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The University of California, Berkeley has a reputation of excellence, boasting many renowned graduates and faculty members. In fact, 20 UC Berkeley faculty members have received Nobel awards. According to a National Research Council analysis, UC Berkeley has at least 48 highly ranked graduate programs, making it one of the top 10 universities in the nation.
The UC Berkeley campus is known nearly as much for its colorful history of political and social activism as it is for its exemplary academics. Its attractive campus features Sproul Plaza, Campanile Tower, Lawrence Hall and Doe Library, among other architectural landmarks.
The University of California, Berkeley is also known as "UC Berkeley" or simply "Cal."
In 1849, when California first became a state, those drafting the State Constitution added a clause for establishing a university that would "contribute even more than California's gold to the glory and happiness of advancing generations." This aspiration led to a merger in 1868 of the private College of California in Oakland, California with a state-legislated land grant that included the Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Arts College and land parcels in both Oakland and Berkeley, California. The governor of California signed into law the Organic Act allowing for the creation and organization of the "University of California."
The University of California was officially founded in 1869 with a group of 10 faculty members and 40 students on its first campus in Oakland, California. In 1873, the University of California moved to a new campus in Berkeley. After much debate over its mission, governance and curricula, the State Constitution of 1879 guaranteed the University of California some independence to organize and govern itself via its Board of Regents with only limited oversight by the state legislature. This structure of governance would lead to periodic debates through the years between the regents, state governor and legislators, campus chancellors, faculty members and students.
In 1914 the University of California, Los Angeles was established, initiating the statewide UC System that today has 10 campuses across California. The University of California, Berkeley is considered the flagship institution of the UC System.
The academic calendar of the University of California, Berkeley is based on the semester system. UC Berkeley offers more than 350 different degree programs, in one of its 14 colleges and schools, ranging from Aerospace Studies and Art History to Urban Design and Women's Studies.
The academic year at UC Berkeley is divided into two semesters, fall and spring, and one Summer Session. If you have earned quarter units at another institution that you wish to transfer to UC Berkeley, they can be converted to semester units by multiplying by two-thirds (i.e. 180 quarter units is equal to 120 semester units).
Colleges and Schools
The University of California, Berkeley is comprised of 14 colleges and schools, which are:
- College of Letters and Science
- Haas School of Business
- College of Chemistry
- Graduate School of Education
- College of Engineering
- College of Environmental Design
- School of Information
- Graduate School of Journalism
- School of Law
- College of Natural Resources
- School of Optometry
- School of Public Health
- Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy
- School of Social Welfare
Student organizations abound at UC Berkeley, with hundreds available to connect students to community, share talents and develop their group building and leadership skills. The Center for Student Leadership offers assistance with student organization recognition, recruitment and retention, as well as campus publicity and event planning for different groups.
UC Berkeley's Center for Student Leadership also provides programs that provide leadership development models and theories. Individual or group coaching is available, in addition to workshops, team building and challenge course initiatives.
The Cal Corps Public Service Center has many volunteer or internship programs that connect people, ideas and resources to activism in the areas of social justice, community health and public service.
The Cal2Action.Berkeley.edu program offers online resources that connect UC Berkeley students to countless community volunteer programs such as Berkeley After School Program Volunteers, The Music Connection and Youth Impact, among others.
Fraternities and Sororities
There is a thriving "Greek Life" on campus at UC Berkeley with more than 60 recognized chapters of fraternities and sororities. The "Cal Greeks" have a 140-year tradition at UC Berkeley, and students seeking a common ground for leadership, scholarship, friendship and service can choose from a diverse selection of sisterhood or brotherhood chapters.
The California Golden Bears, or Cal Bears, sports teams are known throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. You will hear many traditional Cal Bears songs and cheers when attending any sporting event at UC Berkeley. The UC Berkeley Rally Committee is charged with the responsibility of guarding and protecting the universities traditional songs and cheers.
UC Berkeley is well known for its Cal Bears sports teams, rally and spirit groups, and more than nine spectator sports facilities. You can log onto CalBears.com, the official site of the California Golden Bears intercollegiate athletics. The site includes sports news, schedules and ticket sales, traditions, boosters clubs and more.
There are many club sports and recreational activities available at UC Berkeley, in addition to intramural sports. Intramural sports include leagues for a variety of indoor and outdoor sports such as basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball and tennis. The Cal Sports Club provides instruction, competition and recreation in 25 sports and activities open to all Cal Recreation Club members.
There are many adult education and continuing education classes offered through the UC Berkeley Extension program. The extension courses are taught at satellite campuses in Berkeley and San Francisco, California and many courses or certificate programs are available online.
The programs of study available through UC Berkeley Extension include Art & Design, Behavioral & Health Sciences, Business, Computer Technology, Education, Engineering, Humanities, Sciences, Sustainability Studies, Writing, Editing and Technical Communication.
There is plenty to do on and off the campus of University of California, Berkeley. The UC Berkeley website provides a searchable calendar of campus events that include art exhibits, music performances by established artists from around the world, weekly noon concerts, comedy nights and many other forms of entertainment.
Many listings for entertainment and news can be found in the Daily Cal, an award-winning, independent newspaper run by students since 1871. Other news outlets include The Berkeleyan, a weekly newspaper from staff and faculty, as well as podcasts and the KALX student-run campus radio station.
Several popular dining spots are located on the UC Berkeley campus, including Ramona's Café, Pat Brown's Grill, The Terrace Café, The Golden Bear and the Free Speech Movement Café, an eatery and study spot that features a wall exhibit and events that offer a forum on timely political and social issues.
Admission Requirements & Details
The admissions information below may give an overview of the students UC Berkeley accepts. The details may include admissions application requirements and recommendations, SAT/ACT scores of students that were accepted, as well as any college credits that may be transferred. This information can be used to get a better idea of your chances of getting into University of California – Berkeley.
Admission Requirements & Recommendations
- High School G.P.A. and School Records are Required
- SAT or ACT Test Scores are Required
- TOEFL for ESL Students are Recommended
College Credits Accepted
- AP Course Credits
Admissions Test Scores - SAT Exam, ACT Exam, etc...
SAT ® scores for students that were accepted Fall 2012
|Score Range (25th to 75th Percentile)|
|SAT ® Critical Reading||590 - 720|
|SAT ® Math||630 - 770|
|SAT ® Writing||620 - 750|
|SAT ® Total Score||1840 - 2240|
ACT ® scores for students that were accepted Fall 2012
|Score Range (25th to 75th Percentile)|
|ACT ® English||26 - 34|
|ACT ® Math||27 - 34|
|ACT ® Composite Score||27 - 33|
Acceptance Rate Table - Chances of Getting Into UC Berkeley
The chances of getting accepted into UC Berkeley can be seen in the table below.
|Granted Admissions||11,108 (18%)|
|Accepted Students That Enrolled||4,162 (37%)|
The total student enrollment at University of California – Berkeley is about 38,000, with undergraduate students making up about 72% of the total student population and graduate students making up the rest.
Estimated Costs & Financial Aid
The average "out of pocket" cost of attendance, after any grants and scholarships are considered, is around $15,600. To calculate a more personalized cost visit the net price calculator. There is also a $70 application fee for students applying to the school. The figures listed below are for informational purposes only and do not represent current or future tuition, fees, and expenses.
Tuition & Fees Information
- Annual tuition range estimates:
- State Residents: $11,000-$13,000
- Out-of-State: $34,000-$40,920
- on campus dorms & meals are estimated to cost around $19,000
Financial Aid Details
The table listed below helps break down the types of financial aid students receive and the percent receiving aid, as well as the average amount of aid per student per year.
|Percent of Students||Average Amount|
|Any Financial Aid||66%||-|
|Receiving Grants & Scholarships||56%||$15,272|
|Receiving Student Loans||29%||$5,401|
Note: The estimated default rate of students taking federal student loans in 2012 was around 2.9%.
Academics & Student Services
Student ServicesTo help students and alumni, University of California – Berkeley may provide services including:
- Distance learning
- Career path counseling
- Work study style employment
- Assistance to find work
- Day care
University of California – Berkeley has a very high graduation rate when compared to similar schools nearby.
|Number of Year to Graduate||Percent of Entering Class|
|Students Graduating in 4 Years||72%|
|Graduating in 5 Years||16%|
|Graduating in 6 Years||2%|
Specialized Programs & Accreditations
- Clinical Psychology (Ph.D.) Program
- Dietetics Program
- Law Program (more info)
- Optometry (O.D.) Program (more info)
- Master's in Public Health (M.P.H.) Program (more info)
- School Psychology (Ph.D.) Program
University of California – Berkeley is a Member of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), with many of the sports being in the NCAA Division I-A classification. The most popular sports played are listed below:
- Baseball (Pac-12 Conference)
- Basketball (Pac-12 Conference)
- Track and Field (Pac-12 Conference)
- Field Hockey
- Football (Pac-12 Conference)
- Swimming and Diving
- Water Polo
- Other Sports
The program list below is organized by areas of study. The programs that have a link will direct you to the program's profile page where you can learn more about education requirements and career pathways.
Get more information about the programs offered by University of California – Berkeley by clicking the request information to the right.
(C) Certificate or Award | (A) Associate's | (B) Bachelor's | (M) Master's Degree | (D) Doctorate (PhD,...)
Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Business and Marketing Studies
Communications and Journalism
Computer and Information Sciences
English Language and Literature
Ethnic Cultural and Gender Studies
Foreign Languages and Literature
Health and Clinical Professions
Legal Professions and Studies
Mathematics and Statistics
Natural Resources and Conservation
Philosophy and Religious Studies
Public Administration and Social Services
Visual and Performing Arts
Other 4-Year Public Colleges
The list of schools below have been selected by researching which schools offer similar programs to University of California – Berkeley.
- San Francisco State University in San Francisco, CA (16 miles away)
- California State University - East Bay in Hayward, CA (18 miles away)
- Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, CA (39 miles away)
- San Jose State University in San Jose, CA (41 miles away)
- University of California - Davis in Davis, CA (53 miles away)
See a list of all the colleges and universities by clicking on one of the links below: