Course: Berkeley Global Access


Program Description

For a semester or full academic year, you choose the courses that most interest you—and fit with your academic goals. Study alongside other college students while taking new and innovative classes that you wouldn't find at your home university.

Take advantage of this study-abroad opportunity to learn from UC Berkeley's renowned professors in a culturally diverse campus—without the complicated admissions process.

Outside of class, spend your free time exploring the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley, networking with your classmates and professors, participating in student groups, receiving guidance from your peer mentor, and immersing yourself in this vibrant, multicultural environment. You'll also receive academic advising and graduate school admissions support as part of your experience.

Why Choose BGA Discover?

  • Finish undergraduate or graduate requirements
  • Refine English language skills
  • Access to Berkeley, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley
  • Expert instructors, world-renowned Berkeley faculty


Duration of program

One semester (approximately 4 months) or a full academic year (approximately 8 months).


You'll take courses both on and just outside of campus; online courses are not available. Enroll in a minimum of 2 units of UC Berkeley Extension courses and a variety of UC Berkeley courses, for a minimum of 12 units and a maximum of 18 units total of credit-bearing, in-person courses. Suggested course structure: 1 or 2 UC Berkeley Extension courses plus 3 or 4 UC Berkeley courses.

UC Berkeley courses – To view available courses, select the academic term, then the subject you are interested in. If you are interested in a course that appears under the "professional" category, you'll be better suited to apply to one of our tracks: business, environmental design, English literature. Otherwise, explore courses from a variety of subjects (excluding courses from the School of Law) such as:

  • Arts and Humanities
  • Engineering
  • Languages
  • Mathematics and Sciences
  • Social Sciences

UC Berkeley Extension courses:

  • TOEFL preparation
  • GRE preparation
  • English as a Second Language
  • Courses related to your major

Graduate-level courses must be approved in advance by instructors and our program director. You must meet the listed prerequisite requirements to be eligible for any course.

Pace of study

Full-time, Monday–Friday, 12–18 units per semester


  • Application fee (non-refundable) $200
  • Program fee range $14,400–$19,700
  • Student fee (included in program fee) $4,900
  • Estimated living expenses $10,500 per semester
  • Estimated cost per semester $24,900–$30,200

Fee includes:

  • Courses
  • Visa support
  • Housing advice and support
  • Orientation to Berkeley
  • Welcome lunch
  • International student fee
  • Mandatory U.S. medical insurance
  • Personal academic advising
  • Graduate school admissions workshop
  • Undergraduate research and student learning center resources

Cost does not include visa fees, textbooks, supplies, travel and housing costs, meals or daily expenses. If you participate in BGA Discover for a full academic year, you'll receive a $500 continuing-student discount.


  • Recommended minimum grade point average (GPA): 3.0. Calculate my GPA. Exceptions are sometimes made on a case-by-case basis; you may contact us for details.
  • Completion of the BGA Discover online application.
  • Make sure that you meet specific prerequisites for any course you intend to take.

BGA Discover Program English Proficiency Requirements

Applicants must submit official evidence of English-language proficiency. Sometimes exceptions to this requirement are made. Please note that the submission of language proficiency scores or other forms of verification does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

Minimum English Proficiency Requirements
ESL Level 113

English Proficiency Requirement Exceptions

  • University study in a country where English is the primary language spoken
  • One year of full-time, college-level English instruction
  • Interview

BGA Start English Proficiency Requirements

If you do not meet the requirements for BGA Discover, you may be eligible to apply for our BGA-Start program.

Questions? Email

If you have a lower English test score or do not have an English proficiency test score when you apply, please contact us to request a language proficiency interview. If you complete this interview satisfactorily, you may be admitted to the program or may be eligible to attend BGA-Start and then attend BGA Discover. BGA-Start students generally have language skills equivalent to a TOEFL score of 80-89.

If you have a TOEFL of 79 or below or do not demonstrate adequate language proficiency, you may attend one of our partner English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) schools. We have agreements with several schools in the United States to accept institutional TOEFL scores.


UC Berkeley Main Campus

UC Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94704

Golden Bear Center

1995 University Ave., Suite 200
Berkeley, CA 94704

Program Dates:

Start and End Dates Application Deadline
Spring 2019 January 18, 2019–May 17, 2019 November 19, 2018
Summer 2019 Internship June 3, 2019–August 9, 2019
Fall 2019 August 26, 2019–December 20, 2019 July 1, 2019

Last updated Jan 2021

About the School

UC Berkeley Extension is an academic department within UC Berkeley and is located just a few blocks away from the main campus. This department offers short-term programming for international students ... Read More

UC Berkeley Extension is an academic department within UC Berkeley and is located just a few blocks away from the main campus. This department offers short-term programming for international students who want to study at Berkeley. We do not offer degrees. Instead, after you complete your studies with us, you’ll receive a certificate of completion, a transcript and the opportunity to transfer academic credits to your home university. For those of you who are working professionals, our programs will provide you with in-depth skills and learning that you can apply to your current position or a new job in the workplace. Read less
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