New to Campus

Welcome (or welcome back) to a new semester at Berkeley! As you have probably guessed, in addition to the incessant use of acronyms for everything, we have a few ‘Berkeley-isms’ that are good to know about if you are new to campus. This page will provide you with the necessary information to get started teaching at Berkeley, and point you in the right direction in terms of essential teaching resources.

Getting a Cal 1 Card

Your Cal 1 Card will serve as your official campus identification while you are at UC Berkeley. In addition to after-hours building access, if you choose to get a gym membership, it will also allow you access to the gym and the locker rooms at the RSF (Recreational Sports Facility) and other gyms on campus.

Getting a CalNet ID

You choose your own CalNet ID, but please note, that your CalNet ID will also be your email address (i.e. so please choose carefully! Once you have a Cal 1 Card (and associated employee ID number), you should obtain a temporary CalNet passphrase from the designated staff administrator in your department (or you may receive this when you receive your Cal 1 Card). Then visit How to Claim Your CalNet ID to set a your CalNet ID and set a new passphrase.

UC Berkeley Technology

UC Berkeley provides numerous communication tools including email (bMail), calendars (bCal), and collaboration tools called bDrive, Box, CalShare, bCourses Project Sites. For more information, see bConnected.

bCourses is the University's Learning Management System. Learn more about bCourses on the service page managed by Research, Teaching, and Learning.


Textbook orders should be placed before the Textbook Deadline. Deadlines, as well as important textbook-related issues such as affordability, accessibility, how to order your textbooks, and tips for reducing costs and increasing accessibility are posted each semester in Undergraduate Education News.

Berkeley Time

Classes generally start at ten minutes past the stated start time in the schedule of courses. This buffer time allows students and instructors time to travel between classes that may be back-to-back.

Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs)

Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) are appointed by individual departments to assist with aspects of course instruction and management, including leading course tutorials or laboratories, invigilating examinations, student consultations and grading (see the Teaching with GSIs Resource Page for more information. GSIs are supported by the Graduate Student Instructor Teaching and Learning Resource Center.  

Disabled Students’ Program (DSP)

Berkeley has a Disabled Students’ Program with a mandate of providing equal access to all educational opportunities at UC Berkeley. The website provides information on all of the services available, including note-taking, assistive technology, auxiliary assistants and lecturer responsibilities. You will receive official notification if one of your students identifies with DSP, and be made aware of any necessary accommodations they will require.

Room Scheduling

Classroom scheduling is performed by the Office of the Registrar. If the classroom you are assigned is not suitable, requests for a different classroom will only be accepted until the Friday of the second week of instruction. This is generally granted if class enrollment has drastically changed, if sections are cancelled or to make accommodations for disabled students.

RRR Week Information

UC Berkeley’s fall and spring semesters include a Reading/Review/Recitation (RRR) week. This week “is the week following the end of formal class instruction and preceding the start of final exams and is intended for students to have free time to prepare for exams, to work on final papers and projects, and to participate in review sessions and meetings with instructors.” Review the RRR week guidelines (under Academic Calendar: More Information) to help with course planning (e.g., no new material may be presented during RRR week).


There are many resources available to instructors to both prepare for and deal with an emergency on campus. Please note that we have a campus siren; the campus emergency siren is tested the first Wednesday of every month at 12pm, followed by an announcement that it is a test. You don’t need to practice getting under your desk unless you really want to. We suggest you sign up for UCB's WarnMe which sends emergency alerts by email, text message or phone call. You can also download Cal’s free Emergency Preparedness App and add these emergency numbers to your contacts list.

Campus Policies, Course Policies and other Resources

CTL maintains a Campus Policies page that directs to important policies.

Also note the following resources: