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  NoticeCOVID-19 Updates for Fall 2020 Golden Bear Orientationx
The latest updates on the evolving COVID-19 policies and resources for the campus community


This page includes basic policies for the Golden Bear Experience, which includes Golden Bear Advising, Golden Bear Prep, and Golden Bear Orientation.

Participation Requirements

  • Participation for all newly admitted undergraduate students is required for Golden Bear Advising, Golden Bear Prep, and Golden Bear Orientation. There are elements of each which are mandatory for each student; that is, not completing them can adversely affect your enrollment at UC Berkeley. Any event that is tied to your enrollment will be clearly identified.  
  • As we adapt August Golden Bear Orientation programming to an online setting, we are hopeful that all students will be able to engage in events based on their unique schedule. Some events, like small group meetings led by Orientation Leaders, will be time specific and live. Others will be prerecorded and available to watch when is most convenient. A large portion of programming will be optional; participate in the events that you believe will best meet your needs.

Exemptions for the Entire GBO Program

Even though Fall 2020 GBO programs will be mostly online, there are circumstances in which you may be exempt from the entire GBO program. Examples of potentially warranted exemptions include, but are not limited, to:

  • dependent child care
  • severe illness
  • unexpected family emergencies
  • active military duty 
  • financial hardship, if there is a need to take time away from full-time employment
  • access to technology.

As we are in the process of developing programs, we ask that you please reach out to our office if you have any questions about what constitutes an exemption. Our team will work with you individually to assess your exemption request. We recognize if there are situations (like those listed above) that may impact GBO, they will likely impact your entire Berkeley experience.

Our goal is to help you navigate  not only GBO, but also all of Berkeley. Fill out the appropriate GBO Exemption Form (links below) if you have extenuating circumstances preventing you from attending GBO. Your application will be reviewed by a committee and you will be notified via email if you have been granted an exemption. You may always reach out to NSS staff about any concerns, issues, or challenges you have:

Fall Start Exemption Form

In light of the many changes surrounding Golden Bear Orientation and the fall 2020 semester, we will keep the GBO exemption form open until the start of the fall 2020 semester (August 26, 2020). We ask that you outreach to NSS as soon as possible so that our team can best meet your needs.

Preferred deadline to submit Fall GBO Exemption FormJuly 19
Notification via email of your status: August 5

January Start Admits Exemption Form

Deadline to submit January Start GBO Exemption FormDecember 1
Notification via email of your status: December 15