Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is the Robinson Life Science, Business, and Entrepreneurship (LSBE) Program?

The Robinson Life Science, Business, and Entrepreneurship Program is an integrated, jointly-administered partnership between the Haas School of Business and the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology in the College of Letters and Science. Students take rigorous courses designed to help bridge scientific inquiry and research with entrepreneurship and commercial application. In the program, students earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Molecular and Cell Biology. You’ll be part of a small cohort with specialized mentoring, career development, and internship opportunities.

How are Biology and Business integrated in this program?

The Robinson Life Science, Business, and Entrepreneurship Program is staffed with designated program staff guiding students through the program. The program integrates the Molecular and Cell Biology and Business curriculum plans and provides students with professional development opportunities and other experiences that allow for practical, real-world application of concepts learned in the classroom.

I'm pre-med. Will I meet the requirements to apply to medical school in this program?

Yes, several Robinson Life Science, Business, and Entrepreneurship students are pre-med, and the program’s coursework meets the prerequisites to apply to medical school without taking additional classes.

How can I learn more?

To learn more, email lsbe@berkeley.edu to schedule an appointment with an LSBE advisor.

Academic

What kinds of courses will I take? What is the workload like?

The coursework is designed for you to complete two full bachelor’s degrees in four years, and students must meet all degree requirements for both MCB and Business. In addition, students must take the Intro to Biotech course freshman year and a program-specific capstone course in their senior year. You can complete degree requirements without taking double the course load, but this is a very rigorous program, to be sure. See the sample Program Plans

What if I receive a C in a class? Should I retake it?

No. The admissions committee will always review the first attempt at a course, especially if it’s a prerequisite for MCB or Haas. Per university policy(opens in a new tab), you may repeat a course only if you receive a D+ or lower, or a NP.

What AP/IB credits do you accept?

For information about AP/IB credits, review the Exam Credit page

According to my AP/IB scores, I can waive Chem 1A/1AL and/or Bio 1A/1AL. Should I do that?

MCB will accept your scores to waive prerequisite coursework, but we do not recommend doing so. Most high school AP programs do not include the in-depth labs that our courses at Cal do and they do not delve into the details of the material in the way our courses do. So, while AP and IB courses provide a good foundation and allow you some review at the beginning of the semester as you acclimate to college life, they do not prepare you for upper-division coursework to the same degree that Cal courses do.

Who is my advisor? Who can answer my questions?

To speak with an advisor, feel free to navigate the Contact Us page, or email lsbe@berkeley.edu

Do I have to take summer classes to graduate in 4 years?

No, the program is designed to be completed in 4 years without requiring summer classes, although taking summer classes to alleviate the course load during the semester is an option for students.

Can I have a minor?

Maybe. The Robinson Life Science, Business, and Entrepreneurship Program is very rigorous, but where minor courses overlap with major requirements, it might be possible.

Can I study abroad?

Given the fast-paced and challenging curriculum with many courses unique to UC Berkeley, studying abroad during the semester will be difficult. There are many summer programs, however, that might be possible for LSBE students to pursue.

Admissions

LSBE Admissions Vs. Haas Admissions

  • You have to apply to LSBE in order to participate in it. In other words, you cannot apply to the Haas Undergraduate Program and transfer into LSBE.
  • If accepted to LSBE, you cannot decline admission to LSBE and accept admission to the business major only.
  • If you are not admitted to LSBE, you will not be considered for admission to the business major.

Please think critically about what program you would like to be a part of. You may apply either to LSBE or the business major. After submitting your application to LSBE, your application will only be eligible for LSBE consideration

What are prerequisites to apply to the program?

Life Science, Business, and Entrepreneurship (LSBE) students must meet the prerequisite for both Haas and MCB. You can review the prerequisite requirements for the Program on our Academics page

What is the declaration process and timeline?

Students interested in pursuing LSBE must meet the requirements for both Haas and MCB. Students apply for admission to LSBE in the fall of sophomore year. Read more about the admissions process and timeline here.

Do I still need to apply to Haas?

No, you apply to the Robinson Life Science, Business, and Entrepreneurship Program, which includes application to Haas.

Can I apply to admission to Haas and LSBE?

No, you cannot apply to both LSBE and the standard Haas application.

Would I still be considered for admission to Haas if I am not admitted to LSBE?

No, unfortunately, you will not be able to apply to the Haas Undergraduate Program if you were not accepted into the LSBE Program.

What if I am not admitted to the program?

Unfortunately the Robinson Life Science, Business, and Entrepreneurship (LSBE) Program is very competitive and we cannot accommodate every student who wants to join the program. You should meet with LSBE advisors during your freshman and sophomore years to form an alternate plan. Students cannot reapply to the program.

I'm a junior or senior UC Berkeley student. Can I apply to the program?

No, the program is only open to UC Berkeley freshmen who apply to the program in the fall of their sophomore year.

Can I transfer into the program from community college?

Unfortunately not. The program is only open to students admitted to UC Berkeley as freshmen. Students cannot transfer into the Robinson Life Science, Business, and Entrepreneurship Program from community colleges or other universities.

Spieker Program Vs. LSBE

What is the Spieker Undergraduate Business Program?

The Spieker Undergraduate Business Program is a four-year undergraduate business program at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business that gives you an additional two years for deeper learning and enrichment. For more information, please visit the Spieker Program homepage

I see that Haas School of Business is moving to a direct admissions model. As a prospective LSBE student (current sophomore or incoming freshman), how will these changes affect me?

The short answer is that they won’t! You should still apply on the same timeline that you understood when you accepted admission to UC Berkeley. LSBE students will continue applying as sophomores through 2024. Your chances of admission remain unchanged, and the smaller pool of spots for continuing students will not impact LSBE admissions. LSBE will continue to admit cohorts of 25 students per year.

I see that Haas is permitting freshmen to apply. Can I apply for admission to LSBE during freshmen year?

No, LSBE applications will be available for sophomores during the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 academic years. While the Haas School of Business is expanding their admissions pathways for the 2022-2023 academic year, the LSBE admissions process will not be impacted by these changes.

When should I apply to the LSBE Program?

During the fall of your Sophomore year. For the admissions timeline, please refer to the Admissions page.

I want to apply for admission to the business program during my freshman year. If I am admitted, can I transfer into LSBE later?

No. Prospective LSBE students should not apply for admission to the business major during freshman year as transferring into LSBE is not possible. Students who wish to pursue LSBE should apply during sophomore year.

I see that Haas is permitting R&C and Calculus courses to be taken via concurrent enrollment. Does this mean I can take R&C and Calculus at a community college?

No. Once you matriculate as a UC Berkeley student, all business prerequisites must be taken on campus. Haas is permitting R&C courses to be taken at a community college only if a student plans to apply during their freshman year, which is not an option available to prospective LSBE students.

If I am not admitted to LSBE, can I reapply?

No, unfortunately you can only apply to LSBE one time. Reapplications will not be considered.

I have more questions. Who should I contact?

Please direct all questions to lsbe@berkeley.edu and a member of our team will respond as quickly as possible.