Cal Week 2020: Transfer Q&A

Summer classes/taking classes elsewhere

Can I take community college courses while also enrolled at UC Berkeley?
No, you can not take community college courses (or courses anywhere else) while also enrolled in UC Berkeley, except during the summer.

If I take summer classes (not required for transfer) at a community college, do I need to list them in the update form?
Yes, please report all changes in the Update Form on your MAP@Berkeley. You may also want to consult with your ESS adviser about the courses you plan to enroll in.

Do transfer students have any priority for Summer Session classes?
Summer Session enrollment is first come, first enrolled. There is no priority for any specific groups of students.

Can you take summer classes as a transfer student?
Yes, many transfer students will take summer courses either at Berkeley or at their community college. Some students will take courses at Berkeley the summer between their junior and senior year to help stay on track, get a bit ahead or work on courses for a minor.

COVID-19 and Fall 2020

If classes become pass/no pass (P/NP) for Fall 2020, how does that affect us as students and our GPA as a whole?
We think it is unlikely that courses in Fall 2020 will all default to pass/no pass, as happened this spring. The P/NP option for spring was put into place because the change to online/remote learning was not a choice that students made. We hope that students will know how Fall 2020 courses will be taught well before the start of the semester, so we don’t think the default P/NP option will be available again.

Would it be at all possible to complete the first semester online regardless of how the COVID-19 situation evolves?
We don’t know the exact answer to that, but it does appear, based on some communications from the campus, that there will be online options to take courses.

If it were mandatory to go virtual for fall, what options do you know of that would be helpful for finding study groups, support, etc. remotely?
While Fall 2020 is still up in the air, we were able to transition our tutoring services offered at the Center for Access to Engineering Excellence online for Spring 2020, so we will continue to do that in fall, if needed. Many other support services—like the Counseling and Psychological Services Center and the Disabled Students Programs (DSP)—are providing services remotely. And we will be looking at more ways to create support for students as we get a clearer picture of what Fall 2020 will be like.

Minors, joint majors, double majors

Can transfer students do a double major?
Unfortunately, transfer students are not eligible to do double majors. However, transfer students are able to complete a minor. Students also have the opportunity to complete a variety of certificate programs. The Sutardja Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Technology and the Berkeley Center for Design Innovation are two popular certificate programs.

Are joint engineering majors an option for transfer students?
Yes, if you were admitted into a major that has a joint major program, you could explore with your ESS adviser the possibility of completing a joint major. You should review the course plan for the joint major you are interested in. You may find that the amount of required classes and the fairly rigid course requirements aren’t a great fit, and you may find that doing a minor in your area of interest actually allows you more flexibility to choose the classes that most interest you.

Faculty

Is it common to want to talk to a professor, yet everyone else is trying to do the same thing and find it challenging to get one on time?
Professors hold weekly office hours and may also be available via appointment. During the first and last weeks of the semester they may be more busy, but they do want to meet with their students, so don’t give up.

Do you have access to your professors or are most courses taught by teaching assistants?
Most engineering courses are taught by engineering faculty, while teaching assistants (graduate student instructors, or GSIs, as they are known at Berkeley) will lead labs and discussion sections.

Graduate programs

Could you please talk about the joint bachelor’s/master’s programs?
Many engineering majors do have a 5th year master’s program. Under the “Graduate” tab on the Berkeley Academic Guide, you can search for all the master’s programs offered in engineering. For the majors that do offer 5th year master’s programs, these degrees are open to UC Berkeley students only and normally to students in that major. Many departments also offer a one-year master’s in engineering (MEng) in conjunction with the Fung Institute. The Fung Institute also offers great opportunities for undergraduates.

Research

How can you get involved in research as a transfer student?
Your ESS adviser is always happy to talk to you about how to get involved in research. First steps include thinking about what areas within your major that you are interested in and then reviewing your majors department’s website to see which faculty are working in your areas of interest. All engineering department websites have a “Research” tab on their homepage. By clicking there, you can see faculty research areas and link to their lab websites. Once you have determined what labs might be a good fit for your interests, you can reach out to the faculty, either via email or by visiting them during office hours.

Other options for getting research are the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program, Beehive and the Lawrence Berkeley Lab. The Fung Institute also has great opportunities through their Fung Fellowship program And there are excellent summer opportunities via the REU programs sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Are there a lot of research opportunities for bioengineering? Is it possible for me to participate in a professor’s research during this fall?
Almost all faculty are engaged in research at UC Berkeley, so there are lots of opportunities. You should check the bioengineering website and look under the research tab. You may also find there are faculty in other departments, such as mechanical engineering or materials sciences, that are also doing research work that is of interest. Depending on your persistence and your skill set, it is possible to find a research position in your first semester.

Are research opportunities limited for international students?
Most lab experiences are volunteer positions, so there are no limitations for international students about volunteering. If you are getting paid, you should consult with your Berkeley International adviser regarding restrictions for paid employment.

Scholarships

What is the Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholarship and is there an application process or are you chosen? Also, are transfer students considered, and if they’re chosen, when will they be notified?
Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholars are selected from the top applicants to UC Berkeley. No separate application is needed. For transfer students, the review process will begin in early May, and students will be notified mid-May. Scholarship winners are chosen after a holistic review of their application, but it is primarily a merit-based scholarship. Students interested in other scholarships may want to use the scholarship search tools found on the financial aid website.

Student life: housing, safety, other support services (DSP, Parent Center)

This is a very general question, do you have to be more concerned about your safety than your education at UCB?
UC Berkeley is in an urban area and that does come with urban area challenges. However, there are many services you can use to make sure you are safe when moving around campus, especially after dark. You can use BearWalk to call a Campus Safety Office (CSO) to walk you home; there is a night safety shuttle and an option to get door-to-door service if you are out and about in the city of Berkeley.

I’m also a student parent, how did you find the challenge of managing your time between childcare/ studying.
The Student Parent Center at UC Berkeley is a great place to get advice about acclimating to life at Cal as a student parent. They have lots of information on childcare and much more. Also, connect with your ESS adviser about options, such as taking a reduced course load, to help you balance your school work and your family responsibilities.

How hard is it to find housing? When should one start looking?
If you are not applying for on-campus housing, you can still make use of CalRentals. Certainly, the earlier you can start the better.

I’m currently in the disabled students program (DSP). How do I register with DSP so I can get early enrollment for the fall semester?
All incoming transfer students enroll on the same day. In order to register with DSP so that you can ensure your accommodations are set up when you arrive in the fall, please follow the directions on the DSP website.

Course planning/graduation requirements

How many units should we take for the first semester at UC Berkeley?
We recommend that you take 12-15 units your first semester. We want to make sure you have a successful transition to classes at Berkeley, and it is common for students transitioning to Berkeley to find they need time to adjust their study habits.

During Golden Bear Advising, the online tool that helps you choose your first semester classes, you will be guided in choosing your first semester courses. After you complete Golden Bear Advising, you will receive feedback on your schedule from your ESS adviser.

Is it possible to get a sixth semester?
In most cases, transfer students will be expected to complete their degree within five semesters. However, if you have extenuating circumstances, you may petition for a sixth semester.

When does fall class enrollment open for newly admitted transfer students?
Incoming transfer students will enroll in their classes on July 14. During the last two weeks of June, you will complete Golden Bear Advising (GBA), an online orientation tool that will guide you in choosing courses for the fall semester. After completing GBA, your ESS adviser will be in contact with you to provide feedback on your course plan before you enroll.

What is the graduation rate for transfer students?
In the College of Engineering, the graduation rate for transfer students is 94%.

Where can I find an EECS transfer education plan? Any lower division classes required?
As an EECS transfer student, you will likely need to take some lower division courses after you transfer. We have an EECS sample transfer plan to graduation in our COE Undergraduate Guide.

How many upper division social science classes do EECS majors have to take? Does it depend on how many GE classes you have already taken at a community college?
All College of Engineering students are required to take two upper division humanities/social sciences courses. You can find more information about the College of Engineering’s Humanities and Social Sciences requirement in the COE Undergraduate Guide.

How hard is it to get classes as a transfer student?
Most departments in the College of Engineering reserve seats in their courses for students in their own majors, so you will be able to get into the courses you need to take in order to graduate.

T-PREP

Can you tell us about T-PREP, if it will be offered this summer and how it helps transfer students?
T-PREP is an 18-day summer program offered to incoming Berkeley Engineering transfer students. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, T-PREP will be offered online. You can find more information about the components of T-PREP and the application process on the T-PREP website.

Study abroad

Is it possible for transfer students to study abroad?
Absolutely! You can choose to study abroad for a summer, semester or full year. There are a lot of choices for students who wish to fulfill requirements for their major while abroad, and there are even more options for students who wish to take courses for fun or fulfill their Humanities/Social Sciences requirements. You can work closely with your ESS adviser to plan your courses and determine whether or not you will want to extend your graduation by a semester.

Internships/career planning

What kinds of companies hire Berkeley Engineers?
All of the big tech companies recruit Berkeley Engineers, including Apple, Google, Intel and Amazon, as well as companies like General Motors, Tesla and many startups. You can find data about where our Berkeley Engineers go after they graduate on the First Destination Survey. Be sure to choose College of Engineering as the “College.”

What are some ways to increase your chances at getting an internship at top companies like Google or Facebook as an EECS major?
It will be important for you to create a strong resume and boost your networking skills. The College of Engineering hosts several programs and workshops to help you build strong leadership and professional development skills. In addition, we encourage you to take advantage of all of the networking opportunities with industry available to engineering students throughout the year. You may want to gain more experience by getting involved with an organization or competition team as well.

Contacting staff or current students

Who can I contact for my major, bioengineering?
Please feel free to email Marisela Loza, the undergraduate adviser in the Department of Bioengineering.

How can I connect with current transfer students?
If you wish to connect with current transfer students before the fall semester begins, please email Tiffany Reardon and let her know your major. In addition, you may want to contact the undergraduate adviser in your department.

Majors

I’ve done some searches online and haven’t seen much information about the Engineering Math and Stats major other than a brief overview of the major and degree requirements. Does anyone know where I could find more information about the major or have any advice about it?
Please feel free to contact Felicia Bautista, the undergraduate adviser for engineering science majors.

Cal Week archives

How long will it take for this recording to be online?
All Engineering Cal Week activities should be available on Sunday, April 26.