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First-Year Pathways

Should you be admitted to UC Berkeley, you may be asked to select a First-Year Pathway. All of these pathways offer you high caliber Berkeley courses, housing, and student activities that allow you to build pride, trust, and community with your peers, faculty, and staff. Please note some of the pathways have additional fees or costs associated with them.

If you are admitted from the wait list, you may only be offered limited pathways. While this may cause initial concern or disappointment, the reality is that if you are admitted, you will still be among the fortunate few who competed successfully in UC Berkeley’s exceptional applicant pool. You will still receive the same status and privileges of all undergraduates.

Traditional Pathway

The traditional pathway allows you to have access to the traditional courses and the traditional first-year student experience when you start at Berkeley.

Global Edge:

Start your freshman year in an unique way. Spend your summer at Berkeley, then fall semester in London. Through Global Edge you will join a small group of fellow freshmen for eight weeks of summer courses, getting a head start on the Berkeley experience. In the fall, your group travels to London to take Berkeley courses at the UC London Center. Return to campus for spring semester with many academic requirements completed and a new global perspective. 

  • Global Edge is available to students admitted to the College of Letters and Science and the College of Natural Resources.
  • Global Edge is mandatory for students who are admitted to the Global Management Program through the Haas School of Business.

Fall Program for Freshmen (FPF) - Berkeley:

FPF Berkeley is a small, collaborative learning community for first-year students in their first semester in the College of Letters and Science. You enroll in smaller classes and make close connections with your instructors, classmates, and FPF advisor. FPF is like a small liberal arts college with the resources and opportunities of a large research university. 

  • FPF Berkeley is available to students admitted to the College of Letters and Science.

Fall Program for Freshmen (FPF) - San Francisco:

The College of Letters and Science offers first-year students the opportunity to take classes in San Francisco in the fall. You’ll experience a small, collaborative learning community with themed courses highlighting San Francisco, the greater Bay Area, and California. You’ll explore the city, from SFMOMA to the Mission District to the Presidio, guided by your Instructors. FPF San Francisco offers a small liberal-arts college experience against the backdrop of San Francisco, with all the resources of a large research university. 

  • FPF San Francisco is available to students admitted to the College of Letters and Science.

January Start

This pathway allows you to start your first term at UC Berkeley in January. The fall term can be used as a time for you to explore and prepare for the transition to college. You can use the time to enroll in a community college (with approval from the UC Berkeley Admissions office), work a temporary job, intern, volunteer to explore different fields and careers, or travel/explore before starting at Berkeley. Once January comes around, you will start at UC Berkeley with the same status and privileges of all undergraduates and will have access to traditional courses, housing priorities, and student activities.

  • January Start is available to students who are admitted from the wait list.
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