UC Berkeley Summer Sessions

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Summer Sessions at University of California, Berkeley offers more than 600 courses each summer, in a wide variety of disciplines. The Summer Pre-College Program offers high school students the opportunity to enroll in online courses while earning UC Berkeley credit. Optional extracurricular activities and college exploration workshops are available. Eligible applicants must have completed two years of high school by the start of summer classes and have a 3.0 average GPA or better.

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Archived Q&A and Reviews

Jan 2014

RE: College programs for rising 10th graders

UC Berkeley and UC Davis let anyone enroll for summer classes who has completed at least the junior year of high school. It's expensive but definitely transferable credits, and could be very interesting. One of our kid's friends took neurobiology at UC Davis that way.

As a rising senior our son actually lived in the UCB dorms one summer (they are expensive too!) and took a class and worked. It was maybe too much freedom (he hung out with rich European kids), but we felt better knowing that if anything went really wrong, we were 15 minutes away. Everyone survived.

Stanford has some summer programs for rising seniors, I've heard. That's just my two cents.

Anyone had their Teen Take UC Berkeley Summer Classes?

March 2013

Am wondering about my Highschooler take one of the UC Berkeley Summer classes, maybe Philosophy. Do any of you have experience with these classes? Are some better then others? Thank you!! Curious

My teen has never taken a UC Berkeley summer class, but I've taught upper division summer courses. These courses are full, 15-week semester college level courses compressed into a 6- or 8- week timeframe. In other words, you're doing 15 weeks worth of work in something like 40-50% of that amount of time. The pace is fierce. If your teen is interested in doing this, or wants the college application strengthener, this could be a good option. If it is you, not your teen, who wants this, or if either of you think this is a good way to gain a gentle introduction to college, I'd advise against it. Think about it: midterm exams 3 weeks into the subject matter. Classes that meet 3 days a week - often 3 consecutive days - for 3 hours at a time, with little time to absorb the material. Everything on a condensed timeframe: readings, written assignments, everything. I think of it as Olympic level college. In my experience, students take the summer courses because it allows them to: a) get courses that are always overenrolled during the school year, and/or b) graduate in 4 years or less, or c) they failed something and don't want to wait another semester to graduate. Because I've only taught upper-division summer courses I've never had a high school student in one of my classes, but I'd urge you and your teen to do your homework about the specific course of interest before making this decision. Other side of the lectern

It's quite common for local kids to take UC summer courses. A friend's kid took Neuroscience before his high school senior year. Both of my high schoolers took a college course in English, which I think improved their college applications. ANYONE can sign up for a summer class and then move into the UC dorms, although it's quite expensive, but it saved our relationship with our 16-yr-old son to do it. He took one UC summer class (Film Noir?), did his summer reading and papers for high school AP English in the dorm, and worked his downtown retail job. After a couple of weeks son started dropping by to sleep, eat, do laundry, and visit. He became more tolerant and tolerable as he gained psychological distance. Plus we were still nearby in case anything bad happened. Nothing did, although we were considerably startled to find out (months later) that he went skydiving in Napa with a crowd of rich, visiting European students. UC summer classes are a great idea.

Another great option for high school students is to take one of the Academic Talent Development Program (ATDP) classes at UCB in the summer. These are for K-12 kids and can count for high school credit if the school approves. Much less pressure but still challenging. Lauren

March 2011

RE: Summer college programs for high school senior

Did you know that anyone who has completed junior year of high school can enroll in UC Berkeley summer classes? There are multiple overlapping summer school terms. Check out the summer schedule to see if one works for you. There might be classes or times you like better at different UCs, but only Cal finishes spring semester in May. Also, anyone enrolled in a summer school class can apply to live in the dorms. Expensive but fun. Lotta European kids, too. Been there