For Prospective Students

Congratulations and welcome to UC Berkeley! Below is some information to help you make the most out of your visit weekend. This page is run by the Chemistry Graduate Life Committee. Feel free to browse around this website if you want to learn more about what we do!

Structure of Visit Weekends

On Thursday evening, the hosts will gather at a local restaurant for food and drinks to welcome you to Berkeley. This is a great opportunity to informally mingle with graduate students and your fellow prospectives. Friday will be the busiest day of your visit; you will meet with several faculty, attend a welcoming reception with a research poster session, and enjoy dinner with their hosts at a faculty member’s home. For a more complete agenda, see below. On Saturday, there is a panel with several older graduate students to discuss life at Berkeley and several half-day trips will be offered for those interested in attending. Typically, a hiking trip and tour of Berkeley are offered.

2019 Visit Weekend Schedule


  • 8 AM – Escort from hotel lobby to College of Chemistry
  • 9 AM – Welcome Reception
  • 10:15 AM – Meet graduate student host, attend first, second faculty meetings
  • 12:20 PM – Lunch (catered by dept.)
  • 1:30 PM – More faculty meetings
  • 4:30 PM – Research poster session, reception, and ChemSocial
  • 5:30PM – Leave for faculty dinners


  • 9 AM – Depart from hotel
  • 9:30 AM – Breakfast
  • 10 AM – Graduate student panels
  • 11 AM – Brunch with faculty
  • 1 PM – Afternoon Activities (Tour of Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, hiking, etc.)

Prospective students are typically housed in the Graduate Hotel on Durant, which is easily accessed using the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). If you are visiting Stanford before UC Berkeley, you will be shuttled from Stanford to Hotel Durant on Friday morning.

Directions from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Berkeley

  1. Follow the signs in the airport to BART and purchase a BART ticket from a vending machine.  You may use cash or a debit/credit card.
  2. Board an Antioch train.
  3. Off-board at 19th St. Oakland (the station with blue bricks); walk across the platform and board the Richmond train.  This transfer is timed and your next train will be waiting for you or arriving shortly. Off-board at Downtown Berkeley.

Directions from Oakland International Airport (OAK) to Berkeley

  1. Follow signs in the airport to BART and purchase a BART ticket from a vending machine. You may use cash or a debit/credit card.
  2. Board a Richmond train and off-board at Downtown Berkeley.
  3. The fare for this ride is $9.30, so it may be worth checking the price of a ride-share to see if this is more economical for you.

Weather in the Bay Area is often cool in the mornings and evenings and warm during the day, so we advise you to dress in layers. Make sure you have your ID and consider bringing an umbrella, sunscreen, and print-outs with your hotel information and transportation directions.

If you have any questions regarding your visit, please email our Graduate Student Affairs Officer, Joel (

Last Updated: 9/15/19