Berkeley said that it will take on qualified, top-performing graduates from UoPeople's associate degree programme who wish to complete a bachelor’s degree at the university.
UoPeople is a non-profit tuition-free online university, aimed at disadvantaged students from around the world and headquartered in California. In 2014, it gained accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council in the US.
Berkeley chancellor Nicholas Dirks said that UoPeople’s mission is “closely aligned with the mission of Berkeley, to open the gates to a quality higher education to every deserving student – with priority given to residents of California”.
“UC Berkeley is proud to partner with University of the People,” he said.
UoPeople president Shai Reshef said that Berkeley’s partnership is “the ultimate endorsement of the value of our degrees and it offers a great opportunity for our students”.
“Now the most accomplished UoPeople students may be able to further pursue their dreams by attending one of the best universities in the world,” he said.
Last month, Mr Reshef told Times Higher Education that other universities will emulate his model, in which tuition is free but students pay $100 (£70) for each exam they sit.