Haas Pre-Requisites Schedule

One of your most important duties as a pre-Haas freshman is to figure out the best times to take the Haas pre-requisite courses. This is extremely important; for if you don’t take all the pre-reqs by the end of sophomore year, you will automatically be rejected from Haas without a fighting chance. At the same time, you don’t want to take them all at once. You want focus. Here are some suggestions for the times to take your pre-reqs.

Most Popular Times
Freshman Fall: Math A, R&C A
Freshman Spring: UGBA 10, Math B, R&C B
Sophomore Fall: Econ 1
Sophomore Spring: Statistics

Of course, everyone is different, so don’t feel the need to follow this plan exactly. I, for instance, followed this for the most part except I took Math 16B Freshman Fall and Statistics Freshman Spring with UGBA 10. Again, the decision is yours, I am giving you general guidelines. Here are examples of such exceptions.

Exceptions and Details
UGBA 10: UGBA 10 is a class that really challenges you on how to study and prepare for a class, not necessarily in the actual material itself. That is why I say that UGBA 10 is not a good class to take freshman year. While the material is easy enough to understand, you must take advantage of office hours, participation, lecture, etc; which takes experience from other courses. I suggest waiting until you get that experience and then consequently apply it to UGBA 10 in a later semester. Some also choose to take it in sophomore spring, however UGBA 10 is still an important pre-requisite and it’s better that the Haas committee has some sort of standard (besides Econ 1) that they can use.

Econ 1: I am of the belief (and possibly minority) that if you already have experience in Econ, whether it’s from AP or IB economics in high school, you will do fine in Econ 1 first semester, or any semester really. Of the 700 people in Econ 1, I would say 45% are freshmen, 45% are sophomores, and 10% juniors and seniors, possibly less, and people did well regardless of their class level. Because it’s concept based, you don’t have to worry so much on the little details and logistics of the course. Although, I still believe taking it in a fall semester is the best way to go because the best Econ 1 professor teaches it! Professor Olney is a fantastic professor who explains concepts very clearly. Her course is difficult, but worthwhile.

Math: you should get this out of the way as soon as possible, first and/or second semester. There’s no point in waiting to take this class later, plus you most likely will have finished calculus in high school, so you’ll be prepared once you jump in. I suggest taking 1A or 16A first semester, and 1B or 16B second semester. If you passed the first semester (by getting a 5 on AP Calc BC, 5, 6, 7 in IB Math, or an A, B or C in A-Level Math) and are planning on taking 16B, take it first semester. If you’re planning on taking the 1 series and/or going into 53/54, start on the course after the one you just passed out of.

Stats: as for Econ 1, I am in the minority that taking Stats whenever you want should be fine. If you have previous statistics experience, you will find stats 20 or 21 to be no different (except maybe competition in 21) than in AP statistics. While the grade distribution is low for a business or economics related course, those with a background in statistics are already ahead of the game.

R&C: it is a campus wide requirement to have finished this requirement by the end of your sophomore year. I suggest you get this requirement completed as soon as possible, and if you can skip it, do it. This means, taking R&C A and B in the fall and spring first semester respectively, and taking R&C B in the fall if you’ve skipped A.

Foreign language: you must complete the equivalent of a second semester foreign language at Berkeley. This is also a campus requirement, and I suggest you complete this when you have time as well.


In general, you should spread out the pre-requisites, so that you have more time to focus on the courses. Do not worry about not having time to finish on time if you just take math first semester! You will definitely make it on time, just make sure you know which pre-reqs to fulfill within the four semesters.

Do your best! Grades are not everything, but it is important to do the best you can, stick to some strategies, and work hard.


18 thoughts on “Haas Pre-Requisites Schedule

  1. Suzanne Chang says:

    Hi Tiffany,

    My daughter is currently a UCB student and will be Sophomore starting Fall 2014. Her goal is to get into Haas, but there seems to be a challenge in taking the required prerequisites courses such as UGBA 10. She was a FPF student last year, and so none of the prerequisites that she needed for the major was provided. she was also given last priority for classes and this class was full. She tried applying again the semester after, but it was full as well. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Suzanne,

      It is unfortunate that your daughter was not able to get into UGBA 10. The class is typically easy to get into as long as she made sure to Phase 1. I would say the only chance she has left is to take it next spring in 2015 and make sure to Phase 1 the class, choosing an unpopular section if necessary. Another option is to talk to the professors and see what they can do for this upcoming semester, but there is little luck there. I hope that helps!

      • Suzanne Chang says:

        Hi Tiffany, thank you for your response. Would you please clarify what “make sure to Phase 1 the class” mean? and what does “choosing an unpopular section” mean?

        Also, the professor did respond, and you’re right, there is little luck there because he said he would not be able to add my daughter as it would be unfair to the other 109 students on waiting list.

        Why would UCB not open up another class if there’s more than 100 students on waiting list? Who can I complain to? Any tips?

      • Hi Suzanne,

        Berkeley enrollment is split up into three different “phases”, the first allowing up to 10.5 units (hard cap, you are not allowed to add any more than 10.5 unrounded), the second for a total of 16 (soft cap, if you are under 16 you may add one more class to over 16), and the adjustment period, where you can add up to 20 (soft cap). You are also allowed to add more units during this time with advisor approval.

        This system is in place to ensure students who need to take certain classes to take them and sign up during phase 1, while saving less important classes for the other phases, hence the term. Many classes have a lecture component and section, which allows for discussion in a smaller class setting. Becoming enrolled in section will guarantee enrollment in the lecture, thus if every section is full except for the 8am section, it’s best to choose the 8am section; something like that.

        With this logic, it’s simple to become enrolled in the class, and it is unfortunate for your daughter that this was not the case. I suggest signing up for her most important classes during Phase 1, choosing unpopular sections if necessary, for next time.

        Unfortunately this is a case of lack of staff. One can’t simply add 100 more people if the course cannot handle it. There are many components that go into course management and maintenance of course quality: making sure class sizes are less than 30 for proper discussion, ensuring these extra students have four more empty classrooms during reasonable hours (during this stage of the game it’s extremely difficult to find), persuading four more GSIs (graduate student instructors) to lead other sections or hiring more (both are unlikely), making sure there’s enough room to take tests at the same time (100 more people in this case need to be accommodated for); the list goes on and on. At this time, it seems that the course managers for UGBA 10 are unable to fulfill these requirements, hence the waiting list problems. I may be wrong, perhaps this semester will be different and more people will be let in, but this seems unlikely. Unfortunately you only will be able to complain to unfortunate economy that is America! Can’t give you tips there.

        Again, I apologize for this situation, but your daughter now knows for next time. She will still be able to apply for Haas as long as she takes it in the spring and has also completed the other pre-reqs necessary for a successful application. I hope this helps you.


  2. youri says:

    Hi Tiffany,

    I’m a freshman in Berkeley and want to get into haas, but in the first semester of my freshman year, I failed my math prerequisite because of some specific reason. I’m sure that I can do well in the rest of prerequisites and will repeat the math prerequisite next semester. I just wonder will haas accept the repeated grade? Waiting for your reply. Thanks.


    • Hi Youri,

      I am not positive. However, I do know that in general, you may retake a class that you have previously failed, and it will replace your grade. I’m looking at the Haas FAQ (http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/Undergrad/admissionsfaq.html) and it only mentions this: “The Admission Committee does not advise students to repeat courses that they have passed.”, but nothing about whether they’ll take failed grades. I advise you to retake it anyway, since there is a glimmer of hope!

      Your plan sounds good. I wish you the best!


  3. PJ Hsieh says:

    Hi Tiffany,

    My son is a freshman for the class of 2019, and he will be in the FPF program for fall 2015. He is aiming for Haas and is thinking how to arrange his fall schedule. Do you think it is better to satisfy Math A , R&C B and Language requirements by high school courses and AP tests? Is it any gap if he takes Math B directly without taking Math A? How about taking R&C B without taking R&C A? Will a schedule like Math, R&C, and 2 breadth courses for freshman fall semester good for pursuing Haas admission?

    PJ Hsieh

    • Hi PJ,

      Apologies for the late response! For someone pursuing Haas and doesn’t have an interest in quantitative majors, taking Math 16B, R&C, and 2 breadth is perfect. If he were interested in something more technical, such as more quantitative Economics, computer science, math, statistics, etc; he should really think about his familiarity with Math before doing Math 1B.

      Taking R&C B is typically fine for most students without A.


      • PJ Hsieh says:

        Hi Tiffany,

        Thanks for your response. I really appreciate you taking the time to make this blog, it is a very valuable resource.

        PJ Hsieh

  4. Hi Tiffany,
    I’m an incoming freshman for Fall 2015 and I’m planning to apply to Haas, but I’m also interested in looking at Comp Sci. My friend told me that Econ 1 and CS 61A is not a good idea first semester because it’ll be difficult so for phase 1, I registered for Math 54( I took a class equivalent to 53 at my state school) and CS 61A. I heard Math 54 is also a lot of work(more than Econ 1), so I’m worried that I might have made the wrong choice. Do you think I could stick with my current schedule with an added breadth and a seminar or if I should drop 54 and do Econ 1? And if it’s not too late for Econ 1?
    Thanks so much!

    • Hey Nancy!

      What’s your previous economics experience? What about CS? In general, Math 54 is harder than Econ 1. If you don’t have much experience with any of those subjects, I’d be wary of taking them both at the same time. In addition, since this will be your first semester, you should definitely try things out before you commit to taking hard classes at the same time. Keep in mind that CS 61A counts towards the new CS cap, and Econ 1 is important for Haas. If you take both of those at the same time, it might affect both outcomes. If you try to take Math 54 while taking 61A, it might be difficult as well. I’d suggest avoiding either one altogether unless you are fairly confident in your previous math, economics, or CS experience.


      • Thanks for the quick reply! I took AP Macroeconomics my junior year and got a 5 on the exam. I’m fairly confident in economics because I understand the concepts and I really like that subject, but I’m worried because I didn’t take Microeconomics. I took AP CS my senior year and I was decent with coding, but I’m not the best. I’m just worried that I won’t have enough time to take all the prereqs for both the CS and Haas major by the end of sophomore year. Do you think it will be a problem? I’m leaning more towards Haas, but I do want to try out CS to see if I like it, so would you recommend taking either Econ 1 or Math 54 first, and then save CS for a later semester?

      • Sounds like you could handle Econ 1 your first semester; I would worry more about 61A and Math 54. If you take two requirements (one CS, one Haas) every semester for the first two years, you’d be able to complete everything. Keep in mind that if you do double in CS and Haas, you’d have to take 3 Haas classes every semester coupled with 2 CS upper division classes; so your first two years would be representative of that. I’d stick to taking Econ 1 (if you can get in) and CS 61A your first semester. If you can’t take Econ 1, I’d try to get used to CS and not do 54.

  5. Kevin Pham says:

    Hi Tiffany,

    I’m an incoming freshman for Fall 2016, and I have a question regarding Econ 1 and 2. I’ve heard that Econ 2 is more in-depth, and I feel like doing well in the class could help me more in the long run. However, everyone seems to take Econ 1. Why is that? Is it easier, better professors? Which Econ should I take?

    Thanks you!

    • Hi Kevin,
      To be completely honest, I am not sure why people do not take Econ 2. I have always taken Econ 1 because I was told too, and I heard that Professor Olney was really great, so I (and many others) wanted to take it with her too. Econ 2 also is only offered in the Spring, while Econ 1 is offered year round. It’s up to you which you prefer, I myself recommend Econ 1 in the fall because I really liked Professor Olney! It’s hard, but you learn a lot.

      Hope that helps,

      • Kevin Pham says:

        Thank you so much, and thank you for all the time you put in to make this blog! It’s been so helpful for me and many others, I’m sure.


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