Graduation Requirements - the Basics

More than just your major…

As a UC Santa Cruz student, you will be asked to complete more than just the courses for your major(s). General education requirements expose you to a broad range of knowledge, while the classes you take for your major will provide the depth in that particular subject.

You will need to complete all of the general education (GE) requirements, as well as University requirements. You will also need to reach a minimum of 180 credits – which is the equivalent of four years of full-time work.

graduation requirements


You will have all four (and no more than five) years to complete these requirements, and will need to start many majors (especially science or engineering majors) within your first year to stay on track. In addition, some general education requirements will be completed by classes in your major; some may also have been satisfied by your AP scores. This means that focusing only on general education in your first year is not the best strategy – doing so without considering your major could put you behind schedule.

For more detailed information on UC Santa Cruz’s full degree requirements, please refer to The General Catalog.

AP Scores and Your Requirements

Scores of 3,4 or 5 on many AP exams will transfer in as credits (toward your 180 credit minimum), and in some cases general education requirements and/or introductory major classes. For a detailed view of exam scores and their possible effects on your UCSC work, please review the AP-IBH Chart (Coming soon!).

Next Steps

Step 3: Identify Your College Course

Step 4: Choose and Enroll in Your First Quarter Classes

Step 5: Important Advising Information & Resources