See what students say:


The flagship campus of the University of California school system with a “highly respectable name,” UC Berkeley “has great faculty, great research, great classes, and everyone knows it.” The school “really encourages us to go out and learn, both inside and outside the classroom,” and there is a real commitment to “a wellrounded, diverse education” that permeates the curriculum. “Berkeley is defined by its open, liberal education and culture for independent and collaborative thinking across all fields,” sums up a senior molecular toxicology major.

Professors here are “fantastic,” “the best in their fields,” and each “offers a diverse perspective” toward the academic experience. There are some complaints that larger freshman courses can be “somewhat terrible” and “experience from professors can range widely” (though graduate student instructors “are very accessible and helpful”), but it is universally agreed that “after getting through lower division prerequisite classes, [the] academic experience has significantly improved.” All faculty “have full command of their subjects and are determined to find an answer to anything they don’t know, within their discipline.”

UC Berkeley is known for having “some of the best engineering programs across the board among colleges,” and it doesn’t hurt that the school’s Silicon Valley home is the “best location in the country for entrepreneurship and innovation.” “Top-notch” research abounds, and there are “plenty of opportunities for undergrads to engage in it.” “Berkeley will offer you all the opportunity you can handle, it’s up to you to take hold of it,” says a student.

Student Body

Berkeley is a large school, so clusters naturally form along lines such as major or dorm, but all “mix among each other easily.” “From clubs to DeCal courses, there is no way a student will not make a group of friends while here at Cal,” says a junior. Most Berkeley students are generally “politically liberal, nonreligious, and pretty independent,” and there is a large Asian student contingent here. One of the defining characteristics of a Cal student is “the ability to hold high-level conversation about basically anything.” Everyone is accepted in here, “regardless of their sexual orientation, religion, or political beliefs.”

Campus Life

There’s “a constant buzz of student activity that drives everyday life” at Cal, where “academics are a priority” and “every single person has something that they are very passionate about and talking to them for five minutes about it makes you wonder if you should change your major.” Students also really appreciate all of the tradition present at Cal. “It’s a great choice for students who want the feeling of a big state school but want to also be pushed to their limits,” says one. Berkeley is “very hard so free time isn’t like it is at other places,” but an “amazing community” of student-run organizations and “clubs, sports, student-run classes, seminars, [and] research opportunities” are among the “many different venues for people to find their passion.” There’s a lot to do off-campus in the downtown Berkeley area, and using the BART is “really convenient and time-saving to go to San Francisco.” On campus, there is everything “from frat houses to coffee shop discussions, hiking the fire trails to studying for finals.” In those moments that studying abates (a particular rarity for engineers), a lot of students enjoy going to football games, restaurant hopping, or (especially during welcome week) party hopping. Many people here do like to party and drink, but “if that’s not your style, there are plenty of others to spend time with.”

Contact & Visit

Campus Visits Contact

Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Relations with Schools
110 Sproul Hall
Berkeley, CA 947205800


Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Botanical Gardens
Lawrence Hall of Science
Museum of Anthropology
Museum of Art

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Berkeley Marina
Bistro Viola Restaurant

Campus Tours

Campus Tours
Appointment Required:
Average Length:

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions
Not Available


Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available

Contact Coach Directly

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available


Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Not Available

Available only during the Cal Summer Orientation Program and limited to admitted students


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Oakland International Airport is 20 miles from campus. The Airporter Shuttle provides transportation from the airport to campus; call 800-AIRPORT at least 24 hours in advance to arrange for it. Public transportation to campus is also available: from the airport, take the shuttle bus to the BART subway system at Richmond, then take the subway to Berkeley. Amtrak trains serve nearby Oakland. Greyhound/Trailways buses also serve the area.

Driving Instructions to Campus
The best approaches to the university are from Rte. 24 or from I-80. For more detailed driving instructions, call the Visitor Center (510-642-5215). The visitor center is in Rm. 101 of University Hall, on Oxford St. north of Bancroft Way, across from the West Circle entrance to campus.

Local Accommodations
You have several choices within walking distance of campus. The least expensive is the Berkeley Motel (2001 Bancroft Way; 510-843-4043), a no-frills establishment. Moderately priced places include the Shattuck Hotel (2086 Allston Way; 510-845-7300), 1 block from the west end of campus, with special rates for college visitors and a continental breakfast and parking; and Durant Hotel (2600 Durant Ave.; 510-845-8981), 2 blocks from campus. It's near the small shops on the main strip. Nearby Grandma's Rosegarden Inn (2740 Telegraph Ave.; 510-549-2145) is a real charmer. Rates are moderate and include a full breakfast and wine and cheese. The inn is near restaurants and shops.


Applicants: 119,894
Acceptance Rate: 12%
Average HS GPA: 3.90



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Campus Life

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