First year pathway selection 25', insights needed?

So basically I saw this new thing “UC Berkeley Changemaker – Oakland (UCBCO)” in Mills College…

But I am concerned that I will be sacrificing the quality of education in Mills, I mean in the sense we understand and the rigour of academics/professors; and whether in sophomore when fully back on Berkeley campus if I will feel overwhelmed by the class size/academic standards…At the same time, I applied to many many female liberal arts colleges during app season and is still considering enrolling into one… The dorms seem much nicer in Mills. It is their first year running this and I am a bit concerned…

Another one is the “Fall Program for Freshmen”, but I heard it constrains you from choosing certain courses and typically given to waitlisted students?


The UCBCO program courses are listed at Oakland Changemaker—Curriculum | Berkeley Changemaker .

The FPF program courses are listed at Course Offerings | Fall Program for Freshmen .

What major(s) are you considering, and are all of the courses you intend to or may take in your first year offered at these programs?

I have no idea about the major, my interests range—>English Literature, French/Japanese, Physics, Statistics, Musicology and Economics… They all sort of offer what I want to a certain extent so I am asking for some sort of insights… for the UCBCO I am just concerned it won’t be a mature program and will good Cal professors willing to come to Mills and teacher there…

These programs - FPF, Global Reach, HK Program - are Berkeley’s way of “admitting” people for the fall semester without officially admitting them (i.e. waitlisted folks). I don’t think some of them are a choice if you’ve been granted regular admission. A student will be “asked” (this means, if you want to go here this fall, you’re going to have to pick one of these choices) to enroll in one of these programs. If they are willing to do summer classes/a semester abroad (or their first 2 years), or take classes off campus (office space, for instance) in order to get into Cal that semester, yay for them. FPF is sold as a way to be part of a smaller cohort of students (attractive in a super large school). My DD (2020) knew at least person who was doing this who hated it. Because their housing and some or all of their classes were not technically on campus (official Cal housing vs. being housed in SF or at Mills), they didn’t feel as integrated and were having to do horrendous commutes if the classes were being held close to campus. I’m glad DD didn’t have to make those types of choices. The best part is, these cost EXTRA money, in addition to what they are already charging for fall semester tuition.

As for the Mills program, you’d be in a single or double at Mills (post-COVID, that’s enticing vs. possibly being in a forced triple in a Cal dorm). However, you’ll also be shuttling back and forth between the campuses, which can suck. I’m not sure the experience will be comparable to a traditional female liberal arts college, because it will only be 1 year and I believe the campus (if not the program) will be open to all genders.

Actually, not necessarily waitlisted people, but people officially admitted to start in the spring semester (although some may have been waitlisted initially). This balances the enrollment between fall and spring (fall otherwise would have a higher enrollment because everyone ordinarily starts in the fall, but some students graduate a semester late or early and therefore have an extra fall semester). There may also be a college ranking effect, since the spring admits tend to be at the lower edge of admitted student stats. They came up with the various programs to try to make spring start more attractive than the otherwise limited choice of gap semester or fall semester community college.

Some other colleges also do spring admission, often with similar special programs, for some students who applied for fall start (Maryland, USC, Northeastern, Boston University are examples). There may be other load balancing techniques in existence, such as the Dartmouth D-plan (students typically have at least one summer quarter on campus, and usually do not get four fall quarters on campus).

Oakland ChangeMaker: no physics, no math higher than Math 1B (calculus 2), no economics, no French, no Japanese, only music course is Music 27 (non-major music appreciation), only English courses are R1A and R1B (frosh composition), only statistics course is Statistics 2 (for non-majors).

FPF: no physics, no math higher than Math 1B (calculus 2), no economics, no French, no Japanese, only music course is Music 27 (non-major music appreciation), only English courses are R1A and R1B (frosh composition), only statistics course is Statistics 2 (for non-majors).

These do not seem like a good fit for your intended majors, especially if you have advanced placement in math higher than Math 1A* or English higher than English R1A**.

*AP calculus AB or BC 3 = Math 1A; AP calculus BC 5 = Math 1A and 1B for most L&S majors, although the math department recommends being careful about taking advanced placement with a score of 3 or 4. Old Math 1A and 1B final exams are available to try.
**AP English language or literature 4 = English R1A; AP English literature 5 = English R1A and R1B.

Thank you so much for the insights!!!

Oh I didn’t know you could skip classes, I do the full IB diploma so will def check out what can be skipped!!! Clueless international kid haha!!!

IB HL English A Literature 5 = English R1A and R1B (R&C A and B)

IB Math HL 5 = Math 1A
IB Math HL (with calculus option) 7 = Math 1A and 1B
IB Further Math FL 6 = Math 1A
IB Further Math FL 7 = Math 1A and 1B

ahhhh thanks so much!!!