Navigating through bureaucracy at UC Berkeley

A guide of campus services and resources vital to your Berkeley experience

Related Posts

As one former vice chancellor puts it, when people from other countries ask about how UC Berkeley is, they have two specific questions in mind: Is Top Dog still there, and is Cal as bureaucratic as ever? The answer to both these questions is, as always, yes. Top Dog locations are easy to find on Center Street and Durant Avenue, but navigating Berkeley’s winding, bureaucratic structure can sometimes prove problematic. But fear not — there are several offices you can go to that will help you cut down the time you spend lost and looking for help.

Cal Student Central

As of January, most student administrative resources have been consolidated into one place — Cal Student Central, located in 120 Sproul Hall. Cal Student Central consolidates a number of essential services provided by the Office the Registrar, Billing and Payment Services and the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. The only catch is that because everyone goes to this one office for virtually all their paperwork, waiting times in line can get up to an hour or more. Your best bet is to go early in the day to take care of registration issues, order transcripts or ask questions about financial aid. For more information, call 510-664-9181 or visit

ASUC Student Advocate

The student advocate is a nonpartisan executive officer of the ASUC whose task is to provide representation, help and advice to any student or group involved in a dispute with the campus. The Student Advocate Office helps students with disputes related to admissions, dismissals, transfers, enrollment, financial aid, establishment of California residency, harassment, discrimination, defense against allegations of misconduct, grades, procedural problems, grievances, UCPD, UC housing or employment. The office, which is staffed by student interns, also negotiates with the administration for policy changes that would benefit the student body as a whole. For more information, call 510-642-6912 or visit

Transfer, Re-entry, and Student Parent Center

The Transfer, Re-entry, and Student Parent Center, located in 100 Cesar Chavez Center, helps new transfer students make a successful and smooth transition to Berkeley through a range of services that includes transitional courses for credit, academic skill and resource workshops, an outstanding faculty series, community events, resource referral and information, and drop-in and by-appointment advising. For more information, call 510-642-4257 or visit

Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program

Undergraduates can apply for semester- or year-long opportunities to gain skills working on faculty-led research projects. More than 1,200 students from all majors participated last year. Those selected may receive course credit for their work. Descriptions of projects are available in May and December for the fall and spring semesters, respectively. For more information, call 510-643-5376 or visit

Berkeley Study Abroad

Ever want to see the world while broadening your educational horizons? If so, then the many campus-sponsored study abroad programs are for you. The Berkeley Study Abroad office, located in 160 Stephens Hall, is UC Berkeley’s resource center for all study abroad programs, including the UC Education Abroad Program, Berkeley Summer Abroad, Berkeley Global Internships and IARU Global Summer Program. For more information, call 510-642-1356 or visit


Contact Chris Yee at [email protected]