Berkeley, CA
Tuition (in-state)
$35,752 ($12,874)
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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4 College Senior

Athletics: Most of our sports teams do really well, except they get overshadowed by football. Our softball, rugby, and swimming are especially some of the best in the country.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: The football team is pretty bad at winning

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Athletics: I think the sports teams are great, but I don't pay enough attention to them. All I really know is that Stanfurd is our biggest rival.

4 College Senior

Athletics: There is a ton of school spirit and attendance happens especially at football. I wish they would put more emphasis on other sports.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 125th
    Most Active Varsity Sports
  • 654th
    Best Intramural Sports

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

If it weren’t for its nationally ranked football team, UC Berkeley might feel like UCLA’s nerdy older brother. The Pac-10 Golden Bears cultivate a strong sense of school spirit in the student body—past and present—and game days are weekend-long events that make the school feel cool. New students can sign up for free tickets, and everyone else knows that they’re definitely worth paying for. For those who don’t enjoy football, it’s hard to resist the free barbecue food and beer at almost every fraternity house, which line the route to the stadium, each blaring a different song and cheering for Cal as fans walk to the game. The annual Big Game with Stanford is the centerpiece of Cal’s athletic calendar. The campus comes alive with blue and gold pride, and there are events throughout the week before the game, ending in the West Coast’s largest bonfire rally. Although football and basketball are the only consistently crowded sporting events, the student body normally gets excited every time Cal plays its across-the-Bay rival.

As for intramurals, most IM teams are made of student organizations, although some students choose to walk on as free agents. Most sports have leagues for multiple experience levels, so new players do not have to play against more-seasoned athletes. At the most competitive levels, you’ll find all of the high school athletes who stopped playing school sports after getting to college. Translation: The teams are pretty good, which makes it a fun, once-a-week commitment for people who want solid competition. Cal club sports are a bit more competitive than intramural sports, and club athletes travel to compete against other colleges and universities at a competitive level. Cal STAR is another school-sponsored program that matches physically disabled students and adults with student volunteer trainers.


Facts & Statistics

Athletic Association
Athletic Division
NCAA Division I-A
Athletic Conferences
Football: Pacific-10 Conference
Basketball: Pacific-10 Conference
School Colors
Blue and gold
School Nickname
Oski the Golden Bear
Men Playing Varsity Sports
508 - 4%
Women Playing Varsity Sports
388 - 3%
Students Receiving Athletic Financial Aid
Football: 93
Basketball: 31
Baseball: 31
Cross Country/Track: 65
Other Sports: 314
Graduation Rates of Athletic Financial Aid Recipients
Football: 78%
Basketball: 50%
Baseball: 64%
Cross Country/Track: 80%
Other Sports: 80%
Men's Varsity Sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Other sports
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Water polo
Women's Varsity Sports
  • Basketball
  • Field hockey
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Lacrosse
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
Club Sports
  • Archery
  • Badminton
  • Ballroom dance
  • Baseball
  • Boxing
  • Crew (lightweight)
  • Cycling
  • Fencing
  • Figure skating
  • Gymnastics
  • Handball
  • Ice hockey
  • Lacrosse (men's,women's)
  • Racquetball
  • Roller hockey
  • Rugby (women's)
  • Sailing
  • Skiing
  • Soccer
  • Squash
  • Table tennis
  • Tennis
  • Triathalon
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball (men's)
  • Water polo
  • Basketball
  • Dodgeball
  • Flag football
  • Soccer (indoor)
  • Softball
  • Speed soccer
  • Tennis ladder
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
Athletic Fields & Facilities
  • Cal Rec Club
  • Golden Bear Recreational Center
  • Outdoor Tennis Courts
  • Recreational Sports Facility (RSF)
  • Strawberry Canyon Fitness Center
Most Popular Sports
Football is, by far, the most popular, followed by men's basketball. Cal's nationally ranked crew, water-polo, and rugby teams are also well-recognized.
Most Overlooked Teams
Gymnastics (men's), softball, tennis (women's)
School Spirit
Cal spirit is really impressive during football season, but seems to disappear until Cal Day in the Spring. Students always show up to the football games decked out and blue and gold-if you show up in anything red (even a thin red trim to a navy hat), the crowd will yell at you to take it off. If you don't, they will. During the season, the school often has small rallies in which the band plays either on campus or on the streets nearby. For Big Game Week, Cal goes all out with a week of "Go Bears" activities, and hundreds of students drive to Stanford whenever the game is away.
Getting Tickets
Freshmen who sign up early can get tickets for free but still need to pay about $30 for the important games, such as when the opponent is Stanford, USC, or UCLA. All of the students sit in the Student Section, and these tickets can only be purchased as season tickets. If you don't want to spend the $180, buy regular single-game tickets and have a friend sneak you into the student section.
Best Place to Take a Walk
Fire Trails behind Strawberry Canyon, Marin Headlands, Tilden Park

Student Polls

How would you describe the athletic facilities?    Based on 172 responses

  • 3% The athletic facilities are relatively subpar for the demands.
  • 17% The athletic facilities are good for athletes, but only mediocre for the average students.
  • 58% Sports are important, and the quality of facilities shows that-for both athletes and non-athletes.
  • 22% The athletic facilities are some of the best in the country.

How popular are intramurals and club sports?    Based on 169 responses

  • 2% Almost no one participates in them.
  • 35% Some people participate in them, but they aren't a big part of campus life.
  • 43% They are overshadowed by varsity sports, but still a big part of campus life.
  • 20% They are just as popular as varsity sports (or even more so).

How popular are varsity sports on campus?    Based on 172 responses

  • 2% No one pays attention to varsity sports.
  • 30% Varsity sporting events are attended, but not a huge part of campus life.
  • 65% Varsity sports are a big part of campus life.
  • 3% Almost everything on campus revolves around them.



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