History

The Fall Program for Freshmen (FPF) was established in 1983 at the request of Chancellor Michael Heyman as a way to better accommodate students admitted to Berkeley for the spring semester and to serve more California residents in the freshmen class. Since then, FPF has evolved from a program for "spring admits" to a thriving learning community that gives Berkeley freshmen an edge in their first year by starting small.  Presently UC Berkeley no longer offers spring admission for freshmen. After 2017, FPF served UCB students only in the city of Berkeley and no longer in San Francisco.  In Fall 2020, FPF's home became 1995 University Avenue.  As of Jan 2022, there is no longer an additional FPF fee.  In December 2022, the program name will be updated.  

FPF is sponsored by UC Berkeley Extension in conjunction with the College of Letters & Science and is open to all incoming first years admitted to the College of Letters & Science at Berkeley, including out-of-state and international students. All Berkeley freshmen admitted to the College of Letters & Science for the fall semester are eligible to choose FPF as a unique academic opportunity for their first term.

FPF students are regular, full-time matriculated​ UC Berkeley students, who enjoy all of the same resources as their classmates on the main campus, with the added plus of starting their academic career in a small community within the larger university.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am not in the College of Letters & Science, can I join FPF?

To be eligible for FPF, you must be a newly admitted first year student in the College of Letters & Science. Students outside of the College of Letters & Science are not eligible for FPF at this time.

If I have Veteran Benefits, can I join FPF?

FPF is not approved for Veteran Affairs educational benefits, including Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) and Dependents Educational Assistance (Chapter 35). While you can still join FPF, you would not be able to use these benefits. If you plan to use any veteran benefits, FPF may not be for you. For any specific questions, please contact the Cal Veteran Services Center.

If I am a Transfer or Returning student, can I join FPF?

At this time, FPF only serves newly admitted frosh, which excludes transfer and returning students.

How are FPF students selected into the program? Why is FPF my only option if I want to attend UC Berkeley, while others did not have to select FPF?

FPF does not accept direct applications. All students accepted into UC Berkeley and invited to select FPF are determined by UC Berkeley’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Do I have to take all my classes through FPF?

FPF students are required to take at least three core classes within the FPF course offerings during their first semester (a "core class" is a course for which you earn 3 or more units). As of Fall 2022, FPF students may take one main campus class in the College of Letters & Science of 3 units or above in addition to your three FPF core classes as long as there is space available. The College of Letters & Science will provide a list of courses in which seats are available.  For more details, please visit our course offerings page.

What classes am I not allowed to take?

You are not allowed to take any main campus course of 3 or more units (a "main campus" class is one with no X prefix that is hosted by a program or department outside of FPF) that is not on the list of approved courses provided by the College of Letters & Science. FPF students are welcome to enroll in most 0.5-2 unit courses on the main campus, but you may not enroll specifically in Freshmen & Sophomore Seminars or Data Science connector courses.

Why do FPF classes have an “X”? Are these UC Berkeley Extension classes?

FPF is sponsored by UC Berkeley Extension in conjunction with the College of Letters & Science. Classes with an “X” are not UC Berkeley Extension classes and are only for students a part of FPF. The “X” allows us to differentiate a class from the FPF curriculum versus a class from the main campus. For example, XMath 1A in FPF is equivalent to Math 1A in the main campus.

Are there any differences in difficulty between FPF classes versus main campus classes?

FPF courses are approved by the Academic Senate and the course content is identical to equivalent main campus courses. Whether it’s in FPF or on the main campus, there can be variation in the grading policies of different professors teaching the same course. Because FPF instructors teach their own discussions and the class sizes are much smaller, there is often more face time with the instructor in certain FPF classes versus main campus classes. In most recent years, FPF students are more frequently on the Dean’s Honors List than students who start on the main campus.

Are FPF instructors different from UC Berkeley professors and instructors?

FPF instructors are all qualified the same as other Berkeley professors and instructors. Many of our instructors teach on the main campus, and some also teach at other institutions around the Bay Area. Our instructors work closely with the FPF advisors to provide students with a holistic and high-impact learning experience. FPF instructors hold regular office hours and teach their own discussion sections to maximize their ability to build relationships with their students.

Where are my FPF classes located? How do students get around during the day and at night?

Majority of FPF classes are held at 1995 University Ave (Golden Bear Center in Berkeley, CA), three blocks west of Berkeley’s main campus. A few FPF classes may be in other campus buildings, as well as many non-FPF courses. Many students walk to get around campus, but there are other ways to get around Berkeley, including Bear Transit, AC Transit, biking, night safety services, and student parking permits.

As of 2018, FPF only serves students in the city of Berkeley and no longer serves students in San Francisco.

Why are FPF classes in its own separate building?

Every program at UC Berkeley has a home base building in which nearly all classes and offices are, and ours is in Golden Bear Center. There are other UC Berkeley programs that are housed in the Golden Bear Center, including Berkeley Summer Sessions and Berkeley Summer Abroad.

Where do FPF students live?

FPF students complete the same housing application and have the same housing options as any other first year student. Most of our students live in residence halls and some of our students commute to Berkeley. The closest residence halls to the Golden Bear Center are Unit 3 and Blackwell. Please contact Berkeley Housing for any specific questions.

Are FPF students separated from the rest of UC Berkeley?

As part of FPF, the main difference is that our students take the majority of their classes from our curriculum and most of those classes are held at the Golden Bear Center. Outside of classes and class location, all FPF students are able to access the same clubs, events, resources, libraries, dining halls, residence halls, and so much more that UC Berkeley has to offer.

If I selected FPF and no longer want to be in FPF, what do I do?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding FPF, we encourage you to reach out to us so we can answer any of your questions or dispel any of your concerns. If you still no longer want to be in FPF, please contact UC Berkeley’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Someone told me there was an extra fee to be a part of FPF. What is the extra cost?

FPF used to have an additional fee. As of January 2022, there is no additional fee for FPF.

How long is FPF? What happens after I am done with the program?

FPF is only for your first fall semester. After the fall semester in FPF, you continue your journey at UC Berkeley.