Berkeley, CA
University of California-Berkeley


425 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Ryan
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Really loved the people I met as a student in the Graduate School of Education. Tolman Hall, the building housing Education ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Really loved the people I met as a student in the Graduate School of Education. Tolman Hall, the building housing Education and Psychology, is known as the ugliest building on campus, and rightly so. However, parts of the campus are lovely and great for walking. The weather is relatively mild--never needed a real winter coat--just added another layer. There are frequent goings-on around campus--from drum-beating to protest rallies. The campus area is fairly safe, though a bit dicey late at night. And one more thing--don't wear red before or during the Stanford-Berkeley big game--you'll catch major flak! And if you're truly adventurous, sign up to live in the co-ops. The bigger ones are mostly freshman and all-night parties (with the usual campus music and "refreshments") are a rite of passage. Most seem to survive it. I lived in Casa Zimbabwe for one semester before moving to a quieter, cleaner house. You'll definitely meet interesting people and make friends, bonding over workshifts like "naked cooking." And in some co-ops, like mine, the bathrooms are completely co-ed. A little disconcerting at first, but you get used to it. I think living in the co-ops really adds to the Berkeley experience! But don't bring a car to campus if you can avoid it--parking is expensive and scarce. Paying for parking will not guarantee you a spot, either! Walking, biking, riding the campus shuttle, or using city buses are the preferred modes of transportation.

Describe the students at your school.

My impression is that the graduate students are considerably more diverse and liberal in their views than the undergrads. When I attended, Asian students were in the majority for undergrad, and while there is a lot of variability, many of the Asian students I know were rather conservative. Being a state school also meant that you had a lot of students (like me) who didn't come from money. I would say that most of the profs I knew did come from privileged backgrounds, but not all or even most of the students. People dress down--nothing flashy or ostentatious. Birkenstocks and jeans are prevalent and few girls bother with make-up. Which is not to say they are careless about appearances. Some of the most attractive women I've ever met were fellow Berkeley students, both undergrads and grads. Oh, and the guys were fine, too.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Berkeley can be overwhelming if you don't hook up and make some friends early on. Be a joiner, or live in a co-op, or form a study group--just don't try to do it on your own!

What are the academics like at your school?

The professors are knowledgeable and (mostly) helpful. Some of the difficult classes (stats, for instance) were made manageable by forming study groups. They really saved my butt. In the GSE, students were not terribly competitive, except that funding decisions were based on what the professors thought of your efforts each year. Knowing that your best friend was competing with you for a small pool of grant money was depressing. But I have to say that I have met many graduates of other graduate education programs who did not learn nearly as much as we did. Part of the reason is that there is no undergraduate education major, so the GSE students had research assistantships, not teaching assistantships. We learned so much by doing real research. Of course, if you're planning on a career in academia, this is a bit of a disadvantage because you've never taught a college-level class. However, my fellow students managed this by teaching as adjuncts at the many local colleges that train teachers. The downside is that the normative time to graduate from the doctoral program was 6 years! That's a long time to be in school, especially if you're making it partly on loans.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

My social life was limited primarily to hanging out with other grad students, but since I lived in the co-ops, I was "exposed" to lots of undergrad social events. I'd say living in a co-op is great if you want to have an opportunity to have people around almost all the time. There were always people hanging out--studying, watching t.v., talking over dinner, etc. Privacy is harder to come by, though. There are Greek houses on campus that do lots of socializing, as well as campus events. The weather is conducive to hanging out on the lawns and steps all around campus, so that's another place were people tend to hook up. There are also numerous eateries and coffee shops within walking distance (and there's a campus shuttle if you're not inclined to walk) where people meet up. My fellow grad students and I frequented some of the great Thai, Korean, and Indian restaurants in the neighborhood.

Chelsea
What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

I wish I had known how to better allocate my time, so that the first semester would have been an easier transition both acade...

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

I wish I had known how to better allocate my time, so that the first semester would have been an easier transition both academically and socially.

What's unique about your campus?

The best thing about Berkeley is the amount of incredible opportunities available to better yourself personally, socially, and academically, whether through interactions with a diverse group of people (both fellow students and faculty), through active participation in groups, or by exploring the surrounding area as you experience new modes of living and thinking.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

First, I would apply to a variety of schools because you never know how your dreams and pictures of the future may change by the time you receive your acceptance letters and must make a decision. Most importantly, though, don't worry about your future job situation when you're trying to decide a major; instead, study what you love and think about jobs later. It's important to take classes that will help you be successful in your major, but also those classes that just sound interesting. When else are you going to be able to learn about astronomy or popular culture or the politics of music? Finally, don't be afraid to be yourself, either while applying to colleges or once you finally reach your freshman year. College is the time to figure out who you are as a person, in terms of your interactions both with others on a personal basis and in the world generally.

Chontel
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Parents, do not force your child to go to a particular college. It should be the child's choice, for they are there for four...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Parents, do not force your child to go to a particular college. It should be the child's choice, for they are there for four years. Students, choose a place you feel is right for you. You're going to be nervous when making a decision. But you will feel confident about your school choice if you believe in your heart it is the school for you.

Javier
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Listen to your parents and do what you feel is right and in your heart.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Listen to your parents and do what you feel is right and in your heart.

What kind of person should not attend this school?

A very conservative religious low-income out of state student.

Maighan
Describe the students at your school.

Outgoing, outspoken, and most of the time looking for something or some idea to challenge!

Describe the students at your school.

Outgoing, outspoken, and most of the time looking for something or some idea to challenge!

What's unique about your campus?

How accepting everyone is, and how everyone is generally expected to be different. There's no "typical" Berkeley student, really.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I think one of the most important aspects of college life is being part of a really active, socially encouraging student body. We're all there to study, but sometimes it's easy to get caught up in classes and a narrow personal routein. It is important to be rememinded that there is a whole world out there, with lots of people and ideas to consider, not just what's written in that Calculus text. On that note, it's also really great if you can be around your true academic peers - it makes a really big difference in how much you'll challenge yourself.

Vanessa
Describe the students at your school.

Most think they know everything better than everyone and talk through you instead of with you.

Describe the students at your school.

Most think they know everything better than everyone and talk through you instead of with you.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

I think it's a shame that we have so many resources at hand, we have so much ability at hand, we have so much to offer and we want to offer it to everyone; and because it all gets dispersed and convoluted, and we're not private and we don't have that much money to pay for everything we need, it's beaurocracy and everyone loses within the mess.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Even if you pay for it, you don't own your kid or their experience. Let them try and fail. Watch them succeed. But it's their life, and your kindness that has brought them to this opportunity. Let your child have free reign over their courses and education. Failure makes a stronger, more knowledgeable person; success, individually motivated, is the greatest reward. No one needs extra stress in college. Especially when they're already trying to show their parent how worthy they are, and trying to utilize the gift of an education.

Nicole
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Don't go to a big school unless you're positve you'll like it/love sports and being just another face in the crowd, make an e...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Don't go to a big school unless you're positve you'll like it/love sports and being just another face in the crowd, make an effort to meet but also follow up with cool people because you might never see them again at a bit school unless you call them often

What's unique about your campus?

Top notch academics and professors, interesting classes

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

Cool things I learned in class, crazy traditions like the naked library run, all the hippies and drug culture

Jefferson
Describe your favorite campus traditions.

Extremely competitive students, homely girls, nerdy, overweight engineers.

Describe your favorite campus traditions.

Extremely competitive students, homely girls, nerdy, overweight engineers.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

There is much more to a school than beneath its surface. I found that school promotion days, while accurate in their portrayal of the school in certain areas, do not give a comprehensive review of the school as a whole. Preferably, I would ask many of the questions I've been asked here to friends, family, or even online acquaintances about their experiences at candidate schools. Promotion days are exactly that: promotions. Every school has its own quirks and atmosphere; you just have to find the right one for you. And since most likely, you'll be spending your next four years there, so you can never know too much about it before you make your choice.

What kind of person should not attend this school?

Someone who doesn't take school seriously and just wants to have fun.

Alice
Describe the students at your school.

My classmates are varied and independent.

Describe the students at your school.

My classmates are varied and independent.

What's unique about your campus?

Everyone is their own person and no one really cares what others around them think. Also, people strive to be the best they can be, not just being competitive with others.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

There are so many things to consider when making your decision, but what did it for me was picking a college that would fit my personality. One great indicator of which college is best for you is simply looking at the people attending--how they dress, what they do for fun. These things give much indication to what kind of people they are. At other UCs I visited, I noticed that many people dressed the same and they just partied. I knew I couldn't fit in with that kind of lifestyle, with people who cared a little too much about what others thought of them. I needed somewhere I could be free of those restrictions, so I chose a more liberal type of college. Also, finding somewhere with some semblance to home is a big help because it helps you adjust that much quicker. It could be anything, like the weather, the kinds of food there, buildings, etc. There's so much more to deciding which college you decide on, but just remember that wherever you may choose, make the best of your situation and live it up because it should be the best four years of your life!

Details

  • Enrollment
  • 29,310
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $13,509
  • Acceptance rate
  • 17%

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