Pre-Collegiate Parents

Dear Pre-Collegiate Parents:

We look forward to welcoming your student to Berkeley for the Pre-Collegiate Program. It is an exciting moment for you, and a great opportunity for them. As high achieving students, they will attend classes with a fine cohort of college students from Berkeley and around the world. We join them and you as you anticipate a profitable, productive summer.

We understand that you may have questions about your student's time at Berkeley this summer. We hope that the FAQ list below will prove helpful.

Again, welcome to the Pre-Collegiate Program!



My student will finish ninth grade by the beginning of summer. May s/he participate in the Pre-Collegiate Program?
No. Only students who have completed at least two years of high school are eligible to participate in this level of work. For information about a program for rising high school sophomores, contact the Academic Talent Development Program on campus,

My student lives outside the U.S. May s/he enroll in the Pre-Collegiate Program?
International students who live outside the United States and meet all the Pre-Collegiate application requirements may enroll through one of our affiliate organizations, Education Unlimited (based in Berkeley), or Sesame Consulting (based in Shanghai). Information about these affiliates may be found on the Eligibility tab on the Pre-Collegiate homepage.



Is financial aid available for my student in summer?
Financial aid is not available to Pre-Collegiate students. If the student has any funds available from outside sources (veterans benefits, scholarships, grants, etc.) we are happy to help the student apply those monies to their summer payment. If the student does have other funds available, s/he should contact our office prior to completing the online application.

May I check my student's financial records?
No. Because of regulations set forth in the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), financial records may be released only to the student.


Course Information

What classes may my student take?
The student may take only lower division courses (numbered 1-99) in Session C and/or Session D. For a list of available courses, the student should visit the Online Schedule of Classes. They may start looking for classes by clicking on "Choose a Department Name" or "Choose a Session ". The online schedule indicates time, location, number of units, cost, and number of students currently enrolled for every course listed.

Will the grades my student receives in the Pre-Collegiate Program count towards high school requirements and/or high school GPA?
As a rule, Pre-Collegiate grades do not count towards high school requirements, AP credit, and/or high school GPA. However, for the most accurate answer, your student should contact the College/Career counseling office at his/her high school. Upon successful completion of the Pre-Collegiate course/s, your student will receive college credit (recorded on an official transcript) at UC Berkeley, which s/he can report when s/he is completing college applications.


Living in Berkeley

Is the area around campus safe?
The campus is surrounded by the downtown area (theatres, restaurants, shops) on the west, and shops, restaurants, and residential areas on the north and south. It is well populated at all hours of the day and early evening. We do recommend that if students are on or around campus after dark, that they keep a number of things in mind: They should travel with friends and be aware of their surroundings, whether on the campus, on the city streets, or in a café. If they do not want to walk alone, they may contact the campus escort service, Bear Walk, which will provide a trained campus services officer to escort them to their destination (510) 642-WALK. In addition, they may take advantage of the Bear Transit Night Safety Shuttles, which will take them directly to their destination. There is no charge for either of these services.

What happens if there is an emergency on campus?
Your student is encouraged to sign up for the "Warn Me" Emergency Alert Service. It is activated to contact students when there is an immediate threat to safety or health affecting the campus community. Warn Me can alert students by phone, text message, or email. You may contact your student at your discretion. The Warn Me service is not available to parents.

May my student bring a car?
Parking is very limited in Berkeley. Therefore, we strongly encourage students to take public transportation, rather than drive to campus. The Downtown Berkeley BART is one block from campus, as are a number of AC Transit bus stops. If the student needs to bring a car, there are a few parking structures on or within walking distance of campus. Students may park there on a space-available basis. Hourly permit tickets may be purchased at kiosks located in all of the structures. Additional information on both parking and public transportation options is available at the Parking & Transportation website.


Personal/Academic Support

Where can my student go for academic support?
The first and most valuable resource for your student is his/her professor and Graduate Student Instructor (GSI). Both schedule weekly office hours, which are posted in the student syllabus. If the student is struggling with a course issue, or just needs more information or resources to move through the course, the professor and GSI are excellent sources of information. In addition, the Student Learning Center is an on-campus resource which offers tutoring, writing assistance, study skills workshops, and more. These services are offered on a drop-in basis, and there is no charge.

What should my student do if s/he needs medical care, or has a personal problem and needs to speak to a counselor?
All summer students have access to the Tang Center/University Health Service (UHS) located just off campus on Bancroft Avenue. UHS provides the services of an advice nurse, as well as drop in appointments and referrals to specialists. Counseling services are also available on a drop in basis, regardless of the student's insurance plan.



When does the Pre-Collegiate Program fill up?
There is no limit on the number of students who can enroll in the program. If a student wants to enroll in a course that has already met its enrollment limit, the student will be put on the wait list. To determine if s/he has been admitted to the course, the student will need to check on CalCentral on a regular basis.

Will my student's participation in the Pre-Collegiate Program give him/her an advantage when applying to UC Berkeley?
The UC application for undergraduate admission gives students an opportunity to indicate any course/s they have taken in addition to their high school offerings. Any academic work outside of the high school classroom is a valuable contribution to a college application, so your student should indicate the Pre-Collegiate course/s on the application. However, participation in the Pre-Collegiate Program does not give any extra weight to your student's UC application.

How will I know how my student is doing academically?
We encourage you to talk with your student about their academic progress, concerns, etc. on a regular basis. Because of regulations set forth in the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), information about a student's academic progress may be released only to the student.

My student has a disability. What kinds of services are available and how do we arrange for them?
Students with disabilities should contact the Disabled Students' Program prior to their arrival on campus.


Seven More Things Every Pre-Collegiate Parent Should Know

About Courses: Courses taken during the Pre-Collegiate Program are regularly-taught UC Berkeley courses. Your student's classmates will be UC Berkeley and visiting college students, visiting students from across the U.S. and around the world (There are no "special courses" for high school students, i.e. in which only high school students are enrolled). These courses are generally 16 weeks long during the regular semester and are compressed into intensive six-week (Session D) or eight-week (Session C) summer sessions. Classes meet at a certain time Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or Tuesday and Thursday for a few hours each day, and some courses have lab and/or discussion sections for additional specified hours. More specific course information may be found at the Online Schedule of Classes.

About Studying: Because classes are condensed during the summer, there will be a lot of material covered in a short amount of time. It is recommended that the minimum amount of time per week students spend studying should be the number of units they are taking multiplied by three, e.g. if a student is taking a three-unit course, they should be studying at least nine hours per week for the course outside of class. On the first day of class, instructors will usually hand out a syllabus which outlines exactly when readings, essays, and exams will occur for the entire session. This gives the student an idea of what is expected and plenty of time to prioritize. If students are having difficulty in their course/s, the Student Learning Center at on campus is a great resource.

About Instructor Office Hours: In addition to the resources available at the Student Learning Center, students are encouraged to visit their instructors and graduate student instructors (GSIs) during office hours. Instructors and GSIs set aside time slots each week for students to come in and ask questions related to the course. These office hours are a great way to get to know instructors and GSIs, as well as to get assistance with assignments. Office hours are usually posted on the course syllabus.

About Fees: All fees must be paid at the time of application. The online application includes a payment section, which will show the total of all tuition and program fees, if applicable, and the registration fee. This section also contains payment details, including necessary credit card information. We accept most major credit cards for payment. Please note that housing and meals are not included in these costs. For more information please visit the Pre-Collegiate Program homepage.

About Refunds: Please be sure to review the information about the Summer Sessions refund policy.

About School Related Information: According to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, UC Berkeley cannot give parents any school related information (e.g. information about grades, classes, amount of money owed, etc.) about a student without their consent.

About Being a Cal Parent: Since your student is participating in the Pre-Collegiate Program, you are officially considered a Cal Parent for the summer. The Cal Parents group offers a wide variety of services and resources for parents of UC Berkeley students.