The Womyn in Science and Engineering Theme Program (WiSE): Exploring the intersections of gender with math, science, technology, and engineering

The Womyn in Science and Engineering Theme Program (WiSE) began in 1999 as an affinity space for forty-two first-year female identified students. The goal is for residents to explore their interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and intersections of social identity in their profession. Through weekly seminar discussions and intentional programming, WiSE provides a critical community where residents learn about the gender gap, power, and privilege in the STEM fields and advancements in current research. The WiSE Community was recognized by the National Residence Hall Honorary as the October 2013 Community of the Month for their exemplary community development and commitment to empowering womyn in the STEM fields.

Program requirements
Residents in the Womyn in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Theme Program should follow the University of California, Berkeley student code of conduct and attend the following list of events throughout the academic year: :

Event times and dates are subject to change. Failure to complete the listed events will result in removal from the WiSE Theme Program.

Seminar and events
The seminar is a 1-unit pass/no pass seminar taught by postdoctoral students that meets Mondays from 6-7:30pm. You can review a sample course syllabus to review some of the intended coursework and expectations. If you’re admitted to WiSE, you will be provided with more information about how to enroll in the class when you arrive in August. Events include a wide variety of leadership and community-building activities like dinners with faculty, study groups, on-site tutoring, mentoring, and field trips.

WiSE Peer Mentor Program
The WiSE Peer Mentor is a live-in, student volunteer position that supports the growth of the Women in Science and Engineering residential community, located in Hillside Building 9. Working in tandem with the WiSE Theme Program Assistant, the WiSE mentor serves as a role model, programmer, classmate and content facilitator, WiSE Association member, as well as administrative support for the WiSE Theme Program. Students in this position will move-in to the WiSE Theme Program before fall move in and help facilitate Welcome Week events. Mentors will also have priority room selection for the fall semester. This position is 10-15 hours/week (depending on workload) and is contingent on the completion of the WiSE participant contract, which includes following all student codes of conduct. This position is supported by the RD, ARD, and TPA. Each year, the WiSE Theme Program has anywhere from 4-10 Peer Mentors that work on a variety of projects, including creating and publishing a peer-reviewed academic journal, development and implementing the WiSE ONE.2 Conference, facilitating a faculty dinner, and designing the WiSE Haunted House for All-Halloween.

Expanded opportunities for all women in science and engineering at Cal!
You don't have to live in the WiSE Program to take advantage of many of WiSE's resources. Read this for more information (pdf, 1 page).

The Living Space
WiSE residents live together in Foothill Complex, which is situated in the beautiful Berkeley hills on the northeast end of campus. It’s about a 15-minute walk from the center of campus, and there is a free nearby shuttle service to drive you around campus.

You can take a virtual tour of sample furnished suites in Foothill (click on the links in the right column). Each room has in-room network connections and basic cable, and Foothill has laundry facilities, vending machines, and live-in staff. Most students have a roommate, and eat meals in the Foothill Dining Commons. Residents have access to a great Academic Center in Foothill, which offers tutoring, peer advising, copy and fax services, and computers and printers.

How to apply
Any female-identified student who holds a strong interest in science, technology, engineering, and math is encouraged to apply. You must complete the UC Berkeley housing application by the deadline. On the online application Theme Program page, select WiSE from the drop-down menu. You'll also be asked to write a short essay. The housing contract you receive will indicate if you have been selected to the Theme Program.

If you have additional questions that are not answered here, you can call the Foothill Resident Director at 510-643-8873 or the Manager for Community Development & Inclusion at 510-642-3213.

Program Overview

Program Requirements

Seminar and Events

WiSE Peer Mentor Program

The Living Space

How to Apply


Other Campus Resources

Cal Nerds

College of Engineering

Julia Morgan Engineering Program

Society of Women Engineers

IB Women in Science

Calculus Intensive Discussion Sections

Gender Equity (GenEq) Resource Center

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