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Eighth College

Eighth College was established in 2022 and aims to prepare students to face difficult global challenges through civically engaged pedagogy and experiential- and community-based learning. The academic plan for Eighth College was created by UC San Diego faculty, students, and staff with a broad range of experience and expertise. This group worked for over a year to develop an academic plan that embraces the best practices in general education and harnesses UC San Diego’s reputation for innovation, collaboration, and path-breaking research in the context of inclusivity and anti-racism.

General Education

Eighth College’s general-education curriculum consists of fourteen required courses.

Critical Community Engagement (CCE) Course Series

Critical community engagement courses provide a foundation for ethical practices. The courses are characterized by ambitious reciprocal and respectful efforts inside the classroom and in daily endeavors to respond to historical and imminent challenges facing our communities locally and throughout the world. The CCE series provides an interdisciplinary approach to developing a close understanding of factors that have historically led to discrimination, structural and institutional racism, social exclusion, intentional and unintentional marginalization, and harm to diverse communities. The four-course sequence consists of an introduction to community-engaged work (CCE 1), two courses of intensive instruction in university-level writing (CCE 2 and 3), and one community project-based course (CCE 120).

Breadth Requirements

Students select two courses from each of five areas:

  • Arts
  • Humanities
  • Natural Sciences
  • Quantitative Methods and Engineering
  • Social Sciences

Breadth requirements may overlap with major, minor, and university requirements. Approved Advanced Placement (AP) credit, International Baccalaureate (IB) credit, and transfer credit will be applied.

Transfer Students

Students who have completed their lower-division general-education requirements at an accredited four-year institution and students who have completed a system-wide or campus-wide approved core curriculum in a California community college prior to entering UC San Diego must complete Critical Community Engagement 110 and 120. For all other transfer students, Eighth College academic advising will work with incoming transfers to evaluate their courses on a case-by-case basis to determine applicability of prior course work towards the general-education requirements listed above.

Additional information for Eighth College transfer students is found on the Eighth College website.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Satisfaction of American history and institutions; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR).
  2. Fulfillment of all general-education requirements.
  3. Completion of a departmental or program major.
  4. A minimum of 180 units.
  5. A minimum of 60 upper-division units.
  6. At least 35 of the final 45 units completed at UC San Diego as an enrolled Eighth College student.
  7. A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher.

Pass/Not Pass Grading Option

With the exception of units earned in independent study courses (numbered 99 and 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. Eighth College breadth requirements may be taken P/NP within the 25 percent limit. CCE 1, 2, 3, 110, and 120 must be taken for a letter grade. Students are advised to check with their department or program before taking a major or minor course on a Pass/Not Pass basis.


Eighth College students may pursue any of the majors offered at UC San Diego. Refer to courses/curricula/faculty for details on specific major requirements. With the approval of both departments or programs and the college provost, a student in good standing may declare a double major. Students are encouraged to consult regularly with college and major advisers to review their academic progress.

Individual Studies Major

The individual studies major allows students to pursue a coherent course of study that is not formally recognized as a major at UC San Diego, but would otherwise meet all of the standards established by the college and by the Academic Senate. Interested students must submit a written proposal explaining the merits of an individual studies major and why their educational goals cannot be accommodated within an existing major. The proposal must be approved by a faculty adviser and the Eighth College provost/executive committee. Refer to the Eighth College website for more information about the individual studies major.


Eighth College students may declare an optional minor. Minors require a minimum of twenty-eight units of course work, of which at least twenty units must be upper division. Students may apply the equivalent of two upper-division courses (a maximum of eight units) to fulfill the requirements for a minor that have also been used to satisfy the requirements of a major. A formal request for the minor must be approved by the department or program and college by the quarter before graduation.


Quarterly provost’s honors, honors at graduation, departmental honors, and Phi Beta Kappa are awarded to Eighth College students.

Eighth College Honors Program

The Eighth College Honors Program is currently in development and will sponsor activities and events designed to introduce students to the pioneering research and innovative scholarship at UC San Diego and in the surrounding community.

Enhancing Your Education

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