uc Berkeley
a quick and easy guide to your success

The University of California at Berkeley (most commonly referred to as UC Berkeley, and also known as Cal) is one of the most frequently searched universities in the United States, according to a recent internet keyword search of American colleges. 

The University of California at Berkeley, founded in 1868, is a public research university located in the San Francisco Bay Area. The school was one of the 14 founding members of the Association of American Universities

Cal currently maintains an enrollment of 30,000 to 40,000 students each semester

Berkeley offers a broad range of undergraduate majors, as well as many graduate degrees and quite a few PhD programs. 

The freshman acceptance rate at Berkeley is a rather tough 16%. For transfer students, the acceptance rate is higher. The average student faculty ratio is 18 to 1. 

The median starting salary of a Berkeley graduate is about $62,000 a year. 

College reports rank UC Berkeley among the world's top 10 universities. According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, Cal ranks 4th internationally. The school is widely considered to be the #1 public university in the United States. 

Some of Berkeley's undergrad instructors are Nobel laureates. In fact, many important inventions and discoveries are attributed to Cal researchers. Among the most famous examples are the polygraph test, the wetsuit, the Flu vaccine, and 16 chemical elements. More recent innovations include anti-malaria medication, "dark" energy, the microscopic motor, and the 3D transistor. 

Noteworthy Cal graduates include top-tier government professionals and military personnel, as well as innovative scientists, successful CEOs, star athletes, Academy Award winning actors, Pulitzer Prize winning authors, and more than 100 Nobel laureates, among others.  

UC Berkeley is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), which is the regional accrediting agency of colleges in California, Hawaii, and the Pacific region

Shown above: Sather Gate, the main campus entrance to Berkeley

image credit: fordgobike.com

UC berkeley Q&A

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about UC Berkeley.

1. Where is UC Berkeley?

The main campus entrance is located at the tip of Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, California.

Here is the official mailing and visiting address of the main campus: 

University of California at Berkeley

Berkeley, California


Here is the physical address of the Berkeley School of Law:

Berkeley School of Law

Boalt Hall

225 Bancroft Way

Berkeley, California 


Above: Sather Tower, also known as Campanile, makes a bold mark on the Berkeley skyline.

image: flickr.com

2. What is the organizational structure of UC Berkeley?

There are nine UC colleges that offer undergraduate programs. 

  1. University of California at Berkeley
  2. University of California at Davis
  3. University of California at Irvine 
  4. University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)
  5. University of California at Merced 
  6. University of California at Riverside
  7. University of California at San Diego
  8. University of California at Santa Barbara
  9. University of California at Santa Cruz 

UC Berkeley is organized into the following 14 schools and colleges: 

  1. School of Business 
  2. School of Chemistry
  3. School of Education
  4. School of Engineering
  5. School of Environmental Design
  6. School of Information
  7. School of Journalism 
  8. School of Law 
  9. School of Letters and Science 
  10. School of Natural Resources 
  11. School of Optometry 
  12. School of Public Health 
  13. School of Public Policy 
  14. School of Social Welfare 

Above: A class at Berkeley taught by Nobel prize winning physicist George Smoot.

image: nobelprize.org

3. What undergraduate programs are offered at UC Berkeley?

Cal features a broad range of undergraduate course offerings. 

Here is a list of Cal's undergraduate Bachelor degree programs

  • African American Studies
  • American Studies
  • Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Civilizations 
  • Anthropology 
  • Applied Language Studies
  • Applied Mathematics 
  • Arabic 
  • Architecture
  • Armenian Studies 
  • Art History
  • Art Practice 
  • Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies 
  • Asian Studies  
  • Astrophysics
  • Atmospheric Science 
  • Bioengineering 
  • Buddhist Studie
  • Business Administration 
  • Celtic Studies
  • Chemical Biology
  • Chemical Engineering 
  • Chemistry
  • Chicano/Latino Studies 
  • Chinese Studies 
  • City Planning 
  • Civil Engineering 
  • Classic Civilizations
  • Classical Languages  
  • Cognitive Science 
  • Comparative Literature
  • Computer Science 
  • Conservation and Resource Studies 
  • Creative Writing
  • Czech, Polish, Bosnian Languages 
  • Dance and Performance Studies 
  • Data Science 
  • Demography 
  • Development Studies
  • Digital Humanities 
  • Disability Studies 
  • Dutch Studies 
  • Earth and Planetary Science 
  • East Asian Religion, Thought, and Culture 
  • Economics 
  • Ecosystem Management and Forestry 
  • Education 
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Energy and Resources 
  • Energy Engineering 
  • Engineering Math and Statistics 
  • Engineering Physics 
  • English 
  • Environmental Design 
  • Environmental Earth Science
  • Environmental Economics and Policy  
  • Environmental Engineering 
  • Environmental Sciences 
  • Ethnic Studies 
  • Film
  • Food Systems 
  • Forestry and Natural Resources 
  • French
  • Gender and Women's Studies 
  • Genetics and Plant Biology 
  • Geography 
  • Geology 
  • Geophysics 
  • Geospatial Information Science 
  • Geosystems 
  • German
  • Global Poverty 
  • Global Studies 
  • Greek
  • Hebrew 
  • Hispanic Languages  
  • History 
  • History of the Built Environment 
  • Human Rights
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Integrative Biology 
  • Italian Studies 
  • Japanese Language  
  • Jewish Studies 
  • Journalism 
  • Korean Language 
  • Korean Studies 
  • Landscape Architecture 
  • Latin 
  • Latin American Studies
  • Legal Studies 
  • LGBT Studies 
  • Linguistics 
  • Logic 
  • Marine Science 
  • Materials Science and Engineering 
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering 
  • Media Studies
  • Medieval Studies  
  • Microbial Biology  
  • Middle Eastern Studies 
  • Molecular Environmental Biology
  • Molecular and Cell Biology 
  • Music
  • Native American Studies 
  • Near Eastern Civilizations
  • Near Eastern Languages and Literatures 
  • New Media
  • Nuclear Engineering  
  • Nutritional Sciences 
  • Operations Research and Management 
  • Peace and Conflict Studies 
  • Persian   
  • Philosophy 
  • Physics
  • Planetary Science 
  • Political Economy 
  • Political Science 
  • Portuguese Language, Literatures, and Cultures 
  • Pre Law 
  • Pre Med
  • Psychology
  • Public Health 
  • Public Policy
  • Race and the Law  
  • Rhetoric 
  • Russian Studies 
  • Scandinavian Studies 
  • Science and Math Education 
  • Slavic Languages and Literatures 
  • Social Welfare 
  • Social and Cultural Factors in Environmental Design  
  • Society and Environment 
  • Sociology 
  • South and Southeast Asian Studies 
  • Spanish  
  • Statistics 
  • Structural Engineering 
  • Sustainable Design 
  • Theater and Performance Studies 
  • Tibetan 
  • Toxicology
  • Turkish
  • Urban Studies  

Above: The Doe Memorial Library

image: patch.com

4. What graduate programs are offered at UC Berkeley?

Students attending the graduate college can earn Masters degrees in any of the following fields of study: 

  • Architecture
  • Art Practice 
  • Asian Studies  
  • Bioengineering 
  • Biostatistic
  • Business Administration 
  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 
  • City and Regional Planning 
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering 
  • Computer Science 
  • Demography 
  • Development Practice 
  • Earth and Planetary Science 
  • Education 
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Endocrinology 
  • Energy and Resources 
  • Environmental Health Sciences 
  • Epidemiology
  • Folklore
  • Forestry 
  • Global Studies 
  • Health and Medical Sciences 
  • Industrial Engineering and Operations Research 
  • Information Management and Systems 
  • Journalism 
  • Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning 
  • Latin American Studies
  • Law 
  • Materials Science and Engineering 
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering 
  • Metabolic Biology  
  • Nuclear Engineering  
  • Public Affairs
  • Public Health 
  • Public Policy 
  • Range Management  
  • Social Welfare 
  • Translational Medicine 
  • Urban Design   

Above: A housing complex called Martinez Commons

image: signettestinglabs.com

Here's a list of the PhD programs offered at Cal:

  • African American Studies
  • Agricultural and Resource Economics 
  • Ancient History and Mediterranean Archeology  
  • Anthropology 
  • Applied Mathematics 
  • Applied Science and Technology 
  • Architecture
  • Astrophysics
  • Bioengineering 
  • Biophysics 
  • Biostatistics 
  • Buddhist Studie
  • Business Administration 
  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 
  • Chemistry 
  • City and Regional Planning 
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering 
  • Classical Archeology 
  • Classics 
  • Comparative Biochemistry   
  • Comparative Literature
  • Computational Biology 
  • Computer Science 
  • Demography 
  • Earth and Planetary Science 
  • East Asian Languages and Cultures 
  • Economics 
  • Education 
  • Electrical Engineering 
  • Endocrinology 
  • Energy and Resources 
  • English 
  • Environmental Health Sciences 
  • Environmental Science, Policy, and Management 
  • Epidemiology 
  • Ethnic Studies 
  • Film and Media 
  • French
  • Geography 
  • German 
  • Health Policy  
  • Hispanic Languages and Literatures  
  • History 
  • History of Art 
  • Industrial Engineering and Operations Research 
  • Infectious Diseases and Immunity 
  • Information Management and Systems 
  • Integrative Biology 
  • Italian Studies 
  • Jurisprudence and Social Policy  
  • Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning 
  • Law
  • Linguistics  
  • Logic 
  • Materials Science and Engineering 
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering 
  • Medical Anthropology 
  • Metabolic Biology   
  • Microbiology  
  • Molecular and Cell Biology 
  • Molecular Toxicology 
  • Music 
  • Near Eastern Studies
  • Neuroscience 
  • Nuclear Engineering  
  • Optometry  
  • Performance Studies 
  • Philosophy 
  • Physics
  • Plant Biolog
  • Political Science 
  • Psychology
  • Public Policy
  • Rhetoric 
  • Romance Languages and Literatures 
  • Scandinavian Languages and Literatures  
  • Science and Math Education 
  • Slavic Languages and Literatures 
  • Social Welfare 
  • Sociology 
  • Sociology and Demography 
  • South and Southeast Asian Studies 
  • Statistics 
  • Vision Science 

5. What programs are available at the UC Berkeley School of Law?

Popular areas of focus at Berkeley Law include: 

  • Businesses and Startups
  • Constitutional and Regulatory Law 
  • Criminal Justice 
  • Environmental Law 
  • International and Comparative Law 
  • Law and Economics 
  • Law and Technology  
  • Social Justice and Public Interest 

Here's a sample of the legal courses offered at Berkeley Law:

  • Business Law
  • Comparative Law 
  • Criminal Law 
  • Ethics 
  • Family Law
  • Intellectual Property Law 
  • Jurisprudence
  • Litigation
  • Professional Responsibility 
  • Public Interest Law 
  • Public Law and Policy
  • Race and Law 
  • Social Justice 
  • Taxes, Estates, and Trusts 
  • Technology Law 
  • Work Law 

The Bar Pass rate for graduates of Berkeley Law is about 89%. 

Above: The Berkeley School of Law

image: novumstructures.com

6. How much does it cost to attend UC Berkeley?

According to the school website, the approximate cost of tuition and fees for admission to the college in the upcoming school year is as follows:

For Undergraduate admissions:

  • $9,000 per year for residents of the state of California
  • $23,000 per year for enrollments from out of state. 

For academic Graduate school admissions: 

  • $9,500 per year for residents of the state of California
  • $17,000 per year for enrollments from out of state. 

The above costs include tuition and mandatory fees only. Mandatory fees include a health insurance fee, a student services fee, a document management fee, and others. 

Professional graduate school tuition varies by school and by degree earned. 

The approximate cost of attendance at Berkeley Law for the upcoming year is as follows: 

California Residents: 

  • $50,000 per academic year for tuition and fees
  • $27,000 per academic year for living expenses
  • $  1,500 per academic year for books and supplies
  • $  4,500 per academic year for health insurance  

TOTAL: $83,000

Non Resident Enrollment:

  • $54,000 per academic year for tuition and fees
  • $27,000 per academic year for living expenses
  • $  1,500 per academic year for books and supplies
  • $  4,500 per academic year for health insurance  

TOTAL: $87,000

Additional fees may also apply, such as application fees, registration fees, parking fees, technology fees, and others. 

Financial aid is available to many incoming and continuing students. Undergraduates applying for financial aid must complete and submit the FAFSA form under the deadline.

Aid may come in the form of grants, loans, scholarships, work study programs, or private donations. 

Most undergraduate students at Berkeley do not pay the full cost of tuition. More than half of them receive some form of financial aid. 

7. What is the UC Berkeley campus like?

The main campus spans well over 1,200 acres in the artsy urban setting of downtown Berkeley.

The campus is home to a number of administrative and academic buildings, as well as 32 libraries, and more than a dozen housing complexes. 

The older buildings on campus are constructed in the Beaux-Arts Classical style. More recent architectural developments lend a modern touch. 

Campus landmarks and attractions include the Sather Gate, the Sather Tower, the Doe Memorial Library, and a serene eucalyptus forest (the world's tallest!) with Strawberry Creek gurgling through it.  

Surrounding the campus is the charming town of Berkeley, featuring street artists, restaurants, and beautiful Bay Area architecture. 

Public transportation is abundant. San Francisco is 15 minutes away by train. 

The school colors are blue and gold. The varsity athletes at Cal are called the Golden Bears. They play for the NCAA Division 1 - Pac-12 Conference. The Cal football team's main rival is Stanford. 

Intercollegiate sports for men and women at Cal include:  

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Beach Volleyball 
  • Cross Country 
  • Field Hockey 
  • Football
  • Golf 
  • Gymnastics 
  • Lacrosse
  • Rowing
  • Rugby 
  • Soccer 
  • Softball 
  • Swimming (& Diving) 
  • Tennis 
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo

Also available on campus are more than a few club and intramural sports, such as some of the ones listed above, as well as aerobics, badminton, dance, and others.  

Aside form athletics, Berkeley also features hundreds of on-campus student organizations, spanning a wide range of interests. Student interest groups include political organizations, a campus magazine, a campus radio station, a gardening club, a cooking club, a karate club, a theater ensemble, a film society, and even a hang gliding club, to name a few.  

Above: A Golden Bear scoring a touchdown!

image: pac-12.com

Above: A redwood tree overlooks a waterfall at Strawberry Creek.

image: pinterest.com

8. What are the distance learning options at UC Berkeley?

UC Berkeley offers many distance learning opportunities at all levels of study.

For example, the Global Freshman Academy offers the following courses online:  

  • Algebra
  • English Composition
  • Health and Wellness 
  • Human Origins 
  • Precalculus 
  • Sociology 
  • Solar Systems Astronomy
  • Welcome To Global Freshman Academy 
  • Western Civilization 

Here is a list of Online Masters Degree programs offered at Berkeley:

  • Accounting 
  • Business Administration 
  • Business Intelligence 
  • Computer Science 
  • Cybersecurity 
  • Data Analysis 
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Higher Education Administration 
  • Information Systems
  • Nutritional Sciences 
  • Project Management 
  • Psychology 
  • Supply Chain 

Here's a list of Professional Certificate programs offered fully online at Berkeley:

  • App Development
  • Architectural Visualization (3D) 
  • Artificial Intelligence 
  • Big Data 
  • Blockchain Fundamentals 
  • Brokerage Operations 
  • Business Writing 
  • C-Programming with Linux 
  • Capital Markets 
  • Could Administration 
  • Code Solutions 
  • Computer Science
  • Corporate Finance 
  • Cybersecurity 
  • Data Analysis 
  • Data Science 
  • Digital Maekting 
  • Electric Cars 
  • English for Business Networking 
  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Food, Nutrition, and Health 
  • Innovation 
  • IT Fundamentals 
  • IT Support 
  • Java and Android Programming 
  • Leadership 
  • Leadership and Management in Education 
  • Lifestyle Medicine Competencies 
  • Mandarin for Business 
  • Mergers and Acquisitions 
  • Mortgage Backed Securities 
  • Nutrition and Disease 
  • Product Design and Health 
  • Project Management (Engineering) 
  • Public Library Management 
  • Quantitative Tools for Quality and Productivity 
  • Retail Management 
  • Risk Management 
  • Ruby on Rails 
  • Signal and Image Processing 
  • Soft Skills 
  • Software Development 
  • The Science of Happiness at Work 
  • Virtual Reality 
  • Web Development 

Click here to learn about More Than 50 Top Ranked Online Colleges.

9. What is the contact information for UC Berkeley?

To reach the main campus, or for general information, call 510-642-6000

For the office of undergraduate admissions at Berkeley, call 510-642-3175. 

To contact the admissions office at the Berkeley School of Law, call 510-642-2274. 

Above: Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley

image credit: gracemattioli.com

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