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 you the chance to take courses that fulfill breadth and prerequisite requirements ahead of most incoming students, get to know the campus and its many resources before the fall rush, and connect with peers. Freshman Edge participants not only get a head start on their college career but also save money.


Have a question?

  • Email us at
  • Call us at 510-642-5611.
  • Office hours by appointment at 1995 University Ave, Suite 130


Freshman Edge courses take place in two sessions: Session C (eight weeks: June 22 – August 14) and Session D (six weeks: July 6 – August 14). Students are enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis. Note: Students may enroll in any summer session, however, all programming activities for Freshman Edge students will only take place during Sessions C and D.

After selecting Freshman Edge in your CalCentral Notification list, your summer enrollment card in Cal Central will be activated within 24-48 hours. To check if your summer enrollment has been activated, log on to the My Academics page of your CalCentral account and see if the summer term appears. Once the summer term populates, you are able to enroll in courses. Enrollment in Summer Sessions courses is on a first-come, first-served basis. 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 (please check with the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office for more information).

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 own requirements. Check with your specific college, school, and/or major for further 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 prerequisite verification and/or course availability, please contact the academic department directly.

Once you have opted into 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. Information regarding textbooks for your summer courses can also be found by clicking on the course title in the My Academics tab of your CalCentral account.

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.

*Once you have enrolled in L&S W1, you may notice a charge appear for the Campus Fee and LS W1 UG Tuition on your CalCentral My Finances tab. You do not need to pay for these two charges as a waiver for the Campus Fee and LS W1 UG tuition will be applied to your account. You are responsible for paying the Class Pass Transit Fee.

After successfully completing the course you will receive 2-units. If you fail the course, the waiver will be removed and you will be charged and responsible for paying the Campus Fee and LS W1 UG Tuition. Please review the Summer Sessions deadlines page for information regarding deadlines and fees.


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 Program Welcome. Come and meet other students, the Summer Sessions staff, and learn what you can expect from your summer at Berkeley.

In collaboration with Residential Life, various social events, activities, and excursions are presented throughout the summer for Freshman Edge students. Programming includes workshops designed to familiarize you with the best Berkeley has to offer, including research, mentorship, and internship opportunities, campus organizations focused on professional development, and fun social activities to build your campus community.


University Housing

Nothing compares to living on campus to help you fully experience University life. You will have the option of living in Blackwell Hall or your own accommodations during summer. Space in Blackwell Hall is being held especially for Freshman Edge students, but you must apply for housing individually through the online Summer Sessions Housing Application Portal. Because space is limited, we recommend that you apply for housing early in order to ensure the best chance to secure a housing offer.

Blackwell Hall offers double-occupancy rooms in a large, secure housing complex conveniently located just one block from campus. The entire building is equipped with wireless internet and amenities, including central bathrooms and lounges on every floor, an Academic Center, Fitness Center, and a main lounge with comfortable furnishings for relaxing. Live-in Residential Life staff will also provide community development activities and social programs.

Your housing package includes a robust meal plan, and dining is offered nearby at the Cafe 3 dining hall facility featuring all-you-care-to-eat meals with a wide variety of cuisines. The meal points provided with your Summer Sessions Housing meal plan may also be used to purchase a la carte food items at any open retail location on 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, and a small café.

Other Housing Options

For information about other housing options, including off-campus opportunities, visit the University Housing website for information about Cal Rentals, and the Berkeley Student Cooperative to explore co-ops.


Summer housing is offered through the Summer Sessions Housing Office, not through the Freshman Edge program. Please refer all questions regarding housing to Summer Sessions 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 2020 also pay $40 for the 2020 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 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 FAFSA or the California Dream Act application to determine financial aid eligibility for Summer 2020. Visit Financial Aid for additional details.

Fees are subject to change.

Please note: Students who opt into Transfer Edge will be automatically enrolled in Berkeley's Student Heal hInsurance Plan (SHIP). Berkeley SHIP is an affordable health insurance plan, providing medical, counseling, prescription, vision and dental services. Note however, coverage will only be in effect during Sessions C and D.

The cost of the summer SHIP insurance is $514 for Session C or $389 for Session D. Students enrolled in courses during both Session C and Session D will only be assessed the $514 fee. Students who are only taking online courses are NOT eligible for summer SHIP insurance and will not be responsible for this fee. Any participant that wishes to waive out of SHIP coverage during the summer must do so by submitting an online waiver to University Health Services by June 15, 2020. Students who wish to waive our the SHIP insurance for the subsequent fall semester must additionally complete the fall semester opt out waiver. For more information, please visit the UHS website, contact the UHS office via phone at (510) 642-5700, or email


Apply for Financial Aid

To apply for financial aid, you will need to complete both the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) no later than June 1, 2020, and include UC Berkeley's federal school code (001312) on the applications. Dream Act students should complete both the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 California Dream Act Application no later than June 1, 2020 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.

    To Apply for Summer Aid:

  1. Complete the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 FAFSA or Dream Act Application no later than June 1, 2020. 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 2019-2020 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 2019-2020 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.