These changes will affect freshman/transfer applicants (Fall 2023 or later) who are considering/expecting to switch major after they have been admitted to Berkeley.
From UC Berkeley’s Admissions Bulletin for Counselors (received by email on 8/24/2022):
Alternate Major (on UC Application)
UC Berkeley is joining the rest of the UC campuses in allowing students to select an alternative major on the UC application. We encourage your students to take advantage of this option, especially if they have a second-choice major they’re interested in. Our advice remains that students should select the major they are most interested in as their primary major. We will only guarantee a review of the primary major [emphasis added], while alternative majors will only be used if space is available, for example, as we consider available space during the wait list process.
First-year applicants admitted to one of the 12 high-demand majors in the College of Letters and Science will be guaranteed a space in the major. While this will not be a direct admission to the major, the process to declare will be simplified and space will be held for them contingent on certain requirements. Students interested in a high-demand major are encouraged to apply for it on the application, which gives them the best chance of declaring that major. Students who do not select a high-demand major can apply to declare after enrolling at Berkeley, but it will be through a comprehensive review process directly with the major department.
Additionally, any student interested in completing a double major will be limited to one high-demand major in the College of Letters and Science. Students who are interested in more than one major should be encouraged to add the high-demand major as their primary major on their UC application.
More information will be posted on this page in the coming weeks as details are finalized.
Starting fall of 2023, participating academic departments will pilot a direct admit to major program in Berkeley’s College of Letters and Science for transfer admits. There will be 27 departments participating in the program including four high-demand majors: Art Practice, Computer Science, Data Science, and Social Welfare. On the UC application, when selecting the major, the portal will inform students that they are applying directly to the chosen major. If an applicant is admitted to a major participating in this program they will not have to go through the process of applying to or officially declaring their major during their first semester on campus. Transfer admission and major declaration procedures will not change for majors that are not participating in this pilot program. More information will be posted on this page in the coming weeks as details are finalized.