Course: College Foundations Program


Program Description

Welcome to the vibrant university town of Berkeley, California! As part of the College Foundations Program (CFP) you'll join other international high school graduates preparing for university study.

Attend college-level courses where you'll build English skills and become familiar with typical U.S. university classroom discussions and assignments. Boost your TOEFL and SAT scores through test preparation and get personal college admissions advising.

Recent high school graduates are encouraged to apply for the fall term or a full academic year (spring and fall), sometimes called a "gap year." Either way, you'll receive support from our dedicated staff—from the application process and throughout your time with us.


Your Studies

You'll take classes near the UC Berkeley campus. Study alongside fellow students who are also preparing to attend university. You receive individualized attention and guidance from your instructors, who hold advanced degrees from UC Berkeley and other top-ranked universities. You also get personal college admissions advising to help you identify the best schools for you and to ensure success once you begin your university studies. You can also connect with current UC Berkeley students to get insight into the college application process, as well as navigating Berkeley and U.S. culture.

Making the investment to participate in CFP leads to positive results—CFP graduates have been accepted to numerous prestigious public and private universities.

Beyond the Classroom

When you first arrive in Berkeley, you'll take part in a new-student orientation where you'll meet program staff, your fellow students, and learn more about the area and what to expect. You'll live with or near your classmates, and when not in class you have the option to attend workshops on preparing for college life as well as take part in cultural activities and field trips. The city of Berkeley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area offer museums, cafes, parks, music and more to fill your weekends while introducing you to American culture. Did you know UC Berkeley has also been named one of the best colleges for food in America? Eat lunch with your classmates at the nation's first certified organic kitchen on campus that offers delicious options for everyone, including students with special dietary needs. Or meet with friends for dinner at one of Berkeley's many excellent restaurants. Finally, as the program comes to an end, celebrate your accomplishment with other CFP students, instructors and staff at a closing reception.

Why Choose Our College Foundations Program

  • TOEFL and SAT test preparation
  • Personal college admissions advising
  • Explore the UC Berkeley campus and surrounding cities
  • Refine your English-language skills

Duration of Study

15 weeks each for fall and spring terms

Pace of study

Full-time, Monday–Friday, 20 hours per week


Recent high school graduates with a minimum 3.4-grade point average.

If you have not yet completed high school, we encourage you to apply to the Summer Sessions Program

Scores must be from the past two years. In some cases, the English-proficiency exam can be waived. Contact us with questions.


Program Fee Estimated living expenses Total fees and estimated expenses
Fall Term $17,700 $10,500 $28,200
Fall and Spring Terms $35,400 $21,000 $56,400

Costs include:

  • Immigration support
  • Orientation to Berkeley
  • U.S. medical insurance
  • Housing advice and support
  • Personal academic advising
  • Review of college application essays
  • Computer lab access
  • UC Berkeley library access
  • UC Berkeley Recreational Sports Facility access
  • Social activities

Cost does not include visa fees, textbooks, housing costs or travel expenses.

College Foundations 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.

English Language Test Minimum Score for College Foundation Program
ESL Level 112

English Proficiency Requirement Exceptions

  • University study in a country where English is the primary language spoken

BGA Start English Proficiency Requirements

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

Questions? Email


Golden Bear Center
1995 University Ave., Suite 200
Berkeley, CA 94704

Program Dates

Start and End Dates Application Deadline *
Spring 2019 January 14, 2019–May 17, 2019
Fall 2019 August 26, 2019–December 20, 2019 July 5, 2019

*There are no CFP spring-only admissions but you may start in the fall and continue your study in the spring.

Last updated May 2020

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
Berkeley , San Francisco + 1 More Less