University of California - Berkeley Reviews

  • 253 Reviews
  • Berkeley (CA)
  • Annual Tuition: $44,467
95% of 253 students said this degree improved their career prospects
92% of 253 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

Summer Swee-Singh
  • Reviewed: 5/13/2022
  • Degree: Legal Studies
"My 3.5 years at Cal (a.k.a. UC Berkeley) were easily some of the most transformative, challenging, exciting, and fun years of my life. You will learn a ton from some of the brightest minds and discover how intelligent and insightful your classmates are. If you want to be academically challenged, get to witness and root for some incredible athletes compete at the D1 level, want to be proactive about your college life and career, and evolve into the best version of yourself, this is the school for you. UC Berkeley has so much history and so many resources just waiting to be utilized by its student body and staff… not to mention, that view of the city (San Francisco) across the Bay from the Campanile at the end of the day is absolutely breathtaking. My friendships and memories from my time at Cal are easily some of my most cherished. 10/10, would recommend to anyone who is ambitious and intelligent. Go Bears!"
  • Reviewed: 1/26/2021
  • Degree: Public Health
"The best school in the world! The professors, support staff, and academic resources are amazing. The career center is also extremely helpful in assisting students. I could not recommend more highly. It is a wish for one of my children to attend. It is truly the best in the world!"
  • Reviewed: 9/29/2019
  • Degree: Conflict Resolution
"Berkeley was an amazing place! There truly is something for everyone there. I greatly enjoyed all of my social sciences courses and also found it interesting to take breadth courses outside of my specific area of interest. I would highly recommend taking decal courses which are taught by students and give you a fun and interesting opportunity to learn something new!"
Kiran Sahota
  • Reviewed: 8/5/2019
  • Degree: English
"Every newbie, whether freshmen or transfer, has encountered the many odd or befuddling Berkeley experiences. Like for starters, youre not allowed to question how stepping on the Memorial Glade seal can result in a cursed GPA; or how rolling down 4.0 hill can save you. I mean the joy of Berkeley time (every course starts 10 minutes late) can get trumped if you have a class at Dwinelle Hallwhich is infamously known for being a maze with concrete walls and a roof. The many quirks and myths of Berkeley naturally blend in to this place that so easily feels like home. The English department serves one of the top English programs in the world. The reason why is easily understood the second one walks into their first class and encounters a professor whose topic is not only highlighted by the course title, but by the way they are so impassioned and informed on the subject. These professors are truly some of the greatest minds in the world. They have written multiple books and continue to conduct research while utilizing student's input on their next project. Most often then not, you will find yourself reading a text where the author is right in front of you. World renowned authors such as Joyce Carol Oates, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Robert Hass are visiting lecturers every other semester and the department is always throwing events (readings, poetry slams, faculty panels, etc.) for students to attend. In attending this program, students definitely learn to be more confident in their ability to read, analyze, and argue on any subject matter. But most importantly, they learn to be more confident in being an English student, graduating as one, and finding a career where their skills come in to play."
Jim Rossi
  • Reviewed: 7/11/2019
  • Degree: Journalism
"I graduated this program in 2017. They program lied to me about funding opportunities and classes I could take, so I neither got the opportunity to take ANY of the classes that made me chose this program, NOR apply for funding opportunities. This program was PC political advocacy masquerading as journalism, and as I was told my faculty, you needed to toe the line in order to get a job at the NY Times, New Yorker, CNN, etc. The faculty I got to know - some of whom I revered before I arrived - were not impressive. It was a very Wizard of Oz-type experience with them. I mutinied and took most of my classes the last 3 semester elsewhere at Cal, mostly at Haas Business School. The difference in quality was night and day, and I essentially earned a MBA at half-price. The success that I've had since graduating - a huge international audience, a book coming out and a second underway - have been IN SPITE of the Berkeley Journal-ism School. I studied really hard, 7 days per week, and essentially did the opposite of what I was taught in most cases. This program used to be great - I used to sit in on classes years ago. In my view, Deans Ed Wasserman and Roia Ferrazares are engaged in fraud - political advocacy and donations disguised as education and philanthropy. Unless you're a rabid socialist or enjoy fighting the bureaucracy every moment of every day, I recommend you avoid the Berkeley Journal-ism School."
Anna Najor
  • Reviewed: 7/4/2019
  • Degree: Biology
"My experience at UC Berkeley was exceptional. I had access to friendly and enthusiastic professors who taught material that they were leading experts in. Thus, the education not only is exceptional in the competencies around learning about certain subject matter, but there is added knowledge imparted on the cutting edge and future directions of the field. Professors were very accessible during their office hours and for making private appointments to talk about research opportunities and discuss class topics in more detail. The campus facilities are like none I've ever seen. There were at least a dozen libraries to choose from, all of which were constantly clean. I found the campus to be very safe as well. Additionally, there are dozens of student groups to get involved and make friends through. I highly recommend this institution to anyone applying for undergraduate education."
  • Reviewed: 7/1/2019
"The competitive nature makes it hard to thrive, but once you find your community it becomes more bearable. Initially, I struggled as I felt out of place and questioned my sense of belonging as the people who surrounded me did not look or sound like me. I have my fair share of supportive and unsupportive teacher. I spent a lot of my time at Cal navigating by myself."
Golden Bear
  • Reviewed: 6/29/2019
  • Degree: Public Health
"Pros:-Berkeley's reputation in nearly all fields carries significant weight in the greater community - I definitely think Cal's "name brand" has an advantage when looking for full-time internship and job opportunities post-graduation.-Your classmates are incredible - at Berkeley I met people who were passionate about every possible topic under the sun and excelled in niche fields I had never even heard of coming out of high school. I would say I learned more from my diverse, inspiring peers than I did from my professors.-Berkeley is a great place to live as a college student - food is affordable and cuisines available are diverse, there are lots of things to do on weekends, and SF is just a 20 minute BART ride away. Overall, the Cal campus also works hard to always have a lot of events available for students to attend, catering to a wide array of interests - you can definitely explore something outside your comfort zone!Cons:-Class sizes are massive, which makes it very challenging to get to know your Professors. If you don't excel in large, impersonal learning environments, Berkeley is not for you.-There is very little support for students - be it academic or mental health related. All the resources a student might need do exist at Berkeley, but it is up to you as a student to go out an scour the campus for them yourself. Need tutoring? Need advice on what classes to take next semester? Not sure what requirements you need to take? There is no "hand-holding" advising support staff at Cal - if you need something, you will have to go out and find it yourself by talking to other students and exploring the campus, which often can be exhausting and unfruitful.-It is challenging, as a pre-med student, to get the required classes you need in order to graduate within 4 years, unless you plan things out meticulously. Students like to say you can "change majors several times" which might be true, but if you do, it is very doubtful you can graduate on time.Overall, there's no denying that Berkeley is a world-class institution. However, there are many administrative gaps which leave students feeling unsupported academically."
Ja l
  • Reviewed: 6/29/2019
"I attended a California community college before transferring to UC Berkeley. My experience at both of these institutions was generally very positive and I learned a lot in these two environments. I appreciated the small class sizes and access to the professors while attending community college. I would often spend time in office hours, clarifying parts of the lecture, getting help with assignments, and just getting to know the lecturers more. The coursework at community college wasnt as rigorous as UC Berkeley and as a result, when I transferred, I remember initially feeling very intimidated. Taking classes with 200 students in huge lecture halls, going entire semesters without having ever spoken to the professor required an adjustment on my end. Additionally, since UC Berkley is a research institution, I took classes from researchers and it was sometimes apparent that teaching was not their main focus or passion. However, most of my professors taught great lectures and I learned a great deal with the support from highly competent graduate student instructors. I had access to incredible resources, the most recent research, and I was able to meet many motivated people in my discipline. The classes pushed me and as a result, my critical thinking skills further developed and my writing skills improved as well. Some of the classes I took required a volunteering component and now I work at a school that I initially volunteered at through a Berkeley course. In addition, the campus is truly gorgeous. I still take walks through campus and up to the Big C."
  • Reviewed: 6/25/2019
  • Degree: Public Health
"UC Berkeley is an amazing campus with endless opportunities; the biggest challenge is going out and finding them! Given the large student body, it is up to the student to create meaningful experiences for him or herself by joining campus organizations, attending office hours, and forming study groups. The classes are definitely challenging and the environment is competitive, but you just have to keep getting up every time you are knocked down."
Jairo Dominguez
  • Reviewed: 5/23/2019
  • Degree: Political Science
"The University of California, Berkeley will always have a special place in my heart. It is an experience that I will never really get anywhere else. I may go to more schools for graduate study and beyond but the undergraduate experience will stand out to me. It was the first time I have been away from my family for an extended amount of time. It was the first time that I lived with other people and alone. It was the first time that I had to make sure my home was well-kept. During those four years I believe I came out a different person than when I first set foot on campus. Meeting people of so many different backgrounds and experiences opened my eyes to the big world we live in. This is an area Berkeley excelled at because it is one of the most recognized universities in the world. The opportunities available to Berkeley students always amazed me. There were always plenty of career or academic opportunities. Additionally, there are tons of clubs and organizations that students could join. For the first time in my life I learned how to dance Salsa and be a part of group of people living in a house and making sure we sustained ourselves. Berkeley also gave me the opportunity to travel to Paris, something I had always dreamed of. I studied political science and I will always remember the stimulating discussions we had in class. The professors were all great and made me see new ways of looking at the world. What astounded me more were the students that shared my classes. In almost every class session, there would always be students who asked questions that assured me that only the best and brightest attended Berkeley. For those choosing to study political science, Berkeley has five different focuses: American Politics, International Relations, Comparative Politics, Political Theory, and Empirical Theory and Quantitative Methods. One can choose any of these areas to focus in. The political science program also offers a chance for students to intern in Washington D.C. for the summer. I personally did not get a chance to intern in D.C. but I only heard great reviews from those who did go. Berkeley is a great school and a great choice for those who are lucky to get in. It is a challenging school too however, and one must always be focused on academics here. Also, seeing as it is a huge public school with many students, one must do their best to navigate and make sure they are on the right track to succeed. I believe that if you can succeed here, you can succeed anywhere."
Kelly Musca
  • Reviewed: 5/9/2019
  • Degree: Communications
"The Media Studies program at University of California Berkeley is comprehensive and expansive. There is a real emphasis on the history of media and how media progressed and shifted through different decades. There are no courses in this program that really address current media workings, like the evolvement of tech companies or how to best use social media at a company. This is because there is no data or research on such current media. I really appreciated the dedication and approachability of the department head. She is a phenomenal advisor and advocate for students; she will give honest feedback and express her true opinion."
  • Reviewed: 4/30/2019
  • Degree: Economics
"When attending UC Berkeley, I didn't realize the caliber of the school's reputation or the academics. After I left Berkeley, it was evident the impact that being a Berkeley student has, especially while studying abroad. Besides the reputation, as a research and academic focused institution, the professors at Berkeley are all knowledgeable and passionate. There are many aspects of Berkeley that I did not enjoy difficulty in getting classes that I wanted, lack of support by school administration as a whole being a public school, difficulty in finding jobs/internships through alumni or school connections, competitiveness , overall, it was a great experience and a fantastic school."
  • Reviewed: 4/29/2019
  • Degree: Religious Studies
"Located north of Los Angeles and situated alongside California's luscious coastline, UCSB is extraordinary for its beauty and scenery. There is literally a beach connected to a school, where many students flock to catch some waves or sun, even to take a walk to get their mind off things. The academics are outstanding, with involved world-class faculty. These aren't merely professors who give a lecture and leave everything to their TAs. I was surprised to see how much they cared for their students, given their busy schedules. There is a also a vibrant student life! Plenty of activities and social clubs for students to be involved with. Anyone deciding to attend UCSB will surely not regret it."
  • Reviewed: 4/25/2019
  • Degree: English
"Although extremely stressful, and highly competitive, that atmosphere at the University of California, Berkeley continues to be unparalleled for me. The courses are enriching, engaging, and unique. I took a wide array of topics, and each course provided me with knowledge and understanding through a different lens. The professors I had incredible lecturers and well versed in their course topic. The diversity, welcoming feeling and activism on campus were some of the best parts of UC Berkeley."
Amit Kapadia
  • Reviewed: 3/29/2019
  • Degree: Economics
"UC Berkeley is a very unique university. Overall, I had a great experience for a top-notch college, where I had the opportunity to learn from brilliant industry expert professors, meet and make friends with individuals of all walks of life, and get to know myself better. It is easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of such as large school, coupled with the extremely difficult curriculum, but pushing through this definitely made me a stronger person and taught me how to think differently and consider the bigger picture. There are classes for everyone; if there is something you want to learn about, Berkeley will have it."
  • Reviewed: 10/12/2018
  • Degree: Business Administration
"If you think diversity is extended to thoughts, opinions, and any form of free thinking, this is not the school for you. You must conform to the group think or you will be punished in your GPA. I was essentially ostracized to the point of transferring to a school that actually believed in education over indoctrination, and business as a viable career path over state run markets. They will go the extra mile to get you financial aid, they love to accept money from anywhere."
E. L.
  • Reviewed: 8/26/2018
  • Degree: Psychology
"While I attended the University of California-Berkeley, it lived up to its reputation of being one of the best schools in the world. The professors of the psychology department were well-known experts in their field. Since psychology is a popular major, some of the best classes are quite large, making it difficult to form personal relationships with the professors. However, students can meet with professors during their office hours, though getting access can be competitive. Other courses have 20-30 students enrolled, making it easier to stand out and get to know the professors. The psychology department has many opportunities for students to become involved in research. In only two years, I worked on six research projects. This can help students gain valuable hands-on research experience. To say the campus is beautiful is an understatement. Strawberry Creek runs through the campus, giving it a calm and earthy feel. You can sit under willow trees while listening to the creek, and take a nap. There are several libraries where students can study, all of which are quiet and study-friendly."
  • Reviewed: 6/26/2018
  • Degree: Communications
"My experience at UC Berkeley was very rewarding to me socially and educationally. UC Berkeley is a large campus and the owness to shape your experiences and journey starts with the student. It may be difficult at first to navigate such a large place with over 30,000 students, but step one is to say yes! In your first few days on campus there will be plenty of networking and welcome events. It can be daunting to go somewhere that you don't know anyone but is was by far the most beneficial way for me to find my community. I was able to find people who shared the same major as me and study with them for our classes. I highly recommend using all the resources available to you. There are career counselors you can meet with to help you choose your classes for the year and map out your career. There are free tutors in the MLK building to help you with your papers and classes you are struggling with. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of using your resources and this will open up many doors. The difficult part is figuring out what resources you have available to you to begin with. Large classes are divided into two sections: Lecture and Discussion. This means that for every class you take, you will have two classes to attend. About 200 students will be in the lecture with you and the Discussion will be a deep dive into the content with a GSI. It is important to remember to build relationships with both the professor and your GSI as both will have a say into your final grade."
Abigail Munoz
  • Reviewed: 6/7/2018
  • Degree: Social Sciences
"The Urban Studies program at UC Berkeley is one of the best in the country. The program is part of the College of Environmental Design (CED). Other majors that are also part of this college are architecture and landscape architecture. This progressive undergraduate degree focuses on both environmental and economic sustainability. Many urban studies students were initially planning on being architects. However, if you have an interest in politics, community development and/or social justice this program may be right for you. Urban Studies major cover a wide range of topics like transportation, policy, economic development, urban theory, etc. There are a few studios, but this major does not heavily focus on design. If you would like to focus more on design, architecture and landscape architecture may be choices. In the future, you could also pursue a masters in urban design. Best of luck!"