CalCentral Class Enrollment

Can I attend the lecture/discussion section if I am waitlisted?

Yes, you can and you should. Often, professors and GSIs will drop students who do not attend the first few lectures/discussion sections by having all students check themselves off on a course roster. Going to lecture and/or discussion section shows the professor and GSI(s) that you are serious about taking the course. By attending the course you will keep yourself up-to-date with all the material in case you do get off the waitlist and into the course.

How do the waitlists work: automatic vs. manual waitlists?

Remember, adding to the wait list does not guarantee you a seat in the course. We recommend that you always have back-up courses planned in case you are not able to get into your waitlisted courses. If you are on a wait list and want to know your chances of getting into the course, contact the department that is offering the course. Departments manage the wait lists. Here is how automatic and manual waitlists work:

There are two ways to process wait lists (and they can be changed at any time).

Automatic wait lists are processed every night during the first few weeks of classes — as a student drops the course, the next one on the wait list is put in. Your number on an automatic wait list is critical. The lower your number, the better your chances of getting into the course.

Manual wait lists are processed by the department — usually after the first day of instruction and up to five weeks into the semester. That is why attendance on the first day of instruction is so important. Students who do not show up can be dropped from the course by the instructor the same day, thereby allowing the instructor to enroll students from the wait list. Your number on a manual wait list may be irrelevant. You need to contact the department that is offering the course to see how the process works in that department. Be prepared to present a strong case to whomever deals with enrollment in the department about why he/she should select you from the wait list and enroll you in the course.

What are the unit limits for Phase I and Phase II?

You can enroll in up to 10.5 units for Phase I and up to a total of 16 units for Phase II. These limits include waitlisted courses. Phase I is a “hard limit” which means you will not be able to enroll in more than 10.5 units. Phase II is also a “hard limit” which means you will not be able to enroll in more than 16 units. During the Adjustment Period, you may add up to 20.5 units. If you would like to enroll in more than 20.5 units and you are declared in a major, you will need your major department’s approval; if you are undeclared in a major, you will need college approval. However, for your first year, the college recommends 13-16 total units. If you plan to enroll in over 16 units or under 13 units, please discuss your plans with a college adviser. College approval is required if you plan to take fewer than 13 units. Discussing your plans with a college adviser would be good way to ensure that you are taking a balanced schedule with the appropriate courses.

How do I plan for Phase I and Phase II courses?

You should begin by looking at the Berkeley Academic Guide and see which prerequisite courses are being offered for your prospective major(s). You should prioritize your prerequisite courses and plan to register for 2-3 of them in Phase I; if you still need to complete your Reading and Composition requirement, you should also sign up for this in Phase I. You should then look for any other breadth or elective courses that fit within your schedule; you should plan to sign up for these in Phase II. Obviously some courses will be full by the time your Phase II begins, so it is also important to have back-up courses and prioritize your courses based on whether or not they usually fill up in Phase I.

Another important resource is the CalCentral Class Enrollment section’s Schedule of Classes. This will help you plan your schedule and make sure there are no time conflicts between courses. By adding courses from the Schedule of Classes into your shopping cart will allow you to preview your schedule on Schedule Planner. For first-year students, we recommend you take between 13 and 16 units. You should also attend L&S schedule planning workshops in Evans Hall and the residence halls, as well as consult with L&S college advisers and peer advisers on schedule planning.

When will I get my class enrollment appointment?

You will receive your class enrollment appointment a few weeks before Phase I begins. You can access your appointment time at your CalCentral account.

How are class enrollment appointments determined?

There are lots of myths about what factors affect class enrollment appointment times. To clarify, these appointments are randomly assigned on a priority basis. The Office of the Registrar groups ALL freshman and sophomores and randomly assigns appointment times. Your completed units (no AP/IB scores or units earned) per your attainment of Junior standing will improve your assigned class enrollment appointment time. Assigned appointment times cannot be changed.

Enrollment Strategies

Is there any flexibility to change sections and exam times?

You can change your section via CalCentral, but make sure there is a seat in the other section before you drop your first one. As for final exam times, these are predetermined and not flexible.

How do I get into a course if I do not have priority?

You will have to waitlist the course – it is recommended you do this in Phase I – and go through the same process as you would for any other waitlist course. We recommend that you speak with the specific department that is offering the course to talk about enrollment strategies. (Refer to the second question under “CalCentral Class Enrollment” for more information.)

What should I consider for “back-up” courses?

The main place where you can find open or back-up courses is on the CalCentral Class Enrollment section’s Schedule of Classes. A circular icon indicates lectures/discussion sections that still have available seats.

College Requirements/Info

What are the L&S graduation requirements?

A summary of the L&S graduation requirements can be found on the L&S Advising Website. To check the completion of your breadth requirements you can run a Degree Audit Report (DAR) on Bearfacts and see which courses have been accounted for. (Note: DAR is not used to determine graduation, meaning that if there are courses missing on the report that you have completed you do not need to panic but rather speak to your college or major adviser to make sure that you have fulfilled your graduation requirements.) Your undergraduate major adviser (UMA) can check to make sure your major requirements are fulfilled.

How do I fulfill the Essential Skills requirements?

The Essential Skills requirements are: Reading and Composition (R&C), Quantitative Reasoning, and Foreign Language. Check the L&S Advising Website (under “Degree Requirements”) to see which courses will fulfill these requirements. You may have already satisfied some of these requirements through high school courses or AP/IB exam scores. To check if you have fulfilled those requirements, run a Degree Audit Report (DAR) on Bearfacts or look on the L&S advising website to see what will fulfill these requirements.

How do I fulfill the 7-Course Breadth requirements? When must breadth courses be completed? How do I find approved courses for breadth?

You can fulfill breadth requirements by taking approved upper or lower division courses of 3 units or more; these need to be completed by the time you plan to graduate. You can find a list of approved courses on the L&S Advising Website (under “Degree Requirements” and selecting the specific breadth requirement).

What are the upper division graduation requirements?

L&S students are required to complete a total of at least 120 units to graduate. Of the 120 units you need to graduate, at least 36 must be upper division units and at least 6 of those upper division units must be outside of your major department. See your major department for additional upper division requirements.

How do I make an appointment with a college adviser?

Our office open hours are Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays: 9am-12pm, and 1pm-4pm; Wednesdays: 1pm-4pm. We are closed during standard federal holidays. We offer two types of appointments with a college adviser: same-day 15-minute appointments and pre-scheduled 30-minute appointments. There are three ways to make an appointment with a college adviser:

  1. You can go onto and make yourself an appointment. Every day at 9am, new appointments are made available to students so make sure to get on the website as soon as possible to make yourself the appointment before our appointments fill up. Our appointment hours are during our office open hours indicated above (ie; 30-minute appointments tend to be scheduled two weeks in advance so make sure you double check which appointment you have made [same-day vs pre-scheduled]).
  2. The second way to make an appointment is to call our office. Our phone lines open at 9am. You can reach our office at (510) 642-1483 from 9am-12pm, 1pm-4pm Monday through Friday.
  3. Lastly, you can schedule an appointment in-person by coming into our office at 206 Evans during our office open hours indicated above.

To make an appointment with your (intended) undergraduate major adviser, please contact them directly. You can find their contact information on the department website.


How do you declare a major?

To declare your major, you need to speak with your intended undergraduate major adviser. He/she can explain the policy and procedures to declare the major. If you have completed the major prerequisites and are eligible to declare, the major department will be able to declare you in that major.

How do I find major prerequisites?

The easiest way to figure out major prerequisites is to go the department website or the Berkeley Academic Guide. You can also speak to your major adviser and he/she will be able to help you plan out the prerequisites for your major.

What courses are good for exploring majors?

It is good to explore courses that fulfill breadth requirements but also keep in mind the major(s) you are interested in. L&S majors have introductory, lower division courses that you can take to explore that major. Ask a college adviser or an undergraduate major adviser for recommendations on introductory courses for the major. For example, if you are interested in Cognitive Science as a potential major, you could take COG SCI 1 to explore this major. Try to narrow your interests down to three majors and look at the prerequisite courses that overlap with two or more of those majors. From those courses you can find the ones that fulfill prerequisites as well as breadth requirements, all the while taking courses that interest you.

Program Planning

What types of courses are recommended for planning your first or second semester?

Prioritize the Reading and Composition requirement (if you still need to complete it) and major prerequisites for your intended major(s). You must take at least 13 units each semester, so add breadth or elective courses to make sure you have at least 13 units in your schedule.

You should sign up for courses that are higher in demand first. Prioritize your Reading and Composition requirement because they do fill up quickly and are required for all students. As for courses/breadth/prerequisites, you can use to monitor the enrollment of courses you are interested in taking and narrow it down from there.

What is an upper division course?

Upper division courses are courses numbered 100 and higher. These courses are mainly taken by juniors and seniors and usually fulfill major requirements. Most major prerequisite courses are lower division which are numbered 1-99.

How do I check if a course has a pre-requisite?

When you are looking at courses on the Berkeley Academic Guide, they will specify if there are any prerequisites. For example, under the course description for ECON 100A it shows the following:

Prerequisites: 1 or 2 or C3, or Environmental Economics and Policy 1, and Mathematics 1A or 16A, and Mathematics 1B or 16B, or equivalent.”