C-/P or higher in order to satisfy the L&S International Studies breadth requirement.
*Please see the 'International studies breadth requirement' link on the Berkeley Study Abroad college advising page for more information about in-person vs. online/virtual programs.
Study Abroad Courses for Major or Minor Requirements
If you would like to take courses for major or minor requirements abroad, please contact your major or minor adviser for details. You may also refer to Berkeley Study Abroad major advising page for an overview of the study abroad policies for many major departments.
Study Abroad courses on your Transcript
Courses taken abroad through UCEAP and other UC Berkeley-sponsored study abroad programs are listed on a student’s UC Berkeley transcript. Grades will count in the overall UC GPA. Passed/Not Passed units are factored into the L&S totals.
UCEAP coursework is listed on the transcript starting with “EAP” in the department name followed by two sets of numbers. The first set of numbers signify the course number, (e.g. EAPHLTHS 186-17 is HLTHS 186), and the second number signifies the UCEAP program number.
Note: UCEAP course numbers do not correlate to Berkeley course numbers. i.e., EAPPSYCH 101 is not a direct equivalent to Berkeley's PSYCH 101 course.
Participation in an Independent Study Abroad (Non-UCEAP) Program
An independent study abroad program refers to academic programs that are not part of the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) or affiliated with UC Berkeley.
For more information, please refer to the Independent Study Abroad Guide developed by the Berkeley Study Abroad Office.
Why would a student consider an independent study abroad program?Students sometimes consider independent study abroad programs if UCEAP and UC Berkeley study abroad programs are not offered in the country in which you’d like to study abroad, or when an independent study abroad program includes course offerings not available through UCEAP or UC Berkeley study abroad programs.
What are some of the considerations?
- Your units and grade points are not guaranteed to transfer
- May involve more effort and research to determine the transferability of coursework to L&S college, major, and minor requirements
- The modified senior residence requirement does not apply to non-UCEAP programs. Students must meet the regular Senior Residence Requirement to earn a degree (the Modified Senior Residence Requirement is only applicable for UCEAP and UC Berkeley study abroad programs).
Independent Study Abroad Courses for L&S Breadth and Essential Skills Requirements
International Studies Breadth: Study abroad Program participation
The international studies breadth requirement can be satisfied either by participating in an approved study abroad program. To request that your independent study abroad program be evaluated for approval for international studies breadth, schedule an appointment with an L&S College Adviser to review the program description.
- The program must be offered by an accredited higher education institution
- The program must be an academic, immersive experience
- You must complete (earn a Pass or C- or higher in all courses) the courseload as required by your program
To have a specific course evaluated for International Studies breadth instead, please follow the instructions below.
General education requirements: STUDY ABROAD COURSES
Courses from independent study abroad programs can be evaluated for:
- Reading and Composition
- Foreign Language
- Quantitative Reasoning
- and Seven-Course Breadth
It is ideal to get your coursework reviewed before taking the courses. This gives you a guarantee that a course will count in the way you are planning. However, the procedure for review is the same whether it is before you have taken the course or after the course has been posted to your record.
If your course is from an independent study abroad program, and not a UC Berkeley Study Abroad course (UCEAP), and not on one of the pre-approved lists, complete the Breadth and Essential Skills Transfer Review Google Form, and attach a PDF of the course syllabus.
- All syllabi must be dated within one year of the term in which you took the course. For example, if you took the course in Summer 2019, the syllabus must be dated for that term or no earlier than Summer 2018.
- A course description is not an acceptable substitution for a course syllabus and will not be reviewed.
- It is recommended to review the Degree Requirements page for the requirement you are petitioning for to make sure your syllabus aligns with the goals of that requirement.
- Please allow 6-8 weeks to receive a response from the Transfer Credit Review Committee. Failure to provide all required information will delay the review of your request.
The College of Letters and Science cannot review coursework for Entry Level Writing, Reading and Composition, American History and Institutions, or American Cultures.