I think Berkeley is a good school but there's a lot of pressure on Berkeley students to represent Berkeley. A lot of the students at Berkeley prioritize academics above everything and a lot of the professors prioritize their research over their actual classes. occasionally you'll meet some great people but everyone is determined to come out on top so it can get competitive. The graduate students put in more work than the professors do in their classes but they grade harshly so you can expect to not do well in the beginning until you get used to the school atmosphere.
It is a great place to experience new things and get a world-class education. There is always something unique to do or see. The STEM classes are challenging and make you really grow as a scholar and prepare you to excel in you field. The campus may be big, but after joining clubs and taking a lot of your major's classes, you start to see people you know around campus every day.
How would I rate UC Berkeley? Well, I won't sugar coat it - UC Berkeley is difficult. Most of the time, the academic rigor of the school feels like running a marathon, if that triathlon was one-hundred miles and included swimming across the Pacific Ocean and biking up Mount Everest.
However, as a student who transferred to Cal from another well-known, four-year university, I can sincerely say that this educational triathlon has been one of the most rewarding and exceptional experiences I am grateful to have; one that is only possible at UC Berkeley.
Here at Cal, we can take classes like Drugs & the Brain, Wealth & Poverty and UC Hogwarts: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We can take courses taught by former advisors to U.S presidents, Nobel laureates and world famous scientists. Here, we are classmates with Olympic gold medalists, filmmakers, new innovators in technology. Here, we can conduct research on black holes, learn how to write screenplays, join an improv team, become a rugby player, do anything, be anything. At this university, students are pushed to challenge the status quo, discover groundbreaking solutions, change the world, better ourselves and we are not alone in doing so, as this immense community of proud Golden Bears spreads across the globe.
Since coming to UC Berkeley, I find that the seemingly impossible obstacles are more feasible to overcome.
So, what is my overall rating of Berkeley? It exceeds this 5-star measure.
It is a great learning environment that encourages a diversity of ideas. There is a great variety of classes you can take and there are a lot of opportunities to experience the Bay Area's tech scene. The class sizes have never been an issue for me because the professors always have office hours you can go to.
I believe there are certain aspects in which the school can improve on in order to enhance the experience of the students. I feel like there is not a complete inclusion of students especially for certain classes and extracurricular activities. Overall, Berkeley does provide students with a diverse and unique atmosphere that many are safe to consider home.
I am currently attending UC Berkeley as a first-year undergraduate student. After only a few months studying here, I can see why UC Berkeley routinely competes for the number one public university title. This school is very academically driven and really does encourages students to challenge the status quo. However, there are certain qualities that one has to take into account before committing to enrollment.
For one, the housing situation is competitive here. Because UC Berkeley resides near San Francisco and the Silicon Valley, the price of apartments are drastically inflated compared to the prices of other Californian public universities. If you are a student that wants to live independently, it will be hard for you to find an affordable apartment lease. As for the on-campus housing, there are pros and cons of each residential building. Some residence halls like Unit 1-3 are quite old and lack renovation. Rooms are narrow, but I found them to be quite adequate just another roommate. My friends that are in dorms with triple roommates still managed to do alright. Nevertheless, there are positive aspects of these dorm residences. They are very close to the main campus, with only a five to ten minute walk from the dorms. They are also quite convenient because they are located near the central university marketplace where students can purchase snacks, meals, and daily necessities. The dining hall is also conveniently located at the foot of the residence halls. Other residences like Clark-Kerr are further away from campus and facilities but offer more spacious rooms.
The courses at UC Berkeley are challenging, and students are competitive. However, professors are available at designated office hours for you to ask questions. It is common for students to make a habit of visiting during these times. Moreover, I’ve found that the academically driven atmosphere helps me keep on track with my own studies. The libraries are open 24 hours near mid-term and finals week for students to study in.
Academics are important, but so are the other qualities of living a college lifestyle. Parties are frequent on the weekends. Fraternities host their parties quite regularly but are often biased towards who can enter. If you want to attend these frat parties, it helps to get to know a few frat members prior. The alternative is dorm parties. These are very fun but less frequent as Residence Assistants can shut down parties if they get too loud. Nevertheless, I’m certain that one can find hangouts and parties if one is naturally open to socializing with different people.
As for the campus itself, UC Berkeley is situated near many affordable restaurants and entertainment. Telegraph Row, where stores and restaurants are aligned, leads right up to the campus. There are different cultures of food like Indian, Chinese, Korean, Italian, and Thai. Trust me, you will find good eateries if you just walk around a bit near campus. There are plenty of theaters nearby where you can watch new films. On that note, Karaoke bars are also an option and make for great evenings with large groups.
UC Berkeley is a good mixture of academic rigour and the more enjoyable qualities of being a college student. While there are some drawbacks like the competitive atmosphere and lack of housing options, students can still find other ways to enjoy the school.
With a strong culture in memes about how UC Berkeley is a struggle in all aspects such as academics and the new "Berkeley life," UC Berkeley allows students to be challenged as if they are already in the work force of their particular major. Berkeley provides their students with not only the best academic resources but resources that pertains to finding job opportunities through alumni connection. Berkeley pushes students to be the best in what they are studying in.
Personally, I like the education that I am getting here at University of California-Berkeley and I enjoy my classes though they may be challenging. As far as greek life and other campus organization, I cannot speak too much about but there is definitely a lot of opportunities for our students.
UC Berkeley is full of amazing opportunities for undergraduates, but there won't be any hand-holding here. If you don't have initiative and aren't independent, you'll definitely learn. Berkeley is extremely challenging and rigorous, but it's worth its prestige and reputation: coming onto campus, you really have a sense of pride and community.
UC Berkeley is a very active school that has so much to offer to fulfill every student's needs and wants. It is also highly competitive. The environment can take some getting used to, but that doesn't take too long! In the end, it is a great place to be and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!
The title of #1 Public University is not a mere label; the weight of this greatness, coupled with the academic rigor, intimidating peers, and a brilliant faculty make UC Berkeley a truly daunting college. At first, adjusting to the constant conversations drawn from a wide spectrum of comprehensive issues can be tough, and make you feel lost and inferior. Many classes are curved, and it is extremely hard to stay sane if you are not willing to adapt, and accept the fact that you may have once been the smartest in high school, but you're on a level playing field here. Fortunately, the positive environment, personal interactions with professors, and ever available help can diminish the fright. Once you find a group of friends — or even a single like-minded person — life at Berkeley will be a breeze.
There's a reason the University of California is the said to be the greatest institution of learning in all of human history. Cal's educational opportunities are infinite and higher quality than that of anywhere else. The only downside of the University of California are the lack of a medical school (thanks to the UC board of directors). Go Bears!
It's a very active school. In here, you will find many intelligent people with different kinds of passions, ready to teach you a thing or two and also to learn from you. If you're planning to go here, I definitely recommend it. The workload may be hard but it's a worthwhile experience.
UC Berkeley has felt like home since the first day I visited the campus! Between the unique culture, the beautiful campus, and the amazing students on Cal's campus are just some of the reasons I'm proud to be a Bear! I'm so extremely lucky to have found my place here in this little niche of beautiful contradictions! Berkeley is where the extremes meet, and where you feel safe enough to state your views or opinions in a sea of people differing. The University of California Berkeley is an amazing school that anyone would be lucky to attend.
Berkeley with its renowned faculty, incredible research opportunities and diverse cultural influences is a campus like no other. This legendary institution has been my number one choice since I began to dream of becoming a a doctor. Beyond its tremendous reputation, its known for its research opportunities offered to undergraduate students.
i DID NOT LIKE THE ATMOSPHERE ON THE CAMPUS. BUT ONE OF THE MOST DIVERSE CAMPUSES OUT THERE! DEFINITELY NOT THE SCHOOL FOR ME BUT MAYBE FOR OTHERS. BERKELEY WAS A BIG SCIENCE RELATED SCHOOL, SO IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA- BERKELEY IS THE PLACE FOR YOU
UC Berkeley is a great school to investing your education in. The unique aspect of Cal is the city Berkeley itself and the easily accessible campus. Berkeley is a city with so much history embedded into it that enables the majority of UC Berkeley students to be a politically, culturally, and academically diverse group of people. You meet tons of people, students, staff, non-students on and off campus that adds to your college experience. The best aspect so far for me has been the professors because I see how enthusiastic and passionate they are about teaching and learning through their students that class time feels more like an engaging conversation rather than just taking in information.
I will bleed California Blue and Gold forever. I am beyond proud to be a Cal Alumni and I firmly believe that this institution changed me in every dimension possible. I learned how to perform mental acrobatics in disciplines ranging from organic chemistry to sociology, embraced my Indian-American identity, become socially-engaged, and learned that activism will be inseparable from my future career as a physician. The personal, academic, and social growth I experiences at Cal is unparalleled.
UC Berkeley lives up to its reputation as a top school because the rigorous academic culture, award-winning faculty, countless opportunities, and student organizations build your resilience and character as an individual.
However, while these characteristics eventually lead to personal growth in the end, much of it stems from how difficult the student life is because of what it lacks, rather than what the school actually has to offer.
In terms of resources, there are plenty, but because they aren't publicized well, students end up feeling as though though there isn't much. As a result, the school ends up serving only those who fight for what they want. Class enrollment has also been an issue because the school commits to taking in at least a few hundred more freshmen each year. However, not only are the classes filling up faster and faster each year, but also freshmen are not even guaranteed dorms near campus-- the school has started putting freshmen in dorms in other local colleges. Furthermore, while new buildings are being built which cost millions of dollars, the facilities in older buildings are completely broken down, with writing on bathroom walls and stained toilet seats. In terms of Internet access, though the computer science department is the best in the nation, the Internet is slow and frequently breaks down. There are many student organizations, but all require applications because the demand to join them keeps rising as the number of enrolled students increases.
Overall, the fact that nothing is given to you teaches you the life lesson that everything you accomplish is a result of hard work and determination. Because students have to survive through such difficult circumstances, you end up learning how to take an impossible situation and turn it around into a source of personal development.
Great school with many oppurtunities to learn. The school is filled with intellectuals and have plenty of clubs, organizations, and ways to get involved. It's a very big school and campus so you have to find the oppurtunities yourselves. Lots of resources, all you have to do is ask.
The culture and vibe here can be very refreshing, there are so many different and interesting people, clubs and extracurriculars for everyone, and cool student-run classes. SF is only a bus ride away too, so there are lots of things to do. BUT the actual classes are intense. Luckily, there are great resources- tutoring and the Tang Center that can help with the academics and your health.
UC Berkeley is a school that has a unique vibe which is not existent in other schools. It attracts students for its rigorous academics but also its overwhelming amount of opportunities that exist in the bay area and beyond. It may be difficult to find affordable housing but it is still possible through co-ops and theme housing near Berkeley campus. Yet, the experience of attending Berkeley is different for everyone, but in my opinion the stress and trouble is worth it.
Cal's a great school in terms of academics and opportunities. There are many extracurricular activities and clubs students can get involved in, and mental health resources, tutoring, and professors are there to help you. Unfortunately, it's a high stress environment that many students have trouble adapting to, and it's very likely that you will encounter a student that values his or her grades more than anything else. However the amount of intellectual curiosity many students have here inspires me to think more critically about what I'm learning. In terms of housing, the options are quite terrible. Dorms are expensive and quite cramped (I was in a triple). The suites are larger, and obviously more expensive. Off campus housing is usually a nightmare, in terms of the search and rent. Other than that, most of the people I've met here during my first two years have made me not regret my decision to come here.
Berkeley has a rep for being cold, and rightly so--I mean campus is huge, it's initially quite intimidating. But in the college of chemistry I have a pretty small advisory group, and teachers make it a point to hold office hours; point being, there is an adequate amount of help and support, you just need to take the initiative to seek it out. I also find that the school's large size allows for plenty of room for people to find a niche--a close community is yours to be had and no less attainable than at a small school.
The University of California-Berkeley is the best public higher education institution in the United States. This is very noticeable in the academics, extracurriculars, internships, and research opportunities available to students. UC Berkeley lives up to its reputation of providing great academics at an affordable price. There are many opportunities for undergraduate students to get involved on campus through social and academic clubs, research opportunities, internship placement, and greek life/ sports. Students are generally happy to attend UC Berkeley and we have lots of pride for our university.
UC Berkeley has been pretty good to me so far. I'm currently in my second semester. I appreciate the quality of my professors, graduate student instructors, and other educational assistants. Everyone here truly loves what they teach and are dedicated to helping their students in as many ways as they can. I haven't had a bad professor yet. The lectures can be intimidating at first because of their sheer size, but you can get used to anything with time. The campus is beautiful and active. The options for extracurriculars are endless and friends are easy to come by. The food quality ranges from pretty darn good to kind of gross. Depends on the dish. It's all edible, for sure. Cal Dining can hit you with great food on some days. I'm constantly hungry and I have cheap taste buds so I enjoy what Cal Dining has to offer, even if it's not top notch. Overall, everything isn't always sunshine and rainbows (college is difficult and expensive), but the good definitely outweighs the bad.
UC Berkeley suffers from inflexible and inaccessible administration, and students often have trouble navigating the bureaucracy to get the help they need. However, the school is full of activity and there are unlimited opportunities in everything you can imagine. The people here are down to earth, and what I love most about the institution is the focus on public service. There are numerous faculty, staff, and students here who truly care about social impact and giving back to the community, and that inherited sense of service is something that I will forever have.
As a Molecular Environmental Biology major, taking the core science classes at UC Berkeley has shown me how this college can challenge me to reach heights I did not know I could. UC Berkeley has challenged me mentally, as well as socially. I've found myself reaching far out of my comfort zone as I continue to meet so many people who all contribute to making the campus atmosphere friendly and welcoming. I wouldn't trade my college for any other.
Oh Berkeley, hailed for your history of free speech movements and student world consciousness- you still remain the classic Bezerkeley. Equal parts quirk and studiousness, Berkeley sophisticates the kook to genius proportions. On my walk down telegraph, I listen in on "casual" conversations and end up fully informed on number theory or biometrics. The conversation and material permeates out of the classroom. There is no doubt that the students take joy in acquiring and discussing knowledge. The professors certainly foster that mentality as well, often recounting field research stories in office hours of inspiring and motivating detail. Perhaps the thing I most love about Berkeley though is the students' matched excitement for learning and the newly opened Taco Bell.
Overall, my experience at Cal has been a good one. From the amazing classes to the easily accessible resources, I have been able to fit right in on campus. I have been able to mold my career choice and understand my options because of this community.
I absolutely love the University of California, Berkeley. Every single day I meet new faces who are ready to discuss the current events of the world, the latest sports event, or even get to know you! My classes broaden my perspective and opinions and even test my prior thoughts. The academics are truly challenging and rewarding. It was the best decision of my life to attend UC Berkeley!
I love the College of Chemistry! Supportive, accessible, and top of the world! However, I'm struggling with finance and housing. I wish the university had more open scholarships for international students!
It's amazing!, theres no place i'd rather be.
Oh Cal, the Land of Golden Bears. Though it may be the “number one public university in the world”, this school is far from perfection. And the students know this as well, which is why there is an admittedly negative culture of constant complaints and depressing memes directed towards the school. From our dismal dining hall food, to lack of available student housing, to hardcore academics, and the ever prevalent nature of competition (to be enrolled in classes, to get into a certain club, etc.), there is no shortage of content for people to complain about.
But that’s the thing — UC Berkeley is not a picture perfect, ideal wonderland of a university. It’s a school that makes us cry, makes us fight, makes us do whatever we can to beat the system in order to get what we want or need. It’s the real world. It forces every student to learn to fend for themselves and to clear their own path, and while this may be a scary prospect, it’s a very useful one. I, for one, have learned so much more about being independent and self-sufficient in these past three months as a college freshman than I’ve learned in the past eighteen years. I’ve found my passions, been faced with failure and rejection, and met so many diverse and intellectual classmates. There are so many opportunities here, from fun student organizations to crazy talented professors and resources for any major you could think of, and all you have to do is learn to seek them out. So while UC Berkeley does have its flaws, and I can’t say I haven’t ever imagined what it would be like to attend another school, it’s the perfect place for me to grow as an individual, and to prepare myself for life after college.
It's very much a liberal campus that prioritizes the lives and feelings of white middle-class students. We received an email today from the Chancellor condemning the actions of one of the students who smacked one of the MAGA Republicans (Turning Point) on Sproul Plaza but said nothing about the student who was detained in ICE and the many times white supremacists were on campus attacking undocumented students. It's a good education nonetheless.
It is a great school for anyone with a lot of ambition. If you crave intellectual stimulation and growth I'd highly recommend UC Berkeley. The only problem is if you desire a party scene you need to join a sorority. With such a large school, there is plenty to do otherwise though.
It definitely is a for STEM majors, we have some of the best facilities and alumni around. We respect all those who major in STEM and we all share the burden of the academic rigor. However, if you are not ready to partake in the extreme pressures that come with the grade deflation and rigorous competition that comes with working with fellow UC Berkeley students, then this is not the place for you.
Architecture is a hard subject. Not because its impossible but because lack of sleep is commonplace. Also, its clique culture is booming so if you are any bit different from the already strange zombies walking the halls of Wurster you might find yourself even a little more on the fringe. Even so find your place, sleep when and where you can and don't forget to bring your moleskin to class!
Personally, I feel that going to UC Berkeley was the best choice for me. I say this because it is a great institution academically and while the overall culture can be pretty cutthroat, I believe that once you find your people you'll really enjoy your time with them. It's also a pretty liberal school and I am personally very liberal.
I started school here with the hope that everything it advertised—being politically active, big on diversity, always thriving to make its community safe, plenty of spaces for students of color—would not become a regret. This school has failed me in many ways and while I’m grateful to have the opportunity to go to college, I have never felt more unsafe. Students of color are constantly facing abusers of power, starting from chancellor christ to the college of republicans and ending with ucpd. This school may have its history of direct action behind it but they also silence and ignore those in great need of vocalizing their needs.
University of California - Berkeley, more commonly known as Cal, is a top public university in the nation because of its academics. Having attended two semesters at Cal, I can see that the students and faculty place a lot of value on academics both in and out of the classroom setting. Aside from this, there is a lot of school spirit (Go Bears!) and activities to get involved in. However, safety is always a concern along with the high priced, mediocre housing and dining. Despite that, I have no regrets choosing Cal as my new home.
Hello my name is Benjamin! I am a current incoming Junior at Berkeley. I have been around Berkeley for a long enough time to know that the students there know their purpose for why they go to school. The peer pressures are obviously there like any college but about 7% students on the campus drink which says a lot about the overall culture of the school. Huge homeless problem is one of the downsides to the campus.
It makes up for its poor facilities through its academic reputation. Although the professors are renowned and the education is known around the word, the pressure and stress at UC Berkeley can certainly overwhelm even the brightest students. Be prepared to fail and come out stronger.
The University of California-Berkeley is a great place to meet a diverse group of people whose beliefs may challenge your own. You get a new perspective on things through conversations with different people. The academic atmosphere is rigorous and competitive for the first two years as an undergraduate as many majors are impacted but once pursuing your declared major, it becomes easier as people are more willing to work together. The university provides a multitude of resources for its students and staff pertaining to academic, professional and social fields. There is always something going on at campus and with over 1,200 student organizations and clubs, you can always find something you love. I really enjoy my time at the University of California-Berkeley and hope other students have similar experiences. Go Bears!
I am currently a summer bridge student and will be an incoming freshmen in the fall. I have already taken 60 college credits during my high school years at a community college so navigating around what classes to take in the fall is more difficult. The college of L&S everyone comes in "undeclared", I feel the college adviser hasn't been the most helpful but you can reach out to people here, this school is more about you finding opportunities and opening doors for yourself. Overall yes there is a lot of homelessness but the learning environment is very different here, its intense and mind blowing but you have to know the things you like first I would suggest.
GO BEARS! University of California-Berkeley is ranked as the top public university in the world for a reason. The beautiful campus, Nobel laureate winning professors and great community are just some of the reasons why this school is amazing.
The campus is located in sunny California across the bay from San Francisco. Beautiful historic buildings, large libraries located throughout campus and amazing food all in one space. If you're not a fan of on campus food, there are plenty of restaurants to eat at around campus (like the infamous Ippudo Ramen that just opened across the street from the main campus). If you love learning, you will love learning even more from the professors at Berkeley. Professors at Berkeley are not only experts in their field but some of them are even Nobel laureates and have won awards for excellence in their field. Their passion for their fields really shines through when they are teaching and it really motivates and inspires you as a student.
Not only is it a school that focuses on education, it also has a great athletic programs that brings the community together. There is a little bit of something for everyone and everyone takes great pride in attending. If you're looking for a school that will hold your hand and give you answers then this is not the school for you. What was great about UC Berkeley was that you are given as much help as you ASK for but no one is there to chase you down through the process (if you're looking for a school that has grade inflation, this is definitely not a school that will do that). I found that not only did the curriculum prepare me for life, the experiences and life lessons I learned were more important.
Overall Berkeley is a really good school. The academics are amazing and the over all culture is just what you would expect at any other competitive college. However, I do wish there were more African Americans admitted. There is not enough of a black presence on the campus and it truly shows.
UC Berkeley is an academically prestigious university that is unparalleled when it comes to research, especially in the fields of science and mathematics. Students are encouraged to research and excel in their classes rigorously with the numerous resources the university provides. I mostly enjoyed my stay at Berkeley for the academic opportunity and prestige. The intellectual environment here is satisfactory, with students being hardworking and dedicated in their studies, and the university is remarkably and notoriously known for its politically liberal large-scale protests, such as the latest ones with Anti-Trump protesters on campus, as of this writing. The students are noble and adamant about what they believe and bring great diversity to the university, although they are less tolerant of people who do not share their sames sociopolitical views.
The professors are incredibly intelligent and distinguished in their own research fields, many of them being very kind and patient towards their students. They hold regular office hours, including their TAs, and will be nice enough to answer any questions should one come prepared and well-versed in the material. Interestingly enough, my professor for introductory economics happened to be Chairwoman of the Obama Administration’s Council of Economic Advisors, Dr. Romer, and was knowledgeable about the factors that led to the Great Depression and the Great Recession of 2008, which she was in charge of fixing. My science and mathematics professors were also knowledgeable, while challenging the students academically.
The urban environment around Berkeley is full of life and entertaining to go around on Friday nights with friends. Everything is nearby - grocery stores, movie theaters, the school exercise facility, and great (although at times a little expensive) restaurants.
Greek life and sports are not as popular in Berkeley, although one can occasionally see the frat and sorority houses having plenty of fun outside south of campus.
Regardless of UC Berkeley’s rank as the world’s best public university, however, it has numerous flaws that retract from the experience. The most blatant one is the fact that some classes (STEM courses are the biggest culprits) are notoriously difficult. UC Berkeley has the infamous reputation of having grade deflation, and as such students’ GPAs suffer tremendously, which can be a heavy burden for those that are trying to get into grad school. The problem is that some of the exams, as I have seen it, are too specific with the material and often professors cram the material, particularly towards the end of the semester. Additionally, some of the professors are not effective at teaching (a pervasive issue) and students need to use more of their time to dedicate to study when the professor should be distilling the information presented. Because of this, there is an atmosphere in Berkeley of stressful competition and anxiety.
As someone majoring in Molecular Biology, I can attest to these intensely difficult conditions. For instance, for chemistry, one is required to sketch diagrams of abstract molecular orbitals of several simple molecules (H2, HCl, etc.). However, in one midterm, which was worth 20% of my grade, the professor asked us to sketch the molecular orbital diagram of a complex biological molecule. The problem is that this is an introductory course, and what he was asking us belongs in an organic chemistry class. Difficult, or at times unfair, courses such as this one make UC Berkeley a mentally exhausting place.
Berkeley has a housing problem as well, given that it lies on the Bay Area, where unaffordable housing is a considerable problem. The on-campus dorms include room and dining (average at best), but are densely packed and average around $1,700 in monthly rent. The dorms are so dense that the housing office had to cram students even in lounges (on every floor where you’re supposed to have tables and whiteboards to study or relax). The rent for a single off-campus bedroom (or living room) can skyrocket from $750 to even $2,000.
Overall, UC Berkeley has the reputation of academic excellency, yet of having one of the most stressed student populations across the country. I would recommend to attend for upper division or grad school, although for undergrad is pretty brutal.
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