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 of 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?

All FPF students are required to enroll in a minimum of 9 units from the FPF curriculum, which includes all classes with the “X” prefix and College Writing R1A.  FPF students may enroll in a max of 5 units of classes outside of the FPF curriculum during the specific enrollment periods. For more details, please visit our course offerings page.

Am I allowed to take classes outside of the FPF curriculum?

FPF students may take a max of 5 units total of classes outside of the FPF curriculum. FPF students may enroll in classes of 2 units or less outside of the FPF curriculum per L&S guidelines during Phase 2, except for Freshmen/Sophomore Seminars. FPF students may enroll in one lower division (courses numbered 1-99) class of 3 units or more outside of the FPF curriculum per L&S guidelines during the Adjustment Period of enrollment. FPF students must also take the FPF versions of classes that are also offered outside of our curriculum.

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.

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?

The 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 their 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.

What's the Differences between FPF and L&S Pathways?

Both programs provide a high-quality academic experience for first-year undergraduates but vary in scope. FPF provides:

  • Personalized advising starting after Admission to provide early guidance to help you establish your academic goals, explore interests, and plan fall course selection
  • Interaction with peer ambassadors starting summer
  • Instructors teach all "modalities"- lectures, discussions, and seminars. They really get to know you in all aspects
  • All lectures, discussions, and seminars are small. Less than 40 students for most classes, which provides more individualized instruction, enhanced learning, and more opportunities to engage and develop strong peer connections
  • Mid-semester grade checks to identify what support you need to successfully progress in your academics
  • Community learning experiences such as instructor lead symposia, student ambassador workshops, and first-year seminars
  • Tiny group tutoring

Please note you are unable to register for both FPF and L&S Pathways, and can only be pary of one program. For futher questions, please reach out to FPF ( or L&S Pathways ( 

I forgot to select FPF by the deadline, am I still able to join?

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.