Frequently Asked Questions


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 lower 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.

How are Scholars selected?

The SEED Scholars Selection Committee considers students' completed University of California admissions application(link is external), academic performance, 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 Honors 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. 

How do I accept placement into the program?

All admitted scholars can accept placement into the program via official email correspondence. 

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 courses in data science, professional development, mathematics, and hands-on biological concepts. There will be seminars, workshops, and activities to further enhance your personal, professional, and academic development. Courses 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. 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.

Is housing guaranteed?

SEED Scholars receive guaranteed placement in on-campus housing during Summer Rising, and throughout their first academic year.

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

Eligible scholars will receive notification from the SEED Scholars Honors Program during the Summer term prior to the start of their first year, once enrolled at UC Berkeley. Students can find award amounts by going to the My Finances page on their CalCentral(link is external).

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. For further questions, please refer to Berkeley's Financial Aid and Scholarships Office.

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.

What are the requirements to maintain scholar status?

Scholars must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA and be working towards 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 by their junior year.

When do I begin receiving the priority enrollment benefit?

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

Are scholars allowed to double major?

Yes. Scholars may double major, as long as one of the majors is an approved STEM 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).

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. 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.

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.

Are scholars required to attend graduate school?

Scholars are expected to apply to a minimum of four approved masters or 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 GRE test prep, lend out GRE study guides, conduct mock interviews, and assist scholars with personal statements and recommendation letters.