Frequently Asked Questions

We will be communicating with you via email, leading up to your Golden Bear Orientation and Getting Your Bearings on-campus events for undergraduates. Be sure to check your Berkeley email regularly. 

Don't see your question here? Contact New Student Services by email:

Can I connect with fellow students before I get to campus?

Yes! To connect with fellow new Golden Bear undergraduates, join the UC Berkeley Official Facebook page for your class: Class of 2019 page (transfers) or Class of 2021 page (freshmen).

What happens if I can't complete the online modules?

You will not be able to enroll in your first semester courses if you do not complete the online modules. If you have trouble accessing bCourses (via CalCentral) or any of the content, please reach out to New Student Services.

I want to change colleges. How does that affect Golden Bear Advising?

Unfortunately, you cannot change your college until you start classes. You must complete the Golden Bear Advising module for the specific college to which you were admitted. 

Are there any fees associated with Golden Bear Orientation?

The New Student Programming and Orientation Fee covers expenses related to Golden Bear Advising, Golden Bear Prep, Golden Bear Orientation, and Getting your Bearings. Students will be assessed a fee of $475 on their first semester CalCentral bill. As orientation is mandatory for all new undergraduate students, so is the fee. If applicable, students should look to their financial aid package to see if this fee will be covered by financial aid. More information about student fees is on the Registrar website.

Are there any special technical requirements for the online modules?

No, you just need to log into your CalCentral account. From there, you'll access the online modules through bCourses.

If you have any trouble accessing bCourses or any other content, please reach out to New Student Services.

When do I move into the residence halls?

Move-In occurs prior to Golden Bear Orientation and prior to the start of the semester.

Move-In dates, times, and details are determined by our Housing department. You'll find all the information you need on the Housing Move-In web pages.

Do I need to sign up for or register for orientation?

No, you do not need to register for any of your Golden Bear Experience, which includes Golden Bear Advising, Golden Bear Prep, Golden Bear Orientation, and Getting Your Bearings.

What happens if I cannot attend Golden Bear Orientation?

Although Golden Bear Orientation is a mandatory program, we acknowledge that there are circumstances beyond your control that may make it impossible to attend an eight-day orientation program. Examples include:

  • active duty military
  • a student parent needing to work their full time job
  • a family emergency

To be considered for an exemption from Golden Bear Orientation and the associated fee, you must submit the GBO Exemption form and/or send an email to New Student Services by December 1, 2017, to request an exemption. All applications for exemption consideration must be submitted no later than December 1, 2017. Your exemption will be reviewed and you will receive confirmation of exemption approval/denial by December 15, 2017. If your exemption is approved, you will be waived from the New Student Programming Fee.

May I bring family or guests to Golden Bear Orientation?

Golden Bear Orientation is only for new students. However, parents and student supporters can attend a program unique to their needs during Move-In.

Is there a different process for January Start students?

Yes, but only slightly. As a January Start student, you take online, Golden Bear Advising in October and Golden Bear Prep in December. Your on-campus activities, including Move-In and Golden Bear Orientation, take place prior to the spring term: January 11–15, 2018. Getting Your Bearings begins the first day of the spring term: January 16, 2018.

Is there a different process for students who don't live on campus (university-owned housing), or who commute?

No, all students, including students who do not live on campus, participate in the Golden Bear Experience!
If you commute or live off-campus, you simply do not participate in Move-In.

What are the differences between Golden Bear Orientation and Getting Your Bearings?

Golden Bear Orientation is a series of mandatory events you will attend once you get to campus, operated by New Student Services. 

Getting Your Bearings is a series of events sponsored by campus departments to help you discover campus. These are not mandatory, and you can attend whichever ones appeal to you. Events during Getting Your Bearings are open to the entire campus community.

Is the process different for Global Edge participants?

As a member of the Global Edge Program, you participate in all aspects of the Golden Bear Experience at a different time than students starting on campus in the fall. You complete Golden Bear Advising in October and Golden Bear Prep in December prior to your coming back to campus in January. 
Golden Bear Orientation occurs January 11–15, 2018. Getting Your Bearings begins the first day of the spring semester, January 16, 2018.