Berkeley, CA
University of California-Berkeley


425 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

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

When looking for the right college, use the resources that are available to you. Consult guidebooks, high school counselors, and people you know who are in college already. If possible, visit a few colleges in order to get a feel for the different sorts of campuses. Look for colleges that have strong programs in your interest areas, but try not to lock yourself into one set program - give yourself options. If you don't get into your dream school, never fear - try to choose the best fit of your remaining options, and give whatever school you end up at a chance. When you get to college, try new things! College is a time for you to study hard and do well, but also to have fun and experience the world. Don't write off anything just because you've never heard of it or have never done it before. Give new classes, activities, clubs, sports, and people a try. The more things that you try, the more things you'll discover you enjoy, and the more friends you'll make. Study hard, have fun, and live with the goal of no regrets, because your college experience will fly by.

What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

Because of budget cuts, it is very often the case that people don't get into the classes that they want or need, which screws up everyone's schedules. Also, the creative writing program's policies regarding admittance make it very difficult to plan schedules around it. The online bill paying website is also very difficult and counter-intuitive to use, and crashes a lot.

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

Find a college where you feel comfortable with as well as the surrounding area. Visit any school that you are interested in. ...

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

Find a college where you feel comfortable with as well as the surrounding area. Visit any school that you are interested in. As I've heard from teachers, and as I have personally experienced, how you feel when you visit the school can say a lot. Explore different fields of study that interest you during your first year or two. College courses are different from highschool and you may find that there is a subject that you really enjoy and have never really learned about. Get involved -- academically and/or just something you enjoy for fun. College is not only about text books -- though you will be spending plenty of time on academics. Socialising and enjoying your time in college is also very important. Finding some activity that you really enjoy and balancing that with school work can make for a better college experience. Be yourself! Don't feel that you need to change who you are to 'fit in.' Be open to knew ideas.

Atit
Describe the students at your school.

My classmates tend to be people who love to debate and believe they can change the world through politics.

Describe the students at your school.

My classmates tend to be people who love to debate and believe they can change the world through politics.

What's unique about your campus?

I would say the best thing about my school is the amount of school spirit the faculty and students have!

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

I would tell prospective parents and students to look for a college that you feel at home at. Look for a college that best suits your personality. As for the college experience, I would recommend joining various clubs and not being shy about attending events because this is where you will meet most of your friends!

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

Be honest with yourself and your priorities! Competitive, large schools are easy to get lost in if you are already unsure of...

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

Be honest with yourself and your priorities! Competitive, large schools are easy to get lost in if you are already unsure of yourself and direction in life. It's possible, but difficult to tread water if you don't have your 'eyes on the prize' and establish a supportive circle of friends on campus. IT IS NECESSARY TO MEET WITH YOUR ADVISOR EARLY ON -- SEEK THEM OUT, TAKE THEIR HELP!!!! They are not just to use after things go wrong or are difficult, use before -- prevent this, again, be PROACTIVE and you'll succeed!

What's unique about your campus?

There are a great deal of people here from all over the world! If you get involved in the campus community, it's a huge learning experience and plus for your future: doors for career paths will open, entrepreneurs thrive, friendship, and an overall eye-opening experience of diversity functioning relatively harmoniously. I like how accepting the students are here, and that the priorities do not include your wardrobe or parties. You can find that here if you want... but it's not the focus. Lots of great ethnic food is available nearby, as well as music venues!

What kind of person should not attend this school?

People who need a great deal of individual attention should not attend this school as Undergraduates. There are bountiful resources at UCB, but you need to seek them out and FIGHT for them. Being self-disciplined and proactive is very important here, as well as making sure you don't get isolated or overwhelmed by the academics: find your niche. Being conservative and closed minded could be very difficult here, as well as lazy, or just of different priorities than ACADEMICS. You have to remember this is a school catering to Graduate Students. They won't notice you without work.

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

I would say that, to find the right college, a future student must accept the entire environment the school has to over, whether it's the academics, city or just the pace of life. A student should be able to adjust to their school easily and enjoy it. To make the most of your college experience, don't be afraid to try new things and be social. Being social will help you get through school since you can find a balance in study and play. When trying new things be sure to have an open mind, however maintain your integrity as well. Be sure to look at the campus and talk to people who have graduated and who are enrolled because it's important to see the two perspectives, which contributed to a better decision when weighing your options.

What kind of person should not attend this school?

I think that close-minded, anti-social people should not attend this school, because it's a very dense social environment, mixing many cultures together.

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

Your child's college career starts as early as birth. Everything about your child's upbringing and personality, likes and dis...

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

Your child's college career starts as early as birth. Everything about your child's upbringing and personality, likes and dislikes play just as big a role in determining the right college as his/her dreams of the future do. The journey begins with you as a parent. The decision is ultimately your child's, but you are the foundation of strengthening your child's chances at attending their dream college and them making the most of it. Your child needs your full support in helping to shape them into the best versions of themselves. In other words, be an active supporter throughout your child's education and help them save money towards their future. Help them set future goals early and get them involved in their community, at their schools, and in other such activities available. When the time comes, ask yourselves what characteristics you both would want your child's college to have. What kind of degree programs are you interested in? Which schools will be financially supportive? What kind of college environment do I prefer? Getting into the mindset of planning early makes finding your dream school and planning your years there easier and much more enjoyable.

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

I wish I had understood the financial aid process before starting my college career because I've been struggling to pay for my education while attending school and dealing with other obstacles. I wish I knew that the typical fulltime courseload makes it nearly impossible for a non-driving student to work and be successful in school. I know about the reducing my courseload, but I opt from doing that because I still have to pay fulltime tuition. It's hard to enjoy my college experience when I'm struggling to pay for it. I don't qualify for grants.

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

Raphaela, a freshman who lives in Clark Kerr, discusses the difficulty in locating a group of people that should not go

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

Raphaela, a freshman who lives in Clark Kerr, discusses the difficulty in locating a group of people that should not go

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

Ryan McDonald, graduating senior, discusses the choice between Cal and UCLA, from the perspective of an LA resident

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

Kimen Balhotra, UC Berkeley premed freshman, discusses Cal’s academic reputation and prestige

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

Jackie, a Freshman looking to major in psychology, explains her social experience at Cal and the difficulty

Describe the best and worst parts of the social scene on campus.

The Fuck Finals with Forty Forty’s party has been an institution of the class of 2008 since the first semester.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Adam MacLennan, senior and frat member, discusses Cal’s reputation as a base of liberal protests

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

nicer alternative to People’s park. Still relatively close to campus, and smaller and quieter

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Located between Memorial Stadium and the fire trail, is a really nice place to work out or go for a swim

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Park is the setting for a number of free basketball games and random run-ins

Tell us about the food and dining options.

Most people know of Kip’s as simply a bar, and the most popular alternative to the Bear’s Lair, which only serves beer

Tell us about the food and dining options.

Enjoying the unique advantage of hundreds of international residents and the right to serve alcohol

Tell us about the food and dining options.

Strada is the site of many teacher and GSI office hours and is one of the most popular meet up spots on southside

Describe the best and worst parts of the social scene on campus.

“Asian Ghetto” as it is called, should be considered as a popular off campus hangout, as it is a common meeting place

What's unique about your campus?

Students in History 5 learn about its homoerotic overtones, but there is a unique story behind its arrival on our campus

What's unique about your campus?

The Faculty Club, is rumored to have a haunted room where the spirit of an old professor who lived in the club

What's unique about your campus?

The common story associated with Dwinelle Hall in which two feuding brothers build the different wings

What's unique about your campus?

This gives not only the main fun fact about VLSB that you would learn on a campus tour.

Describe the dorms.

Insight into its most controversial ritual and it's popularity for homework oriented student employment.

Describe the best and worst parts of the social scene on campus.

Most interesting part is the access to campus characters, and the prevalence of marijuana, acoustic guitars, hackey-sack

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Outside of the standard information concerning Doe Library

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

This review of the campanile begins with basic tour information

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

The classic campus tour of California Hall offers only historical and practical information.

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

A walking tour of Foothill: La Loma in about a minute and a half.

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

Berkeley Engineering Physics graduating senior breaks down his favorite movie, class, and campus time-killing strategy

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

Philosophy/Religious studies double major breaks down his favorite movie, class, and campus time-killing strategy.

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

UC Berkeley History/Political Science double major breaks down his favorite movie, class, and campus time-killing strate

Tell us about the food and dining options.

people eating lunch at noon at the Golden Bear Cafe. all things considered, it's just not as crowded at usual

Describe the best and worst parts of the social scene on campus.

recording on sproul plaza, trying to get a grip on a popular day at uc berkeley and what student life is like.

Describe the students at your school.

Megan talks about the other side of Cal diversity with people who seek to define themselves as Asian.

Describe the students at your school.

Jessica is a senior at UC Berkeley who studied abroad. She is an english major and is really focused on her writing

Describe the students at your school.

Fan Zhang is a freshmen who lives in a coop and really likes it. he is focused on music and art.

Describe the students at your school.

emily is a junior and part of a group called shape designed to prevent abuse against women. she is also a transfer stud

Describe the students at your school.

she is a freshman, and in the coop scene/ choosing cal over davis and about picking a co-op for living sophomore year

Trey
Describe your favorite campus traditions.

Liberalism and research. We also have a pretty good football team.

Describe your favorite campus traditions.

Liberalism and research. We also have a pretty good football team.

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

Make sure you consider the surrounding environment. How easy is it to get housing and how expensive is it. Make sure your child also feels excited about the extra-curricular activites that are offered there. Make sure the school also allows for enough academic freedom to change degrees and classes, and have a strong GPA if they work hard and not just from a curve.

Julia
Describe the students at your school.

Most are very determined and always willing to learn more. A lot of students go to office hours to get help if they do not un...

Describe the students at your school.

Most are very determined and always willing to learn more. A lot of students go to office hours to get help if they do not understand something. They are persistent with their work and are constantly studying. Most are pretty friendly but there are also those really competitve students who have to have everything their way and willing to do anything to get that grade they want.

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

In order to find the right collge, you should definitely research online and logistically stuff like that but most importantly, visiting, actually seeing the place yourself is the best way. If you know students currently enrolled or who attended the school, ask a lot of questions. Getting advice from the students themselves is the best way to find out if this college is right for you. Also, when choosing a school, you should definitely look into your major and which college has a stronger program for you. This will help a lot when you are applying for jobs in the future. And when you get into the college of your choice, please make the most of your experiences there. Go out and try new things, don't hesitate at all. Take in all the opportunities because if you let it go, you'll only regret it later. Join clubs, get involved in something where you can meet new people because people connection is crucial when applying for jobs in the world outside of college. Just have fun and remember to balance your social life with your education.

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

I brag a lot about the diversity of our campus and just the different environment that it is set in. Berkeley is such an old campus with so much history. Compared to a lot of the new UC campuses, our campus is beautiful in a different way. The people here are so open and friendly, not judgemental and not as materialistic. Berkeley is such a wonderful school with so many opportunities.

Jordan
What is your overall opinion of this school?

One thing I'd change about UC Berkeley is the housing situation. When I attended, university housing was only guaranteed for ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

One thing I'd change about UC Berkeley is the housing situation. When I attended, university housing was only guaranteed for one year. This meant that students ended up living in a whole host of different housing types while at Berkeley - some entered the Greek system and others lived in co-ops, while the majority moved into apartments located all over the East Bay...So, students often came to campus just for their classes and then went home, wherever home was. This, combined with the lack of places to hang out on campus, created a kinda lackluster, unexciting campus environment. Berkeley needs more casual cafe-type spots on campus where students can meet up and hang out. To be honest, I spent most of my time on campus in the library or in classrooms. Most people do their socializing off-campus, and particularly, wherever they live. Berkeley is a big school, and your experience there is totally dependent on what you make of it - where you choose to live, the classes you decide to take, the clubs/organizations you join or don't join, the mostly-lame parties you do or don't go to.

Describe the students at your school.

Racial, religious, and ethnic groups seem to be somewhat segregated at Berkeley. I think this, in part, comes from Berkeley being such a large place. Most students try to find some sort of community while there, and for many, the community they find is one based on a common ethnic/religious/racial/cultural background. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much contact between many of the student groups. People find their niche and stay there, it seems. Most students wear something casual to class - whether it's a sweatshirt and jeans or full-on hipster costume with skinny pants, strategically messy hair, and a striped shirt. Beyond those that look like they raided the nearby Urban Outfitters, there is usually at least one person in every class who takes it up a notch. This was especially true in Art History classes, in which there were always a few girls (usually members of sororities) who wore extremely put-together outfits and carried a purse in lieu of a backpack. Most Berkeley students are from California. It was exciting to meet someone from out-of-state, even, dare I say it, a little exotic. I'd say a middle-class financial background is probably most prevalent - with an upper-middle class background being more common within the Greek system (and probably among certain majors). There are also many students from lower-income backgrounds and those who work their way through college. Berkeley is a diverse place, and this diversity definitely applies to socioeconomics, though with rising tuition costs, it will probably be more difficult for many students to attend Berkeley. Students tend to be politically aware, but as I said before, not necessarily very politically active. Berkeley is known to be a hotbed of activism, and disappointingly, it does not seem to be anymore. There are definitely a few active groups who support a particular issue or cause, but they often have few members, and those members are often the members of the other active student groups (as my cousin said, the same guy who heads the Socialist student group is also the president of the Stop the War Coalition and about five other clubs). The majority of the student body seems politically apathetic - generally leftist, but uninvolved in political activities on campus. When my friends and I talked about our future earning-power, we generally agreed we'd be making pennies and/or unemployed. I imagine Business students do talk about their eventual earning power and that that discussion includes some talk about "six-figures".

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

Study abroad. The opportunity to live in another country is one of the most rewarding and interesting experiences one can have during college...and the resources are there to do it!

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Yes and no. There are some extremely liberal people, but they exist largely on the fringes. Most students are pretty apathetic and often politically moderate, but sometimes care about, and become advocates for, one specific issue. There are a lot of intelligent people at Berkeley and quite a few nerds. Intelligence, however, does not always translate into social intelligence.

What are the academics like at your school?

My favorite class was probably Modern Jewish History. My least favorite class was a freshman seminar on the concept of love in Russian literature...with the worst, retired-Navy officer, crotchedy professor. Students study a lot. I mean, I would see students already in the library, studying, during the first few days of classes. This totally affects the social climate, too. There tends to be a small window of time at the beginning of each semester when people don't have much work...after that week or so, there's usually a constant tide of essays and exams and a lot of studying going on. I found that many UC Berkeley students don't necessarily have intellectual conversations outside of class, but I think it all depends on who you hang out with (ahem, German & Rhetoric double-majors). I knew many people who seemed uninterested in talking about things they might talk about in class outside of class - they wanted a break from classes. That said, I tended to have a lot of "intellectual" conversations with people in my "off-time". Your relationship with a certain professor depends on the type of class you're taking - if it is a seminar or smallish course (with +/- 30 students), the professor is likely to learn your name, though it depends on the professor and on your effort to get to know the professor (through going to office hours, participating in class, etc.). Aside from office hours, I never spent time with professors outside of class...In fact, seeing my professors outside of class, walking on campus or around Berkeley, was totally mindblowing to me and almost a celeb-sighting experience. Whether your education at UC Berkeley is geared toward getting a job or learning for its own sake is dependent on what you study, though I'd say that the larger emphasis is probably on learning for its own sake. Overall, Berkeley is a "choose your own adventure" place - academically and socially. If you're an Electrical Engineering major, I imagine that your education is somewhat geared toward getting a job. I, however, majored in Art History, and the education I received was largely devoted to learning for its own sake; the practical skills I learned were practical in academia. Basically, if you major in the Humanities at Berkeley (and to some extent, the Social Sciences as well), your education could be considered geared toward getting a job if that job were becoming a professor/researcher, or doing something dealing largely with content (writing, editing, teaching, etc.).

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The most popular groups/organizations/clubs on campus are...um...I can't think of any. I guess the most popular team would be the football team. Yes, students in dorms often leave their doors open. Athletic events are popular, particularly among certain student communities, like those in the Greek system. There are tons of interesting lectures/films/musical events happening nightly at Berkeley, but many of these events are not that popular. Most of the events I went to (with the exception of musical events and the occasional big-name political commentator) had low student attendance, which was sad. The dating scene seemed to be pretty nonexistent. Most of the people I knew who were in relationships had met their significant other before coming to Berkeley or outside of school. The dating scene is simply a symptom of the larger awkward social climate at Berkeley; it often takes people a few drinks to interact with each other and be friendly. 2am on a Tuesday? I'm reading/working on a paper/writing a reading response. Some people party pretty frequently, while others not so much...it depends on the person. Like I said before, Berkeley is a "choose your own adventure" school, and if a person wants to party, the opportunities are there, mostly from Thursday night until Saturday night. Parties range from co-op themed parties and frat parties to your everyday (or "everynight"), red-cup-style house party. A Saturday night without drinking could be spent doing something in San Francisco, seeing a movie, going to a concert, going out to dinner, hanging out at home in your pajamas (and watching a $1 movie rental from Elephant Pharmacy), going to Yogurt Park, going to a party and not drinking, or, unfortunately studying.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

-extremely liberal -nerds -outspoken activists -intelligent -crazy/eccentric

Details

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

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