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UC Berkeley’s orientation is part of a long tradition of welcoming new undergraduate students and their families and supporters to our campus. Orientation can provide the spark to positively affect a student’s years at Berkeley. We are thrilled to help our new Golden Bears begin at Berkeley on a sure path, to explore their passions, to understand the meaning of being a Berkeley student, and, of course, to have fun.

We’re taking orientation to a new model, which includes:

  • Online prepping, advising, and enrolling
  • On-campus activities that will engage students academically and connect them socially



Golden Bear Orientation takes off from what, for many years, we fondly called CalSO. For about 50 years, our campus has accomplished new student orientation through Cal Student Orientation (CalSO) during the summer before fall semester begins.

Over the past year, university leadership, including administration and faculty, have engaged in discussion about the undergraduate experience, and, specifically, the role of new student orientation. The outcome resulted in changing our approach to welcoming new undergraduates to UC Berkeley.

Our New Model

Beginning in fall 2017, we will host one comprehensive and lengthy orientation for incoming students shortly before the start of classes, as opposed to shorter summer sessions that were held under the CalSO model. We also plan to recruit and train 1,000+ student leaders, which is a win-win both for incoming and current students.

Our Goals

Ultimately, the new Golden Bear Orientation model seeks to:

  • provide our new Golden Bears with one common experience
  • nurture a sense of belonging
  • harness new technologies and adapt to changing needs
  • lay the foundation for each student to build a strong intellectual identity

How You Can Help

We hope you can help. All contributions are welcome and will make a difference in students’ lives. For alumni, we hope you remember how critical orientation was to your own Berkeley journey. For members of our current Cal community (faculty, staff, students, and families), we hope you strengthen our campus culture by helping give new students a warm welcome and firm foundation as they begin at Berkeley. And for members of the larger community, we hope you join us in our goal of providing access, academics, and engagement as a public university.

If you have any questions, concerns, or ideas, please direct them to New Student Services: