College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

Status Guidelines

Types of Status

Full-Time Status

Full-time students paying full registration fees must be enrolled in a minimum of 13 units and a maximum of 19.5 units per semester.

In order to go under the minimum or exceed the maximum, you must seek special permission from the Office of Instruction and Student Affairs.

Be aware that even if the college permits you to take fewer than 13 units, other departments and units on the Berkeley campus may not, such as Financial Aid. It is your responsibility to check with all campus programs pertinent to your academic and financial status.

Part-Time Status

Part-time students are taking fewer than 13 units per semester and are paying reduced educational fees. CNR rarely allows part-time status and only in the case of occupation, family responsibility, or health. Further information is available in the Office of Instruction and Student Affairs.

Part-Time Status differs from Reduced Study List, which is explained in the next section.

Limited Status

Limited status is restricted to students who already have a bachelor’s degree or who have had substantial previous college work, and who have a specific, well-defined academic goal for which additional undergraduate work is necessary. Please contact the Office of the Registrar for more information.

Unit Requirements

Unit Totals

  • You must complete at least 120 semester units of courses.
  • For all majors in CNR, except for Environmental Economics and Policy majors, 36 of your semester units must be in upper division courses.
  • 15 of these 36 units must be taken in the College of Natural Resources (with the exception of Environmental Sciences majors).
  • Environmental Economics and Policy majors must take at least 15 upper division units in the College of Natural Resources.
  • Didactic Training Program in Dietetics students must take 45 units of upper division coursework.

Unit Distributions

  • Only 16 units of Independent Study may count toward the units for graduation.
  • No more than one-third of the total units attempted at UC Berkeley may be taken Passed/Not Passed. This includes units in the Education Abroad Program and UC Intercampus Visitor or Exchange programs.
  • Only 4 units of Independent Study (97, 98, 99, 197, 198, or 199) may be taken per semester.
  • Only 4 units of Physical Education (PED) will count toward graduation.
  • You may not repeat a course on a Passed/Not Passed basis when you previously received a letter grade.

GPA Requirements

At least a C average (2.0) is required on all courses taken at UC Berkeley. Check with your undergraduate staff advisor for specific details on requirements for your major.

Senior Residency Requirement

After you have completed 90 units toward the bachelor's degree, you must complete at least 24 of the remaining units in residence in no fewer than two semesters in the college or school at UC Berkeley in which you will take your degree. You must begin these final 24 units in the semester in which you exceed 90 units. Special provisions are made for students in the campus Education Abroad Program (EAP).

Reduced Study List

CNR allows students who are employed for a minimum of 15 hours per week to enroll in fewer than the minimum 13 units per semester, but you must fill out an “Employment Verification for Reduced Study List” form and have it approved by the Office of Instruction and Student Affairs.

The number of units below the minimum unit load that you are allowed to go under per semester depends on the number of hours you work per week.

  • If you work 15 hours per week, you can take as few as 10 units.
  • If you work 20-29 hours per week, you may take 8 units.
  • If you work 30 or more hours a week, you may take 6 units.

The last day to submit the form is the Friday of the fifth week of instruction. By the fifth week of classes, whether you are reducing your study list or not, a completed “Employment Verification” form is needed in your file in the Office of Instruction and Student Affairs. We must verify your employment with your employer, and will make only two attempts to do so. If your financial situation changes, please contact the Office of Instruction and Student Affairs.

Disabled Students Program

If you have a documented and verifiable disability, you may be eligible for academic accommodations and support services (such as readers, notetakers, sign language interpreters), attendant referral, assistive technology, and housing assistance.

If you qualify for the services provided through DSP, please bring a written document from DSP stating that fact to the Office of Instruction and Student Affairs in 260 Mulford Hall. Failure to provide appropriate documentation of your status means, for example, we will be unable to help you drop a class if that is a course of action you need to take. We can accept only an official letter from DSP (no phone calls or emails), and your letter is valid for the current semester. This means you must bring us a new letter for every semester you want to carry a reduced study list via the Disabled Students Program.

To find out how, or if you qualify for the services provided through the Disabled Students Program (DSP), please contact them directly at (510) 642-0518 or (510) 642-6376. The DSP is located in 230 Cesar Chavez Student Center, and on the web at the Disabled Students Program.

Student Athletes

Check with your Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) to find out what requirements you must meet to remain eligible for competition. For NCAA student athletes, in order to add, drop, or change the variable unit load for an individual course, you must file Late or Retroactive Petition to Change Class Schedule (available from your undergraduate staff advisor) with the advisor’s and your FAR’s signatures.