Berkeley, CA
Tuition (in-state)
$35,752 ($12,874)
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 2880 total reviews with an average rating of 3.5

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3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Berkeley has a lot of students of the Asian variety.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: I've heard of crazy parties that happen at other schools' dorms. That doesn't happen at Berkeley. Parties exist almost entirely in the frat houses. There may be some drinking in the dorms, but that isn't too common.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Bright students, great professors, the beautiful Bay, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and many other small elements in the area combine to make Berkeley an awesome place to be.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: I have no other place to compare Berkeley to, but I believe that overall, Berkeley's off-campus dining is definitely not a disappointment.

3 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: The rating says it all, really. The campus lacks something, but I can't put my finger on it.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Hard as hell, but I get to learn a lot. Plus, the location is fantastic for majors like myself who are intending to go into Computer Science.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Workload is difficult for a handful of classes, but otherwise completely manageable. As mentioned before, there is a 3.0 minimum GPA for both the Computer Science and Economics majors. The professors are amazing.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: As an out-of-state student, I have to pay an out-of-state fee (+22K/year) which, as per University policy, is not considered when the Financial Aid Office disperses money. This is the same for every out-of-state student. Essentially, the additional 22K/year is a fixed cost that my family must face without help every year, barring the help of outside scholarships.

5 College Sophomore

Majors: The University of California, Berkeley's Computer Science and Economics departments are top-notch.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: There is a minimum GPA cap for both my majors. One will need to maintain a 3.0 GPA in order to be accepted into the Computer Science and Economics departments.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Safety is questionable, as there is an abundance of homeless people who are eyeing passerbys.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Very local, no big chains (except for a Chipotle and a Wal-Greens nearby on Telegraph), a small-town feeling.

3 College Senior

Health & Safety: There are many dark/shadowy spots on campus. Do not feel very safe walking after dark in these areas, particularly when it is very late.

2 people found this useful Report
College Senior

Campus Housing: I have never lived on campus so cannot realistically evaluate what it's like to live on campus.

3 College Junior

Overall Experience: The academics at Berkeley are great, but the pressure of grades can be a bit overwhelming. Final exams are very difficult, which is why not having classes the week prior to Finals is necessary. It can be difficult to balance academics and social life.

4 College Junior

Facilities: The campus is great. The architecture varies so much from building to building, and there is a significant amount of nature on campus. There are many libraries, and the academics are unmatched by many schools.

3 College Junior

Facilities: There are a lot of student clubs and organizations, but the athletic facilities for students aren't great due to overcrowding. However, there's quite a bit of greenery for a campus located in a city.

4 College Junior

Academics: Economics is a good major. The professors have been great, and they even help with your future. There are two counselors you can meet with while declaring and during your time in the major. It's a solid choice with plenty of job opportunities in San Francisco and Oakland for Economics majors.

4 College Junior

Academics: I've managed to secure some classes with professors who are passionate about teaching their respective subjects. There are plenty of interesting classes to take, and you're bound to learn a lot no matter what you major in.

5 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: I've visited many colleges, and I'm not sure there are many that rival Berkeley's selection of off-campus dining. There are some great places to try (Cheese Board, CREAM, Ici, I.B.'s to name a few) that are all within walking distance of campus, or if you're lazy within a bus ride. Fenton's is in Oakland with a bus that goes right next to it, and it's worth trying. The prices can be a bit high in some of the better restaurants, but there are great places to eat that are also cheap. Quince Cafe offers a delicious, cheap brunch, and Gypsy's is also a good deal on Italian food near campus. Asian Ghetto and Gourmet Ghetto are perfect for different, tasty experiences.

3 College Junior

Athletics: The cost of tickets for students to attend the most popular sports (basketball, football) are a bit more than many other Division 1 schools. Also the football team has been quite bad for the last two years. However, the basketball team is pretty good, and Cal excels at many other sports, like rugby, tennis, and swimming. The athletic facilities aren't that great for students, because they tend to be too crowded. However, it's always cool to run into some athletes at the gym.

4 College Junior

Campus Strictness: I don't think Berkeley is that strict of a school. The only thing the administration is strict about is academic dishonesty.

3 College Junior

Campus Dining: I've seen worse. At least there are some healthy options, Clark Kerr and Foothill offer some decent food, and late night food is offered on weekends at a couple of the dining halls. Bear Market is great for spending the rest of your meal points when you have an excess at the end of the semester. However, the meals are actually overpriced in general, and when you live off campus, you can save a large amount of money by not having a meal plan.

4 College Junior

Diversity: Berkeley is a diverse community, however political beliefs tend to be liberal. Also, there are plenty of Asians and Caucasians, but not a significant number of people in other ethnic groups.

3 College Junior

Campus Housing: Great variety, but terribly overpriced room and board.


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Sather Tower
Sather Tower
Sather Tower Sather Tower AKA the Campanile

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Meegan Brooks
Granite Bay, CA
Political science
View all previous student authors

Generally, students have positive things to say about going to school here. Students who want to focus solely on academics or Cal’s prestigious name leave here satisfied with their educations. Those who come to "Berzerkeley" for its radicalism (or drug scene) are excited to see that the school is still carrying on its Free Speech Movement reputation. The students who chose Berkeley because it was the best college they got into are happy to know that Cal doesn’t have to be too weird. And anyone looking for good conversation will want to stay here forever.

Cal definitely has the ups and downs of being a public school. The large class sizes and lack of personal attention are the two major gripes. Being “just a number” makes it easy to become lonely, and many people see Berkeley as a place that’s difficult to make friends. While there is minimal hand-holding, the University teaches students to be independent and proactive. Most students at Cal are proud to be at a school that doesn’t spoil its students. The low tuition make it a tempting alternative to private schools, and football and big parties give Berkeley smarties the best of both academic and social worlds. Many students had a difficult time explaining the Berkeley personality, which most students here love. This is a place where you can really learn something new every day. Many students love being surrounded by other people who are down-to-earth, self-aware, and appreciate a good conversation. While some students feel the need to constantly assert their intelligence, most of the time it is accepted and looked past.


Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

Applicant Status At University of California - Berkeley

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