Getting started at Berkeley

We know getting started at Berkeley can be exciting and overwhelming. Here is our list of a few things to get you started.

  1. New Graduate Student Orientation (NGSO) is an additional orientation hosted by the Graduate Division. NGSO is designed to supplement orientations held by your department, school, or program. We partner with offices and organizations all over campus to help orient you to ease your transition into graduate school. You’ll get introduced to campus services and opportunities to get involved, and connect you with graduate student communities. Learn more about NGSO.

  2. The New Graduate Student Guide covers everything from submitting your final transcripts to parking and transportation at Berkeley. We recommend reviewing this prior to your arrival.

  3. Check your email. You should be receiving/have received communications with helpful information about resources and important things to take care of as you come on board.  If you missed these emails, we’ve added them below.

  4. Join the Slack for 2022 Incoming Grad Students to network with other students, find housing, and more!

  5. Find Housing. The Bay Area is an incredible (and competitive) place to live, get started with your housing search:

  6. Consider if you want to waive out of Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) for Fall 2022. If so, complete the waiver by July 15, 2022. All waivers received between July 16, 2022 and the final waiver deadline, August 15, 2022, will be subject to a late fee of $75.

  7. Get familiar with CalCentral  where you can check academic progress, financial aid, bCourses, notifications for any required tasks including trainings and immunization requirements. Another important resource, Cal Student Central (different from CalCentral) is the place for key university business related to financial aid, fees and billing, payments, disbursements, registration, and enrollment. 

  8. Make sure you’re vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccine requirement – Due Now. Upload your Covid-19 immunization records to eTang as soon as possible. Incoming students for Summer 2022 or Fall 2022 have an enrollment hold and will not be able to register for classes until the requirement is cleared. Please see the COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement page for more information. You should review the Mandatory Immunizations Program for all other immunization requirements and deadlines.

  9. A few details about your finances. Connect with your Graduate Student Affairs Officer (GSAO) about funding opportunities and program-specific next steps and details. If you will receive fellowships, stipends, and financial aid – sign up for Direct Deposit. Get familiar with residency. Non-residents can establish residency and receive the benefit of paying a lower resident rate. This process should be started as soon as you arrive.

  10. Do you plan on being a GSI? Attend the Fall GSI Teaching Conference on August 18 & 19.

  11. UC Berkeley is committed to creating a safe environment and providing education to address issues of sexual harassment and sexual violence in our community. Please be aware of these two forms of required SVSH training and these FAQs.

Other important information for new students