Startup Semester at Berkeley

Become an Entrepreneur at Berkeley

Join us for a semester to take entrepreneurship courses, grow your global network, and develop your next big idea

Come to California for a semester of insightful classes at the world's leading public university, the University of California, Berkeley.

Our courses use the globally-recognized Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship, an approach that emphasizes hands-on venture-building, and learning the mindsets and behaviors  that lead to entrepreneurial success.

Besides gaining access to leading faculty in UC Berkeley's College of Engineering, who are developing the technologies of the future, you will learn from seasoned entrepreneurs, who have built startups in nearby Silicon Valley, the worldwide innovation hub.

In addition to building new ventures, or advancing your current idea, you will have the opportunity to grow your network, by interacting with our diverse community of researchers, entrepreneurs, students, and investors.

Application for Spring 2019 now open

Apply by September 15, 2018 for SCET global partners.

Apply by November 30, 2018 for all other students.

Who Should Apply?

This exclusive full semester program, targeted at upper division undergraduates, will provide qualified students from around the world access to faculty and curriculum in a leading entrepreneurship program.

The program is created for students who are interested in:

  • Increasing their technical knowledge of entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Advancing a startup or startup idea
  • Understanding how to commercialize research
  • Experiencing the entrepreneurial culture of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area


The programs runs both fall and spring semesters following the UC Berkeley schedule. Global Startup Semester is limited to 50 students from international universities that will join the UC Berkeley cohort.  Open to all universities but priority admittance given to Sutardja Center Global University Partners.


Initially, the Global Startup Semester, will provide experiential learning on actual Startup Projects.  Participants will work side by side with UC Berkeley students as well as other students from Europe, Asia, Latin America, MENA and other regions.

I think the reality ended up being much more bigger than my initial expectations. — Federico Kunze (Chile)

I’m surprised that professors often invite experts from industry who have professional experience related to lecture. Their stories are different, but they are related to classes. I don’t have enough experience to know the gaps between theory and fields, their stories help me to understand. — BoemSeok Kim (South Korea)

All our mentors never missed bringing their network of friends in class to mentor us as well. Their presence in class is very valuable and much appreciated. — Maria Sheila Ramos (Philippines)


Students will take a full-time course load throughout the semester. Transferable credit can be offered through the hosting university or UC Berkeley Extension under Concurrent Enrollment. 

The semester will consist of a nine-unit Entrepreneurial Core consisting of the esteemed Newton Lecture Series or the Silicon Valley Introduction to Finance for Entrepreneurs (when available) and a Challenge Lab of the student’s choice. 

Electives are specifically chosen to supplement the core curriculum with IEOR / SCET courses and/or University courses.  These are intended to provide students with lifelong learning to enhance the basics taught through the Core courses.


Newton Lecture Series

As part of the Entrepreneurial Core, students will partake in the Newton Lecture series and meet esteemed global and local distinguished innovators to learn from their successes and failures. Read more. 

Challenge Labs

In a competition-based format, students work in cross-discipline lean start-up teams vying to create innovative products. Teams will navigate realistic weekly challenges introduced through case studies. Read more.

The Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship Bootcamp

The bootcamp facilitates immersive learning for new venture creation. This workshop offers a one-of-a-kind experience in one of the premier institutions in Silicon Valley. Read more.


Core Requirements

Application Guidelines

Before you begin your application:

Open to top-qualifying university students who have completed at least 2 years of undergraduate coursework, graduate students and professionals. Minimum GPA: 3.0

English Proficiency Requirements
  • TOEFL: 90 (iBT) or
  • IELTS Academic Format: 7 or,
  • TOEIC: 800

Students who do not meet these requirements can request further English language evaluation.

Clarify all questions by contacting us.

  • Review all important deadlines.
  • Prepare your application requirements
  • Your statement of interest (2-3 paragraphs). The statement should be up to 300 words, and include the student's goals for the semester, current academic standing, entrepreneurial and startup interests and any specific technology interests and experience.
  • Academic transcripts

After you submit the online application:

  • Applicants will be notified of our decision within 30 days after the application deadline
  • Admitted International applicants/ students should begin their visa process as soon as possible with the guidance of our staff.
Ready to apply?

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What academic institution are you currently attending? (required)

What is your major?

Statement of Purpose (required)

Resume (required)

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English Proficiency Document (required)

First Name (required)

Last Name (required)

Email (required)

What academic institution are you currently attending? (required)

What is your major?

Statement of Purpose (required)

Resume (required)

Academic Transcripts (required)

English Proficiency Document

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FAQ / Contact Us

If you have further questions about Startup Semester at Berkeley, please contact David Law at or Susan Giesecke at!