Revelle College

Revelle College, the first college on the UC San Diego campus, was named in honor of Roger Revelle, former University of California dean of Research and director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Professor Revelle is perhaps best known for his plenary research on greenhouse gases and his predictions of their effects.

The initiation of Revelle College in 1964 provided the faculty with the opportunity to design a complete undergraduate curriculum for some of the country’s best-prepared students. The faculty asked the fundamental question: What should an educated person know? The Revelle College general-education requirements offer a specific but broad introduction to the academic disciplines of the university. A student graduating from Revelle College will have attained

  1. a basic knowledge of calculus; foreign language; the physical, biological, and social sciences; the fine arts; and the humanities
  2. a high level of competence in an academic discipline

General Education

Students are encouraged to meet the general-education requirements and the prerequisites to the major early in their university career.

Freshman students with advanced placement credits can use many of these credits to meet general-education requirements (see Advanced Placement chart). Transfer students may meet all general-education requirements before entering by following articulation agreements with community colleges or taking, at any institution, courses that Revelle College judges approximately equivalent in content to those at UC San Diego.

The general-education requirements are

  1. Five courses in an interdisciplinary humanities sequence that includes two six-unit courses with intensive instruction in university-level writing and three four-unit courses with less intensive writing instruction.
  2. One course in the fine arts—music, theatre and dance, or visual arts.
  3. Two lower-division courses in the social sciences.
  4. Three courses in calculus.
  5. Five courses in the physical and biological sciences to include four quarters of physics and chemistry and one quarter of biology.
  6. Basic conversational and reading proficiency in a modern foreign language, or advanced reading proficiency in a classical language. This requirement can be met by passing a UC San Diego proficiency exam offered in a select number of languages, or by completion of the fourth quarter (or third semester) of foreign language instruction with a passing grade, or with an equivalent Advanced Placement exam score, or an SAT II Language exam score of 700 or higher.
  7. Three courses in an area unrelated to the major and focused in one department, subject area, or topic.

1. Humanities

The humanities requirement confronts students with significant humanistic issues in the context of a rigorous academic course. It is also an introduction to the disciplines of history, literature, and philosophy and provides training and practice in rhetorical skills and particularly persuasive written expression. Students may satisfy this requirement by completing the five-quarter interdisciplinary (history, literature, and philosophy) humanities sequence.

For course descriptions, see “Courses, Curricula, and Faculty: Humanities.”

2. Fine Arts

One course is required. It serves as an introduction to creativity in theatre and dance, music, or visual arts. (See “Courses, Curricula, and Faculty: Theatre and Dance, Music, and Visual Arts.”)

3. Social Sciences

Two lower-division courses in the social sciences, chosen from an approved list

4. Calculus

Three quarters of calculus are required. There are two beginning-year sequences that meet the Revelle College calculus requirement. Both sequences include integral and differential calculus. Freshman placement in these sequences depends upon the student’s preparation in mathematics and the student’s choice of major. Students are urged to keep their mathematical skills at a high level by taking mathematics during their senior year in high school. (See “Courses, Curricula, and Faculty: Mathematics.”)

5. Natural Sciences

Natural sciences courses present current developments in the fundamental concepts of modern physics, chemistry, and biology.

Students choose their five required physical and biological science courses from the sequences depending upon their interests, prior preparation, and intended majors.

Students planning to major in a science must consult the appropriate departmental listing under “Courses, Curricula, and Faculty” to find the additional preparation needed for their major.

6. Foreign Language

Revelle College students are required to demonstrate basic conversational and reading proficiency in any modern foreign language, or advanced reading proficiency in a classical language, or complete the fourth quarter of foreign language instruction with a passing grade.

Modern foreign language programs are currently offered in American Sign Language, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and heritage languages, and classical language programs are offered in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. Students who have preparation in other languages should contact the Revelle College academic advising office for information on a proficiency examination. This exam may also be taken by native speakers of any foreign language without further course study.

7. Area of Focus

Three courses in an area noncontiguous to the major are required. The three courses must be interrelated and should focus on some discipline, subject area, or topic. For the purposes of this requirement, the humanities/arts, the social sciences, and the natural sciences/engineering/mathematics are considered three different areas. Courses from more than one department should be approved prior to enrolling. The area of focus is not posted to the diploma or transcript.

These three courses may not be used to fulfill any other requirements. These courses may be upper division or lower division but one should keep in mind that graduation requirements stipulate that at least sixty units of all work must be from upper-division courses. The courses may be taken Pass/Not Pass and Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate credits may be used.

Students may complete an optional noncontiguous minor to replace this requirement, if they wish to do so.

Sample Program (does not include all general-education requirements)

FALL
WINTER
SPRING
FRESHMAN YEAR
foreign language Humanities 1 Humanities 2
calculus foreign language foreign language
natural science calculus calculus
UC Entry Level Writing Requirement or fine arts
natural science
natural science
SOPHOMORE YEAR
natural science natural science fine arts or major
social science social science Humanities 5
Humanities 3 Humanities 4 major
major major major

Science majors may want to take part of the social science requirement in the junior year to allow time for additional science laboratories and/or calculus.

Transfer Students

Transfer students may enter Revelle College by following community college articulation agreements, which can be viewed at http://www.ASSIST.org or by following the Intersegmental General-Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). However, Revelle College does not accept IGETC as satisfaction of all its lower-division requirements. Revelle College accepts IGETC courses to meet requirements with additional classes in science, calculus, and foreign language. (Students are exempt from the language requirement if they can pass proficiency in a foreign language. Note: proficiency exams are not available in all languages. Consult the Revelle College academic advising office for more information.) Science and mathematics majors will need these additional classes in preparation (or to meet prerequisites) for their major. The additional math, science classes, and language classes can be taken at the community college or after transfer to UC San Diego. See details on our website at http://revelle.ucsd.edu/academics/graduation-requirements/igetc-tag.html.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from Revelle College, a student must

  1. Satisfy the University of California requirements, including the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement and American History and Institutions.
  2. Satisfy the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion requirement: A knowledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion is required of all candidates for a bachelor's degree who begin their studies at UC San Diego in lower-division standing in fall 2011 or thereafter, or in upper-division standing in fall 2013 or thereafter. (See “University-wide Graduation Requirements”).
  3. Satisfy the general-education requirements.
  4. Successfully complete a major according to all requirements of that department.
  5. Complete a minimum of sixty upper-division units.
  6. Pass at least 184 units for the BA/BS. (No more than three units of physical education transferred from another institution may be counted toward graduation.)
  7. Attain a C average (2.0) or better in all work attempted at the University of California (exclusive of UC San Diego Extension). Students are responsible for checking with the department of the major for all major-specific policies.
  8. Meet the senior residence requirement. (See “Senior Residence.”)

Pass/Not Pass Grading Option

  1. No more than one-fourth of an undergraduate student’s total course units taken at UC San Diego and counted in satisfaction of degree requirements may be graded on a Pass/Not Pass basis.
  2. Courses used to satisfy the noncontiguous area of focus may be taken on a Pass/Not Pass basis. Use of Pass/Not Pass grades on the optional minor is decided by the department.
  3. Courses taken as electives may be taken on a Pass/Not Pass basis.
  4. The following general-education courses may be taken Pass/Not Pass: fine arts, language, and area of focus. Nonscience majors may take courses for the natural science requirement Pass/Not Pass.
  5. Most majors require students to take courses for a letter grade in order to apply the course toward the major’s requirement. Please check with the department or program regarding their policy on P/NP grades.

Majors

All undergraduate majors offered at UC San Diego are available to Revelle College students. An exceptional student who has some unusual but definite academic interest for which a suitable major is not offered at UC San Diego may, with the consent of the provost of the college and with the assistance of a faculty adviser, plan his or her own major. The Revelle College individual major must be submitted no later than three quarters before the student’s intended graduation and be approved by the executive committee of the college before it may be accepted in lieu of a departmental or interdepartmental major. The faculty adviser will supervise the student’s work, and the provost must certify that the student has completed the requirements of the individual major before the degree is granted.

For a list of majors requiring additional screening for acceptance into the major, visit the Revelle College website at http://revelle.ucsd.edu.

Minors

A minor is not required at Revelle College. However, if a student wishes to complete a department minor or a project minor and have it posted to the transcript, he or she may do so.

If a student completes either of these types of minors in a field noncontiguous to that of the major, it will replace the three-course noncontiguous area of focus general education requirement.

There are two types of minors available at Revelle College:

  1. Department Minor—All courses for the minor are taken in one department and they are chosen with the advice and approval of a minor adviser in that department.
  2. Project Minor—A project minor focuses on a topic or period chosen by the student. The project is often interdepartmental and interdisciplinary. The program must have the approval of a minor adviser.

The current university guidelines for the minor require seven courses (twenty-eight units), of which twenty units must be upper division. (See “Undergraduate Minors and Programs of Concentration.”)

Honors

Particularly well-prepared students are invited to join a freshman honors program, which includes weekly participation in small faculty seminars (Revelle 20). Acceptance into the honors program at admission is automatic for Regents Scholars. New freshmen entering with a high school GPA of 3.8 or higher and reading, writing, and math SAT scores of 700 or higher will be invited to enroll. Invitation to the program’s winter and spring quarters is offered to those new freshmen who achieve a 3.7 GPA and at least twelve graded units taken at UC San Diego during the previous quarter.

Quarterly provost’s honors, honors at graduation, departmental honors, and Phi Beta Kappa honors are awarded. Outstanding graduating seniors are honored at graduation each year. An honors reception and awards ceremony are held in spring quarter for the top two hundred Revelle students (from all class levels). For additional information, see “Revelle Honors Program” and “Honors.”

Enhancing Your Education

Students may participate in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) and Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP) while still making regular progress toward graduation. Information on EAP/OAP is detailed in the Education Abroad Program section of the UC San Diego General Catalog. Interested students should contact the Programs Abroad Office in the International Center and visit the website at http://www.icenter/pao. Financial aid recipients may apply aid to the program and special study abroad scholarships may be available.

Programs are now available for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. With careful planning students should be able to fulfill some general-education, major, and/or minor requirements while studying abroad.