Reading & Composition

Guidelines for Reading & Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing and critical thinking for work in the major, the College requires two semesters of lower division work in composition—Reading and Composition (R&C), Parts A and B, in sequential order.

Passing Grade

C- or better

Grading Option

Letter graded only

Prerequisite: Entry Level Writing: 

Students who have been admitted to Berkeley and have not completed Entry Level Writing, must enroll in College Writing R1A which satisfies both Entry Level Writing and the first half of R&C. A minimum grade of C is required in COLWRIT R1A in order to satisfy Entry Level Writing. 

Reading and Composition Part A must be completed before taking Part B. Part A and Part B cannot be taken at the same time. 

Applying a course to multiple requirements:

AGRS R44 (formerly CLASSIC R44) may be used to satisfy either Part A or Part B of R&C if completed with a C- or higher. This course may also be used to satisfy Arts and Literature, Historical Studies, or Social & Behavioral Sciences breadth.

With the exception of AGRS R44, courses fulfilling the Reading and Composition requirement may not be applied to Seven-Course Breadth.


If you started at Cal as a freshman, you must complete Reading & Composition by the end of your fourth semester or your enrollment may be blocked.

See our Registration Holds page for more information. 

How to Satisfy Reading & Composition

High School Exam Score

Use the following table to determine if you have received a score on an exam that satisfies a part of or all of the R&C requirement.

Some exam scores will satisfy Entry Level Writing, but not R&C. To find if your exam score will satisfy Entry Level Writing, see the Entry Level Writing webpage.




Advanced Placement (AP) English Literature and Composition 4 Part A
Advanced Placement (AP) English Literature and Composition 5 Parts A & B
Advanced Placement (AP) English Language and Composition 4 or 5 Part A
International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level (HL) English A: Literature* 5, 6, or 7 Parts A & B
Beginning with students admitted in fall 2018 - International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level (HL) English A: Language and Literature* 5, 6, or 7 Parts A & B
GCE A-Level English Literature exam for students entering Berkeley fall 2017 and PRIOR A, B, or C (or 1, 2, or 3) Parts A & B
GCE A-Level English Literature exam for students entering Berkeley fall 2018 and BEYOND No longer accepted
* The IB 'Literature and Performance,' exam, as well as the Standard Level (SL) exams in English A: Literature and English A: Language and Literature are NOT eligible for satisfaction of Reading and Composition.

Berkeley Courses

Successful completion with a C- grade or better of two designated Part A and Part B Reading and Composition courses taken in sequence. 

Transfer Courses

All transfer courses pursued for Reading and Composition must be completed with a C- or higher. 

Students admitted with IGETC Certification or UC Reciprocity R&C is satisfied. No additional course work is required.
Students who started Berkeley as freshmen Berkeley students who have completed Entry Level Writing may pursue a pre-approved course for Reading & Composition (R&C) at a California Community College. To identify pre-approved courses for R&C Part A or Part B, see our Transfer Credit: California Community College page for more step-by-step instructions. Transfer courses must be completed with a C- or higher.
Non-California Community College (CCC) Students Preparing for Transfer Admission to L&S Transfer applicants from campuses outside of the California Community College System should review for currently articulated courses from non-CCC institutions. If the institution is not listed on the website, once an admission application is filed, the admissions office will facilitate a review of prospective courses.  Courses that are at least 3 semester units or 4-5 quarter units in value, and focus on instruction on English composition are eligible for consideration.