The prerequisite has two components: a "Disciplines" course and a "World Regions" course. Students must take one from each of the following lists.  

At the time of application, a prospective major can apply to the major by filling out an application after they have completed their first course and are currently enrolled in their second required course; their final acceptance in the program will be contingent on receiving a grade of B- or better in the second course.


Students must take one of the following introductory courses (or their recognized equivalent, if transfer students):

Political Science 2 (Comparative Politics)

Political Science 4 (Political Theory)

Political Science 5 (International Relations)

Philosophy 2 (Ethics and Social Justice)

Sociology 1 (Introduction to Sociology)

Anthropology 3 (Introduction to Social/Cultural Anthropology)

Economics 1 or 2 (Introduction to Economics)

Geography 10 (World Regions, Peoples, States)

Psychology 1 (General Psychology)

Rhetoric 10 (Introduction to Reason and Argument)

Philosophy 3 (Nature of Mind)

Education 190 (Critical Studies in Education)

Public Policy 101 (Introduction to Public Policy Analysis)

Development Studies 10 (Introduction to Development Studies)

World Regions

Students must take one of the following lower division courses (or their recognized equivalent, if transfer students):

Art History 11 (Introduction to Western Art)

Chinese 7A/B (Premodern, Modern Chinese literature)

Classics 10A/B (Greek and Roman Civilization)

African-American Studies 4A/B (Pre-colonial/20th century Africa)

History 2 (Comparative History)

History 4A/B (Medieval Europe)

History 5 (Europe Since the Renaissance)

History 6A or B (China)

History 8A or B (Latin America)

History 10 (Africa)

History 11 (India)

History 12 (The Middle East) 

History 14 (Japan)

IAS 45 (World History) 

Japanese Studies 7A/B (Premodern, Modern Japanese Literature) 

South Asian Studies 1A/B (India)

Southeast Asian Studies 10A/B (Premodern/modern Southeast Asia)


A Committee of Faculty Advisors will have the discretion, in unusual cases, of accepting applications to the ISF program from students who have completed, with a minimum B- grade, upper division courses that have adequately prepared them for their designated Research Program and that fulfill the spirit of the prerequisite requirements of disciplinary and regional preparation for the major. Finally, additional courses can be added to each of the two lists as deemed appropriate by the Director and the Faculty Advisory Board.

For transfer students, it is strongly recommended that this requirement be completed before enrolling at Berkeley.  Transfer students must submit syllabi of courses already taken to their ISF faculty adviser for approval. Both prerequisite courses must be taken for a letter grade.

Note that Academic Senate regulations stipulate that students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.0 before declaring any major in the College of Letters and Science and are required to declare a major by the time they have each completed 60 units.