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