The first requirement: to have “a healthy disregard for the impossible.” That’s part of the mission of the LeaderShape Institute, a national program that trains students to lead with integrity and make significant contributions to better our world. Since its launch in 1988, the nonprofit LeaderShape has trained more than 40,000 college students, including Google co-founder Larry Page, who has credited the program with steering him on a successful path. It has been named an “exemplary program” by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The intensive six-day educational experience is held in a remote environment with no Internet or cell-phone access. Sixty Berkeley participants come from all engineering majors, as well as from diverse ethnic and personal backgrounds. Making such cross-disciplinary connections has a life-changing impact on the students and leads to the possibility of new engineering solutions. Sessions include such exercises as team-building, a ropes course, charting visions for a brighter future and exploring ethical issues. Panel discussions feature business and community leaders. If you’re looking to make a global impact with groundbreaking innovations, this is an excellent place to start.


Engineering Student Services

230 Bechtel Engineering Center
Berkeley, CA 94720-1702
(510) 642-7594

Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

LeaderShape at a glance


The institute is the week before the spring semester begins and lasts for six days.


Any second, third or fourth-year undergraduate student who is either in the College of Engineering, chemical engineering major or an active member of an engineering student organization is welcome to apply.

How much?

The six-day institute is completely sponsored by Boeing, General Motors and the Berkeley Engineering Annual Fund. For the selected students, there are no costs.

How to apply?

Applications for the January 2020 session are closed. Check back in October 2020 for the next session application.