Pursue your interests with courses on history, literature, philosophy, culture, cuisine and languages. Explore the historical context of classics. Gain a greater appreciation of the values of diverse religions. Or refine your palate with courses on fine wines. You can also study a language to enrich your social, cultural and professional experiences. Whether you want to brush up on your conversational French or learn Mandarin for your next business trip to China, UC Berkeley Extension has the right course for you. Courses are held in Berkeley, San Francisco, Belmont and online.

Learn how UC Berkeley Extension can start you on a new career or help you advance in your current job at our San Francisco Campus Open House! Get details.

View fall 2015 Humanities and Languages courses (interactive PDF) or find all courses in the following areas:

Professional certificates and specialized programs of study

Professional certificates are the highest level of academic achievement from UC Berkeley Extension. Specialized programs of study provide focused subject concentrations to develop skills within specific disciplines. Learn more.

Professional certificates

Specialized programs of study

Learn a New Language!

Globalization has made the study of foreign languages pertinent to professional success in the global workplace. Professionals in business, government, healthcare, higher education and law enforcement report the urgent need for greater cultural competence and foreign language skills in the U.S. workforce. Our updated language courses meet the professional, heritage and enrichment needs of this increasingly interconnected world.

View all Languages courses.

Discover Oxford: Oxford Berkeley Program Social

Join us for an entertaining, illustrated lecture on the history of the University of Oxford, with a special emphasis on the Oxford Berkeley Program. Learn about Oxford's early origins in art, literature and science; its 18th-century grandeur, followed by its Victorian dynamism; and the 20th-century technological revolution that greatly influenced the city and its environs.

Christopher Day is university lecturer in local history and fellow of Kellogg College at University of Oxford. He is also director of Academic Programs, International Programs, for the Department for Continuing Education at Oxford and the co-director of the Oxford Berkeley Program.

Tuesday, Oct. 27
4–6 pm
Berkeley: Golden Bear Center
Reserve your space today!

Featured Courses

Be a Part of Our Community

UC Berkeley Extension is proud to offer free public programs throughout the year. It's an opportunity for us to highlight innovative thinkers in our community. Join us and find inspiration!

Come Meet Our Humanities and Languages Staff

Enjoy one-on-one conversations, learn about our courses and programs, and receive in-person academic advising.
Thursday, Sept. 17
6–7 pm
Berkeley: Golden Bear Center
Preregister today!

Berkeley Reads!

Extension instructor and Berkeley English professor Catherine Hollis (pictured) leads interested participants in a guided reading and discussion of Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, The Code of Beauty by UC Berkeley Senior Lecturer Vikram Chandra, recent recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship award. Chandra joins the classroom discussion at the second meeting.
Thursdays, Sept. 24 and Oct. 22
7–9 pm
Berkeley: Golden Bear Center
Reserve your seat!

Abraham Lincoln: The Great Emancipator

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. Explore this historical era through slides and photographs that illuminate the life and times of Abraham Lincoln. Specific topics include Lincoln?s ascent into the political arena, American slavery, Lincoln's election and the start of the Civil War, the Gettysburg Address, the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln's second inaugural address, the end of the Civil War and Lincoln's assassination.
Tuesday, Sept. 29
6:30–8 pm
Berkeley: Golden Bear Center
Learn more.

Which ESL Course Is Best for You?

Intermediate courses are for nonnative speakers who:

  • can speak or write in sentences or short paragraphs about familiar topics but have difficulty expressing themselves in longer paragraphs,
  • have studied grammar but have trouble using correct grammar within speaking or writing contexts,
  • sometimes have trouble finding the correct word or phrase to express their meaning.

High-intermediate to low-advanced courses are for nonnative speakers who:

  • can speak and write with some ease in full paragraphs about a wide range of subjects, with a high degree of grammatical accuracy;
  • need to improve their sensitivity to formal and informal language and the appropriateness of expressions in certain situations;
  • can express their meaning but need to improve use of vocabulary and idioms.

Advanced courses are for nonnative speakers who:

  • can speak and write fluently but need more complex vocabulary and grammar;
  • make occasional grammar and vocabulary errors that do not interfere with comprehension;
  • can frequently, but not always, speak and write with appropriate tone and style.

You are welcome to attend the first class to consult the instructor about your English-language level, but space in the class is not guaranteed. If you have any questions, prior to enrollment, please contact the Education department at (510) 642-1171 or email questions to extension-education@berkeley.edu.

View all courses in English as a Second Language.

Contact the Humanities and Languages Department

extension-humanities@berkeley.edu | (510) 643-1110

Ramu Nagappan
Humanities and Education
Khai Nguyen
Program Director
Liz McDonough
Program Director
Humanities, Writing and Editing
Nancy Ryoo
Nancy Ryoo
Program Director