Berkeley Campus Life 

January 1, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Berkeley Campus Life

The University of California system’s oldest institution is UC Berkeley, which was established in 1868. The 10 UC campuses, which were first established to educate California’s brightest students, have developed a well-known reputation for offering the best in public service, teaching, research and a lively Berkeley campus life

The UC alumni network now has over 2 million members who work and reside all over the world. UC Berkeley, also known as “Cal,” has a distinct past and character. Berkeley has been known as a hub for student action since the Free Speech Movement began on its campus in 1964.

It’s also where important scientific discoveries like the identification of the influenza virus and vitamin K were made. UC Berkeley routinely finds itself in the national spotlight, whether for its political movements, scientific innovation, or many other contributions to society.

As Berkeley, California is home to the enormous public institution known as the University of California, Berkeley, students who enjoy the quick pace of the city may do best in this metropolitan atmosphere. However, UC Berkeley provides a “study abroad” program if you get bored with the campus.

Berkeley campus field with students

UC Berkeley has 31,811 undergraduate students and is located in a city. Apartments on campuses typically cost $21,168 annually. Club, NCAA Division I, intercollegiate, intramural, and NCAA Division IA sports are all played at the University of California: Berkeley.

Does Berkeley have a nice campus?

Does Berkeley have a nice campus? Let’s experience a bit of Berkeley campus life. The campus community, as well as the general public, are welcome to attend daily activities, performances, and events. Educate yourself, take a stroll in a redwood forest, and support the Golden Bears.

What are the events and attractions at Berkeley?

What are the events and attractions at Berkeley?  We listed them below; let’s check them out.

Pacific Film Archive and Berkeley Art Museum

BAMPFA has relocated to downtown Berkeley. Film screenings, art exhibits, and archives are now available.


The 34-acre nonprofit research garden and museum at UC Berkeley is home to more than 13,000 plants from all around the world. The garden was created in 1890 and is accessible to the general public all year long.

California Memorial Stadium

Berkeley’s iconic stadium has undergone a comprehensive makeover.

Cal Productions

Cal Performances produces, performs, and commissions artistic performances by renowned playwrights, dancers, musicians, and others.

 Tours with Campanile

Climb the world’s third-tallest bell and a clock tower by elevator. The 200-foot-high viewing platform offers breathtaking views of the campus and Bay Area. Every day at noon, concerts are played on the carillon.

 Lawrence Hall of Science

The public science center at UC Berkeley offers parents, children, and educators the chance to interact with science.

Lunch Poetry

Robert Hass, a former U.S. poet laureate, cordially welcomes everyone to Morrison Library during lunchtime to hear members of the campus community read their favorite poetry.

Collection of Magnes

Explore the Jewish art and life displays, works of art, books, and objects in the Magnes Collection.

Noontime Events

Every semester, the music department offers a number of free weekly concerts. Every Wednesday, musical performances by local performers and music students take place in Hertz Hall.

Sports Activities

This is the bears’ area. Won 87 team national championships.

Sproul Plaza

Take a stroll through Berkeley’s campus’ social hub, where people congregate to exchange ideas, promote awareness, and pay respects to the Free Speech Movement.

Strawberry Creek

On the Berkeley campus, Strawberry Creek’s North and South forks converge and flow westward toward the San Francisco Bay. The creek is followed by bridges and pathways all throughout the campus.

What are the recreational sports at Berkeley?

As part of the Berkeley campus life, the Department of Recreational Sports provides students at UC Berkeley with a unique opportunity to have active, fulfilling lives while on campus. What are the recreational sports at Berkeley? They are the following:

  • A facility for recreational sports. Racquet courts are only accessible by reservation. Bring your own equipment if you want to play basketball, volleyball, or badminton in open recreation.
  • Memorial Stadium Exercise Facility
  • Spieker Pool
  • Pool at the Golden Bear Recreation Center (GBRC)
  • The swimming pool at Strawberry Canyon Recreation Area (SCRA)
  • Berkeley Marina’s UC Aquatics Center
  • Courts for tennis at Golden Bear (located on the Clark Kerr Campus)

Where do most Berkeley students live?

Where do most Berkeley students live? Let’s take a look below to know. Are these locations familiar to you?

Average Housing Cost $21,168 per year
First-Years in College Housing 92%

Options for Housing:

  • Fraternity/Sorority Housing
  • Special Housing for Disabled Students
  • Special Housing for International Students
  • Theme Housing
  • Wellness Housing (alcohol/drug/smoke-free)
  • Women’s Housing
  • Apartments For Married Students
  • Apartments For Single Students
  • Coed Housing
  • Cooperative Housing


  • Marching Band
  • Model UN
  • Music Ensembles
  • Musical Theater
  • Naval ROTC
  • Pep Band
  • Radio Station
  • Student Government
  • Student Newspaper
  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Television Station
  • Yearbook
  • Air Force ROTC
  • Army ROTC
  • Campus Ministries
  • Choral Groups
  • Concert Band
  • Dance
  • Drama/Theater
  • Film
  • International Student Organization
  • Jazz Band
  • Literary Magazine

What is dining at Berkeley like?

Also included in Berkeley campus life, dining at Berkeley is like the concept of “breaking bread together,” the one that Cal Dining views as distinctive to dining on-campus with friends, faculty, or employees. What is dining at Berkeley like? Through customer-driven programming, culinary excellence, and campus social responsibility, Cal Dining is committed to nourishing the Cal community’s physical and social well-being.

Three students smiling and eating on a table.

Three main ideas form the foundation of their service philosophy:

  • Flavor and variety: Cal Dining is dedicated to serving delicious food to suit every palate. Their distinguished cuisine offers a wide selection of seasonal meals and regional delicacies. In order to provide high-quality offerings at their locations, they have worked with renowned chefs and restaurateurs.
  • Health and wellness: Cal Dining has moved to natural, organic, and trans-fat-free food products and is 99.9% free of partly hydrogenated oils (PHO) in over 4,000 products. Cal Dining is a leader in offering “healthier-for-you” foods.
  • Environmental responsibility: Cal Dining continuously works to reduce its environmental impact. As a good neighbor, they are committed to helping the Cal neighborhood, increasing their ecological initiatives, and inspiring their clients to follow suit.

The Cal Dining staff aspires to be responsive by paying close attention to client feedback and answering each and every comment. They show their dedication to accountability by managing the client’s financial resources as effectively as they can. They try to deliver top-notch service while respecting the ideals of the UC Berkeley neighborhood.


Dining Commons

  • Crossroads
  • Foothill
  • Café 3
  • Clark Kerr

Convenience Stores

  • Bear Market
  • CKCub
  • The Den
  • Cub Market

Campus Restaurants

  • The Pro Shop
  • Pizzeria 1868
  • The Eateries
  • The Golden Bear Café
  • Brown’s

What are the sports available at Berkeley?

Divisional Sports Nickname: Golden Bears

School Colors: Blue and Gold

Varsity Athletics Association: NCAA

Varsity Athletics Conference Primary: Pacific-12 Conference

What are the sports available at Berkeley? Let’s look at the table below.

Sports Team (Men) Sports Team (Women)
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Crew-Rowing
  • Field Hockey
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Water Polo
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Crew-Rowing
  • Field Hockey
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo
  • Beach Volleyball

 Student Organizations at Berkeley

Berkeley campus life also means joining student organizations. Gaining knowledge, meeting new people, finding new passions, and building experience—these are all reasons students join clubs at UC Berkeley. And with over 1,400 student groups and organizations currently registered at Cal, there are plenty of options to choose from. The following are some of the student organizations’ categories. You can check the University’s official website for more information.


  • Since 1887, the Associated Students of the University of California has served as the institution’s recognized undergraduate student government.

Berkeley Art Studio

  • Art classes for both the campus community and the outside public, including ceramics, digital design, and drawing.

Cal Alumni Association student programs

  • Maintaining in contact with Berkeley after graduation by staying in touch with alumni

Cal Greeks

  • UC Berkeley-affiliated fraternities and sororities, as well as system-wide programs

Cal Rec Sports

  • Exercise and have fun on campus with intramural sports, fitness courses, and facilities for working out.

Cal spirit groupings

  • The Rally Committee, cheerleading, and dance squad

Choral groups

  • Jazz ensemble, women’s chorale, men’s octet, and other singing groups

The Daily Californian

  • The Berkeley campus and community’s independent, student-run newspaper, founded in 1871

Organizations for Gender Equity Resource Center

  • Gender equity-related discussion groups, internships, and other initiatives on the UC Berkeley campus

The Daily Californian

  • Participating in the development of a vibrant, inclusive student community with other graduate students

LEAD Center

  • Campus center for programs in leadership, engagement, counseling, and development, including student organizations, environmental resources, and more

Military groups

  • Student programs for Berkeley’s Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps ROTCs

Possibilities for musical performances

  • Musical DeCal classes, noontime performances, the summer symphony, and other chances for on-campus performance

Student groups

  • Connect with other students who share your interests by joining one of the over 1,000 student organizations registered with the Graduate Assembly and the ASUC.

Musical activities by students

  • The Cal Marching Band, jazz groups, and choral groups

Student media outlets and publications

  • More than 80 student publications on subjects ranging from science and fiction to radio and television.

Health and Safety at Berkeley

Services for University Health

As part of the Berkeley campus life, the Tang Center provides medical treatment to Berkeley personnel, teachers, and students. You can schedule a medical appointment here; get information on personal, career, and crisis counseling; and get ready for an international trip.

Campus Security

On the Berkeley campus, the UC Police Department responds to emergencies and offers safety programs and services.

  • Dial 911. Dial (510) 642-3333 from a mobile device.
  • Initiatives for campus safety
  • For more information in the case of a campus-wide emergency, go to the Berkeley homepage or the campus emergency webpage.

Safety, Health, and the Environment

Environmental protection, worker safety, handling of radiation and dangerous materials, and fire prevention on campus

Office of Emergency Management

Organization on campus that prepares for, responds to, and assists in the recovery after emergencies and disasters such as earthquake, fire, or flood

Support for Victims of Sexual Assault and Education

UC Berkeley is committed to stopping and dealing with sexual assault and harassment on campus.

Eye Care Facilities

The public and members of the university community can receive vision and eye care from Berkeley’s School of Optometry.

How hard is it to get admitted to UC Berkeley?

One of the hardest universities to get into, UC Berkeley has seen a significant rise in applicants over the years and has recently faced threats to its enrollment capacity. The admission rate at UC Berkeley has decreased by almost half during the past ten years, from 21% in 2012 to under 12% in 2022, reflecting the rise in applicants. The weighted GPA of applicants to UC Berkeley is normally between 4.25 and 4.61, and they also exhibit the same pattern of distinction in their extracurricular activities.

It is ndoubtedly difficult, but not impossible, to get into UC Berkeley. This is especially true if you have a thorough personal profile that goes beyond stellar grades and test results to show who you are, what matters to you, and how you’ll contribute to the campus community. AdmissionSight can help and guide you through the admission process of UC Berkeley to increase your chances of getting admitted and enjoying the Berkeley campus life.

Yield Rate at Berkeley

The yield rate at Berkeley, or the proportion of admitted students who choose to enroll, as a percentage of all admitted students, was 40%. UT Austin has a yield rate of 46%, UNC-Chapel Hill’s is 44%, and UGA’s is 41%, all of which are exceptional public schools.

Class of 2026 Acceptance Rate at Berkeley

The admittance rate for the Class of 2025 at Berkeley was a record-low 14%. However, the university got 128,196 applications for the Class of 2026. Although the precise admittance numbers have not yet been made public, about 15,000 students were accepted. This translates to an acceptance rate of 11.7%.

Class Rank and GPA at Berkeley

When it comes to the class rank and GPA at Berkeley, performance in the classroom, therefore, takes center stage. Freshmen in 2021–2022 had a weighted GPA of 4.12 and an unweighted GPA of 3.7. Additionally, the top decile of their high school class was achieved by 96% of the incoming students. Undoubtedly, the majority of the incoming Golden Bears earned straight As in high school.

Trends in Admissions and Notes

  • In 2022–2023, University of California institutions will continue to use a test-blind approach.
  • Berkeley received 128,197 applications for the Class of 2026, up from 88,067 two years ago.
  • Berkeley might be forced to dramatically cut their number of acceptances as a result of a recent court decision.
  • The Class of 2025’s unweighted GPA ranged from 3.86 to 4.0.
  • In recent years, there have been more admissions offers made to students of African American, Latinx, and Native American descent.

Admission Requirements for UC Berkeley

Although there are few admission requirements for UC Berkeley that applicants must meet in order to be considered for admission, the vast majority of successful candidates considerably exceed these standards.

Young woman sitting on a dorm room full of things.

Your academic performance is one of the first factors admissions officers will consider as an early “cutting factor” to sift through a huge pool of applicants, though there will always be outliers. Therefore, having strong academics is essential to experience the Berkeley campus life.

Requirements for GPA

The minimum GPA requirement for applicants to UC Berkeley is 3.0; however, for the best chances of admission, students should strive for a GPA of at least 3.89 (unweighted) or 4.25 (weighted).

SAT/ACT Requirements

For all UC candidates starting in Fall 2021, UC will become a test-blind institution (this includes out-of-state and international applicants). Test blindness refers to UC campuses’ policy of not using applicants’ SAT or ACT scores in the admissions process. The scores you provide won’t even be looked at.

In addition, applicants for Chancellor’s or Regents scholarships will no longer need to submit SAT or ACT results, nor will they be taken into account. Even if you submit your scores, they won’t be seen or taken into account when deciding who gets the scholarship.

Finally, the SAT Essay and ACT Writing sections are no longer required for admission to UC campuses. Beginning in Fall 2020, these scores won’t be used in any way in the admissions procedure. Therefore, even if you submit an essay, the results won’t factor into the admissions decision. (Note that if you test after June 2021, you won’t have the choice to take the SAT Essay. The College Board will stop offering the SAT Essay.)

If you decide to do so in 2021 or any year after, your SAT/ACT results may be used for course placement, but only after you have enrolled in a UC institution. This implies that your test results may affect the courses you enroll in, but not your application for admission or your eligibility for a scholarship.

Essay Requirements

You will have a choice of eight questions for the University of California personal questions. You simply need to respond to 4 items. Additional comments will be made available if there is something about you that you would like to add but don’t have the chance to.

Requirements for International Students

Over 50 nations are represented among UC Berkeley students. Using the UC application, international students can apply as freshmen or transfer students.

Two women looking out the window of their dorm room.

UC Berkeley will accept scores from any of the following language exams for students whose first language is not English but who can demonstrate English proficiency:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • International English Language Testing Service (IELTS)
  • Duolingo English Test (only available for Fall 2021/2022; being reviewed for Fall 2023)

The TOEFL test results you submit to one UC campus will automatically be sent to all the campuses you apply to. IELTS and DET results must be submitted separately to each campus.

Applying to UC Berkeley

The UC application was developed to simplify the application process because there are hundreds of students applying to UC Berkeley and thousands applying to all nine campuses of the University of California system.

Important Application Dates

The following are the deadlines that apply to candidates to the University of California:

Date Application Status
August 1 UC Application Opens
November 1 UC starts accepting applications
November 30 Last day to submit applications
Late March First-year applicants receive decisions
Late April Decisions for most transfer applicants released

Here at AdmissionSight, we can help you with your application to the University of California, Berkeley, and our experienced consultants can give you professional advice. Contact us today to learn about our committed service.





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