Reading & Composition

Guidelines for Reading and 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.

  • Deadline: All undergraduates must complete the Reading and Composition (R&C) requirement by the end of their fourth semester, or their enrollment will be blocked for the following semester.
  • Grade: All courses used to satisfy Part A or B of Reading and Composition must be completed with a letter grade of C- or better.
  • 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. 
  • Applying a course to multiple requirements:
    • CLASSIC R44 (completed with a C- or higher) may be used to satisfy either Part A or Part B of R&C. This course may also be used to satisfy Arts and Literature, Historical Studies, or Social & Behavioral Sciences breadth.
    • With the exception of CLASSIC R44, courses fulfilling the Reading and Composition requirement may not be applied to Seven-Course Breadth.

How to Satisfy Reading and Composition (R&C)

Satisfying Reading and Composition By Exam




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.

Satisfying Reading and Composition with 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. 

Satisfying Reading and Composition with 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  during the summer, or while not enrolled at Berkeley during a fall or spring term. To identify pre-approved courses for R&C Part A or Part B, use ASSISTTransfer courses must be completed with a C- or higher. When using, students must use the most current version of the articulation agreement to find approved R&C courses. 
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 is external) 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 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.