The University of California – Berkeley was formed in 1868 after the College of California merged with the Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College. Named after the Irish philosopher and Bishop of Cloyne, Berkeley became the state’s first public, full-curriculum university with an inaugural class of 189. Also a founding member of the prestigious AAU, Berkeley is the flagship land-grant, RU/VH research institution with a massive $4.04 billion endowment. Affiliated with 92 Nobel laureates, the University of California – Berkeley currently educates over 29,300 undergrad and 10,800 post-grad Golden Bears. Occupying 1,232 urban acres, UC Berkeley is nestled in Alameda County on the San Francisco Bay’s shoreline.
According to the U.S. News, Berkeley is the 20th best national university, top public school, 23rd most innovative college, and 11th best for vets school. In particular, UC Berkeley ranks #1 for chemistry, computer science, English, history, and sociology. The National Research Council recognized the University of California – Berkeley for America’s greatest number of top-ranked graduate programs. Forbes crowned Berkeley the 18th best U.S. school for international students. Niche applauded Berkeley as the fifth “Top Public University” with the 12th “Best College Location.” Kiplinger’s Personal Finance honored Berkeley as the fourth top public value nationally. Times Higher Education also placed UC Berkeley 13th globally for elite academics.
University of California – Berkeley Accreditation Details
Reaffirmed most recently in 2015, the University of California – Berkeley is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), one of six regional agencies approved under the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Programmatic accreditation is extended from the following:
• Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
• Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
• American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
• Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
• Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
• Planning Accreditation Board (PAB)
• American Bar Association (ABA)
• Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
• American Psychological Association (APA)
University of California – Berkeley Application Requirements
Getting accepted at the University of California – Berkeley is a feat with the “most selective” acceptance rate of 15 percent. Freshmen need to satisfy a 15-course college-prep curriculum with four years of English graded no lower than “C.” Ranking in the top 9 percent of one’s graduating class is preferred. California residents need a 3.0 GPA or higher, but non-residents are held to a 3.4. Examination requirements are calculated by adding the critical reading, math, writing, and two subject test scores together. In-state applicants need a UC score above 410 and out-of-staters should score higher than 425.
Competitive transfers need to have completed 60 semester units before the spring term ends at other regionally accredited schools. Lower-division prerequisites like English composition and mathematics should be fulfilled. Most majors require transfers have a minimum 3.0 GPA. An additional requirement for international students on F-1 visa is taking the TOEFL or IELTS for scores over 550 or 6.5 respectively. Graduate admission standards vary, but all require an accredited baccalaureate with a 3.0 GPA or greater. On average, admitted master’s students have a 157 verbal and 165 quantitative score on the GRE.
The University of California – Berkeley only accepts the UC application filed from November 1st to November 30th. The transfer application deadline is extended to January 3rd. Before these crucial dates, please submit these materials:
• Official transcripts from each school
• Four personal insight questions
• College entrance exam scores
• Two to three letters of recommendation
• Proof of English proficiency if foreign
• $70 non-refundable fee ($105 for grads)
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time undergraduates from California are charged $14,068 for annual tuition and fees. Non-residents add $28,014 in supplemental tuition yearly. Room and board is estimated to cost $15,716 per year. Berkeley suggests budgeting $894 for books, $1,782 for personal expenses, and $382 for transportation. Unless waived, health insurance plans costs $2,830. Total annual cost of attendance is $34,400 (in-state) and $62,414 (out-of-state). Graduate students from California are billed $14,068 for full-time tuition too, but non-residents add in $15,102 yearly. Berkeley Law costs significantly more at $48,702 per academic year.
Approximately 67 percent of beginning, full-time Berkeley students earn financial aid packages for an average amount of $18,018 according to the NCES. Institutional awards like the Regents Scholarship, Fiat Lux Scholarship, Incentive Awards Program, and Berkeley Undergraduate Scholarship are abundant. The Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan covers tuition for Californians with family income below $80,000. The Parent Grant supports learners with dependents under age 18. Federal financial aid options include the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, Perkins Loans, and Work-Study (FWS). “Golden State” residents could qualify for the Cal Grant, Middle Class Scholarship, and California Dream Act. Other honors like the Lipson Essay Prize gift up to $2,000.
The University of California – Berkeley is a “Public Ivy” offering top-notch academics within a community dedicated to service and activism. Berkeley’s 14 colleges operate on a semester calendar to confer 106 bachelor’s, 88 master’s, and 97 doctoral programs. Some unique undergrad majors include the B.A. Celtic Studies, B.S. Energy Engineering, B.S. Forestry, B.A. Iberian Language, B.S. Planetary Science, and B.A. Rhetoric. In addition to graduate degrees from an M.F.A. Art Practice to Ph.D. Geography, there’s the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program. There’s a student-faculty ratio of 17:1 so that 73 percent of classes have fewer than 30 pupils for meaningful professor interactions.
Noted for sparking the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s, UC Berkeley nurtures activism outside the classroom with 94 political groups, including an ACLU Chapter. Perhaps that’s why Berkeley holds the record for sending over 3,000 alumni to Peace Corps service. Young scientists access cutting-edge research centers like the Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute and Sagehen Creek Field Station. Creative minds get inspired in the Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Architectural majors study the campus’ Beaux-Arts Classical style with South Hall and Hearst Greek Theatre. Outdoor enthusiasts could sail from Berkeley Marina, hike Grizzly Peak, and picnic in Tilden Regional Park.
Golden Bears search through more than 1,100 student-run organizations registered with the ASUC. Depending on their interests, students could write for The Daily Californian, perform with the Cal Marching Band, pledge Kappa Kappa Gamma, go green with Net Impact, act for Golden Paw Productions, play for the Backgammon League, and more. Each year, the American Collegiate Jazz Festival draws luminaries like Freddie Hubbard and Sonny Rollins. The California Victory Cannon is also fired from Tightwad Hill before each football game. In the NCAA Division I Pac-12 Conference, the University of California – Berkeley has 30 varsity teams that have claimed 104 national titles.