Discovery Courses Fall 2017

Expand Your Horizons!

The seven-course L&S breadth requirement can be an unparalleled opportunity to explore fascinating worlds of knowledge. The Letters & Science Discovery Courses, which the College launched in Fall 2005, take the guesswork out of satisfying the breadth requirement. Taught by some of the most distinguished faculty on campus and deliberately designed to engage and ignite the minds of non-experts, these courses are destined to be unforgettable.

For past Courses visit the Discovery Courses Archive

Arts and Literature

L&S 120C The Bible in Western Culture

Ronald Hendel

Biological Science

L&S C30T Drugs and the Brain

David Presti

Philosophy and Values

L&S C160V Human Happiness

Dacher Keltner

Student Testimonials

  • "I love the Discovery Courses-this is my 3rd! I feel it contributed greatly to my understanding of the world and to my education."
  • "This Discovery Course inspired me to take classes in the future that I had not planned to take."
  • "Very enriching--I would not take a course like this if I were only sticking to major requirements."
  • "I think this class exemplifies the tremendous opportunities to expand one's academic horizon through some of these breadth courses, that most people would otherwise not have considered taking."
  • "This course was my best this semester because it taught me how to simply live in and understand the world. Great!"
  • "It allowed me to take a class mostly because I'm interested in it, not because it was for a major or any other reason."
  • "As always, Discovery Courses make me think about an entirely different field and issues that I've never been exposed to."

What's New

Discovery Course professor Robert Full was inducted into the Academy of Arts and Sciences, in a new category: Emerging Fields (the topic of his course).
Read More

Discovery Course Professor Ron Amundson discovers that rocks also have "tree rings."
Read More

Student in Discovery Course invents ChronoZoom, now a finalist for SXSW award
Read More

Saul Perlmutter (in a tux!) receives his Nobel prize in Stockholm.
Read More

Discovery Course professor Saul Perlmutter wins Nobel Prize in Physics
Read More

On April 7 Discovery Course Professor Saul Perlmutter will give the Faculty Research Lecture:
Read More

Discovery Course faculty members engage in the ambitious "Berkeley Earth" project:
Read More

Discovery Course professor Saul Perlmutter shares Einstein Medal:
Read More

Discovery Course professor Claire Kramsch wins a prize for her book The Multilingual Subject:
Read More

News Archive

Past Discovery Course news items - Click Here

Our Benefactors

The Letters & Science Discovery Courses are made possible by the generous support of the Barbara Joan Gummerson Fund, the Cynthia C. Railton Fund for the Liberal Arts, and the L&S Leadership Fund.

For program-related questions, please contact
For website-related questions, please contact

UC Berkeley | Accessibility | Site Map

Copyright © The Regents of the University of California