Attending a lecture at UC Berkeley
The Class Pass is available only during the fall semester. Due to the high volume of visitors. the Class Pass is not available during the spring or summer semesters.
(Note: Fall 2013 classes have ended. The following includes general information only. The Class Pass program will return in Fall 2014.)
Interested in attending a UC Berkeley class?
Visitors to UC Berkeley are encouraged to attend a class as a complement to their campus tour.
Visitor and Parent Services maintains a list of classes that will provide prospective students with an introduction to the UC Berkeley learning experience. This list is known as the “Class Pass,” though no actual “pass” is required to visit these courses.
- Class Pass classes are some of the largest lectures at Cal, and they represent only one type of learning opportunity. UC Berkeley prides itself on fostering student and faculty interaction through small classes, undergraduate research, and seminars. Average class size is about 30 students, and our student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1.
- When attending a class, please observe classroom etiquette:
- Arrive on time (Berkeley classes start 10 minutes after the time listed, a practice known on campus as “Berkeley Time”) and remain for the entire class. It is disruptive for visitors to enter and leave a class at other times.
- Take seats at the back of the lecture hall.
- Please don't ask questions or participate in any discussion.
- Attending classes is NOT available on weekends or university holidays.
- Some courses may be unavailable to visitors without notice, for example, because of exams.
- The Class Pass is available only during the fall semester (August-December). During the spring and summer semesters (January-August), our lecture halls cannot accommodate the number of visitors wishing to attend classes. If you would like to attend a lecture during the spring or summer semesters, please contact the department directly.
- Many academic schedules and majors include courses from a variety of departments and disciplines. You may want to consult your prospective department or website to find classes that match your interests and requirements.
If you have any questions, please contact Visitor and Parent Services at 510-642-5215, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why were these particular courses chosen?
On the basis of their benefit to prospective students, how they showcase the quality of UC Berkeley's faculty, and the diversity of the material covered. They are generally the campuses’ large introductory courses, and visitors will not interfere with normal classroom activity.
Can we attend courses not on this list?
Please attend only those classes on the Class Pass list. Unfortunately, some departments do not offer classes that fit Class Pass criteria or may not be offering such classes this semester. If a department you are looking for is not on the list, we encourage you to consider attending a different course.
Do we need to check in with the Visitor Center or the professor before attending the class?
No, you're not required to check in to attend a class, but if you have any questions, please stop by the Visitor Center in 101 Sproul Hall and staff will assist you.
Some of these courses conflict with the tour, should we skip the tour and attend class instead? What about missing a portion of the tour to attend a class?
We don't recommend that you forego all or part of the campus tour in order to attend a class. For prospective students, the guided tour by student ambassadors provides a more comprehensive introduction to the campus than a classroom visit. Sitting in on a class complements the campus tour, it doesn't replace it.
How about only attending a portion of the lecture?
As a courtesy to professors and students, please arrive on time and stay for the entire lecture. Even in large lecture halls, entering a class late or leaving early can be disruptive. For the same reason, please sit in the back of the lecture hall, if possible. The goal is to provide you with a rewarding experience that interferes only minimally with normal classroom activity.
May I participate in class discussion or ask questions during lecture?
As an observer, please don't. As you are attending only one lecture, it is likely that you are unaware of the lecture’s context, or that your question has been answered previously. While we want you to have the most rewarding experience possible while on campus, it is also our goal to minimize classroom disruption.
Also, please don't ask professors about their respective departments or programs. Professors are not admissions officers or department representatives. If you have any questions about admissions, course offerings, or a specific department, please contact the individual office. Visitor and Parent Services staff can provide you with the locations and contact information for official representatives of all campus colleges and departments.
What if a professor is not accepting visitors or asks us to leave?
There may be times (such as during an exam) when visits are not appropriate. Please observe and respect the requests of campus faculty and staff. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.
Where can I find more information about these courses or professors?
Most department web pages have detailed faculty and course information. You can find these pages by performing a search for the department at www.berkeley.edu.