The University of California, Berkeley, more commonly referred to as UC Berkeley, or just Berkeley, is one of California’s top public research universities. In fact, research is a core pillar of the university. The school is located on an expansive 1,232 acre campus on the east side of the San Francisco Bay. 178 acres are dedicated to the school’s central campus.
In addition to being one of the most prestigious and renowned universities in California, the University of California Berkeley is well-known worldwide for its excellence in higher education, academic achievement and for its exceptional research capabilities.
UC Berkeley also has the finest faculty of any university in the nation. Berkeley faculty, graduates and researchers have won 9 Wolf Prizes, an astounding 70 Nobel Prizes, 7 Fields Medals, 45 MacArthur Fellowships, 15 Turing Awards, and 11 Pulitzer Prizes. And if that’s not impressive enough, UC Berkeley researchers are associated with 6 chemical elements in the periodic table (Seaborgium, Berkelium, Californium, Fermium, Einsteinium, and Lawrencium). In total, Berkeley Lab (The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) has been credited with discovering 16 unique chemical elements – more than any other educational or scientific organization in the world.
J. Robert Oppenheimer, a nuclear physicist at UC Berkeley, was the director of the Manhattan Project, a research development program responsible for the development of the world’s first atomic bomb.
Berkeley not only shines academically, but athletically as well. Student-athletes at Berkeley have won over 100 Olympic medals and national titles in several sports including football, swimming, baseball, basketball, softball, gymnastics, rugby, and water polo.
If you’re going to college simply to increase your earning potential, then you might be interested to know that Berkeley ranks 9th in the nation among universities that have produced the largest number of billionaires still living today.
If you were to ask most students why they chose to attend UC Berkeley, they’d likely tell you it had to do with the university’s superb academic programs. However, what they’d be less likely to tell you, is that what really attracted them to Berkeley is the fun filled, exhilarating student life that dominates campus. With a never ending supply of student organizations, political clubs, intercollegiate and intramural athletic teams, outdoor recreation, and vibrant campus activities, students are constantly enriched and entertained.
Academic and student support programs at Berkeley are unparalleled. The faculty, professors and other staff members are committed to ensuring the academic success of every student. The university offers a variety of counseling services, workshops and health clinics that are available to students year round.
University of California Berkeley is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
University of Berkeley Programs
In total, UC Berkeley offers nearly 350 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a variety of academic and professional disciplines, one of the largest selections of programs offered by any university in the nation. Of the school’s 52 doctoral degree programs, 48 are ranked top ten nationwide, including their Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Agriculture, Astrophysics, and Political Science programs to name just a few.
The Academic Ranking of World University (ARWU), commonly known as the Shanghai ranking, named after the university that founded the ranking system, ranked Berkeley 4th in the world and 2nd in California. UC Berkeley is also ranked top in the nation in several fields of study including Engineering/Technology and Computer Science (3rd), Economics/Business (4th), Mathematics and Natural Sciences (2nd), Chemistry (2nd), Social Sciences (4th), Agriculture and Life Sciences (15th), Arts and Humanities (4th), Life Sciences and Biomedicine (5th), and Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy (29th).
UC Berkeley offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in a wide variety of disciplines and specialties.
According to recently published rankings by U.S. News and World Report, UC Berkeley’s graduate and professional programs are among the best in the nation. Many of Berkeley’s graduate schools including the Goldman School of Public Policy (ranked 6th), Boalt School of Law (ranked 7th), UC Berkeley School of Public Health (ranked 8th), and last but not least the Haas School of Business (ranked 7th) are all ranked within the top 10 ten programs in the country. UC Berkeley also ranks top in the nation in graduate sciences such as Math, Statistics, and Biological Sciences (2nd), Earth Sciences (3rd) and Physics (5th). The school has also performed exceptionally well in engineering, ranking 1st in Civil Engineering, Electronics/Electrical/Communications Engineering, and Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering; 2nd in Chemical Engineering; and 3rd in Mechanical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering. And if you’re considering a graduate degree in a social science discipline, don’t despair. Berkeley scored first in English, Psychology, and Sociology and came in 6th in the nation in Political Science and Economics.
UC Berkeley offers graduate students the largest selection of top-ranked doctoral degree programs in the nation. UC Berkeley doctoral programs that have been ranked number one in the nation include Agricultural and Resource Economics, Chemistry, Astrophysics, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics, Epidemiology, English, German, Mechanical Engineering, MCB: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, MCB: Genetics, Genomics, and Development, Plant Biology, Physics, and Political Science. As previously mentioned, of the 52 graduate programs offered at UC Berkeley, an amazing 48 are ranked in the top ten in the country.
U.S. News & World Report ranked Berkeley’s undergraduate program the top among “National Universities”. In 2009, The Washington Monthly ranked UC Berkeley’s undergraduate program 3rd in the nation.
Both of the undergraduate programs in engineering and business were ranked 3rd in the nation by U.S. News. The Wall Street Journal placed Berkeley’s Computer Science program in 2nd place, their Marketing/Advertising and Finance programs in 3rd place, their undergraduate Accounting program came in 8th and their Engineering program came in at 12th place.
UC Berkeley offers a large variety of housing options designed to meet the unique personal and academic preferences of students. Entering freshmen are offered guaranteed housing for two years. Entry transfer students are guaranteed housing for one year. There are also a plethora of off-campus housing options for students. Surrounding the campus there are a lot of apartments, fraternity and sorority housing and cooperative housing, as well as individual houses that can be leased by students.
On campus you’ll find twelve separate residence halls including family student housing, undergraduate residence halls, re-entry student housing and housing options specifically for international students (most notably the International House). Most of the undergraduate residence halls are actually located directly off-campus.
Units 1, 2 and 3 (three of the largest on-campus residence hall complexes) are located on the south side of the UC Berkeley campus. These halls offer high-rise accommodations with common areas throughout each building, as well as a shared dining hall, called Crossroads. Also on the south side of campus you’ll find Clark Kerr residence hall for undergraduate students. Once a school for the deaf and blind, today Clark Kerr houses many of UC Berkeley’s student-athletes.
To the east, positioned snuggly in the foothills are three more undergraduate residence hall complexes: Bowles, Stern, and Foothill. Bowles Hall is an all-men’s residence hall located directly north of California Memorial Stadium. It has large quad-occupancy rooms and looks a lot like a medieval castle. Stern Hall, an all-women’s residence hall, is located just south of Foothill and overlooks the Hearst Greek Theatre. Because this hall is located closest to the Colleges of Chemistry and Engineering, its not uncommon for a proportionately high number of Stern Hall residents to be chemistry and engineering majors. Foothill is a co-ed residence hall that looks a lot like a Swiss chalet. Many consider this hall one of the best at UC Berkeley.
Other student housing complexes include Channing-Bowditch and Ida Jackson apartments (intended for older students) as well as University Village and Smyth-Fernwald, the two main housing complexes designed for student families.
In addition to traditional student housing arrangements, UC Berkeley also offers students several cooperative housing options. The largest network of student housing cooperatives is the Berkeley Student Cooperative (BSC), which offers students a selection of 20 cooperative houses.
UC Berkeley Departments, Colleges and School
UC Berkeley currently has over 130 individual academic departments and/or programs that are organized into 14 colleges and schools (not including the UC Berkeley Extension). While “Schools” generally only represent graduate programs, “Colleges” may represent both undergraduate and graduate programs. UC Berkeley is composed of the following colleges and schools:
- College of Chemistry
- College of Engineering
- College of Environmental Design
- College of Letters and Science
- College of Natural Resources
- Graduate School of Education
- Graduate School of Journalism
- Haas School of Business
- Goldman School of Public Policy
- School of Information
- School of Law (Boalt Hall)
- School of Optometry
- School of Public Health
- School of Social Welfare
- UC Berkeley Extension
While UC Berkeley does not have a medical school, many students looking toward medical school will apply to the University of California, San Francisco Medical School that is not far from the UC Berkeley campus.
With over 32 libraries, the UC Berkeley library system is the 4th largest academic library in the country and one of the largest in the world. It is surpassed only by Yale University Library, Harvard University Library and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library. The Association of Research Libraries ranked it as the top public and 3rd best university library system in North America based on a variety of quality factors. Together the 32 libraries cover over 12 acres, form one of the world’s largest library systems and contain over 11 million volumes.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
UC Berkeley offers a variety of merit and need based scholarships and financial aid options for students through public and private sources. While most financial aid is processed through the university’s financial aid and scholarship office, individual schools and colleges, such as the UC Berkeley School of Law and Haas School of Business, have their own financial aid programs.
110 Sproul Hall, #5800
Berkeley, CA 94720-5800
Contact: Walter Robinson
Director Undergraduate Admissions
110 Sproul Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-5800
Total undergrads: 25,151
First-time degree-seeking freshmen: 4,261
Degree-seeking undergrads: 25,151
Graduate enrollment: 9,172
Tuition & Fees
|Estimated Expenses for Academic Year||2008-’09||2009-’10||2010-’11||2011-’12||% change 2010-’12|
|Tuition and fees||$7,165||$7,656||$8,998||$10,940||+21.58%|
|Books and Supplies||$1,239||$1,268||$1,307||$1,315||+0.61%|
|Living Arrangement – On Campus|
|Room and Board||$13,487||$14,494||$15,308||$15,317||+0.06%|
|Living Arrangement – Off Campus|
|Room and Board||$9,343||$9,528||$10,036||$10,304||+2.67%|
|Total Expenses||2008-’09||2009-’10||2010-’11||2011-’12||% change 2010-’12|
|In-state On Campus||$24,957||$26,586||$28,957||$31,054||+7.24%|
|In-state Off Campus||$21,341||$22,160||$24,242||$26,603||+9.74%|
|In-state with Family||$8,404||$8,924||$10,305||$12,255||+18.92%|
|Average Graduate Student Tuition & Fees|
|Tuition for In-state Students||$9,342|
|In-state Student Fees||$1,538|
|Tuition for Out-of-state Students||$24,444|
|Full-time Beginning Undergraduate Students|
|Type of Aid||Students||Percent||Amount||Average Per Student|
|All students financial aid||2,799||66%|
|Grant or scholarship aid||2,294||54%||$27,328,094||$11,913|
|• Federal grants||1,124||27%||$5,041,932||$4,486|
|• Pell grants||1,011||24%||$3,879,508||$3,837|
|• Other federal grants||1,032||24%||$1,162,424||$1,126|
|State/local government grant or scholarships||1,118||26%||$4,420,847||$3,954|
|Institutional grants or scholarships||2,185||52%||$17,865,315||$8,176|
|Student loan aid||1,299||31%||$7,030,776||$5,412|
|• Federal student loans||1,273||30%||$6,196,548||$4,868|
|• Other student loans||66||2%||$834,228||$12,640|
All Degrees and Programs
|Program Completions for Most Recent Year||BA/BS||MA/MS||PhD||AA/AS||CERT|
|Total of All Education Programs||7582||2046||1240||–||120|
|Agriculture, Agriculture Operations, and Related Sciences, Other||–||–||1||–||–|
|Range Science and Management||–||2||–||–||–|
|Architecture and Related Services||168||129||21||–||–|
|City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning||–||49||12||–||–|
|Area, Gender, Cultural, Ethnic, and Group Studies||273||29||10||–||–|
|American Indian/Native American Studies||2||–||–||–||–|
|American/United States Studies/Civilization||115||–||–||–||–|
|Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender, and Group Studies, Other||49||2||3||–||–|
|Hispanic-American, Puerto Rican, and Mexican-American/Chicano Studies||19||–||–||–||–|
|Latin American Studies||23||8||1||–||–|
|Near and Middle Eastern Studies||7||3||3||–||–|
|Biology and Biomedical Sciences||949||22||124||–||–|
|Biology and Biological Sciences, General||277||2||17||–||–|
|Cell/Cellular and Molecular Biology||594||6||42||–||–|
|Vision Science/Physiological Optics||–||–||6||–||–|
|Business, Administration, Management, Marketing, etc.||317||600||16||–||–|
|Business Administration and Management||317||536||16||–||–|
|Business Administration, Management and Operations, Other||–||64||–||–||–|
|Communication and Journalism Programs||215||56||–||–||–|
|Mass Communication/Media Studies||215||–||–||–||–|
|Computing and Information Sciences||84||74||35||–||–|
|Educational Leadership and Administration||–||–||5||–||–|
|Special Education and Teaching||–||–||1||–||–|
|Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering||116||–||15||–||–|
|Electrical and Electronics Engineering||268||39||36||–||–|
|Engineering Physics/Applied Physics||12||–||–||–||–|
|Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering||4||–||–||–||–|
|English Language, Composition and Literature/Letters||456||17||37||–||–|
|English Language and Literature||345||9||21||–||–|
|Rhetoric and Composition||111||8||16||–||–|
|Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics||309||28||45||–||–|
|Celtic Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics||9||–||–||–||–|
|Chinese Language and Literature||10||1||1||–||–|
|Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics||7||4||2||–||–|
|Dutch/Flemish Language and Literature||1||–||–||–||–|
|East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Other||1||–||–||–||–|
|Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Other||19||3||3||–||–|
|French Language and Literature||30||2||3||–||–|
|German Language and Literature||17||2||3||–||–|
|Italian Language and Literature||7||–||1||–||–|
|Japanese Language and Literature||42||3||2||–||–|
|Latin Language and Literature||5||–||–||–||–|
|Middle/Near Eastern and Semitic Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Other||18||–||–||–||–|
|Romance Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics||–||–||4||–||–|
|Scandinavian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics||2||–||1||–||–|
|Slavic Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics||13||1||2||–||–|
|Spanish Language and Literature||46||2||6||–||–|
|Health Services and Allied Health Sciences||139||157||76||–||15|
|Health/Health Care Administration/Management||–||–||7||–||–|
|Public Policy Analysis||–||77||2||–||–|
|Legal and Law Studies||–||100||312||–||–|
|Advanced Legal Research/Studies||–||96||14||–||–|
|Legal Professions and Studies, Other||–||4||2||–||–|
|Mathematics and Statistics||252||20||26||–||–|
|Classical, Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies and Archaeology||30||2||4||–||–|
|Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other||142||11||6||–||–|
|Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution||67||–||–||–||–|
|Natural Resources and Conservation||336||7||17||–||–|
|Forest Management/Forest Resources Management||13||–||–||–||–|
|Natural Resources Management and Policy||1||–||–||–||–|
|Wildlife, Fish and Wildlands Science and Management||–||–||1||–||–|
|Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology||2||–||–||–||–|
|Geology and Earth Science||13||5||13||–||–|
|Geophysics and Seismology||4||–||–||–||–|
|Oceanography, Chemical and Physical||8||–||–||–||–|
|Planetary Astronomy and Science||1||–||–||–||–|
|Demography and Population Studies||–||2||2||–||–|
|Political Science and Government||448||20||23||–||–|
|Social Sciences, Other||277||5||–||–||–|
|Visual and Performing Arts||305||22||23||–||–|
|Art History, Criticism and Conservation||65||4||9||–||–|
|Design and Visual Communications||–||1||–||–||–|
|Drama and Dramatics/Theater Arts||31||1||4||–||–|
College has an application fee: Yes
Regular application fee: $60
Online application fee: $60
Percent applicants admitted: 22%
Percent of students who return for sophomore year: 96%
Secondary school GPA: Required
Secondary school rank: Required
Secondary school record: Required
Admission test scores (SAT/ACT): Required
Undergraduate Admissions Fall 2011
Test Scores: Fall 2011|
SAT Critical Reading
Undergraduate Attendance Status||
Undergraduate Student Gender|
Undergraduate Student Age||
Undergraduate Student Residence|
Graduate Attendance Status
Retention and Graduation Rates
Retention Rates for First-Time Students Pursuing Bachelor’s Degrees||
Overall Graduation and Transfer-Out Rates for Students|
Graduation Rates for Students Pursuing Bachelor’s Degrees
6-Year Graduation Rate by Gender for Students Pursuing Bachelor’s Degrees
6-Year Graduation Rate by Race/Ethnicity for Students Pursuing Bachelor’s Degrees
Architecture & Related Programs
Area, Ethnic, Cultural, & Gender Studies
African-American Studies B
Arts, Visual & Performing
Art – General B
Biological & Biomedical Sciences
Business, Management, & Marketing
Business Administration/Management B
Communications & Journalism
Mass Communications/Media Studies B
Computer & Information Sciences
Biomedical Engineering B
English Language & Literature
English Language & Literature – General B
Foreign Language & Literature
History – General B
Law & Legal Studies
Law & Legal Studies – General B
Applied Mathematics B
Classical/Ancient Mediterranean/Near Eastern Studies B
Natural Resources & Conservation
Environmental Science B
Philosophy & Religion
Psychology – General B
Public Administration & Services
Social Work B
Degree levels for each major are designated by the following letters:|
B = Bachelor’s degree
C = Certificate or diploma
*We do not guarantee the accuracy of information on this page. All information is subject to change. You should confirm all information with a college admissions officer.