PREP: Pre-Engineering Program

The Pre-Engineering Program (PREP) is a three week summer program offered to 60 incoming Berkeley Engineering students. Through PREP students will understand the rigors of Berkeley coursework — specifically in calculus, chemistry, and programming courses. As a PREP student you’ll make friends with fellow incoming students and build a network of peers even before you start classes.

If you were pre-admitted to PREP in your admission paperwork, please visit the pre-admission webpage.

PREP is one of the many support services offered by Engineering Student Services. Through the generous support of our corporate partners, PREP is provided at no cost to participating students.

There are three main thrusts of UC Berkeley’s Pre-Engineering Program:  

  • Academic Component: You will attend primer seminars based on lower division courses that you’ll take during your first year as a Berkeley Engineer.  You will make valuable connections with other incoming engineering students and PREP alumni.

  • Professional Development Component: Even if you have never created a resume, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running just in time for UC Berkeley’s fall career fairs. Landing your Dream Job is a journey and it starts at PREP!   

  • Design Component: You will work with engineering Professor Scott Moura in the Jacobs Institute of Design Innovation. Working with a team, you will create a prototype using the SPRINT design process. At the end of the program you'll showcase your product at the Design Expo to industry representatives (such as Chevron and Micron) and Berkeley Engineering faculty.

What happens after PREP?

The PREP summer experience is just the beginning. After PREP you will be invited to participate in fall seminars and weekly study groups.  You will be invited to exclusive networking opportunities with industry and participate in exploratory experiences that will maximize your time at Cal.

Do I qualify for PREP?

All incoming first-year students are invited to apply for PREP. The program focuses on the academic issues facing students from groups who are:

  • First-Generation College students (meaning that neither parent has completed a four year degree in the US)
  • Students from Non-Traditional Backgrounds in Engineering
  • Pell Eligible students
  • Previous participants of UC Academic Preparation programs such as MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement).

When is PREP offered?

This year PREP will take place July 27 - August 14, 2020, just prior to UC Berkeley’s Golden Bear Orientation.

What is the cost of PREP?

Through the generous support of our sponsors — Boeing, Chevron, General Motors, Micron, RECARE Foundation, Brian & Lisa Davis, Lisa Guerra & Chuck Kung and College of Engineering — PREP is free to all participants. Lodging, food, books and class time are all provided. A small amount of spending money is all you’ll need.

How do I apply?

Apply online.

PREP frequently asked questions

How many students usually apply? Of those that apply, how many are selected?
All incoming first-year students are invited to apply for PREP, so it’s hard to anticipate how many may apply each year. The cohort size is limited to 60 students — therefore, selection is competitive. Applications for our 2020 cohort will be available beginning in April 2020.

When is the application deadline? When will students be notified?
PREP students will be admitted on a rolling basis, so apply early.  Students will be notified by mid-June if they've been accepted.

Will I need to bring any money with me?
There will be an outing or two during PREP, and you will need to buy your own lunch at one of them. You may also want money to buy basic necessities or to shop.

Are books included in the program?
All required educational materials will be provided.

Where will I be staying during PREP? Will I be in my assigned residence hall room for the fall semester? If not, when will I move into my residence hall room?
All PREP participants will be housed in a university residence hall together. After the conclusion of the program, we will help you move into your assigned residence hall room for the fall semester.

Will I need somewhere to stay between the end of PREP and the move-in date for my specific residence hall?
Housing between the end of PREP and the residence hall move-in day will not be necessary. You will be able to move into your assigned residence hall room immediately after the conclusion of PREP (earlier than regular move in day).

Is the program all day? Can I leave during the program for a family event or arrive after the first day?
You must be able to completely commit yourself for the entire program. You will not be able to leave during the program and must stay on campus each evening in your assigned residence hall room (no exceptions). You will be required to remain for the entire duration due to liability reasons; as well, absences would be disruptive to the educational process and community building.

Will I have free time during PREP?
You will have access to UC Berkeley’s Recreational Sports Facility during the program and there is some free time but the program schedule is quite packed so you may not work and take classes during the program.  

Is there any cost to me to participate in PREP? Will housing and meals be provided?
Participation in PREP is completely free of charge — all meals and housing will be provided.

Can I commute to the program if I live close to campus?
No. An important component of PREP is community-building, so even local students are required to stay in their assigned residence hall room. Due to liability and safety reasons we cannot have students staying elsewhere.

Can I bring my animal to live with me in the dorms during PREP?
Pets are not allowed. If you require a service or emotional support animal, please refer to the Animal Accommodations Form.