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Choose the Courses That Matter to You

Important Dates

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early application deadline

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final application deadline

Scholarship Application Deadline

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scholarship application deadline

See all dates

Best Suited For

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See full list of costs

English Proficiency Requirements

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Lower scores may be accepted.

See full list of requirements

Length of Study

One semester or full academic year

Pace of Study


Monday–Friday, 12–18 units per semester.

Some classes may be held on weekend days.

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.

BGA Discover Program Overview

Duration of program

One semester (approximately 4 months) or a full academic year (approximately 8 months). View upcoming program dates.


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


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Fee includes:

  • Courses
  • Visa support
  • Housing advice and support
  • Orientation to Berkeley
  • 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.

{{ program.name }} 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 {{ program.midName || program.name }}
TOEFL {{ program.toefl }}
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English Proficiency Requirement Exceptions

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

If you have completed at least one year of university study in a country where English is the primary language, you can request a waiver.

To do so, when you apply online, upload a letter explaining that English is the primary and official language spoken in your country and include a website or other supporting documentation (e.g., publications or website for government department, ministry, bureau, secretariat or directorate-general) for our verification purposes.

To do so, when you apply online, upload a letter explaining that English is the primary and official language spoken in your country and include a website or other supporting documentation (e.g., publications or website for government department, ministry, bureau, secretariat or directorate-general) for our verification purposes.

One year of full-time, college-level English instruction

If you were taught in English for at least one year, full-time at the undergraduate or graduate level, you can request a waiver.

Your transcript should reflect the coursework that you completed in English. If this is not clearly indicated on your transcript, a supporting letter from your university will need to be submitted in addition to your complete transcripts.


You can request a language proficiency interview if you meet one of these minimum score requirements: TOEFL 85, IELTS 6.5 or TOEIC 700. If you are not admitted to {{ program.midName || program.name }}, you may be admitted to the BGA-Start Program.

If you would like to request an interview, please state your request in the online application and in your personal statement.

BGA Start English Proficiency Requirements

If you do not meet the requirements for {{ program.midName || program.name }}, you may be eligible to apply for our BGA-Start program.

Questions? Email internationaladmissions@berkeley.edu.

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
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Program Details

Your courses

You may choose any course in the UC Berkeley Extension or UC Berkeley course catalog (excluding courses from the School of Law), as long as you meet any published prerequisites. Transcripts of prior study may be required. UC Berkeley Extension courses are generally held in the evenings and on weekends; campus courses are held on weekdays. Courses must carry academic credit in semester units; enrollment in continuing education unit (CEU) courses is not permitted.

Course availability

Enrollment in all courses is subject to availability. If enrollment in any course is denied, you must choose an alternate course—either a campus course or an Extension course—to maintain a full-time study schedule.

Your participation

UC Berkeley Extension welcomes individuals and groups of students from participating universities. Student eligibility is based on academic performance and English-language skills.

We have agreements with several English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) schools in the United States to accept institutional TOEFL scores. See our list of Preferred English Providers.

Applying to a UC school

Participation in Berkeley Global Access does not offer any advantage for a student's application to UC Berkeley or any other University of California campus.

Academic Credit From Your Home University

It is the student's responsibility to communicate with staff at the home institution to make sure all BGA Discover course credits will transfer towards the student's degree.