BETA Physics: Berkeley Experience and Training in Advanced Physics

Smiling graduate students sitting on wall in front of Sather Tower

The Berkeley Experience and Training in Advanced Physics (BETA Physics) Program is a certificate non-degree program which hosts visiting students from around the country and the world to provide them with an opportunity to study advanced graduate level physics at UC Berkeley for one or two semesters.

Our Physics Department, on the beautiful UC Berkeley campus, is one of the top ranked graduate programs in the world. It is home to faculty and students who are devoted to scientific discovery, teaching, learning and participation in cutting-edge research. Of the 22 Nobel Prizes awarded to UC Berkeley faculty, approximately one-third are from Physics! The UC Berkeley Physics Department is proud to have nine faculty members and seven alumni as Nobel Prize winners. The complete list of UC Berkeley Nobel Prize winners can be found here

Academic Opportunities

The BETA Physics Program offers two academic tracks:

1. General Physics Track – designed for students who are exploring various graduate field options before applying to graduate school or for students who are already in graduate programs looking to spend a semester or two at another university.
* select from any physics graduate or specialized upper division courses for a minimum of 12 units and maximum of 13
* All course prerequisites must be met
* All courses must be in the physics department

2. Quantum Information Emphasis – designed for students who are interested in quantum computing.
* Courses to select from: Physics 221A/221B, 130/230, 138/238A, C191, 188/288, 141A/141B, 240A/240B, 290’s for a minimum of 12 units and maximum of 13
* All course prerequisites must be met
*All courses must be in the physics department

BETA Physics Course Offerings

Please click here for a complete list of course offerings.

Program Benefits

  • Complete UC Berkeley graduate level courses that may offer credit transferable to a student’s home university or towards their future graduate degree, upon approval
  • Enjoy exclusive faculty/visiting student lunches which allow students in our programs an opportunity to meet and hear from our faculty about their academic experience and research while enjoying lunch in a small and informal setting
  • Learn about cutting-edge physics research on our campus
  • Attend graduate level seminars and department colloquia
  • Attend workshops on Applying to Graduate School
  • Attend Career Exploration Panels
  • Access to the Recreational Sports Facility (RSF)
  • Access to campus libraries
  • Meet and collaborate with physicists from around the world

Graduate students presenting posters, lots of students interacting


Program cost is $23,000 for one semester; $46,000 for a full year. 

Additional fees:
$11,250 minimum needed for estimated housing expenses. Other living and miscellaneous expenses  (food, textbooks, travel, etc.) not included    
$900 estimated for health insurance
$250 Student Services
$125 Cal Central term access

* Based on current rates through July 2025.

Expected course workload

12 UC Berkeley semester units in one term all in the Physics Department. This is also needed for visa requirements

Department Application Deadline

May 1st, 2024: for Fall 2024

Eligibility Criteria

  • Fully conferred Bachelor's degree in Physics or an affiliated field of study
    (an interview, in person or online, may be required)
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA in Physics
  • Must meet all course prerequisites
  • Additional English proficiency requirements for international students:
    • TOEFL: 90 (iBT)*
    • IELTS: 7*
    • Duolingo: 125*
      *interview may be required

How to Apply

You will need to provide

  • a statement of purpose
  • an official copy of your transcript
  • indicate length of study: one or two semesters
  • a list of courses planned for each term (prerequisites are enforced)
  • two letters of recommendation (on official letterhead, when applicable)
  • for international students: proof of English-Language Proficiency and a copy of your passport identification page
  • apply at: