Frequently Asked Questions


How are Scholars selected?

The SEED Scholars Selection Committee considers students' completed University of California admissions application(link is external), academic performance, recommendation letters (preferred but not required), and commitment to community service. Scholars are selected for their interests in the sciences, technology, engineering, or mathematics, as well as their plans to pursue a graduate degree in such fields. Reviewing the freshman admit data(link is external) may provide an idea of the kinds of students who are admitted to UC Berkeley and the SEED Scholars Program.

Applicants are expected to have completed either a strong college preparatory program of study and/or the minimum A-G Subject requirement(link is external) with high satisfactory grades from an accredited high school. 

What are the application requirements?

To be considered for the SEED Scholars Program, prospective students must have completed a year or more of calculus. Preference is given to those who have taken advanced placement courses in math and science, have an interest in research and interning, and have strong references from science or math instructors. A strong preference will be given to those students interested in graduate programs.

Students must meet all eligibility requirements:

  • Cumulative High School GPA of a 3.0 or above
  • Aspire to obtain a doctorate in a STEM discipline
  • Display commitment to community service
  • Display an interest in the advancement of historically underrepresented populations in the sciences and related fields
  • Must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or participate in the DACA program

What are the academic requirements to maintain scholar status?

Scholars must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA and be working towards a B.S. or B.A. degree in one of the core STEM disciplines: Astronomy, Astrophysics, BioEngineering, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Data Science, Engineering, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Genetics & Plant Biology, Mathematics, Molecular and Cell Biology, Neuroscience, Physics or Statistics. Any other majors must be approved by the program’s leadership team.

Scholars must be enrolled in full-time study, however, seniors who are set to graduate on time may take one “underload” semester, minimum of six credit hours, with permission from the Academic Advising Program. Any other arrangements must be approved by the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid and the SEED Scholars leadership team.

Additionally, scholars are required to either conduct research or intern with approved entities during the academic year starting their junior year.

Are scholars allowed to double major?

Yes. Scholars may double major, as long as one of the majors is an approved STEM B.S. or B.A. program. Some scholars choose two STEM majors, others choose a second major that allows them to explore non-STEM interests. Scholars work closely with assigned advisors in the university’s Academic Advising Program to ensure that they maintain balanced course loads and are on track to meet all degree requirements for their selected major(s).

Are scholars required to attend graduate school?

Scholars are expected to apply to a minimum of four doctoral programs by December of their senior year.

Scholars determine their own path once they leave UC Berkeley in pursuit of their personal and professional goals. This may include applying for professional programs, taking advantage of employment opportunities, or taking a gap year. We encourage all scholars to follow their passions; however, they must still apply to a minimum of four approved graduate programs.

To support scholars in their graduate school applications, the SEED Scholars leadership team works with each student to explore graduate programs and universities that are a good fit for the student’s interests and career goals. We offer a GRE test preparation course, lend out GRE study guides, conduct mock interviews, and assist scholars with personal statements and recommendation letters.

Does the SEED Scholars Honors Program help scholars find research opportunities?

Yes, the SEED Scholars leadership team helps students identify research/internship opportunities and secure placement in world-renowned labs, companies, and institutions here at UC Berkeley, the Bay Area, or beyond. Our network of connections across STEM departments and other entities like Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory ensures that we are able to help students find research that interests them and will contribute to their long-term educational and professional goals. We also assist students with finding and applying for research positions at other universities, institutes, and companies.

What academic support does the SEED Scholars Honors Program provide?

The SEED Scholars program offers free tutoring in most STEM subjects, connects scholars with campus resources, and encourages cohort study groups in order to foster a culture of academic excellence and success. Scholars are required to form study groups for their first semester of STEM classes. The leadership team educates scholars about the multitude of university resources, including academic support programs offered by colleges, departments, specific courses, and faculty, and encourages them to seek additional support in order to excel.

Is housing provided?

To enhance cohort connections formed during Summer Rising, scholars will live together in a residential learning community during their first year at UC Berkeley, with an assigned SEED Scholar roommate. Such a community will help with acclimating to college life within a supportive, familiar atmosphere. After the first year, scholars may choose to continue to live either on, or off, campus. 

Note: All those wishing to continue to live on-campus are subject to Residential Life's policies regarding continuing students. Housing is not guaranteed after the first year.

Can I appeal the decision if I am not selected?

No. All admission decisions and offers are final.

Is Summer Rising required to take part in the SEED Scholars Honors Program?

Yes. Summer Rising is the first part of the SEED Scholars Program. Attendance in the six-week program is required.

When does Summer Rising begin and what happens during the program?

Summer Rising begins in early July preceding the scholar’s first year. During this intensive six-week program, scholars become fully immersed in their cohort experience while earning college credit. Summer Rising allows you to preview the expectations for first-year STEM students while further broadening your academic skills and your knowledge of the university environment and available resources. Students will reside on campus and participate in classes in data science, communication skills, and hands-on engineering and biological concepts courses. There will be seminars, workshops, and academic skills development activities to further enhance your personal, professional, and academic development. Classes and seminars are taught by faculty, staff, and graduate student instructors who also teach courses during the academic year. This provides you the opportunity to become acquainted with the style and rigor of college classroom instruction, but in a more structured and supportive environment that is typical during the academic year. Scholars return to campus in the fall with many advantages over their fellow first-year peers – a built-in support network of classmates, familiarity with the Cal campus, and valuable study skills to ensure a strong academic start to their collegiate career.

How would I benefit from this program?

Our experience, supported by national data, indicates that participation in a summer transition program, followed by comprehensive robust support throughout the academic year, increases academic excellence. The program is designed to simultaneously build upon students’ strengths while customizing services so that all scholars will be able to fully experience and benefit from the scope, scholarship, and scale of the university. Additionally, scholars receive an annual research scholarship.  Based on financial need, scholars may receive funding that will eliminate their net cost of attendance. The research scholarship covers opportunities beginning summer after first year through graduation, so long as scholars continue to meet all program requirements and maintain full-time enrollment in an approved STEM major. Scholars may also apply for additional funding to support research opportunities, travel to industry conferences, and other academic enrichment endeavors, as the availability of funds permit.

When and how will I be notified about receiving the scholarship?

Scholarship award notifications are sent to students the day the Office of Undergraduate Admissions releases acceptance announcements at the end of March. You will also see your scholarship award under My Finances on CalCentral(link is external). Transfer students are notified of scholarship awarding in mid-May. If you do not see a message in the student applicant portal, it is likely you were not awarded the scholarship.

How do I accept the scholarship?

To accept your SEED Scholarship, submit the Statement of Intention to Register (SIR) by May 1st (entering first years) and sign and upload your Scholarship Contract on CalCentral. Before signing your Scholarship Contract be sure to review the scholarship terms and conditions which were made available to you as a link on your award notification letter.

Will there be an adjustment to my SEED Scholarship if I receive any outside scholarships?

If you are receiving a need-based SEED Scholarship, outside agency scholarships are applied toward your gross financial need and may require the campus to reduce the amount of your SEED Scholarship.

Will I lose my SEED Scholarship if I need to take time away from school?

SEED scholars are eligible to take two semesters of leave from the scholarship. Scholars must attend one semester at UC Berkeley before requesting a leave of absence. Scholars cannot request a leave of absence for any semester in which they have already received the scholarship. You will need to complete a Leave of Absence(PDF file)(link is external) form and return it to your assigned scholarship coordinator.

When do I begin receiving the priority enrollment benefit?

New SEED Scholars will receive priority enrollment through My Academics on CalCentral beginning their second semester at UC Berkeley.