University of California - Berkeley Reviews
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UC Berkeley is hands down the most diverse, open-minded, and cognitively stimulating institution I have ever had the opportunity to be a part of. Every course more interesting than the one before, and each professor more passionate and knowledgable than the next. It broadens your horizon in every part of your life. It is also the most accepting and nurturing community; everyone has a place in Berkeley.
UC Berkeley is a fantastic school with more resources than most universities in the world. It behooves you to take advantage of these resources while you attend and not let them go unused. Talk to professors and other students about topics that are not directly related to coursework, for example, there is more to learn than what appears in the lectures. The classes can be challenging and other students can be competitive, but at the end of the day, it will force you to learn and become a better student, and you should embrace these qualities. One of the greatest parts about UC Berkeley is the ability to create your own interdisciplinary major. This can be done by simply taking the classes you are interested in (as well as the requirements) and then in your senior year working with a counselor to create a unique major that is based on your classes. This gives you more freedom than participating in a pre-built major, and so you can take classes you might not be otherwise able. Make sure you participate in clubs and extracurricular, as you do not want to miss out on making interesting Berkeley friends. The location is great, the reputation is stellar, and the work is very high level. If you can hustle, this school is for you.
The Art History department at the University of California Berkeley is one of the top programs in the country, for good reason. The professors that teach in the program are the ones who wrote the texts and articles being taught all over the country. Because of this, you are receiving instruction from some of the most knowledgeable and diverse experts in the field. It is also a small department, so the class sizes are usually smaller than average and most of the professors are happy to meet with students.
UC Berkeley is a world-renowned institution, and when you tell people you went to Berkeley, heads will turn. If I could go back and do one thing differently, it would be to get involved in research earlier. Groundbreaking research is always taking place, and as an undergraduate at Berkeley you have the rare opportunity to learn from leaders in the field about their discipline. I graduated from the department of Integrative Biology. I'm currently pursuing a PhD in Hydrology, but if I continued down a path of Biology, my background from Berkeley would have prepared me very well. The student life on campus is diverse, teeming with life and opportunities, and simply one of the finest experiences I've ever had. I highly recommend looking into the Berkeley Student Cooperatives as a place to live during your stay at Berkeley. It's affordable, unique and filled with UCB students from all colleges. What brings them together is a mutual desire to live cooperatively, and through the Berkeley student coops, I met some of my best friends.
The educational experience that I had at the University of California, Berkeley was excellent. From the academic rigor and wide selection of courses to the diversity of the students and opportunities in international education, the student experience at UC Berkeley is world class in its ability to craft an education which prepares students for ever-changing demands in the workplace coupled with cultural sensitivities and knowledge which are invaluable in our globalized economy. As a transfer student to UC Berkeley, I could continue pursuing my Bachelors degree in Sociology, but I never expected the amount of flexibility and opportunities available to students at this university to develop an academic plan which truly accommodates the diverse proclivities and interests of students in and out of the classroom. For example, I took Swedish language courses along with my regular major courses. As my language skills developed, I had the opportunity to study abroad and make use of the language skills during my semester abroad while also developing interests in urban planning in Scandinavia. After my experience abroad, my remaining semesters at UC Berkeley centered around courses in Sociology, Swedish language, and Urban Planning which ultimately culminated in a senior paper analyzing the social implications of housing policies in Sweden during the 1950s and 1960s. While I am still working towards an international career centered on working in Scandinavia, I am more than satisfied with Undergraduate Program at UC Berkeley. Based on the educational experience I had at UC Berkeley, I believe a Berkeley diploma represents a quality of education that rivals most elite private universities and embodies a level of scholarship and curiosity about the world required to be competitive in a 21st century economy.
I greatly enjoyed my time at UC Berkeley. As someone hoping to pursue a career in research, the research environment at Berkeley is fantastic. There were so many neuroscience labs on campus, I was able to be an intern in 6 different labs during my time as an undergraduate there, studying the brain from a range of viewpoints, biologically, psychologically, even computationally! The classes I took were definitely intense and competitive, but the resources to get help are there on campus if you are motivated enough to look for them and take advantage of them. I think the campus itself is beautiful, the architecture is incredibly diverse, its definitely not a cookie-cutter campus where every building looks the same. As for the people I met there, I have never been surrounded by people as passionate and motivated as the other students I met in my classes. While we may have had different career goals (I was in classes with hopeful-future doctors, computer scientists, and researchers like me), we were all interested in our choice of study. While the environment may be competitive and definitely stressful at times, I have never been more proud of getting a good grade in a class than during my time at Berkeley, where getting an A really meant you had mastered the course curriculum. I am using information I learned from my classes at Berkeley at my current job in clinical neuroscience research, and I am so happy that I chose to study at Berkeley!
The classes are very large, so it is difficult to receive personalized attention. That being said, the professors and graduate student instructors are all very knowledgeable and generally helpful. The career services and professional development opportunities could be better; you really have to put in the work to receive any sort of help in that area.
I attended the University of California at Berkeley from 2009-2013 where I obtained a B.S. in Bioengineering and a B.A. in Physics. As one of the top ranked schools in the country, the Berkeley curriculum is incredibly challenging. Initially I felt like I was thrown into the fire and had to learn how to survive. As intimidating as this sounds, I found it to be be a very rewarding process where I learned great time management skills, how to appropriately utilize any and all resources, and what to prioritize in life. My experience at Berkeley was very positive and I would encourage anyone who enjoys a challenge and learning at a high level to pursue an education there. After having worked in the bio pharmaceutical industry for 3 years, I have decided to return to graduate school to obtain a Masters in Computer Science. This is a career pivot for me but one I am very excited about as all of my experiences have led me to this passion. I feel Berkeley prepared me very well for the working world as well as to take on the challenges of a Masters in CS curriculum.
UC Berkeley is hands down an excellent place to grow, learn, and explore. In the College of Letters and Sciences, breadth courses allow you to explore the multitude of departments and receive a holistic education in addition to the specialization of individual majors.
Attending UC Berkeley was the best decision that I've made in my life thus far. Yes, the school has its flaws. It lacks diversity and some resources for students of color. It could improve its methods of teaching project management in order to better prepare students for the working environment, however I would not trade this level of education for the world. I was able to study what I wanted at Cal and find like-minded students to engage in meaningful debate and conversations with. The mentors that were available to me were extremely helpful and as accommodating as they could be. I was offered so much help when I found myself struggling through a course. Not mention, Cal is where my passion for human rights and mediation was born. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have attended.