7.2 American History / American Institutions Courses

American History / American Institutions Courses — Across the UC system, all candidates for a bachelor’s degree must demonstrate knowledge of American history and the principles of American institutions as outlined in Senate Regulation 638(link is external). Frequently referred to as the AH/AI requirement, on the Berkeley campus COCI has determined that the following guidelines will be used in reviewing and considering such courses for approval:

  1. A course meeting the American History requirement focuses on a substantial portion of U.S. history, preferably including multiple centuries of history. The course should examine U.S. history in its wider international context and when examining particular groups do so in the context of the larger society of which they are a part. 

  2. A course meeting the American Institutions requirement substantially focuses on U.S. federal government or U.S. politics. Courses focused on the U.S. federal government should address governance in relation to both state and local level governance in a comparative framework. Courses that focus on U.S. politics should address both major and minor party politics.

  3. Courses that meet both requirements should demonstrate equitable focus to each topic area across the span of the course curriculum.

  4. Courses that meet either requirement must be offered for a minimum of three units.


When developing syllabi for such courses instructors should keep the above guidelines in mind and use them in demonstrating how a course meets the requirement. Courses may be approved for both AH/AI or just one type (AI or AH). When submitting proposals in CMS in the Justification section include a note that requests the course be considered for AH/AI, only AH, or only AI. Once approved Senate staff will add the requirement label to the course.