College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

The Peer Advising Leadership (PAL) Program

Contact a Peer Advisor

The work of peer advisors is integral to the success of their fellow CNR undergraduates. Peer advisors are trained in understanding CNR and university requirements, policies, and procedures, and they help with CNR recruitment and enrichment programs.

pal@berkeley.edu
260 Mulford (Student Resource Center)
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PAL Office Hours

Frequently Asked Questions

Many students have questions about the same issues. Below we've answered some of those most frequently asked.

    Please click on a link to display the information.

    PAL FAQS

    • Requirements

      Q: Can a course I completed through UCDC fulfill the R1B requirement?

      A: No, the Reading and Composition requirements must be fulfilled at UC Berkeley, at a community college in California, or through an AP or IB English exam score. Check the CNR handbook page 6

    • Course-Related Questions

      Q: When is the last day to drop a class without it showing up on my transcript?

      A: End of the 5th week of instruction, except for Early Drop Deadline (end of the 2nd week of instruction.)

      Q: It is past the deadline and I want to drop a course. Can the professor drop for me?

      A: No, the professor can only drop students during the first two weeks. Afterwards, it is up to the student. After 5th week, students should go to 260 Mulford Hall for instructions/steps on policy and procedure for late add/drop/grade option change.

      Q: I passed a class with a C. Can I retake it because I feel I did not learn enough the first time?

      A: No. Courses with C- or better cannot be repeated. Students can sit in on the lectures or watch the webcast online.

      Q: I am a senior and I only need one class to graduate. What is the minimum number of units that I can take?

      A: This is a case by case scenario. The student has to petition the college for a reduced course-load. Recommended: take more than just one class- something supplement your skills or an interesting class you haven't had the opportunity to take yet.

      Q: How important is it to complete the pre-requisite(s) to a class?

      A: It is very important to take the pre-requisites for any class. While it is still possible to pass the class without taking the pre-requisites, the student will have to put more effort into doing well. The instructors assume that the students have already taken the pre- requisites and thus may cover material too quickly.

      Q: Where can I go to find the 199 research forms?

      A: 260 Mulford. They are in the middle row of the rack of papers you see on your left as you walk in to the resource center.

    • TeleBears

      Q: Where should my faculty advisor sign my TeleBears form?

      A: On the major advisor line. :) However, it is always a good idea to meet with your major advisor as well.

    • Major-Related Questions

      Q: How can I declare/meet with an advisor to declare my major?

      A: There is more than one answer to this question depending on the situation. Some major advisors do not require students to complete all the paper work before declaring. More information about changing colleges, declaring majors, etc. can be found at nature.berkeley.edu. Click on the links for "current students" or "prospective students."

      Q: How do I transfer into CNR?

      A: First, research online the major you are interested in declaring. You must meet with the major advisor who advises the major in question. Then, pick up a "Change of college/school" form from the rack of papers inside the resource center (or http://cnr.berkeley.edu/site/forms/oisa/change_college.pdf) and follow the instructions. The form requires approval/signatures from both schools and a four year plan of the classes. Please make sure that you have completed all of your requirements (available here: http://cnr.berkeley.edu/site/forms/oisa/cnr_for_noncnr_students.pdf).

    • Minor-Related Questions

      Q: Can I take minor classes Pass/No Pass?

      A: Depends on the minor. Check with the minor advisor. Most classes required for a minor must be taken for a letter grade.

      Q: When is a good time to declare a minor?

      A: For most minors, you will declare the semester you graduate.

    • Degree List

      Q: If I put myself on the summer degree list but changed my mind, what do I do to be added to the Fall Degree list?

      A: Contact the Office of Registrar. After they drop you from the Summer Degree List, it is the student's responsibility to add themselves to the fall degree list. This is not done automatically.

      Q: I accidentally added myself on the degree list. How do I remove myself?

      A: There is a "Petition to drop from degree list" that you can fill out and obtain from the CNR resource center in 260 Mulford or at http://cnr.berkeley.edu/site/forms/oisa/petition_to_drop_from_degree_list.pdf

    • Transcripts

      Q: Can I get an official transcript from this office. I need one that isn't just printed from BearFacts.

      A: No. Students must go to the registrar for an offical transcript.

    Telebears FAQS

    • Q: Do all Students in CNR have to have an advisor code for enrollment?

      A: Yes. All CNR students must meet with their advisor to obtain their advisor code. No advisor codes will be distributed by phone, email, or without an appointment. There are no exceptions!

    • Q: When is the best time for me to get my advisor code?

      A: The best time to get your advisor code is as soon as you receive an email from the CNR Office of Instruction and Student Affairs (OISA), informing you the on-line appointment system will be available soon. The email from OISA usually goes out a week or so after students receive their TeleBEARS notification date and time from the Registrar's Office.

      Schedule your appointment early. Most students will have their Phase I appointment in late October or early November (for spring registration) and late April or early May (for fall registration). Do not wait until the last minute to schedule an appointment, as there may not be any available before their Phase I appointment. CNR starts early to ensure we have time to meet with everyone before their Phase I appointment.

    • Q: What should I bring to my appointment?

      A: Students need to bring a completed Tele-BEARS form, current schedule, unofficial transcript and any questions that they may have for the advisor. Students can pick up a copy of the TeleBEARS form from our office (260 Mulford) or print one out online: http://nature.berkeley.edu/site/req_forms.php. Always arrive to your appointment on time and prepared.

    • Q: Are the advising appointments on Berkeley time?

      A: No, CNR advisors do not see students on Berkeley time. You should arrive to your appointment on time. Give yourself enough time to arrive to your scheduled appointment. If you arrive late and are unprepared, you may be prompted to schedule another appointment, as most appointments are scheduled back-to-back.

    • Q: If I have to cancel, how do I get another appointment?

      A: CNR OISA advisors ask that students please refrain from cancelling and rescheduling appointments whenever possible. When students make an appointment and cancel, they are taking up a time slot that another student could have used. CNR may cancel the students appointment if they reschedule more than one or two times to allow other students to have a chance to sign up for an appointment.

    • Q: How do I schedule an on-line appointment?

      A: To schedule an appointment for Tele-BEARS, students should go to: http://nature.berkeley.edu/site/advising_appointments.php

    • Schedule Planning Resources:
      Online Schedule of Classes
      Course Catalog
      Course Schedule Planning
      CNR Major Requirements

PAL Alumni

Filter by major:

Conservation and Resource Studies

Dale Dualan

Conservation and Resource Studies major

"CNR challenged me to break out of my comfort zone, think outside the box, and explore with an open mind. Here I was empowered with tools for the toolbox of life, to continue to find my voice and help others do the same."
Read More

Environmental Economics and Policy

Rezwana Abed

Environmental Economics and Policy major

"If there's one thing I have come to appreciate about EEP, it is undoubtedly the major's ability to provide a dialogue between environmentalists and economists which are two disciplines that in theory shouldn't exist in isolation but are often disconnected in practice. "
Read More

Andrew Udeshi

Environmental Economics and Policy
(Graduated 2013)
“Hi! I'm Andrew Udeshi and I'm a senior majoring in Environmental Economics and Policy and minoring in Global Poverty and Practice.” Read More

Tay Feder

Environmental Economics and Policy major

"At Berkeley, I've been granted the privilege to be a student under world-class researchers and professors of energy economics, climate change, and photoblurbrmation goods that have blown my mind."
Read More

Caitlin Crooks

Environmental Economics and Policy
(Graduated 2013)
“Hi my name is Caitlin Crooks and I am thrilled to be a PAL for my fourth and final year here at U.C. Berkeley.” Read More

Environmental Sciences

Wendy Chen

Environmental Sciences major

"Berkeley is a large and fast-paced school and being apart of CNR gives me the feeling of a small, tightly knit community that I can't find anywhere else. We get a lot of one on one attention with our advisors, and it's clear that they care very much about their students."
Read More

Liz Dow

Environmental Sciences major

"I transferred from L&S into CNR last spring, so I am a relatively new addition to the college. I chose to do this because CNR's small college atmosphere is a place where where I can get attention from advisers and be around like-minded people."
Read More

Kelley Doyle

Environmental Sciences major

"As an out-of-state student, CNR has helped me find a smaller community within the sometimes overwhelmingly large Cal campus. I love how friendly and accommodating the CNR staff is -- especially our major advisors!"
Read More

Cynthia Gaw

Environmental Sciences major

"As a Pre-med I have always been told to be MCB or IB but instead I chose Environmental Science because it’s a subject I have been interested since childhood."
Read More

Jenn Jehnsen

Environmental Sciences major

"I was so confused my freshmen year because my friends in L&S didn't have the same requirements that I did for CNR. I think it's important for CNR students to have other students that they can go to for advice on CNR-specific requirements."
Read More

Jimmy Rothschild

Environmental Sciences and Molecular Environmental Biology double major

"I believe strongly in providing a service back to my institution and others, so helping students through the PAL program fits me perfectly."
Read More

Crystal Sun

Environmental Science
(Graduated 2013)
"Hi! My name is Crystal Sun and I'm a senior in Environmental Science major with a minor in Energy and Resources." Read More

Forestry and Natural Resources

Gina Lopez

Forestry and Natural Resources major

"If it were not for the College of Natural Resources, I don't think I would have bothered applying to this #1 public institution for higher education."
Read More

Jena Riggert

Forestry major

"This coming summer I will be going to the Forestry Summer Camp, and am really exciting about all the skills that I will learn there. I think that my major is so perfect for me because what it really boils down to is that I just love trees and everything that they contribute to our world."
Read More

Genetics and Plant Biology

Irene Liao

Genetics and Plant Biology major

"Within Cal is the CNR, a smaller community that is very friendly and personable. I have had the pleasure of getting to know the students in the college, being able talk to someone who shares the same interests in plants as I do or even just to listen to people talk about whatever interests them and hear the passion in their voice."
Read More

Christine Stontz

Genetics and Plant Biology & Forestry and Natural Resources

"By majoring in Genetics and Plant Biology, I want to study the plants used in traditional medicinal practices and discover the genes that are the source to these medical treatments."
Read More

Ruixan (Jenny) Zhang

Genetics and Plant Biology major

"By majoring in Genetics and Plant Biology, I want to study the plants used in traditional medicinal practices and discover the genes that are the source to these medical treatments."
Read More

Microbial Biology

Samantha Bell

Microbial Biology major

"I have always been interested in pursuing a career in medicine or public health and someday I hope to become either a pediatric doctor, or a health educator for children."
Read More

Kerry Boyle

Microbial Biology major

"I hope that sharing my experiences, both positive and negative, with other students will help them to make smart decisions about their academics and extracurricular activities while at UC Berkeley."
Read More

Bai Chen

Microbial Biology

"Hello! My name is Bai Yi Chen (call me Bai), and it is currently my third year at Cal."
Read More

Stephen Chen

Microbial Biology major

"One of the best decisions I've made is majoring in Microbial Biology. I am able to be on the pre-med tract (hoping to get into sports medicine/physical therapy) while taking course that I find interesting."
Read More

Tiet Nguyen

Microbial Biology major

"Berkeley opens so many doors of opportunities for its students, especially if you are an undeclared student who desires to explore the various majors and find one that suits you best."
Read More

Nancy Piceno

Microbial Biology major

"Not only do I think microbes are perhaps the coolest things on earth, but the electives offer a variety of coursework that range from microscopy, to bioethics, to California mushrooms."
Read More

Dustin Tao

Microbial Biology
(Graduated 2013)
“Hi, I'm Dustin and I'm a senior majoring in microbial biology.” Read More

Molecular Environmental Biology

Kristine Cabugao

Molecular Environmental Biology

"Hey everybody! My name is Kristine Cabugao. Part of why I joined this program is because I truly believe that there's at least one something that everyone can contribute to the world."
Read More

Julie Ching

Molecular Environmental Biology major

"I love CNR because it is like a family. Whenever I need help or just someone to talk to, I know that there are many people in CNR that can help me. "
Read More

Adrienne Doi

Molecular Environmental Biology major

"I recognized PAL as the perfect opportunity to give back to the student community. At the same time, I get to learn more about our wonderful college and I also get to meet new faces every week."
Read More

Katrina Hong

Molecular Environmental Biology major

"As a Molecular Environmental Biology (MEB) major with a minor in Forestry and Natural Resources from CNR, I feel that my choice of studies is 'my own.'"
Read More

Stephen Kwan

Molecular Environmental Biology major

"I want to be able to impart the knowledge that I have gained from experience onto incoming freshmen and/or transfers. By doing so, I hope that I will be able to help people have a more fulfilling and enjoyable time at Berkeley!"
Read More

Olga Mukha

Molecular Environmental Biology major

"Being in CNR made my transition from community college to UC Berkeley easier. Whether it was studying at the Student Resource Center and using the computer lab (and free printing!) or attending the CNR Movie Nights, I was able to meet new people and get all my advising questions answered."
Read More

Jenn Quan

Molecular Environmental Biology major

"I have gone through a lot of problems with my family and myself and totally understand that academic success first comes with good mental and physical health."
Read More

Tim Seo

MEB/CRS double major

"I have received unlimited support from the Sponsored Projects for Undergraduate Research Program as well as top-notch graduate students in the lab. These experiences have helped me develop an analytically creative mind geared towards solving complex problems."
Read More

Youh Ying "Amy" Lin

Molecular Environmental Biology major

"I love how MEB provides many choices and flexibility in terms of class selection and my major also helps me with satisfying pre-med requirements."
Read More

Christopher Lau

Molecular Environmental Biology
(Graduated 2013)

"MEB is an excellent major because it grants me so much versatility in what I want to study."
Read More

Molecular Toxicology

Fabian Collazo

Molecular Toxicology and Molecular Environmental Biology double major

"When I later found out about MCB and IB it really didn't matter since I was absolutely in love with CNR by then and I am so excited to pass on my enthusiasm!"
Read More

Jelyn Evangelista

Molecular Toxicology major

"I wanted to become a Peer Advisor because I thought it would be a great experience, but more importantly I'll get to help others who are also Mol Tox majors or transfers, like I was, who don't know all the ins and outs of the system."
Read More

Morgan Godding

Molecular Toxicology

"When I first started at Cal, the course rigor and high caliber students intimidated me. As an undeclared student, unsure of a major or a path, I felt lost in a sea of students."
Read More

Ken Juacualla

Molecular Toxicology major

"As a Molecular Toxicology major, I am able to learn the beneficial and the toxic effects of foods, chemicals, drugs, and any exogenous forms that can be critical in our environment and to us."
Read More

Rebekah Kim

Molecular Toxicology major

"My first semester at Berkeley was really difficult because I was new and taking upper division courses. With the help of a PAL, I was able to pull through the fall semester. She encouraged me to talk to professors about the problems I had and to my surprise they were really nice!"
Read More

Jessica Lebeau

Molecular Toxicology major

"After high school I went to school for Massage Therapy in Emeryville then opened my own practice locally which I have been operating for almost ten years...I hope to use my experience to help other students stay positive and navigate administration."
Read More

Wellington Onyenwe

Molecular Toxicology major

"Hey CNRers! I have for you the secrets of success in CNR that very few know. Believe me, I have dealt with the long journey and am overjoyed to lift as I continue to climb. I'm very honored to be a part of PAL program and the CNR family."
Read More

Elodie Tong-Lin

Molecular Toxicology major

"It was at Berkeley that I began to explore my independence and started to challenge myself."
Read More

Nutritional Science - Dietetics

Selina Chou

Nutritional Science - Dietetics major

"As a Peer Advising Leader, I hope my positive experience can help out more fellow students and bring them a better college life."
Read More

Ashley Fortenberry

Nutritional Science - Dietetics major

"...hence if there is any type of class that stands as a barrier between you and your goals, tackle it and face it head on. If I could get through it -- and enjoy it, you can too."
Read More

Crystal Kwan

Nutritional Science - Dietetics major

"My journey at Berkeley has had its share of obstacles, but having a reliable community to help me out has been crucial to my success here at Berkeley. The College of Natural Resources has been my source of solid advice, opportunity and community."
Read More

Whitney Lau

Nutritional Science - Dietetics major

"Helping out on class advising was a wonderful experience during CalSO last summer. Being a CNR peer advisor, I hope I can help my fellow schoolmates."
Read More

Jennifer Powers

Nutritional Science - Dietetics major

"I have always had an interest in nutrition, so when I found out that UC Berkeley's Dietetics program was offered by CNR, a small and intimate college; I was even more excited to come to Cal. Since then, CNR has surpassed my expectations and has had such a positive impact on my journey at Cal."
Read More

Kay Jiaqi Yang

Nutritional Science - Dietetics major

"I personally love the fact that faculty members and professors in CNR are friendly and accessible. I think this has made my transition as a transfer student easier."
Read More

Simo Yao

Nutritional Science - Dietetics major

"I became a CNR Peer Advisor because I wanted to learn more about the opportunities that our college offers and help students find the right major for themselves."
Read More

Nutritional Science - Physiology and Metabolism

Yanna Chen

Nutritional Science - Physiology and Metabolism
(Graduated 2013)
"I love UC Berkeley and CNR!"
Read More

Alex Lau

Nutritional Science - Physiology and Metabolism major

"I was especially impressed by professors who knew me by name after just several office hours, the abundance of biological research, and the one-on-one faculty advising that far exceeded what was offered by other departments."
Read More

Carol Man

Nutritional Science - Physiology and Metabolism major

"My decision to go to Berkeley was a bit of a surprise to my family/friends, and most of all myself. I applied to Berkeley during senior year of high school as a joke, knowing that I would never get into such an amazing school."
Read More

Liz Pelayo

Nutritional Science - Physiology and Metabolism major

"Deciding on my major was not a straight path, but after hearing from my friends and experiencing the friendly environment that CNR offers their students, I knew that I wanted to be part of the college."
Read More

Chau Pham

Nutritional Sciences - Physiology and Metabolism major

"I received a great help from PAL in advising me how to change my major; therefore, I want to continue this tradition to help other students by becoming a Peer Advisor."
Read More

Linda Truong

Nutritional Science - Physiology and Metabolism major

"I am also pre-med and have taken all the pre-reqs for med school already. I really love to eat and love to learn everything about food; that's why I'm majoring in NutriSci!"
Read More

Society and Environment

Amelia Appell

Society and Environment
(Graduated 2013)
"Hello! My name is Amelia Appell and I am a Senior majoring in Society and Environment."
Read More

About PAL

Mission Statement

We, the Peer Advisor of CNR, strive to offer personal viewpoints and experiences to current and prospective CNR students. We want to ease your transition to UC Berkeley, provide a support network to your undergraduate experience, and promote CNR in hopes that your academic experience will be as fulfilling as ours.

Position Overview

The peer advisors in the program:

  • Must commit to two consecutive semesters in the program.
  • Engage in CNR recruitment and retention programs.
  • Are trained in understanding CNR and university requirements, policies, and procedures.
  • Make referrals to a wide variety of campus services and resources and provide information about transferring into CNR from other institutions and from elsewhere on the Berkeley campus.
  • Work at information tables at the residence halls.
  • Participate in the CNR Welcome Day Program, Cal Day, and Majors Fair.
  • Assist CNR student affairs staff with various outreach programs.
  • Manage other college-wide advising projects as assigned.

NOTE: Peer leaders do not have access to student records, transcripts, or student files. Peer leaders cannot sign petitions or process student petitions.

Benefits for Peer Advisors

  • Gain strong presentation skills
  • Become well-versed in CNR and University policies
  • Become a recognized student leader at CNR
  • Develop public speaking skills
  • Earn 2 units of credit in ESPM 98/198 (Directed Group Study)

Becoming a PAL

Fill out the P.A.L. Application!

To be eligible for this position, you must:

  • Be an enrolled UC Berkeley student. Due to year-long commitment, freshmen, sophomores and juniors are preferred. Freshmen are welcome to apply.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Must attend weekly PAL meetings (date and time TBD, varies fall and spring).
  • Must commit to two consecutive semesters in the program.
  • Must commit to a mandatory day-long training before Welcome Day (date and time TBD).

Terms of Position:

  • The position begins with a training workshop and continues through the end of the school year.
  • PALs commit to 3-5 hours per week which includes:
    • 2 hours of advising
    • 1 hour weekly meeting in the fall and spring
    • Minor homework assignments, events, and administrative duties
  • PALs will receive 2 units of ESPM 98/198 for fall and spring.

Position Overview:

  • Engage in CNR recruitment and retention programs.
  • Provide information about CNR and University requirements, policies and procedures.
  • Make referrals to a wide variety of campus services and resources and provide information about transferring into CNR from other institutions and from elsewhere on the Berkeley campus.
  • Provide general information about career and graduate school options.
  • Work at information tables at various workshops, on and off campus.
  • Participate in CNR Welcome Day, Cal Day, Major Fairs, Commencement, and other major outreach programs in the spring.
  • Manage college-wide advising projects as assigned.
  • Write PAL Blogs (http://cnrpeeradvisors.tumblr.com/).
  • Correspond to PAL emails.

Benefits for Peer Advisors:

  • Develop valuable communication skills and confidence speaking in front of others.
  • Be recognized as a student leader and positive role model.
  • Gain a greater understanding of CNR and University-wide policies.
  • Serve as a vital resource to your peers and enrich the lives' of others.
  • Enhance your resume and develop important professional skills.
  • Earn 2 units of ESPM 98/198 (Directed Group Study) for fall and spring.
  • And more!

Questions:
For more information, talk with current peer advisors during drop-in hours () or email pal@berkeley.edu.

Current Peer Advisors

Filter by major:

Alani Worden

Society & Environment
“Being admitted Undeclared was so scary last year, and I felt super lost as to what I wanted to study. CNR faculty & PALs were so helpful to me in easing that fear and making me feel more comfortable here on campus.” Read More

Brita Rustad

Forestry and Natural Resources
"Hello there! My name is Brita Rustad and I am a junior studying Forestry and Natural Resources." Read More

Carolyn Lam

Environmental Sciences
“What I really like about CNR is that it is a small college compared to other colleges on campus which means faces become more familiar!” Read More

Eve Lee

Nutritional Science - Dietetics
“You will never feel lost or alone, because all the students, professors, faculty and staff make you feel at home in the College of Natural Resources.” Read More

Elynn Hagelshaw

“Offering so many opportunities and fostering learning and progressive thinking, CNR is an exciting place to be.” Read More

Paras Kumar

“CNR lets me have a flexible class schedule where I can pursue my interests and study interesting subjects.” Read More

Peter Li

Molecular Environmental Biology
“I joined the College of Natural Resources because I was always interested in how the sciences were applied and connected to the usage of natural resources.” Read More

Judy Li

“I love how students in CNR are truly following their passions - and eager to channel that energy towards making a more sustainable, beautiful, and equitable world.” Read More

Sophia Lemmo

Forestry and Conservation and Resource Studies
“As a peer councilor I hope to meet more of my peers and help others utilize all the resources this college has to offer. Please come to chat about anything--from hiking to clubs to classes!” Read More

Susie Zhang

Molecular Toxicology
“Hello one, hello all! My name is Susie and I'm your Moltox peer advisor, ready to help you survive rite-of-passage classes like Bio 1AL, find the best shawarma sandwiches in Berkeley, and get you settled into the plushiest couches you'll ever find in the motherland of CNR.” Read More

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