What should I expect from a tour?
Guided campus walking tours last approximately 90 minutes and generally cover about a mile of the UC Berkeley campus, which does include some hills. If you anticipate that walking long distances will be a problem for someone in your family, consider reserving a private electric cart tour ($50 fee).
During the tour, the campus ambassadors will touch on many aspects of student life at UC Berkeley, including the university's history and traditions, academics, student organizations, the campus library system, and housing options. Each tour guide chooses his or her own route around the campus, but visitors can expect to see a sampling of campus buildings, the main campus library branch (known as Doe Library), Memorial Glade, Sather Tower, and Sproul Plaza, along with many other sites around campus.
When are the guided campus walking tours?
Monday through Saturday at 10 a.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m. Please see the guided campus walking tours page for information on location of departure, directions, and parking.
I can't make any of your tour times. How can I see the campus?
Our staff in the Visitor Center (hours) can provide you with maps and information about the campus. We also have several self-guided tour options, such as a Tour By Phone map (PDF), a podcast, and more.
What is the difference between a group tour and a guided campus walking tour? Which one should I sign up for?
The guided campus walking tour is the best bet for potential students and their families and visitors who are just here to check out what UC Berkeley has to offer. Reserved group (walking) tours, which start at $50, are led by the same student guides as the guided campus walking tours but offer a specialized, more intimate look at the campus. They are ideal for school groups, organizations interested in a particular area, visitors who are unable to make it to our public tours, and those who require a golf cart (usually elderly or disabled visitors).
Any visitors joining us in a group of 10 or more people must make a reservation.
Do we need to reserve a space for a guided campus walking tour?
We now require a reservation one week in advance to attend our guided campus tour.
Are tours canceled if it rains?
No, tours happen rain or shine. However, if it is raining, the guides may alter their routes so that more of the tour will occur indoors.
Are the tours wheelchair accessible?
If you are visiting campus in a wheelchair, please notify the Visitor Center staff upon your arrival, and your tour guide will take your group on a wheelchair accessible route.
What's the weather going to be like?
This weather website should tell you.
What should I wear?
Comfortable clothing and good walking shoes.
Which airport should we fly into? Oakland, San Francisco, or San Jose?
Both Oakland (OAK) and San Francisco International (SFO) Airports provide easy access to the UC Berkeley campus. The San Jose airport is significantly farther away and not easily accessible via public transportation, so we do not recommend that UC Berkeley visitors fly to that airport. Our light rail public transportation system, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), has stations convenient to both the Oakland and San Francisco airports. You will want to take the Richmond line and get off at the Downtown Berkeley stop, which is just two blocks west of campus. It is somewhat simpler to get here from SFO, which has a BART station right in the terminal, than from OAK, which requires you to take a shuttle to the BART station. In overall distance, the San Francisco Airport is further from Berkeley by both BART and car.
Where are you located?
What is the university's address so I can enter it into my GPS navigation system?
There is no official address for the University, but to find the Visitor Center, please use 2501 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 92704.
Where should we park?
There are several public parking options convenient to Sproul Hall. Please see the Visitor Center parking map for more information.
Do you offer luggage storage?
Unfortunately, the campus does not permit luggage storage anywhere on the campus due to security reasons.
How do I get from Berkeley to …?
- Stanford University? [Google Map]
- UCSF? [Google Map]
- Fishermen's Wharf in San Francisco? [Google Map]
Are there restaurants or places to eat on campus?
Several. The main student dining hall is Crossroads, located at Channing and Bowditch, and it is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Visitors may drop in and pay for a meal or arrange with Housing to have a family meal set up. The cash-only Free Speech Movement Café in front of the Moffitt Undergraduate Library is open to the public, as is the Golden Bear Café, which is conveniently located at Sproul Plaza where general campus tours end. More options
Is the Campanile (the clock tower) part of the tour?
A visit to the Campanile is usually not part of the campus tour. A private group tour can be tailored to include a visit to the tower, but please note that considerable amount of time—typically 20 or more minutes—is spent inside.
Can we visit a class?
During the fall semester, we offer a Class Pass, a listing of popular classes on campus; we cannot offer the Class Pass in the spring, due to the increased number of visitors. We invite you to contact specific departments to find out about classes to observe, by looking on the UC Berkeley website under academic departments. You can learn what classes are being held at the time of your visit by checking the class schedule, then contact the department to find out if it is possible for you to sit in.
Will we see the dormitories on the tours?
Because all of our residence halls are located just outside the campus proper, we are unable to visit them during the general campus tours. However, our department of Residential and Student Service Programs offers a separate tour of the residence halls on weekdays. A 48-hour advance notice is required. Learn more about the tours, or take a virtual tour, at the Living at Cal website. You can contact the residence hall staffs directly by phone at (510) 643-0258 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you offer a tour for admitted students?
Our campus tour provides a comprehensive introduction to the campus—covering housing, dining, academic majors and classes, extracurricular activities, safety on campus and Cal traditions—that is appropriate for prospective and newly admitted students, as well as other interested visitors.
Do you offer a tour just for kids?
Kids are welcome on the campus tour, but no, we do not offer a tour specifically for kids. Reserved group tours can be reserved for groups of primarily children as long as there are chaperones present. We do offer a downloadable CalKids tour PDF with information tailored for children, as well as a PDF for their chaperones.
Is there a podcast tour?
Yes. A podcast tour in English and Spanish can be downloaded to your iPod from UC Berkeley's iTunes page; look under the 'Explore Cal' section.
Can I get a tour in Spanish/French/Cantonese/etc.?
The free campus tour is conducted in English. With advance notice, we will try to accommodate you by finding a guide who can meet your language needs so that you may reserve a private group tour (cost: $50).
Do you offer special tours for graduate students?
No. The campus tour provides comprehensive information about all of campus. Most graduate students, when visiting campus, meet with the department to which they are applying in addition to taking the tour. Prospective graduate students should contact the appropriate department representatives in order to coordinate your visit to include both a campus tour and a personal meeting.
Does Haas Business School offer its own tours?
Yes, on a limited basis.
Will we get information packets about UC Berkeley?
The Visitors Center does have some literature about admissions and facts about the school. For the most up-to-date, detailed information, please explore the excellent UC Berkeley website.
Is there an admissions information session offered in conjunction with the tour?
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions conducts weekday information sessions for prospective students who have not yet applied. These 9:00am sessions are scheduled prior to the 10:00am daily public tour. Admissions sessions are not available on weekends, university holidays, or for group tours.
Reservations are not required for the information sessions, but please check-in at 101 Sproul Hall prior to the info session and public walking tour (reservations for the public walking tour can be made on our Daily Public Tour Web Page ).
Can we speak to someone in admissions while we are on campus?
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions in 103 Sproul Hall is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Note that during the application review season, from January to March, office hours are restricted to 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Wednesday. During the month of April, office hours are 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Does UC Berkeley conduct applicant interviews?
No. The volume of applications received each year is simply too great.
How can I meet a professor in a specific department?
First find the department's website, then look for contact information. Professors' email addresses are listed online, along with a short biography and list of the classes they teach. Send the professor an email stating who you are, why you are interested in meeting with him or her, and inquire if the professor has time to meet with you.
Where can we purchase Cal gear?
UC Berkeley-themed clothing and knickknacks are sold on two floors of the ASUC Cal Student Store in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Union building. All proceeds from the student store are directed back to the ASUC for student group funding. Other stores just off campus also offer Cal gear.
Does Cal have an open house?
Yes. Cal Day happens every year in the spring, typically on a weekend in April. Many of our departments offer an interactive look into what it is like to be here at Cal, with lectures, hands-on demonstrations, and other fun events for prospective students, parents, locals, and children.
Where is the football stadium?
On the east side of campus, at the mouth of Strawberry Canyon. It lies on Gayley Way right next to the International House (map).
Do you have an overnight stay program?
Berkeley does not offer a general overnight stay program for prospective students. However, some such programs exist for specific applicant groups, in certain majors say, and the university may select students to participate; they will be contacted by the respective campus department.
We're going to be in Berkeley for the whole weekend. What else should we do?
Please see our One- and Two-Day Visit guide.
I am an international student. How do I get a visa to come visit Berkeley?
Visit the U.S. Department of State's website and follow their instructions.
How can I be a tour guide?
We're so glad you asked! Read the tour guide FAQs.