Freshman Edge

Freshman Edge is a specially designed program for freshmen who have been admitted to UC Berkeley for the coming fall. This program gives you an early start on your Berkeley experience by offering popular and required courses during the summer. Get to know the campus before the fall rush and connect with peers at program events that give you an inside look into life as a college student. Freshman Edge participants not only get a head start on their college career but also save money by paying UC student rates rather than Summer Sessions visiting student rates.

ENROLLMENT OPEN: Eligible students who have been admitted to UC Berkeley can register for Freshman Edge through their Cal Central Notifications Tab.


Have a question?

  • Email us at
  • Call us at 510-642-5611.
  • Visit us for drop-in advising on Mondays 10-12:00 p.m & 3-4:30 p.m. at our office at 1995 University Ave, Suite 130


Freshman Edge courses take place in two sessions: Session C (eight weeks: June 24 – August 16) and Session D (six weeks: July 8 – August 16). Students are enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis.

You may enroll in courses after selecting Freshman Edge on your CalCentral notification list. We recommend students enroll in no more than two courses during Freshman Edge. To be eligible for summer financial aid, you are required to enroll in a minimum of six units.

When considering which classes to take, it may be helpful to review the general undergraduate graduation requirements. Each college and school within UC Berkeley has its requirements. Check with your specific college, school, and/or major for specific details. If you are enrolling in a course for your intended major, you must take that course for a letter grade.

Academic departments have oversight regarding course availability to freshman students. It is your responsibility to make sure that the course is available for freshman students. If you have any questions about pre-requisite verification and/or course availability, please contact the academic department directly.

Once you have registered for the Freshman Edge program, go to the Cal Student Store website and follow the appropriate links for the summer term and courses in which you are enrolled to access a list of both required and recommended books for your class/es.

College of Engineering students: It is strongly recommended that College of Engineering students interested in Freshman Edge consult with their ESS Adviser before registering for Freshman Edge.


Online Course Available to Freshmen:

Letters and Science W1 – Exploring the Liberal Arts

Letters and Science W1 is an online course for newly admitted freshmen, particularly those who are excited to be at UC Berkeley but uncertain of where to start their explorations. Taking L&S W1 in the summer will give you the best possible start on your education, and help you make the most of your four years at Berkeley.

Take this course tuition-free! Newly admitted freshmen who complete this course with a “Pass” grade will receive a credit toward the cost (tuition) of this course (2-unit course fee plus the campus fee) on their account.


In addition to welcoming you to UC Berkeley a semester early, Freshman Edge will help you meet other members of your class, get to know the campus, and help you get your college life off to a great start.

During the summer you will receive an on-campus orientation when you arrive on UC Berkeley campus. This is a mandatory event for all Freshman Edge students. Come and meet other students, the Summer Sessions staff, and learn what Berkeley has to offer. You will hear detailed information about the Summer Edge program, learn about resources available to help with your transition to Cal, ask questions of past Summer Edge participants, and learn what you can expect from your summer at Berkeley.

In collaboration with Residential and Student Service Programs (RSSP), various social events, activities, and excursions are presented throughout the summer for Summer Edge students to take advantage of. Past events included a visit to Alcatraz, 4th of July Cookout and Fireworks at the Berkeley Marina, and an Oakland A's game.

Summer Sessions staff will be available in the residence halls for drop-in advising sessions to provide support and help in the transition to collegiate life and academics. Drop-in advising dates and times will be discussed at your welcome orientation.


University Housing

Nothing compares to living on campus to help you fully experience University life. Housing at the residence halls offers single, double, and triple occupancy rooms for those participating in the Freshman Edge program. The residence halls include an Academic Services Center, ethernet connections in all rooms, live-in residential staff who provide community development activities and social programs, faculty-in-residence, laundry facilities, and an exercise room. A flexible meal plan offers dining at seven different Cal Dining locations, conveniently located across the campus.

You may find out more about the residence halls, including when and how to reserve a space, move-in dates, and cost at Summer Sessions housing.

International House

International House (I-House) is located in the southeast foothills of the Berkeley campus. It is within walking distance of the central campus classrooms and libraries, recreational facilities, and Berkeley commercial areas. You will live with a diverse group of residents including graduate students, teachers, visiting scholars, and exchange students from around the world.

I-House provides a variety of areas for work and recreation, including a library and computer center. There are study lounges on every floor, a dining commons which offers 19 meals per week, and a small café.

Other Housing Options

For information about other housing options, including family housing and summer sublets, visit the University Housing website.


Summer housing is offered through the University Housing Office, not through the Freshman Edge program. Please refer all questions regarding housing to University Housing.


Freshman Edge students pay UC Berkeley undergraduate tuition of $419 per unit. There are no registration fees or program fees, and there are no out-of-state or international fees for participants of Freshman Edge.

In addition, all UC students pay a one-time-only campus fee of $352, which covers the cost of ASUC and other student services.

All UC students not registered on the Berkeley campus for Spring 2019 also pay $40 for the 2019 Class Pass Transit Fee, which allows free access to all AC Transit buses and campus shuttles.

You do not pay at the time that you apply for the program. You will receive a bill for your summer fees and a second bill for your fall fees that will appear on your Cal Central My Finances page under Billing Summary.

For more information about fees and the Summer Sessions refund policy, please go to our Fees and/or Refund Policy page.

Financial aid is available for eligible students. Students must submit BOTH the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 FAFSA or the California Dream Act application to determine financial aid eligibility for Summer 2019. Visit Financial Aid for additional details.

Fees are subject to change.


Apply for Financial Aid

To apply for financial aid, you will need to complete both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) no later than June 1, 2019, and include UC Berkeley's federal school code (001312) on the applications. Dream Act students should complete both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 California Dream Act Application no later than June 1, 2019 and include UC Berkeley's federal school code (001312) on the applications.

Note: We strongly encourage families to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to ensure the accuracy of your application information. Please visit Financial Aid for more information.

  1. Complete the 2018-19 AND 2019-2020 FAFSA or Dream Act Application no later than June 1, 2019. Completing the FAFSA or Dream Act Application, along with your summer enrollment, allows the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office to determine your aid eligibility for the summer term on the UC Berkeley campus.
  2. Enroll in a minimum of six units for summer.
  3. Login to Cal Central (CalNet ID required) two to three business days after enrolling in your courses. Under My Finances, select 2018-19 from the drop-down menu under Financial Aid and Scholarships and click View Awards.
  4. Review your Communications and Tasks to ensure that we have received your 2018-19 FAFSA or Dream Act Application and that you have submitted all required documents.
  5. You can also review your financial aid awards and Cost of Attendance for summer on this page as well.