UC Berkeley Spotlight

Striving hard to get into a good college in the US? Certainly, private colleges can cost you a fortune. Luckily, public schools with good credentials such as UC Berkeley, offer affordable higher education while maintaining the standard of good academics. For such schools as the University of California, Berkeley, being an in-state student, that is if you reside in California, can be a bonus. Let us know about ‘UC Berkeley Spotlight’.

UC Berkeley Spotlight

UC Berkeley Spotlight:

Established in 1868, the University of California System inaugurated the UC Berkeley University. The focus of UC Berkeley is to provide undergraduates and graduates with degrees in the fields of engineering, technology, science and maths. Being one of the elite public colleges in the US. Its faculty has industrial experience and expertise.  

UC Berkeley is popular because,

  1. It is a high-ranking school which stands at #9 in the Top-Most Public Universities in the USA and #10 among the Best Big Colleges in America.
  2. It has catered to 29,300 undergraduate students.
  3. The admission process is very competitive and the required GPA is high.
  4. Some of its popular majors are Economics, Computer Science and Cellular Biology.
  5. As a UC Berkeley pass-out can earn up to $48,700 per annum salary as a start.

What Are The Most Popular Majors At UC Berkeley?

UC Berkeley is home to over 150 undergraduate programs including both majors and minors. Being one of the top-most public universities in the USA, it is renowned for having 80 research units and more than 130 departments.

All these departments are categorized into different colleges which are,

  • College of Chemistry
  • College of Environmental Design
  • College of Letters and Science
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Hass School of Business
  • Rausser College of Natural Resources

Here you can go through the majors which are most opted-for:

  1. Cellular Biology
  2. Economics
  3. Political Science
  4. Computer Science
  5. Business
  6. Electrical Engineering
  7. Environmental science

Other than academics UC Berkeley has a strong fraternity background. The campus is pepping with meetups, fraternity parties, live club days and athletic programs.

How is UC Berkeley Campus?

Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, UC Berkeley is a 20-minutes drive from the main city of San Francisco. The rich history of the “Bear Territory” can be witnessed across the 178 acres of the university campus. Historic monuments and architecture, beautiful landscapes and wonderful walkways throughout the redwood forest make the university a hot academic destination.

The UC Berkeley Campus is open for public visits and so, the campus tour can be taken anytime. Some of the iconic places you must visit during your UC Berkeley tour are:

  1. Sather Gate
  2. Wheeler Hall
  3. Sather Tower
  4. South Hall
  5. Gilman Hall
  6. Hass School of Business
  7. Bowles Hall
  8. Hearst Greek Theatre
  9. Founder’s Rock
  10. Memorial Glade
  11. Doe Memorial Library
  12. California Hall
  13. Hass Pavilion
  14. Eucalyptus Grove
  15. UC Botanical Garden
  16. The Lawrence Hall of Science
  17. Hearst Memorial Gymnasium
  18. International House
  19. Bancroft Library
  20. California Memorial Stadium

What Other Rankings Does UC Berkeley Have?

If you wanted to join an Ivy League School, then UC Berkeley is not for you. But, don’t be disheartened because UC Berkeley is at the #20 spot out of 443, under the category of National Universities, ranked by U.S. News. UC Berkeley has a long list of ranking positions in various categories. Here’s a run-through:

  • It is ranked #7 among the Best Colleges for Veterans.
  • It is #4 among Best Colleges for Chemistry
  • It is #46 in Publications of Research
  • It is at #4 in Economics and Business

Is It Hard To Get Into UC Berkeley?

When you talk about a highly-ranked university such as UC Berkeley, you have to keep in mind that the admission process will not be an easy one. While in the year 2020-2021, when the world was fighting a pandemic, UC Berkeley got a record-breaking 112,800 applications. However, only 16,400 students were granted admission. Looking at this, it can be said unquestionably that UC Berkeley’s acceptance rate is very low.

Here is a checklist of criteria and parameters which will come in handy if you choose to apply to UC Berkeley.

  1. The current acceptance rate of the University of California Berkeley is as low as 17%.
  2. The required high school GPA is as high as 3.8-4.0.
  3. The required SAT score is in the range of 1310-1530.
  4. The required ACT score is in the range of 30-35.
  5. UC Berkeley gets tons of applications. Therefore, it is always better to apply as early as possible.
  6. Even on applying early, the university does not take any early decisions.
  7. The application fee is also on the higher side, being $70.

Is UC Berkeley An Expensive University?

UC Berkeley gives admittance preference to in-state students. The tuition fee per year is $40,000 but after getting financial aid, the cost for in-state students becomes as low as $14,000. On average, the net price for any course at UC Berkeley can be around $19,329 per annum. The best part about this is that UC Berkeley gives out scholarships and loans to at least 63% of its applicants.

When compared to other public colleges, UC Berkeley has higher tuition fees. Moreover, the out-of-state applicants must pay almost double the price than that of the applicants residing in California.

Also, as a privilege, applicants coming from lower-income families earning less than $80,000 per year can opt for the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan, initiated by the school. Unfortunately, this only applies to in-state students.

Application To UC Berkeley In Easy Steps:

Given below is your step-by-step guide to applying to UC Berkeley. You should keep in mind to begin the admission procedure at the earliest. This gives you enough time to go through all the steps and complete your application before the deadline.

Step 1- Creating an account

Firstly, an account for the applicant is created online. Only basic information needs to be filled out. It requires a valid e-mail ID which you use frequently since UC Berkeley will send all the relevant communication through this e-mail ID. This step only takes a couple of minutes to complete.

Step 2- Completing the main application form

Once an applicant account is created, you need to fill in other details such as those given below:

  • There are demo-graphical questions seeking information about whether you are a resident of the state of California or not.
  • Choosing the UC School you want to apply to. If you wish to study at UC Berkeley, here is where you select it.
  • Declaring eligibility for any of the financial aid and scholarships.
  • Declaring your SAT score or ACT score.
  • Answering questions related to your academic background. Declaring your GPA.
  • Answering personal statement questions. There are 8 questions given in the form out of which you must answer 4. These responses need to be only 250-350 words long.

Step 3- Submit your application by paying the admission fee

After carefully completing each section of the application form, your application is ready to be submitted. At this stage, a sum of $70 is to be paid as an application fee. If you are an international student applying to UC Berkeley, the application fee is $80. This fee remains the same across all UC Colleges. Hence, if you are applying to UC Schools other than UC Berkeley, you will have to pay $70 for each application.  

Step 4- Standardized Test Score Submission

Though UC Berkeley has declared it optional to submit SAT or ACT scores since the COVID-19 pandemic, you can still do so according to your wish. This means that if an applicant does not submit his/her test score, it would not be a hindrance in considering them for admission to UC Berkeley.

Now, you just have to wait to be called for further procedure if your application is selected.

Being On The Wait-list At UC Berkeley:

If you have enrolled yourself for Fall Term as a Freshman, UC Berkeley will give you a wait-list offer. This offer will have a deadline before which you should opt in by yourself. The students who have applied to various schools at the University of California are eligible to accept wait-list offers from all of them, but they should accept only one offer for admission.

In this regard, the applicant needs to submit a SIR or Statement of Intent to Register. This would ensure that you have secured a course for yourself. While you are on a wait-list you can utilize your time to:

  1. Keep a tab of other classes
  2. Choose a course as a backup
  3. Keep an eye on the number of reserved seats.
  4. Wait patiently


Whether it is the accessibility, the academics or the acceptance, UC Berkeley stands atop many universities globally. It offers popular majors in the field of computer science, biology, engineering and social sciences. UC Berkeley is known for accepting applicants from minorities and diverse backgrounds. It provides high-end education at an affordable cost. The diverse culture, great academic environment and excellent campus surroundings make students inclined towards joining the “Bear Territory” School.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What are the requirements for an International Student to gain admission to UC Berkeley?

UC Berkeley has students from over 50 nationalities. Any international student, whether a freshman or a transferee can apply to UC Berkeley. Generally, all international students need to provide a test score of proficiency in the English language such as TOEFL, IELTS and Duolingo English Test.

  1. What is the procedure followed by UC Berkeley for evaluating an application?

The University of California follows a 13-Factor Comprehensive Review. Each fall semester, every UC School works in close association with the Office of the President of the University of California to decide the number of enrolments to be made. 

  1. UC Berkeley Vs. UCLA, which one should I choose?

While both UCLA and UC Berkeley are schools under the wings of the University of California and are public schools, they have been rivals for a long time. While UCLA (tuition fee- $43,012) is cheaper than UC Berkeley (tuition fee- $43,980), it is more difficult to get into UCLA than UC Berkeley.