STEM Excellence through Equity and Diversity

Program Components

Background image: The photo is of the top of Sather Gate. This page is called 'What we do'. It explains what the SEED Scholars Program is.

The SEED Scholars Program is a four-year comprehensive honors program for incoming freshmen in the STEM - science, technology, engineering, and math - fields, who have a passion for science and a commitment to pursuing a graduate degree. 

The program provides scholarships, resources, and opportunities to diverse, highly motivated, top-tier students who will become the innovators and leaders of tomorrow in academia, science, technology, and industry.



  • Financial support including scholarships
  • Directive advising by culturally-sensitive faculty with experience working with students from diverse backgrounds
  • One-on-one faculty and peer mentoring
  • Short and long-term research opportunities on campus beginning the summer after freshmen year
  • Paid summer research and internship opportunities
  • Access to organizations and community spaces
  • Invitations to networking events with academic, science and technology leaders
  • Attend and present at conferences
  • Meet recruiters from leading graduate schools, tech companies, and private industry
  • GRE preparation
  • Graduate school application support
  • Professional development including science communication course, mock interviews and resume consultations
  • Housing for Summer Rising and freshman year
  • Holistic wellness support and resources

Summer Rising

The program begins with a six-week intensive session called Summer Rising held before their first semester begins that emphasizes the foundational value of community along with individual success.

The 25 incoming freshmen live, learn, study, and socialize together as they are introduced to UC Berkeley and the SEED Scholar Program and also take part in rigorous academic sessions. 

They will immerse themselves in the data science course Data 8R learning Python coding; take three two-week sessions focusing on biological sciences, physical sciences, and engineering and the interdisciplinary nature of science; meet and start building relationships with professors; practice the art of communicating science through oral presentations and writing. And most importantly, they will start building strong relationships with their cohort members, the people who will challenge, support, and encourage them, that will last a lifetime. 

Building community and networks

SEED Scholars

The scholars become a strong support system for each other and they hold each other accountable. When they enter their third year, they also become mentors to new cohort members. The bonds they start building at Berkeley will continue to support them through their graduate careers and into their professional lives. 


From their first day on campus, SEED Scholars will begin making connections and building professional relationships with Berkeley's top faculty members who are changing the world through their research in STEM. 

Across their undergraduate careers, these scholars will receive one-on-one mentoring, work in labs on long and short-term research projects, become key members of Berkeley's science and technology community, and build a deep understanding of what it means to be a STEM faculty member, scientist, researcher, and an engineer.

Graduate Students

Students at Berkeley who are working on their graduate degrees in STEM programs will be a network of near-peer mentors for the SEED Scholars. As their teachers, research lab partners, and future colleagues, graduate students are models of what the undergraduates can become, helping them grow a sense of belonging and see themselves as scientists and researchers who are on their way to becoming professionals and leaders in their fields. 

Industry Leaders

The scholars will have the opportunity to meet leaders from top companies and innovative startups in industry and technology at events on the Berkeley campus.  The connections they make and the networks they build here will open opportunities to become part of research laboratories and companies on the cutting edge of discovery.

Important Dates 

The application includes an academic transcript, three essays, letters of recommendation, and SAT and/or ACT scores. 

Feb. 28             SEED Scholars application due
March 20         Offers to SEED Scholars candidates extended
April 18            Visit weekend and interviews during Cal Day
May 1               SEED Scholars Program acceptance deadline
July 6                Six-week Summer Rising program begins

Stacy Biochem Lab photo by Elena Zhukova.  Two women doing research in a lab at UC Berkeley.

UC Berkeley researchers Vance Vredenburg and Tate Tunstall collect data on infected frogs at Kings Canyon National Park. (Photo by Vance T. Vredenburg, UC Berkeley)

CalSol solar car and competition team 2017. Berkeley Engineering