1400x300 UCB

The University of California, Berkeley

LSE offers undergraduate students the opportunity to spend a full academic year in the College of Letters and Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

American college life seemed as something quite obviously different - from the social side to extracurricular initiatives, sports as well as academia. I wanted to gain a first hand experience of it all.

Marta, LSE-Berkeley exchange student

An information session for students interested in applying to a GO LSE exchange programme usually takes place during the the Autumn term of each academic year.


The University of California was founded in 1868, born out of a vision in the State Constitution of a university that would "contribute even more than California's gold to the glory and happiness of advancing generations." Berkely was the first campus founded as part of the University of California and today is the largest of its nine constituent campuses.

16x9 Berkeley campus
Berkeley is one of nine constituent campuses within the University of California
16x9 Berkeley campus 2
Berkeley is a city located on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay. A short drive across the Oakland Bay Bridge will take you into the city of San Francisco.


Academic Information

Berkeley's College of Letters and Science offers a wide array of courses, spread across a variety of disciplines within the sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities.

If you are successful in your application, you will create a 'Study Plan' which will list the classes you would be interested in taking during your year abroad. This normally equates to around four classes per semester.

The Berkeley exchange is additional to the requirements of your LSE degree. Having completed the year at Berkeley, you will then return to LSE to study the final year of your programme. Your year at Berkeley will not count towards your final degree classification at LSE, but you will be issued with a separate Berkeley transcript providing details of your results.


Students are eligible to apply for a number of Berkeley residences, although accommodation is not guaranteed. Further information can be found on Berkeley's Housing website.

In previous years, many GO LSE students have found accommodation in International House and the various Berkeley Student Housing Cooperatives.


The scheme is open to all second year LSE undergraduate students (or third year BSc Philosophy, Politics and Economics students). Generally we require applicants to have passed all of their first year exams (without resits) and to have achieved a 2:1 average across their courses.

Fees, Living Costs and Financial Support

Tuition fees

GO LSE students are not required to pay any tuition fees to Berkeley to participate in the exchange. Instead, you will continue to pay tuition fees directly to LSE. Your tuition fee while studying abroad is significantly reduced as compared to when you are on campus. For further information, please visit our fees and funding webpage

Living costs

The estimated cost of living at Berkeley for the nine-month academic year is $18,900 (or around £13,900). This will cover your housing, meals, books, and personal costs, but travel expenses are not accounted for. As part of Berkeley’s internal application process, you will need to confirm that you have access to sufficient funds to cover your cost of living whilst in the USA. 

Visit the UC Berkeley website for more information.

Financial support

Please visit our fees and funding webpage for further information.

Travel, Health Insurance, and Visas


GO LSE exchange students are expected to make their own travel arrangements. If you are eligible for Student Finance, you may be able to recoup part of the cost of up to three return journeys between your home and your host institution.

GO LSE exchange students will be covered under LSE's Travel Insurance policy, following completion of the necessary risk assessment document.

Health Insurance

Medical treatment in the United States can be very expensive and therefore Berkeley requires that all students enrol upon their Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) or an alternate plan with equivalent coverage. The cost of this insurance in the 2021-22 academic year was $1,894 per semester (or around £1,400).


Most students will need to apply for a J1 exchange visitor visa to study at Berkeley.

UCB Visa timeline
An overview of the visa application timeline

For further information, please visit the UCEAP webpages 

How to Apply

Please visit our how to apply webpage.

For up to date information, please check this page regularly.