Undocumented students are often required to bear challenges and responsibilities beyond those of most other UC Berkeley students. Academic counselors help students manage their circumstances, access resources, and develop a personalized approach for success in their studies.

Balancing personal and academic demands

We recognize the challenges and responsibilities that first-generation, low-income, underrepresented, and undocumented students can experience in college. Therefore, our academic counselors deliver holistic, culturally appropriate, individualized services for each student to help them balance their personal challenges with the educational demands of university life.

From the start of the program in 2012 through the 2020 spring semester, USP academic counselors served nearly 1000 undocumented students.

Students receive support to transition to the university, select courses, decide on a major, understand course requirements, explore career options and prepare for life after graduation. As well, academic counselors work with students to manage any extenuating circumstances or unexpected crises that may impact their lives, while helping them progress toward graduation.

These counselors are specially selected and trained to provide culturally-competent support. Their work helps students engage in enrichment opportunities, develop a sense of shared learning and community, and pursue opportunities for personal growth.

Access and hours

Academic counselors are available Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at private offices located near the Undocumented Community Resource Center. Students schedule appointments in advance, but a drop-in counselor is also available every day on a first-come, first-served basis.


Tips for Getting Started

  • Does your institution provide culturally-competent academic counseling? If not, what changes need to be made?
  • Are there student groups or other allies, including staff and faculty, who could provide recommendations on ways to better support undocumented students through academic counseling?
  • Are there work study positions, or other opportunities, for current students to serve as peer counselors to incoming, undocumented students?

Additional Resources Download Academic Counseling

Includes: Academic Counselor Job Description