The academic rigor of University of California-Berkeley is very high and the courses, especially technical ones, such as science and math courses are definitely more challenging than any advanced high school level class; however, once students look beyond grade point averages and start to open their minds and their hearts, real intellectual and personal growth begins. UC Berkeley is a place where one can combine passions inside and outside the classroom; there are so many clubs that allow students to come together, build community, and participate in activities that really matter, activities that have the potential to make a real difference in people's lives. Whether it's the lives of the students themselves, people of the surrounding community or people across the globe, students at Cal have a fire ignited in them that won’t be extinguished until they have made impactful change. Overall, my opinion is that this is a very demanding school academically, but the ways that a student can evolve intellectually and socially by facing and tackling the challenges can be very rewarding.
I love it here!! Berkeley is a great place to learn and I have met so many amazing people. I definitely recommend applying and checking out the campus. There is so much diversity and San Francisco is only a BART ride away which is awesome. I have seen so many cool things. Come to CAL
Berkeley is praised as the #1 Public University in the world, and although, I like to brag about this, it is also lacking in a variety of areas. I am part of the Latinx community on campus and the institution underserves those that come from an under privileged background. For those of us that didn't attend a private high school or who do not have a trust fund to fall back on, it is difficult to be a student there sometimes because we are not on the same level of knowledge as most of our white privileged classmates. Yes there are a ton of amazing Latinx organizations and Latinx clubs that we can join that will help make the experience as a minority and first generation student better, but UC Berkeley needs to do a better job at accommodating minority students on campus. The classes there are amazing though and I love learning there. There are a lot of protests but most of them are not organized by Berkeley students. It is outside organizations that come onto our campus and use it as a stage, disrupting classes.
Cal is a great, diverse school. Everyone here is very intellectual so competition is natural. However, I've learned to embrace this and enjoy learning something new everyday. Cal is also centralized in the Bay Area, with San Francisco just a half hour BART ride away. Most people walk to get place-to-place here.
Berkeley can be known for being cutthroat and uncaring. That is certainly something I was worried about when I was considering the offer last year. Instead, I found a community of people that want to improve not only themselves but the people around them. Of course, there will be times when it is very competitive, but I have found that there are always resources and people not only willing but eager to help you thrive.
I love it! I grew up just across the Bay Area in San Francisco and my step dad was definitely one to push me in the direction of UC Berkeley out of high school many years ago! Family life happened and I am now (in my 40s) decided to get my degree! Best decision ever!
Berkeley is often reviewed as the number one public university. The School is very proud of that fact and like to mention it many times over. But they aren't wrong. The school is a very good school and it is the place to go if you want a high level of education. However, I would not expect to do well at all. Classes are extremely difficult and you will not get as much one on one time with a professor as you may want. Overall a good school though.
Berkeley, "the number one public research university in the world". A phrase that will consistently be heard throughout your academic career at Cal. Though Berkeley is worldly known, it does come with a huge academic rigor. Many, my self included, call Berkeley the G.P.A killer for various reasons. Classes only get harder and only a handful of students are willing to help one another out. It is a good thing that Cal is on the semester system instead of the quarter like most U.Cs Most seem to be out for themselves since it is a competitive world. By attending Cal the emergence of protest is inevitable and get mass media attention. It is no wonder that this school is the birthplace of the free speech movement. A handful of professors have a passion for teaching and educating the young minds. In turn, most professors are great in their respective fields and have incredible knowledge, but unfortunately just can't teach. The department of Letters and Science at Cal is very supportive in helping students find a major and complete the major or majors desired. Moving on into housing, all freshman are guaranteed housing in the dorms but after that, it is a find an apartment or best of luck getting re-admitted into the dorms. Along with that, parties and get togethers happen regularly. So it is not a surprise to catch people overly drunk, getting kicked out of bars, or getting into fights. Likewise there are times throughout the year where notices of "strong armed robberies" happen weekly. From personal experience and coming from a social service fraternity, involvement with such groups does help develop professionalism but nonetheless , drama will emerge. This can come from "rivalry" from other organizations or simply within members. Personally, Cal has offered and opportunity for growth and learning as well as exposure to "diversity" and "political correctness". Not to mention the large amount of homeless people living near campus or in People's Park" .What Cal has come to offer is of great value, but to say "I can see myself living here and being happy" would be a lie. I attended Cal for its mathematics department being ranked number 2 and that was it. Not having a clue that being accepted into Berkeley "is a big deal" . Overall, Im thankful for these years I've had and thankful for the mentorships available because of Cal. Truly a unique experience though.
The University of California, Berkeley is a wonderful campus for academic opportunities. The campus provides many resources to increase students chances in receiving internships and partaking in research. The school is located in the center of the city with a variety of restaurants and stores to chose from.
It is an amazing place to learn and study however, dorms are only for one year so be aware of the need to find an apartment that is both cheap and close-by. Classes are large but the GSI's are really good (often better than the professor).
Because Berkeley is such a large school, you can find basically anyone and anything.
Berkeley is a wonderful school-- engaging, challenging, and unique. There is no shortage of brilliance, but the area isn't the best in terms of features or price. UCLA is the more well- rounded option many other students consider, but Berkeley is a hotspot if you are passionate about politics or tech!
UC Berkeley is a great school! The atmosphere is friendly. There is the stereotype that people that go here are cutthroat but most are openly willing to help if you just ask and a lot of studies form study groups! The academics are challenging but top-notch and if you want to learn, Berkeley's the place!
I feel honored to have the opportunity to attend The University of California Berkeley as I dreamed about opportunities like this. The added bonus is being able to compete for Cal’s, men’s gymnastics team. The academics are intense yet stand in a class of their own and to receive a diploma from Cal will create opportunities for further growth after I graduate. Having both of my parents in education, the demands placed of each of us and our personal academic growth has been of the utmost importance. Berkeley’s academic standards are challenging and forces the students to think critically, to be innovative, and to create unique solutions to problems that arise.
It has been a gift to talk to alumni or Cal and all will tell you that it is the best public institution ever. They brand the school well but more importantly, people are proud to be a “bear” because they know that they have been given the most incredible gift ever, the chance to study under world-renowned scholars and forward thinking professors. Berkeley stays on the cutting-edge of all research and is up-to-date on all current events. A greater depth of knowledge is received, in each major, and innovative ideas are developed and strengthened each day individuals step foot into a lecture hall.
With my father recently loosing his job and our family of seven, living on a teachers’ salary, finances have been tight. Cal Berkeley appeared to me as a far reaching dream however, my parent’s believe in a solid education and will do whatever it takes to provide a way for each of their children to attend rigorous institutions. I was blessed with the opportunity of Cal Berkeley. This scholarship would help to solidify that dream. With an outstanding college experience and strong academics comes a large financial sacrifice. With my parents trying to provide for 5 children and my mother giving of our families resources for her students throughout the year, this scholarship would just be one more way for me to thank them for their sacrifice and to help them a little with the payment of Cal Berkeley this year.
Even tho i am just a visitor, i have done my research on the campus as I plan to attend in a couple years. I have found the campus to be absolutely beautiful, and perfect for someone like me. There were no disappointments, and i cant wait to go again.
A little bit politically biased, but if your priority is academics and you're not much one for private universities, then Berkeley is the place for you. There are world renowned professors, state of the art facilities, and resources galore available for students to utilize.
This vibrant and dynamic community, is a city of its own. Cal is a place where individuals are challenged in ways they never anticipated. It is a voice of change that inspires students to search for a greater meaning and purpose. The University of California-Berkeley can get tough, but that is what makes it worthwhile. It continually pushes me outside of my comfort zone and helps me to discover new interests and gain more knowledge, making it a great place for self-discovery and learning. Berkeley is home.
UC Berkeley is an amazing school, characterized by intelligent people who put their studies first, but also like to have a lot of fun. There is a great deal of diversity, in every respect, which I love! The students are friendly, and the professors are definitely approachable and willing to answer questions. Greek life is so fun, and I appreciate that most of the students in Greek life are down-to-earth and do hold themselves and each other to a higher standard of conduct. School spirit abounds, football games are a blast, and win or lose we are always proud to be called Cal Bears!
The University of California, Berkeley stands up to its reputation. It has been the #1 public university in the world for decades because of its assurance to give students the full college experience. UC Berkeley develops students' academic rigor, spiritual development, political awareness, and global consciousness. There are some stereotypes that the outside world may seem as negative, but once you become a BEAR, the faculty, classmates, and you are indirectly grooming yourself to becoming a leader in the real world. UC Berkeley is largely recognized for its history of activism and "hippies". No one is peer pressured, and you can choose to not be active. There are constant seminars, classes, and movements to become socially conscious or to develop one's activeness. UC Berkeley is a public university so the class size is huge, but spots do fill up fast. It is important to have back-up classes and to be open to trying/learning new things. UC Berkeley has a favorable reputation for getting their students into their top graduate/doctorate schools or careers. It may seem competitive, but everyone on campus always lend a helping hand when it comes to the rigorous academics. I highly encourage anyone, if given the chance, to become a BEAR.
It is a very academic campus. Outside of class a lot of students engage in academic activities, sometimes too the extreme. At times it can be overwhelming and make you feel insecure if you aren't pursing academics as vigorously as others. I will say this, this school is not for the faint hearted. However, there are resources here that are very good with people who actually give a damn about you, you only have to look for them
Coming to Berkeley from the Midwest, the school and location really exceeded all expectations. It was my top choice - I wanted to go primarily for the top-class economics department but discovered much more during my four years at Cal. In addition to majoring in economics and becoming heavily involved with the Undergraduate Economics Association, I also had the opportunity to double major in French and study abroad in Bordeaux through EAP. As a student, I went to the football games every weekend and have some unforgettable memories in Memorial Stadium - the people I met at Cal are some of my best friends to this day. Academically, it was tough, but I loved the entire experience and could not speak more highly of it as an institution. I enjoyed it so much I came back for business school. Go Bears!
There's honestly a lot of competition, you may arrive thinking you're totally prepared but when you get there you realize that everyone else is just as prepared if not more. Cal dining is a hit or miss. . most of the times a miss. Classes can range from 10 students to hundreds of students and although your professor might not remember your name, they're always available. I love the campus, Oski(our mascot) is a creep at times though. We have a meme page! There are protests but if there weren't any then it wouldn't be CAL. GO BEARS!!!
When applying for colleges, Berkeley was my dream school, and I was over the moon to see my acceptance letter. I came to campus on Cal Day, and loved the duality of intellectualism and social scene, a nature and city environment, and collaboration and individual success. There's always something going on, for both work and play, and you can find yourself and make some of your best friends here. Berkeley really is the #1 public university in the world, much better than that shitty school across the Bay *coughStanfordcough*.
The campus is beautiful and in a decent location not too far from San Francisco. The students are very passionate about what they do and it seems that the school really cares about providing students with clubs, services, and classes that can truly benefit them. It would be an honor to attend this school. A+ from me. Only downside is that it was hard to find good restaurants around there. And I watched a guy get arrested on campus so that was interesting. They don't really have parking options. It's a walking school for sure. The nature and campus is welcoming, gorgeous, and an overall peaceful atmosphere. Truly a beauty.
Absolutely wonderful! I love it here and I couldn't be happier. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. There are so many resources on campus to help students with whatever they need along with a plethora of opportunities for extra circulars. There is something for everyone!
It is expensive to attend, but have a good financial aid package. Classes are hard and you must put in a lot of effort and focus into your studies. To be honest, my time in Berkeley was filled with "blood,sweat,and tears." However, what I learned during my time there is beyond extraordinary. If I went back in time I would choose to attend Berkeley a million times over. Attending Berkeley has shaped me into the individual I am today.
As a person of color, a Black individual, especially Nigerian American, Berkeley claims to be liberal but racism is still very present. Simply walking into a room or walking down the street, people fear my Blackness. Berkeley to me is a contradiction of its liberalism and is very dangerous. Berkely is not as inclusive racially as it claims to be and there is a major housing crisis. The only community I truly connect with is the Nigerian community at Berkeley. Berkeley needs to work on upholding safety, equity and inclusivity.
I love Cal. Every day is better than the last. Academics here will kick your ass to an extent and you'll have to figure out how to study at a Cal-level, but you really do learn a ton here. I've found that opportunities are everywhere and this university really inspires and motivates those people with a passion to pursue. The media exaggerates the political atmosphere at Cal--it is a highly liberal school, but most students will mind their own business and nobody will bother you unless you're blatantly offensive/rude. Come to Cal. It's great.
I love it! I love how there are so many fantastic new people to meet, yet there are the comforts of your dorm lounge and old high school friends. I think the campus itself is highly underrated on how beautiful it really is. I love this school and the surrounding areas, so much life and food to eat. The libraries here are insanely beautiful and things to do are endless. You will always find people with similar interests and ideals no matter where you are from or what you believe in. Would recommend checking out the beautiful campus!
It is a beautiful campus, but it needs more spaces to study. The environment is super competitive and studious. You will usually doubt your intelligence. The academics is very rigorous. The off campus housing, is very expensive and the apartments itself are not in the best conditions.
Overall, Berkeley is a great school with a plethora of opportunities for one's academics, extra-curriculars, and career. It has an immense sense of school pride and provides challenging, but rewarding academics. Berkeley fosters a passionate community of people that wants to change and better the world.
UC Berkeley is an interesting hub of activity. At the risk of sounding too much like their website, UC Berkeley does in fact have some of the best academic resources in the nation. There are professors that are the top of their field and graduate student advisors that are knowledgable and extremely helpful. The campus is a beautiful mix of nature and impressive architecture and the compact nature of Berkeley as a city allows for many opportunities and fun activities. The only draw backs to UC Berkeley are the dorms and the safety in the surrounding area. Depending on which dorm you enter, they can either be great or severely lacking. But, overall they are just old. In terms of the safety, you definitely need to take caution and be careful, but as long as you are smart about it, most students are ok.
UC Berkeley is one of the best schools in the world, especially for engineering. There are a lot of opportunities for jobs and internships as companies come to the career fairs. Students create a competitive and intellectual atmosphere. Old buildings should be replaced by new ones.
Fuck this place. This institution is full of shit. Save yourself some cash and go to a cheaper university. Nobody will give a fuck if you went here anyway. The university won't help you once you leave. In fact, they'll solicit donations up your ass for eternity. Fuck you Cal.
Incredible school, there's a reason why it is ranked and recognized so highly internationally and in the academia. Extremely successful and knowledgable professors, extraordinarily bright students, and a beautiful academic atmosphere that allows for nurture and growth.
Absolutely beautiful campus and environment. Neither intimidating nor overwhelming. Everyone is warm and friendly.
Greek life is super fun and inviting. School spirit is excellent. Libraries and facilities are beautiful and accessible to all. Beautifully maintained landscaping and amenities. Dining hall food is subpar though.
I had a very high opinion of this university before I enrolled, and for the most part I still do. The main atmosphere of the university is for independent students who want to take advantage of as many amazing opportunities as possible and are motivated to do the legwork themselves. The coursework is definitely hard, but it varies by major, with the hardest classes being in computer science, engineering or especially chemical engineering. If you come in as a different major it probably won't be as difficult. The biggest drawback would probably be the location, not only because of the unsafe area around campus but also because of the terrible housing market--then again, at least it's not in the middle of nowhere. The most important thing to know about this school is that since its so big, there's basically a niche here for everyone, and always something new to do--in fact, it would be kind of unfair to make any sort of generalization about the student body since there's so many of them. Rumor: the grade deflation will destroy your GPA. True, but not absolutely devastating unless you're CS or engineering like I mentioned earlier.
Rumor: the classes are too big. True.
Rumor: everybody is constantly protesting everything and the political environment is suffocating. False, since I've only ever seen one protest so far in my time here and the vast majority of political riots are started by people unrelated to campus. That being said, I would agree that the campus isn't very tolerant of anything right-of-center, but it's definitely been overblown by the media.
Rumor: the environment is too cutthroat. False, since I've read plenty of stories by people who encountered a cutthroat classmate but also even more stories of students legitimately helping each other here.
Rumor: our football team is terrible. True.
Rumor: you can take classes from Nobel laureates. False, since those really world-class professors almost exclusively teach graduate courses. There are sill some really great classes to take here anyway--like Astro C10 with Fillipenko, CogSci 1 with Li, or Drugs & The Brain--that are incredible engaging even if the professor doesn't have a Nobel.
Rumor: the students here are total geniuses. Depends on what you consider genius--those asian perfect-test-scorers that play the violin who didn't get into Harvard? for the most part, they ended up here. This is the school where students go who had all the grades, test scores, and extracurriculars to get into the Ivy League, but didn't have anything truly astonishing to set them apart from the crowd. That said, there are DEFINITELY ivy-rank kids here who invented a space shuttle or some stuff like that. Anyway, it's absolutely possible to have a horrible time here, but its also absolutely possible to have a very good time, especially if you've got an independent streak and tend to be really motivated.
It is a beautiful, challenging school but the housing situation is atrocious and might be bad enough to not make the school worth it despite all the other great parts of it such as the great professors, research opportunities, selection of academic and extracurricular activities, surrounding nature, job opportunities, great food, great public transportation, and proximity to San Francisco.
UC Berkeley has an immensely inclusive environment which surprised me. Coming from a low-income mostly Latino community, I expected the university to feel intense and a harsh environment due to the competitive environment it is said to have. Once I began attending Berkeley, I quickly realized it is the contrary. Of course, everyone is trying to stand out yet this does not keep students from being there for each other. Before you know it, you have your community in Berkeley and it quickly feels like home. There are clubs for everyone and self-care events and resources year-round on and off-campus.
As Cal is an open campus, students are directly exposed to city life with downtown only a block west from the main campus. The city itself is not "ideal" as homeless people are abundant and there is no shelter nearby. San Francisco is a BART ride away and there is so much to do on the weekends.
There are many coffee shops and great food options around campus.
UC Berkeley has outstanding academics with a majority of classes challenging you and the career-driven sentiment of students around campus is very contagious.
Like any other campus, Berkeley has some aspects it can improve on but it is an overall great environment to be involved in for secondary education.
University of California Berkeley is an amazing institution that encourages academic, political, professional, and personal growth. The professors in STEM are all outstanding and both them and their assistants always find time to hold regular office hours if help is needed. Not only that, but the atmosphere at Berkeley is also great. It's super easy to make friends and find a community on campus through clubs. There are so many clubs that range from being related to medicine, gaming, sports, ethnicity, LGBTQ+ rights, environmentalism, and so many more. It's ultimately amazing to be able to learn in an environment full of other like minded students.
Although there might not be sufficient academic resources allocated to undergrads because of the size of the school, I do find the diversity and variety of other opportunities fascinating. It's Cal after all.
WORST DECISION OF MY LIFE. If you're seriously considering Cal, please talk to a current student who will be real with you. Came here for the name and if that's why you're coming, don't do it. Top-notch academics in some areas but NOT in others (read humanities). Please listen: BERKELEY IS NOT HARVARD. Stress culture, cold social atmosphere, dangerous. Was raped on campus. Received police alerts more than once a week about sexual assaults, armed robberies, once a shooting. Maybe okay for STEM majors, but if you're a humanities kid thinking you can make it work for you, think again. Humanities are an after-thought here and class size is a JOKE.
First, the professors impressed me. They were enthusiastic for their subject matter, and were experts in that fields. Not only did this foster excitement for the class material, but my education benefitted since the professors were able to speak to the cutting edge and future directions of the field. There are at least a dozen libraries that are always kept clean and provide a variety of great spaces to be productive. There is a lot of green space for stress reduction. There are countless student organizations and other activities mentioned earlier in this survey, so it is not difficult to find belonging while attending the school.
I think UC Berkeley is an amazing school for every single major, but the resources are not all the way there for the Latinx community. I Identify as a Guatemalan American low income student, and the only resources we have is the EOP office, the Educational Opportunities Program office, for those students who identify as an unrepresented student. As of class of 2022, there are approximately over 700 students who identify from their Latin roots, and we only have 1 EOP counselor to rely on throughout the academic year. Apart from that, I personally believe that this school is a little too vocal when it comes to political opinions. I say that because with an opinion that comes out of any person's mouth, there is an immediate war between the opposing option to that opinion, an example can be the positions of being republican or democratic, which I will not get into because it says enough. Another issue I would have is only on a personal level with other students. Personally I have dealt with racism from white and Asian students, I know for a fact it is because I do not share the same background as they do, a background with money. I WOULD HEAR THINGS LIKE, "He has no money cause he's Latino." or "He's most likely undocumented." No one wants to hear these things knowing that this will be their home for the next four years. The environment of UC Berkeley is just very toxic in my opinion, and at times I do regret my decision in coming here. One more thing I would like to add is the housing crisis. I speak on behalf on the Latinx community that our budgets do not match those of a white individual, or that of someone who comes from money. We would love to afford a single, but the housing prices in Berkeley for a single alone costs minimum $2000, we have to settle for double triples and quads for prices that are still pretty high. Apart from that, the homeless rates in this city are ridiculous, 10% of the student population is homeless ever academic year due to high rents and space close to school. UC Berkeley is the #1 public University in the world, but their methods in actually caring for students could step up a couple notches.
I have been at UC Berkeley for one-and-a-half semesters and it has transformed me more than I ever thought was possible. I applied to be in the LGBTQ theme housing program (UNITY) where I have met the most supportive and incredible friends who challenge me academically and have helped me become a more cultured person. Immediately after moving into college I began medically transitioning from female to male, and Cal is an incredibly safe and supportive school to do it at. There is undeniably a difference in atmosphere between STEM and humanities classes and professors' attitudes, but not so much to prevent an aspiring STEM major from pursuing their academic goals. An incredible and diverse school overall, especially great for LGBTQ students.
What I always say about UC Berkeley is this-- there is so much. In my time here as a student, I have experienced such a plethora of opportunity in such a rich culture. It is a cross-section of humanity in a corner of the Bay Area. I feel that being a student at Berkeley is what you make of it; it has so much to offer in the realm of academia, career, activity, and culture. There is so much to explore. At the same time, the sheer amount of stuff can be overwhelming and stressful. It makes it seem like life is moving by very quickly, but it takes meeting the right people at Berkeley (which is not difficult to do!) to find your niche and have fun.
In only one semester of attendance, UC Berkeley has already come to feel like home for me! There are a lot of open minded people there who all help contribute to the excellent academic environment that is present at this university. The classes all have something great and different to offer the students taking them. UC Berkeley is also the nation's best research facility and subsequently attracts many brilliant individuals that come to research and also teach at the university and they often recruit the help of undergraduate and graduate students in completing their research!
The University of California, Berkeley is a phenomenal university. What's there to say; it's a large school in a booming area. If that excites you, it's probably for you. It's not for everyone, though. Know yourself and your limits because you have to be ready to fall apart and rebuild yourself.
Berkeley is a very well known school for its academics. It often gets a bad reputation of having students that are stressed out and depressed. Although academics is a huge part of life at Berkeley, the people there are super down to earth and passionate about what they do. There is so much to do no matter what you are interested in, from dance to Modern Family to giving free hugs on campus.
Berkeley seems to be a good choice for those who are able to thrive in a competitive environment with little handholding, as there are many stellar students with not as many resources available. If you can stand out and get what you want, you’ll do great!
Here at Berkeley, you're bound to find a club or organization where you fit in or discover more about. Depending on your major, you might find your classes to be tough or too easy, or your pre-requisites are pointless to what you intend to do in life. The main issue is that classes are full before you have time to refresh the page, and as freshmen get the lowest priority, it was something I struggled with immensely. There is a wide homeless community around campus but it is never a constant issue or one that put students at a disadvantage. Classes are pretty big so you don't have that one-on-one with the professor but that's what office hours are for and that's what you get for taking a popular class.
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