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Earl Warren College

Earl Warren College opened in the fall of 1974 and currently enrolls more than four thousand students from all academic disciplines at UC San Diego. The college is named for the only three-term governor of California and former chief justice of the United States. A native Californian, Justice Warren earned his college and law school degrees at the University of California. During his governorship, he served as an ex-officio member of the Board of Regents of the University of California for eleven years. He also held the offices of district attorney of Alameda County and as attorney general of California.

As governor during an era of lightning growth for California, Earl Warren developed the State Department of Mental Hygiene and led reforms of the prison system in California by establishing the Board of Corrections and the Prisoner Rehabilitation Act. In his final role as a public servant, he served as chief justice of the United States. Under his leadership, the Supreme Court elaborated a doctrine of fairness in such areas as criminal justice, voting rights, legislative districting, employment, housing, transportation, and education.

The college derives its core values from Earl Warren’s judicial examination of the relationship between the individual and society and employs the scales of justice in its logo. The symmetry of this image represents the college’s philosophy: Toward a Life in Balance. Warren College encourages students in the discovery of that essential balance throughout their undergraduate years and beyond.

Warren College administers two campuswide interdisciplinary minors, Health Care–Social Issues and Law and Society, both of which are open to all UC San Diego students. The college-administered Academic Internship Program affords students the opportunity to explore classroom theory in a professional work environment. In addition, Warren College is a strong supporter of international education and encourages students to pursue the many opportunities that are available for study abroad.

General Education

The Warren College faculty firmly believes that each student should have the opportunity to develop a program best suited to his or her individual interests within a frame work that ensures both depth and breadth of study. All students are required to have significant exposure to the social sciences, arts and humanities, and the sciences. The faculty and staff of the college provide extensive advising on individual academic programs and possible career implications within each program.

Warren College Writing Program: Following completion of the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement, each student must complete a two-course sequence in writing for a letter grade. The required, two-course Warren College writing sequence (WCWP 10A-B) provides instruction and practice in academic argumentation and prepares students for the demands of crafting college-level analytical papers.

Ethics and Society: The Warren College Writing Program is followed by two courses in which students continue to develop writing skills as they explore the critical nexus and profound implications of ethics and society. The courses are offered by the Departments of Political Science and Philosophy, PHIL 27 or POLI 27 and PHIL 28 or POLI 28, and must be taken for a letter grade.  

Formal Skills: All students must satisfy the formal skills requirement by completing two courses chosen from an approved list that includes calculus, computer programming, statistics, and symbolic logic.

Programs of Concentration/Area Studies: All students are required to complete two focused collections of courses outside the areas of their majors to ensure a significant exposure to the three disciplines: humanities/fine arts; natural sciences/math/engineering; and social sciences.

For all students except BS engineering majors, two programs of concentration are required. Each program consists of six courses outside the discipline of the major and the discipline of the other program of concentration. A minimum of three courses must be upper division. A student may choose to declare a minor in lieu of a program of concentration.

For BS engineering majors, students are required to complete two area studies, one in humanities/fine arts and one in social sciences. Each area study consists of three courses. A minimum of two courses must be upper division. A student may choose to declare a minor in lieu of an area study.

An interdisciplinary program of concentration or area study must be approved by the Warren College academic advising office. A student may choose to declare an interdisciplinary minor in lieu of a program of concentration or area study.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Credit: Advanced placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) units may be substituted for corresponding lower-division courses in a program of concentration or area study. A maximum of twelve units may be applied toward each program of concentration and a maximum of four units may be applied toward each area study.

Transfer Students

Transfer students who have completed their lower-division, general education requirements and/or a transfer agreement at their previous institution take Academic Writing (WCWP 100) plus one upper-division course in an area outside of their major discipline to complete their Warren College general education requirements and broaden their academic background. All other transfer students must complete WCWP 100 and two programs of concentration or area studies (if majoring in engineering).

Graduation Requirements

To receive a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science from Warren College, a student must

  1. Satisfy the UC requirement in American History and Institutions, and the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement. See University-wide Graduation Requirements.
  2. Fulfill the general education requirements described above.
  3. Satisfy the diversity, equity, and inclusion requirement. See University-wide Graduation Requirements.
  4. Complete a major chosen from those regularly offered at UC San Diego or, with prior approval, a Warren College individual studies major.
  5. Attain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Major GPA requirements may differ by department.
  6. Satisfy the senior residency requirement that thirty-five of the last forty-five units passed must be taken at UC San Diego.
  7. Pass a minimum of 180 units for the BA/BS, sixty units of which must be taken at the upper-division level.

Pass/Not Pass Grading Option

Programs of concentration and area studies courses may be fulfilled by courses taken on a Pass/Not Pass basis. Major prerequisites and requirements must be taken for a letter grade. With the exception of units earned in independent study courses (numbered 199), no more than 25 percent of an undergraduate student’s total UC San Diego units may be taken on a Pass/Not Pass basis.


Warren College students may pursue any major(s) offered at UC San Diego. For details on the specific major department requirements, refer to Courses, Curricula, and Faculty. A student may declare a double major upon the approval of both departments and the Warren College academic advising office. If the two majors are from noncontiguous disciplines, one program of concentration or area study from the third discipline will be required. If the two majors are from the same discipline, two programs of concentration or area studies will be required from each of the remaining noncontiguous disciplines.

Warren College Individual Studies Major

This major is designed to meet the needs of students who have a definite academic interest for which a suitable major is not offered at UC San Diego. The student must submit a written proposal explaining the merits of the program and why it cannot be accommodated within existing UC San Diego majors. The proposal must first be approved by a faculty adviser and then approved by the Warren College executive committee of the faculty.


Warren College students may pursue a minor in lieu of a program of concentration or area study. A minor applied toward the general education requirement will be posted to the student’s official transcript. Upper-division courses taken for the minor may not overlap with courses in the major, programs of concentration, or area studies.

College-Sponsored Programs

Warren College Interdisciplinary Programs

Health Care–Social Issues

The Health Care–Social Issues Program at UC San Diego is designed to enhance student competence in analyzing complex social and ethical implications related to health-care issues. This interdisciplinary minor offers students an understanding of how the economy, culture, social, and psychological processes affect modern health care. The program is administered by Warren College and is available to all students with a general interest in health care.

Law and Society

The Law and Society Program at UC San Diego offers courses, speakers, and events that emphasize the interrelationship and complexity of legal, social, and ethical issues in their historical context. The interdisciplinary minor offers students the opportunity to examine the role of the legal system in society and study specific legal issues from the perspectives of the social sciences and the humanities. Students benefit from the program by learning how to analyze and understand legal implications related to policy and decision making. The program is administered by Warren College and is open to all undergraduate students with an interest in law.

Academic Internship Program

The Warren College Academic Internship Program (AIP) is open to students from all six colleges. The program is based on the conviction that academic learning is enriched when opportunities exist for students to apply classroom knowledge and analytical skills in diverse corporate and community settings. AIP counselors work closely with students to help them identify and secure internships that are aligned with their major areas of academic study and individualized career goals. Students may enroll for four, eight, or twelve units per quarter, with a maximum of three internships allowed (not to exceed sixteen units). To be eligible for the program, students must have completed at least ninety units of credit with at least two upper-division courses and have a minimum 2.5 GPA at the time of application. Although most placements are in the San Diego area, the Academic Internship Program is national in scope and diverse in offerings. Students might work for a senator in Washington; the governor in Sacramento; a legal aid office in Los Angeles; a business, TV station, research lab, or social service agency in San Diego; or any number of other possibilities. Working closely with faculty advisers, students complete research papers or projects that draw on both their academic backgrounds and internship experience. For more information, see Academic Internship Program.


Quarterly Provost’s Honors, honors at graduation, department honors, and Phi Beta Kappa honors are awarded. For additional information, see Honors Society.

Warren College Honors Society

The Warren College Honors Society offers students educational, cultural, and social experiences designed to broaden their intellectual interests. The activities vary annually to foster student interaction and promote a sense of community. Entering first-year students with a high school GPA of 3.8 or above and SAT I scores of 700 critical reasoning/700 quantitative/700 writing, or the ACT equivalent, are eligible to participate in the Honors Society. Students must maintain a cumulative UC San Diego GPA of 3.7 to remain in the society. All first-year and transfer students who do not qualify for the Honors Society at the time of admission may join as soon as they attain a cumulative GPA of 3.7 on twelve or more graded units at UC San Diego.

Warren College Scholars Seminar

First-year students who meet the Warren College Honors Society requirements may qualify for admission to the Scholars Seminar by submitting a writing sample. Students who are invited to participate in the two writing seminars enroll in WARR 11A-B. The seminars fulfill the Warren College Writing Requirement and must be taken for a letter grade.

Enhancing Your Education

Warren College encourages students to study abroad, engage in research, internships, and other UC San Diego sponsored educational enrichment programs.