What you need to know

All undergraduate students must complete the General Institute Requirements (GIRs) and the departmental program of the course in which their degree will be awarded.

Subject requirements

  • Science Requirement (six subjects)
  • Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Requirement (eight subjects)
    • At least two of these subjects must be designated as Communication-Intensive (CI‑H) to fulfill the Communication Requirement.
  • Restricted Electives in Science and Technology (REST) Requirement (two subjects)
  • Laboratory Requirement (12 units)
  • The Communication Requirement is integrated into the HASS Requirement and the departmental program.

Physical education & Wellness (PE&W) requirement

  • Swimming requirement plus four Physical Education & Wellness (PE&W) courses.

Departmental program

A departmental program includes the following elements:

  • Two subjects in the major that are designated as Communication-Intensive (CI‑M) to fulfill the Communication Requirement.
  • Between one and six subjects that also satisfy the GIRs.
  • 180-198 additional units beyond the GIRs, which must include a minimum of 48 units of unrestricted electives.
  • Your total “units beyond” as described above does not include ROTC subjects. However, units associated with CI-M subjects are normally included in this calculation.
  • Each program is designed so it can be completed with a normal academic load — the equivalent of 8 to 8.5 subjects each year — for a total of 32 to 34 subjects.


  • Substitutions for GIR subjects are allowed only by petition.