Summerfuel 2021 >> Coming Soon

Connect with talented students from around the world at our summer program at UC Berkeley, one of the nation's premier research universities.

Delivered Remotely in 2020
Program Fee:
4 Week Residential: $8,495
4 Week Day: $6,995
2 Week Residential: $4,995
2 Week Day: $3,995
Campus Dormitory
Ages 14 - 17
Program Fee includes:
Tuition, room, 3 meals per day (M-F) and 2 meals per day (Sa-Sun). Use of select campus facilities, included excursions and daily activities, bed linens, pillow and towels, 24-hour residential care and support, staff accompanied airport transfer during specified windows.
Not Included:
Airfare/transportation to and from home city, courses and activities shown to have an extra fee, laundry, spending money, souvenirs, meals eaten away from program, airport transfers outside of specified windows, trip cancellation insurance, medical insurance, medical and dental expenses.

Summerfuel Berkeley inspires students to engage intellectually and personally and experience life at the nation’s premier public research university. Our Pre-College summer programs for high school students are designed to reflect a collegiate liberal arts environment, and students are strongly encouraged to explore and take ownership of their experience. Courses are small, active and engaging, requiring student involvement. Activities are designed by staff with student input to ensure a very personalized, unique experience. 

Summerfuel Berkeley students will take full advantage of the resources of both UC Berkeley and San Francisco, whether that means catching a film at the Pacific Film Archive or sampling the food in historic Chinatown. The beauty of northern California combined with the cultural riches of the city makes Summerfuel on the campus of UC Berkeley an unforgettable way to spend the summer.

Want more information on BERKELEY ?

Please note this program is operated by Summerfuel at UC Berkeley, one of several locations where Summerfuel operates a program. The University and its Conference Services are not responsible for the program in any way.






  • 08.30am • BREAKFAST
  • 09.30am • MORNING COURSE
  • 12.00pm • LUNCH
  • 01.30pm • WORKSHOPS (Wed&Fri)
  • 04.00pm • AFTERNOON COURSE
  • 06.30pm • DINNER
  • 07.00pm • FREE TIME
  • 08.30pm • EVENING EVENTS
  • 11.00pm • CHECK-IN




Foothill complex is located in the beautiful wooded northeast corner of campus with spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge. Often described as a “ski-lodge” and surrounded by eucalyptus trees, Foothill is a quiet and relaxing environment to come home to.

Resident Advisors

A Resident Advisor (RA) will live in or adjacent to each suite and will work to create a strong, supportive residential community.  A Resident Advisor’s role is to support students in every aspect of their summer experience while serving as a mentor and active leader.  Summerfuel Senior Staff also live in residence and are available to help address student concerns and emergencies, day or night.

University Facilities

Foothill’s beautiful exterior courtyards are complemented by excellent interior facilities: a dining hall, game room, meeting rooms, modern lounges and laundry facilities. 

University athletic facilities are accessible with a membership to the Cal Rec fitness center (supplemental fee, $200).  Cal Rec facilities include weight rooms, cardio machines, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts and a running track.  Exercise classes are available through Cal Rec for a small additional fee.


Program fees include three meals per day (M-F) & 2 meals daily Sa/Su. All meals on campus will be at Foothill Dining.  When we are off campus, meals will be provided off-site.  Foothill Dining is conveniently located within the Foothill complex, only a few minutes from student bedrooms. Foothill provides a wide variety of menu choices, including vegetarian, vegan and an organic salad bar.

Berkeley dining is able to accommodate most dietary restrictions and preferences. Please advise Summerfuel of dietary needs during the application process.


The city of Berkeley is at your doorstep with myriad eating, shopping, arts and entertainment options.

Telegraph Ave

Once a focal point for the hippie movement, this thoroughfare is now home to popular shops and restaurants. Make sure to visit Rasputin’s where you can buy any and every CD or record you can imagine.

Berkeley Marina and Pier

Enjoy beautiful views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge while watching fishermen pull in their catch on the pier. Located next door is César Chávez Park, a kite-flying mecca.

Gourmet Ghetto

Laden with hipsters, foodies, and everything in between, the Gourmet Ghetto is home to the area’s most revolutionary and innovative restaurants including Chez Panisse, Cheeseboard, and the original Peet’s Coffee, a haven for Bay Area coffee-lovers.

Downtown Berkeley

A highly eclectic commercial district in Berkeley, it is also the location of the Berkeley BART station, the hub of transportation into the heart of San Francisco.

Lawrence Hall of Science

Not just a hands-on science museum, Lawrence Hall of Science also offers panoramic views of the entire Bay Area.

Hearst Greek Theater

Known locally as 'The Greek', this venue is host to pop, rock, and world music concerts as well as the annual Berkeley Jazz Festival.

Pacific Film Archive

Home to the most extensive film archives in the world, PFA hosts many screenings throughout the year, focusing on directors, eras or artistic movements.

Fourth Street

The most upscale shopping district in Berkeley features restaurants and specialty shops with a distinctly bohemian Berkeley feel.

United Artists Cinema

Catch Hollywood’s latest hits at this popular student hangout while indulging in classic movie snacks.






At Summerfuel, we believe learning should be inspiring and interactive. We design courses for the UC Berkeley summer program to reflect the strengths of the university and the Bay area, incorporating field trips, expert speakers and hands-on learning opportunities.

Seminar Structure

All students select one morning (major) course and one afternoon (elective) course.  Morning courses meet five times per week and afternoon courses meet three or four times weekly.  Courses are seminar style so participation and engagement is crucial. 

Although course content will be challenging, homework is limited to ensure that students make the most of their experience in Berkeley.  Course size will range from eight students per class to sixteen students per class depending on the discipline.


Workshops at UC Berkeley are designed to be a more formal version of the extracurricular programming Summerfuel staff offer daily.  Workshops will meet six or seven afternoons during the program.  Meeting times will vary depending on the focus of the workshop.  Fitness and dance workshops are generally one and one half hours while hiking, community service or college admissions may be longer.  Workshops are led by Summerfuel team members with expertise in and a passion for the subject.

Suggested Course Pairings

Pre-College programs are intentionally designed to encourage students to pursue varied interests.  However, complimentary course pairings can provide a focused study track.  These pairings are offered based on student recommendations.
AM Entrepreneurship | PM Marketing in a Digital World

AM Introduction to Architecture | PM Urban Planning & Design

AM Medical Science | PM Genetics

AM Robotics | PM Video Game Design


Courses are designed and taught by an accomplished and passionate faculty recruited from many area colleges, universities and professional forums.  Each faculty member is selected for their subject area expertise and ability to will both challenge and captivate students.

Returning faculty include:

Jeremy Burns
Developmental Psychology
Jeremy completed his BA at Bard College and two separate PhDs at UC Berkeley.  In addition to enjoying his time teaching Summerfuel students, Jeremy is a full time School Psychologist and high school and college level Psychology instructor.
Read Jeremy's Interview

Samuel Mathau
Introduction to Architecture, Urban Planning
Samuel completed his BA in Architecture at UC Berkeley and both his Master’s of Architecture and Masters of City Planning in Urban Design at the University of Pennsylvania.  Samuel is a principal at the Mathau/Roche Design Group and is an active, registered Architect in the state of California.


Morning Seminar



Are you a self-starter who is always looking for the next big idea? Do you want to develop your leadership skills and learn how to run your own company? This practically-based course will teach you how to create your own business from start to finish. Learn how to identify a market, attract investors and manage growth and expansion. Work with a team of your peers to develop your own original business plan and to promote your innovative idea.

Preparing for College

SAT Preparation

With 24 hours of small-group instruction and individual consultation plus 4 full-length SAT tests, your Princeton Review program will prepare you to perform at your highest level in SAT math, critical reading, and writing. All students have an online Princeton Review account to review their performance and continue practice. Princeton Review's satisfaction guarantee applies to this course. (Supplemental Fee: $895)

Social Sciences

Psychology and Social Behavior

This course offers an introduction to classic and contemporary social psychology - the scientific study of how people think about, influence and relate to one another. We will cover topics such as decision-making, persuasion, group behavior and social influences on interpersonal relations and overall well-being. We will focus on research findings that are easily applicable to daily life. Coursework/projects will include scientific observation of your summer community with careful analysis of results.

International Law

This course will start by examining the sources of international law, who creates it and how, as well as who its subjects are. As we proceed, we will review the main sub-areas of Public International Law (e.g. law of treaties, law of the sea, international environmental law, diplomatic & consular law, and human rights law) and of Private international Law (e.g. international family law, international commercial law, and international business law). We will also talk about dispute resolution as well as compliance and enforcement mechanisms.


Computer Science & App Design

Do you ever wonder how mobile apps we use every day are created? Students in this course will explore basic programming concepts and language, discover challenges related to designing and developing, and participate in creative design discussions. By creating a series of storyboards, students will develop their very own unique app concept and provide feedback to their peers.

Medical Science

This exciting interdisciplinary course will introduce you to some of the fundamental concepts of medical science. Learn how the immune system functions, and sometimes malfunctions, with respect to disease and how health care professionals and organizations work to prevent, treat, and cure illness. Besides the scientific, you will also investigate the social, political and cultural dimensions of the experience of health and wellness.


Engineering is a highly sought-after career as businesses seek creative minds that can find efficient solutions to various problems. This experiential course introduces you to the fundamentals of engineering as you explore what it takes to be an engineer. Working in teams, students examine various facets of mechanical, structural, civil, and electrical engineering through hands-on projects. Students develop valuable skills, including communication skills, how to work collaboratively in teams, and the basic steps in the engineering design process. Students complete the course by designing a model engineering project of their own.


Explore the science and technology behind robots and learn how robotics applies to everyday modern life. This course will enable students to gain an understanding of the history, in addition to exploring contemporary happenings in robotics - current robot lab research and applications. Students will have an opportunity to visit the labs of graduate students at UC Berkeley, working on the latest technologies in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence. Robotics will also teach individuals how to use C++ programming language - to control their own microcontroller to build robots to solve task while learning about electronics. (Personal laptop required; ($125 Supplemental Fee)

Afternoon Seminar


Marketing in a Digital World

Marketing and advertising can make or break the success of any product. Learn how the right packaging, pricing and advertising can set any idea apart from the rest. Dive into the complexities of consumer behavior to develop a winning marketing strategy to promote and sell a new product of your choice. From advertising on the internet, to magazines, to the radio and TV, there's no limit to where your creativity can take you!

Business of Fashion

Learn what it takes to succeed in the fashion industry today. Explore topics from design and marketing to merchandising and styling, all while finding your individual style. Discussions will focus on design, craft, construction and trend-spotting, and building a signature look through fashion sketching. Students will create a six-piece sketched collection by the end of the course.

Sports Business

From Division 1 NCAA athletics to the pros, this course reveals the inner workings of the $100 billion dollar global sports business. Explore marketing and commercial strategies from ticket sales, fan loyalty, corporate sponsorships, brand management to ownership and franchise models. We focus on American sports and in particular bay area brands such as the San Francisco 49'ers, SF Giants, Oakland Athletics and of course our very own Cal Bears.

Preparing for College

Essay Writing

This course will explore the process of building an excellent essay by beginning with the pre-writing stage and continuing through all steps to a post-work revision. Each week students will work to master one element of the writing process before moving on to the next. This course will provide preparation for both high school and college writing assignments. Enrollment is limited to enable faculty to provide ample feedback and guidance.

Public Speaking

From speaking in front of a class to tackling a college interview, public speaking is a critical skill for success. Develop your ability to express yourself confidently and clearly through speech writing and performance. Sharpen your skills with the aid of videos and texts of famous speeches to deliver a performance for any occasion.

Social Sciences

Urban Planning & Design

Urban Planning & Design Berkeley and San Francisco will be your classroom as you study the intricacies of planning and developing an urban landscape. Study the fundamental techniques of urban planning and some of the major figures of the fields. Consider contemporary challenges in the field, like creating green spaces, revitalizing former industrial districts and minimizing carbon footprints. Collaborate with your peers to design an elegant solution to common urban planning challenges.

Abnormal Psychology

In an era of booming technology, our ability to better understand the human brain and how it relates to behavior has vastly improved. Investigate the ways neuropsychologists differentiate healthy human behavior from abnormal functioning. You will examine the causes and definitions of mental illness and brain disorders from schizophrenia to Parkinson's disease to bipolar disorder. In addition, learn about the symptoms and effective treatments for these conditions, such as different types of therapy and medication.

International Relations

Explore international relations both as a theory and as events affecting the lives of ordinary people. You will examine current events relating to war and terrorism, human rights, global health crises and aid for the developing world. Think critically about arguments from all sides of the political spectrum and learn how nations use diplomacy to peacefully coexist. Through research, discussion and debate, you will tackle key issues of our world today.


Biology: Intro to Genetics

From Mendel's pea plants to Dolly the cloned sheep, the field of genetics has progressed a great deal in the past 100 years. Study the basics of inheritance of genetic traits and explore new discoveries in genetic research. Consider the social and political implications of these advances, and discuss topics such as genetic testing, the genetic basis of disease, the Human Genome Project, as well as the use of genetics in criminal cases and forensic science.

Game Design

This course will investigate the fundamentals of game design and build the skills to communicate design vision to others. It will introduce basic design structures that the students will use to interpret existing designs, explore their own ideas, and finally present original designs. The course will include lectures, daily exercises, guest speakers, and field trips. All work will be focused on developing a greater understanding of the process of video game design and development in order to encourage original thought and problem solving skills.(Personal laptop required)


Discover Berkeley

Hike Berkeley

Explore the beautiful geography of the Bay Area by joining these afternoon hikes. Together we'll discover Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, Strawberry Canyon and the magnificent natural diversity of Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco. Hiking will be easy to moderate.

Preparing for College

An Introduction to College Admissions

Are you anxious about the college admissions/application process? Do you have questions that you would like answered by an experienced, knowledgeable professional? Join the college admissions workshop and learn more about the admissions process. Admissions visits will be included as scheduling permits.

Community Service

Take your passion for service work to the next level by planning and executing a self-designed community service project with a team of dedicated peers. Develop key leadership skills such as taking an initiative, motivating others and working towards a common goal, all to benefit the local Berkeley community.

Sports & Fitness


Develop your basketball skills through drills, contests and games. All levels are welcome -- the only requirement is a desire to have fun on the court! (Cal Rec Membership required)

Personal Fitness

Do you love to play sports and get in a good afternoon workout? Spend your workshop afternoons engaging in different athletic challenges and competitions. We'll survey student interest and include various sporting activities to engage in. Likely to include basketball, tennis, soccer, running, body weight exercises, and more.


Take some time to de-stress, stretch, and breathe deeply. Join an intimate yoga/pilates class and learn the time-tested techniques that have helped people to relax and decompress for centuries. Work with an instructor who will focus on your own strengths and weaknesses, to walk away with skills that will be useful for the rest of your life.

The Arts

Film & Food

How do food and film combine to portray the unique cultures of different nations? Enjoy full length films, film shorts and excerpts while sampling food from a variety of different cultures.

Photography Club

Spend your afternoons exploring the art of photography with friends. Discover Berkeley through street portraits, self portraits, tableaux vivants and more. Bring your camera and your desire to discover. All levels welcome.

Television Acting

This workshop is designed to give students the insights and skills needed to work in front of the camera. Students will learn tv and commercial acting and audition techniques, practice from actual scripts, and assess both their own and their peers' performances for helpful feedback.




Every weekend we'll spend time relaxing and enjoying new friends as we explore the Bay area.  Most weekends are planned with one day's adventure further afield while another day we explore closer to home.

Explore San Francisco

Start with a visit to Union Square, a modern shopping and dining mecca, with every major department store and specialty store imaginable within a half-mile radius. Continue to Haight-Ashbury or ’The Haight’ –birthplace of America’s counter culture in the 1960’s (home to the Grateful Dead). The Haight is known today for its colorful mix of shops, restaurants and cafés.

San Franciscan Sights Part 2

Enjoy the view from Golden Gate Bridge as you walk across the remarkable 1.2 mile span before spending time in beautiful Golden Gate Park. Next, we’ll head to Fisherman’s Wharf to discover the Cannery Shopping Center, Ghirardelli Square and some of the Pacific Northwest’s best seafood. Finally, take a walk up Nob Hill for a view of the famous painted ladies of ’Postcard Row.’
Santa Cruz
After visiting the sprawling campus of UC Santa Cruz, enjoy a day on the beach or at the classic Santa Cruz Boardwalk Amusement Park.

Oakland A's Baseball

There's nothing like a ball game in July.  Join us for some excellent baseball!

Palo Alto & Stanford

Tour Stanford University, including the Rodin Sculpture Garden and Cantor Art Museum, and explore the Bay Area’s other great university town.

Daily Activities

When classes let out, you will have the freedom to decide how to spend your time. Join organized activities every afternoon, evening and weekend – or relax and take in a bit of Berkeley – you decide.

Past favorites include:

San Francisco Art Crawl
Cal Shakes Theater
Henna Tattoos
Sand Volleyball
Late Night Breakfast
Coffee House
Sushi making
Ultimate Frisbee
Casino Night
Ultimate Frisbee
Capture the Flag
Jewelry Making
Hypnotist Show
Cooking & Baking Workshops
Mafia Night
Poker Tournaments



Learn to surf in Santa Cruz at some of the best surf spots along the entire West Coast. The coastline is part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which is an area of conservation and beauty, stretching from Santa Cruz, south to Big Sur. Includes transportation, a 2-hour surfing lesson, wetsuit & board rental plus lunch. Additional $150





The safety and well being of our UC Berkeley summer program students is of paramount importance to us.  Each program will have two distinct specialist teams – one to manage residence life and one to manage academic success. Each staff member is carefully vetted using a written application, personal interview, professional reference check and required background check.

Residential Staff 

Residential staff will support students as they adjust to living in a dormitory and becoming responsible members of a summer program community.  The residence staff will include a director, senior staff and one resident advisor for every fifteen students.  Prior to the program, residence staff will be trained to lead student groups, manage student conflict and resolution and oversee all safety aspects on program.  They will begin the program well prepared to meet the needs of all Summerfuel students.


Summerfuel students are required to attend all classes and academic workshops each day.  Attendance is taken at each class.  During free time, students may choose between an event organized by the residential staff or an individual pursuit such as classwork, laundry, time in the gym or relaxing in the dorm.  Students are also allowed freedom to explore Berkeley with friends staying within a defined area.  In the evenings, students will check in with residence staff and staff will often use that time to catch up on the day’s events.

Safety & Security

UC Berkeley is a busy campus but the university takes public safety quite seriously and provides excellent support for Summerfuel staff and students. UC Berkeley maintains its own police department and residence hall safety includes locating a Residential Security Sergeant in house and Community Service Officers.   Foothill Housing Complex requires one key for external access and separate keys for suite and bedroom access.
Read our full code of conduct here