University of California-Berkeley Top Questions

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It has a very liberal atmosphere. Students here seem much more passionate about social issues compared to other schools. I visited a few schools on their open house days, and Cal had a bigger display of groups that were concerned with racism, politics, and other issues. In the past months, I witnessed the passion. Students marched in protest of the UC tuition hikes and the Ferguson decision, and debates flared in our Facebook group. Most people are open to different ideas, and we are committed to fighting for justice.


Berkeley fosters more liberalism and freedom than other schools do. There's also a much larger sense of community, real-world knowledge, and pride in our own knowledge than others.


It is very diverse!




Berkeley provides a unique balance of high academics and great social experiences, something I feel other schools lack. Most of the time I feel like there is more of a focus on either the academic or social aspect of college, but at Berkeley that is not the case. It is the number one pulbic university in the nation and a degree from Cal carries a lot of weight in the professional world, yet it also provides plenty of opportunity to make new friends and expand socially, both of which in my opinion are essential to having a complete college experince.


It is a college town, the school is beautiful and has a great accepting and engaging atmosphere.


My school is very diverse with people of many ethnicities, backgrounds, and interests. This school is very liberal and supports all types of people. Berkeley is also a prestigious university to attend as professors that teach are sometimes Nobel laureates and very knowledgeable in their fields. This school is also relatively near my home.


University of California at Berkeley offers a wide range of educational, athletic, and social experiences. It places a great deal of emphasis on research which is my ultimate goal in my profession as an electrical engineer. Compare to other universities it supports the most excellent educational programs, competes for and win research funding, and has successful cutting –edge research projects for undergraduate students to help them prepare for a successful graduate program.




UC Berkeley offers lectures given by world renowned researchers and incredible professors in the top of their respective fields. We have designated parking spots on campus for Nobel Laureates. The prestige of the people on campus that my peers and I interact with everyday still astounds me. Research opportunities are constantly presenting themselves and there is always something interesting happening on campus. The academics are incredible, but Cal offers more than that. The people, the experiences, and the lessons you will learn are priceless. There truly is no other school that compares.


The school has a smaller campus feel but it is not too small. The school is located ten minutes from downtown Atlanta. I enjoy the location of the school because I am very familiar with this area.


The academic and social atmosphere at Cal is completely unique. The student body at Cal is diverse, with students from every walk of life. All of the students I have met are sincerely kind, willing to go out of their way to help a directionally challenged freshman lost on campus. Teachers are engaging and care about students whether it is a class in a huge lecture hall with hundreds of people or a small discussion group of 10 students. Cal has taught me new ways to look at the world, with passionate and amazing faculty and students. Go Bears!


You know you're in u.c. berkeley when: you see a random person standing on the side of the word reading religous text, a sign claiming the end of the world is near, a political organization protesting a situation or the library is full during the first week of class. If there's one thing to take away from campus, it's that there's something for everyone and you will be exposed to more kinds of people than you knew existed.


Berkeley supported and inspired me to make work about modern-day child sex trafficking and spreading awareness and promoting action. While in my last year at Cal, I will be leading a team in creating their own meaningful art projects. As the leader, I will be challenging the members to use unconventional methods in portraying their thoughts and to explore content they care about because I strongly believe a person needs to be passionate about their work in order to send a genuine and influential message across to an audience. This opportunity wasn'y available at the other colleges.


At my school, everyone is different. There is no "typical Berkeley kid" except that ALL Berkeley kids study a lot. What's unique here is that everyone fits in.


The flavor of life in and around Berkeley as well as the energy and spirit are unmatched anywhere else. It is consistently considered one of the best, if not the best public university in the world, and it is home to some of the worlds greatest minds as evidenced by the Nobel laureate parking all around campus!


It has good academics and social atmostphere. Diversity!


U.C. Berkeley is set apart from the other schools that I considered due to its deep diversity academically, socially, and intellectually. The list of the programs of study is almost twice, if not three times the list of other schools with majors ranging from Peace and Conflict Studies to Nuclear Engineering. This wide array of academia attracts many students from around the nation and world, creating a mini-scale world in a campus no larger than 7,000 acres. This atmosphere breeds intellect like no other, igniting debate, ingenuity, and creativity at the highest level.


Compared to other schools, I found UC-Berkeley to be a unique school because of its commitment to student expression. At none of the other nine schools to which I applied did I feel that political activism would be stressed as much as it is here. I love that at Cal, we are all free to voice our opinions about vital matters. And not only are we free to do so, we are encouraged to. This activism for activism is what ultimately made me realize that Cal was the school for me.


Berkeley has a liberal culture that always is pinned upon progress. This year, the students were given the opportunity to have three specific genes tested in hopes of raising awareness about personalized medicine. The Berkeley student culture is often the first to implement new ideas and push the envelope on what is accepted.


It's the number one public university in the world!


I am working towards an Electrical Engineering and Computer Science degree. This department is rated second in the world. The professors are world-class in research and are also fantastic teachers. The hands-on projects and graduate assistant opportunities are what really sealed my decision to attend UC Berkeley. The job placement going out of Berkeley is very high, especially in Engineering. The city of Berkeley is also a great attraction. The diversity of the people and access to over 200 great restaurants is a plus.


UCB is one of the most diverse and beautiful campuses I have ever seen. It makes the learning atmosphere enjoyable and worthwhile. Although, UCB is the best public university in the nation, it serves to all demographics and provides opportunities for people of all backgrounds to attend. Students are able to receive an education from some of the world's most renowned professors who want to help them succeed. Professors are charasmatic and classes are lively. Students are challenged academically day to day and with the help of the faculty and staff, they are able to overcome every callenge!


its awesome! academics are hard, but once you learn how to buckle down and study, most people really enjoy it


Berkeley students are proud of being Berkeley students, and we do our best to live up to its name. Most individuals I have met could be labelled as exceptionally smart in some areas, while at the same time remaining "normal" college students. The party scene is not intensely focused on the Greek system (thank god) as the large hipster population throws their own alt-parties at the co-ops. Yet although students are not mainly focused on partying, most people socialize in some form of club.


Heart of everything: new research, academics, activists, environmentalists, foodies, top sports teams. Campus is like a park in the city.


UC Berkeley is unique in that it is not just a highly research focused university but professors also encourage students to pursue their career paths early on in their collegiate career. Students are pushed to apply for and participate in research opportunities, internships, and other things that will help in pursuing graduate school or a job directly after graduation.


Berkeley is one of the world's top university with not only intellectual alumni, but alumni with varying personalities and beliefs around every corner. In addition, it's very liberal community expresses itself in many ways around campus. My main incentive though, is its prestigious Haas School of Business, in which I hope to get into and be able to major in Business.


Besides having a different ethnic makeup than most universities (42% Asian followed by 31% Caucasian), it appears that everyone is proud of their differences, from ethnicity to sexual orientation to polical views. However, all the kids want to get a good education. And everyone can bond over how much budget cuts suck. There's kind of a reverse snobbery sometimes, when students think of themselves as hardcore for not attending a 'cushy' Ivy League school. But it's still a wonderful education, with great professors and resources.


At Berkeley, a lot of people actually cares about social issues and saving the world. Me included.


There is a huge student population, so there is every group and activity represented. The student population is significant but you also have large cities surrounding you. San Fransisco and Oakland are very close and easily accessible.


It was strong in a variety of branches, but once you start in engineering it is hard to get out or even see straight. The rest of the campus is much more joyous than the engineering corner, students in engineering do not really leave their corner.


I wanted fun, excitement, along with other great scholars. I wanted to be challenged by my peers and professors. Consequently, the school I chose encompasses all of these assets. It even has aspects that I never considered necessary. For instance, the environment at the school is bustling with pride and vigor. There are so many students who are devoted and kind. The students here are people I can see being friends with for a lifetime. The best part is that at any hour, any day of the week, if you wanted to do something, there is a place for it.


What sets the University of California, Berkeley apart from other schools is that it is unsheltered from the world. Literally, the campus is open to the city; in fact, many buildings and facilities are located off-campus, allowing for an integration with the surrounding community. Historically, Berkeley is famous for its liberal state of mind; the liberty to freely speak one's mind--whether academically, politically, or religiously--and accept others' opinions is invaluable. And academically, the ability to receive world-class education from top researchers and educators--who continue to make an impact in today's society--is priceless.


The school provides one of the most improved curriculum in the world. It well-prepares every student going to school and makes sure that whoever graduates will do great in their career in the future.


UC Berkeley cannot afford to keep its library open, much less retain its top talent. The best professors and faculty get cherry picked to go teach elsewhere such as Stanford. UC Berkeley deserved its stellar reputation in the 1950’s and 60’s before the continuous decline in university funding starting in the 1970’s. Although its academic reputation has remained strong, the teaching at UC Berkeley is embarrassingly poor. In its rankings of the best universities, “US News and World Report” does not include teaching as a criterion. Rather, the most weight is given to the opinion of other university presidents, provosts, and deans (i.e. a popularity contest). This allows UC Berkeley to hide its poor teaching practices and perpetuates the high rankings. In fact, the UC Berkeley Administration purposefully withholds course evaluation results from students. They have to keep everyone from knowing how awful the teaching is. This is a clear violation of the California Public Records Act, which clearly authorizes public access to them, but it is difficult to sue the university. This is yet another example that UC’s legal right to police itself does not work. Since only highly competent students are admitted, they manage to survive, but it may take years longer than anticipated. You never hear from the many who get flushed away due to the faculty’s apathy, infighting, and numerous mistakes on exams. Whenever these issues arise, the student and his or her career will always be sacrificed instead of the faculty member who caused the mistake. The tenure system makes it nearly impossible to remove a professor. They all look out for one another since they cannot be fired and they are stuck with their incompetent colleagues for life. As a result, students are treated like disposable tissue. Unfortunately, most of the undergraduate students have no idea how much better the education is at other universities, and that they are receiving a sub par education at UC Berkeley. In summary, UC Berkeley is a 2nd rate university with a 1st rate reputation. Studying at UC Berkeley may be the biggest mistake that you ever make.


If I had to do it all over again, I would not have tried to major in biology.


it is culturally diversed


There's something for everyone, and San Francisco is so close by, its a nice place to get away to when school becomes overwhelming. There's the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the steps leading up to Sather tower on campus. On clear days, it's breath-taking.


Berkeley is a lot larger than other schools, and I think it has a huge variety of kinds of people- there isnt really a stereotypic "Berkeley Kid". I truly think anyone can find a group of friends at the school is they try hard enough. However, its size can also make it harder than usual to get involved with organizations on campus. And, unlike many other schools a student really needs to take initiative and be independent- no ones is there waiting to help you pick classes, send you abroad, introduce you to new friends, etc


It is a public university with a long standing tradition of academic excellence and research as well as a diverse range of students. Students come from all parts of the world and have a variety of skills and interests and come together with a will to learn and have fun.


UC Berkeley does an excellent job at promoting academics, social life and school spirit. Coming to this school, I was afraid it was going to be study hours 24/7. But I've been having the most fun here participating in campus groups, sport events, school traditions and still learning so much!


Berkeley has a certain college feel to it. This feeling might be present due to Berkeley's famous past during the 60's and 70's. My father first came to America to attend UC Berkeley as a graduate student, and he has often told met that the first thing he saw here at Berkeley was a riot. Berkeley's reputation of political and social activism inspires me to make an impression on the world, and it empowers me by showing that even a student can cause change. UC Berkeley as a spirit you cannot find at any other campus.


Closer to home, #1 public university in the country, #2 in the world, good prep for grad school which is at the same university.


Very environmentally friendly, lively and full of spirit and enthusiasm. The Free Speech Movement began here and the spirit of that movement is instilled in the campus.


Berkeley has a very traditional aspect in that it values the academic rigor among the students and faculty as well as the creation of new ideas and discoveries on top of those traditions. Over half of the student population here at Berkeley rely on some form of financial aid to fund their education which sets Berkeley apart from its close private school competitors from across the nation as well as across the world! The fact that it is a number one ranking public school already says something about its uniqueness!


The campus is beautiful and the city around campus, though seemingly nitty-gritty, has a lot of character.


liberal. perfect


You have the ability to learn and become whatever you want. Everyone is extremely helpful and wants you to succeed. The atmosphere is extremely condusive to learning and excelling.


The attitude at Berkeley is much less arrogant than that of atendees I have met from other high-ranking schools. And one thing I realized when I first got here is that even though you see what appears to be the typical spectrum from nerd to stoner to frat boy, everyone here was at the top of their class in high school, and to one degree or another we were all nerds. It 's a place where that's the norm, so it doesn't define you anymore and you get to find out who you really are.