8. Student Programs and Academic Opportunities

  1. Becoming a Reader
  2. Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Positions
  3. Student Organizations
  4. Undergraduate Research
  5. EECS Honors Degree Program
  6. Student Awards
  7. Academics and Industry
  8. EECS Internship Open House
  9. Education Abroad Program
  10. College of Engineering Minors

  1. Becoming a Reader

    The Department appoints readers each semester to check and correct students' course work, other than examinations. To become a Reader, you must have received at least a B in the course for which you are to read and have an overall GPA of 3.0 or better. The salary for undergraduate and graduates Readers for the 2014-2015 academic year will be $13.57 per hour. You may read for more than one course or section, up to a maximum total of 20 hours per week during the academic year and up to 40 hours per week during summer session. The number of Reader hours per week for a given course depends on the number of students enrolled in the course.

    To become a Reader: Complete the online Reader Application and submit it electronically. These forms, along with further information, are available from the department's GSI webpage. If you are selected for a Reader job, you will be notified via email. Once you are selected as a reader, go to the HR/Payroll Office, 395 Soda Hall, to sign employment forms and obtain time sheet information. The HR/Payroll office will calculate the Reader allocation for each course, based on the 5th week enrollment figures. You will be not be paid for any hours beyond the total allocation without prior approval. Address course hours and employment questions to the HR/Payroll Office . You will be directed there when you are hired

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  2. Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Positions

    Occasionally, outstanding undergraduates are selected to serve as Graduate Student Instructors (GSI's). If you are interested in applying for a GSI position, you may submit an application during the GSI application period (April for Fall semester, November for Spring semester). In order to apply to be a UGSI, you must meet the following qualifications:

    1. Be in good academic standing (i.e., cannot be on academic probation or have more than 2 incomplete grades)
    2. Enrolled in the minimum number of units approved by your college by the second week of classes (this is a week before the regular campus deadline)
    3. Upper Division status when you begin teaching
    4. Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher and maintain this GPA in the semester you are teaching
    5. Previously taken the course, its equivalent or a more advanced course, with a grade of A- or better
    6. Complete the 300-level semester-long pedagogical seminar on teaching in the first semester you are teaching
    7. First-time UGSIs must attend the Teaching Conference before the beginning of the teaching semester.
    8. First-time UGSIs must complete the GSI Professional Standards and Ethics Online Course by the first day of classes.
    9. If you are an international student and this will be your first time being a UGSI, you must complete the Language Proficiency Screening Questionnaire.

    Undergraduate Student Instructor (UGSI) Hiring Guidelines

    Undergraduate students may be appointed as Undergraduate Student Instructors (UGSIs) by exception only. Exceptions may be approved if a department is not able to recruit any qualified graduate students (including graduate students in other departments) or hire a lecturer to fill an essential GSI position.

    Hiring of Undergraduate Student Instructors (UGSIs) is handled administratively by staff in the EECS department only after receiving approval for each UGSI by a faculty member. The vast majority of EECS Undergraduate Student Instructors are upper-division students as determined by their number of semesters at Cal (i.e., not by number of units). However, a small number of students may be recruited to serve as UGSIs earlier in their academic careers. By Graduate Division policy, these students must have upper-division standing in terms of the total units on their transcript. These students typically have UGSI duties that are more limited than a more advanced UGSI and their work is closely monitored.

    EECS faculty will be encouraged to set guidelines and best practices for selecting UGSIs for their courses. These best practices will vary by course but may include:

    • students with upper-division standing (as determined by non-AP units)
    • students who have gone through a training process like a reader position and/or lab assistant
    • students who have gone through a peer identification and review or training process where they are evaluated by a faculty member
    • students who have attained a certain letter grade previously in the course, higher than the minimum required to teach that course.

    The complete Graduate Division policy on hiring Undergraduates.

    For more information on how to become GSI, please see: Information for Prospective EECS GSIs & Readers

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  3. Student Organizations

    Involvement in student organizations is one of the best ways to gain leadership experience, to participate in volunteer and social service opportunities, and just to have fun. These organizations can have a very positive impact on your Cal experience. Below is a list of student organizations you might want to consider joining. You can also visit the EECS Student Organizations Website.

    Association of Women in CS and EE (AWE) (292 Cory Hall, 510- 642-6735) is dedicated to recruiting women undergraduates in CS and EE, facilitating academic and social support, and fostering the academic and professional careers of women in EECS. AWE gives a "voice" to women in CS and EE, as well as a friendly atmosphere in which they can learn leadership skills and build community. Weekly "Breaktimes" with distinguished speakers, such as Professor Barbara Grosz, and industry alumni workshops, are among their regular activities. All undergraduate EE and CS women are included.

    Black Engineering and Science Students Association (BESSA) (101 Naval Architecture Building, 510-642-1326, bessa_ucb@hotmail.com) is the UC Berkeley Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and represents African American students in the College of Engineering. If you are interested in joining this group, call the BESSA office or stop by their office.

    Computer Science Undergraduate Association (CSUA) (337 Soda Hall, 510-642-7453, politburo@csua.berkeley.edu) represents students in the Computer Science Division of the EECS Department. The CSUA nominates student members to Department committees and provides a common voice for undergraduates in Department affairs. The CSUA also provides a consulting service for students, a library with current textbooks and magazines, and computer accounts on undergraduate machines. The Association is an opportunity for students to become involved in managing machines, running the organization, and taking part in efforts to improve the undergraduates' education in the CS Division. If you are interested in joining, send email or stop by their office. There are general meetings each semester and everyone is invited to attend.

    Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) is the EECS honor society. The Berkeley chapter is among the most active engineering societies at Cal, providing many academic services to fellow undergraduates. HKN offers free drop-in tutoring for EE and CS courses on weekdays between 11am and 5pm in 290 Cory Hall and 345 Soda Hall. In addition, past EE and CS exams as well as course and professor ratings are available on the HKN website: http://hkn.eecs.berkeley.edu . HKN also hosts career fairs, info sessions, review sessions, and other events for the EECS community. Membership in Eta Kappa Nu is extended to the top fourth of the junior class and the top third of the senior class in EECS. Interested undergraduates should watch for the list of eligible names, which is posted around Cory Hall at the beginning of each semester. For more information please visit the HKN website and please email any questions to hkn@hkn.eecs.berkeley.edu.

    Hispanic Engineers and Scientists (HES) (104 Naval Architecture Building hes@eecs.berkeley.edu) is a UC Berkeley student group composed of Latino engineering and science majors. The organization's goals are to provide support and networks for students as well as to build relationships between corporations and students. HES also has a high emphasis on reaching out to the community to encourage children of all ages to attend a university. HES is open to all students. If you are interested in finding out more about HES, send us an email.

    Society of Women Engineers (SWE) (131 Hesse Hall, swe.berkeley@gmail.com) is the campus chapter of the national organization. Recognized for the overall quality of their innovative programs, UCB's chapter has earned awards on both the regional and national levels.

    Each Fall, SWE hosts the popular Evening with Industry event, during which students and representatives from over 30 companies interact in a relaxed and personal atmosphere. Company tours in the Fall and the .Shadow an Engineer. program during spring break allow students to experience the daily routine of a "real" engineer outside the pressure-filled environment of an interview. SWE also hosts workshops such as Resume Review and Business Etiquette and has an extensive outreach program designed to spark an interest in engineering and science-related careers among students from elementary school to junior college. Members also enjoy a variety of social activities with other engineering societies. If you would like to find out more about SWE, attend the first general meeting during the second week of school, or stop by the SWE office. You can reach SWE by phone or email. SWE encourages all engineering students, both men and women, to join.

    Tau Beta Pi (TBP) (220 Bechtel Engineering Center, (510) 642-4014, tbp@tbp.berkeley.edu) is the national engineering honor society. As an extremely active student group on campus, TBP works to serve both its members and the engineering community in general. They offer a wide range of student services including course advising, professional development workshops, company infosessions, and a student-led course for new students called E98: Surviving Berkeley Engineering. TBP also values service to the surrounding community and helps plan and run events such as Engineering for Kids Day and P.I.E. (Pioneers in Engineering). To check out some of TBP's valuable resources and learn more, visit their webpage at tbp.berkeley.edu.

    Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE Student Branch, formerly UCSEE) (246 Cory Hall, (510) 642-3791, officers@ieee.eecs.berkeley.edu) is one of the largest chapters in the nation. The IEEE Student Branch lab (open for all students to use) is in 204 Cory Hall. You can reach IEEE officers by email. There is also an IEEE Student Branch newsgroup (ucb.org.ucsee). Flyers are available on the second floor of Cory Hall. The group provides social and professional services, and service opportunities. There are several general meetings with guest speakers and pizza, broomball games, peer advising (with HKN), and other social activities. It also sponsors an introductory electronics decal known as HOPE (Hands on Practical Electronics) as well as a Startup Fair and Graduate School Series. It compiles a resume book each year, which it distributes to several companies. It sponsors several presentations each semester by companies for EECS and other Engineering students, followed by pizza and recruiting for both internships and permanent jobs.

    Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE) (345 Soda Hall, (510) 642-9952, officers@upe.berkeley.edu, http://upe.berkeley.edu) is an honor society for computer science students in the College of Letters and Science. They provide tutoring, advising, company infosession hosting, social activities and campus and community service.

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  4. Undergraduate Research

    Individual initiative is important in seeking out independent study in our large department. The Center for Undergraduate Matters provides advising on finding undergraduate research opportunities. The following may help in finding a research position:

    1. Check the EECS Undergraduate Research Website, which lists academic and summer research programs as well as undergraduate research resources, such as workshop announcements as well as guides and hints to obtaining research positions.
    2. Students of Professor Armando Fox's CS 169 helped to design a site called ResearchMatch, which can help to match you and your interests and abilities with a research project that can use your skills. The site is now hosted at ResearchMatch.heroku.com and you log in using your CalNet ID.
    3. Review the EECS Faculty website or the EECS Research Projects website and select a list of faculty whose research interests match with yours. Visit faculty during their office hours or make appointments with faculty to learn more about ongoing projects that could benefit from the assistance of an undergraduate researcher.
    4. Learn what research is happening in the EECS Department by reading the EECS Research Summary. Copies are available in the Center for undergraduate Matters, in the HKN and IEEE offices, and on the ERL Research Summary Website.
    5. Investigate related opportunities in other engineering departments, such as Mechanical Engineering, Bioengineering or Materials Science, by navigating their departmental websites. Many students find interesting research with faculty in other departments or at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
    6. Attend the weekly EECS colloquia, which are research presentations organized during the academic year on Wednesday afternoons. These informal seminars discuss current research projects in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science fields. Featured speakers include EECS faculty, faculty from peer institutions, and highly ranked industry representatives. For the latest information and schedule, check the EECS Joint Colloquium website.
    7. Attend EECS meetings and seminars scheduled throughout the semester. Look for sessions featuring research topics and presentations that most appeal to you so you can gain greater exposure to the department's research community. For a complete listing of events, pick up the most recent issue of Engineering News, publications put out by the College of Engineering, check the daily seminar bulletin board in the main hallway on the second floor of Cory, or visit the schedule online.
    8. Talk to current EECS graduate students about their work; consult the EECS Resume Book published each Fall that lists graduate students by their area of research. By networking with graduate students, you might be able to obtain a research position with them directly, or they could help you negotiate a position with their Faculty Advisers.
    9. Attend the bi-annual Undergraduate Science and Engineering Research Poster Sessions to see firsthand the research projects your peers are doing.
    10. Consult your Faculty Adviser or the staff in the Center for Student Affairs, 205 Cory Hall, for further advice, to borrow any of the above publications, and to get an idea of research other EECS undergraduates have undertaken.
    11. Visit the campus-wide Office of Undergraduate Research in 301 Campbell Hall. The office provides information, resources, and when available, funding to enable undergraduate research.
    12. Join the undergraduate_research@lists.berkeley.edu mailing list. To subscribe, visit the campus's website for this purpose. This is a campus listserv, so you will receive more general information than you will from the more specifically engineering-related sites above.

    When you have identified projects that look interesting, investigate the research environment. For example:

    • What kinds of work are undergraduates doing? What type of project will you be working on? Some projects are very simplistic and closely defined (e.g., "Write an interface to this tool"), while others are more open-ended (e.g., "Doing this seems like a good idea, but we don't know how to do it, so let's figure it out").
    • How much independence or responsibility would you have on the project?
    • Are there senior graduate students who will mentor you?
    • How often will you interface with the faculty research Adviser?
    • Could you obtain a co-authored publication from your research experience?
    • Will this position possibly lead to a paid research position as an Assistant III (Senior Engineering Aide)?
    • Does the group meet regularly? When?

    Additional Resources
    EECS 199: Independent Study: You may undertake independent study and research through EE 199 or CS 199 course units. Over 75 students per year take advantage of this opportunity. After you have located your faculty sponsor, you may fill out the form to enroll in EE 199/CS 199. Submit EE 199 applications to 205 Cory Hall and CS 199 applications to 387 Soda Hall.

    Center for Information Technology Research in the Interests of Society (CITRIS): CITRIS creates information technology solutions for many of our most pressing social, environmental and healthcare problems.

    The first public-private partnership created to use IT in this way, CITRIS partners more than 300 faculty and thousands of students from myriad departments at four UC campuses (Berkeley, Davis, Merced and Santa Cruz) with industrial researchers from over 60 corporations. Together they are thinking about IT in ways that have not been thought of before. They see solutions to many of the concerns that face all of us today, from the environment and finding viable sustainable energy alternatives to healthcare delivery and developing secure electronic medical records and remote diagnosis, ultimately boosting economic productivity. CITRIS represents a bold and exciting vision that is leveraging one of the top university systems in the world with highly successful corporate partners and government resources.

    National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program: The NSF sponsors summer research programs for students in engineering disciplines at universities nationwide. Eligibility is limited to US citizens and permanent residents. For more information see the NSF REU webpage .

    Summer Undergraduate Program in Engineering Research at Berkeley-Computer Science in the Interest of Society (CSIS): This program, offered by the EECS Department, has the objective of providing research opportunities in engineering to students who have been historically underrepresented in the field for reasons of social, cultural, educational or economic barriers. You must have junior status, be a U.S Citizen or permanent resident, have completed some upper-division course work in EECS, and have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0. You need not have prior research experience. You will be required to attend orientation and complete the entire eight-week program, and to give an oral presentation and submit a written report describing the results of your research. For further details about the program and how to apply, see the webpage.

    Supernode: A student run makerspace located in 246 Cory Hall. Their goal is to give students access to the tools necessary to make their projects successful. This space is open to any member of the UC Berkeley community when the doors are open. To get card key access, sign up for a training session.

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  5. EECS Honors Degree Program

    The EECS Honors Degree Program is designed to provide very talented undergraduate students, both in the College of Engineering and in the College of Letters and Science, with more flexibility at the undergraduate level. Honors students have a concentration outside of EECS, called a "breadth" area. In addition, students receive a special faculty Adviser, engage in research, receive official notation of the honors degree on their Berkeley transcript, and are invited to special events with faculty and EECS Honors alumni. Honors students may optionally elect to complete a Senior Honors Thesis (EE H196 A/B or CS H196 A/B). Applications to the Honors Degree Programs are accepted at the end of the Fall and Spring semester. Typically students apply during their junior year. Visit the EECS student affairs office for more information about applying.


    • At least 45 units completed at UC Berkeley. (May also include up to 10 AP units.)
    • Junior transfer students must complete at least 12 units at UCB and typically apply at the end of their second semester.
    • Completion of lower-division technical requirements for the degree.
    • Minimum overall and technical GPA of 3.7 or above.
    • Applicants with only one semester remaining are not typically admitted.

    Course of Study

    • Fulfill all degree requirements in EECS or L&S CS.
    • A breadth requirement, consisting of at least 3 upper-division courses (totaling at least 10 units) taken for a letter grade, outside the College of Engineering.
    • The breadth requirement courses may be taken in a single department, or in related departments if they address a unifying theme. The breadth courses are part of the honors application and may be changed (later) by petition only.
    • At least 4 units of supervised Independent Study, EECS 199, H196, or other approved research (usually taken on a P/NP graded basis). You are responsible for arranging to complete these units. Independent-study forms are available in 205 Cory Hall or 387 Soda Hall.

    To Apply

    You can download a form from the EECS Honors Program website , or obtain one directly from the Center for Student Affairs, 205 Cory Hall. Center for Student Services staff are available to advise you on your eligibility to the program.

    We hold Honors Degree Program information sessions twice yearly. The information sessions will provide you with the opportunity to find out more about the Program and to ask questions. You may also inquire about the program at the Center for Student Services, 205 Cory Hall.

    The Vice Chair for Undergraduate Matters reviews applications and looks for various signs of aptitude for the program, such as a well-written essay, above-average course loads, sincere commitment to a breadth area outside EECS, and grades. We look favorably on breadth areas that are more than just extensions of a sequence already used to fulfill the humanities and social science requirements.

    The deadline to turn in applications is the last day of classes of every Fall and Spring semester.

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  6. Student Awards

    Each spring the Department honors students for outstanding personal and academic achievement . Undergraduates and graduates are nominated for various awards and the entire EECS community is invited to attend.

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  7. Academics and Industry

    The field of engineering benefits greatly from cooperation with industry. Gaining engineering work experience before graduation can help you understand the relevance of your classroom experience and provide you with a better idea of how to chart your academic program.

    International students engaging in internships during the academic year or during the summer will need to consult with the Berkeley International Office (BIO) in order to obtain work permits.

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  8. EECS Internship Open House

    EECS undergraduates have the opportunity to combine industrial experience with their academic studies through internships. Each Spring the EECS Department hosts an Internship Open House where companies from Google to startups come to recruit our students. The Department holds a workshop to help students prepare for the open house, offering resume tips and professional advice.

    A number of corporations partner with the EECS Department through the External Relations Group (XRG) . They have a unique benefit of interacting with EECS students through recruiting infosessions held in Cory and Soda Halls.

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  9. Education Abroad Program

    Each year, several EECS students study and travel abroad through the Education Abroad Program (EAP) program. Over the last five years students have traveled to France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Korea, Spain, Sweden, Vietnam, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Students participating in EAP are considered registered Berkeley students, and should note that the semester participation in EAP will not grant them an additional semester at Berkeley. Courses taken at the foreign site might not transfer for full credit to Berkeley. EAP participants will need to receive prior approval from the Dean of Engineering. Students wishing to participate in the program should contact their Adviser, as well as EAP, early in their UCB career, so that they can plan their schedule carefully.

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  10. College of Engineering Minors

    Minor programs are intended as optional programs that encourage coherence in the work that students undertake outside their major field(s) of study. Minors are currently offered in EECS, Bioengineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering (environmental engineering, structural engineering), Computer Science, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, Materials Science Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Nuclear Engineering.


    • A minimum overall grade-point average of 3.0 and a 3.0 grade-point average in prerequisite courses for the minor.
    • To successfully complete the minor, you must have a minimum grade point average of 2.0 in the minor courses at graduation.
    • Only one upper-division course used for the minor can overlap with courses used for the major.
    • Completing a minor may not delay graduation.

    For specific requirements on these minors, contact the sponsoring department.

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