Frequently Asked Questions

Are scholars required to attend graduate school?

Scholars are expected to apply to a minimum of four Ph.D. or approved Masters 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.

What are the academic requirements to maintain scholar status?

Scholars must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA and be working towards a B.S. 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 conduct research with an approved research group and must secure a lab position by the beginning of 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 Bachelor of Science (B.S.) 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).

Does the SEED Scholars Program help scholars find research opportunities?

Yes, the SEED Scholars leadership team helps students identify research opportunities and secure placement in world-renowned labs here at UC Berkeley. 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 summer research positions at other universities and institutes.

What academic support does the SEED Scholars 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 the cohort connections formed during Summer Rising, scholars live together in a residential learning community during their first year at UC Berkeley, with an assigned SEED Scholar roommate. This helps them to acclimate to college life within a supportive, familiar community. During sophomore year, scholars will continue to live on campus but may choose their own roommate and where they would like to live within university-owned housing. Scholars have the opportunity to live off-campus during junior and senior years, helping them to prepare for life in graduate school and beyond.

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 have strong references from science or math instructors. A strong preference will be given to those students interested in the Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. (over the M.D.).

Students must meet all eligibility requirements:

  • 660-790 on the Math component of the SAT or a composite score of 33 on the ACT
  • Cumulative High School GPA of a 3.0 or above
  • Aspire to obtain a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. in Math, Science, Computer Science, or Engineering
  • 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

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 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 freshman 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 a hands-on engineering concepts course. 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 summer research scholarship.  Based on financial need, scholars may receive funding that will eliminate their net cost of attendance. The research scholarship covers summer research opportunities for three summers as 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 summer research opportunities, travel to industry conferences, and other academic enrichment endeavors, as the availability of funds permits.

How are Scholars selected?

The SEED Scholars Selection Committee considers students' completed University of California admissions application, academic performance, standardized test scores, recommendation letters, and commitment to community service. Scholars are selected for their interests in the sciences, engineering, mathematics, or computer science, as well as their plans to pursue a Ph.D. in the mathematical, physical, biological sciences or engineering. Reviewing the freshman admit data 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 a strong college preparatory program of study from an accredited high school. The minimum program of study must meet the A-G Subject requirement