PREP students being welcomed by Engineering Student Sertvices staff.Photo by Adam Lau

PREP: Pre-Engineering Program


Center for Access to Engineering Excellence
227 Bechtel Engineering Center
Berkeley, CA 94720-1702

The Pre-Engineering Program (PREP) begins with a three week summer program offered to incoming Berkeley Engineering students. PREP continues throughout the year with workshops and events that are for your cohort. 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.

How do I apply?

Apply online. PREP applicants will be admitted on a rolling basis, so apply early. All students will be notified no later than June 1.

PREP frequently asked questions

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 June 1 if they’ve been accepted.

Is COVID-19 affecting the 2020 program?
Yes, this year’s summer part of the program will be online. We will be having in-person meetings on campus during the year when we are able to begin planning events.

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

Is the program all day? Can I leave during the program for a family event or arrive after the first day?
The program is a three-week commitment before the beginning of the semester. You will be expected to participate daily during the entire duration of the program. Daily schedules will be posted before the program begins.

Is there any cost to me to participate in PREP? 
Participation in PREP is completely free of charge.

Can I take classes during PREP? Or participate in Freshman Edge or Summer Bridge?
No, PREP is a full-time commitment.