Berkeley Acceptance Rate: Admissions Statistics

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Berkeley Acceptance Rate: Admissions Statistics

If you’re curious about how likely it is to join the ranks of bright minds at the University of California, Berkeley, you’re in the right place.

What is Berkeley’s Acceptance Rate?

Berkeley’s acceptance rate currently stands at 11.6%. This means that out of every 100 applicants, only around 11 are offered admission to the university. While this competitive acceptance rate may seem intimidating, it also reflects the high caliber of students that Berkeley attracts.

One of the factors contributing to Berkeley’s low acceptance rate is its reputation as one of the top public universities in the world. With its renowned faculty, cutting-edge research opportunities, and vibrant campus life, Berkeley has become a dream school for many aspiring students.

Furthermore, Berkeley’s rigorous academic programs and high standards for admission make it a highly selective institution. The university seeks to enroll students who excel academically and demonstrate a passion for learning, leadership potential, and a commitment to positively impacting their communities.

Students at the University of California Berkeley campus enjoying a warm day outdoors on the grass.

It is important to note that Berkeley’s acceptance rate can vary from year to year, depending on the number of applications received and the overall competitiveness of the applicant pool. Admissions decisions are based on a holistic review process, considering academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, personal essays, letters of recommendation, and standardized test scores.

Despite the challenging acceptance rate, Berkeley offers various resources and support services to help admitted students succeed. From academic advising and tutoring programs to career development opportunities and student organizations, Berkeley strives to create an inclusive and supportive environment for its students.

Berkeley’s acceptance rate of 11.6% reflects the university’s commitment to excellence and attracting top-tier students. While the competition may be fierce, those fortunate enough to be admitted to Berkeley can expect to be part of a vibrant and intellectually stimulating community that fosters personal and academic growth.

Early Action and Early Decision

The admission rate for UC Berkeley was 11.69% for Early Action and 11.39% for Early Decision.

University of California – Berkeley’s admission rates for Early Action and Early Decision for the last five years are as follows:

Class EA ED
2027 11.69% 11.39%
2026 14.53% 11.39%
2025 14.8% 7.7%
2024 14.4% 16.8%
2023 14.8% 15.7%

Trends in Berkeley’s Acceptance Rates

In recent years, Berkeley’s acceptance rate has been gradually decreasing, making it increasingly difficult for applicants to secure a spot. This trend can be attributed to the growing number of students applying to Berkeley and the university’s limited capacity.


Year Applicants Admitted Enrolled
2013-14 61,717 11,108 4,162
2014-15 73,782 11,820 5,467
2015-16 78,893 13,320 5,550
2016-17 82,561 13,975 6,182
2017-18 85,044 14,549 6,379
2018-19 89,607 13,301 6,012
2019-20 87,847 14,278 6,455
2020-21 88,062 15,390 6,117
2021-22 112,843 15,798 6,793
2022-23 128,209 14,103 6,487
Average 88,857 13,764 5,960

It is essential to note that the acceptance rate can vary slightly between different colleges within Berkeley. For example, the College of Engineering typically has a lower acceptance rate than other undergraduate programs.

One of the factors contributing to the decrease in Berkeley’s acceptance rate is the university’s reputation for academic excellence. Berkeley is renowned for its rigorous curriculum and world-class faculty, attracting many highly qualified applicants yearly. As a result, the competition for admission has become increasingly fierce, leading to a decline in the acceptance rate.

The university’s limited capacity is another significant factor influencing Berkeley’s acceptance rate. Despite being one of the largest campuses in the University of California system, Berkeley has a finite number of spots available for incoming students. This limited capacity means that even if the number of applicants remains constant, the acceptance rate will naturally decrease as the university cannot accommodate everyone.

Furthermore, Berkeley’s location in the San Francisco Bay Area adds to its appeal and contributes to the growing number of applicants. The region is known for its thriving tech industry, cultural diversity, and vibrant arts scene, making it an attractive destination for students seeking a well-rounded college experience. The allure of the Bay Area, coupled with Berkeley’s academic reputation, has led to a steady increase in applications, further driving down the acceptance rate.

It is worth mentioning that while Berkeley’s overall acceptance rate has been declining, there are variations among the different colleges within the university. The College of Engineering, for instance, is highly competitive, with a lower acceptance rate than other undergraduate programs. This is due to the specialized nature of engineering programs and the high demand for graduates in the field. Students applying to the College of Engineering face even stiffer competition, as they have to meet Berkeley’s rigorous admission standards and demonstrate exceptional aptitude in their chosen engineering discipline.

Berkeley Admissions Statistics

Each year, Berkeley receives a staggering number of applications from talented students across the globe. In the most recent admissions cycle, the university received over 85,000 applications for undergraduate programs.

Out of these applicants, only about 10,000 were offered admission. This highly selective process ensures that Berkeley can maintain its academic standards and provide its students with a challenging and enriching educational experience.

Fall 2023 Enrollment by Ethnicity:

Ethnicity Undergraduates Graduate Students
Asian 13,236 2,739
Chicanx/Latinx 6,795 1,167
White 6,484 3,370
African American/Black 1,320 650
Native American/Alaska Native 156 68
Pacific Islander 60 15
Decline to State 1,201 582
International 3,826 4,030
Total 33,078 12,621

Fall 2023 Enrollment by Gender Identity:

Gender Identity Undergraduates Graduate Students
Women 18,123 6,002
Men 14,159 6,314
Nonbinary 437 157
Decline to State 359 148
Total 33,078 12,621

The university attracts many international students, making it one of the most globally diverse campuses in the U.S., with students from over 100 countries. For those fortunate enough to receive an offer of admission, Berkeley provides a world-class education and a vibrant campus experience. Students can access renowned faculty, cutting-edge research facilities, and various academic and extracurricular opportunities.

Furthermore, Berkeley’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity ensures that students from all backgrounds feel welcome and supported. The university actively promotes a culture of respect, understanding, and collaboration among its diverse student body.

As a Berkeley student, you will be part of a community that values intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and social responsibility. Whether studying in the sciences, humanities, or any other field, you’ll be challenged to push the boundaries of knowledge and make a meaningful difference in the world.

So, while the admissions process may be highly competitive, the rewards of attending Berkeley are immeasurable. Graduates of this esteemed institution excel in their chosen careers, become leaders in their fields, and make a lasting impact on society.

SAT/ACT Scores for Berkeley Admits

 UC Berkeley and other UC schools no longer require or accept standardized test scores for admissions decisions. Therefore, no specific information is available on the average SAT scores for the UC Berkeley Class of 2027. The admissions process at UC Berkeley is known for being highly competitive, and prospective students are expected to exhibit outstanding academic achievement, excellent standardized test scores, noteworthy extracurricular activities, and a solid commitment to making a positive impact on society to be considered for admission.

What is Berkeley looking for?

Berkeley, revered as one of the world’s premier universities, maintains exacting standards in selecting its student body. The admissions committee at Berkeley seeks individuals who embody an unyielding passion for learning, insatiable intellectual curiosity, and an earnest commitment to effecting positive change on a global scale.

  1. Academic Excellence:
    • Berkeley places paramount importance on academic excellence. They actively search for students who excel in their academic pursuits and showcase a genuine love for knowledge and a thirst for intellectual growth. Beyond meeting high school curriculum requirements, Berkeley seeks students who delve into captivating subjects, pushing their understanding to new heights.
  2. Diversity and Inclusivity:
    • Recognizing the significance of diversity in cultivating a vibrant community, Berkeley actively encourages applicants from various backgrounds and experiences. The university believes that a diverse student body enriches the learning environment, fostering broader perspectives and facilitating the exchange of ideas from varied viewpoints.
  3. Leadership Skills:
    • Berkeley values applicants who exhibit strong leadership skills. Whether leading a club, organizing events, or spearheading community projects, the university is interested in individuals who motivate and inspire others. Berkeley believes that such leadership potential will thrive within the dynamic campus community.
  4. Community Service:
    • Community service holds considerable weight in Berkeley’s selection process. The university appreciates applicants who actively contribute to their communities through volunteering, service projects, or philanthropic initiatives. Berkeley identifies true leaders as those committed not only to personal success but also to positively impacting others’ lives.
  5. Drive for Personal Growth:
    • Beyond the classroom, Berkeley seeks applicants driven to pursue their interests passionately. The university values students who genuinely love their chosen fields of study and actively seek opportunities to expand their knowledge. Whether through research, internships, or related extracurricular activities, Berkeley looks for individuals committed to surpassing traditional educational boundaries.

Berkeley’s selection process is comprehensive and multifaceted, encompassing academic excellence, diversity, leadership, community service, and a drive for personal and intellectual growth. By meticulously considering these factors, Berkeley aims to assemble a diverse and vibrant student body poised to contribute positively to the university and the broader global community.

View of a woman smiling at the camera.

How hard is it to get into Berkeley?

Securing admission to Berkeley is undoubtedly challenging. The competition is fierce, with thousands of qualified applicants vying for a limited number of spots. However, it is essential to note that numbers do not solely determine admission to Berkeley.

When considering the difficulty of getting into Berkeley, it is crucial to understand the university’s holistic approach to evaluating applicants. While academic achievements and standardized test scores are essential, the admissions committee also considers many other qualities and experiences.

For example, Berkeley values diversity and actively seeks students from different backgrounds and perspectives. This means applicants who can demonstrate their unique experiences, cultural heritage, or socioeconomic background may be advantageous in the admissions process.

Furthermore, Berkeley places a strong emphasis on extracurricular involvement and leadership. Admissions officers are interested in seeing how applicants have impacted their communities, whether through volunteering, participating in clubs and organizations, or taking on leadership roles. These experiences can help applicants stand out and showcase their potential for contributing to the Berkeley community.

In addition to extracurricular activities, Berkeley values applicants with a genuine passion for their chosen field of study. Whether through research projects, internships, or personal projects, demonstrating a deep interest and commitment to a specific area can significantly enhance an applicant’s chances of admission.

While the acceptance rate may seem discouraging, it is crucial for applicants to focus on showcasing their unique strengths, experiences, and aspirations. A well-rounded application, a solid academic record, and compelling essays can significantly increase one’s chances of admission to Berkeley.

It is also essential for prospective students to remember that there are many other excellent universities and colleges to consider if they are not offered admission to Berkeley. Each institution offers its unique opportunities for growth and learning. Exploring alternative options and finding the right fit is integral to the college application process.

Berkeley Popular Programs

Berkeley offers various programs across various disciplines, attracting students with diverse academic interests. Here are some famous and notable programs at Berkeley:

  1. Computer Science:
    • Berkeley is renowned for its Computer Science program, consistently ranked among the top in the world. The program covers a range of areas, including artificial intelligence, data science, and computer systems.
  2. Engineering (Various Disciplines):
    • Berkeley’s College of Engineering provides programs in various engineering disciplines, such as electrical engineering and computer sciences, civil and environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, and more.
  3. Business Administration:
    • The Haas School of Business at Berkeley offers undergraduate and MBA programs in business administration. Students can specialize in areas like finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
  4. Economics:
    • The Department of Economics at Berkeley is highly regarded. Students can explore economic theory, policy analysis, and various subfields within economics.
  5. Political Science:
    • Berkeley’s political science program is known for its research and academic rigor. Students delve into political theory, international relations, comparative politics, and American politics.
  6. Biology:
    • The Department of Molecular and Cell Biology offers programs in biology, covering molecular biology, genetics, cell biology, and other related fields.
  7. Environmental Science, Policy, and Management:
    • Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources provides environmental science, policy, and management programs. Students explore environmental issues from scientific, policy, and management perspectives.
  8. Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS):
    • EECS is a popular program that combines electrical engineering and computer science. It is housed in the College of Engineering and is known for its cutting-edge research.
  9. Mathematics:
    • Berkeley’s Department of Mathematics offers a strong program for students interested in pure and applied mathematics. The program covers a wide range of mathematical topics.
  10. Physics:
    • The Department of Physics at Berkeley is known for its research and academic programs in physics. Students can specialize in theoretical physics, experimental physics, and astrophysics.
  11. Chemistry:
    • Berkeley’s Department of Chemistry provides programs in chemistry, allowing students to explore various branches of the field, including organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry.
  12. Architecture:
    • The College of Environmental Design offers programs in architecture, emphasizing design, sustainability, and urban planning.
  13. English:
    • Berkeley’s English Department offers programs in literature and creative writing. Students can explore a wide range of literary genres and critical approaches.
  14. Psychology:
    • The Department of Psychology provides programs covering various aspects of psychology, including clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, and social psychology.
  15. Integrative Biology:
    • The Integrative Biology program at Berkeley emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches to understanding biological systems, covering ecology, evolution, and physiology.

It’s essential for prospective students to explore Berkeley’s official website and contact academic advisors for the most up-to-date and detailed information about specific programs, majors, and opportunities. Program popularity and offerings may evolve, and Berkeley is known for its commitment to academic excellence and research across a broad spectrum of disciplines.

How to know which major is for you

Choosing a major can be a significant decision that impacts your academic and career path. Here are some steps to help you determine which major is the right fit for you:

  1. Self-Reflection:
    • Reflect on your interests, passions, and hobbies. Consider what subjects you enjoy studying and find intellectually stimulating. Think about activities that make you lose track of time or topics you enjoy discussing with others.
  2. Strengths and Skills:
    • Identify your strengths and skills. What are you naturally good at? Your strengths and skills can guide you toward majors that align with your abilities and talents.
  3. Career Exploration:
    • Explore potential careers associated with different majors. Research job prospects, industries, and the skills required for various professions. Consider talking to professionals in fields you find interesting.
  4. Take Introductory Courses:
    • Enroll in introductory courses in different disciplines. Many universities allow students to explore a variety of subjects before declaring a major. Intro courses can provide a taste of what each major entails.
  5. Talk to Academic Advisors:
    • Schedule meetings with academic advisors or career counselors. They can provide guidance, discuss your academic interests, and help you explore majors that align with your goals.
  6. Networking and Informational Interviews:
    • Connect with professionals in different fields through networking events or informational interviews. Gain insights into their career paths, daily responsibilities, and the educational background required for their roles.
  7. Internships and Volunteering:
    • Participate in internships or volunteer opportunities related to different fields. Practical experience can provide valuable insights into the day-to-day aspects of various professions.
  8. Consider Interdisciplinary Options:
    • Explore interdisciplinary majors that combine multiple fields of study. These programs may allow you to integrate your interests and pursue a unique academic path.
  9. Evaluate Coursework and Requirements:
    • Review the coursework and requirements for potential majors. Consider whether the classes are engaging and whether the major aligns with your long-term goals.
  10. Seek Guidance from Mentors:
    • Seek advice from mentors, teachers, or professionals in your network. They may share their experiences, offer insights, and provide valuable advice on choosing a major.
  11. Personal Values and Goals:
    • Consider your values and long-term goals. What kind of impact do you want to make in your career? Choose a major that aligns with your values and contributes to your life goals.
  12. Be Open to Change:
    • Keep in mind that it’s okay to change majors. Your interests and goals may evolve as you gain exposure to different subjects and experiences.

It’s essential for prospective students to explore the complete list of majors offered at Berkeley and consider their personal interests and career goals when choosing a major. Additionally, students often have the flexibility to pursue interdisciplinary studies and customize their academic paths.

Worried looking woman reading a letter.

How will I know if Berkeley is for me?

To determine if UC Berkeley is the right fit for you, consider the following aspects of the university:

  1. Academic Excellence: UC Berkeley offers over 350 degree programs through its academic departments, and the university is known for its rigorous academic programs and research opportunities. UC Berkeley may be a good fit if you are looking for a challenging and intellectually stimulating academic environment.
  2. Campus Life: UC Berkeley has a vibrant campus life with diverse opportunities for students to engage in extracurricular activities, social events, and community service. The university has over 600 student organizations and clubs, a thriving social scene, and numerous extracurricular activities to complete the student experience.
  3. Research Opportunities: UC Berkeley’s rigorous academic programs and research opportunities provide students with a solid foundation for success in their chosen fields while fostering a lifelong love for learning and discovery.
  4. Diversity and Inclusion: UC Berkeley is a diverse and inclusive community with students from over 100 countries. The university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion creates a rich and dynamic learning environment.
  5. Prestige and Alumni Success: The advantage of studying at UC Berkeley goes beyond the classroom, as the university’s prestige opens doors to incredible opportunities post-graduation. Alumni of UC Berkeley have gone on to become leaders in various industries, making a significant impact on the world.
  6. Social Life and Extracurricular Activities: While pursuing knowledge and innovation is central to life at UC Berkeley, there’s also a thriving social scene and numerous extracurricular activities to complete the student experience. There is something for everyone, from student organizations and clubs to Greek life and social events.

Consider visiting the campus, talking to current students, and exploring the university’s website to better understand whether UC Berkeley is the right fit for you.

Berkeley Admission Requirements

The University of California, Berkeley’s admission requirements can vary based on the applicant’s residency status (California resident or non-resident), the type of student (freshman or transfer), and the specific program or primary to which they apply. Below are the general admission requirements for both freshman and transfer applicants:

Freshman Admission Requirements:

  1. Academic Preparation:
    • Complete a minimum set of required high school courses known as the “a-g” courses. These include English, mathematics, laboratory science, language other than English, visual and performing arts, and additional electives.
  2. Grade Point Average (GPA):
    • Achieve a strong GPA in the “a-g” courses. Berkeley considers both the weighted and unweighted GPAs in its evaluation process.
  3. Standardized Tests:
    • Submit scores from either the SAT or ACT with Writing. However, the University of California system has implemented a test-optional policy for the admission cycle of fall 2023 and beyond. Check the latest admissions policies for the most up-to-date information.
  4. Extracurricular Activities:
    • Berkeley considers the applicant’s involvement in extracurricular activities, leadership roles, and any unique talents or achievements.
  5. Personal Insight Essays:
    • Write and submit four personal insight essays. These essays allow applicants to share their experiences, perspectives, and achievements.
  6. Letters of Recommendation:
    • While not required, applicants can submit letters of recommendation to provide additional context to their academic and personal achievements.

Transfer Admission Requirements:

  1. Transferable College Courses:
    • Complete a specified set of transferable college courses with a solid academic performance. The completion of specific prerequisite courses may be required for certain majors.
  2. Transfer GPA:
    • Achieve a competitive GPA in transferable courses. The GPA requirements vary by major, and specific highly competitive programs may have higher GPA expectations.
  3. Personal Insight Essays:
    • Write and submit four personal insight essays, similar to freshman applicants.
  4. Letters of Recommendation:
    • Letters of recommendation are not required but can be submitted to provide additional context to the application.
  5. Extracurricular and Leadership Activities:
    • Berkeley considers involvement in extracurricular activities, leadership roles, and any unique talents or achievements.
  6. Major-Specific Requirements:
    • Some majors at Berkeley may have additional requirements or prerequisites. Transfer applicants should carefully review the specific requirements for their intended major.

It’s essential for applicants to check the official UC Berkeley admissions website and contact the admissions office for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Admission requirements and policies can be subject to change, and the university may update its criteria periodically. Additionally, the admissions process is competitive, and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

Berkeley’s Interview Process

UC Berkeley does not have a formal interview process for undergraduate admissions. The admissions process is primarily based on academic achievement, personal accomplishments, and other factors such as extracurricular activities and personal insight questions.

However, it’s important to note that some graduate programs at UC Berkeley may require an interview as part of the admissions process. Additionally, the City of Berkeley has a hiring process that includes two rounds of interviews for job applicants.

Key Application Deadlines for Berkeley

The application deadline for UC Berkeley is November 30th for regular decision. UC Berkeley does not have any Early Action or Early Decision options. The application filing period for transfer students is from October 1 to November 30. It’s important to note that UC Berkeley has a holistic review process, where all aspects of an applicant’s profile are considered in the admission decision. For graduate programs, the application deadline is November 30, 2023

View of a woman studying.

Tuition Costs at Berkeley for 2023-2024

The tuition costs for UC Berkeley for the 2023-2024 academic year are as follows:

  • In-state undergraduate tuition: $15,444
  • Out-of-state undergraduate tuition: $48,018
  • Graduate tuition (academic): $15,094
  • Graduate tuition (professional – Haas): $30,196

These figures are estimates and are subject to change. The total cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, health insurance, and housing expenses, is estimated to be $21,250 for in-state students and $36,352 for out-of-state students.

Several factors come into play when considering tuition costs at the University of California, Berkeley. Here are key considerations:

  1. Residency Status:
    • Tuition costs vary based on whether you are a California or non-resident resident. In-state residents typically pay lower tuition than out-of-state and international students.
  2. Undergraduate vs. Graduate Tuition:
    • Tuition rates differ between undergraduate and graduate programs. Graduate programs, particularly professional schools, may have higher tuition costs.
  3. Program of Study:
    • Different academic programs may have different tuition rates. For instance, specific professional graduate programs might have higher tuition than academic ones.
  4. Enrollment Status:
    • Tuition costs are often calculated on a per-unit basis. Full-time enrollment (typically 12 or more undergraduate units) may have a different cost structure than part-time enrollment.
  5. Campus Fees:
    • In addition to tuition, students are often required to pay campus-based fees, which can cover services and facilities such as health services, student centers, and recreational facilities.
  6. Housing and Living Costs:
    • When estimating the total cost of attendance, it’s crucial to consider living expenses, including housing, meals, transportation, and personal expenses. Berkeley provides estimates for both on-campus and off-campus living.
  7. Financial Aid and Scholarships:
    • Berkeley offers various financial aid options, including grants, loans, and work-study programs. Additionally, scholarships may be available based on academic merit, extracurricular achievements, or specific criteria related to your program.
  8. Changes in Tuition Rates:
    • Tuition rates can change yearly, and institutions may increase tuition to account for inflation or budgetary needs. It’s essential to check for any announced tuition adjustments for the 2023-2024 academic year.
  9. Books and Supplies:
    • Consider the cost of textbooks and supplies associated with your program. Some courses may have additional materials or equipment requirements.
  10. Health Insurance:
    • Health insurance is often a mandatory cost for students. Berkeley provides a Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP); students may choose to enroll in this plan or provide proof of comparable coverage.
  11. Transportation:
    • If you plan to commute or travel regularly, factor in transportation costs. Consider whether you’ll need a parking permit, use public transportation, or require other means of commuting.
  12. Personal Expenses:
    • Budget for personal expenses, such as clothing, personal care items, and entertainment. A realistic estimate of these costs contributes to a more accurate overall budget.

Berkeley Scholarships

The University of California, Berkeley, offers a range of scholarships to support students in financing their education. Scholarships at Berkeley can be based on various criteria, including academic achievement, leadership, financial need, and specific talents. Below are some examples of scholarships and financial aid opportunities available at Berkeley:

  1. Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholarship:
    • One of the most prestigious scholarships at Berkeley is awarded to a select group of entering undergraduates based on academic excellence, leadership, and community service.
  2. Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan:
    • A financial aid program designed to cover the full systemwide tuition and fees for California residents with a family income of up to $80,000.
  3. Middle Class Scholarship (MCS):
    • Available to undergraduate California residents with a family income of up to $184,000. The scholarship covers a portion of systemwide tuition and fees.
  4. Undergraduate Merit Scholarships:
    • Various merit-based scholarships are available to undergraduate students, recognizing academic achievements, leadership, and other accomplishments.
  5. Graduate Fellowships:
    • Berkeley offers a range of fellowships to support graduate students in their research and academic pursuits. These may include Chancellor’s Fellowships and department-specific fellowships.
  6. Berkeley Undergraduate Scholarship:
    • Need-based scholarship program for undergraduate students with financial need. It aims to bridge the gap between the cost of attendance and the financial aid students receive.
  7. Graduate Diversity Program Fellowships:
    • Fellowships are designed to enhance the diversity of graduate students at Berkeley. These fellowships support students from underrepresented backgrounds.
  8. Summer Sessions Scholarships:
    • Scholarships for Berkeley students participating in summer sessions. These scholarships help reduce the cost of summer courses.
  9. Athletic Scholarships:
    • Berkeley’s Athletic Study Center administers athletic scholarships for student-athletes. These scholarships support individuals who excel both academically and athletically.
  10. Emergency Grants and Loans:
    • Berkeley provides emergency grants and loans to students facing unforeseen financial challenges or emergencies.
  11. Haas Scholars Program:
    • A program that supports undergraduate students engaged in research or creative projects. Haas Scholars receive a scholarship and present their work at a public symposium.
  12. The Achievement Award Program (TAAP):
    • Designed to support California residents with financial needs. TAAP provides funds to cover educational expenses, including tuition and living costs.

Students are encouraged to explore the Berkeley Financial Aid and Scholarships Office website for detailed information on available scholarships, eligibility criteria, and application procedures. Additionally, students can use scholarship search engines and external resources to identify additional scholarship opportunities.

Group of students looking at a gadget.

Student Life at Berkeley

Student life at the University of California, Berkeley, is vibrant, diverse, and filled with many opportunities for academic, social, and personal growth. Here are some aspects of student life at Berkeley:

  1. Academic Excellence:
    • Berkeley is renowned for its rigorous academic programs and distinguished faculty. Students can engage in challenging coursework and cutting-edge research across various disciplines.
  2. Diverse and Inclusive Community:
    • Berkeley prides itself on its diverse and inclusive campus community. Students from various backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives unite, fostering a rich and dynamic learning environment.
  3. Student Organizations:
    • Berkeley boasts many student organizations covering academic interests, cultural affiliations, hobbies, etc. Whether joining a club related to one’s major or exploring new interests, students have ample opportunities to get involved.
  4. Berkeley Student Cooperative (BSC):
    • The BSC offers cooperative housing for students, providing a unique living experience where residents actively participate in managing their housing community.
  5. Residential Life:
    • Berkeley provides various housing options, including traditional residence halls and apartment-style living. Residential communities offer social events, academic support, and a sense of community.
  6. Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA):
    • BAMPFA, located on campus, enriches student life by offering a vibrant cultural hub. Students can explore visual arts, film screenings, exhibitions, and performances.
  7. Recreational Sports Facility (RSF):
    • The RSF provides state-of-the-art fitness facilities, sports programs, and recreational activities for students to stay active and healthy.
  8. Cultural Events and Festivals:
    • Berkeley hosts various cultural events, festivals, and performances throughout the year. These events celebrate diversity and showcase the talents of students and artists.
  9. Berkeley Student Government:
    • Students can engage in campus governance through the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), participating in student government and advocating for student interests.
  10. Career Development and Internships:
    • Berkeley’s Career Center provides resources for career development, job search assistance, and internship opportunities, helping students prepare for post-graduation success.
  11. Student Health Services:
    • Comprehensive health services, including medical care, mental health support, and wellness programs, are available to students.
  12. Berkeley Student Food Collective:
    • This student-run organization promotes sustainable and local food practices. It offers a cooperative grocery store and café, providing students with healthy and affordable food options.
  13. Cal Performances:
    • Cal Performances presents a diverse range of world-class performances, including concerts, dance, theater, and more, enhancing the cultural experiences available to students.
  14. Proximity to San Francisco and the Bay Area:
    • Berkeley’s San Francisco Bay Area location provides students access to a vibrant and culturally rich region, offering opportunities for internships, networking, and recreational activities.
  15. Social Activism and Advocacy:
    • Berkeley has a long history of social activism and advocacy. Students often engage in activism on various issues, contributing to a campus culture that values social justice and civic engagement.

Berkeley’s student life is characterized by its intellectual rigor, cultural diversity, and commitment to creating a supportive and inclusive community. Students can explore their passions, form lasting connections, and contribute to the rich tapestry of campus life.


Students walking and biking through the campus on a sunny day with Sather Tower in the background.

Academics at Berkeley

UC Berkeley stands as a beacon of academic excellence, offering over 350 degree programs across its 14 schools and colleges. Renowned for its rigorous academic environment and extensive research opportunities, the university is dedicated to providing students with a comprehensive education that goes beyond the classroom, instilling a passion for lifelong learning and discovery.

  1. Wide Range of Graduate Programs:
    • UC Berkeley provides a spectrum of graduate programs spanning law, business, engineering, and public health disciplines. This diversity ensures that students can pursue advanced studies in their areas of interest, contributing to their professional growth.
  2. Popular Undergraduate Majors:
    • Some of the most sought-after undergraduate majors at UC Berkeley include Computer Science, Economics, Political Science, Molecular and Cell Biology, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. These programs reflect the university’s commitment to offering cutting-edge education in response to evolving academic landscapes.
  3. Abundant Academic Resources:
    • The university is dedicated to supporting student success through various academic resources. From personalized advising and tutoring services to extensive research opportunities, UC Berkeley ensures students have the tools and support needed to thrive academically.

Clubs and Extracurricular Activities

The University of California, Berkeley, boasts a diverse and extensive array of clubs and extracurricular activities catering to various interests. While popularity can vary among individuals, here are some notable and often well-attended clubs and activities at Berkeley:

  1. Berkeley Student Organizations:
    • Berkeley Student Organizations (BSO) encompasses many clubs covering academic interests, cultural affiliations, and hobbies. This includes academic clubs, cultural groups, and organizations focused on specific hobbies or causes.
  2. Berkeley Political Review (BPR):
    • BPR provides a platform for students interested in political analysis, commentary, and discussion. It often features articles, events, and discussions on current political issues.
  3. The Daily Californian:
    • The student-run newspaper, The Daily Californian, offers students interested in journalism, reporting, editing, and photography opportunities.
  4. Berkeley Model United Nations (BMUN):
    • BMUN is a popular club for students interested in international relations, diplomacy, and model United Nations simulations.
  5. Berkeley Investment Group (BIG):
    • BIG provides a platform for students interested in finance, investing, and related fields to discuss trends, analyze stocks, and network with professionals.
  6. Berkeley Dance Community:
    • The Berkeley Dance Community offers various dance clubs and classes for students interested in different dance styles, from hip-hop to salsa.
  7. Berkeley Consulting:
    • For students interested in consulting, this group provides opportunities to work on real-world consulting projects and develop valuable skills.
  8. The Berkeley Forum:
    • The Berkeley Forum invites speakers from various fields to engage in discussions, debates, and lectures on campus, providing students opportunities to explore diverse perspectives.
  9. CalTV:
    • CalTV offers students interested in media and broadcasting to gain hands-on experience producing videos, news segments, and other multimedia content.
  10. Robotics at Berkeley:
    • This club focuses on robotics, providing students opportunities to engage in robotics competitions, projects, and workshops.
  11. Berkeley Entrepreneurs Association (BEA):
    • BEA supports students interested in entrepreneurship, providing resources, networking opportunities, and events to foster innovation and startup culture.
  12. Berkeley Quiz Bowl:
    • Quiz Bowl is a popular trivia competition club where students can test their knowledge and compete against other teams.
  13. Outdoor Adventures at Berkeley:
    • This organization offers outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, camping trips, and other adventures, for students who enjoy the outdoors.
  14. Cal A Cappella Groups:
    • Berkeley has several a cappella groups, such as the UC Men’s Octet and the California Golden Overtones, providing opportunities for students with a passion for vocal performance.
  15. Berkeley Running Club:
    • The running club caters to students interested in staying active, organizing group runs, and participating in local races.

An American football player looking at the crowd of players in front of him.

Notable Berkeley alumni

The University of California, Berkeley, has produced a remarkable array of alumni who have made significant contributions to various fields. Here are some notable Berkeley alumni:

  1. Steve Wozniak:
    • Co-founder of Apple Inc. and pioneer of the personal computer revolution.
  2. Nobel Laureates:
    • Numerous Nobel laureates, including physicist Ernest O. Lawrence, who invented the cyclotron, and economist George A. Akerlof, recognized for his work on information asymmetry.
  3. Joan Didion:
    • Renowned American author, essayist, and journalist known for her distinctive literary style.
  4. Jennifer Doudna:
    • Biochemist and Nobel laureate recognized for her work on the CRISPR gene-editing technology.
  5. Gordon Moore:
    • Co-founder of Intel Corporation and author of Moore’s Law, predicting the exponential growth of computing power.
  6. Barbara Lee:
    • U.S. Representative known for advocating social justice issues and her principled stance against the Iraq War.
  7. Randy Schekman:
    • Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine for his work on vesicle trafficking.
  8. Jack London:
    • Iconic American author and adventurer, best known for his novels “The Call of the Wild” and “White Fang.”
  9. Milton Friedman:
    • Nobel laureate in Economics and influential economist known for his work on monetary policy and free-market capitalism.
  10. Yuan T. Lee:
    • Nobel laureate in Chemistry for his contributions to understanding chemical processes at the molecular level.
  11. Maxine Hong Kingston:
    • Acclaimed author and National Book Award winner known for works like “The Woman Warrior.”
  12. Mark Bingham:
    • The heroic passenger on United Flight 93 during the 9/11 attacks was credited with helping prevent further casualties.
  13. Eric Schmidt:
    • Former CEO of Google and executive chairman of Alphabet Inc.
  14. Gregory Peck:
    • Academy Award-winning actor known for his roles in classic films such as “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
  15. Wendy Carlos:
    • Composer and electronic music pioneer known for her work on the “Switched-On Bach” album.

These accomplished individuals represent just a fraction of the influential figures who have emerged from UC Berkeley. Their diverse contributions span science, technology, literature, politics, and the arts, reflecting the university’s commitment to producing graduates who shape and impact the world.


Berkeley’s acceptance rate of 11.6% reflects the university’s selectivity and high academic standards. While gaining admission to Berkeley is undoubtedly challenging, it is not impossible. Aspiring students should approach the application process with dedication, highlighting their strengths and showcasing their potential to contribute positively to the university’s vibrant community.

Ultimately, Berkeley seeks individuals who are passionate about learning, want to make an impact, and are ready to embrace the university’s enriching opportunities. With determination, hard work, and a well-crafted application, prospective students can enhance their chances of joining the UC Berkeley community and embarking on a transformative educational journey.

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