Berkeley, CA
University of California-Berkeley


425 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Devin
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I was pretty much set on going to UCLA until I visited both campuses and realized the biggest difference between the two scho...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I was pretty much set on going to UCLA until I visited both campuses and realized the biggest difference between the two schools: school pride. I remember attending one of those welcome orientations for prospective students at UCLA and a parent asked the speaker "convince me why UCLA is better than Cal" and the speaker answered with "well both are very good schools..." When I visited Berkeley every tour and orientation I attended stressed the achievements and successes of Berkeley. I love Berkeley because the students take great pride in their school (unlike another certain school that feels that they are second best to another certain school). I also love the urban atmosphere. Although many people often complain of the homeless that reside on the sidewalks adjacent to campus, every eatery, clothing store, record store... etc has its own Berkeley flavor that cannot be found anywhere else. The homeless usually do no harm and are just a part of the city. I think I love the urban atmosphere because it is a drastic change from the sheltered suburbs of my hometown of which I am so used to (and bored of).

Describe the students at your school.

I love Berkeley because it feels like the cliques have disappeared (no more popular group, nerdy group... etc). Although there are certain majors that have certain stereotypes (EECS = nerdy) all students seem to be genuinely interested in each other and the atmosphere seems much less hostile than high school. There are many students whose parents didn't attend college or come from a poor background. Although there are often political events going on in Sproul, many students are not politically aware (including me...).

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

there are a lot of free thinkers and liberals, as well as many intelligent people but I also think Berkeley students know how to balance their lives very well

What are the academics like at your school?

I feel that it is difficult to get to know my professors especially I am taking mostly intro and lower div classes right now (many have hundreds of students). For example, I depend heavily on my math GSI to understand concepts. Class participation is common only in classes/discussions with 30 students or less. The students are fairly competitive and it doesn't help that the student body is huge. The academic requirements are very fair and I like how it encourages students to explore other areas.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

"hippies" "nerdy" no life outside of academics

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Students can be sociable (a wide range...). Football games are a must and that is the biggest social event in my opinion on Berkeley. People are up late in my hall, we hang out with each other. However it is difficult to get off campus because people often have to study or do homework. I go to SF once in a while for a change in scenery to go shopping or to just walk around. I party a couple times a month at the frats but there isn't much else to do on Fri/Sat nights that doesn't involve partying/drinking.

Rosette
What is your overall opinion of this school?

it's easy to fall through the cracks at Cal. i think that's why i like it, respect it. when you do well at Cal it's because ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

it's easy to fall through the cracks at Cal. i think that's why i like it, respect it. when you do well at Cal it's because you deserve it. noone holds your hand through your college career, guiding you every step of the way. if you fail, you fail. if you do well, you do well. that's why it's different - it's real. you get exactly what you put into it.

Describe the students at your school.

i'll be honest - i hate how many asians are on campus. i don't have anything against asians, but i wish for every asian person i saw, i also saw a latino or black or native american or SOMETHING person. berkeley has a strong history of diversity and agency, but the current student population does not reflect this past.

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

when i say that Berkeley is real, it's because it lets you be you. when you get out of college, you have the security of a world-class degree under your belt, but if you decide to live your life as a bartender - hey, that's great.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

i chose Cal over Stanford not only because i wanted a challenge and i wanted to earn my degree, but also because of the environment. Berkeley is alive - there is no denying that. we are so close to SF and our town has so much life and character. if you are bored in Berkeley, you must be a boring person.

What are the academics like at your school?

we're extremely lucky to be amongst some of the top experts in their fields. EVERYTHING from biology to women's studies to astronomy to asian studies - we have professors and researchers that other people read about right at our fingertips.

Alice
Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

There is definitely a liberal atmosphere and people are usually welcome to all ideas. Students protest and have booths on Spr...

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

There is definitely a liberal atmosphere and people are usually welcome to all ideas. Students protest and have booths on Sproul Plaza every weekday. There are homeless people on the streets and in People's Park which is very unfortunate. Even though Berkeley has its share of atheists, there are plenty of campus Christian fellowships, the number which surprised me because I did not think there will be. Students can be competitive, especially for ranked courses like Undergraduate Business Admin 10. However, for the other classes I have taken, people are generally open and helpful. If you get a good TA/GSI, all the better. There are many highly intelligent students who can rattle off formulas and facts but also many others who have interesting talents and skills, such as Rubik's cubing, surfing, etc.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Berkeley is liberal, anti-God, full of hippies and druggies. Berkeley students are very smart and super competitive and will eat each other just to get an A. Berkeley is one of the dream schools for many Asian parents.

Ryan
What is your overall opinion of this school?

When i first came to Berkeley, i didn't like it. i was almost frightened and intimidated at how large the college was. Howe...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

When i first came to Berkeley, i didn't like it. i was almost frightened and intimidated at how large the college was. However, I got involved and plugged into a Christian church (KCPC) my freshmen year where i was able to make many friends who became my closest friends here in Berkeley. I also got to be involved at KCM (Korean-American campus missions) where it is a christian fellowship on campus. Through this program, i was able to find a lot of people i was able to connect with, learn from, and also go to Uganda, Africa for missions during my freshman year summer. Although Berkeley seemed foreign and a bit far from home, i learned to adapt to it because I met awesome friends and grew as an individual through encountering people everyday- people i will love, and people i will learn to appreciate and respect. Most importantly, I grew so much in my faith, my relationship with the Lord. He allowed me to become mature in my walk with Him, and to see the bigger picture in life and that wherever I go, my real home is in heaven and not on earth. I realized how studying in Berkeley is such a blessing and great opportunity to grow in faith and love the people around me. Later on as a sophomore, I joined a church called The Ark where I met such awesome people who loved Jesus and taught me a whole new way of loving the Lord. God also implanted a heart where I wanted to see people come to the Lord and also a heart to love the students and the people in this community. Overall, I learned to love God more and realize the important things in life as I meet awesome people in an awesome place!

Describe the students at your school.

it seems like a lot of UC Berkeley students are from Southern California. a lot of students are interested in politics and the welfare of our communities. it's great to see students fighting for good causes and for the preservation of what they really believe in. it's great to see them voicing their opinions and suggestions.

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

i know this can sound so religious, but i just love Jesus and i know He has such a big heart for each person on this campus! He loves everyone and wants to give restoration and healing to this city of Berkeley.. "let there be light" and let the truth about Jesus' love be revealed!

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

i think a lot of people are actually competitive and do study a lot compared to other colleges. and people are more open about their sexuality because i feel like the environment in berkeley offers a very free-ing and open place to voice many opinions and respect that

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

it's great to see some awesome speakers and respectable and prominent people come to visit Berkeley. also, i met my closest friends from clubs/organizations, specifically christian fellowships. if i am awake at 2 am, i am usually on my computer surfing the web or reading for the next day's class. i do not drink so Saturday nights are when i just hang out with friends. we watch movies, go karaoking, have dinner, or just hang out in someone's apartment.

What are the academics like at your school?

the classes are a bit large to have the professors really get to know who you are, but if you visit office hours, the professors seem to want to get to know you. My favorite class is McNamara's Art 8: Intro to visual thinking. This class offers an availability for students to increase their creative thinking in ways they haven't thought about before. it's a fun class where people get to know each other and appreciate everyone for who they are. you learn a lot about different students on the campus.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

that they are hard-core nerds, many gay/lesbian/bi-sexual students, green and earth-conserving people, competitive

Kendall
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Berkeley is a great school, and I like it more and more each semester. I like the freedom of the campus, I embrace the anonym...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Berkeley is a great school, and I like it more and more each semester. I like the freedom of the campus, I embrace the anonymity and I create my own community within the sea of students. However, I think that some of the facilities are a little worn out - the bathrooms, for example, are pretty disgusting, and the lines we have to wait in for basically everything are always a mile long.

Describe the students at your school.

In theory, I don't think any student should feel out of place at Berkeley. I would hesitate to say that a wealthier student, used to the spoils of growing up in a very rich house, might be uncomfortable with the housing accommodations at UC and in the city of Berkeley. I don't think students are as politically active or aware as they used to be.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

To a certain extent, I believe that there are people who exemplify all stereotypes. However, that number of people is extremely small. It's unfair to judge the entire student body based on a few noticeable patterns. Sure, there are hippies and Asians and smart kids, but Berkeley contains a surprising number of conservative students, as well as students from other ethnic backgrounds and students who don't exceed academically.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

People are constantly telling me that I go to "that liberal school with all the hippies," and I can't stand this ignorant comment. Occasionally, I also hear that my school is "full of Asians, just like every other UC" or that "all the students at Berkeley are really smart."

What are the academics like at your school?

I am a double major in mass communications and linguistics - the mass comm professors know me by name, whereas the linguistics professors do not. I've taken many great classes and many horrible classes. The best so far have been Music 27 (taught by Scott Foglesong in the Extension program), Ling 100 (Line Mikkelsen), History 7B (Leon Litwack), Journalism 141 (Tom Goldstein) and Ling 130 (Andrew Garrett). The worst have been Anthro 3 (taught by Gisele Bousquet in the Extension program) and Ling 115 (Larry Hyman). Students do study, but it's ridiculous for me to estimate exactly how much other students study. I know that I prioritize my schoolwork, as do my roommates. I will say that I think students establish study habits early on, and that patterns their performance throughout their career at Berkeley. In other words, once a partyer, always a partyer. I can account for the fact that my friends and I pursue academic interests outside of class, but we have fun, too. And, yes, students can be fiercely competitive. I think it depends on the major - and the ambition of the students. If a student is using their education to get a job, then they can be very competitive. If they are learning for the sake of learning, the fire is pretty low.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

I'm a writer at the Daily Cal and a writer for a campus publication called THE WIRE. I used to be involved with the Undergraduate Mass Communications Association. My dorm experience was amazing - my entire floor was friendly and so, yes, we did leave our doors open. But that's subjective to the floor. Athletic events are extremely popular, especially football, although I personally don't go to the games. i went freshman year, because the tickets were free, but I prefer basketball. The dating scene is a joke. People don't "date" - they hook up or latch onto each other. I blame facebook, alcohol, and the general decline of romanticism. I love going to concerts.

Jesse
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Berkeley has a fabulous atmosphere and a beautiful campus that I appreciate now all the more since I don't live in the greene...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Berkeley has a fabulous atmosphere and a beautiful campus that I appreciate now all the more since I don't live in the greenest place. Lots of interesting people. Lots of open space. A really diverse class schedule that lets you study exactly what you want and also pick a few things that you never thought you'd be interested in but turn out to be fascinating.

Describe the students at your school.

The student body is too diverse to describe in a few words. Of course, there are the standard hippie-esque liberals you come to Berkeley expecting, but there are also Republicans and very academically-focused people and sorority girls and everyone else. Simply because of the sheer number of students who congregate here, I think anyone can find a crowd of people to fit in with.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Probably. Though not as much as they used to be.

What are the academics like at your school?

I felt extremely satisfied with the education I received at Berkeley. Though some class sizes are huge (I think my largest class had 650 students), there are smaller discussion sections that give you the chance to ask all your questions -- and all my professors made substantial time for their students. Especially in your junior and senior year, as you start to focus your studies, classes routinely have only 10 or 12 students. I felt challenged in nearly every class I took -- as an English major, especially, I routinely had a 1000 pages of reading a week -- but, in the end, I felt like I grew a lot intellectually and the sometimes painfully stressful workload was all worth it. That said, there was certainly some grade inflation -- some classes are easier than others, so it's possible to sort of inflate your own GPA by choosing easy stuff. Or to make your life hellish by choosing tough professors and classes.

Mary
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Berkeley is great. It seems big at first but it actually isn't. It's really easy to find your niche and then all of a sudden ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Berkeley is great. It seems big at first but it actually isn't. It's really easy to find your niche and then all of a sudden the school is really small. I see the same thirty people all day every day. It has a great reputation, particularly in the sciences. The location is perfect. Berkeley itself is small and homey, but San Francisco is a short train ride away. The only thing is the train stops at 12:30, so that's sucks.

Describe the students at your school.

Students tend to be politically aware. The most vocal ones are left. The school is mostly asian and white, but there are a few other races.

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

This survey didn't have my major in the list.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

more or less. there are some liberal asians and some conservative white people though.

What are the academics like at your school?

My major (chemical engineering) is pretty small. We all know each other and help each other all the time. Every one studies a lot, so it's tough to keep up, but it's fun. Most of the professors and gsi's are great; I've only had one professor (out of five so far) and one gsi (out of ten so far) in ChemE that I were mediocre, as opposed to fantastic.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

You can be as social as you want to be. Only the freshman live in the dorms; after that it's up to you and your friends to have fun. Football games are a big deal but frats aren't. As a Chemical Engineer we mostly study on the weekend, or go to co-op parties. The co-ops are more popular than the frats. A lot of bands and speakers and events come to Berkeley because it's so well known so there is always something to do.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

lots of conservative asians and everyone else is a hippie liberal

Summer
Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

I think most of the students at Berkeley tend to be apathetic about politics or lean to the left, but there are also many con...

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

I think most of the students at Berkeley tend to be apathetic about politics or lean to the left, but there are also many conservative students and organizations. And, as to B, there are many intelligent people here, but they're more likely to be graduate students than undergrads. I'm constantly shocked at the level of ignorance of many of my classmates, it is appalling.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

I think a lot of people assume Berkeley is filled with A) Revolutionary Communist Hippies, and B) Genius Nerds.

david
Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Some students are workaholics but not all. Yeah, the student population here is pretty ugly overall, but there are attractiv...

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Some students are workaholics but not all. Yeah, the student population here is pretty ugly overall, but there are attractive students too. The stereotype about all Berkeley students being liberal is probably the most misleading. I would say that although there are few conservative students here, most of the student body is pretty apathetic politically.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Some stereotypes about UC Berkeley students are that they are all obsessed with school to the point of sabotaging their social lives, that they are all ugly, and that they are all liberal.

arie
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Let me begin by saying that i transferred to berkeley my Jr year, and so im sure my experience would have been different had ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Let me begin by saying that i transferred to berkeley my Jr year, and so im sure my experience would have been different had i attended berkeley for all 4 years. Having said that, here is what i thought of berkeley. Its a big school, if you seek personal attention from professors and administrators you might be able to find it, but you have to seek it, its not going to be showered on you. Most of my classes, even upper division ones, had 50-100 people in them, so no one is paying attention to whether or not you show up generally, and your professor wont know your name unless you talk in class a lot or go to office hours. there is definitely school pride, i didnt have any, but others did. Game days are a big deal, its cool to hate stanford. The city of Berkeley is small enough that there is a definite college vibe to it, but its not small enough to be a cool college town. The surrounding community is pretty embarrassingly yuppie, and the city council does some pretty ridiculous things that will not affect you in any way except one: everyone you meet over a certain age will ask you what its like to live in "bezerkley" and you will have to smile politely and pretend its the first time you've heard that hilarious play on words. That being said, there are some nice things about berkeley, namely going up into the berkeley hills to look over the bay, lounging at the strawberry canyon pool, and laying in the sun on memorial glade between classes. These things are great, but they do not make berkeley a worth while place to live on their own. What does make Berkeley tolerable is that its only half an hour form San Francisco, and everyone can agree that San Francisco is great.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

1. Uber-Leftists this is truer of the faculty than the students. Sure, berkeley has its fair share of naked protests against sweatshops and semi-naked tree dwellers decrying de-forestation on campus, but Sproul Plaza is populated by way more Asian Christian associations than progressive political movements. Also, lest ye forget, berkeley is home to Haas, one of the top business school in the country, and the only green those kids care about is the kind with famous dead guys' faces on it. So don't be surprised to find bush jokes in your bio lectures, and Nader campaign posters in your sociology professor's office, but rest assured, the kids are alright. 2. uber-competitive Berkeley is definitely an academically competitive school, but that being said, your experience will really depend on your major. If you study something useful, like a hard science, or business, you will be stressed out for 4 years, get used to it. If you pick a bullshit social science major like i did, things aren't so bad. Having studied both at UCSB and UCB i can tell you that Berkeley social science classes were not noticeably more challenging than those at the infamous "party school" in Santa Barbara. However, at Berkeley you have the advantage of being misled by big name professors, and so if i were you i would pick one early on and hold on for dear life so that by the end of 4 years you will have a minor celebrity writing your letter of recommendation for whatever institution you choose to attend after you realize a BA in a social science is worth about as much as your 1st grade report card, regardless of whether its from Berkeley or chico state. 3. uber-asian this is absolutely true, but why do you care? what are you, some kind of racist?

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

there are three main stereotypes about berkeley: 1. its uber-leftist 2. its uber-competitive 3. its uber-Asian.

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