Berkeley Discovery

Photo by Neil Freese


The mission of the Berkeley Discover program in Physics & Astronomy is to empower our declared and intended majors to realize the full utility of their science training; embark on journeys of creative self-actualization; and become contributing members of a community.

Learn more about the campus-wide Discovery Initiative here!



Discovery-centered courses: 

  • Order of Magnitude Physics (Astro/Physics C101): How to understand the world to
    within a factor of 10, how to solve real-life problems from first principles, how to make ill-posed
    questions well-posed, and how to sketch solutions quickly and avoid long and formal derivations. These
    skills build physical intuition and are crucial for all lines of work, especially research. All of
    undergraduate physics—mechanics, E&M, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics—were covered in
    useful, memorable, and entertaining ways.
  • Physics & Astronomy ULAB DeCal (Astron 98): Introduction to research for students with no prior experience.
    Under the guidance of undergraduate Peer Mentors, groups of mentees completed year-long research
    projects on topics of their choosing. Skills covered: making sense of the literature; Python; LaTeX;
    statistics; conducting research from start to finish, from problem conception to execution to presentation.
  • Python DeCal (Astron 98): Introduction to Python programming for students with zero experience in programming, with additional primers on LaTeX, CV and resume preparation, and personal website design.

Undergraduate events:

Every semester we host research fairs, career panels, graduate school workshops, and so much more! These events are geared towards maximizing your resources here at Berkeley and preparing you for life after undergrad, whether that be academic or industry.

Peer advising:

Along with advising from the faculty advisors and the undergraduate major advisor, you can get advising help from your fellow Astrophysics peers! Students can connect with their peer advisors during drop-in advising hours and online through Discord.

Peer tutoring: 

Need help with your astronomy & physics classes? We have partnered with the Student Learning Center (SLC) to provide peer tutoring to all students for undergraduate astronomy and physics courses. Weekly drop-in tutoring is available every semester.

Community building:

Join the Undergraduate Astronomy Society (UAS) for community events, star parties, and peer support/mentorship!

Funding and paid positions:

  • Research funding (BPURS): declared Astrophysics and Physics students partner with a faculty member to apply jointly for funding of $750/semester for a research project
  • Peer Advisors: two declared Astrophysics students are appointed as Peer Advisors each semester and are provided a $200 stipend for their contributions (~2hrs/week each semester).
  • Peer Tutors: intended/declared Astrophysics students are hired as Peer Tutors through the SLC to provide support to undergraduate astronomy courses each semester. Peer tutors are hired by the SLC starting at $17.03/hr and are expected to commit up to 9hrs/week.


MPS Scholars

Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS) Scholars is designed to achieve equitable outcomes for all undergraduates who are interested in the mathematical and physical sciences.

There are many ways to get involved with MPS Scholars!



Career Development