FPF is a First Year Pathway that creates a small, collaborative learning community within the large university. Over its 40-year history, it has become a cornerstone experience for new students to support their entry to UCB. Like other collegiate first-year programs, FPF equips students with a curated curriculum and proactive advising. FPF is offered during the first semester with courses that explore intellectual themes to amplify your experience.

Fall Program for First Semester students jumping in their campus hallway

What’s included

Benefits of joining the FPF:

  • Build a strong, collaborative network of relationships among peers, advisors, and instructors.
  • Engage in high-impact learning activities through smaller class sizes.
  • FPF instructors lead their own discussion sections.
  • Proactive and personalized advising during summer and fall. Remote summer advising to plan your fall schedule.
  • Take classes from within FPF's core curriculum and thematic threads while exploring majors and satisfying degree requirements.
  • Support from FPF Ambassadors (former FPF students currently at UC Berkeley).
  • Student success workshops and events led by FPF advisors and ambassadors.
  • Math and writing tutoring in addition to campus tutoring resources.
  • Introduction to UC Berkeley's mission of teaching, research, and public service.
Fall Program for First Semester student watching her professor teach on a whiteboard


To be eligible for FPF, you must:

  • Be a newly admitted student in the College of Letters & Science (excludes transfers or returning students). FPF students are regularly enrolled students in the College of Letters & Science.

Other considerations when choosing FPF:

  • FPF is not approved for VA educational benefits, including Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) and Dependents Educational Assistance (Chapter 35). If you plan to use veterans educational benefits, FPF may not be for you.
  • If you have a California Community College IGETC, FPF may not be for you as we have a limited curriculum and may not offer the classes you need.
  • FPF students must follow the enrollment policies set by FPF and the College of Letters & Science Dean's Office, such as taking a minimum of 9 units from the FPF curriculum. 
  • Most FPF classes are held in the Golden Bear Center (GBC) at 1995 University Ave., three blocks west of UC Berkeley’s main part of campus. Neighboring programs in and around GBC include: Summer Sessions, Study Abroad, East Asian Studies, Berkeley International Office (BIO), and the School of Public Health.

Ready to get more out of Berkeley?

Former FPF student testimonials

“FPF is a great program that helped me transition into college easier. It connected me to advisors, instructors, and peers in a way that was not very stressful and on a more intimate level to where I was able to interact with them and get to know them. FPF supported me in a time where uncertainty overpowered many other emotions, and I am very grateful for it all.”

–Gillian Gee, FPF Cohort 2020

“I would recommend FPF to any and all students! Students who are coming from home school, private school, or public school like I did, can all benefit from the hands-on learning and advising that FPF provides. I loved being able to talk to my professors one on one and foster a positive relationship between us! Plus, I met so many amazing students whom I became extremely close friends with! I think FPF is for anyone with a passion for learning, and that's all Cal students!”

–Kaitlyn Scadina Mansfield, FPF Cohort 2018

“Starting out my college career in a smaller cohort where professors were incredibly accessible gave me the confidence to approach my instructors when I started classes on the main campus, especially those with hundreds of students. Having a tight circle of classmates also helped me become more confident with setting up study groups, a skill that proved to be valuable also when I moved to main campus as my courses got increasingly difficult with each passing semester.”

–Luis Caldera, FPF Cohort 2014

Meet the Students about the Fall Program for First Semester

How it works

After you opt-in to FPF in your MAP@Berkeley portal by May:

Summer 2022


Prepare for UC Berkeley with the Golden Bear Advising Online Orientation, remote FPF Summer Advising, and Fall course enrollment.

Fall 2022


As part of FPF, you live in residence halls, take FPF curated courses, and build community with others in the program.

Spring 2023


After the fall semester in FPF, you continue your journey at UC Berkeley.