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University of California at Berkeley Reviews

Check out reviews left by other students or leave your own review. You could win a free scholarship.

  • 07/14/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    111 out of 112 people found this review useful. 1 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    There are different kinds of students at UC Berkeley, but I'll oversimplify: If you are the overachieving, type A, stress-prone type, you should calm down a bit when you come to Cal. I worry about floormates I've seen staying up all night on Red Bull and doing nothing but complaining about work. You got in. Congratulations! You deserve to have some fun. If, like me, you coasted through high school and got A's without trying too hard, Berkeley is not quite as easy. You might have to actually study. My high school 3.73 GPA turned into a 2.87. Shameful, I know. Crack them books!

    Tips for prospective students

    - Berkeley is a noisy place, even at night. Get yourself some ear plugs if you're not a heavy sleeper. - The professors do actually care about you. Even if you're in a 400-person lecture hall, don't be afraid to ask questions. - Don't drive yourself crazy studying. Get up and talk to people every few hours. Walk around, get a frozen yogurt. Then get back to work. - Lastly, UC Berkeley is what you call the academic, research-oriented campus. Cal is the fun, sports-winning, spirited side of campus. Don't go to a football game and yell GO UC BERKELEY!

    Bang for the buck

    It's true that as UC Berkeley's funding is shrinking, tuition is increasing. Still, you can't beat the college experience. If you're in the dorms, you'll get a meal plan. You can eat at the buffet-style dining commons, which serves some pretty good food in my opinion. The hall staff organizes a bunch of cool activities for dorm residents. There's tons of free or nearly-free entertainment. You can see student group performances for under $5 a lot of the time. And people-watching on Memorial Glade is always. Half-naked people sun tanning in the middle of campus? Priceless.

    Am enjoying being here

    Whatever you're into, you'll find it here. Cal has all sorts of sports to participate in: basketball, football, soccer, baseball, rugby, ultimate frisbee, and a bunch more. There are fraternities and sororities, religious groups, service clubs, career clubs, and musical groups. I personally have been having a blast as a member of the Cal Band. If you'd rather be a spectator, you can listen to choirs, jazz and rock bands performing on Sproul any day of the week. Zellerbach Hall on campus has hosted world-renowned musicians and dance companies. And the bay area is home to loads of music and dance clubs. Don't forget to play tourist in San Francisco!

    Am learning a lot

    Berkeley is a great school chock full of award-winning, book-publishing, enthusiastic professors who really know their stuff. If you take classes you're really interested in, you'll learn more. Don't forget about office hours, tutoring sessions, and study groups. Besides the required curriculum, there are a whole lot of opportunities to expand your view of the world - theater, symposia, films, lectures, and of course the occasional crazy person giving a speech on Sproul.

  • 08/05/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    62 out of 62 people found this review useful. 2 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Students who are open-minded to all different types of people, students who want a large campus atmosphere, students who aren't bothered by crazy people with portable amplifiers talking about religion or global warming, students who want to get an amazing education in an amazing place, students who want great opportunities. But no matter if you are a crazy overachiever or just a normal student, Berkeley has everything for you. Just know that if you come here, you gotta study sometimes. So it's best for the people who know how to keep a balanced schedule. You are going to want to do a lot and being organized in prioritizing things helps keep you balanced.

    Tips for prospective students

    There are so many great things to know about Berkeley that you will experience on your own, but here is just a few things: - Your professors care about you. If you are unsure about things, be sure to go to their office hours and ask questions! You will stand out AND know the material better. Also, your professors are usually bored out of their minds in office hours. They HAVE to be there and no one ever walks in for help. - Berkeley is its own culture so there are certain abbreviations and slang that you will discover around the school. Asian Ghetto, Gourmet Ghetto, CARS, and VLSB are just a few to name. But you will catch on fast so no worries there. - When going to student orientation, they will have you pick your first round of classes. At Berkeley, we call class-picking Telebears. You do everything on-line. There are 2 phases, Phase I and Phase II (simple). In each phase, you get an appointment time to pick your classes. Always make sure you know what classes you want to sign up for first because you are competing against other students to get into the good ones. REMEMBER TO PICK DISCUSSION SECTION TIMES TOO and factor them into your schedule. These are supplemental classes to lecture that you must attend and they are usually taught by graduate students. - Even if you are on a waiting list, you probably still have a pretty good chance of getting in (especially if its a class of 500 - 600 students) - Comegetused.com and Pickaprof.com will probably be your best friends when the new semester comes around. Many people don't know about them but they're very beneficial. Comegetused.com is only for Berkeley students and you can buy books from students who were in the same class in the past. You can usually save about 50% off of your books and the other student could probably make more than if they were selling their books back to the school. It will save a ton of money when you have books that cost over $100. Next is pickaprof.com. It's a lot like ratemyprofessor.com but this website gives grade distributions of the professor's class in the past. You can see which professors are the most difficult to pass and which classes turn out to be fun and easy. - Try the Berkeley food. I have a few favorites. La Burrita is usually open until 2 or 3 AM. Really helps with a Mexican food fix. I love the burritos and they are very affordable. Thai Noodle is delicious for Thai food. Thai Noodle II is on Telegraph. I go there so much that the waitresses know who I am. Cheeseboard and Gregoire's are both on North Side. Cheeseboard is ALWAYS busy because they make the best pizza and they only make one kind a day. Greogoire's makes these delicious appetizers called potato puffs. Those are just a few examples of places you MUST go! - Lastly, if you aren't living in the dorms your sophomore year, you have to start looking early in the Spring semester for a place that you want to be. Craiglist is probably the right place to start. Rent in Berkeley is not cheap so anything around $600-$700 a month is a pretty great price. So grab the friends you want to live with and start looking in end of March/early April!

    Bang for the buck

    Berkeley is DEFINITELY cheaper than many other universities in the country, especially if you are a California resident. But it is college and college is never affordable, especially with the recent budget cuts. You have to think about a lot of things like tuition, books, living, food, and other expenses. Berkeley calculates it to about $22,000-$23,000 a year. Your first year might actually be your most expensive. Living in the dorms is definitely more expensive than living off campus because your dorm fees include a meal plan that is actually kind of expensive because it's like you are eating out every meal of everyday. Your next few years may be better if you are living off campus but you have to be able to budget things like rent and groceries for yourself. So it's not as cheap as a community college, but not as expensive as a private schools. However, you are getting a world-class education. So of course it's worth it.

    Am enjoying being here

    I originally had a choice between UC Los Angeles and UC Berkeley. It was a very hard decision for me at first because I had been a SoCal girl all of my life. I had gotten used to the feeling and comforts of being in Southern California. I went to visit Berkeley and it was definitely very different. I realized that it would be the best learning and life experience to live somewhere I had never been before. And now that I have finished my first year there, I LOVE IT. Of course, it can be strange moving into a new place without parents, but it's incredibly exciting too. Berkeley has its own culture and this amazing vibe about it that is all about being open-minded. With that many students at this school, there are so many different types of people. You form relationships with people that truly become lifelong friends. The Berkeley campus is absolutely beautiful. It's free to go up the Campanile and on a clear day, you see beautiful views of the bay. Off-campus, there are two different sides of Berkeley (literally and figuratively). South Side is where all the action happens and will probably be where you live your first year. The dorms there are closest to campus as well as everything else. It's a bit noisier at night but it's actually very exciting to be there. You will see many of the same bums everyday but a lot of them are quite friendly or funny in their own ways. North Side is a bit quieter. The places here are farther from central campus (which is where most freshman and sophomore classes are). You might end up living here your last few years if you like that atmosphere more. But no matter where you are, the food is always great. When home, I still crave Berkeley's specialties.

    Am learning a lot

    In high school, I never imagined there could be so many subjects outside of Math, English, American History, and so on. But at Berkeley, it's hard to decide on what to fill your schedule with because of the hundreds of classes to choose from. You can study almost any subject you can think of and learn from some of the top professors in the world. In your first year or two at Berkeley, you can take classes called Discovery Courses if you are unsure exactly what you want to study. They help students who just want to experience the basics, who want to test the waters before diving in. You can also take seminars that are only open to freshmen and are limited to 20 or less students. In these classes, you can get much of the focus and attention you need and they are only once or twice a week so you can take several. I know many people are undecided when they enter college and it can be scary not knowing what you want to do when you grow up, but a lot of those people don't know that most people at Cal are like that! But the beauty of being undecided is that you can experience MANY different kinds of classes first. You have the opportunity to learn so much more outside of that limited range of high school subjects. What's your interest? Astronomy? Near Eastern Studies? Peace and Conflict Studies? Microbial and Plant Biology? Anything! Go for it!

  • 12/11/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    27 out of 27 people found this review useful. 3 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Outgoing, concerned, studious, energetic dreamers. But that's not to say the über-reserved, super-relaxed people have no place here. I'm one of them, and we get the royal treatment (because everyone else thinks we're insane).

    Tips for prospective students

    Apply for scholarships. Don't freak out. Make friends. Eat at the Asian Ghetto at least once a month. Visit (so you fall in love with the place). Wear good shoes (it's hilly). Bring fancy shoes (for ballroom dancing and/or for randomness).

    Bang for the buck

    Berkeley is THE best research university in the world. Fees are increasing, and that could be a problem, but if you're family income is below $70,000, they're totally free. For the most part, scholarship opportunities, grants, and student loans (good ones, not the private loans that cost an arm and a leg plus interest) balance out the high cost of living here. Research opportunities at Berkeley are as plentiful as frat parties at any school, including Berkeley ;)

    Am enjoying being here

    It feels like a big city but acts like a small town. People walk everywhere, and pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way (drivers get pretty confused when you try to wave them on). Franchises are pretty much eliminated, and (but?) no matter where you get food, it's good. The people are intelligent, concerned about the state of the world's _______ (fill this in with economy, health issues, morals, environment, etc.), and ultimately simply great people. There's no reason why anyone should be apprehensive about being at Cal academically, either. Yes, the classes are hard, but even the Nobel prizewinning professors help when asked, and so will any student.

    Am learning a lot

    There is literally nothing holding you back at Berkeley from taking exactly the classes you want. In fact, the College of Letters and Science requires you to take classes in virtually every field. You might call that restrictive, but that would only prove you don't know Berkeley. A class like Physics for Future Presidents, which is essentially basic Physics, but the math is optional, is typical of L&S. We also have student-taught DeCals, with subjects ranging from gender studies to Batman to Star Wars to Lord of the Rings all the way back to a study of Berkeley in the sixties and the Free Speech movement. There's nothing stopping you from learning pretty much anything you want to learn.

  • 12/28/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    17 out of 17 people found this review useful. 4 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    In general, Berkeley is good for all kinds of students. Anyone who is willing to work hard will do well here. Graduate programs in all areas at Berkeley are very highly ranked, and that kind of academic achievement trickles down to undergrad (research opportunities and the quality of GSIs).

    Tips for prospective students

    Study, study, study! Depending on what your major is, you will have more or less time to party and hang out with friends on weekends. Definitely learn to budget your time because socializing is a HUGE part of the college experience, and you don't want to study all the time. Make sure to join some clubs. Find something that you are really interested in, and get involved. It's a great way to make friends. Go to professor's office hours. Most of them are really helpful. Sometimes the professors themselves aren't very social and won't help, but if that's the case, then make sure to talk to your GSIs. A third option is to go to tutoring. I found that VERY helpful for Chem.

    Bang for the buck

    As many people well know, student fees are increasing due to budget cuts, and some student programs have been cut. For example, the Physics tutoring for the 7 series, which would be very helpful, has been cut at the Student Learning Center. Still, there are other sources of tutoring in the dorms, and in general, you will get a great education at Berkeley (hey, it's the top public school in the nation), and you're won't be paying nearly as much as you would for a private university.

    Am enjoying being here

    During my first semester here, I didn't like it too much; I was a spring admit and everyone already seemed to have their own clicks. I had to adjust to dorm life (and I didn't particularly care for my roommate), and I didn't really know how much I needed to study. However, the following semester, things got a lot better. Given time, I learned to adjust, and I really liked my roommate during sophomore year, and everything just got a lot better. With SF near by, there's so much to do. Also, there are so many clubs at Berkeley, so I have joined some of those and I've met a lot of really great people.

    Am learning a lot

    I am definitely learning a lot. Especially this past semester because I had great professors for all of my classes. In the past when my professors weren't the best, I always talked to my graduate student instructors (GSIs). There are so many resources to help students at Berkeley, so I have always been able to find answers to my questions. Also, profs and GSIs really care that students understand the material and will definitely try to help you and clarify any areas of misunderstanding.

  • 11/05/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    10 out of 11 people found this review useful. 5 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Those who like it here: work well with/amidst lots of competition, are sociable/open-minded, know how to use their time wisely, have confidence towards their goals and aspirations, ... and enjoy (or at the very least do not despise) walking (we have HILLS here).

    Tips for prospective students

    Firstly, know what you're getting yourself into. Don't take ~20 or more units your first semester, for instance, because each course is going to take a LOT of your effort and time. Also: as a student, remember that if you don't study and others DO, the curve (overall, as well as on midterms, finals, etc.) will be against you. The same goes for attending office hours the professors and GSIs provide- use your resources! Finally... don't forget to do something you ENJOY doing, be it taking a course in Peace and Conflict Studies, or joining a cooking club, or getting involved in a fraternity/sorority, or getting an internship with a business firm, or practicing playing the cello in a music room. Have some fun! College is supposed to enrich your life, not depress it (entirely).

    Bang for the buck

    Berkeley is a great school, and academics-wise, it lives up to its stereotype of being a hardcore-study university. The level of enjoyment you'll get here will depend on a number of factors: the classes you take (and how many of them), the professors (and GSIs) you get, and the things you DO in general (socialize vs. studying at home, etc.). But hey- as long as you're here, you're BOUND to find something you'll enjoy. Berkeley's like that.

    Am enjoying being here

    This place is amazing. Berkeley is full of interesting things, people, and places to get to know. You just have to be open to go out and find them!

    Am learning a lot

    Here at Berkeley, the professors really do know their stuff. How much you learn thus entirely depends on how much effort and time you put into studying and attempting to understand the materials which professors and GSIs have made available to and for you.

  • 10/24/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    8 out of 8 people found this review useful. 6 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    While Berkeley is a little bit... iffy at times, there are a lot of safety measures in place for students. Phones surround campus that access emergency services immediate. We have a program called Bear Walk where you call someone and they walk you home at night. We also have night safety shuttles and all students get bus passes for each semester. I've also definitely lived in scarier neighborhoods in Southern California.

    Greek Life

    Unfortunately, I can't speak at all on Greek Life.

    Clubs and Activities

    I made my home the linguistics club on campus. I've tried a few clubs that were all very tight knit communities that were also very welcome. The students are awesome at planning fun activities and welcoming new people.

    Great for these types of students

    Any. Introverts, extroverts, partiers, bookworms, anyone. I don't at all anticipate ever meeting anyone who doesn't fit at Berkeley in some way.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There are so many. Rolling down a certain hill at the start of a semester to get a 4.0, hiking up to the Big C, and crazier things...... like the naked run that dozens of students do each semester, where they run through the Main Stacks library nude. School spirit is crazy here (though avoidable if, like me, you aren't into school spirit-stuff).

    Bang for the buck

    I know that California Universities are expensive, but they're worth it. I don't think I've met anyone with more thorough classes, and I've never heard a student say they downright don't like Cal. I would recommend it every time and can't imagine someone who wouldn't fit in somewhere around here.

    What to do for fun

    What isn't there to do! I'm not the partying type, but a lot of my friends are and they go to a lot of parties. There are academic and social clubs for every interest imaginable (and, if not, it's easy to start or revive a club) and, in general, one will always find a group with which they click almost perfectly. I love walking around Berkeley and going to SF, there's tons to see. Our libraries are awesome, too, if you like to read. There are loads of other things like Decals, classes which are taught by students on tons of different silly, fun subjects (e.g., James Bond).

    Food and Dining

    Nothing will ever beat home meals, of course, but there are tons of restaurants that don't cost too much and taste pretty awesome. Then, of course, there's San Francisco. There are loads of grocery stores within walking or bus riding distance from the campus, including Berkeley Bowl which has incredibly cheap and amazing produce. The school food isn't fantastic, but it's not as bad as it could be. I don't eat there now that I no longer have a meal plan. The food got exhaustingly repetitive, but it was definitely amazingly convenient.

    Dorm Life

    I honestly hated the dorms. I'm very introverted and shared a room with two other girls. I liked them both, but it was a little too much to make a trip to the bathroom a social event. I hated the meal plan, but I'm the sort of person who prefers to cook for myself. That being said, I would definitely recommend it for freshman/first year--housing and cooking are then one less thing to adjust to.

    Academic Rigor

    I went almost immediately to my major upper division courses and it certainly was tough. I can only really speak to the linguistic department on a very informed basis, but if I were judging there alone, I would say we have the absolute best department. There is a lot of work for even the easiest class--remember that most people are coming in as the top of their class--but you get the hang of it all.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't just worry about grades. A lot of the students I know who got in had incredible extracurriculars, but only so-so grades. I had pretty good grades, but it hardly gave me an edge. Focus on personal growth, not just competition--so many people do and it's really not good for them or for getting the best out of their educational experience.

    In three sentences

    The environment is incredibly welcoming and you'll always find a place to fit in. It's definitely challenging, but incredibly rewarding. Personally, I adore it.

  • 07/07/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    6 out of 17 people found this review useful. 7 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    On top of your stuff Unsure about what they want to do (there's a lot of things Berkeley is good at) Like a sample of college life

    Tips for prospective students

    Choose your major early. Here it is clear and simple: If you want to get into engineering, or even if your not sure, apply as an engineer. Then, you can switch out if you want, but your already in if you want to stick with it. Business: Keep your GPA high! Other's : Not too sure, I know that the College of Chemistry will keep you from becoming a Spring admit, whether or not that's important (usually isn't).

  • 06/03/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    6 out of 6 people found this review useful. 8 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    - Care about school, but also about a social life - Lots of school spirit! - Passionate - Eager and curious - Open-minded

    Tips for prospective students

    - Join a club. It shrinks the overwhelming population of Berkeley students to something much easier to handle. You can also meet new friends! - Don't slack off. College is a harder than high school. - BUT don't just stick to your books. You won't have a college experience if you stay in and study every weekend. Visit San Fransisco with your floormates or friends or chill on Memorial Glade. - Make friends. Smiles travel faster than frowns, and you now have a study buddy. - Get help if you need it. Be aggressive with questions because there are too many students around to cater to individuals unless they ask for it. - Don't be afraid of the residents of the streets. Some are pretty nice!

    Bang for the buck

    It doesn't seem like it at first, but there are so many hidden benefits and services for Berkeley students. There are free one-on-one tutors in the Caesar Chavez Center and in the dorms. There are also clubs that offer tutoring for particular classes. Also, your professors and GSI's are your biggest services. Gym membership only costs $10 per semester. Riding the bus is free!

    Am enjoying being here

    I can't imagine myself being anywhere else. The atmosphere is academically oriented, but you are never bound to your books unless you so choose. There are so many clubs to join with the most amazing people in them. The city grows on you and you find yourself almost taking the convenience of living in Berkeley for granted. There's always a place for you somewhere. Berkeley is not exactly the safest city, but no trouble will come anyone who is aware and careful.

    Am learning a lot

    I'm taking classes not only for my major, but also for my own interests. There are many classes that you can take to expand your mindsets. There are so many students and professors, so take advantage of the large number of brilliant minds and share your thoughts with everyone! I have learned not only from classrooms, but also from my dorm. The people on your floor and those who visit can teach you things from their hometowns and even teach you more about yourself.

  • 07/17/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    6 out of 6 people found this review useful. 9 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    All. (who work hard of course!) Not all students here are 4.0's with 2380's on their SAT's. I myself am considered geeky, NOT nerdy. Although it is college, and the classes might be hard, it really depends on the person. I strongly believe you can be great at anything if you put in the effort and time. There are people here who are Gods are math, but suck at english. Who take 30 minutes to write an essay and get a perfect score. Who understand everything when it is explained only once. Everyone has their skills, you just have to find them! In classes you might find that jock guy, or that bimbo girl, or any other stereotype;there's only one difference. Unlike high school where there are a variety levels of attention and indifference, Berkeley is all about the competition. You compete with yourself to be as good as you can be at any subject. Here, people all strive for the best, you just have to strive for your best, and you're golden!

    Tips for prospective students

    There's not always a guarantee. The only reason I decided to apply here was because it was a UC. I live in So-Cal, so I grew up hearing the name UCLA a lot.. so much that I was brainwashed into believing that I HAD to go there. Berkeley was always a highly prestigious school way up north that was in league with Stanford. I was positive that In no way possible was I going to get in. It was absurd! A geeky girl like me? No siree bob! But I still applied ( I had a glimmer of hope). And thank God I did! I was accepted and utterly stunned. My scores were good, but not great. My skills were mediocre at best. What I believe put me through was my powerful essay. So don't wait until the last minute! Work through it! Re-read, re-form, re-check! And overall, don't count yourself out of the running! I don't know where I would be if I didn't apply to Berkeley. Nothing is certain! Berkeley has a wide spectrum of students, you might just be the lucky one!

    Bang for the buck

    You'll get your money's worth for sure! There are deals on everything! If you're low on cash for books, you can find online websites just for Berkeley that sell cheap books, or used books that you can return for money back! There are cheap stores located near campus so you don't have to spend much. There are free concerts offered and free previews, free food, free clothing, free music, free books EVERYTHING is free! The only catch is you have to find out where and when. There are so many events that take place on campus that know you're a poor college student, so they reduce prices, or have free previews on certain days and such. The dorms even have their own food plan that is way less than buying food everyday. If you look for cheap housing you will find it! Berkeley is all about freebies. You just gotta catch em all!

    Am enjoying being here

    OF COURSE! What is there NOT to love? The sights, the smells, the beauty all around. This is the best university in the world. I live in the northern side of campus where it is mostly quieter than the south side, and I am just a block away from grocery stores and other great food places. I love going to the movies, and there's three theaters down on Shattuck! You can take the BART to San Francisco and be back before lunch! You will also find the friendliest people here. The hobos on telegraph can be nice and very interesting. And I'm positive this is the only campus with such a cool-nerd attitude. In high school, sometimes I just wanted to sit by myself, and read. And here you can find people finding the softest patch of grass and settling down for a good snack, or book, or a quick sunbath. And its not weird! You can talk to the people and have vigorous arguments and still feel passionate about the subject regardless of disagreements. Everyone and everything is respected! This is also the university that discovered and used compost! We have reusable water, we recycle, and the school is overall very green, very healthy. The restaurants around campus are also all about healthy. You won't find any Taco Bell or any Burger King around here! This simply is a great school and I certainly love it. From my liberal head and henna tattooed face to my tie-dye shirt and Tom shoes, Berkeley has changed me for the better!

    Am learning a lot

    The classes here are great. The professors are all the best at their field and teach with passion that is tangible. They really are geniuses. The classes taught vary from a class on just mushrooms to hip hop to harry potter to bird watching. I guarantee that if you are looking for a specific class, you will find it (even the most random ones!) We also have what we call DeCals which are classes taught by students themselves on specific topics not offered in the academia courses. Here you will find classes on the Vampire revolution (from Dracula to Twilight), how to play the guitar, wine teaching classes and much more! What I suggest is to take your time with the options. Where else are you going to learn this stuff? By taking classes that interest you, you're taking a giant step toward your future!

  • 11/17/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    6 out of 6 people found this review useful. 10 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    With a night shuttle to escort students around campus after dusk until dawn, campus can be a safe place. However, because of our location, a lot of crime happens. Many students get robbed. Criminals often are looking for laptops and iPhones. Walking in a group and staying alert and aware can prevent almost any crime on campus though.

    Greek Life

    I'm not in a sorority, but I do know that while we have dozens of fraternities and sororities, we are not known for our Greek life. Most of the fraternity parties are full of freshmen and a few sophomores; everyone else grows out of them rather quickly.

    Clubs and Activities

    Because Berkeley's name is known around the world, our clubs and activities provide opportunities around the world. Most students study abroad, and nearly everyone interns in Sacramento, Silicon Valley, D.C., or internationally. The networking opportunities are strong because of all of our clubs and organizations.

    Great for these types of students

    Berkeley is great for serious business majors because of Haas Business School. Likewise, it's a perfect place for the liberal, anti-establishment student who thinks we all just need a little more love in our lives.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Nearly every semester there is a walk-out. Classes are usually cancelled and a large number of students gather on Sproul Plaza to protest education cuts.

    Bang for the buck

    As the most expensive public university in the country, I expected a lot more out of Berkeley. While I had some good professors, the average was just that--average. I never met anyone who was extremely passionate about Berkeley; nearly everyone has something negative to say.

    What to do for fun

    Living 30 minutes outside of San Francisco certainly has its benefits. Fisherman's Whart, Alcatraz, Union Square, all a short BART trip away. Berkeley itself, however, can be low on the entertainment. There's a lot of places to eat, but not a lot to do. With a few hiking trails, sunny weekends can be put to good use, but considering that it rains most of the time, that option only exists for August/September.

    Food and Dining

    You'll survive on it, but it's not fun. With three dining commons on campus, there's not a lot of options when it comes to food. Every commons has food for any type of diet (vegan, vegetarian, gluten, etc), but the quality of the food is pretty awful. Excluding the large commons on the south side of campus, most commons have a small salad bar with 4-5 toppings. They count that as their vegetarian meal option. I personally lived on snack food.

    Dorm Life

    With multiple options, students can choose to live in the highrise dorms located in the heart of Berkeley, or they can choose the quieter dorms on the hill. Both have their pros and cons: the highrises are notoriously loud and look kind of like a prison cell, while the hill dorms reside directly on a fault line so they experience a lot of earthquakes. Either way, Berkeley housing is one of the most expensive in the country. Oftentimes, people complain about not getting their moneys worth.

    Academic Rigor

    Science, engineering, and business are excruciatingly difficult at Berkeley. However, humanities are a little easier. Before finals, it's common to not find a seat in one of our 17 on campus libraries because everyone studies so hard.

    Tips for prospective students

    Keep your grades up! Nearly everyone here got a 4.0 or higher in high school. That said, make sure you work on your community service. Admissions likes to see that you are involved with the community.

    In three sentences

    With a diverse student population, you will never see the same opinion or perspective in different people. Located in an urban area, Berkeley has a large amount of homeless people who tend to sit on the sidewalks. The campus is fairly small for the 34,000+ student population; it takes about fifteen minutes to walk from one end to the other.

  • 05/29/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    6 out of 6 people found this review useful. 11 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    very safe. :D you can call the police and have them walk you from any part of the campus back to your home

    Greek Life

    parties...not my thing

    Clubs and Activities

    There is literally everything one could imagine and things one could not even imagine

    Great for these types of students

    Crazy, weird, nerdy, freaky, smart, freaking smart, too smart, :D

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The naked run on dead week. :D

    What to do for fun

    Study, SLEEP, clubs, party, sex(for some), but for me SLEEP and KENDO are my fun :D

    Food and Dining

    NO, just no

    Dorm Life

    If you are friendly and like coed bathrooms, yeah :D

    Academic Rigor

    HARD AS FUDGE

    Tips for prospective students

    Dear prospective student...RUN if you are not ready to work and study your brain and butt off! this place is not for pussies! The courses kill my brain cells and drink my fluids but it is worth it...THE PEOPLE here are WORTH it, the education quality is WORTH all your future misery. Be happy you got in, be ready to die and survive with a smile and tears. Welcome to UCB, go BEARS

    In three sentences

    The best I have ever been to. the holy grail for smart and weird crazy people. Emotionally and mentally devastating place, my brain evaporated.

  • 06/10/2009

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    5 out of 18 people found this review useful. 12 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Studious and active.

    Tips for prospective students

    Join a club, get involved, and participate in research projects.

  • 05/16/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    5 out of 5 people found this review useful. 13 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Anyone who wants to go to college. However, many so-cal people don't like the weather up here at Berkeley. Also, some people at this school are really into their studies and may not socialize a lot. I believe that it is overall a solid college experience. You get the great education, plus there's a lot to do if you are a social butterfly. You'll definitely meet somebody who has similar interests as you, whether its academics, research, sports, partying, and etc.

    Tips for prospective students

    Success in college is all about time-management. It doesn't matter what school you decide to go to. When you get here, expect a tough work load. If you do not take care of business, you will find yourself in a deep hole. However, any student can succeed at Cal as long as they focus and get their work done. Your parents will not be around when you get into college, so you are the only one responsible for the choices you make. Remember, you do not have to be super-smart in order to excel at Cal. Just do your work, visit office-hours, and you will be out in no time!

    Bang for the buck

    Unfortunately, tuition keeps rising for students in the UC system. There have been many protests going on since the '09-'10 academic year, but tuition keeps raising, and I don't think it will stop any time soon. Its also more expensive than the CSU schools, but that's because UC Berkeley is very prestigious. Overall, you are receiving a private school education at a public school (but rising) price.

    Am enjoying being here

    Living in Berkeley is enjoyable. The weather is usually nice, never too hot or too cold. It won't be like UCLA of course, but the sun does shine, allowing there to be many different outdoor activities. There is usually something going on in town, whether its parties, sporting events, or whatever you enjoy doing. Several different clubs allow you to find new interests to try, while meeting new and interesting people. If nothing is going on in Berkeley, San Fransisco is very close by.

    Am learning a lot

    There are many types of classes and tons of resources available at UC Berkeley. The professors here have a wealth of knowledge that they will teach you, but you must also be willing to put in work as well. If you do your assignments, communicate with your professors, you will open yourself to a quality education that's hard to find anywhere else. Don't think that you will have learned a lot just by having the diploma in your hand. The learning experience is what you make of it and what you want it to be.

  • 10/12/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 14 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Relaxed but eager to learn and push themselves. (Don't listen to the stereotype of you have to be a hippie or a liberal to come here. It's so not true!)

    Tips for prospective students

    When picking dorms, there's a few things to know. The units are near all the action and the restaurants and generally closer to campus. Which makes them a pretty neat place to live. Stern, Foothill, and Bowles are a little farther and up on a hill. They have a little more of a quiet feel to them and have a lot of history and traditions, such as Bowles boys come sing to the Stern girls every Thursday night (it's really neat). I hope this helps on choosing a dorm. I didn't know much about them and thought they were all in the same place.

    Bang for the buck

    The whole UC system is really great, especially here at Cal. You get the prestige of a private but the cost of a public. Granted, any college is going to have it's fall backs, especially in the price range area. And college is never going to be cheap.

    Am enjoying being here

    I love it here. I love the fact that you can see a pine tree in the middle of the city. I love the fact that there's tons of restaurants. And I love the fact that I'm learning so much about other cultures by just living in the dorms with so many out of country students. Granted the hills aren't so great, but they definitely give you a spectacular view of the Golden Gate bridge and the whole Bay Area.

    Am learning a lot

    The courses at Berkeley are amazing! They have almost any class you can think of. Right now, I'm taking a meditation class that is teaching me things that I normally would never have thought of wanting to learn about. Some of the classes are tough, but if you pay attention to the material and have a good professor or GSI (which isn't hard to find here), then you should be okay.

  • 06/26/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 15 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    I don't think there is one specific type of student that Berkeley would be ideal for. Being brilliant isn't all that is needed to be a great match for the campus. I know an extremely intelligent guy that said Berkeley seemed cold and distant to him and chose to go to another school. But on the other hand, I know of an equally brilliant guy that loves Berkeley for its Bohemian and casual style and would vehemently disagree about Berkeley being cold. I think that Berkeley is great for the student who feels like they belong with the current students and who feel that they can love Berkeley for its character-not just the prestige. Most of all, the student who feels a chill when they say, GO BEARS!belongs at Cal.

    Bang for the buck

    Once again, let me point out that it's NUMBER ONE IN THE WORLD. On top of that, there are scholarships that are available to students of any year. And not all of them are need or academic based. I don't have a financial need (basically my parents make more than 84K), and as a new freshman i obviously can't apply for the academic scholarships for current students (as i haven't even started classes yet and hs grades don't count). But i earned the Leadership Award from Berkeley because it was a merit based scholarship. So you not only get a great education when you attend Cal. You also earn recognition and support for your hard work. That's bang for the buck in my opinion.

    Will enjoy being here

    My sister will be a junior at Berkeley in the fall (and I will be a freshman), and I can sincerely tell you that I always enjoy myself when i visit her during school or the summer. If you can, i strongly support you visit the campus on Cal Day to see just what kinds of things are going on at Berkeley all the time. Cal Day really illustrates the learning, the fun, and the activities that happen every day on campus.

    Will learn a lot

    Obviously you can learn a lot at the NUMBER ONE public school in the WORLD. The facilities, the teachers, and the atmosphere are perfect for learning.

  • 12/30/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 16 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    It’s a given that you must be hardworking and competitive to succeed at UC Berkeley. Berkeley is best suited for students who aren’t afraid to take initiative. Students who want to do well shouldn’t expect any handholding. Counselors don’t come to you or set up appointments; YOU have to be the one to reach out to resources. This isn’t to say that more reserved students can’t flourish here; I see many students who spend the majority of their time in the library and end up doing very well on exams and in classes. However, the students that get the most out of their college experience are the ones who get involved in extracurriculars (intermural sports, community service clubs, interest clubs, etc.) and/or make relationships with their professors and GSI’s. It’s not all about making an A grade; it’s about forming relationships with all the incredibly talented and brilliant people that are at UC Berkeley.

    Tips for prospective students

    1. Get involved in clubs and organizations early. Freshmen have a tendency to flock with the people in their dorms. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, you have to remember that you probably won’t be close with everyone on your floor for all 4 years of your undergrad career. You will probably stay close with the people you meet in classes and clubs that have the same interests as you. 2. Remember to use resources like GSI and professors’ office hours. The SLC (Student Learning Center) is a beautiful thing. I learned about it late in my freshmen year, and I would have been a lot less stressed if I had known about it beforehand. There are regular study groups and lots of drop in tutoring. Tutors are fellow students so it’s less intimidating to ask them for help instead of the professor. 3. Explore north side! This suggestion is especially for students who live in the units on the south side of campus. There are lots hidden gems like the Rose Garden, Indian Rock and Botanical Garden, not to mention there are always cute graduate students walking around on this side of campus. ;)

    Bang for the buck

    Compared to private school tuition, the tuition at UC Berkeley is considerably affordable for in-state students. (Out-of-state pay 3 times as much as in-state.) That being said, tuition has doubled since I started college in 2009. These tuition hikes by the UC Regents have been causing a stir at all the UC campuses. Many of my lectures have 300-500 people and I have been one of 15 or 20 regulars at a professor’s office hours (the average class size of some small liberal arts colleges). Dorm and apartment living is also pretty expensive, but I wouldn’t expect much less living in the bay area. If you are willing to pay to be taught by some of the world’s leading minds but do not necessarily care about a lot of one-on-one interaction with professors, then you won’t be disappointed.

    Am enjoying being here

    I’ll admit, there are times when I am stressed and focused on an upcoming midterm and I cannot fully appreciated my time at Cal. Despite those moments, I am 100% satisfied with my decision to go to school here. I am inspired by professors and even more by my talented peers. Studying is a big part of life and it is hard to find time to work in fun and a social life, but once you find the right balance, there are so many opportunities to take advantage of. San Francisco is a BART-ride away plus there are tons of cheap on-campus entertainment and activities. Prominent faces such as Cornell West and Bill Clinton have come to speak as well as famous actors such as Michael Cera and Ryan Reynolds. Berkeley as a city is interesting if you take time to explore. You can go to the marina, eat at the Gourmet Ghetto, watch a movie on Shattuck… I am grateful to have so many places and activities at my disposal and smart, passionate peers to experience Berkeley with. Attending the top public university in the world and living in the bay area? It can’t get much better than this.

    Am learning a lot

    I thought I knew what studying was in high school. Boy, was I wrong. Particularly in my major (Molecular and Cell Biology), students are incredibly motivated and determined to succeed. Though the competition can be overwhelming at times, it pushes me to learn material backwards and forwards. Not to mention, we are learning from professors who have WRITTEN the textbooks we are reading and are at the forefront of research in their field. That’s not to say that there aren’t bad teachers. No matter how smart they are, I have had both horrible professors and GSIs (graduate student instructors) who cannot explain the material well. In these cases, I’ve had to take the initiative to learn concepts on my own or seek out help from others. As cliché as it sounds, what you put in is what you’ll get out of it. If you put in the work, you will learn more than you can imagine. If you are not self motivated to do the work or reach out to resources for help, you probably won’t do well and won’t learn as much either.

  • 07/15/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    4 out of 6 people found this review useful. 17 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    The activities here are always fun. if you are a sport person their are many sports available here.

    Tips for prospective students

    for prospective students i want to say that UC Berkeley is a great place to be in, because people here are always nice and willing to help you out.

    In three sentences

    The university is a great place fro minorities. from a scale of one to ten, ten being the highest Berkeley is a ten to me.

  • 01/09/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 6 people found this review useful. 18 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    People that are devoted to their education.

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit the campus first. Try to spend a weekend and see the social life of CAL. College isn't all about work. Remember work hard, party harder. Your social life on campus is very important. Look to see if you can see yourself spending the next 4 years of your life there.

    Bang for the buck

    Unfortunately I am very mixed about this question. I feel like I am getting my moneys worth because I am getting one of the best educations in the world. Berkeley's faculty are experts in what they are teaching you. Dorms are way too expensive. They are really small and the food at the dinning halls suck. The food gets boring and becomes retinue. The markets that accept meal points (fake money that comes with freshman dorming contract) charge way too much for their products.

    Am enjoying being here

    I have to admit the first three/four weeks living at Berkeley was the hardest transition of my life. It was my first time every moving and I was super close to my family at home. I instantly got homesick but I knew that going/staying at Berkeley was the best thing for me to do. I now have finished my first semester and it is amazing. I love not living at home and having independence with my life. It is a great feeling to have to live my life as a college student living in a dorm hundreds of miles away from my parents.

    Am learning a lot

    Ok honestly, I can't say I am learning that much more then I was in high school. High school you are forced to learn and do your work. At Berkeley you may have homework but it is not always graded and counted for a grade. Your grades in college are based on less assignments then high school making it harder to get good grades if you fall behind. Being on the semester schedule it gives you time to be able to fall behind in readings. It takes a lot of self motivation to stay on top of your readings and assignments.

  • 03/22/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 19 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Great for all students who are willing to put in the work! There is plenty of time to work and play here!

    Tips for prospective students

    It's so easy to make friends here, so once you find your group (or groups) stick with them, they are good support. Also remember that Berkeley runs on the semester system, which has its strong points. Just try not to slack too much.

    Bang for the buck

    You get the quality education of those fancy east coast Ivy league schools without the Ivy League price. Granted it's still not the cheapest school in California, it's great to know that I get a quality education for what I'm paying.

    Am enjoying being here

    The surrounding city is absolutely great. It an urban setting, so take that in to consideration. You can not come here without hearing about the restaurants; there are just too many to choose from! Public transportation is so great, with easy access to other parts of the bay, such as San Francisco.

    Am learning a lot

    There are plenty of opportunities to learn so much here. There is enough time to find what you're really in to. Every facility is top notch and the campus is always so active!

  • 09/25/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 20 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    It is hard to beat Berkeley here. EVERYONE is involved in something whether it be an ethnic-based dance group to a community service group geared towards mentoring middles schoolers, it is not hard to find a niche in Berkeley. There are academic groups, undergraduate major-based associations, and even something about a concrete canoe.

    Great for these types of students

    I would argue almost all students interested in world-class academics. Berkeley draws the academically gifted, the carbon-footprint conscience, and the party-centric individuals all together under one roof. There are a lot of students, but it is not difficult to find someone interested in something similar to you.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The esteemed Naked Run occurs every semester sometime during our dead (study) week before finals when are large group of students run naked through the libraries.

    Bang for the buck

    Berkeley is a public university, which comes as a surprise to many people given all the resources and the world-class academics. This also means that not matter how much tuition prices rise in the next few years, it is still at least ten grand cheaper than going to a private college for in-state students. I would argue that Berkeley is the best possible education your could get for this price.

    What to do for fun

    Anything. Interested in world-class theater? Student tickets to the Zellerbach are 50% discounted. Want to watch a black and white movie, head to the Pacific Film Archive. And there is free admission to the Berkeley Art Museum every day. If you want some gourmet food truck action, then check out the two Off The Grid events that happen each week. Feel free to go hiking in the Berkeley fire trails or attend a rager on frat row. If Berkeley is too small for you, then hop on a 20 minute BART ride to San Francisco. If you need even more local options, then walk through Sproul Plaza and picks up as many fliers as you can. I guarantee that you will find something interesting on any given night.

    Food and Dining

    This is where Berkeley wins. No other university has this plethora of ethnic treasures so close to campus. No other university has so many good restaurants that average well under $10 a meal, with $10 pushing it. On a particular diet? Vegan food, check. Thai food, check. Pizza, check. Southern comfort food, check. And the best part? Very very very few of these restaurants are chains. Go out and eat, and feel good about supporting the local economy too!

    Dorm Life

    Most students only stay one year in the dorms and then move on to less expensive apartments off-campus. Many people in the dorms are friendly and interested in going to eat in large groups, but I found that takes an extra step to make close friendship. The dorms, and the accompanying meal package (most vegetarian friendly food in the United States!), are wonderful in the services that they provide you, but after a while people naturally tend to gravitate away from the dorms and towards clubs.

    Academic Rigor

    This is not a school for people who want to emerge with a 4.0 and multiple honors. This is a school that throws some of the smartest people in the world together, asks you for a dialogue, and then treats you like adults without sugar-coating grades. This is a school that will challenge you and you will come out appreciating every B, every A, because it wasn't just handed to you for showing up. But, despite the slight GPA drop from high school you will learn here more than you ever expected and take classes that will broaden your horizons in a way that a traditional college can't even dream of doing.

    Tips for prospective students

    Berkeley has a LOT to offer anyone who is interested in sitting down and dissecting her. Go sit down on Sproul Plaza for half an hour and listen to the conversations you overhear (they can tell you a lot about the University) or engage with the multiple clubs that have booths out everyday. Usually at least one of them is selling cheap, good food. Sit in on a class and see if you like professors--I have never had a professor mind and all the classes, even the student-taught ones, are listed online.

    In three sentences

    From the political reformist to the cynical co-oper to the community service junky to the amazing Greek life, Berkeley has something for everyone. This is a school that treats its students like adults, gives you resources and then lets you run with them. It is well known for academics and thrives in intelligent conversation so it comes as no surprise that Berkeley has been labeled, The Greenest University in the World and is known globally as the, Best Public University in the World.

  • 12/25/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 21 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Cal is very safe as it offers a prompt bus service called Bearwalk for students looking to get home late at night. Campus PD also do a great job to ensure the safety of its students.

    Greek Life

    There are some solid frats out there. A lot of my friends are in TKE and Theta Chi and have great words for these two frats.

    Clubs and Activities

    Berkeley Dil Se a cappella - THE BEST GROUP ON CAMPUS!!! Berkeley Consulting Berkeley Club Tennis- #1 in the nation

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Naked Run- literally a naked run of hundreds of students in Moffitt library during finals week. CREAM Ice Cream -$2 ice cream sandwiches which are literally heaven on Earth.

    Bang for the buck

    CREAM- $2 ice cream sandwiches. Panchos- RBC Burrito

    What to do for fun

    There are many things to do for fun at Berkeley. The campus is very live and there are plenty of options. Almost every weekday, a cappella groups perform on Sproul for free, and it is a true delight to watch them. My favorite group at Berkeley is Dil Se, a South Asian a cappella group who's sound is so rich. There are also always shows and events going on on campus that you can go check out. If you are into sports, Cal Basketball, Football, and Tennis are just some of the teams I enjoy watching most. If you are looking for the party scene, Cal has a diverse Greek community that rule the weekend party scene for students.

    Food and Dining

    The food in the dining halls was great for the first couple months, but it can soon become old for you. They do a great job of rotating options but sometimes you are just looking for a change of scene, which the dining halls can't offer you. However, have no fear, because Berkeley has some great outside dining options. My favorite places are: Thai Basil, Indian Flavors Express, and San Francisco Soup Company (all amazing places that you should definitely check out).

    Dorm Life

    The dorm life is awesome. I lived in Bowles Hall my freshman year, which is not as bad as they say. Although it was all guys, my floor was really tight and we had a lot of great times together. The rooms were spacious, bathrooms cleanly, people friendly, and living in the dorms was an overall great experience.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are very tough and one bad midterm grade can take you out of A range instantly. Therefore it is important to forget everything else during midterm season and focus on hard on the subject material, ensuring you get the best grade possible on exams.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take as many AP classes in high school as you can so as to accumulate college units and knock out breadth and core requirements. Create a balanced schedule for social life and study time, and make sure you stay on top of your academics or you will fall behind fast.

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is an amazing college that offers so many opportunities (both inside and outside the classroom) for its students. The curriculum is very tough, however, so prospective students should be prepared to work hard and be prepared to spend many a night studying late in the library. UC Berkeley's campus is beautiful and the friends you make there will last a lifetime.

  • 01/28/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 22 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Strong police presence here, especially during protests. Always watch out for the homeless people here at night.

    Greek Life

    Lots of fraternities and sororities for students looking to get active.

    Clubs and Activities

    Lots of clubs and things to do. Watch out for Sproul plaza because you are sure to be hunted down by the students handing out flyers to people passing by. DO NOT make eye contact at all costs!

    Great for these types of students

    Pretty much anyone with an ambition to learn. Not really for people who are not on the liberal side of thinking on the political spectrum. Conservative and Republican students have a difficult time relating to many of the students here at the university.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Students run around completely naked in the main stacks at the Doe Memorial Library the Sunday during Reading, Review, and Recitation week a.k.a. Dead Week before finals.

    Bang for the buck

    Excellent academics, wonderful people, and lively student activism.

    What to do for fun

    You can go to parties, go the movies, visit the UC Botanical Gardens, feed the lively squirrels, or even participate in a protest.

    Food and Dining

    All organic food that satisfies even the hungriest of college students. But my recommendation is to not eat at the dining commons regularly because you will eventually dislike the same offerings. Go out into the city of Berkeley. Get an ice-cream sandwich at C.R.E.A.M., a hot dog from Top Dog, a pizza from Jupiter's, or even a tapioca pearl tea at the Durant Avenue Food Court.

    Dorm Life

    Very lively especially during the weekends when people celebrate. Overall the dorm life is excellent. Whether you live on a co-ed floor, single-sex floor, suite, or apartments; the dorms are almost always the places you meet your close friends at Berkeley. Although the prices for the academic year in the dorms is between $12,000-$18,000 which is quite a lot.

    Academic Rigor

    Many of the classes are very difficult. But just because a class is hard does not mean you will not enjoy it. Learn from what the professors have to say, ask questions, and do not be afraid to say your opinion from time to time.

    Tips for prospective students

    Once you arrive at Berkeley register for an average of 15 units of classes. DO NOT overexert yourself your first semester here. Listen during lectures, do the readings, and also get some sleep during the week. Finals WILL BE stressful, but do not worry because in the end it will all work out as long as you do not give up.

    In three sentences

    The University of California, Berkeley has the most unique atmosphere of any university in the nation. The students here are socially active, the professors are quite frankly brilliant, and the culture of the university and the city in general is filled with non-stop excitement. I am proud to be a Golden Bear. U.C. Berkeley has taught me to work for the betterment of mankind!

  • 06/03/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 23 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I feel safe on campus.

    Greek Life

    I don't personally know, but from what my roommates say and their weekend night habits, it seems like there's a fairly lively greek life.

    Clubs and Activities

    This is the real reason I chose Cal: it has so many great student groups, and I ended up meeting lots of new people there. They make the campus seem a lot smaller, and meeting people a lot easier.

    Great for these types of students

    Everyone, really. I suppose driven, smart, etcetera, but I see people coasting and I see people working hard and everything in between... I guess it depends on what you want to study.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Aren't all of them kind of famous by now? My favorite places on campus are the echo circle behind VLSB and the whispering bench, because acoustics are really interesting.

    Bang for the buck

    Definitely. A top 5 university that's a public university, in a vibrant city with a diverse student population and first-class professors, as well as research opportunities? That's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

    What to do for fun

    Depends on what you enjoy: there's a fairly lively greek life, and there are co-op parties. There's tons of student clubs and organizations of all kinds, and the people at Cal are interesting and all pretty smart.

    Food and Dining

    Clark Kerr is famous for being the best residence hall dining, but it's not super if you're a picky eater, since it often has the least variety. Cafe Three isn't always clean...

    Dorm Life

    Figure out what you can live with, in terms of sleep schedules. Roommate incompatibility is tough, but remember it's only for a year - or a semester, if it's really, really terrible.

    Academic Rigor

    Berkeley is tough - some classes are harder than others. Don't get too stressed about the classes that are labeled Upper Division - from what I've taken so far it seems more like a technicality than an actual indicator of difficulty. Still, don't expect a ton of down time.

    Tips for prospective students

    Try new things, interact with people, even if you're shy. Try to figure out a fairly rote schedule that works for you, to make the transitions easier. Then again, that probably is true of any college.

    In three sentences

    There's nowhere like it anywhere. In spite of all my nervousness about leaving home, I instantly felt like I had a place at Cal, as a little part of something kind of special that I don't really understand. Has thus far given me the best year of my life, both academically and personally, and I'm only a first year - can't wait for the next one!

  • 06/06/2009

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    2 out of 15 people found this review useful. 24 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Hardworking and motivated.

  • 06/28/2010

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    2 out of 4 people found this review useful. 25 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    top- percentile of their class, well-rounded students

    Tips for prospective students

    great personal statement letting them know who you really are, and involvement in things concerning the community.

    Bang for the buck

    A bit pricey, but a degree from this school will get you into any job yo apply for.

    Will enjoy being here

    There is so much to see and do here, with many clubs and programs offered, as well as sports.

    Will learn a lot

    I recently visited UC Berkeley and was able to stay at the dorms for three days, and even then, it wasn't enough time to learn all Berkeley has to offer. It has the top-ranked schools, such as the Haas School of Business and a great engineering program.

  • 11/22/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 26 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus safety is great. They have a program called BearWalk that provides students with a safe way to get home during the late hours of the night. All you have to do is call and they will send someone to escort you home. They will either walk you or drive you home depending on your location.

    Clubs and Activities

    There so many clubs and organizations to join there is no excuse for not finding something that fits your schedule and interests. Circle K is a great club for volunteering and meeting new people.

    Great for these types of students

    Students looking for a diverse environment, that are willing to work hard.,

    Bang for the buck

    It definitely is worth the money. You are going into the number 1 public school in the entire world!!!

    What to do for fun

    You must visit San Francisco at least a few times. Take advantage of being so close to such a great city. If you want to stay closer to the university the best and easiest way to find fun things to do is join a club or organization. They all have fun things to do like volunteer events or socials. Circle K is great.

    Food and Dining

    Dining hall food is good. Brunch at any of the dining hall locations is definitely the best (waffle machine at Crossroads!!). There are definitely a lot of options to choose from and if you don't feel like using your meal points, there are plenty of places to buy food around the area. You won't go hungry.

    Dorm Life

    I love my roommate and suite-mates! Living in the dorms allows you to connect with people you may not have connected with otherwise. Living with other people can be hard at times but it is something you have to do. It allows you to grow as a person, as cheesy as that may sound.

    Academic Rigor

    Yes, UC Berkeley's academic program is very rigorous but definitely manageably with the various resources available to you. Professors are great, GSI's are extremely helpful, tutoring is available, and there is always a nice quiet place to study (the libraries are amazing!).

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't just focus on the academic aspect. Yes, academic proficiency is an integral part of it but Berkeley looks for students who are well-rounded. Clubs, internships, and various leadership positions will help you stand out but try to focus on something you are passionate about or show an interest in. Don't just do everything. Overall just don't stress!

    In three sentences

    The diversity at UC Berkeley is one of the main reasons I chose to go here and I have not been disappointed. It is enlightening to be able to go to a school with such prestige and such great achievements while being able to discourse with people for all kinds of backgrounds. There is a place for everyone at Berkeley, as long as you are willing to work hard enough to get here and succeed in your college career.

  • 08/07/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 27 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    I definitely encourage everyone to join. It was the best decision I ever made.

    Great for these types of students

    Adventurous

    What to do for fun

    With San Francisco a 20 minute BART ride away, the possibilities are endless.

    Food and Dining

    Cafeteria is not great, but the food in the Berkeley area is unbeatable.

    Dorm Life

    Average, nothing special.

    Academic Rigor

    Very difficult, but well worth the challenge.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take classes outside of your comfort range. Try something new. Take a Decal!

    In three sentences

    Cal is incredibly diverse. The students are talented and hard working individuals.

  • 10/14/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 28 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Students who are ready and willing to challenge themselves, as well as branch out and find themselves in a very socially diverse environment.

    Tips for prospective students

    - There are a lot of resources available for making your transition to college, but they're all useless if you don't actually go out and use them! Professors, advisers, other students, etc. - Don't freak out too much at getting a less than perfect grade on something. This is UC Berkeley; there are some pretty smart people here, and that B means a great deal. - Embrace the culture! Many people are put off by UC Berkeley due to the fact that it's practically part of the city. Yes, you will see homeless people. They won't bite.

    Bang for the buck

    As a fairly successful low-income student, I have received a great deal of financial aid from Berkeley. However, even with work-study, I'm still fairly hard-pressed for money. All it requires is being smart about your finances, especially meal points. Until the budget issues are solved, though, tuition will probably still rise and scholarships become scarcer. Still, with a quality of education such as UC Berkeley, it's certainly worth it, especially when compared to private schools.

    Am enjoying being here

    If you're afraid of going to a large college, don't be. Berkeley has a very pro-student attitude, which means a plethora of student organizations. Everything from the serious LGBT groups and political parties to the college Quiddich team -- there's bound to be somewhere for you to fit in. And that's just the campus: The public transportation around the Bay area is great, meaning you're not limited to events just in Berkeley, or even just in the East Bay.

    Am learning a lot

    Berkeley offers a great selection of a variety of subjects -- you're sure to find something that you're interested in, and there are a lot of resources available even to people who are undecided. In fact, you're expected to take all sorts of classes! They truly want you to have a full education here, and not just march through a bunch of courses and come out with a diploma. Even in the large classes, professors are friendly and truly want you to be able to succeed.

  • 06/01/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 29 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Go getters, socialites, workaholics.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take the minimum units freshman year and do the summer edge before hand to get used to the Berkeley pace and make up for the units you're missing in the fall.

    Bang for the buck

    The prestige for 30k a year compared to 60k for the privates is unbeatable.

    Will enjoy being here

    Connected to Bay Area Rapid Transit. Easy access to the entire bay area. AMAZING FOOD and a politically aware campus.

    Will learn a lot

    The top public university on the planet.

  • 06/09/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 30 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    If you want to meet a whole lot of life changing, motivated students, this is the place to go. The spirit in the campus is amazing and it felt like home. It is surprising to see such a vast amount of clubs and organization in every area possible. It was refreshing to see grass roots movements and rich history within the student population. It makes me feel like I can succeed and make a difference. Any student who feels this way, should definitely apply!

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't just go by what you hear. All the wonderful news and awards they have received is nothing compared to actually going on campus. Meeting up with people, taking a tour, listening to the sounds on Sproul Plaza. #1 Work hard, in all areas. A GPA won't get you in, if your heart is not in the same place. They are very picky about accepting dedicated students. #2 Be proud about your accomplishments, but have an open mind that you may not have all the answers. #3 Location! If you don't feel it is the right place to be, then it might not be the place for you right now. Berkeley doesn't like drop outs (and I am sure you want to be successful in college) so take the time to really ask yourself where you fit it.

    Bang for the buck

    It can't get better than CAL. You will learn that there is more to life than a job and will teach you an infinite amount of life skills.

    Will enjoy being here

    Progressive, innovative, uplifting place! Lots going on, so much spirit!

    Will learn a lot

    There is SO MUCH TO LEARN.

  • 06/22/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 3 people found this review useful. 31 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    It is a great school.

    Will enjoy being here

    It has a clean campus.

    Will learn a lot

    They have great teachers that can help and teach anyone.

  • 06/27/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 2 people found this review useful. 32 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Will enjoy being here

    Cal-Berkeley has such an amazing campus. I suggest to all of you who haven't visited it yet, do so. The buildings and the walkways are beautiful and the town around the campus is super college friendly. This is one of my top (interest wise) colleges and I can't wait to continue learning about it. GO BEARS!

  • 04/01/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 33 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There's services such as BearWalk so you do not have to walk home alone if you're coming home late from the library or something. There are a lot of homeless people on Telegraph, but do not be afraid they are harmless.

    Greek Life

    It's easy to get involved if that's your niche. It's personally not mine, but I know a lot of people in frats/sororities and they really enjoy it. There's also specific frats like engineering and business that really help you with your career/academic goals.

    Clubs and Activities

    We have everything from unicycle basketball to radio. There is a ridiculous amount of clubs that you can EASILY get involved in. Sports, journalism, archery, snow-boarding, pre-med clubs, ethnicity clubs, longboard club--it's impossible to be bored or not find something that interests you. And if there really isn't something for you, you can start your own.

    Great for these types of students

    Great for open-minded, hardworking students.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    As far as rivalry goes it's Stanford and we have some really old traditions and cheers that I found to be strange. There's one ceremony type thing before the Stanford football game where you burn wood in huge pit at the Greek Theater, it looks really amazing.

    Bang for the buck

    Berkeley provides a private education for a public university price. I've had professors who used to teach at Columbia University and now teach here. For certain programs such as Chemistry and Physics, Berkeley is especially distinguished and competitive with private universities. It's pricier for out of state students.

    What to do for fun

    San Francisco is super easy to get to from campus and with your bus sticker you can get there for free. Take advantage of the amazing food, museums, music venues, movie theaters, and unique events/festivals all over San Francisco. In Berkeley you can go to Shattuck St. for movies, the Greek Theater for concerts and there's always something going on on campus. Some of my favorite things are the free early screenings of movies that happen every once and a while and free concerts! If you're athletic we have three recreational centers with basketball and squash courts, swimming pools, and we have sports clubs/intramural sports that you can get involved in.

    Food and Dining

    There's a lot of amazing food in the area, but that costs real money, more often you will probably eat at the dining halls and using meal points. The dining halls offer fresh salads and fruits, but don't set your expectations too high for the quality of the prepared food. It's never terrible and there's always a vegan/vegetarian option.

    Dorm Life

    I love living in the dorms, but I know some people who do not. I personally got really lucky with my roommate and made lots of friends on our floor. What I love most about it is that you are surrounded by different people with different interests and you all learn from each other. There's bound to be at least one talented musician in close proximity and someone who has similar interests to yours.

    Academic Rigor

    The competitive courses and capped majors such as Econ and the hard sciences like Chemistry or Physics are pretty difficult and demand a lot of studying. The humanities are not at all easy, they require a lot of thinking and teachers expect you to ask thought-provoking discussion questions and participate in class. Our language courses can be pretty intense as well. But all in all it depends on the class and your teacher, some are easier than others.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be prepared for the work load. The hard sciences are most definitely hard! One of the best things you can do is go to your professor's or GSI's office hours. Often no one shows up to them, but it is a great way to get familiar with your teachers and they're full of information and resources and they want to help you so don't feel like you are bothering them.

    In three sentences

    The campus is definitely a bit quirky compared to where I come from and that's another reason to love it. The course work and expectations from teachers can be overwhelming, but no doubt students grow into their potential here. At Berkeley, more so than other colleges I have experience with, students really become themselves.

  • 09/23/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 34 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    It's an urban campus embedded in the city of Berkeley, so there's potential for everyone to visit. But, the UCPD has many resources to keep students safe, especially for those walking around at night -- for example, from the library to their dorms.

    Greek Life

    There are lots of opportunities to get involved in Greek life, and it's not like the typical stuff you see in movies.

    Clubs and Activities

    There's something for EVERYONE. There are over 2,700 clubs and organizations on campus.

    Great for these types of students

    Studious, but fun-loving.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    We have great cheers and an abundance of school spirit... even with lackluster sports teams.

    Bang for the buck

    So many resources that are untapped because students don't want to go and seek them out. But really, professors and resources are paid for through our tuition, so utilize them!

    What to do for fun

    Go out to eat, or head out to San Francisco and explore.

    Food and Dining

    Very bland, but it gets the job done. Just a few weeks in and you'll be trying to find alternative places to spend your meal points.

    Dorm Life

    There are great experiences, and there are bad. But, every floor in the dorms has a R.A. on staff to make sure things run smoothly.

    Academic Rigor

    It's definitely heavy stuff to do -- lots of readings and problem sets, depending on what you're studying.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get involved outside of the classroom because this is where a lot of the valuable learning will take place.

    In three sentences

    I was able to discover myself as a student here. Through interactions with my peers and the esteemed faculty, I learned how to be an upstanding, contributing citizen of society. My experience here will carry me throughout my life.

  • 10/24/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 35 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    Cafe 3 is the best residential dining hall but its standards are currently dropping...

    Dorm Life

    Depends on where you live. Unit 1 and 3 are the closest to campus. Unit 2 is 15 minutes away if you're walking a normal pace to Sather gate. Clark Kerr would be one of the worst choices unless you want a huge room. But in Clark Kerr you have to walk down frat row and usually students who live there need to take bus back and forth which is rather inconvenient since the bus stops are frequent. Foothill is quiet with the exceptions of football games and concerts. But they are on a steep hill.

    Tips for prospective students

    Berkeley has so many opportunities. Be proactive! TONS of companies everyday come to give out free merchandise and offer internships. They provide free food also at their info sessions, which is a nice break from dorm food.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is truly an amazing university. Though I am currently a freshmen, I have had knowledgeable and passionate teachers. Of the 4 classes I am taking this semester, 3 of them use textbooks written by the professor himself! Many people are concerned that because Berkeley is a public university, it is difficult to get help or talk to GSI/professors. Contrary to popular belief, it's easy to get to know them. Sure my math GSI and professor are socially awkward, but they immediately help me whenever I had any questions about the homework or if I start a random conversation...

  • 01/09/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 36 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Big part of social scene, especially for freshman who know no one.

    Clubs and Activities

    Tons of environmental clubs (that's my major so I know that). There are clubs for literally every major.

    Great for these types of students

    Hippies

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Favorite location would be the median on Shattuck in the gourmet ghetto. Eating cheeseboard on the median is a great Berkeley activity.

    Bang for the buck

    If you're in-state--great. If not, I'm not so sure.

    What to do for fun

    Tons of stuff to do! Concerts in San Francisco, concerts on campus, frat parties, cooperative house parties, rock climbing gym, bars, clubs/ venues in SF, tons of restaurants on Shattuck Ave. There's a lot of hiking and outdoorsy stuff within a drive.

    Food and Dining

    I was not a fan of the dinning food. It seemed very mass produced.

    Dorm Life

    Totally depends on if you jive well with people on your floor. I felt very at home with my floormates because they were very kind. However I often felt I didn't have enough exciting things to do on the weekend as an escape from studying because I wanted to do different things than my floormates.

    Academic Rigor

    Depends on the major. The basic pre-med undergrad classes are very competitive so be prepared to work.

    Tips for prospective students

    Berkeley has 35,000 students so be prepared to be a little overwhelmed in the beginning but as you join various clubs or social groups you will find your own personalized and more intimate community.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is overflowing with opportunities--from the plethora of clubs and passionate student-run organizations to internship and job opportunities tailored to your major. While there exists a wide array of students from hipsters to nerds to hippies, students are dedicated to their studies and just about everyone is involved in extracurricular activities outside their coursework. It is the home of student activism and there is a sense that people care about the world and our future.

  • 03/03/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 37 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Go to SF for shopping and food.

    Food and Dining

    Dining common food isn't so good.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms are pretty good. Except that some rooms are small.

    Academic Rigor

    People study hard.

    Tips for prospective students

    Work on your essay.

    In three sentences

    A pretty good college with a big diversity. Fairly interesting place.

  • 06/07/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 38 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Night time in certain areas are relatively dangerous. Nevertheless, if you know where to walk, you will be fine. Such safe areas are often defined by the presence of other students walking there.

    Clubs and Activities

    Far too many clubs to keep track.

    Great for these types of students

    Queer students, devoted engineers, provocative liberal thinkers, open-minded students

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    A day during the week before finals, students run across the library aisles naked.

    Bang for the buck

    You're paying a huge chunk of money for one of the most priceless education in the United States, as well as access to the 7th largest library in the United States. It is best if you can take advantage with all this resource.

    What to do for fun

    Go to clubs, hang out with friends, watch a movie, go to San Francisco, play video games, learn a new skill.

    Food and Dining

    You got to know what to eat. The usual fatty and unhealthy food are not very delicious because the school tries to make you choose the healthier options.

    Dorm Life

    Like any dorm life, the compatibility between you and your roommate(s) matters a lot. I was unlucky to get moderately bad roommates my first year, but my current roommate, who I will be living for the next 2 years, is seriously one of my best friends.

    Academic Rigor

    Very difficult

    Tips for prospective students

    Be ready for the challenge and be ready for the stress. Always go to classes with a positive attitude or you will suffer. Be sure to make new friends!

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is one of the best schools I could ever ask. The academics here are very rigorous but useful and the people here are much more genuine than those back in high school. This is where you can meet some of the most amazing people in your life.

  • 06/12/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 39 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    Lots of little food places all around campus for any taste. If you have a food plan, you can use the meal points not only in the all-you-can-eat cafeterias but also in multiple on-campus cafes.

    Dorm Life

    Mostly freshmen live in dorms, upperclassmen rent out housing all around campus. The dorms create an awesome community and forces you to get to know a ton of people, making your first year at the school a lot less scary.

    Academic Rigor

    One word: hard. You have to put in work to succeed here. If high school could afford some slacking off, those habits need to be put away.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you are unsure about your major, experiment with classes. You might find your passion in a very unlikely place.

    In three sentences

    Great school with a beautiful campus. Rigorous and challenging in many ways, yet very much worth it. There's a reason Berkeley is the best public university in the nation.

  • 08/03/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 40 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    There are so many options it is ridiculous.

    Great for these types of students

    Progressive politically active students, students interested in business, engineers, journalists.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The naked run through the library every dead week - the week before finals where students have no classes.

    Bang for the buck

    As an out of state student Berkeley is very expensive and the financial aid office is incredibly difficult to reach and talk with.

    What to do for fun

    Many clubs have parties and social events, and Berkeley has a large variety of restaurants and sources of entertainment. Many students have house parties and others go into San Francisco. There are local parks, movie theaters, music venues, and museums that are very accessible as well.

    Food and Dining

    While only freshman and athletes generally use the dining halls, if you have meal points Berkeley has several good small restaurants and grocery stores that accept meal points and are great for quick meals in between classes.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are overpriced and crappy, although living in the dorms freshman year was an essential part of my social life at Berkeley.

    Academic Rigor

    While it depends on your abilities, your major, and your professors, classes at Berkeley generally demand a lot from you. Avoid taking too many lower division classes because upper division classes are substantially better, more challenging, and more rewarding.

    Tips for prospective students

    When applying to Berkeley, your essay is very important because the admissions process is holistic. Therefore, be brave and honest, because people are trained to recognize essays that are disingenuous. It is also important to explore the many options the school has to offer and to not feel that you have to stick with something just because you joined it your freshman year. Keep exploring.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is a community filled with students of diverse interests, backgrounds, and goals. There are several different communities that students can get involved with without feeling stagnant or stuck in any one group. Students at Berkeley must be willing to seek out opportunities in order to make the best of their time there.

  • 09/30/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 41 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    I don't think there's a specific type, but as long as you are the type that works hard to achieve your goals while able to find that perfect balance, then you will undoubtedly thrive at Berkeley. Many people here are innovative, hard working, fun, and, well, Asian. Aha, but seriously, if you're a go-getter, go get it, Try your best in high school and get that acceptance letter. Don't give up. I tell myself that every day >:D.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There is a hill called 'The 4.0 Hill, and anyone that rolls down this hill at the beginning of the semester is guaranteed to have a 4.0 GPA. Since this hill is right outside of teachers' apartments, it's rumored that some student used to yell at teachers' rooms from the 4.0 Hill begging for that 4.0.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is a must for first-years. You typically become very close with your roommates and it's a lot of fun. My friends at Berkeley told me that it's normal to drop by someone's room out of nowhere to hang out. Often at times, the entire floor gets together and go out to have fun. It's definitely a must-have experience.

    Academic Rigor

    As far as I know, it's very intense in terms of academics. Most students here try their best to become knowledgeable so that they can contribute to their communities. It's very innovative and inspiring. Students are off the whole week before finals to focus on their studies. Don't say I'm crazing, but imagining myself studying in the main Berkeley library with my friends until three in the morning, taking a break to get food, then resume studying sounds like an adventure! I think just by working with these types of people motivates me to study harder as well.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley seemed very peaceful with its gigantic, ancient trees yet exciting at the same time since it's always bustling with activities and studies. It's located in a very cute town with many shops and restaurants that I can easily imagine myself visiting with my friends. With its beautiful scenery and exciting activities, I'm sure I'll love this place :)

  • 10/22/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    42 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    Come visit the campus. It really does speak for itself.

    Bang for the buck

    Berkeley is regarded as being the top public university in the country, for good reason. The classes offered are immense, the faculty is spectacular, the resources provided are far from lacking, and the opportunities are incredible.

    Am enjoying being here

    Berkeley has a niche for all students. The atmosphere is intelligence, inviting, and diverse. The area is certainly college-student friendly, with lots to do on and off campus

    Am learning a lot

    UC Berkeley has a class for virtually every interest. The faculty is world-class, with many professors participating and conducting the cutting-edge research of their fields. The coursework is rigorous, and with it comes an amazing support system of teachers, GSIs, and a number of other resources and services.

  • 06/01/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    43 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Great for those who want to speak out and hear what all different types of people have to say

    Bang for the buck

    Although it isn't cheap, you get Ivy league quality for public school price

    Will enjoy being here

    There is a club for everything

    Will learn a lot

    Some of the beat academics in the country.

  • 06/06/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    44 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    It would be nice to receive more scholarships and financial aid.

    Will enjoy being here

    I am really looking forward to living on campus.

    Will learn a lot

    I'm excited to major in mathematics.

  • 06/11/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    45 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Students who love a big campus and don't mind walking will LOVE Berkeley.

    Will enjoy being here

    Berkeley has a beautiful campus and there are lots of places to eat around campus. Be prepared to break out your walking shoes cause it is defiantly a work-out to get around campus, but totally worth it.

  • 06/17/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    46 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    Berkeley is expensive, no doubt. But their programs are some of the top in the nation across the board. The staff and resources are there, in the end it's up to you if you use them or not.

    Will enjoy being here

    The campus is gorgeous, and even though I only visited for a few days, the staff and students were so friendly. I felt welcomed right away and I am looking forward to being a full-time student!

    Will learn a lot

    The classrooms look so interactive and the earthquake simulator was awesome! (I am going into Civil Engineering, so I'm not really sure what other departments are like.) I sat in on a lecture and learned a lot from the small sample I got.

  • 06/19/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    47 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Great for people who love to learn and explore.

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit the campus. Many people have love it or hate it reaction to the campus and school.

  • 06/22/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    0 out of 3 people found this review useful. 48 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Will learn a lot

    I fill that I will learn a lot here if accepted. Especially because I'm going through the process of Experience Berkeley.

  • 07/15/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    49 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Berkeley is great for students who are looking for an urban environment with a lot of diversity. It is also great for students who are looking for a large campus. Berkeley has over 30,000 students so the campus feels more like a town of its own. It is also great for students who want to take advantage of the close proximity to the city. San francisco is only a forty minute BART ride away!

    Tips for prospective students

    Berkeley is definitely a challenging academically! Make sure you take advantage of all of the help that is being offered to you. For example, the professors have office hours if you have a quesiton. They also provide their emails that they encourage you to use. Plus, there are GSI office hours as well. And on top of that, there are many learning centers that offer help free of charge! So, help is always easy to find!

    Am enjoying being here

    If you are tired of boring high school classes that are not challenging enough, than Berkeley is definitely the place to be. I LOVE being here because I am challenged everyday and know that I am learning more than I ever did before. Along with the many outstanding professors, who are always eager to help, and the upbeat campus life, Berkeley is the perfect for me to grow up, learn more about myself, and get a world class education.

  • 07/18/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    50 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    Berkeley is definitely worth the cost just don't live in the campus dorms they are way over priced.

    Am enjoying being here

    I love it there is literally a place for everyone at this school

    Am learning a lot

    I love my classes and they are packed with information. The best way to absorb information at this school is by getting to know your GSI's

  • 07/19/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    51 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Students who like urban life, a lot of people, walking or biking to/from or around campus, are motivated

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't be too narrow-minded coming in, take classes outside of your major to explore other fields, talk to upperclassmen, don't be overwhelmed by schedule Be careful at night, don't go out by yourself

    Bang for the buck

    Pros: first-rate education, bus pass for unlimited rides, discounted student gym membership, free entrance to the Lawrence Hall of Science, access to library, etc Cons: dorms are very expensive, university student health insurance is not cheap either but mandatory

    Am enjoying being here

    Lifelong friends Classes: diverse, thorough, worthwhile, some are big, get filled quickly, some don't have waitlists, easiness/difficulty depends on professor/semester Department: helpful and available advisers, useful emails Location: close to SF, Emeryville, Oakland, ease of transportation, accessible and convenient, unsafe streets at night, dirty City life: always something to do, great eats (variety & taste)

    Am learning a lot

    Professors are knowledgeable and often times I learned the best when I went to their office hours which are usually 1-3 hours per week depending on the class. Course content is extensive.

  • 07/26/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    52 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    There are so many different kinds of people on campus, I don't think there is really a 'typical' Cal student. Anyone who has an open mind, a passion to better themselves and their world around them, and a desire to learn will thrive at UC Berkeley.

    Tips for prospective students

    I would encourage prospective students to get involved. Don't overload yourself, but seek out something that you are interested in and immerse yourself in whatever that passion is. And I do mean whatever--Cal has so many options, you're sure to find something you love. Also, I would relax while planning your class schedule. You have four years at the school, so you don't need to take 20 units your first semester. It's much better to take fewer units your first semester and allow yourself the chance to adjust to life at Cal than to take on too much too fast.

    Bang for the buck

    The cost of tuition is rising, along with the cost of just about everything these days. Housing is also expensive, depending on where you would like to live. However, despite this the UC system is still relatively inexpensive compared to other colleges, and I for one think that the cost to attend Cal is definitely worth it. The campus is amazing, the classes and professors are unbeatable and the experiences you have will last a lifetime.

    Am enjoying being here

    My first year at Cal has far exceeded my expectations. I was elected Vice President of Service for Stern Residence Hall; in this position I organized and participated in service projects on and around campus. This inspired me to participate in Alternative Breaks over spring break, a service-learning program that studied immigration and relations along the San Diego-Tijuana border. I was able to still fuel my passion for soccer by playing on an intramural indoor team and was employed as a referee for the sport. Also, I had the amazing opportunity to indulge in my love of fashion by writing a weekly blog for CollegeFashionista.net. Furthermore, I maintained a 4.0 both semesters and earned a spot on the Dean’s List. Cal offers countless opportunities and if you take advantage of the amazing resources you have available to you, it will make for great experiences to enjoy yourself while you mature and learn.

    Am learning a lot

    The classes that I have taken so far at Berkeley have been challenging, but manageable and truly enjoyable. The material is interesting and taught in intriguing ways. The professors I have had have been amazing lecturers and actually make me want to go to class everyday. My writing skills have improved tremendously, as have my abilities to take notes and study more efficiently.

  • 09/23/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    53 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Nerds. If you even slightly like anything at all nerdy or geeky, Berkeley will be like a miniature heaven for you. From a club that plays quidditch (yes, quidditch!) to a class about Middle Earth, you will find your nerdy obsession here. But overall, Cal is one of the most diverse and open schools I've been at. Everyone seems to be welcome and not one person is torn down because he or she is a little different.

    Tips for prospective students

    Watch out! Berkeley's tough. Beautiful-but tough. Even if you are the smartest kid at your high school, you may not be the smartest one here. But don't fret, the people here are wonderful and most will help you.

    Bang for the buck

    You get this amazing Berkeley name tacked on to everything related to you. You pay the price for a public school, but get the prestige of an Ivy league.

    Am enjoying being here

    I love it here. It's the perfect mix of the outdoors and the city. There's so much famous, and even world renowned, restaurants here, that it's hard not to gain that freshman fifteen. But then again, there are wonderful hiking trails in the hills that give you such a spectacular view that you kinda don't care you gained five, ten, or even forty pounds!

    Am learning a lot

    Cal is such a challenging school. It pushes you in all sorts of directions and broadens your mind to the farthest corners. I've learned so much here at Berkeley that it simply astounds me.

  • 09/30/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    54 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Any students. GO BEARS :)

    Tips for prospective students

    Get out of your comfort zone and make friends in your floor and class, join club meetings, go to office hours, cheer on sports games, and attend one of the many activities Cal provides to the students ,etc.

    Bang for the buck

    For in-states, UCs are cheaper than most private schools, but we are aware that they are most likely going to raise tuition in the coming years.

    Am enjoying being here

    There are many (too many) student organizations you can join on campus and also, there are a variety of fun events that range from Caltopia to just club socials that will fit you right in.

    Am learning a lot

    Academics is definitely one of the main strengths here. Your professors are well-informed of their subject of study and are willing to see you during office hours if you do not understand or just simply want to chat (just some may be grumpy or intimidating). Don't be afraid and use it to your advantage!

  • 11/13/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    55 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    In my opinion, Cal is a great fit for students who like to get involved in activities/sports/clubs/frats, but know their limits when it comes close to mid-terms or finals. Here is what the admissions representative said to me when she visited our school: 1) Berkeley does a holistic review, which means that they review all of your components equally and read your application from cover to cover. They do not have a special formula to calculate a number and then accept/deny you. 2) Berkeley does not have an interview or letter of recommendation portion in the application, so your essay is essentially your letter of recommendation for your self and your essay is your interview.

  • 11/26/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    56 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    For a public school (UC), it's expensive, but as the best public uni in the country, it's worth it.

    Will enjoy being here

    The Cal community is amazing -- the drive around this UC is energizing.

    Will learn a lot

    I'm an English major, so this school is really my top choice... The academics here are amazing, and have decades of good reputations to back up the buzz.

  • 11/27/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    57 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Everyone who is willing to work hard, but also has enough balance in their life to enjoy themselves!

    Tips for prospective students

    Make plans before you get here! It can been overwhelming and daunting once you are here. But really it is a great place to be! You just have to remember that you are great, and wonderful and deserve to be at Cal. They don't make mistakes in who they accept! Also, make sure you are able to balance study time and you time. You time can be anything from social time to exercise time, just don't end up in the group of Berkeley students who study until they die and never enjoy themselves. You need the balance, especially at a school as competitive as Cal. Just remember, college is fun! Also, don't stress about your major. Seriously, it doesn't mean anything. What really means something is your personal drive and your passion. And when you're looking for jobs after college, that's what is going to matter to employers; not your major.

    Bang for the buck

    Unfortunately, despite being a public school (and I;m an in-state student), BERKELEY IS EXPENSIVE! On campus housing is ridiculous, but so is off-campus housing ($4000/mo for a 5 bedroom house...ouch). And, with budget cuts, tuition keeps increasing! However, it is one of the best schools in the country, and for those students with financial need they do offer some generous scholarships to help with tuition. Just make sure you fill out your FAFSA! And while school is expensive, there are a lot of other ways to save money, like buying used textbooks, trading books with friends and only taking classes you need to take! Of course, you should take fun classes, but that is really one of the best reasons I can think of as to why you should pick a major that interests you, regardless of what you want to do after college. I mean, just because you want to be a doctor, does not mean you have to major in bio. But if you love bio, go for it! As long as you can get in all the pre-reqs for med school, your major does not matter. With that being said, it's better to major in something you really enjoy and want to devote a lot of time to. College is stressful and expensive, but it's going to be less stressful and the cost is going to feel more manageable (and worth it) if you are getting a degree in something you love.

    Am enjoying being here

    Berkeley is great, but you have to have an open mind. You also have to realize that Berkeley has a certain paradigm surrounding it, and sometimes people come to Berkeley and do weird things just because they are in Berkeley and they think that's what you do. It can be easy to get caught up in this, so make sure you set aside time for school, and time for what you really love, not what the latest fad is. Of course, with the number of on and off campus groups we have, there is something for everyone, no joke. Just take a walk down Sproul Plaza and you'll find maybe one fourth of our on campus student groups set up with tables. And that seems to cover everything, but there are even more groups if you look for them! You can also join club sports, which are a lot of fun, and open doors to numerous other on campus organizations. Both on and off campus there is always something to do. And you're just a BART ride away from the City, so if you need to escape Berkeley for a day, it's more than doable on a tight budget.

    Am learning a lot

    Berkeley is great! But be warned! In your lower division classes, you have 500 to 600 (sometimes more!) people in your lecture! Unless you go to a lot of office hours, your professors will not know your name, or care how you are doing in the course. While they do want you to learn the material, they are often busy with their own research and lack time to check in with you every step of the way. But, all that means is that it's up to you to pay attention in lecture, do the reading and the homework, and if you get lost at any point that you set aside the time to go and talk to your professor (and/or GSI) during their office hours. And if you can't make their office hours, email them and set up an appointment! A lot of students complain that their professors don't care enough and that they're falling behind because of it. Seriously, this is not the case at all! It all boils down to your motivation! If you care about the class and want to learn the material, you will, I promise! You will because you will make the extra effort to learn the material and really get involved with the classes. This is not a school that is going to baby you, but if you try, the amount you learn will be impressive.

  • 12/29/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    58 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Simply: For those who are motivated. For those who don't give up. For those who believe in themselves and in others. For those who can take getting a B once in a while. For those who are willing, yearning, to open their heart and mind.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be prepared. I know, how can you be prepared if you haven't ever been there? When I say be prepared, I mean this: Let go of any conviction that you're the smartest, and therefore the best, person in the room. Maybe you are, and maybe you're not (you're not if the professor is in the room). It doesn't matter. I've seen so many cases and heard so many stories of students refusing to collaborate, or refusing others their notes, or taking Adderall (don't do it!), all with the idea of being the best. That's not what Berkeley is about. Be willing to work together and get to know people. Your goodwill and your help will inspire others. Berkeley is about community.

    Bang for the buck

    To get accepted to Cal is the greatest deal you could ever get. UC Berkeley is the top-rated public school in the world. The world. That means you get an Ivy-League education at a public school price. That means you get the prestige of attending a renowned university, without having to pay such a steep price. The only reason I give four stars is because the deal seems to be nearing its end, thanks to the tuition hikes... Still. Top-rated public school. In the world.

    Am enjoying being here

    Absolutely. There is nothing better than the freedom -- to be yourself, to pursue whatever course of study you want, to eat donuts at midnight or orange chicken at 2 AM, to spend the first four days of dead week relaxing and then spending the last day vowing never to do that again. And then there's the people. Don't be worried about getting lost in the 20-something-thousand that comprise Berkeley. See each one as an opportunity to learn something, to expand your horizons, to have some fun.

    Am learning a lot

    At Berkeley, if it's not the astounding, engaging professors, then it's the wide range of fascinating classes, like Physics for Future Presidents or perhaps Robert Reich's class on wealth and poverty. And if it's not the classes, then it's the experience of being surrounded by a student body that is infinitely diverse and yet shares in common a love of learning that is inspiring, to say the least. Even getting a failing grade in the dreaded Calculus 1B class will teach you more than any class you might take in high school, or any other college.

  • 12/30/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    59 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    Berkeley's tuition is unbelievably high, but considering its academic reputation, it may well be worth it. Having that kind of name on your resume enhances your chances of obtaining a job after graduation. Not only that, you have access to world-class professors and professionals who are sought after. The thing is that you have to take advantage of the resources that Berkeley has to offer.

    Am enjoying being here

    Although Berkeley is exciting and has a lot to offer, it can be very stressful at times especially if you are an over-achieving individual who cannot stand getting grades other than As. If you are like that, well, you have a lot to learn, because in college, especially at Berkeley, you cannot have that type of attitude. You must really learn to embrace that grades are not ultimately what you must worry about (granted you need reasonably good ones to get into grad school), but to look instead at what you have learned throughout the semester. If the answer is a lot, well, there you have. You have skills and new knowledge that you can put to use. So relax, work hard, but don't kill yourself. Expand your horizons and step out of your comfort zone. Try new things because there is no time like the present.

    Am learning a lot

    No matter whatever class you choose to take at Berkeley, I guarantee you will learn a lot. You may surprise yourself by taking that Slavic languages seminar that you're just taking to fulfill a requirement or trying your hand at a Computer Science class when normally you may stay as far away from technical courses as possible. The point is that you are not limited by what you like or don't like because all of that changes in college. The classes, unlike high school, pack so much information into a one hour period that it is absolutely unbelievable how much I learn in just one day. Take classes from a variety of disciplines and don't limit yourself to just one field because I can guarantee that you will learn something valuable, whether it is about the predicted health care trends in the future or the origin of the Lindy Hop dance style. From random tidbits to life-changing wisdom to learned lifestyles, Berkeley has it all. Embrace it. You won't regret it.

  • 01/02/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    60 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Hard working Determined Persistent

    Tips for prospective students

    Try to join clubs on campus and dont focus entirely on grades.

    Bang for the buck

    The tuition fees are increasing by the year.

    Am enjoying being here

    There are many things to do on campus and San Francisco is nearby which is a bonus.

    Am learning a lot

    The professors are very good and make their classes very informative.

  • 01/07/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    61 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus is very very safe. Bearwalk is there to drive students back home late at night if they are still out and WarnMe is the emergency warning system that told us whether anything was wrong. It is quick and efficient and told us just seconds after an incident. We were the ones who knew first and that's how it should be.

    Bang for the buck

    A lot of things up north in Berkeley are pretty cheap. The only concern is the rising tuition costs. Check out scholarships and work study jobs to try and pay it off. It's possible and will only give you a little more peace of mind.

    What to do for fun

    Check out clubs or events on campus. Go to karaoke. Participate in a dance workshop. Watch movie screenings. Attend concert performances. Eat eat eat well. Play assassins with your building. Get involved and have a great time!

    Food and Dining

    Food is okay at Berkeley. If you have a meal plan, there's an abundance of it, from the dining halls to the cafes. However, if you want to explore the town, food is great. There is such a large range of food types to enjoy so you'll definitely find a favorite restaurant and everything is easy to get to because we have bus passes. It's cheap and it stays open late and they are the perfect places to go to eat well.

    Dorm Life

    I absolutely love dorm life. That's where my home is. Get to know your floormates well because you have to live there. But it's more fun than that. We all go out for floor dinners, late night ice cream runs, movie screenings in our floor lounge, study groups and games. More importantly, get to know your RA and the people who dedicate their time to help you out, like your security monitors and PA and more. Don't disregard them. I found one of my best friends in my RA, I love my awkward PA, and I talk all the time with the security monitors. It just makes life a lot more fun. Don't be scared of the college bathrooms. They are not as dirty as people think they are. Set some ground rules with your roommates early. You want to get along with them, but it's not required to become best friends with them. Make it a comfortable environment where you can really do your best and enjoy.

    Academic Rigor

    Berkeley is tough. Not so tough where you can't handle all of the work, but it will challenge you. Make a study group if you can and do all of the readings right when they are assigned because if you don't they will catch up to you and they are vital in some of the smaller discussions. Work hard and keep focused on what you want to get out of school.

    Tips for prospective students

    Study a lot and talk to your professors. It might be intimidating to go speak to your professor as casually as you did during high school, but attend office hours and email them, otherwise you'll quickly pass through their class as an unknown student. Take advantage of all of your resources and just have fun and explore.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is a hustle and bustle of activities. Every day something new is happening on the campus, whether it's club activities, games, protests, or tabling. It's always exciting to see what the school has to offer so definitely take advantage of everything out there.

  • 01/10/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    0 out of 1 people found this review useful. 62 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    They show a lot of independent movies. There are frat parties, but they aren't as good as UCSB's. The best part about the night life is SF is right across the bay.

    Food and Dining

    Horrible food.

    Dorm Life

    The food is horrible. There are no hot girls/guys.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes are challenging, but not to the extent where you will find yourself with C's. I currently hold a 4.0 and party quite a bit. As long as you do the work and attend class (which not everyone does), you will find yourself graduating with a high GPA and a stress free academic college career.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do lots of extra curricular activities. I had a low GPA and low ACT/SAT scores, yet I got into UC Berkeley because of my musical talents and many awards in Capital Markets Contests and Mock Trial.

    In three sentences

    Great school for a good education. Not a great school for partying or hot girls/guys. Classes are not as hard as everyone says they are, as I party quite a lot and still have a 4.0.

  • 01/12/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    63 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    they have some racism among the fraternities and sororities, but that shouldn't stop you from trying to find one you agree with. it is not free though!

    Great for these types of students

    studious students who like to keep a balance of entertainment

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Streaking at the time of finals is common

    What to do for fun

    San Francisco is really fun to go to and to explore, both the tourist spots and the regular city areas are fun and interesting.

    Food and Dining

    you can eat a variety of food in campus dining, but it is not very healthy or tasty. many students get sick from the general dining halls on campus. you really should try them all though, especially the late night meals in the different dining places. food off campus has a great variety tho.

    Dorm Life

    not only are the dorms fun but they are also where you will meet the most people. you find people to study with and have fun with. Just remember that they also made the nations most expensive dorms!

    Academic Rigor

    the classes here challenge you to use all your skills in everything you do. You get to be challenged while still being allowed to have enough room for creativity.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't close yourself off to others, even if you are shy. Allow yourself to have an open mind and still know who you are as an individual. Don't forget why you are going to college! Keep your goals in mind!

    In three sentences

    The school itself is fun and full of life but not ridiculous. The location allows for a variety of activities that are not available everywhere else. It has a campus that is well balanced between nature and architecture.

  • 02/04/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    64 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    stroll, shop, and eat on telegraph avenue take bart (the train system) all around the sf bay area

    Food and Dining

    food is good, and there is a wide variety of foods to eat.

    Dorm Life

    i don't know about the main campus, but the clark kerr campus has amazing dorms.

    Academic Rigor

    i just put three stars because i have not taken any college courses at cal yet.

    In three sentences

    i am familiar with this university because i have taken the atdp classes that are offered to elementary and high school students. i also stayed in the clark kerr campus of uc berkeley, and the dorms are pretty sweet.

  • 02/09/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    65 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    cafe 3 is the best dining hall, hands down!

    Dorm Life

    my flood had bed bugs so my room did too :( and our elevator has been broken down for 2 weeks!

    Academic Rigor

    there's a lot of reading and writing involved and most professors don't slow down so you can keep up.

    In three sentences

    cal is absolutely amazing and really is a diverse environment. everyone is relatively accepting and the sheer size of the campus holds so many opportunities for students. and the food around school is great!

  • 03/04/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    66 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    san fransico is a 30-40 minute bus ride away!

    Food and Dining

    crossroads can get a little tiring but they definitely try to give you great tasting food.

    Dorm Life

    i live in a double and it is spacious, bathrooms are kept clean, there are a lot of places you can go to study in case your floor gets ocassionaly loud.

    Academic Rigor

    professors and gsi's will definitely challenge you, but just make sure you complete all necessary assignments.

    Tips for prospective students

    study hard, stay on task, and attend tutoring even if you feel like you don't need it!

    In three sentences

    definitely challenging but it is worth it. the atmosphere is welcoming and generally open-minded. you are provided with lots of opportunities, it is up to you to take them.

  • 03/09/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    67 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    party!!!

    Food and Dining

    i'm used to hope cooking so the good is sort of disgusting to me.

    Dorm Life

    i stayed in a mini-suite and it was the best!

    Academic Rigor

    as long as you study and stay on top of your readings, the work isn't that difficult!

    Tips for prospective students

    *bring your own microwave/refrigerator *keep an open mind *enjoy yourself

    In three sentences

    this is a great institution for higher learning. if you get accepted, it will definitely be an eye opening experience to attend this university. it's one of the best!

  • 03/11/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    68 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    there have been a few incidents of robbery with and without gunpoint. cal isn't the safest school. this said, it's all about common sense. don't walk alone very late. be careful not to go in any dark streets and whatnot. if you do this, you should be fine.

    Clubs and Activities

    so many clubs! there is something for everyone; it's just a matter of going to their welcome meetings and staying active in the club.

    Bang for the buck

    cal is part of the uc system. however tuition is rising and will probably continue to rise for several years. in my opinion, it's worth the investment because you learn a lot and learn to have a good time. but you might consider apply for financial aid and getting a job.

    What to do for fun

    there is so much to do in berkeley. there are many free events in the dorms that give free food (good food!) you can watch movies, go to parties, and go to sf! you can also hike to the big c!

    Food and Dining

    even though the dining commons' food can be bad at times, the restaurants surrounding berkeley are really good. there is good pizza, sandwiches, and other foods. i would recommend visitors to try cream because they have the best ice cream cookies.

    Dorm Life

    i live in the dorms. honestly, they are too expensive. at times the floors can be rowdy and disrespectful to one another. another downside to dorms is that one doesn't get to cook food and dining commons' food is the best at times. but it is an experience anyone can go through. if i had to choose again as a hs student, i wish choose to live in the dorms.

    Academic Rigor

    the professors are very good and the students' are academically driven. you have to study and try to receive a good grade in class. you'll be surprised on how often one class is related to another class and how some classes can challenge your previous concepts.

    Tips for prospective students

    i encourage you to join one or two clubs in hs and stick with them for a while. become active members and write a good essay on your application.

    In three sentences

    cal is full of smart and fun students. it is hard academically but with enough will one can do anything. cal is the best school for me because the students are very active in social movements that it encourages me to be part of them too!

  • 03/18/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    69 of 222

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    It's The Best Public School in California with Architecture major..

  • 03/21/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    70 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    be positive and pursue what you like

    In three sentences

    dynamic, academic, and the best place to go to

  • 04/03/2012

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    71 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I am a five foot tall gal and didn't feel afraid. Exercise common sense and you'll be fine.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are literally hundreds of different extracurricular activities to get involved with. Chances are that whatever you're interested in, you'll be able to find a group.

    Bang for the buck

    Public school tuition in CA is rising rapidly. It's still less than private school, but it's getting close!

    Food and Dining

    Dorm food is not good, but the accessibility and variety of eats close to campus is excellent.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is okay, but incredibly expensive for what you're getting.

    Academic Rigor

    You're going to one of the best universities in the country- did you expect anything different? ;)

    Tips for prospective students

    Do some research into what you want to study before you start. Many required courses are hard to get into, so you may graduate late if you have no idea what you want beforehand.

    In three sentences

    Diverse, engaging campus in the Bay Area.

  • 04/04/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    72 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    RUSH ACACIA!

    Dorm Life

    It was cool, but I moved out as soon as I could.

    Academic Rigor

    It's only a challenge because everyone else is equally as intelligent. The only way to differentiate yourself is to work harder than everyone else.

    Tips for prospective students

    Hit the ground running, and never look back.

    In three sentences

    I love it here. I have successfully found myself here. I am currently setting the tone for the rest of my life here.

  • 04/10/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    73 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I've never had a problem on campus with safety.

    Clubs and Activities

    I joined the Berkeley Project and met many great new people.

    What to do for fun

    Hike up to the big C, socialize and meet new people, join clubs!

    Food and Dining

    The GBC is the best place to eat with meal points, but everything is ridiculously overpriced.

    Dorm Life

    I don't have the greatest roommates ever.

    Academic Rigor

    A lot harder than expected but manageable if you go out and get the help you need.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't ever procrastinate here and never deprive yourself of sleep and/or food!

    In three sentences

    Professors and GSI's are very friendly and willing to help anyone in need. I've had an interesting experience my first year here and learned many new things and met a lot of new people from all over the world.

  • 04/23/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    74 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Berkeley is a city that comes with all the pros and cons of being in an urban area. Crimes happen. The university offers great campus safety services such as night shuttles and Bearwalk, which is a service that picks you up from any location and walks or drives you home.

    Greek Life

    Greek life here is really fun, and a lot of people are involved in it, although it is not necessary to join a fraternity or sorority to have a social life.

    Clubs and Activities

    Every club you could possibly imagine is here for every interest.

    Great for these types of students

    All!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There is a naked run through the main library on campus every semester right before finals, which is always fun to watch or participate in. Every spring there is a Holi celebration on campus where everyone comes together and throws paint on each other. Oh, 4/20 is fun too.

    What to do for fun

    San Francisco is about a half hour BART ride away, so all that the city has to offer is easy to reach. If you want to stay in Berkeley, Telegraph and Shattuck always have a lot to offer in regards to shopping and dining. The Fire Trails and Grizzly Peak offer great trails for hiking and running.

    Food and Dining

    The dining halls here are mediocre here at best, but nearly all of the restaurants around the area are amazing. There are some half-decent Mexican places for NorCal too. Recommended places: Thai Basil, Top Dog, Wiki Wiki Hawaiian BBQ, Burgermeister, San Francisco Soup Kitchen, Toaster Oven, Cheeseboard Collective

    Dorm Life

    Most of the dorms here are co-ed (except for Bowles and Stern), varying in degrees of quality. It's a great way to meet people your freshman year, but most people live outside of the dorms after that. Units 1, 2, and 3 are closest to campus, while Clark Kerr is farthest, but it has the largest rooms.

    Academic Rigor

    If you got into Berkeley, you are prepared for anything the university has to throw at you. No one is going to hold your hand throughout these 4 years, so be prepared to be proactive about your education and figuring things out on your own.

    Tips for prospective students

    Cal offers you a huge array of options in everything you could want in a college experience. The campus is located in an urban setting, but there is plenty of nature around too. When choosing colleges, just keep in mind what you want in regards to campus setting, academic competition, and weather.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley's campus is one of the most eclectic and diverse places I have ever been. The education provided here is top notch, but the school's competitive reputation isn't as bad as most people think. UC Berkeley has given me so many new experiences academically and socially.

  • 04/25/2012

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    75 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    I wouldn't really know but there are tons of them

    Clubs and Activities

    So many to choose from!

    Great for these types of students

    academically driven

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    People's park...

    What to do for fun

    Eat, eat, eat

    Food and Dining

    Such great local cuisines!

    Dorm Life

    I hated the dorms....

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not procrastinate. Make sure to join clubs!

    In three sentences

    An amazing campus! It has brilliant professors and exceptional students. One of the best experiences in the world!

  • 04/26/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    76 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    One word: BearWalk.

    Great for these types of students

    Academics, activists, leaders, nerds, fanboys and -girls, athletes, creators, musicians, artists

    Bang for the buck

    Pricy, yes. Worth it? Absolutely. There are great resources here of which you can take advantage: library, advisers, activities, etc.

    What to do for fun

    You're in the Bay; explore it! Berkeley itself is great, San Francisco is justa BART ride away.

    Food and Dining

    Great food, tries to be local and/or organic. Huge variety too!

    Dorm Life

    Pricy, but there's always something to do!

    Academic Rigor

    No slacking! You need to get work done, and get it done well.

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit the campus to get a feel for day to day Berkeley life. Make sure to ask questions! Guides (and students) are very helpful.

    In three sentences

    This is the world's best university. From professors to classes to extracurriculars to job opportunities, you need to come to Cal! Go Bears!

  • 05/02/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    77 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Anything! It's San Francisco.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get everything done early-- they're strict about deadlines.

    In three sentences

    I got accepted even though it said my chances were low. Take a chance! It's my dream school and I'm soooo excited.

  • 05/05/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    78 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    People usually think Berkeley is unsafe because there are so many homeless people here, but its is actually quite safe. We have the UCPD which you can call in case of an emergency. We also have night shuttles that take you to different parts of the campus and BearWalk which you can call when you are walking somewhere at night and do not want to walk by yourself. There is usually an awkward silence during the walk, but you get to your destination safely!

    Greek Life

    We have Frat Row which is where all the Frat houses are. If you are looking for a night out, that's the place to be!

    Clubs and Activities

    There is practically a club for everything! And if there isn't one for what you like, you can start your own!

    Great for these types of students

    Any type of student. The campus is very diverse when it comes to ideas and the things that people like. People usually say that we are nerds and tree-huggers, but there are all kinds of people here!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Do not step on the university seals; it's bad luck! During your first semesters' finals week, make sure to roll down 4.0 hill. They say that if you roll down ONCE, you will get a 4.0. The campus has many traditions and myths. Come and explore the campus and learn more about them!

    Bang for the buck

    It is the most expensive UC, but definitely worth it. A lot of it comes from the fact that it is in the bay area which is usually expensive to live in, but the quality of education here makes it worth it. There is a lot of financial aid available, so it is easy to come up with the money to pay for it. I'm paying about $1000 for the whole year out of pocket and it is definitely worth it, especially for being the number one public university in the world!

    What to do for fun

    The possibilities are endless. There is always something going on nearby, and then there is always San Francisco which is just one short Bart ride away.

    Food and Dining

    The food in the dining commons sucks, but there are a lot of good restaurants nearby. If you want burgers, I recommend Bongo Burger; the fries are delicious there!

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are pretty expensive, but a good experience and good place to make new friends. There is always something going on in the dorms and they have activities at a discounted price so that you can go out and explore.

    Academic Rigor

    There are some classes where the grading curve is very competitive and there are some where it is not as competitive. It really depends on the class, but if you try your best, you will be fine.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do your assigned readings and go to lecture. Don't stress too much if you come here and don't get the grades you were used to getting in high school because the classes here are much more difficult.

    In three sentences

    It is an amazing school with great professors and classes. You can do just about anything you want here since the campus is very liberal. The campus is also very amazing since it is very involved with the community around it and is the center of Berkeley.

  • 05/09/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    79 of 222

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    I have been to Berkeley during summer for once and it was one of the best moments of my life. Endless stores and attractions makes it nice for others to become home to. So much history is attached to buildings like the big library and statues that tells a tale of the unique past!:)

  • 05/18/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    80 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    I heard the fraternities and sororities are really great and create a bond for life.

    Great for these types of students

    Liberals, YOU MUST BE A LIBERAL! :)

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    It's a hippie town!

    Bang for the buck

    Being an international student, I think it is too expensive and not enough opportunities for scholarships.

    What to do for fun

    The campus is one of the largest in United States so there will definitely be opportunities for extracurricular activities

    Food and Dining

    I heard the food is excellent and that there is a great variety of cheap and good food.

    Dorm Life

    I heard the dorm life is pretty stressful and an environment of partying and loudness.

    Academic Rigor

    From what I have heard, this is definitely the best school in California for business. The professionalism, character, and academic challenge will definitely motivate you to become a great businessman in the future.

    Tips for prospective students

    I cannot tell because I never been to the campus.

    In three sentences

    Excited to start. Nervous about fitting in. Confident that I'll do my best.

  • 05/19/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    81 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    There are THOUSANDS of groups to be a part of! DeCAL classes, clubs, ASUC, the list goes on...

    Great for these types of students

    Involved, ambitious, academic, curious, collaborative, spirited students

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Vantage points of SF bay; Cal v. Stanford activities

    Bang for the buck

    It is an Ivy-League education (consistently ranked internationally as top 5 in terms of reputation, usually around 2nd to Oxford/Harvard), but in a public system. Nobel Laureates teach here! Opportunities abound!

    What to do for fun

    Study! Just kidding! Take the BART to San Fran, relax on nearby beaches, explore the awesome city of Berkeley!

    Food and Dining

    Frugal variety within Cal Dining, and endless gastronomic options outside of the campus realm.

    Dorm Life

    Renovations have been done, but it can be inconvenient-ish or expensive for what is offered.

    Academic Rigor

    Best public university in the States!

    Tips for prospective students

    Do what you love - not what you think others will love. Don't doubt yourself and the things that make you unique. Especially don't compare yourself to others!

    In three sentences

    A top-notch institution. A cultural and intellectual mecca. An environment of pioneering innovation, activity, and optimism.

  • 05/19/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    82 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus is relatively safe, off campus is where you should be careful though. There is a service called Bearwalk where you can call them after dark and a campus safety officer will walk you home and such. There is also a bus that runs at night to shuttle people home when it's dark. A great effort is made to keep the campus safe, and to keep all the students safe. Off campus is pretty dangerous sometimes, there are all kinds of interesting characters who roam the streets. Most of the time though, they will not bother you unless you bother them. Ignoring them most of the time works for me.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are TONS of clubs and activities to do, should you choose to involve yourself in them. If there is something you want to do, or like to do, chances are, there is a club for you. Or you could always start your own club. There are so many things to do at Berkeley that it's kind of hard to choose how much to involve yourself, but once you get in the swing of things, you'll figure out how to balance your schedule to not kill yourself.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    there is a hike to the Big C which is pretty cool, or eating lunch on the glade. no real unusual traditions, but there are some nice locations to sit and eat lunch or chat with a friend.

    Bang for the buck

    You mostly get what you pay for here at Berkeley, but it is pretty pricey. Although almost everything is about the same price, so maybe that's not as big a deal.

    What to do for fun

    For fun...there is not that much to do. The campus is pretty nice, (although not as nice as other campuses) and there is a memorial glade where you can sit and and hang out, and there are some scenic paths you can go down. Also, for you adventurous bikers, there are a lot of paths around here that are good, with lots of uphill and downhill.

    Food and Dining

    The dinning commons at Berkeley are pretty good, although their menu starts to repeat after a while and you get kind of tired of it. However, the eating options in Berkeley are immense. There are many different restaurants and stores that are located relatively close to campus where you can buy food, and the prices are not that expensive. On campus food is pretty pricey, but if you go off campus, there are a lot of options available for you to pick from, and they aren't that expensive, and taste pretty good.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is interesting. You can or cannot interact with people on your floor, it just depends on the people who you live with, or live around.

    Academic Rigor

    Berkeley is hard academically. Some classes are easier than others, but especially for those who are looking to go into the pre-health fields, the classes required for those are pretty tough, and have large class sizes leading to more competition. However, not all classes have 700 people and are tough to get a good grade in. There are seminars, and other smaller sized classes that are good to take and help you get to know a small group of people a lot better.

    Tips for prospective students

    In deciding whether to go to Berkeley, don't just consider the academics, consider what you want, what you want to study, what you hope to gain from college. Visit the colleges you want to go to, maybe the one that you didn't think would be a fit will be once you visit.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley, CA is a very unique place; the setting is unique, and the university and campus are one of a kind. There are a lot of pros and cons to going here, but there will be pros and cons with any college you choose to go to. Overall, Berkeley will provide you with a definite rigorous academic experience, but also a fun social experience.

  • 05/23/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    83 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    there is a thing called Bear Walk that you can call and they will walk you home if it's late. The place is teeming with cops as well

    Greek Life

    Not your stereotypical greek life from my experience. The stupid frat boys or sorority girl label doesn't really apply to greek life at Berkeley, it's great.

    Clubs and Activities

    Joined a club sports team and absolutely love it. These kinds of things are where you meet your best friends

    Great for these types of students

    You have to care about school and actually learning. No matter if you party of weekends or just stay in - the desire to learn is important.

    What to do for fun

    Go to the city. Go to frat row. Kick back with friends. Go on a hike in the fire trail. Do IM sports. Join a club sports team. Join a club.

    Food and Dining

    All the dining halls have organic salad bars which is nice and there are plenty of food options in the dining halls.. but the fact remains that it is dining hall food and it's just never going to be that great. There are on campus restaurants like Qualcomm cafe (they have awesome wraps) that you can use meal points at. For off-campus dining, Berkeley is GREAT. Right across from campus is any type of restaurant you could think of and they are all pretty affordable. As for the rest of Berkeley, it has a ton of excellent restaurants.

    Dorm Life

    There is very much a dorm for anyone. Those more for the quieter study scene, pick Foothill/Stern. Social but loud, pick the Units. Clark Kerr is kind of an in between these two, it is also far from campus so be warned.

    Academic Rigor

    It all depends on your major. But in general, it is pretty difficult.

    In three sentences

    A diverse campus with exceptionally smart people. Many students and a lot to do but not a lot of time. The most stressed and most fun time of your life.

  • 05/23/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    84 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Greek life here is great. Everyone is involved, there are a huge number of fraternities both professional and social, and there is ALWAYS something going on. Joining greek life was the best decision I have ever made, next to choosing to attend UCB of course.

    Great for these types of students

    One of the great things about Berkeley is that it can suit all types of students. If you're a very social type, there are a million and one ways to get involved. If you're a partier, we have the largest greek life on the West Coast. If you're a stay-in-your-room-and-study type, there's plenty of students here who ruin the class curve by doing that as well. However, you won't have as much fun if you do that at any college.

    Food and Dining

    Crossroads is typical cafeteria food. There is nothing special about it, however they do have random nights and themed nights around holidays when you can tell they put a lot of effort into the food and it turns out amazing.

    Dorm Life

    If you happen to find yourself on a floor with great people as I did, the dorm experience will be the best experience of your life. However, it is overpriced.

    Academic Rigor

    Lower division classes are very do-able, but upper divisions, especially for majors such as Chemistry, Math, and Physics, are extremely demanding.

    Tips for prospective students

    Stay on top of your work! First semester may seem very easy, but once you enter upper-division territory, Berkeley becomes a whole new university. There's a reason the degree is so valuable, this is a very challenging school.

  • 05/23/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    85 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Even with a bunch of homeless and kind of crazy people casually scattered around the area, Berkeley is pretty safe in the day-time. Its at night when it gets sketchy. When it gets dark, especially near people's park, DON'T walk by yourself (even if you are a male!). I know one too many people who have gotten mugged or harassed in the late hours of the night (even if you don't consider 10pm as late). At night, just try to travel with people instead of by yourself. You'll probably be fine by yourself but its better to be safe than sorry. But just for your reference, safest areas are probably northside and eastside since most cases of mugging happen on southside (and westside is just sketchier in general).

    Greek Life

    Greek Life is definitely more chill at Berkeley than at other schools, but the party scene is definitely happening, and if you want to party, its not hard to find one (we can get pretty crazy). Its also really easy to join a frat or a sorority. Its usually not a problem for most guys to get into the frat they want, and the sorority system is set up so that every girl that rushes (in the Fall) is guaranteed a match with A sorority (even though it might not necessarily be the one you want). Its usually freshman and sophomores (though mainly freshman) who dominate the frat parties on the weekends. Upperclassmen don't go out to frats as much - they tend to stick to house parties and kickbacks with their friends.

    Clubs and Activities

    THERE ARE SO MANY CLUBS. HUNDREDS. There is probably a club for everything you're interested in and didn't know you were interested in, and if there isn't, its not hard to start one. Most of the clubs are pretty legit too - they are pretty active, get you involved, are a great way to make friends, and they're fun! Take advantage of the multitude of clubs here! 5 stars all the way.

    Great for these types of students

    I'd say Cal is great for anyone who is open-minded and eager to learn, try new things, and meet new people. Cal is really DIVERSE and is great for all types of students - I encourage everyone to come here!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Cal has a bunch of fun and odd traditions. I'd say most of the traditions are usual the college-y stuff, like sports-related traditions and homecoming... and then there are some odd ones, like the naked run through the underground library of Main Stacks during finals week. There's a great list with descriptions of all the Cal traditions here: http://berkeley.edu/tour/life/traditions.html.

    Bang for the buck

    College is crazy expensive and tuition for UCs just keeps on rising. I definitely wouldn't mind if my Berkeley education was a bit cheaper (well more like a lot cheaper). I do honestly think that we're paying too much for our college education, and I'm not speaking about Berkeley specifically but in general, but hey, what can you do?

    What to do for fun

    You'll never be bored at Cal. Its always busy and there are always things to do and great people to do them with. There are always events and parties going on as well as good nature-y areas to hike and such. San Francisco is also just a short BART ride away, and there are a million things to do there. Also, chances are you'll make friends with people who have cars which makes it really easy to go on California adventures (like trips to the beach or roadtrips down to SoCal). You don't have to worry about being bored here.

    Food and Dining

    I gave this 3 stars because although campus dining isn't too stellar (although its not bad given that its college food), the restaurants IN Berkeley that aren't part of campus are AWESOME. There are SO many great authentic little places to eat in Berkeley. You'll never have trouble finding a good restaurant nearby with the kind of food you're in the mood for. Definitely try out all the different restaurants - the food is so good!

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life really varies - its all about luck. Maybe you'll get a great floor and you and your floormates will all become close friends (that's what happened to me freshman year), or maybe you'll get a floor that's more anti-social and everyone will be doing their own thing. Your dorm life can really make or break your first year at Cal, but if it helps, I've found that the former option happens more frequently than the latter. In terms of picking dorms, Units 1, 2, and 3 are the way to go - I'd say most freshman live there and the units are really social. Clark Kerr is pretty social as well, but its just farther from everything and more expensive (but the suites are really nice). The environment is mainly jocks and rich girls though, so if you're uncomfortable with that crowd I'd say stick to the units. As for Foothill, Bowles, and Stern (also known collectively as Unit 4 even though nobody calls it that), I'd try to avoid living there. Almost everyone I know who has lived in Foothill doesn't like it because its somewhat secluded being on the northeast corner of campus and tends to be more antisocial. Bowles and Stern are all boys and all girls, respectively, and most people find its more fun to live co-ed in the units or Clark Kerr.

    Academic Rigor

    On a whole, Berkeley classes are challenging but not impossible if you put in the time and effort. But like any school, the academic rigor varies depending on the classes you take. Some classes will be terribly easy, while others may seem impossible no matter how hard you try. A great way to learn about and compare the academic rigor of each course is through using CourseRank.com.

    Tips for prospective students

    1) Don't be afraid to try anything, whether it be clubs, events, classes, rushing a fraternity/sorority, etc! Even if you have even the tiniest sliver of interest in something, GO FOR IT! Explore all your options. Its better to expand first, then narrow down your activities and commit to a few things that you really enjoy and care about. Plus, getting involved is a great way to form really great relationships, make a difference, and get the most out of your experience at Cal. 2) Don't forget to keep a good balance of academics and fun. I've found that many people get too caught up in schoolwork and regret not spending more time living out the college experience, while others go overboard with having fun and later face the academic consequences of their indulgences. Its best to keep your priorities in check (academics first!), but also keep in mind the value of the friendships you will make (these will be the people you keep in touch with for the rest of your life) and the experiences you'll have (be daring, but smart!). These next 4 years can be the greatest ones of your life if you make the most of them! 3a) Do your homework before coming to college. Do research on majors and career paths so you can start preparing early on! Don't get me wrong - its okay not to know what your life will look like in 10 years as a college freshman, but take the time before college starts + your first semester to get a clear idea of what you want for your own future. Everyone will tell you that you have a lot of time to figure out what you want to study, what you want to do in life, etc. but honestly it can be a hassle and a real drag to change your major. I've talked to countless people who regret picking a major that they thought they'd be interested in (and ended up not liking it that much) but who had to stick with it because it was too much effort to change it. Its worth your time to figure out what you want to do early on. 3b) Major in what you like, not what you think employers will like. Study what you really want to study because your major really doesn't matter that much when you're looking for a job unless that job requires really specific skillsets that you learn through certain majors (computer science, engineering, accounting, etc). What employers really care about is your GPA and your skillsets (which you gain through work experience, internships, clubs, etc). So, study what you like because 1) you'll be good at it if you like it and put the time into it and 2) its a waste of time to sell yourself short and study something you don't like or are only kind of interested in. As long as you're good at what you study and are a functional human being with basic work skills (problem solving, critical thinking, etc) then you're set. 4) Last but not least (and a pretty general tip at that), spend your time wisely! You'll find yourself extremely busy at Cal, so be smart with managing your time. That is all.

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is a fantastic university with a unique environment filled with a lot of diverse and bright-minded people. At Berkeley, there are endless opportunities for personal and professional development, for academic advancement, for meeting great people, for getting involved, and so on - basically you can do anything you want with nothing to hold you back. Like any college, Berkeley is what you make of it; however, Berkeley does have a lot to take advantage of given its world-class professors, professional programs (e.g. Haas is great), and seemingly unlimited resources for its students to flourish.

  • 05/25/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    86 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    We have Limo buses that drive us from dorm to dorm and from the dorms to the rest of the campus. We also have bear walk: a group of students who pick you up late at night and walk you to your dorm.

    What to do for fun

    1) Take the BART (subway) to San Francisco 2) Hike to the big C 3) Enjoy a pick nick at the rose garden 4) Ride up to the Lawrence Hall Science Museum 5) Go shopping at the Emeryville Mall 6) Go out for lunch or dinner in the Asian Ghetto (a plaza where many restaurants sell different types of delicious Asian food 7) much more...

    Tips for prospective students

    If you plan to attend Berkeley make sure to take full advantage of office hours, tutoring, and any other help that is offered to you.

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is a very competitive school; However, Berkeley offers a lot of resources. We have tutoring, study groups, review sessions, and so on almost every day of the week. Berkeley is also very involved in providing financial aid to the students that need it: they give work-studies, loans, grants, scholarships and many more.

  • 05/26/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    87 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I actually have a story about this. One of my acquaintances was walking the streets of Berkeley late at night (~1 am), when a car pulled up to him. Three black men hopped out and started taunting him. They were threatening him with a knife, and ended up making off with everything (bookbag, latptop, wallet, etc) besides his cell phone. Scary, but preventable by walking in a group! I think the less fortunate come over from Oakland and prey on students like this. But, again, highly preventable by group walking and getting off of the streets by around 11 or 12. There's also a service called Bear Walk, where they drive you to wherever you have to go late at night. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice city. But after midnight, the night prowlers start creepin!

    Greek Life

    I've decided I'm not the frat guy type but they're fun to visit on the weekends. In order to get into one of the frats on frat row, a group must have a golden ratio of guys to girls. Frats are highly accessible to students who live in Unit 1, Unit 2, Foothill, Bowles, and Stern.

    Clubs and Activities

    Many, MANY clubs. Many opportunities for community service, research, and sports (intramural and club). It was surprisingly easy to get a research position; you just have to take the initiative and email professors. Take advantage of these opportunities, because contrary to what many think, you're not only paying for the degree.

    Great for these types of students

    Intensely close minded people need not apply. A student who is independent and open to knowledge is, in my eyes, the ideal candidate for Berkeley. You have a lot of freedom here. The people who can handle the liberty and control themselves are the same people who end up succeeding academically.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    An awesome place to take a hike is on the fire trails. They are hardly a hike up towards the hills east from campus, but they are a long. You can get a great view of the bay area from many spots along the way, and its very peaceful and relaxing if you're an outdoorsy person. Along with trails, up in that region there is the Big C of course. The title is self revealing, it's literally a Big C painted into the ground.

    Bang for the buck

    I am an out of state student, and footing the bill is not something easy for my family to do. I am going to graduate with two times the debt of the average student American student. But I think this is all worth it, because not only will I learn a lot academically. Berkeley forces you to learn a lot about yourself. I am paying for a scholarly adventure, and so far I am loving it. Totally worth it.

    What to do for fun

    What I've found most fun is simply talking to other students here. So many late nights consisting of staying up and discussing the mysteries of the universe, philosophy, anything and everything. The people are awesome here and thrown into the same ocean you are. Take the chance and get to know others in the same state of affairs as you! People aren't kidding when they say that you learn the most from your peers.

    Food and Dining

    I honestly love the food in the Berkeley area. If you're feeling cheap you go to the Asian Ghetto on Durant Ave. When you're feeling thriftier GO TO CHEESEBOARD, or the Gourmet Ghetto in general. I have friends who have been to Italy tell me how the pizza at cheeseboard is comparable to real Italian pizza. The dining commons had surprisingly good food. At times the menu was debatable, but there were always staples like subs/sandwiches for dinner/lunch and cereal for breakfast.

    Dorm Life

    Dorming was an experience. I was cooked up in a Unit 3 triple room for my first year, so I'll be speaking form that perspective. Laundry is easy, as the machines are a short stroll to the center administrative building. Finding studying space is not a problem either, as there are floor lounges, a main lounge in each building, studying rooms in the administrative buildings, libraries on campus, and grass fields for you nature lovers. Staying in a room with two other dudes was not a bad gig. There's much more room than one would think, especially since I got a corner room (bigger than the normal rooms). Obviously there's the chance that you'll be in a top bunk (there are two in the room) but that's just the place where you sleep. And to go with that line of thought, you don't have to be best friends with your roommates. Just make things clear to them, as far as lights off hours and storage spaces. But most of that's covered in the roommate agreement. Be cautious about drinking in the dorms! Make sure your RA is cool with it. If he/she isn't, then make sure you are very sneaky about it. I happened to find myself on a floor with an awesome RA, so it was all good. But I also found myself in Unit 2, where there was a very strict RA. She decided to document us for alcohol. As a consequence, I had to write a 3 page essay and attend an alcohol workshop. No fun, but Berkeley is very lenient with their disciplinary action. No police are called, and the residence hall staff handles it themselves (for the most part).

    Academic Rigor

    This school is no joke. Our GPA scale is one of the most brutal (A-'s are 3.7 instead of 4.0), and the competition is fierce in nearly every class to get into the top ~35% to get the A. That being said, if you know how YOU study getting that A will not be too difficult. However, if you are the type (me included) who didn't study for any test in high school and got by through intuition, you will have to learn your own personal techniques for studying. Luckily I found this out early on first semester, but others are not so fortunate!

    Tips for prospective students

    It's not all about making the grade. Even if you're one of those I gotta make it into grad school types like me, grades aren't even the half of it. Success at Cal comes down to connections. I thought living with other students would be weird/annoying/disgusting/downright unbearable. Boy I was wrong. It was the students and fellow floor mates that would help me get through the year. I may have just lucked out, but the students on third and fourth floor in Norton Unit 3 became extremely close with each other. It was in these halls where I made some of the most reliable, yet crazy friends. These students were in the same boat as me, and were super friendly and accepting of my douchiness/weird-o-ness. They were the ones who helped me through the hoops my professors set up for me, and I tried my best to assist them. I know that you commonly hear the expression college is what you make of it from your guidance counselors, teachers, and parents. I'm here to tell you that they were right. Be open, be friendly. It'll make you a happier person.

    In three sentences

    Wow, describe Cal in three sentences? Okay lemme try this. Cal is awesome, intellectual, accepting (hopefully), friendly, diverse, largely curved (you'll see), quirky, beautiful (except Evans hall), amusing, competitive, depressingly difficult, and incredibly rewarding all at once.

  • 05/30/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    88 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    join clubs, fraternities, do research, engage in debates, play sports

    Food and Dining

    dining halls are okay.

    Dorm Life

    very fun!

    Academic Rigor

    very difficult

    Tips for prospective students

    It is competitive so be ready to work hard.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is a fun filled and active campus with much history behind it. The faculty are very distinguished and amazing things happen everyday.

  • 06/01/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    89 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Always be alter. Walk with a friend. Remain in contact with family and friends. Never walk alone. Campus security is available, but having a phone number available for access would increase the chance for reassurance.

    Greek Life

    Take part in each activity given. The Greek life is filled with countless options for involvement. There are organizations that offer the guidance needed to achieve. Greek life permits individuals to pursue applicable leadership and quantifiable attributes.

    Clubs and Activities

    Student led government activities, recreational groups are always available. Enjoy life and explore all activities.

    Great for these types of students

    Visiting the museum, shopping in nearby stores attending sports games are common. Student session are available for those interested in getting to know how to achieve beyond their limit. Take part in study sessions.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Diversity exists everywhere. Some individuals from ourside of the country take part in rituals that are shown through dance and art. Take the time to explore the different settings that are available. There may be individuals roaming around with differet attire that stands out. Avoid judgemnet. Be friendly.

    Bang for the buck

    Save. Save. Save. Clothing, shoes and accessories have a significance, but remember books are needed to obtain a passing grade. Remember to always set a budget throughout the year. Careful planning is essential

    What to do for fun

    There are multiple opportunities that permit individuals to venture and explore. Visiting nearby museum or taking part in community-led activities provides insight that can be applied towards leadership. Take part in sports activities that are offered. Attend sports games and campus fairs. Although, homework is a priority, allow the chance to set aside time for leisure.

    Food and Dining

    Choose to dine with friends. Visit surrounding restaurants and dine with friends. The experience is rewarding.

    Dorm Life

    Enjoy the exposure. Surround yourself with the community. Join organizations that are within the campus and that are offered in the dorm. Speak to everyone, but try not to invade privacy.

    Academic Rigor

    There are certain guidelines that should be followed when completing assignments. Everyone has the responsibility to complete all work distributed. Apply proper effort and strive for the best.

    Tips for prospective students

    Independence requires countless responsibilities. Take the time to communicate with individuals throughout the campus. Participate in cultural events. The exposure to diversity would provide a meaningful experience.

    In three sentences

    Students wanting to pursue their major of interest are given the chance to build upon leadership experience. Throughout the campus, student-led organizations are prevalent in working within the university and in other cities to develop initiatives that provide change. The opportunity to make a difference is inevitable.

  • 06/04/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    90 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    What's great about Cal besides its reputation for education and research, is its location. San Francisco is across the bay and is easily accessible through the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). Take advantage of this and explore!

    Academic Rigor

    Berkeley challenges you to use past knowledge from a wide array of classes. Don't think that just because you're done/ passed a class you can forget what you've learned. You will need to use this stored knowledge!

    Tips for prospective students

    Go to your professor and graduate student instructors' office hours and do not be afraid to email them any questions. Don't wait until the last minute to get your questions answered!

    In three sentences

    Cal really challenged me and I honestly have to say that sometimes I did not meet the challenge. It is a difficult school but there are professors and graduate student instructors (GSIs) that are more than willing to help any student.

  • 06/04/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    91 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    People are scared of the homeless everywhere, but 99% of them are harmless. Most are hippies. They just want food. Real danger is between 11pm and 6am. Anyone can mug you if you are drunk and showing off your iphone. There is BEARWALK though. The campus' official taxi. You call, say where you need to go at 2am and you'll get home safe. If not, just walk in a group.

    Greek Life

    GREAT if you know where to look. Try a service one. You'll boost your experience and resume by telling your employer you helped out your community with your friends while you also partied hard and improved your networking skills!

    Clubs and Activities

    From the Indian to the South African to the Salvadoran to the Bhangra dance to Chinese caligraphy to refugee aid groups, everything is here, if not you can make your own group and you're guaranteed someone will join you. I tried it myself.

    Great for these types of students

    Free thinkers and debaters. Great for outdoorsy peeps. Party people can survive. Mostly if you are open-minded and very approachable you will be sitting next to an African and an Asian from your own department and debate with them about real issues while sipping a beer with peace and love.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Go to Lawrence Hall of Science and catch a view of the entire Bay Area either to relax or to take your date on a sweet experience. Go to Tilden Regional Park and camp out with your friends! Naked runs during finals are liberating: you'll see hundred of butts running through the library during finals week. BEAT STANFORD obsession can make people crazy, and it's a lot of fun. 4/20 day is quite a green experience.

    Bang for the buck

    Expensive as hell, but considerably less than any Ivy. And in my opinion, if you take real advantage of all the campus offers then you will feel that you have gotten your money's worth. Class menu is not as easy to choose from since they are all great, but you will have a hard time getting into any because classes are impacted.

    What to do for fun

    Only 4 places to hangout late at night. Sucks! But you should check out places in our neighboring towns. You'll find a lot, but the problem is buses don't really run that late. You can hit SF in about 20 minutes and go bar hopping to the best places ever in the Mission or in the Haight-Ashbury or Castro districts.

    Food and Dining

    TERRIBLE at the dorms. Although Crossroads offers a lot of good vegetarian food. The dining experience there feels like you're inside a cool greenhouse because it's mostly made of glass. Everything else feels like a soup kitchen. Outside food is AWESOME: one restaurant offers Mexican and Indian. Right next door to that one is the Brazil caf���© and a Thai place. Berkeley really caters to every taste!

    Dorm Life

    Amazing depending on the unit, but it depends on your personality and a lot is due to luck. Party people should hit the Units; science majors and the more quiet (or at least those who like quietness to study) should go to Foothill; Clark Kerr is awesome and comfy and for all athletes who don't mind walking up a hill everyday.

    Academic Rigor

    It's brutal. You won't sleep and won't be at peace in four years. But the best part is that you will learn how to learn. Critical thinking is something not many top-tier colleges do teach. TALK and become CLOSE to all your professors and staff. They are ALL nice. Try and take at least two classes with the same professor. You'll stand out from the rest.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't bring a car because you'll never find a parking space, or it will cost you your bank account. GET INVOLVED in all the clubs there are: dance Indian with the Bhangra club or save animals with the Vegans or volunteer for La Raza alongside law students and help refugees stay in the US! GO ABROAD to unconventional destinations (India, Malaysia, Jordan). It will look good on your resume if you have chosen something out of the typical Italy or France trip and come back not having seen any different from the West.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley combines ferocious competition with the fraternity found in the different and unique student clubs. All ideas are welcome, but will be tested and refuted with unceasing activism. The adventure never stops because you will always find a new place to hang out or to volunteer or to dance or go to a festival, a rave, a museum...

  • 06/06/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    92 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There are quite a few homeless people who wander around and in Berkeley, but they're generally quite friendly. If you get scared at night, there's always BearWalk, which picks you up when you give them a call and takes you where you need to go. But, the line for BearWalk takes forever and you''ll probably have to wait a bit unless you're lucky. At night, campus is pretty safe. Outside of campus is not as safe.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is pretty hectic in Berkeley since you have to manage rushing and pledging along with grades. It's important to manage both really well because I've seen lots of friends completely let go of their grades just for their fraternity or sorority.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are so many different clubs for every interest and ethnicity. Clubs are a great way for similar peoples to get together and share those hobbies.

    Great for these types of students

    Great for the quirky student who didn't necessarily fit in with all the other high school kids. You'll really find your own circle here because there are clubs for every interest on campus. If there isn't, start a club because others will definitely join!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    When it's time to campaign for elections, Sproul is a mess. There are people everywhere holding up signs and trying to hand you flyers. The campaigners also try to walk you to class and tell you about their campaign to get more people to vote for them. It's a bit annoying and hassling, but normal for everyone.

    Bang for the buck

    I found that Berkeley was worth my tuition money. It is a great experience to be studying here.

    What to do for fun

    There are always events happening on campus or off campus. And, going to San Francisco is a quick ride away by public transport.

    Food and Dining

    Berkeley's food is pretty bad, in my opinion. The dining commons are making food for a lot of people and they have to suit the needs of everyone, which means lots of salt and fat. I've gotten food poisoning twice. So, if you know that you have a bad stomach, be careful in choosing your foods.

    Dorm Life

    The people you meet will probably be amazing and there will be a lot of different people to suit everyone's tastes. Living with so many people, there's always the distraction to go out and just hang out with others. It's very important to get your school work done beforehand.

    Academic Rigor

    It's tough and time management is really necessary. You should be careful to remember balancing your social life and your studies and not to let one rise above the other.

    Tips for prospective students

    There is always a lot going on in Berkeley and one may feel a bit overwhelmed to join everything that goes on, but it takes a while to settles down and adjust to one's needs. Limit your activities and don't try to over-stretch yourself for everything, but do remember to go out and see the things around you.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is an amazing place for one to learn and grow as a student. I feel as if I'm learning different things everyday about myself and in the subjects that I'm required to know of. The discoveries are endless.

  • 06/11/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    93 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Be careful when you wander too far into dark alleys or from the campus at night. There are a lot of dangers in the Oakland/Berkeley/San Francisco area. However, I have to offer the 4 star rating because Cal does a lot to prevent you from getting hurt. All students are required to fulfill a Violence Prevention Education Requirement, which goes over mostly dating safety. Berkeley offers Night Shuttle and Night Escort services (BEAR WALK). You just have to dial their number on your phone and someone will come to walk you safely to your dorm or apartment. The drivers around the school are a bit reckless, so be careful. It seems as if, here, the pedestrians have to watch out for the drivers. I was almost hit by car on the last day of my visit to Berkeley, and when I was being driven home, we almost got hit by another driver. I'm sure not all the drivers are like that, but it doesn't hurt to be safe. There is a park where there are a lot of homeless people, but they will not bother you. These people are used to seeing college students, and they mean no harm. When you wander far from campus, then be more wary of the homeless.

    Greek Life

    So many Greek classes are offered, and on my very first visit here, I saw flyers for a Greek Club. Whether you are Greek or just interested in the culture, you will find a club or class that you will enjoy.

    Clubs and Activities

    When I went to Senior Weekend, there were two long rows of tables with nothing but clubs. I passed by everything from a Hispanic culture club to Pre-Med Club to a Taiko Druming Club. I definitely will be joining Rotaract this year (to continue with what I've done for Interact Club during high school)

    Great for these types of students

    This is a school that is located between Oakland and San Francisco and only 1 hour away from San Jose. You will find everyone here, and I mean everyone. Don't worry about fitting in because you will find friends with the same interests, hobbies, and personalities. If you're into singing of any sort (but especially hip hop or meaningful rap), you will find students who are into that. If you like to dance, you will find dancers to join you. If you are a dork or a nerd or a geek, welcome to the club. Everyone will want to be your friend because you are intelligent and you just might very well become someone famous someday. No kidding. I've met people from every ethnicity imaginable, from Hmong and Vietnamese to Egyptian and Greek. It's amazing. There is a huge number of International Students at UC Berkeley (and if you're coming in from out of the U.S. for UC Berkeley's Senior Weekend, which will be your first chance to explore Berkeley if you are accepted into it, the students in California will cheer for you, no kidding. I did that for a student who came all the way from Taiwan just to spend those four days with us at Senior Weekend.)

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There's a cultural festival every year, although I have yet to see that. The mascot of UC Berkeley is Oski the Bear, and the identity of the person wearing Oski's costume is a mystery. You can ask any student, and he/she won't be able to tell you. You have to go visit UC Berkeley's Museums! There is a giant T-Rex skeleton and insect collections and a Smilodon skeleton (Sabre-toothed tigers in college!). I was so amazed when I found out about the school's secret museums. Also, there is myth that if you roll down a certain hill on campus, you will have a 4.0 GPA for the rest of the year. I forgot the name for it--perhaps Freshman Hill? Another area of the campus has a forest where there are speakers attached to the trees. When you walk by, music will start playing. It's rather eerie.

    Bang for the buck

    With tuition hikes, let's face it, college is getting expensive. The items in the stores outside of campus are decently priced, but beware once you enter the college campus. Dorm housing is up to several times more that the price of renting an apartment, although for freshman year, you definitely want to get the experience of being a real college student. Entertainment at the theater is inexpensive if you are a student; you have world-class performances for maybe $15 to $30, as opposed to paying $100 and up to see them as a general audience member. Take advantage of everything that is offered to you as a student. Free help or free anything is great, because you'll get to know what it's like to be the starving college student. :)

    What to do for fun

    Cal is located literally minutes away from many restaurants and clothing stores. Walk one block away and you'll end up at a lovely wisteria-covered church. A few more blocks down and you're in a hub of markets, clothing stores, fast-food places, and restaurants. There's everything from tapioca (bubble drinks) to Bongo Burgers to a Mexican restaurant. You'll never go hungry at Cal. The clothing stores are clean and there's a wide selection of Calgear. I highly recommend that you buy clothing from the stores outside of the school itself, as they are cheaper.

    Food and Dining

    Fantastic food! I tried the omelet, the blueberry muffin, the yogurt, the granola, the fruit, the burgers, the oatmeal, the salad, the ice cream, the coffee, the Asian rice bowl, the orange juice, the apple juice, the grilled cheese sandwich, the onion rings (Get them!), and the buffalo wings. All in 2 meals, and I haven't even touched the surface of UC Berkeley's dorm food menu. Delicious. I suspect that a lot of the food will be high-calorie, however, so you might want to be careful about what you eat and how much you eat.

    Dorm Life

    Standard dorm life; it all depends on who your roommates are. I've taken a risk by choosing to room with a girl who only met for 2 days, and a girl who she recommended to me (but never met in-person herself). It's going to be an adventure. I've seen photos of the dorm rooms and although we're tripling, it's definitely a livable space; not nearly as crowded as I thought it would be. There's an office that can help you out if you ever lock yourself out on accident, and at night, you can contact BEAR WALK, Cal's nightly walking service, and they'll escort you at night so that you can feel safe. There are strict rules about curfew (after a certain time on certain days of the week, it must be quiet so other students can sleep) and keeping the floor level clean. Make sure you respect your roommates and other people living on the same floor as you.

    Academic Rigor

    I haven't taken classes at Berkeley yet, but all of the students that I have met are definitely used to staying up late. When I visited during UC Berkeley's senior weekend, we stayed up until 2... 3... 4 A.M. They've definitely adjusted to college life. I can only imagine what classes they've been studying for. My optometrist, who studied at Berkeley 18 years ago, said that the school's students tend to be really stressed out. But beware! These are not your antisocial studious students! As you get to know the Cal students on a more personal level, you'll start to see that, as intelligent as they are, they each have their own unique personalities--they tell the truth as it is and they don't sugarcoat it. Very intelligent students with great personalities.

    Tips for prospective students

    Wear good sneakers for the campus' hilly terrain during your first visit. Go places! Explore! UC Berkeley is a smorgasboard of culture--a crossroads where International students can meet Californians, and Oakland connects to San Francisco. There are tons of shops and stores around Cal (that's UC Berkeley's nickname). Don't be afraid to socialize with the people you meet selling their wares on the streets; they're really friendly and as politically updated as any college student at UC Berkeley. Buy your Calgear outside of the school; it's much cheaper than purchasing from the student store itself.

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is the best public university in the nation and it certainly lives up to its reputation. Berkeley offers thousands of classes and hundreds of majors for its prospective students, from Molecular Biology to Arabic, and hundreds of clubs, from Taiko Drumming and Martial Arts to Rotaract and Pre-Optometry Club. At Berkeley, it doesn't matter where you come from or what you are; this is a place to shine for who you are.

  • 06/12/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    94 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    Innovative Entertainment is one of the coolest clubs ever that holds concerts and partys for the school.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Me and my friends like to go down to MLK and skate.

    Bang for the buck

    I have no idea what to write here but I definitely got what I payed for and then some.

    What to do for fun

    There are these ten dollar motor scooter rentals that you only need a valid photo id not just a driver licence to rent and you could go basically anywhere even San Fransisco.

    Food and Dining

    LATE NIGHT IS AMAZING!

    Dorm Life

    Most people dont like it but my floor made an effort to know each other and well i'll never forget them.

    Academic Rigor

    It is a challenge college but definitely managable.

    Tips for prospective students

    Explore the campus you'll be amazed at all the unique places you never noticed before.

    In three sentences

    It has taught me more about the real world then I ever thought imaginable. The amount of opportunities available are endless. The people who I have met here have really changed my life for the better.

  • 06/12/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    95 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    well it is berkeley so you have to be careful at night. Bear Walk is a security program that you can call to have escorts walk with you at night

    Greek Life

    we have a pretty good frat row

    Clubs and Activities

    great variety, you will find something you're interested for sure

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    -the campanile -the big C

    Bang for the buck

    pretty good variety of late night restaurants that are college student friendly in terms of a budget

    What to do for fun

    there are so many clubs to join that you'll never be left bored.

    Food and Dining

    quality of food is just okay and the variety is a hit or miss, depending on the day

    Dorm Life

    pretty good, some dorms are better than others.

    Academic Rigor

    one of the top public universities in the world, so academics are a big deal here

    Tips for prospective students

    -prepare for challenging academic courses -expect diversity in every aspect -prepare to rep Cal pride -expect your peers to be competitive and knowledgeable and unique

    In three sentences

    Cal is an amazing undergraduate institution for those who want to explore and pursue their passions. Cal provides excellent courses and sources in terms of academics. Cal has a variety of extracurriculars to participate in.

  • 06/12/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    96 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There are rarely any incidents, especially on campus.

    Greek Life

    There is always some kind of event being put on by the Greeks.

    Clubs and Activities

    We currently have over 1,000 clubs and groups, you're bound to find something related to you.

    Great for these types of students

    UC Berkeley is one of the most diverse schools, there is a place for everyone.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The Big C is one place that needs to be visited by every student at least once. Its a great hike and a great view.

    Bang for the buck

    UC Berkeley is one of the top school in the nation, it is often recognized internationally too. However, your success will depend on how much you apply yourself

    What to do for fun

    There is always something to do on campus or off. The hardest part is deciding what you want to do.

    Food and Dining

    The food on campus is very new and exiting when you first arrive as it is usually buffet style. This tends to get old pretty soon, but college towns like Berkeley are known for a great variety of local food spots.

    Dorm Life

    I had the best dorm experience and strongly recommend all incoming students to live in a dorm at least their first year. I am entering my last year at UCB and my closest friends are the ones I made on my dorm floor.

    Academic Rigor

    UC Berkeley is incredibly challenging. But this typically arises from the fellow peers that think they are suppose to compete for A's. This is actually not the case, and there is always several forms of academic/non-academic support all around campus.

    Tips for prospective students

    College is the best four years of your life. It is when you have the most freedom and the least amount of freedom. Its the best time to explore your preference, creating new traditions, and traveling. Enjoy it!

    In three sentences

    We have the reputation for always standing up for what we believe in. UC Berkeley was the birth for many social movements and also were these movements gained most of their momentum; civil rights, women's rights, etc. You will never be out of the loop and will always be surrounded my supportive people that care as much as you.

  • 06/13/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    97 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    I ate at Crossroads and the food there was pretty good, with nice variety. Could get boring though, but thankfully there are tons of little restaurants within walking distance.

    Dorm Life

    Depends on what you and your floor decide to do. There are party floors and quiet floors. I would suggest the Units for your first year while you get used to the atmosphere. The co-ed bathrooms on most res hall floors take some getting used to, but everyone becomes okay with it soon enough; it's not as awkward as you might think.

    Academic Rigor

    Students I know tell me it's tough, especially for pre-med students like me, but definitely manageable. Be independent; hold your own, and don't be afraid to ask the professor questions. I hear many professors are great, so don't worry too much about getting the right one when choosing classes.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't listen to what your friends, family, or others might say about Berkeley. Talk to as many current students as you can. Join the Berkeley Facebook page and message students in your prospective major or who participate in groups you're interested in. They can answer your questions with realistic knowledge of what Berkeley is like.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is what you make of it. If you worry about going here because of the rumors you hear on reputation and safety, then don't go here. If, however, you want to push past the rumors and make Cal your own, you will love it!

  • 06/16/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    98 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Berkeley offers many different campus safety options for students. There is a night shuttle that helps students get home safely from campus late at night and there are also warning texts that the university sends about suspicious or dangerous activities happening on campus.

    Greek Life

    There are many fraternities and sororities at Berkeley. The Greeks are also very active and lively. They always make themselves known around campus.

    Clubs and Activities

    The clubs are very active and there is always a club event every week.

    Great for these types of students

    Berkeley is great for any student because it is so diverse.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    During the week before finals, there is a naked run in the libraries.

    Bang for the buck

    As an out of state student, Berkeley is costly to me. Berkeley offers scholarships upon acceptance, but it does not cover the entire cost, at least for me.

    What to do for fun

    There are many things to do for fun from watching a movie to going to the city or walking around Berkeley to find new places.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is very interesting and you will meet friends who may become best friends with you throughout your high school life.

    Academic Rigor

    The academics at Berkeley is top notch and demands much studying.

    Tips for prospective students

    Berkeley may be an intimidating school to apply to given its standards and reputation, but students should apply because you may get in. If you get in, you will have to work hard in school, but you will also have a great time with extra curricular activities.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is a great school with a really diverse environment. You will meet many different people there and have some really interesting experiences.

  • 06/20/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    99 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus safety is well kept due to the police presence (UCPD does an excellent job), however crime rates are high around Berkeley, as it is an open community and students are targeted as lucrative pay-days. However, reporting crime to UCPD and reaching for emergency poles (all around campus) can prevent further occurences.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is safer than at other universities and is not as exclusive to an elite population, either. Several members of the student population participate in Greek life though they may not be members of sororities and fraternities.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are so many clubs on campus and if students don't find one that they like, they can create new ones easily.

    Great for these types of students

    Berkeley is great for the questioning student looking for a diverse and accepting environment to study in.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There are several traditions at UC Berkeley students partake in to ensure good grades, and wins (against Stanford usually). For example, there is a hill students roll down called 4.0 hill (ensures a 4.0 if you roll without stopping).

    Bang for the buck

    Food is expensive around the university and the shops nearby do not offer very cheap prices for much.

    What to do for fun

    Checking out the food near campus is a great way to spend time at Berkeley. Additionally, there are hiking trails above campus that provide the best views of the bay. San Francisco is also a great bet to find fun things to do; it's a mere 25 minutes away by BART!

    Food and Dining

    The food is spectacular near Berkeley, boasting cuisines of all kinds, the most unique amongst these being Ethiopian food, Tibetan, and Nepalese (to name a few).

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is clean, fun, and perfect for the social butterfly! There are many opportunities to make new friends and create lasting friendships, as dorms are family-like environments!

    Academic Rigor

    Berkeley is a difficult place to study, as so many students are competitive to come out on top. However, with tutoring resources on campus (free) and support systems like study groups, success is more than achievable!

    Tips for prospective students

    Students should be ready to ask for help! It is really important for pride not to get in the way of getting good grades. Berkeley is very competitive, but it is manageable to score well!

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is a spectacular, culturally aware place where so many different people come together in hopes to create a beautiful future together! The food, entertainment, diverse population, and study opportunities make this university unique. As one of the best public institutions in the world, it holds the values of the average person, equality, diversity, and educational opportunity.

  • 06/26/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    100 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    If your class ends at night, they will send an escort to walk you up to 5 blocks from where you're located.

    Greek Life

    Greek Life is abundant if you're into that sort of thing.

    Clubs and Activities

    There's quiet a few clubs that could peak your interest.

    Great for these types of students

    Hard- working, open-minded students who really want to make a difference.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There's a whisper bench on campus. It is in a shape of a semicircle and if two people sit at extreme ends of it, they could whisper things to each that will be only audible to them.

    Bang for the buck

    Excellent education, well worth the money.

    What to do for fun

    Attend concerts in Zellerbach Hall, go out for dinner, go to parties/ kickbacks etc

    Food and Dining

    Food is O.K. , but I much rather make my own dinner.

    Dorm Life

    I live off-campus, but I had a tour of the dorms and they're clean and functional.

    Academic Rigor

    It is very inspiring to be around such motivated people.

    Tips for prospective students

    Work hard on your extracurricular activities; it is crucial to the admission process.

    In three sentences

    The campus is beautiful and feels like a real learning institution. Everyone is extremely nice and helpful. There are plenty of opportunities for research and internships.

  • 06/28/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    101 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    I haven't lived here in Berkeley long enough to say so.

    Food and Dining

    I'm not sure yet, as I haven't ate at Cal.

    Dorm Life

    I don't live on campus.

    Academic Rigor

    I am not sure yet, as I haven't yet attended.

    Tips for prospective students

    Stay diligent, and in your personal statement, speak about issues that you've had to overcome, lessons you've learned etc.

    In three sentences

    My dream school since I was thirteen, and I through hard work I was accepted for the Spring 2013

  • 07/01/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    102 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    I think Berkeley is a great school for people that care about change. There are always great opportunities to get involved on and off campus with protests, organizing, social justice work and other internships.

    What to do for fun

    Berkeley itself doesn't have too much to do but the Berkeley Marina is really nice and it's pretty easy to take the bus or Bart to San Fransisco.

    Food and Dining

    The food was usually good in the dorms but gets repetitive quickly. Restaraunts in the city of Berkeley are good though.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are a good experience for freshman, especially for someone who will be far from home and friends. Dorms make it really wash to meet a lot of people.

    Academic Rigor

    Most of the classes are at a good level of difficulty, and the professors are always very knowledgeable.

    Tips for prospective students

    One thing that I wish I had known before I signed up for classes at Ucb is to ask upper classmen to recommend courses. I took quite a few classes that were either difficult or boring when I could haw taken something else to fulfill the same requirement.

    In three sentences

    I really enjoy attending Ucb because of the organizations I have been able to get involved with. Spaces like the Raza Recruitment and Retention Center have really helped me grow as a person and become educated on issues that are important to the Latin@ community. For this I would rate it an 8 out of 10 because there are still things that the school could improve on.

  • 07/01/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    103 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus is open to anyone. This sometimes means that homeless people will meander through, but generally they are not an issue. Keep your personal possessions close to you, though, because things often get stolen if left unattended. If at anytime you feel unsafe, you can call the campus police and they will send someone to escort you to class or to your dorm.

    Greek Life

    There are many fraternities and sororities that don't haze and are nationally recognized.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are countless clubs and activities. Everyone can find his or her niche and if there isn't a club you're interested in, you can make your own!

    Great for these types of students

    Great for international students and anyone who has a sincere passion to learn!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    I recently rolled down 4.0 hill! The tradition is that each freshman that tumbles down the hill will earn a 4.0 GPA that academic year. Another legend is that if you step on any of the crests or seals on the concrete, you must kiss the sculpture in front of Doe Library or you will be destined to fail all your classes! Perhaps the best known tradition is hiking to the Big C in the hills on campus and painting the letter with school colors.

    Bang for the buck

    Although fairly pricey, the prestige and education Berkeley offers is well worth the price. The only issues are budget cuts and that sometimes you can't get the classes you want/need because they fill up quickly.

    What to do for fun

    I participate in student organizations and spend my time eating out and seeing movies!

    Food and Dining

    Cal Dining is pretty dismal. Not much variety and everything is pretty nutrient deficient.

    Dorm Life

    Showers and bathrooms are always clean and easily accessible. The rooms are so tiny, though!

    Academic Rigor

    Challenging, but rewarding!

    Tips for prospective students

    Be sure to work very hard! Classes are difficult and it is not a place where one can slack off!

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is a place where diversity is welcomed and everyone can truly be himself or herself. The campus is absolutely gorgeous and the professors are top notch. An education at Berkeley is highly valued and sought after not only in the United States, but worldwide.

  • 07/05/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    104 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    If you're from California, it's a pretty good deal. Don't count on finaid or scholarships from the school, though.

    What to do for fun

    You can do anything. This is a big campus.

    Food and Dining

    The food is awesome, though the boba is bad (compared to SoCal boba)

    Dorm Life

    As good as any.

    Academic Rigor

    See above. It's definitely not as hard as some people say.

    Tips for prospective students

    Know what you're getting into. It's hard, but not so hard that you're as guaranteed a walk into top grad schools like you would be if, say, you attended Caltech and didn't flunk out.

    In three sentences

    The bomb school. Chose this over Caltech, and came close, but did not actually regret it. The students may not be as smart, (though they are plenty smart) but the diversity makes up for it.

  • 07/07/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    105 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    You can go to San Francisco city which is the Bay area. The bart can take you almost anywhere. Therefore, a car won't really be needed around the streets of Berkeley.

    Food and Dining

    Good food at Berkeley and there are great restaurants around.

    Dorm Life

    I haven't experienced dorm life yet but I have a feeling it's going to be the place where I'm going to encounter many of my close friends. It's exciting to know that I will be living on my own.

    Academic Rigor

    Berkeley is a very prestigious school. They have above the best academic record topping many Ivy leagues. Berkeley is the number one public school and in my opinion any student can excel if they wanted to.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take Berkeley as it goes, there will be many crazy things but those crazy things will always show you an important message. People are liberal so don't be scared just go with the flow and who knows one day you might just be as liberal as they are.

    In three sentences

    This university is overall the most amazing campus I've visited. It is diverse, welcoming, and prestigious. UC Berkeley welcomes every student they accept as if the school itself is very lucky to have each person enrolled because they are the future.

  • 07/10/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    106 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There is Bear Walk, where a person will walk home with you, and night transit from campus, so getting home at night shouldn't be an issue. I walked home every night late from studying and never felt concerned, just be aware.

    Greek Life

    Greek life isn't overwhelming; if you don't want to take part in it, you don't have to. But it is there if you are interested in it. Frat row is always an interesting place on the weekends--especially the Friday before dead week (our week off before finals).

    Clubs and Activities

    There is a club (sometimes two or three) for every kind of person. If you can think it, there is likely a club for it. And if there isn't, you can make it. Clubs are where I met most of my closest friends.

    Great for these types of students

    Students who want to test the limits of their minds, work as hard as possible, and have a blast doing it. If that sounds like you, you're going to love Berkeley.

    Bang for the buck

    Things in the area are pretty pricey, but there are always things to do on campus, and those are usually free or at a low cost.

    What to do for fun

    The city of Berkeley is a city with an energy all its own, and it can only be experienced by living here and roaming about the city. Berkeley is also just a BART ride away from Oakland and San Francisco too, so there really is no lack of fun about.

    Food and Dining

    It was probably better than other schools. There are a ton of different options for places to spend your meal points, but the ones closest to where I lived got old very quickly.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms weren't for me. I lived in Unit 3, the location was amazing being roughly five minutes from the center of campus and right off of Telegraph, but the life within the dorms was less than spectacular. I had a VERY quiet floor, and in my building, the doors automatically shut, so not many people left their doors open.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes here are not easy, and you absolutely should not expect them to be. Even if you did well in high school (which you probably did if you're thinking about Berkeley), it doesn't matter. Berkeley is HARD, but getting A's on tests and classes here--now that's a phenomenal feeling.

    Tips for prospective students

    Work as hard as you can now, and learn how to study and take notes while classes are still not that hard. Don't save that learning for your first semester in college.

    In three sentences

    Best decision of my life. Classes are brutal, but absolutely worth while. You'll learn more than you ever expected, about EVERYTHING, here.

  • 07/11/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    107 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Cal has a system in which students can contact when walking alone at night or do not feel safe. They simply call a number and a staff security member will come and walk them to their destination safely.

    Greek Life

    Students have the opportunity to live the Greek Life. It helps form a support group and family.

    Clubs and Activities

    Cal is a big school with a lot of students. There is not one club or activity missing and if there is students can create it.

    Great for these types of students

    Cal is perfect for students with open minds and liberal ideas.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Cal has a park called the People's Park where it's always full of homeless people reading books.

    Bang for the buck

    It is worth the money to study a Cal because it is the #1 public university and earning a degree from Cal demonstrates prestige.

    What to do for fun

    Visit San Francisco, specifically Pier 39, and hike the Big C during the day and at night.

    Food and Dining

    There are so many places in which students or people in general can eat. There is a variation of Subway, Chipotle, pizza, etc.

    Dorm Life

    People at Cal are amazing and within dorm floors, extraordinary communities are created.

    Academic Rigor

    We are taught to think critically in every single subject. Whether it is from English to Math to Chemistry or even Gender Studies.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be ready to learn in class and from individuals around you. You never know, the person next to you can be the next worldwide pianist or athlete.

    In three sentences

    University of California at Berkeley is a place in which students have the freedom to be who they want to be. They have the opportunity to express themselves in various liberal ways. Overall, the UCB community is very open-minded and welcoming.

  • 07/12/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    108 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Go to the Fire Trail or Big C or go to SF

    Food and Dining

    Sometimes there are good little spots and others not so tasty

    Dorm Life

    Can get a little crazy sometimes and the rooms are small but not too bad

    Academic Rigor

    Super tough with classes that range from Biochemistry to Philosophy

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't be shy to ask for assistance!

    In three sentences

    It is hard and it is totally different from anywhere I've ever been to. There are a lot of opportunities here for everyone. You will be prepared for whatever else you pursue after graduating here.

  • 07/21/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    109 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    BearWalk! call bearwalk at night when you dont want to walk alone, someone will come and walk with you. or there are school buses that run through the night and takes you to your dorm/apartment. Don't walk alone. Always have a friend, if not take advantage of this free resource.

    Greek Life

    Sooooooo many options. if the Frat/Sorority you want isnt here, you can always contact it to make a new chapter at the school. (my friend did this, very tedious process but now he's alpha - main head basically)

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    A lot of love for hippies and homeless people. Many, many protests.

    Bang for the buck

    The Bay is a lot more expensive than Southern CA, so be prepared!

    What to do for fun

    catch the BART to San Francisco! visit Pier 39 or Union Square Ghiradelli is super bomb, must go! CREAM - cookies rule everything around me, great ice cream sandwich place located down the street!

    Food and Dining

    There is a little bit of everything. if you are used to fast food, good luck. there is almost no fast food in berkeley. its all about being organic. There are a lot of family owned restaurants. Indian food, mexican, thai, chinese, a lot of options. as for campus dining, its only berkeley owned stuff. there is no panda express like in other campuses but the salads from GBC are good!

    Dorm Life

    Dorms are convenient because they include meal plans but its annoying having to share restrooms. Our dorms are co-ed, so if you don't want to share a restroom with guys, i suggest choosing the all girl floor option (like i did) or choosing Foothill Dorms. The only problem with Foothill is that its far and on a hill, but has great food!

    Academic Rigor

    Very demanding, some classes more than others. There is a lot of competition, almost everyone in Berkeley has always gotten good grades in high school. So always go to class! Don't get lazy. No one will be there to hold your hand.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not wait until the last minute to sign up for classes Look for apartments early! (they are kinda pricy, so meet people- get roommates) Always go to office hours! (you are going to need a teacher recommendation in the future)

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is very different but great. The people that you meet are unlike any other and there is a a huge sense of community where people are friendly and willing to help. We are a little weird sometimes but nonetheless awesome :)

  • 07/21/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    110 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There are a lot of homeless people, but the security is good enough that one would feel, for the most part, safe.

    Greek Life

    Some Greeks are more intense than others. Some frats do hazing although it is not condoned. Lots of partying for some of them. There are more serious Greeks though such as the business frats and sororities. To join, you must go through recruiting called Rush.

    Clubs and Activities

    Clubs are a great way to take part in student activities and to get into leadership. There are all sorts of sports clubs, intramural teams, rally committee, volunteer organizations, and everything you can possibly think of. If the club doesn't exist, make it!

    Great for these types of students

    Everyone at Cal is very unique; that's why the university admitted them.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There's the noted Stanfurd vs. Cal rivalry in which sometimes you'll see kids of the other college trying to play pranks on Cal.

    Bang for the buck

    Things are generally pretty affordable here. The tuition is definitely expensive adding on housing and living, but the area keeps in mind that their customers are all college students.

    What to do for fun

    There's always parties around whether it is hosted by a frat or sorority or just a couple of friends getting together. If not parties, people tend to just hang around the many restaurant favorites such as Cream or lounge on the beach which is the large green patch of land in front of the university library.

    Food and Dining

    They have everything you can think of from an Asian cuisine section to their usual foods. Food is always made fresh and you can even order your own meals such as a personalized omelet made by the chef!

    Dorm Life

    The rooms are kind of small, but they are decent. Dorm life mostly depends on if you get assigned a good roommate!

    Academic Rigor

    No class at Berkeley is easy.

    Tips for prospective students

    Challenge yourself and push yourself to do the best you can for a high GPA. Don't procrastinate!

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is especially extraordinary for not just the university itself, but also for the people. Cal is definitely one of the most spirited schools out there. The people are great, the atmosphere is great.

  • 07/25/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    111 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    It depends on how much use students make of the resources provided for them. Berkeley has a lot to offer.

    What to do for fun

    College clubs have events and get togethers for their members. Events range depending on the organization.

    Food and Dining

    Fast food chains are extremely rare in Berkeley. Most of the food consists of small family owned places. The downside to this is that several places close early. There are no 24hour restaurants in the area.

    Dorm Life

    Some of the dorms require students to check themselves in with their ID cards at all times, and check other guests in as well, granted that they have a valid form of identification.

    Academic Rigor

    Students are expected to attend the discussion section that goes with their lecture class. The discussion sections are small and students are expected to contribute to the discussion.

    Tips for prospective students

    Check out your financial aid packet as soon as you receive it. Be sure to call in and ask questions about it. Also, meet with your college adviser as soon and as often you can.

    In three sentences

    CAL has a lot of school spirit! Students here primarily focus on their academics over partying. Students have to take it upon themselves to ask questions and find answers.

  • 07/26/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    112 of 222

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    I went to Berkeley for the ATDP program the summer after my 8th and 9th grade years and it was amazing. The environment is so open to so many opportunities, it's astonishing! If you want to become more open-minded this cool is great, but also great in academics.

  • 07/27/2012

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    113 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The university does try to make the campus a lot safer, with programs like Bearwalk (they have an officer walk or drive you home at night). However, you still need to be very careful. After 9 at night, definitely try to walk in groups. Stay out of areas that are not well lit, such as the creek/grassy area by Moffit and VLSB. The streets close to the campus are all generally pretty safe, because there is good lighting and a decent number of people. But if you're on campus late at night, try to take the more popular walkways rather than the windy, dim trails that lead through the woods. If you're diligent and pay attention, you'll be fine.

    Greek Life

    If you're in Greek life, its a very big deal. However, most of the students are not in Greek life, and there is still plenty to do outside of Greek events. You can choose to get into Greek life and have fun with it, or you can choose not to and still have fun.

    Clubs and Activities

    Literally any kind of club you could think of. Pre-professional frats, Cal Adventures (kayaking, wind-sailing, rock climbing), meditation groups, political organizations, service organizations (working in the area, in other parts of the US, and globally), co-ops (cooperative living houses), comedy groups, a capella groups, etc.: if you can think of it, its probably already at Berkeley. If not, its pretty easy to create a group for just about anything.

    Great for these types of students

    Great for the work-hard-play-hard types. If you're going to come here, you need to be able to put in the hard work in the classroom to succeed. That being said, there are so many great opportunities and ways to have fun here that you really shouldn't go through your time here without experiencing that. Even if you come in as just the hard-working type, you'll learn to have fun while performing well in the classroom.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There's an AWESOME Brazilian place called Pedro's Brazilian Cafe, located on University and Walnut. Its a little far away from where most students generally are, but the food is incredible. I've never heard someone say they don't like Brazil Cafe. They have a lot of different sandwiches, rice bowls, smoothies, and a great outdoor environment. Lots of different options for just about any person or diet. Their best is probably the tri-tip sandwich. A little further down University, there's a Salvadorian restaurant called Platano. More of a sit-down restaurant, but they have really good pupusas (fried, lots of cheese, delicious). In that same are, there is also Triple Rock, a bar/diner that brews all of its own beers, and has some of the best burgers around (go for lunch, its definitely worth it). And if you and a friend are feeling really hungry, try the Avalanche.

    Bang for the buck

    While students to constantly complain about fee hikes, Berkeley is still cheaper than many of its counterparts (other elite state schools, such as Virginia, Michigan, William and Mary, UNC, etc) despite being in the Bay Area. At Berkeley, you will certainly have your fair share of great professors, from Chemistry stalwarts to former national presidents. Being able to take classes with them as well as work alongside them is certainly worth it. You also have more than enough service opportunities through campus organizations. While Berkeley can be a big place and some people do get lost, it will be worth it if you take the initiative to do well in the classroom and to branch out socially.

    What to do for fun

    Obviously, it kind of depends on your group of friends. But you certainly won't have a lack of options. Tons of sporting events and concerts between Oakland and SF. There's shopping in west Berkeley, as well as Oakland and SF. In Albany (north), you have bowling, rock climbing, and other fun stuff. Oakland has a great night life (if you stay in the safe parts) and other hidden gems, like taco trucks and Ethiopian food. And SF has great bars, shopping, food, etc (everything you would expect in a big city). If you have a car, there is certainly a lot more to be explored outside of the Berkeley vicinity. Camping in Tahoe is certainly an awesome trip, and there's paint-balling and rafting as well within an hour of Berkeley. There's certainly no shortage of fun stuff to do.

    Food and Dining

    Depending on where you live, pretty awesome. On Northside, you're a little limited, but you still have 5 or 6 good places. On Southside, you have Asian ghetto (6 or 7 Asian restaurants in a small strip), as well as your selection of sandwiches, chipotle, sushi, pizza, burgers, Indian, Mexican, hot dogs, starbucks, etc. More or less anything you can think of. They are all generally kind of cheap, college-like places, which can be a downside. However, you can always bus to Oakland or BART to SF for something nicer.

    Dorm Life

    Pretty standard dorm life: fun, but nothing too exciting. Recently, they have been making more and more rooms into triples. While these are certainly cost savers, it does become kind of difficult if you are a tall and/or big person. RAs are generally very laid back, and will have fun events every once in a while.

    Academic Rigor

    Very rigorous, especially in the lower division classes. They are most certainly trying to weed you out, so persistence and determination become key attributes. Professors will make it hard to do well without being excessively tricky or sly. Other students are not maliciously competitive, but they all want to do well, so there is definitely competition for the best grades.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you stay on top of your work every single day. If you don't, you will fall behind, and professors at Berkeley are not afraid to fail you. ABSOLUTELY go to all your lectures. Do every problem set, practice midterm, and discussion worksheet you can get your hands on. Try to do all the readings, but at the very least skim them. If after doing all of this you still find yourself struggling a little, go talk to your professors (in person, not email). They won't bite, and they're usually really helpful.

    In three sentences

    Not as cut-throat and hardcore as some people will have you think, but still definitely very competitive. In spite of that, the school has a LOT of resources and opportunities to offer, so make sure to take advantage of at least some portion of that. Overall, a great place to not only push yourself towards success, but also get outside of your comfort zone and have fun.

  • 07/27/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    114 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Berkeley has a great system called Bear Walk and Bear Transit that allows students to be driven or walked home into the wee hours of the night. This means that students are always guaranteed safe transportation anywhere on or around campus. Bear Walk is super easy to use and makes everyone feel much more secure.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is prominent at Berkeley, but is definitely not the focus. It is another great way to make the campus smaller and to find a community of people, but it is by no means the only way to do so. There are far more people who do not participate in Greek life than who do, and there are also Co-ops, which offer an alternative way to experience group living.

    Clubs and Activities

    Berkeley has such a huge range of clubs and activities that anyone can find something they are genuinely interested in. Or if not, you can always start your own organization! Berkeley also has an amazing program called DeCals, which are classes students can take for credit that are taught by fellow students in areas they are passionate about. This is just one of the ways that UC Berkeley empowers students to take their education into their own hands.

    Great for these types of students

    Berkeley is great for students who are self-starters, independent and driven. Berkeley takes a lot of time, dedication and passion to pursue what you are interested in. Nothing at Berkeley will be handed to you, it will all require a lot of work, but so does life!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    A classic Berkeley spot is 4.0 hill, a small grassy hill that all students roll down before the beginning of each semester. The superstition states that if a student doesn't roll down the hill they will be unable to achieve a perfect 4.0 in the coming semester.

    Bang for the buck

    For an in-state student tuition, Berkeley is a dream. For out of state, it's a whole lot harder. However, I still feel as if I am getting my money's worth everyday that I am there due to the faculty I've been able to interact with as well as the opportunities I've had since attending the school.

    What to do for fun

    Stay aware of events taking place on campus! There are student groups constantly bringing new movie screenings, plays, concerts, and presentations to the campus. On any given night you can be sure that there is an event on campus, but if none of them interest you, explore Berkeley or even venture into San Francisco, just a short Bart ride away!

    Food and Dining

    The town of Berkeley is home to many gourmet food options, and has a great, affordable, convenient selection. The actual dining hall food is tolerable, but it takes a while to find a way to most efficiently work the system. Avoiding the largest dining halls and sticking to smaller on campus cafes is a great way to keep eating healthy while still on a meal plan.

    Dorm Life

    There are a variety of dorm style living at Berkeley. I recommend the standard dorm experience because while it does mean closer quarters, it is a much more social environment. Having a social living situation helps in the transition to a new school and in making new friends. However, new students should be weary that studying in their dorm room may no longer be the best choice!

    Academic Rigor

    Seeing as Berkeley is ranked as the best public school in the nation, it comes as no surprise that it is very rigorous academically. Due to this, time management is the key to success at Berkeley. Very early on new students will need to figure out how to balance their academics with a new budding social life, a healthy balance is possible!

    Tips for prospective students

    Since Berkeley is such a large school, it is really essential to get involved as soon as possible. Smaller, student run organizations offer a great way for new students to become integrated into the Berkeley community. By looking for student run clubs new students are immediately thrust into a supportive culture and community of their peers.

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is a magnificent school that requires its students to be both world class academics as well as members of society. In this way Berkeley is much more than a university, it is a community of bright young thinkers who are all dedicated to making a difference in the world. The ambition and drive exhibited by all Berkeley students makes it a challenging and stimulating environment for everyone.

  • 07/30/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    115 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    There are tons of fraternities at CAL!

    Bang for the buck

    Visit Lawrence Hall, the view of the bay is AMAZING!

    What to do for fun

    For fun, I hang out with friends, attend sporting events, and run.

    Food and Dining

    There are tons of food options in Berkeley itself. Common dining halls have low-quality foods.

    Academic Rigor

    Cal is quite difficult! Nonetheless, it is manageable.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you read all your material and choose your classes wisely.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is a great university! It is full of life and very diverse. The university provides tons of opportunities to all those who attend it.

  • 08/06/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    116 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Avoid walking around by yourself at night, but if you have to, try to stay in the well lit parts of campus.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are so many clubs and activities available on campus, sometimes it's hard to pick one. Even if you don't find the right club for you, you can create your own. My first year at Cal, I joined Circle K, a great community service group, PASS - great for those interested in the Filipino community and Kairos, a christian based group. Honestly I'm Roman Catholic, but the people are super friendly and care for you, so I just kept going to their meetings.

    Great for these types of students

    If you're Filipino or interested in the Filipino culture, there are a bunch of Phil orgs that cater to your needs. For example, PAHC - health care, PASAE - Sciences and Engineering, PASS - Student Services, etc. It just depends on what you're interested in.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    You'll hear about these if you take a tour of campus, but there's the whispering bench, the Campanile (Sather Tower), 4.0 Hill and they even mention the tradition of not stepping on the seals found around campus if you want a good GPA.

    Bang for the buck

    If you want to save money, check out Munch on Me or Groupon for deals.

    What to do for fun

    Join clubs, intramural sports or go to the gym. There are also a variety of performances and on campus functions to go to. If you don't want to stay on campus check the variety of restaurants in Berkeley or explore the city of San Francisco. There's a bunch to do, even hiking up Big C.

    Food and Dining

    I prefer the food offered at the Cafes and at Crossroads Late Night over the dining commons. The Golden Bear Cafe salads and Qualcomm's freshly made wraps are really good. If you eat at the Dining Commons, make sure to check the menus. Crossroads usually has a larger variety, but Cafe 3 gives off a more comfy and at home feel. Foothill offers Sundae Sundays, but has less variety than Cafe 3. I haven't eaten at Clark Kerr yet, but I heard their food is good too.

    Dorm Life

    I lived in the substance free Freeborn Hall in Unit 1. I loved it! My RA was really nice, it was clean, and my floor mates were willing to help each other out. Your own experience will just depend on the relationships between your dorm mates and which building you live in.

    Academic Rigor

    It simply depends on what you are majoring in. I'm an integrative bio and molecular toxicology double major, so my classes are often stacked. Drive through the courses trying to weed out the uncommitted students and definitely go to office hours if you are having trouble. Other than that, choose a major you know you'll enjoy and have fun to compensate the rigorous courses.

    Tips for prospective students

    Bring rain boots, they are life savers for your feet and don't forget sunglasses and an umbrella.

    In three sentences

    Great location, transportation is easily accessible and the people are friendly and easy to talk to. The only downside, I recommend checking the weather on an hourly basis.

  • 08/07/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    117 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    best level of education.

    Tips for prospective students

    work hard and get involved in extra curricular activities.

    In three sentences

    excellent research opportunities. diversity. open minded environment.

  • 08/16/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    118 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    It is a fairly safe campus. There are campus cops plastered everywhere. At night, you can call the Bear Walk where someone will come pick you up and drive you home. However, there is a problem with there being too many homeless people living at the famous People's park as well as too many homeless people sitting at the main street of Campus everyday (Telegraph St).

    Greek Life

    About 10% of the student body are involved in Greek. It is not a dominant part of the social life at Berkeley and it doesn't really make a difference whether you are in it or not.

    Clubs and Activities

    Activities and clubs are in abundance. Just name it and you will surely find it. There are also Decals that offer 1-2 unit courses that are student taught with topics varying from Studying Comedy to Light shows.

    Great for these types of students

    It is a great place for independent unique and different individuals. There are a lot of students like this on campus who are all very interesting and unique in their own way.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There is the naked run, where students run naked through the Moffit Library to relieve stress during finals. Another strange tradition would be a gathering of weed smokers at the Memorial Glade during 4/20.

    What to do for fun

    There are plenty of small interesting shops in Berkeley such as the Sock store, the hat shop, gypsy stores, etc. You can visit the Berkeley Marina as well as the art museum. There are a lot of bars and the BART can take you to San Francisco within 30 minutes.

    Food and Dining

    The quality of food is average to a little above average. There is a wide variety of selection and the menu changes daily.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is fun and close-knit. However, the cost of dorm is the most expensive of all the UC's. You may find your closest group of friends at dorms.

    Academic Rigor

    It is challenging and the workload may be heavy. Students are generally very competitive. It is important to know how to manage time well.

    Tips for prospective students

    GPA is important but so are extracurricular activities. Show that you are active and hard-working through your commitments outside of school. A strong personal statement should seal the deal.

    In three sentences

    It is a historical, active and promising institution. It is a prestigious school with intelligent students and well-achieved professors. Simply put, it is a place of learning at the highest.

  • 08/28/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    119 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    pretty safe, they offer a security guard to walk you if u do need one!

    Clubs and Activities

    A lot! you can find one that suit you!

    Great for these types of students

    eager to learn!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    always need to walk up hill. berkeley time is 10 minutes after the hour.

    Bang for the buck

    expensive tuition

    What to do for fun

    clubs, dorms events.

    Food and Dining

    variety of food and tons of places to use meal points.

    Dorm Life

    some dorms are old, but all of them have cool people!

    Academic Rigor

    hard classes..

    Tips for prospective students

    Prepare well with AP classes.

    In three sentences

    People are friendly here. A lot of opportunities. Hard classes though.

  • 09/11/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    120 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    ANY KIND! That's the beautiful thing about Berkeley. You can truly be yourself here, no matter what your into, you can be you.

    Bang for the buck

    At Berkeley you are getting the #1 public education in the world and if your low income everything is covered. I didn't have to take out any loans, since I got an outside scholarship and so it's definitely doable. It is a little pricey here for anything else though, so I recommend you do your shopping somewhere else.

    What to do for fun

    Berkeley is the most amazing place to live. You're so close to the city. If you don't want to go to SF there are still a million things to do here! There are always events put on by the dorms, like a movie night, or a henna tattoo night, or a hike to the big C. Really great parties, if you're into that sort of thing. A million amazing places to eat that are just in walking distance ( don't bring your car, no point at all). If you want to go exploring, you can take the bus for free to Oakland or SF or you can go get lost, that's always fun.

    Food and Dining

    The food is honestly good. You just get tired of it really quickly if your eating three meals a day of it. So make sure to eat at other places if you can so the cafe food can be tolerable longer.

    Dorm Life

    I HIGHLY recommend you live in the dorms your freshman year. You become super close with your floormates and then you do everything together. It works as a great support system during finals and it makes the college experience even better.

    Academic Rigor

    You're never really going to be done with your work and at first it may feel like a lot, but after a while you get into the rhythm of things and you can make time for extracurricular activities and having fun. Make time to study, this is NOT high school. You can't just learn the material by reading the chapter once, you have to go back, re-read it, process it, and understand it.

    Tips for prospective students

    Cal is an amazing school and if you can imagine yourself here, it's totally possible! You don't have to have a high school GPA of a 4.5 to get into Cal. What you DO need to have would be leadership skills. You need to be involved with clubs and have a true commitment to them. Berkeley admissions wants to know that you're a well rounded person.

  • 09/13/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    121 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    Enough clubs that everyone can find a place to belong or make a new one using the easy club- making system.

    Academic Rigor

    UC Berkeley is one of the top schools in the world for research and development, especially in biology and psychology.

  • 09/15/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    122 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Programs such as Bear Walk are available to those who do not feel comfortable walking home alone at night, Shuttles will pick you up and drive you home.

    Greek Life

    Have not submerged into Greek Life yet.

    Clubs and Activities

    I am in Cal Marching Band and although this is very extensive work, it is well worth the many hours of time and effort put into it.

    Great for these types of students

    People who enjoy nature and city life. Also those who enjoy diversity and cultural mixtures.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There are many unusual traditions such as not stepping on seals or you will never achieve over a 3,0 and there are countless locations on campus to sit and get lost in nature.

    Bang for the buck

    Although this school is on the higher end of cost expenses, the education is comparable and comes with an experience like none other.

    What to do for fun

    I keep myself busy with the Cal Band but in my free time I enjoy playing games with friends or simply walking around taking in the natural beauty around campus.

    Food and Dining

    Many places to eat around campus and dinning commons are buffets

    Dorm Life

    Great people in dorms. Very helpful when creating study groups.

    Academic Rigor

    Will challenge incoming students to a good extent in order to expand learning experience and advance thinking process

    Tips for prospective students

    Ensure you fulfill all mandatory requirements before their deadlines. Do not procrastinate.

    In three sentences

    Amazing academic experience. Plentiful amount of academic advising. Amazing atmosphere to learn.

  • 09/15/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    123 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Bearwalk will be available 24 hours to escort you.

    Greek Life

    Partys start thurday to sunday.

    Clubs and Activities

    Clubs are the life of the school.

    Great for these types of students

    Thas love to learn and expereice a diffrent culture.

    What to do for fun

    Everything!

    Food and Dining

    Great vegan choices. You wil never go hungry.

    Dorm Life

    Social and academic life is possible.

    Academic Rigor

    THe best staff ever.

    Tips for prospective students

    Berkeley will mind-blow your mind!

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is a another world-- a world within a world full of life and culture. The learning does not only take place within a class, it can be breathed in the air. Student are not only students here, they are indiduals with great aspiring ideas.

  • 09/21/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    124 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    For fun, you can go visit Powell St. or anywhere in San Francisco go for a stroll or even see a movie. But for fun you should be studying here....its Berkeley.

    Food and Dining

    Dining at Berkeley, depends where you go to eat some nights they offer great food as opposed to other nights when you just wish that you ate out. Always look online to see what their offering around campus where you can spend your meal points.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is actually something really different, you may live on a floor and it is kind of odd the first few weeks when your taking a shower and there is a guy next to you when you are a female. But after a while you get use to it and you feel happy because you literally grow together as a family you see theme everyday in the morning to night. They become your brothers and sisters and true friends.

    Academic Rigor

    It depends what classes you are taking and as well as majoring. In Engineering there is very few females but you realize as the months go. There are always your friends around you that will help you in academics. Tutoring is offered for every subject and go to office hours!!!!! It really does help you if you want to pass the class.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't stress out over the application if you have a unique story or financial circumstances and you were still able to achieve great academics and sustainable volunteer ethic your in good hands.

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is one of a kind, it is a extremely unique place. As you walk down the street you always hear a multitude of languages you never just hear one. Everyone you meet has their own story and it makes all the more amazing because of it.

  • 09/30/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    125 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    San Francisco is just a ride away. Actually, from certain parts of campus, you can actually see the Golden Gate Bridge. There are plenty of events going on campus for various people. The Berkeley and Oakland area is colorful, and so you'll rarely get bored when you get there.

    Food and Dining

    Food is varied from one place to another. My best suggestion is to eat out as much as possible because it's rather easy to get sick of food from the Residential Halls.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are usually quiet. Though there are events set up by the RA's, otherwise, people aren't too social.

    Academic Rigor

    Students at Berkeley are all smart, but they're incredibly challenged throughout their experience here. Professors are very demanding, but they are always open to help. There's a huge responsibility on you as a student to work hard and on your own.

    Tips for prospective students

    Work hard and always look for opportunities to better yourself.

    In three sentences

    It's difficult to get used to and classes will be hard. But the environment of the campus is beautiful and you're rewarded for being there in more ways than one. It's a good school.

  • 10/07/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    126 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    BearWalk and campus shuttles. Don't walk across campus at night listening to headphones or talking on your phone. Be vigilant if you're alone at night.

    Clubs and Activities

    Pretty much anything you can think of is offered here.

    Great for these types of students

    Anyone and everyone!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Let's do the Time Warp! Oh, and make sure you check out Memorial Glade and 4.0 hill.

    Bang for the buck

    It's a very expensive school, especially if you are a non-resident, but you get a lot of resources if you know where to look.

    What to do for fun

    Depends on what you're interested in, but you should definitely check out the Berkeley Marina and the fire trails above campus.

    Food and Dining

    Some dining halls are better than others. The off-campus options are endless, and the 'hole-in-the-wall' places are the best. I highly recommend Philz Coffee on Northside.

    Dorm Life

    I would rather live in an apartment so I can cook my own food and not have to worry about being out for certain holidays, but it's nice to live in the dorms for a year or so to start building relationships, friendships, and see a different perspective.

    Academic Rigor

    Keep up with the reading or you'll regret it later when you have to catch up for midterms, finals, projects, etc. Try to build a relationship with the professors & GSI's so you have resources for later and people to write letters of recommendation.

    Tips for prospective students

    Check into anything you have an interest in; you never know what you will find here. I've found boxing, archery, and a organization about autism since I've been here.

    In three sentences

    This university is not only the top public university in the nation, but also one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was here that I found a major I love and a group of friends that I can count on for anything. This summer I was able to live in a forest for 8 weeks while taking classes.

  • 10/10/2012

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    127 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Call Bearwalk! A police officer will walk with you or, if you're lucky, they'll drive you to where you need to go!

    Food and Dining

    Most of the food at the dining commons are pretty good (better than my high school's cafeteria food at least). A lot of the food in Berkeley are local, farm grown, or organic. If you wake up early enough for breakfast (and if you live in Units 1 or 2 because Crossroads dining commons is nearby), definitely try their Belgian waffles! The best dining commons all-around is the one in Unit 3.

    Dorm Life

    I stayed in Unit 1, Freeborn Hall, all girls floor. That hall was substance-free. My floormates, roommates, and I all got along well, so there was no drama or anything. Unit 3 is known for being the party dorm. Foothill (co-ed) and Stern (all girls dorm) are close to classes if you're a science major, but they're pretty far from all the college activities. Units 1 and 2 are good places to stay on the south side of campus if you're not a party person and/or if you want to be near all the food and activities.

    Academic Rigor

    Depending on your major and rigor of your classes in high school, be prepared for some late nights/all nighters. Although you might have been the cream of the crop in high school, that might not be the case here. Be open and willing to learn and improve. It's going to be tough at first; but once you learn to check professor ratings and meet more people (and exchange information about good/bad professors), succeeding in Berkeley is doable!

    Tips for prospective students

    1) Be sure to visit the campus during Cal Day to check out the school and the environment (See if it works for you!) 2) Sign up for an early Calso Orientation date after you get accepted (You'll sign up for some of your first semester classes at that time!)

    In three sentences

    1) Great learning environment where you'll meet some of the brightest people 2) Lots of food places! 3) Everything is nearby (don't really need a car).

  • 10/18/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    128 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Berkeley is kinda ghetto but you will be fine (for the most part)

    Greek Life

    30+ Fraternities and Sororities. Enough Said.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are just so many of them!

    Great for these types of students

    Hard Workers

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Beat Stanford.

    Bang for the buck

    A bit pricey for a public institution but we are #1 in the nation.

    What to do for fun

    A LOT OF THINGS: clubs, athletics, partying, studying... :)

    Food and Dining

    Honestly, food is not too great. But hey, you will not gain weight from eating too much at least... haha.

    Dorm Life

    Housing in the Bay is not so great, but the dorms are not too terrible. Don't expect to live in a palace, but you will have everything you need.

    Academic Rigor

    95% of the students fail at least a few midterms. Don't panic... everyone fails here, and that's how we learn: from mistakes.

    Tips for prospective students

    No matter what you study, you will be challenged here. Brace yourselves, midterms are coming.

    In three sentences

    Cal offers great academics and social vibrance. Berkeley has a college town feel and an urban feel at the same time. Go Bears, Beat STANFORD!

  • 10/21/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    129 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The school makes an extra effort to reassure us, and I've never felt in danger here.

    Greek Life

    It's here, and it's prominent, but not that big of a deal in my opinion. No pressure.

    Clubs and Activities

    Everything you can dream of! Music, dance, service, and hobbies. Pokemon? You got it. Save North Korea? Of course.

    Great for these types of students

    Great for students who aren't afraid to grow and experience all different walks of life. There is no judgement here.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Big Game week! The campus lights up in amazing festivities in preparation for the football game against Stanfurrrd to win the Axe. Asian Ghetto is a very popular food courtyard, also known as Durant Food Court to be politically correct.

    Bang for the buck

    It's a public school with a universal education.

    What to do for fun

    Explore the millions of eclectic restaurants, join a club, go to SF, take the bus to the Marina, you can never be bored.

    Food and Dining

    Not bad, but can get tiring. Go off campus every once in a while for some cheap and tasty ethnic food.

    Dorm Life

    My floor mates last year in Unit 1 were all like family!!

    Academic Rigor

    Tests aren't always exactly on the material from lecture... so study EVERYTHING AND BEYOND.

    Tips for prospective students

    Never wear red.

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is top-notch in academics, faculty, research, and campus life. However, what stands out the most to me about this university is how every student is able to learn who they are and grow in ways previously thought unimaginable. Everyone here is unique and it makes for an incredible college experience.

  • 10/31/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    130 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus is really safe and they have all kinds of safety resources available to you whenever you need a ride or a walk across campus at night etc.

    Clubs and Activities

    Harry Potter DeCal.

    Great for these types of students

    If you are a creative, hard working, intellectual who wants to make an impact on the world, Cal is a great place to start.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Some of my favorite spots are the Morrison library, great place to get cozy and read. The school art museum always has amazing shows and a wonderful cafe. And the eucalyptus groves all around campus are beautiful and a peaceful place to study. And traditions, we have a quidditch team!

    Bang for the buck

    It is a public school so comparatively speaking the tuition is reasonable.

    What to do for fun

    Take a DeCal! The student taught classes are so much fun and you can pick from a copious amount of awesome subjects that are tailored to your interests. There are lots of things constantly happening both on and off campus; free concert events, parties, cook-outs, and tons of other stuff.

    Food and Dining

    There are a variety of cafes and dining places all across campus and in the surrounding city. Lots of great options.

    Dorm Life

    I have never experienced dorm life, I live off campus.

    Academic Rigor

    Being surrounded by so many inspiring intellectuals keeps me always thinking about the next steps and how to perceive the world differently, to create a challenge, ask questions, and use my intelligence to solve things.

    Tips for prospective students

    As a transfer student I faced many challenges in regards to the bureaucracy and financial aid, so my advice to others is to ask as many questions about these processes as you can. Be persistent and accurate and things will go smoothly. And in regards to academics, have faith in your intelligence and hard work because those are the reasons you are here, embrace those qualities.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley's learning environment is very stimulating. I am incredibly challenged and absolutely love it. Currently, I am delving into the reasons why I love art history and want to share my passion with others.

  • 11/03/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    131 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus always feels safe, there is never a reason to doubt it. Security is always only a call away and there are night shuttles and door to door walks that can get you home.

    Greek Life

    Tri-Delt is an amazing sorority! The Greek community in general is amazing! There is constantly social events going on that will introduce you to new people

    Clubs and Activities

    There are more clubs than you can imagine! Anything you want to be a part of bets are, someone already created a club for it. There will be a club for you!

    Great for these types of students

    -students who love diversity -open minded students -competitive students -students who are willing to learn students who want to have fun!

    Bang for the buck

    It would be fair if tuition was lowered but other than that, the university fufills its rank of #1 public univeristy, so I understand why its expensive.

    What to do for fun

    There hiking trails to go on. Downtown Berkeley is just a walk away. San Francisco is just a short ride away.

    Food and Dining

    The food is great! Sometimes it gets repetitive but there are plenty of places to eat on campus.

    Dorm Life

    Co-ed dorms are the best because you learn so much about the opposite sex. Being open minded about people is a must because everyone is different. It's a great way to get to know people you would have never met otherwise.

    Academic Rigor

    Never have I been in an institution where I have felt intimidated by so many, but also compelled to learn more than ever before. It is a competitive University, but that is an advantage. There are always classes that will challenge you, but those are the best.

    Tips for prospective students

    Decide if you would want to learn about different cultures because this is the place to do so.

    In three sentences

    It is a university full of diversity and opportunities. It is by far more than I expected, in the sense of community service and education. Berkeley is a place where I have grown as an individual.

  • 11/09/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    132 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Lot of friendly police officers.

    Greek Life

    Why do you want to know?

    Clubs and Activities

    Football Baseball, Basketball.

    Great for these types of students

    Skateboarders. And Asians.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    A lot of flash mobs.

    Bang for the buck

    Nice.

    What to do for fun

    Anything. We are Americans.

    Food and Dining

    Its surrounded by many delicious foods like Chinese food, Italian food, Ethiopian food, and maybe some Taiwanese places. IDK. But Fat Slice is really good.

    Dorm Life

    I don't have a dorm.

    Academic Rigor

    Lots of different options.

    Tips for prospective students

    UUUUMMMM. Definitely think out side of the box when applying to a very highly competitive school with GPA requirements of like, 4.0+.

    In three sentences

    It's awesome in some ways but in other ways its just like any other college.

  • 11/13/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    133 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There is BearWalk which can pick you up and take you home and Bear transit that can drive you home to.

    Greek Life

    There are many greek organizations I am not part of them and have no idea how the process works.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are so many clubs and activities that you are bound to find something. There are always community based and profession based clubs.

    Great for these types of students

    Berkeley is for people not just focused on studying but really get out into the community and wanting to explore. Berkeley is for the curious mind.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Look out for the Ishi Court in Dwinelle its a great place to study. The northgate wood trails are also awesome for relaxing

    Bang for the buck

    A Berkeley Education will defiantly get you much further than other institutions.

    What to do for fun

    There are always parties happening if your into that kind of thing or you could always go explore San Francisco which is only a bus ride away.

    Food and Dining

    You will always miss home cooked meals many of the dinning commons are close but the food is not great just be prepared.

    Dorm Life

    Be sure to look out for Co-op which are a better option and cheaper. Dorms can be very expensive and you might not always get a great roommate. There isn't very much supervision and there are many noisy people. If you can look into an apartment near campus and by yourself or with a friend its a better option from my experiences.

    Academic Rigor

    There are many rigourous classes at Berkeley and even if you understood everything in High School and had that 4.0 and above it does not compare to analytic and theoretical thinking necessary in college.

    Tips for prospective students

    Having yourself on check and holding yourself accountable for mistakes. You come to college to learn and be challenged and Berkeley will defiantly challenge everything about you.

    In three sentences

    One of greatest institutions with wonderful professors that really care about what they are teaching. Berkeley has a different energy then any other campus I visit. There are so many resources on campus that there is no way you can say you weren't prepared for college.

  • 11/19/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    134 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    The food is great, but I would like the dining halls more if there is more sea food.

    In three sentences

    It is a fun place with friendly students who look forward to giving back to the community.

  • 11/26/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    135 of 222

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    Berkeley has a great Engineering program. I hope to attend some day. It has always been my dream.

  • 12/04/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    136 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    I believe they have a statue of a past coach and he is facing a nymph statue and the story goes that every game he was distracted by the nymph and couldn't help the Bears win so they put a blindfold on him and he wasn't distracted and they won.

    Food and Dining

    The food is amazing because Berkeley is right next to San Francisco and the Bay which is filled with fresh seafood and Chinese food from Chinatown and really any kind of dish you might be craving.

    Dorm Life

    I saw that dorm life was pretty minimal because it is a commuter campus so not many people actually live in the dorms.

    Academic Rigor

    My friends who got to Berkeley tell me academically it is pretty hard for undergraduate but it is worth it because they are constantly being challenged.

    In three sentences

    I went to the campus and fell in love. The campus is beautiful and filled with wonderful history. The area was filled with diversity and a laid back quality I really enjoyed.

  • 12/14/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    137 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Explore Berkeley.

    In three sentences

    Cool, hip, friendly? Large, beautiful, exquisite. Lots of smart professors and good lab equipment.

  • 12/15/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    138 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Berkeley is near Oakland and right next to Downtown Berkeley so it makes sense that safety is an issue. Though there are systems here such as Bear Walk to help people out when walking home in the middle of the night.

    Greek Life

    Greek life here is at a minimal compared to other schools. There are though some Frats that really do help out in terms of academics such as a business or medical frat.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are tons of clubs. From Rubiks cube solving to archery, to a club about helping the community, if there isn't a type of club here that isn't found, I would be surprised.

    Great for these types of students

    Because of it's academic rigor, I would fit Berkeley more with students who dedicate their time more towards academics and less towards socializing, although there is PLENTY of time to socialize. There needs to be a sacrifice for good grades.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Walking on a campus seal is known to cause bad luck academically. Rolling down a hill called 4.0 hill is supposed to grant one a G.P.A of 4.0

    Bang for the buck

    BERKELEY IS WORTH EVERY PENNY.

    What to do for fun

    One of the benefits about being at Berkeley is its close proximity to San Francisco. There, anything is possible. From watching movies, to going shopping, to visiting Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39, fun is always an option when needing a time to relax.

    Food and Dining

    I'm not going to lie, food here isn't that great. Although the food here suffices, going out to eat once in a while keeps your taste buds satisfactory.

    Dorm Life

    One of my favorite things about attending U.C Berkeley is the dorm life. It is here where you construct bonds with people that may last a life time. I recall being intimidated at first when meeting my really tall, talented suite mates. I felt inferior to tell the truth, but over time these people became my best friends. I learn so much from them that I feel as if they are not only my friends, but my mentors.

    Academic Rigor

    Being one of the top universities in the world, academics are taking really seriously. Procrastination should not even be considered if wanting to succeed. Understanding the material taught will require a generous amount of time outside the class room. Be sure to prepare yourself mentally.

    Tips for prospective students

    This university is nothing like high school. Be sure to prepare for hours of continued study. One thing that should not be looked over is the culture every student should share when going to college. Make sure to learn from each other just as much as you learn inside the classroom. That is one of the best things about being in a school full of diverse people, culture.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is a great and rigorous school full of people who care and will take the time to help you out. The professors here are phenomenal and will take the time to ensure you receive the best education possible. I love it here.

  • 12/18/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    139 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Never seen a problem

    Greek Life

    Good

    Clubs and Activities

    Tons

    Great for these types of students

    Nerds, activists, over achievers, do-gooders

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Too many to name. Everything we do has bear in the name: bear walk, bear facts, tele bears, cubs credit

    Bang for the buck

    Better than most ivy leagues at a public school price

    What to do for fun

    Taco tuesday at cafe durant. Cal football and water polo games, coop parties, ski/ snowboard team, seminars, street fairs

    Food and Dining

    Good, but not enough choices for vegetarians. I don't blame them, most other schools are probably much worse.

    Dorm Life

    I only lived in the dorms over the summer but it was fun. I don't like not having a kitchen though. Get an apartment with the school, they are just like the dorms but bigger and they have a kitchen and a living room.

    Academic Rigor

    Very challenging, but a lot of the classes are super interesting so you forget you stressed out you are some times.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you are having trouble deciding which major you want to choose, pick the one with the least math. Political science classes and english classes are pretty easy, but math, statistics and physics classes close to impossible!

    In three sentences

    This school is much harder than I thought it would be. Most of the professors are amazing, but they expect a lot out of you especially in economics.

  • 12/20/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    140 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus can be sketchy, but there is campus security. BearWalk can also take you anywhere for free and at anytime.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is a lot of clubs on campus. You can find anything to join. You really have to set your priorities in order to decide what you want to do or try.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    UC Berkeley has CREAM (COOKIES RULE EVERYTHING AROUND ME). Crepes A Go Go is a good place to eat. Sproul Plaza is cool to hang out and see demonstrations. The RSF is there so you can work out.

    What to do for fun

    You can hang out with your friends for fun. The cinemas are close to campus. There are dance showcases, singing concerts, and many club activities to see and join.

    Food and Dining

    The food in the dining commons is good for the most part. It is not the best food, but there is nothing wrong with it. There is a variety of choices. The better food is found off campus, but it will cost you more.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is fun. There is a lot of events that mentors set up for the students. The rooms are comfortable and you will meet a lot of people.

    Academic Rigor

    The school has its difficulty, but it not impossible. It does require hard work to pass your classes, but this rigor makes you better and you do end up learning a lot.

    Tips for prospective students

    I would suggest to choose housing close to campus. The best places in town are CREAM and Pappy's. You should make sure to use your meal points wisely.

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is a university with multiple opportunities for students that help them progress in whatever they are interested in. The school is memorable as you become integrated into its lifestyle. There is a place for everyone at UC Berkeley.

  • 12/21/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    141 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Tons of small shops/street vendors within walking distance.

    Food and Dining

    Not as great as UCLA, but not bad. Because it's Berkeley, there's always a vegetarian and/or organic option.

    Academic Rigor

    Most people receive their first B in a hard math or science class by the end of first semester. Berkeley is challenging, but in a rewarding way.

    Tips for prospective students

    College admissions are really rather arbitrary. Don't take rejection personally.

    In three sentences

    Definitely a welcome change from the suburbs, not as scary or depraved as some may say, and overflowing with opportunity if you really want it.

  • 12/22/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    142 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Bearwalk provides night-walkers to walk you right to your door, there is also a night safety shuttle, and rides door-to-door between 2am and 6am every day. There is also the blue-light system all around campus and dorms. ID's are necessary for entry in most libraries and for the recreational sports facility.

    Greek Life

    Very active, apparent greek row. Many fairly large official sororities and fraternities but there are also many pre-professional and service oriented opportunities in Greek Life on campus.

    Clubs and Activities

    It seems like every semester I have been at Cal there have been handfuls of new student groups popping up. There is something for everyone.

    Great for these types of students

    Anyone looking to meet a lot of different kinds of people, is a hard-worker, and who be willing to put themselves out there to really get involved on campus. This is the way most of us get through the harsh academic standards.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Holi happens every year in April on campus, it is a huge paint fight put on by the Indian Students Association. The lower plaza of campus become plastered with pink and purple. Of course don't forget the huge production of Big Game Week!!

    Bang for the buck

    I go to Thai Basil on a regular basis. Their lunch special for $6.00 including 2 items and rice or noodles is my go-to.

    What to do for fun

    San Francisco is just a 20 minute BART ride away to Union Square and Powell Street Shopping. There are plenty of movie theaters around, and most importantly, TONS of exotic and delicious (and not to mention cheap) types of restaurants surrounding campus.

    Food and Dining

    Dining common food is not the best, but there are several awesome occasions the dining commons put on including Winterfest and Harry Potter Day.

    Dorm Life

    Cal dorms are a blast, there are always people to hang out with, study with, vent to, or head to Late Night with to grab some chicken strips or a cheeseburger in the middle of the night. Resident Assistants really help to make your Berkeley world a little bit smaller and less intimidating.

    Academic Rigor

    Rigor of course depends on course of study, i.e. technical versus non-technical majors. The majority of the departments at the University are highly ranked in the nation and don't forget, Cal is the number one public university.

    In three sentences

    Cal has challenged me in ways I could have never imagined. The atmosphere is fast-paced and competitive, but is also incredibly diverse and unlike any other UC campus. It is in no way easy to be a Berkeley student, but I've found that with the incredible academic resources and unique student body, I have been able to learn just as much outside of my lectures as I have inside them.

  • 12/23/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    143 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    It is recommended that one does not walk alone. Cal offers a walking service known as BearWalk in which student employees in uniform will pick you up and walk you home, as long as you are within their boundaries.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Many students roll down 4.0 Hill because it is believed that doing so will guarantee one will get straight A's that semester.

    What to do for fun

    There is a large number of clubs on campus for different students. I personally like hiking up to the Big C and going up to the Campanile, which is free for students. One can also travel to San Francisco.

    Food and Dining

    There are four different dining commons as well as numerous restaurants. San Francisco and Oakland also have great places to eat.

    Dorm Life

    You will get to meet many people if you live in the dorms. Not only can these people be your friends, they can also offer advice on classes they have taken or they might be in your class.

    Academic Rigor

    Although I have never had classes this challenging, I have learned a lot of things whether it is math, organic chemistry, etc. This is no longer high school so I learned one cannot get away with studying the night before a midterm or final because one has to learn the material well.

    Tips for prospective students

    I highly recommend that students whom have been accepted visit the campus.

    In three sentences

    Cal is the number one public university in the world. It is a great school in which anyone can be whom they want to be without getting judged. The weather is great since San Francisco is close by.

  • 12/23/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    144 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Despite that UC Berkeley is a large campus, there are many ways that the university keeps its students safe. During the night, there is always police that patrol the main campus, as well as the streets around campus. Also, there will always be police reports to warn students and faculty about recent crimes, threats, and/or suspects that may have instigated the crimes. In addition, there is a Bear Transit that roams around the streets. The Bear TransitÂ?Â? is a shuttle service that is willing to transport students safely back to their dorms. Within the dorms, students would noÂ?Â?t necessarily have to worry about being in any type of danger, since students and their guests have to be checked in by the front desk. In general, there are many ways that UC Berkeley keeps their students safe.

    Greek Life

    The Greek life within UC Berkeley is very vibrant, since there are multiple fraternities and sororities of different interests that a student may join. These groups participate in many activities, including (but not limited to) intramural sports, social functions, philanthropies, and community service. When looking for a certain fraternity or sorority, it is important that students join a group that best fits their personality (in correspondence to the group's mission or motto) rather than relying on possible biased opinions.

    Clubs and Activities

    *See What to do for funÂ?Â?.

    Great for these types of students

    UC Berkeley is great for students who want to be academically challenged in order to be prepared for the real world, and want to go into in-depth learning in a certain type of field. In addition, Cal is a place for students who would like to learn about other cultures, due to the fact that the student body is very diverse, consisting of people from many cultural backgrounds.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    During the week of the Big Game (Cal vs. Stanford), there are lights of various emblems (Cal logo, a poke-ball, the tri-force symbol from The Legend of Zelda, etc.) the are shined upon the Campanile (the clock tower). Also, the science building contains a large skeleton of a T-Rex!

    Bang for the buck

    Fees are the same for all UC's. Therefore, in comparison, a student can receive the highest quality of education for the price of a state university! If college seems unaffordable, there is always financial aid and scholarships that a student can access in order to pay for college.

    What to do for fun

    There are many things that a Berkeley student can do for fun! There are too many groups to count, so there is something for everyone. There are many different types of interest clubs, including academics, service, video games, movies, and sports. In addition, students can go to one of Cal�s many sporting events, most notably the football and basketball games. Moreover, there are many events that are hosted within campus and around the housing complexes. Overall, it is almost impossible to be bored at UC Berkeley! Students will be busy, but they will still enjoy their time at college nonetheless.

    Food and Dining

    The food in the cafeteria varies from time to time. Fortunately, in case a student wants something other than the food in the cafeteria, there are multiple restaurants around campus that students can go to eat. Although there are many mainstream fast food restaurants in Berkeley (such as Subway, Chipotle, Jamba Juice), there are also many unique restaurants that will satisfy one's hunger.

    Dorm Life

    The quality of dorm life at UC Berkeley is fairly high. People are very social within the dorms, which makes it a good place to make new friends. There are also many activities that are hosted within the housing complexes, such as Super Smash Bros. tournaments, as well as themed dances and rock climbing field trips! Hygiene is heavily enforced, since workers come clean the bathrooms daily.

    Academic Rigor

    Although the academics at Cal are considered by multiple students to be rigorous, it is not impossible to do more than just pass. When looking at a field of study, it is important that the student evaluates his/her own strengths and interests in order to thrive and succeed. If help is needed, there are many resources on campus that a student can utilize in order to improve academic performance (such as tutors in the Student Learning Center, as well as peers, professors, and academic advisers). Generally speaking, the amount of hard work that a student puts in is evident within their excellent grades. In the end, the academics at Cal can be very rewarding, seeing that they will help students be prepared for their future careers.

    Tips for prospective students

    Although academics are vital to a student's success, there are many attributes other than high GPA and test scores that a candidate must have in order to be admitted into UC Berkeley. A student's characteristics (such as leadership, benevolence, perseverance, and work ethic) are often manifested by their extracurricular activities, leadership positions, jobs/internships, volunteer work, and sports. Moreover, the admissions officers further get to know an applicant through his/her personal statement, seeing that the applicant has been through unique experiences. Essentially, it is important for prospective students to be well rounded.

    In three sentences

    On a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being the highest while 1 being the lowest), I would give UC Berkeley a 10. Attending UC Berkeley is an extraordinary experience that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, considering the quality of education, research, diversity, and activities that the university provides. The Cal community largely consists of a student body that possesses intellectual longing in addition to cultural curiosity.

  • 12/26/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    145 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Greek Life is pretty big at Berkeley. It's a great way to get involved and make the campus seem smaller.

    What to do for fun

    Hike to the Big C, run on the fire trails, walk around downtown Berkeley, take BART into San Francisco.

    Food and Dining

    On campus food is better than dining halls, but everything is overpriced.

    Academic Rigor

    Berkeley is a prestigious school because it is difficult. If you get in, you're prepared to do well, but it'll be a challenge.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get involved early, but stay focused on class. It's easy to get distracted.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is very prestigious, academically rigorous, and socially active. There's a place for everyone here. Most students balance studies with other extracurriculars.

  • 01/02/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    146 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    I'm not involved in this, but the people I have met in the system are great and wonderful people.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is so much to do! And if you don't see something you like, you can always start your own group!

    Great for these types of students

    Everyone!

    What to do for fun

    You can always take Bart to explore the rest of the Bay Area, or even go hiking behind the hills of Clark Kerr or Wildcat Peak. The food choices here are enormous, and Berkeley itself is a wonderful place to explore!

    Food and Dining

    Pretty good food, but once you get tired of it, that's it.

    Dorm Life

    It depends where you live, but it is a wonderful environment overall.

    Academic Rigor

    Berkeley is rigorous, yes, but do not let that scare you. There are so many resources available to you on campus. Take advantage of them!

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not be afraid to apply here!!!

    In three sentences

    It is a wonderful place of learning, diversity, and opportunity. You will meet wonderful people here, and the friendships you make are invaluable.

  • 01/10/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    147 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    It is a bit dangerous to walk around at night by onesself (it is a city, after all), but as long as you have a buddy or two to walk with, you should be fine. Many people are not accustomed to the presence of homeless folk; it is important to be respectful of them and not to behave with any fear or hostility toward them.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are an absurd number of clubs on campus; if you have any interests in anything, there will most likely be a club or organization for you.

    Great for these types of students

    Berkeley is the optimal place for students who don't mind working hard and want to be immersed in academic rigor. It is also the place for students who are open-minded and interested in meeting others from a wide range of backgrounds.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There are many interesting locations on campus. The Campanile (the huge clock tower) has an incredible view of the campus and the city; you can see all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge! There are many superstitions about locations on campus; for example, there's 4.0 Hill--if you roll down it, you're supposed to get a 4.0 that semester.

    What to do for fun

    There isn't much to do within the city (mostly just movie theaters), but you can take buses to various cities, like Emeryville, where there's a nice mall/plaza with a Barnes and Noble, movie theater, and plenty of shopping. There are also close BART stations you can take to get to Oakland or San Francisco, where you can go to clubs, concerts (there are a lot of neat venues for concerts, I definitely recommend going to any concerts you're interested in). There are also parties at frats typically every weekend, so if that's your scene, you can definitely have fun that way.

    Food and Dining

    Food....Ah, well, no university can be perfect. Crossroads (the main dining commons closest to many of the Units) is pretty dismal, but overall edible. Some of the other dining commons such as Foothill and Clark Kerr are reportedly better, though they're pretty far away from most dorms. However, there are a plethora of great restaurants basically anywhere you walk in the city, near campus, in downtown Berkeley, anywhere.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are generally pretty alright. The older ones aren't as nice as newer buildings, but they're put together and not falling apart or anything. Walls are pretty thin so you can hear a lot, but that's to be expected. People on every floor are nice and pretty welcoming.

    Academic Rigor

    Berkeley certainly earns its reputation as the top public school in the world. Classes here really make you work for your degree, but it is totally worth it! All of my courses, from small discussions to large lectures, have been intellectually stimulating and a pleasure to take.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be sure to check out the campus before committing to the school, if you have the ability to do so. The city isn't for everyone, and I've met many people who are unhappy with their decision because they are not fans of the location.

    In three sentences

    I've only been here for a year and a half but it is my favorite place I've ever lived! The city is interesting, the people are interesting, there's never a dull moment. I love the friends I've made here and the professors I've had the pleasure of meeting.

  • 01/11/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    148 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    I think the best way to find fun is to join clubs on campus. There are so many different clubs that you definitely can find one made of people that you work well with and that interests you.

    Food and Dining

    The dining commons aren't necessarily the best, but their are plenty of other options located on campus. I'm currently a junior and I wish I had meal points again. The local places to eat at around Berkeley are amazing, but there is no fast food.

    Dorm Life

    I had a great experience in my dormitory. I was in one of the dorms closest to campus and I had a suite with awesome room mates. The units are definitely more social than other locations.

    Academic Rigor

    Berkeley can range anywhere from moderate to extremely difficult based on the courses you are taking. Some majors are definitely more competitive than others, but that's not to say other majors are easy at Berkeley. Pursue your passions and be ready to work hard.

    Tips for prospective students

    Berkeley is a tough school. I would recommend students to challenge themselves in highschool and take the most difficult classes possible.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley has served to be one of the most amazing experience in my life to date. I have been challenged both academically and personally at one of the best universities in the world. I would highly recommend individuals to attend Berkeley.

  • 01/11/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    149 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Students who are dedicated to their education!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The burning of the tree during the Big Game (Cal vs Stanford in football)

    Bang for the buck

    Considering it's a very expensive public college, you should plan to utilize everything the school has to offer if you attend here.

    What to do for fun

    There are a lot of clubs and organizations on campus so you will never be bored. There is always an event to go to, not to mention the parties!

    Food and Dining

    The dining halls are okay. It may get a little redundant after a while but overall it's pretty good! Food is food!

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is pretty good. The rooms are a bit small but it allows you to get to know your roommates better! Everyone is generally very nice and welcoming.

    Academic Rigor

    The academic rigor is pretty high but keep in mind that there are many resources that are there to help! Again, it is on you to set the own academic rigor of Cal.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't be too intimidated the rigor that rumors about Cal present. As long as you are focused and determined it should not be too difficult.

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is a great school with many interesting and intelligent students. I am glad with my decision to attend here. A wonderful campus with wonderful people!

  • 01/12/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    150 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    Dining hall food is usually hit or miss. Overall the food offered from campus dining is good, but I feel that the non-campus dining (restaurants around the Berkeley area surrounding campus) is what makes the university so diverse and unique in terms of dining.

    Dorm Life

    I have grown really close to the people on my floor. We are like family!

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are pretty tough but manageable. Transitioning from high school to college academics is kind of unsettling because compared to high school, one's grades in college are determined mainly by midterm and final exam grades.

    In three sentences

    I never really pictured myself going to Cal when I was applying for colleges, but when I visited the campus and attended orientation, I realized how lucky I was to have been accepted and was simply so excited to be a golden bear. Having completed my first semester at Cal, it still boggles my mind that I attend the number one public university in the world! UC Berkeley is truly a great school not only because of its excellence in academics, but also because of the atmosphere and people I have been able to meet.

  • 01/15/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    151 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Cal offers a night safety services called BearWalk, where students can call a certain number and an Community Service Officer (CSO), a uniformed student employee who is trained in non-confrontational safety techniques, will come to your location and walk you to your next destination to ensure your safety. From 5PM-6AM, students can utilize this service. After 2AM or due to weather conditions, they will use the shuttle.

    Clubs and Activities

    Cal offers hundreds of extracurricular activities, including club sports, professional clubs, and public service opportunities. From building brotherhood in an engineering society, to volunteering to provide medical outreach in Honduras, the options are endless! Name a hobby or area of interest, and there will most likely be an organization that caters to it. There is even a squirrel-feeding club on campus! But if for some reason the club that you're searching for does not exist, you have the opportunity to start it!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Morrison library is infamous for the library in which everybody comes to nap. The elegant library has comfortable leather couches that many students come to nap on during their gaps between their classes. During Reading, Review, Recitation (RRR) week, aka. Dead Week, students are given a week to study for prior to their finals. It is also the time where we hold the classic Naked Run. The Naked Run is a tradition in which students (usually from co-ops) runs butt-naked in Main Stacks library, creating some lighthearted humor for our stressed out students.

    What to do for fun

    Luckily for us Cal students, San Francisco is only a Bart or bus ride away! San Francisco adventures are endless- from watching a Giants game at AT&T Park, shopping at the 5-story Westfield mall, watching the sea lions at Pier 39, or dancing the night away at a nightclub! If you prefer to stay in Berkeley, there are hiking trails that overlook the Bay, kayaking at the Berkeley Marina, or catching an old classic (like The Godfather) at one of the movie theaters for only $5.

    Food and Dining

    Cal offers students meal points in which they can use at the numerous dining commons near the dorms or several eateries on campus. Having meal points is part of fostering a social connection in the dining commons and it is convenient when you want to grab a quick bite at one of campus eateries. However, when dorm food becomes tiring (which it eventually will), Berkeley offers a wide selection of restaurants surrounding the campus, which are perfect for the college student budget!

    Dorm Life

    Living in the dorms is a MUST here at Cal. Sure, you are cramped in a small bedroom, share bathrooms with the opposite sex, and live with a complete stranger, but it is part of the college lifestyle that many students seek! Living in the dorms allows you to branch out and meet many new people from various backgrounds and locations. You are able to build your network and gain the independence you deserve with coming to college. The dorms is definitely the place where you find that close knit group of friends that you will have for the remainder of your 4 years!

    Academic Rigor

    UC Berkeley is not considered the #1 public university in the world without a reason. Here at Cal, students are very driven and motivated to succeed. With the average student GPA at 3.5, we competitive students strive to uphold our reputation through rigorous courses and renowned professors that challenges our intellectual thinking.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't let the prestige of Berkeley scare you. You may think that the person who graduated at the top of their class, with numerous AP credit, and was involved in every club in high school may have a upper hand than you, but in reality, we all come in and start on the same level.

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is known as the #1 public university in the world. With their renowned Nobel Peace Prize winning professors, students are in for an academic experience of a lifetime. Be prepared to challenge your minds to pave the way for a future of success.

  • 01/15/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    152 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Activities that are often recommended for new students are going to San Francisco, going to the Big Game (Stanford vs. Berkeley), going to Big Bonfire (huge fire they have before the Stanford game), eat at C.R.E.A.M, eat at Cheeseboard, walk around Sproul or campus, and going up the Campanile.

    Food and Dining

    Food, compared to other colleges, is much better quality. The dining halls provide a good variety but you can get sick of them after awhile. Dining in Berkeley tends to be cheap due to the fact that it is mostly college students that live around. Food tends to be cheap and good quality.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life really depends on which dorm you get and what people are on your dorm. Whether you get a mini-suite or a dorm hall, everyone is going through the same experiences so dorm life can be nice. At the same time, don't expect people to be knocking on your door to do activities. You might have to put some effort to enjoy dorm life.

    Academic Rigor

    Academic rigor rather depends on each major. Though the science major have major grade deflation, other majors are just as competitive. Libraries are usually always packed because it is not easy to do well.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not try to join too many things your first semester. Allow a first semester to sink in, without too many pressures. Also, remember that many of your beginning classes will have upper classmen and thus, they are already use to the heated environment and the work load. Remember to do the readings according to schedule and not to fall back on work.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley, also known as Cal, is great university that allows students to be a part of their wide range of interests. Berkeley is a school where everyone can feel accepted of their quirky attributes. However, due to the prestige correlated with this university, competition between students is very intense and there tends to be grade deflation compared to other prestigious universities.

  • 01/16/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    153 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There's sometimes reports about kids getting mugged, assaulted, or committing suicide. The area is not very safe, I guess... but its not UC's fault in my opinion.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is interesting, I would say that most of my friends are in the greek system but I'm glad that I chose not to join myself.

    Clubs and Activities

    So many different clubs and organizations to join- ranging from martial arts to fraternities and sororities to honors societies to non-profit volunteerism. There's a lot out there.

    Great for these types of students

    open minded, creative, curious

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory provides research opportunities for students that are willing to put in the time and effort. Telegraph Ave. shows a lot of Berkeley culture. We have the library naked run every finals week.

    Bang for the buck

    It's a public school, but honestly, the costs of living here, books, registration fees, they are all expensive. But the degree is excellent- nobody can argue that UC Berkeley is a lower-tier university.

    What to do for fun

    Lots of social events, greek life, honors societies, and just people to meet. The people here are very open to change and diversity, so don't be afraid to approach anyone.

    Food and Dining

    I'd say that our dining system is great, although most of my friends disagree with me. Theres' late night options, and other grub places around campus that make Berkeley awesome.

    Dorm Life

    Honestlty, I happened to luck out and have great floormmates but my roommate was the opposite of me...She woke up at the crack of dawn and slept at 10 PM daily. It was difficult but I think the dorms are great at UC Berkeley.

    Academic Rigor

    Although some courses are tough, others are fairly easy. Like any other school, certain topics are going to be more difficult than others.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure to come visit before you decide to commit to this school. Also, the financial aid program and scholarships program is great here- so if you end up with a great award package I would definitely consider coming here.

    In three sentences

    If you decide to make the most out of what Berkeley has to offer, you will really excel. Have fun, but make sure to set your priorities straight. Many people I know have permanently withdrawn due to academic or personal difficulties.

  • 01/16/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    154 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There are plenty of things to do for fun. Besides finding on-campus extracurricular activities like a theater group or dance group, you can visit the Berkeley Art Museum or the Rose Garden. There are also some hikes you can do in the area. See a performance at the Zellerbach Theatre or see a movie at a local movie theater. San Francisco is only at 20 minute BART ride away if you miss city life.

    Food and Dining

    The accessibility of the dining halls is very convenient; however, the quality is not too high. It's a little above average, but eating at the dining halls gets old faster than you thought. One way to combat the monotony is to switch up the dining halls you eat at on a daily basis. Besides the dining halls, the restaurants that you find in the areas surrounding campus are awesome because the variety is amazing, the quality is high, and the prices are reasonable. You will find that there are a ridiculous number of Thai restaurants.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life all really depends on what dorm you end up being placed. It's mostly good for meeting people and making friends quickly. The dorms are also relatively close to campus and the dining halls so those are positives. Some dorms are nicer and more spacious than others. The most common experience is living with one to two other people in a room that's probably smaller than your room at home. At the end of the day, the dorm life is not too bad.

    Academic Rigor

    In most of the classes you take at Berkeley, you will have to apply yourself if you want good grades. There are plenty of resources available here if you find yourself struggling. Cal will definitely challenge you so be ready.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you've never been to Berkeley, then you should really visit first. Some people really like it here, but it's not for everyone. The campus itself is great, but not everyone is pleased with the surrounding areas. If you think you'll miss the city, then San Francisco is only a 20 minute BART ride away so no worries. If you're still not sure what you want to major in yet, don't worry because Cal has so many awesome departments you'll be sure to find what you're passionate about. It's also a good idea to find extracurricular activities aside from your classes because you might find yourself bored sitting in your dorm room.

    In three sentences

    It's a great place to go to school and meet awesome people. There are plenty of opportunities for whatever you're looking for; it's really up to you for what kind of college experience you want. Berkeley really allows for you to be you.

  • 01/16/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    155 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Still settling in at the present time.

    What to do for fun

    Exercise and workout. I also enjoy running to release energy and stay in shape. It really clears my brain.

    Food and Dining

    Good food so far. I am still relatively new here and learning the best places to eat.

    Dorm Life

    Great time. I would recommend this for every new student.

    Tips for prospective students

    Stay in the dorms the first semester. Great for developing new contacts.

    In three sentences

    Great place. I will be enjoying my time spent here. Everyone I meet here is very friendly.

  • 01/23/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    156 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Hiking (the Big C, the national laboratory, the Berkeley hills, etc.), taking long walks in San Francisco, going to the Berkeley Marina to take in the view, visiting museums, club activities (flying kites, salsa or chamber dancing, etc.), or even just finding a place to chill with friends is what a lot of students find appealing. Inter-mural sports, Cal Athletics (football, basketball, tennis, golf, soccer, etc.), and even unranked sports are also typical of a fun activity. There are many open fields throughout campus and close to the dorms. Find something that will interest you!

    Food and Dining

    The food is great for those who don't know home cooking. Nothing beats home cooking. Meal points can be used to buy food or to purchase groceries at the Cub and Bear Markets. The four large dining commons are conveniently place near the units. Crossroads is between Unit 1 and 2. Cafe 3 is in Unit 3. Foothill and Clark Kerr are in their respective locations. There are many options for food outside of the dining commons, however. Restaurants generally have good food unless you eat the same food every day (they lose their appeal if you do that). There are many options for all sorts of eating lifestyles. Vegetarian, vegan, pescaterian, and traditional foods are available everywhere in Berkeley including the dining commons. Meal points are only provided with dorms. Apartments must use cash or buy a meal plan to eat at the dining commons.

    Dorm Life

    There are five units of residential halls. Dorms are located one block from campus except for the Clark Kerr campus dorms. Units 1, 2, and 3 are in proximity to south-side Berkeley. It's generally full of life for about 20 hours a day. Unit 4 has three residence halls, Foothill, Bowles, and Stern, of which Bowles and Stern Halls are single gender halls. Bowles has the appearance of a castle. It is old but has character. Every Thursday the Bowles men serenade the Stern women. Stern Hall has study centers and large lounges. Foothill is the largest of the three halls and is generally the quieter hall. Science and engineering majors generally reside in Unit 4. Unit 5 is the Clark Kerr campus residence hall and is intended for athletes but is open to everyone. It is the furthest away from campus (5 blocks) and has arguably the nicest/largest rooms for dorms. Units 1, 2, and 3 consist of several identical buildings facing different directions. They are the most social of all the units. Unit 3 has tennis courts that sometimes have a peculiar smell due to fertilizer. Units 1 and 2 have bike racks but you should bring your own lock! This requires more research on your behalf, though. Good luck!

    Academic Rigor

    This institution is rigorous when it comes to STEM related fields. As a top school in Engineering, science, math, and engineering majors have big shoes to fill. As for the humanities majors, Berkeley is extremely resourceful and classes are generally of a student's particular interest. Given that you can choose any major, classes aren't strictly in one area of that particular major. One might major in English and focus on scientific academic papers. One might major in Physics and have a particular interest in philosophy. Even choosing a class can be fun! Good luck!

    Tips for prospective students

    Getting into this university is not easy; staying in the institution is just as difficult. Academics are a serious matter and they are not taken lightly. Help is always available for students and professors ARE approachable. The professors are there to help the students. If help is needed, the student must seek the correct person to direct any concerns. As for student life, if you don't find what you want in the hundreds of clubs at Cal, you can form your own club! Getting involved is easy as long as you're willing to make the time commitments. Good luck!

    In three sentences

    The students are happy to come to Cal and they enjoy the rich and diverse atmosphere that defines student life. Students are open-minded and passionately pursue their dreams. Professors understand that every student has his/her own story and they are willing to help their students succeed throughout their career at Cal.

  • 02/07/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    157 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Academic Rigor

    Depends on major, but generally challenging and competitive.

  • 02/10/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    158 of 222

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    It's a really nice school. Would definitely suggest it.

  • 02/10/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    159 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Its dangerous to be walking home at night in the outskirts of campus, but UC Berkeley offers BearWalk, in which campus security will meet you anywhere on or near campus and walk you safely home.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are dozens, maybe even hundreds, of clubs and activities on campus. There is something for everyone and anyone. Some interesting clubs/activities I've seen are K-Popular (those interested in K-pop music) and Quidditch. Clubs/activities vary; they can be career-oriented, volunteer-centered, or just based on similar interests.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Hike up to the Big C, which is literally a big C on the side of a mountain and you can see the whole Bay Area. Naked Run through the libraries! I don't know how and when this tradition started, but it happens. Students run butt-naked through the main libraries. I think its when there's the first sign of rain.

    What to do for fun

    UC Berkeley has many things to do for fun. Being near a mountain side, you can go hiking and see a beautiful view of the Bay Area. Berkeley and nearby city Oakland offers movies, shows/concerts and great places to eat and hang out with friends. Also, with the BART, you can easily travel to San Francisco, where you can shop, visit museums and sight-see.

    Food and Dining

    The food is alright; it could be better. There are many vegetarian and vegan options, but the food could be a bit healthier. A lot of fried food and sandwiches are served here. Don't expect fast foods, like McDonald's and Panda Express, to be nearby (but that's a whole different topic in explaining why that is), but there are many restaurants that serve cheap and delicious food.

    Dorm Life

    It really depends on what kind of person you are. Certain dorms are fun and really social, but a bit noisy. There are also dorms that are quiet and a great place to study. Events and activities take place in the dorms, but no one really goes to them. Students rather just do their own thing with the people they meet at the dorms. Small, but cozy. Most are clean. Overall, the dorms are okay.

    Academic Rigor

    UC Berkeley is not the #1 public university for nothing! There is no question that competition is heavy here and there are weaver classes meant to be difficult, but if you don't constantly compare yourself to others and don't beat yourself up for not getting an A every time (because chances are you won't), you'll be fine. Stay focused and motivated always.

    Tips for prospective students

    Surround yourself with good people: people who are welcoming and nothing but supportive and positive. Find a community you know that has your back. Don't experience college alone.

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is a great place to challenge yourself academically, morally, and even spiritually. It is the place to really question what you believe in and what you want in life. In that you reinvent yourself and create new paths to your future.

  • 02/16/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    160 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    The food is good, but gets tiring after a while

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life seems pretty sweet.

    Academic Rigor

    This school is very rigorous

  • 02/23/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    161 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus is safe, but the surrounding city can be sketchy.

    Greek Life

    I love Greek Life; everyone is down to earth.

    Great for these types of students

    Students that are a little nerdy and are open minded.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Everything about Berkeley is unusual.

    What to do for fun

    There are countless events daily. Greek life is really fun. San Francisco is a quick Bart ride away.

    Tips for prospective students

    It is important to keep up on studying and not waiting until the night before the exam.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is a place like no other where there exists opportunities beyond belief. The student population is large, so you're bound to find your niche, but it may take some time. UC Berkeley challenges students academically as it prepares them for the future.

  • 02/23/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    162 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    It's definitely not safe walk alone late at night, but there are Bearwalks or night shuttles that you can take to safely go to and from your place.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    You can be the lucky/ unlucky witness of the naked run around the main library during a RRR week. Each semester, a group of Co-op students run around the library while being naked.

    What to do for fun

    Spend a day in SF via BART, try out authentic, delicious restaurants around campus, hike up to Big C, jog around campus, go to a nearby park/ garden, go down to Shattucks to watch a movie, and so on! You can also check out parties at Fraternity or Co-op.

    Food and Dining

    Personally, I find the food at D.C. decent, but some of my friends just can't stand the similar food every day and tend to go out to eat in the Durant Square (more well known as an Asian ghetto). You can get late nights at Foothill and Crossroads, and the steak plate at Foothill is amazing!

    Dorm Life

    Your dorm life is significantly dependent on who your roommate and suitemates are. If you are party-loving, loud, outgoing, then apply for dorms in the south side (i.e. Unit 1, etc) If you prefer a quiet, nice study environment then apply for dorms in the north side (i.e. Foothill, Sterns, etc). If you end up being in a place you didn't want originally, don't worry too much. You also have a power to make how you want your dorm life to be.

    Academic Rigor

    Berkeley is well known for its GPA deflation, but don't be too discouraged! Do your best to stay on top of your work and take active notes. If you are a pre-med like me, then you are more likely to take classes that are heavily curved. You are continually competing with your fellow classmates, and trying to regurgitate all the information that you learned under a stressful test setting is not easy. But just do your best!

    Tips for prospective students

    Get organized, go to classes, and take good notes. Don't procrastinate. Classes that you'll be taking in Berkeley will NOT be the same as the ones that you've been taking in high school. Be prepared to struggle, but enjoy the process of learning new materials!

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is a wonderful place where you can meet new people from different backgrounds, learn from well-respected, well-known faculty, and simply be surrounded by bright, hardworking students! I have grown so much for past two years of studying here in Berkeley, and highly recommend others to be part of the amazing student body of Berkeley.

  • 03/08/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    163 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Go to San Francisco! You get a free bus pass and SF's just a hop on the F bus away! Explore Berkeley and Oakland - lots of history and nature, amazing food, culture, and career opportunities! Join one of over 600 clubs and organizations or a performing group on campus! Or sunbathe, read a book, hang out with friends, catch a frisbee, or play Quidditch on Memorial Glade.

    Food and Dining

    I'm not a picky eater, so I think dorm food is perfectly fine! Sometimes even delicious! But it does get repetitive, you are not allowed to take leftovers out, and it's expensive compared to off-campus dining.

    Dorm Life

    Depends on where you live... Overall, housing is pretty expensive, but you do get free tutoring services, a decent and reliable source of food, wonderful people to socialize and network with (roommates, floormates, RAs, Mentors, etc.), and leadership opportunities in the Residence Hall Assemblies. Rooms in the Units on Southside tend to be smaller but closer to the fun whereas dorms on Northside (Foothill, all-men's Bowles, all-women's Stern) have larger rooms and are quieter, but considered far from everybody else (plus there's those killer hills to walk up to get home...)

    Academic Rigor

    We're not the #1 Public University for nothing! Classes are tough! But there are also plenty of resources to give you academic support, including tutoring in the dorms and Student Learning Center (which is used by the A-students more than the D-students!), study groups, professor and GSI office hours, etc. You will be challenged and you will grow in proportion to how well you meet those challenges.

    Tips for prospective students

    Study hard and get good grades in high school, even senior year! Take AP courses and tests to prep yourself for university-level courses (AP credit can also give you higher class standing which helps you get earlier class registration dates). You don't need to know what you want to major in or what your career is going to be yet! Participate in the extracurricular activities that you actually care about and demonstrate long-term commitment. When writing the application essays, start early, get lots of people (friends, teachers, parents, etc.) to comment on and proof-read them for you, and do some soul-searching to really bring out the real you for the admissions officers to see.

    In three sentences

    #1 Public University! 8 Nobel Laureates currently teaching! Amazing weather, food, culture, opportunity!

  • 03/16/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    164 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Unusual traditions: 1) Do not step on the UC Berkeley seals around campus. It's considered to be bad luck. 2) Roll down 4.0 hills if you really want to get that desired straight A's. 3) The Big C: The place where everyone goes if you live in Berkeley.

    What to do for fun

    This campus is surrounded by a urban, college town that has absolutely everything you could think of. Movie theaters, diners, and the bart is located five minutes from campus!

    Food and Dining

    Dining commons are pretty decent, but pale in comparison to the restaurants and food available around the university

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is pretty awesome. It's where you meet your friends-for-life college friends.

    Academic Rigor

    The academia on campus is pretty intense. Slacking is not something you would be able to do. Remember, you are at a university with some of the most brilliant minds in the world.

    Tips for prospective students

    Apply for Berkeley even if you do not believe you have any chance of getting in. Berkeley looks beyond the grade point average and SAT scores.

    In three sentences

    I go to an absolutely amazing school. At UC Berkeley, I am being challenged in ways I've never experienced before. Its academics is outstanding, its professors are renowned, its students are diverse... What more could you want from a university?

  • 03/23/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    165 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There are many programs and other things for your safety.

    What to do for fun

    There is plenty to explore in Berkeley, and SF is only a BART ride away!

    Food and Dining

    While the cafeteria food is not perfect, there are so many spots around in Berkeley that are amazing!

    Dorm Life

    This depends on you! If you make the effort you can make great friends in the dorms.

    Academic Rigor

    It's hard. There will always be someone who knows more but take that as a learning experience and grow from it instead of letting it discourage you.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't take everything too seriously but at the same time don't procrastinate.

    In three sentences

    UCB is a great place where you will meet all sorts of people and try all sorts of new things. You are challenged academically. In the end I'm sure the hard work will pay off.

  • 03/27/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    166 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Hang out with friends, join a club, do research with a faculty member, go to the gym, play sports, explore the Bay Area, etc

    Tips for prospective students

    BE PREPARED. This is college, and the work here is hard. Very hard. You will need self-discipline and perseverance. Make sure you enjoy yourself as well though.

    In three sentences

    It is fast-paced It is centered in a bustling community (I should know, I've lived here my whole life) It is full of things to do.

  • 04/08/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    167 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    get to know Berkeley and explore san francisco

    Food and Dining

    dont eat to much,

    Dorm Life

    ups and downs

    Academic Rigor

    time consuming

    Tips for prospective students

    choose classes with subjects that interest you

    In three sentences

    Berkeley offers many great classes with many interesting topics. The professors are great and love what they do. You are surrounded by students who are also passionate about what they learn.

  • 04/09/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    168 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There is always something happening at Berkeley and you can always take the BART into the city if you want something else to do.

    Food and Dining

    Students have told me that the food is good and from the pictures I have seen I believe them.

    Dorm Life

    I have heard it is a tight community and fun place to meet new friends.

    Academic Rigor

    This is a top tier school so the work is challenging but not an impossible workload.

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit the campus, if you have any doubts about attending they will be washed away.

    In three sentences

    Great campus and nice people, combine that with a top class education and the location and it is a hard school to beat. I visited the campus and even though it is a big school it had a close nit feel to it. The school is just full of school spirit.

  • 04/22/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    169 of 222

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    Cal appears to have great academic rigor and is the perfect environment for students who enjoy a competitive atmosphere. After going to Cal, I know I will be prepared for challenges in the work force.

  • 05/03/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    170 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    LOVE THE GREEK SYSTEM!

    Great for these types of students

    Berkeley is filled with students who love multi-tasking, being involved, and ALWAYS having something to do!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The view from the Campanile is stunning! Students get in for free. Otherwise the view from the East lounge patio at the top of Barrows is also incredible!

    What to do for fun

    Only 30 minute BART ride to SF. But usually there's no reason to leave the campus and surrounding area. Every night there are plenty of things to do, sponsored by the various organizations on campus.

    Food and Dining

    SO MANY OPTIONS. Cal Dining is alright (it gets very repetitive) but there are numerous options to eat out GOOD food all over whether down College in Elmwood or down Shattuck in the Gourmet Ghetto.

    Dorm Life

    It's a lot of fun freshman year and maybe sophomore year, but there are so many different types of opportunities for housing while studying at UC Berkeley, from fraternity/sorority houses, Co-Ops, apartments, private houses, and so on and so forth.

    Academic Rigor

    It's college. So of course the work load is going to be heavy. So classes are heavier than others though, but the professors and GSIs usually grade very fairly.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't trust what you see when visiting or go to Cal Day. The only way to get true feeling of what Berkeley is like is as a student!

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is such a diverse campus with so much going on all the time. The students are dedicated to their campus, involved in countless student organizations with the ASUC. The professors and graduate student instructors are all so passionate in their teaching.

  • 05/07/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    171 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Go to san francisco

    Food and Dining

    Great food in the city

    Dorm Life

    didn't live there

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit professors during their office hours, so latter it will be easier to ask for letters of recommendation. Also, form study groups with classmates, it will help you a lot.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is wonderful. Great school. Great professors.

  • 05/09/2013

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    172 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    wonderful school!

    What to do for fun

    Hiking in the Berkeley hills, dollar Sundays at the race track, trivia night, beat the clock at bears lair, attend football or basketball games, play an intramural sport

    Food and Dining

    The restaurants on and near campus are wonderful. You can find almost any type of food you'd ever want at a decent price.

    Dorm Life

    Three stars because I did not experience the dorm life

    Academic Rigor

    The professors and student body make the academic rigor of this school 5 stars.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be ready to put your full effort into your school work and be challenged by your professors and fellow students, but make sure you find time to have fun in college too. I recommend studying abroad as that is one thing I regret not doing.

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley was an amazing school to attend. The intelligent and competent student body creates and challenging and intellectual environment that pushes each student to achieve higher. There is a perfect mix between academic life and social life.

  • 05/21/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    173 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    On campus it's pretty safe but off campus, it could be pretty dangerous. call Bear Walk service, someone will bike to where you are and walk you to wherever you need to go. Or, always be with a friend at night instead of walking alone.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are many campus groups. Being highly involved in one or more groups is quite a time commitment but a valuable experience.

    What to do for fun

    visit San Francisco, hang out with friends, join a group (highly recommend Christian fellowship!)

    Food and Dining

    They try to make the food healthy but you'll get tired of them soon.

    Dorm Life

    never lived in the dorms, but heard it's too small and that the coed bathrooms are kind of awkward and uncomfortable to use. But I've seen many people become very close friends with their roommates and floormates from the dorm.

    Academic Rigor

    Don't fall behind in your studies. Also, if you can take easier classes, take easier ones; don't be proud and think you should challenge and prove to yourself how smart you are. You will regret it!

    Tips for prospective students

    Be active about approaching graduate school instructors and professors and visiting them during their office hours. Try not to fall behind in class, especially readings. Find a group of friends that you can rely on and share struggles with and be open to meeting new people but be on the look out to avoid people that could have bad influences on you.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley challenges you to learn and be proactive about learning by providing rigorous courses. Unfortunately competition within large classes and the challenging course materials often make students focus too much on their grades rather than learning. Nevertheless, I love the diversity of the student body at Cal.

  • 05/26/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    174 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There are some homeless people located on the streets outside the university, some are friendly and some are somewhat deranged.

    Greek Life

    Not for me, but is very lively for those interested.

    Clubs and Activities

    Over 900 clubs! All interesting, you can make your own as well!

    Great for these types of students

    adventurous students! hikers

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The big C allows you to see the entire campus and the bay area.

    Bang for the buck

    Highly prestigious!

    What to do for fun

    Join a club! Play sports!

    Food and Dining

    The food is okay. The dining halls make their best efforts at keeping everything organic. Many vegan options!

    Dorm Life

    You meet people from all walks of life! It is what you make it!

    Academic Rigor

    Not as easy as high school, manageable with good time management skills.

    Tips for prospective students

    Apply with confidence! Make sure to put a good amount of time into your personal statement! More than anything, don't be intimidated to apply!

    In three sentences

    Dynamic and enriching environment. Highly Diverse. Everyday is an invigorating experience.

  • 05/28/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    175 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Decent. Walking down Telegraph is rather sketch, but Cal has numerous services available for you, such as Bear Walk (a police escort who can be called up to walk you to your dorm at almost any time of night).

    Greek Life

    It's there if you want it, and pretty active. Easy to avoid if it's not your scene.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are TONS of extracurriculars for you to be involved in, depending on your major or your interests or your personal views. It's the perfect place to find a second family and a community to connect with.

    What to do for fun

    Party, sports, hang out with friends, go to SF, karaoke... whatever you can think of, you can do it!

    Food and Dining

    Nothing to look forward to, really. It's nice to have meal points for the Peet's coffee, Golden Bear Cafe, and late night. Most dining commons are buffet-style lunch and dinners.

    Dorm Life

    Many, if not most, of your closest friends your freshman year are going to come from your floormates and your extracurriculars. The buildings themselves can be inconvenient at times, especially since there is usually only one excruciatingly slow elevator. The facilities are kept pretty clean though, and the Hall Association leadership makes things fun with subsidized trips and random social activities for you to help to know everyone in your dorm.

    Academic Rigor

    This is coming from a Business major, so my perspective may be a bit skewed, since Business/Econ classes tend to be a little less... cooperative than most. Don't expect to make friends solely from your classes, and you have to be self-disciplined and able to keep up with your work/studies/readings (i.e. no procrastinating).

    Tips for prospective students

    The best way to succeed is to come in with the mindset of work hard, play hard. It's going to be a lot harder than high school, even for the valedictorians and the 2400s and the president-of-everythings.

    In three sentences

    While the academic rigor and competition may be intimidating at first, it is definitely worth it, especially given Berkeley's name and prestige. Ultimately, college is college - no matter where you go, your college years are going to be the best four years of your life. You're going to meet incredible people, make amazing friends, and ultimately find a home here at Cal.

  • 06/06/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    176 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    You really don't ever have to walk home alone.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Hike to the big C!

    What to do for fun

    San Francisco!

    Food and Dining

    I hate vegan food!Feed me the goods!

    Dorm Life

    A little hectic, but enough to make you feel like you are living the college life.

    Academic Rigor

    People are born super smart, then they go to Berkeley.

    Tips for prospective students

    Believe, or Berkeley will consume you.

    In three sentences

    I think Berkeley opened my heart to a world that I didn't even know existed. This place tests me even when I'm not in the classroom. Go Bears!

  • 06/06/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    177 of 222

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    Large, expansive campus.

  • 06/15/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    178 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Not very safe; crime has been on the uprise.

    Greek Life

    I have a distaste for non-professional fraternities.

    Great for these types of students

    People who enjoy learning and seek out commitments. For those who aim for great grades, it's difficult; research is plentiful but again competitive.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Every year, there's a naked run in the libraries.

    Bang for the buck

    Housing is just ridiculous; both my roommates and I paid 12,000 for living in the same space.

    What to do for fun

    Plenty of options on campus in terms of finding something to do i.e. robotics, computer programming, music, dance, etc. Trying out all the restaurants here can take a while.

    Food and Dining

    Easy to get tired quickly but not bad if you're not picky. There's plenty of options outside of Cal Dining though.

    Dorm Life

    If you're not picky, you get by. Good company and a place to sleep is guaranteed.

    Academic Rigor

    I pretty much study all the time but I have time for procrastination, extra sleep and ECs. Granted, I have pulled some all-nighters.

    Tips for prospective students

    Work hard and don't solely focus on academics.

    In three sentences

    Tough school but quite enjoyable. Lots of organizations but its difficult to find what one wants to do. Really competitive in terms of extracurriculars; academics, its fair.

  • 06/18/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    179 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    With your AC Transit sticker on your Cal ID you can easily head to San Francisco within half an hour and discover the beautiful city and what it has to offer.

    Food and Dining

    The food can get a bit mundane and some of it lacks taste.

    Dorm Life

    The people are spectacular. My first year living in the dorms was what I pictured it to be and much more.

    Academic Rigor

    Berkeley is definitely a challenge. Coming from a low income community with limited resources has made me realize that I must put in twice as much effort as I did in high school.

    Tips for prospective students

    Maintain your composure even when feeling stressful. Improving your work ethics and balancing out your academic and social life will take a lot of weight off your shoulders.

    In three sentences

    Beautiful campus! You're surrounded by good vibes and positive peer pressure throughout your first year there. You also have a spectacular view of the bay!

  • 06/19/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    180 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The city of Berkeley is a little bit sketchy, but the school makes up for this with its own police force and programs to help students stay safe.

    Greek Life

    There is always something going on at Greek Row. I'm not in a sorority myself, but I always feel welcome just walking down there and seeing what's happening on a Friday night.

    Clubs and Activities

    No matter what you're interested in, there's a club for it!

    Great for these types of students

    Berkeley is great for people looking to experience new and different things. You get to meet all kinds of people from different backgrounds and places. It's also definitely for smart students and hard workers.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The Campanile is a giant clock tower in the middle of campus that houses a carillon on which students play concerts every day. There's also the Big C, a huge concrete C up in the hills. It overlooks campus and is a symbol of our school spirit.

    Bang for the buck

    As an out-of-state student I have to pay significantly more, but for in-state students Berkeley is definitely a great deal.

    What to do for fun

    There are always things to do in the city of Berkeley, but if you ever want to venture further, San Francisco is just a twenty minute train ride away.

    Food and Dining

    Depending on your dining hall, the food can vary between absolutely wonderful and terrible, but in general there are a lot of options.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms at Berkeley are absolutely wonderful. I have made some of my best friends at school through meeting the people on my floor, and it's a fun and interesting environment to be in.

    Academic Rigor

    Berkeley is definitely a difficult school, especially if you're a STEM major. The classes are always challenging and sometimes you have to struggle to keep your GPA up, but it's very rewarding and you always learn a lot!

    Tips for prospective students

    Work hard! But don't forget to do extracurriculars either. Berkeley looks for excellent grades, but they also want you to be well-rounded.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is a fun and exciting place to be! Between awesome classes, world-famous faculty, and interesting people, it's really an amazing school. I absolutely love Cal!

  • 06/20/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    181 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Just a phone call away, around-the-clock security workers will walk or drive you from campus to your apartment/residence if you are on campus late at night studying. There is also a police station right on campus. I would not recommend wandering around by yourself on the streets at night, but during the day, it's pretty safe. There is also a homeless population at Berkeley, but they are harmless (unless provoked).

    Greek Life

    Greek Life is here at Berkeley, but you don't have to be part of it if you don't want to.

    Clubs and Activities

    Clubs of all types are here at Berkeley - interest, professional, social. They are easy to find and easy to join. There are also an abundance of activities that are put on by clubs, or the student government. There are concerts monthly (if not more), moving showings, free give-aways, and more!

    Great for these types of students

    Berkeley is great for anyone and everyone. You can come here as one type of person and transform into someone else, but still have a home in Berkeley. There is literally every type of person at Berkeley, and you will be able to find a niche!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The naked run is done during dead week/finals week of every semester. Generally, senior class members run naked through the main library. It's an exciting atmosphere and will get you pumped for finals.

    Bang for the buck

    This high class university is worth every penny! Dorms are pricey but the entire area around campus is residential, and you can make your cost of living low if you find the right apartment. There are a million libraries and the facilities are good (computer labs, study spaces, tutoring areas etc).

    What to do for fun

    Berkeley is always alive. There are late-night restaurants, shopping, and adventures in every neighboring city.

    Food and Dining

    Lots of vegan and gluten free options! The salad bar is fantastic with huge variety, and it's open all the time! Fruits are also available year-round.

    Dorm Life

    The first community at Cal is your floormates in your dorms - make the most of it. Get to know people, and attend the programs put on by the dorm staff! Staff are also SO knowledgable, so use them as a resource.

    Academic Rigor

    Difficult but it will prepare you for future endeavors and will teach you how to study if you don't know how to already.

    Tips for prospective students

    Classes are hard, but completely do-able, especially if you have a system of support (ie clubs, friends, etc). Don't ever give up, and work until you get to where you want to be. Join a research group/laboratory to get hands on experience!!

    In three sentences

    A top ranked university with unparalleled academics, research, and internship opportunities, UC Berkeley is THE school to be at! The school is incredibly diverse in all aspects (race, culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation, interests, etc), and the atmosphere is challenging. The people are also amazingly brilliant, compassionate, and have made my years here unforgettable.

  • 06/25/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    182 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Iâ??ve personally never had a bad experience with personal safety in my time at Cal. With that said, there are tens of thousands of people on campus at any given moment, and other people arenâ??t going to look out for you. Some good things to keep in mind areâ?¦ (1) Deterrents â?? if youâ??re carrying pepper spray or a safety whistle, then make sure you know how to properly use it. Make the spray easy to access, and know that three quick blasts on a whistle or noisemaker is a universal sign of distress. (2) Buddies â?? donâ??t hesitate to call a friend to come and get you from the middle of the campus at night, or call BearWalk! Itâ??s definitely worth the wait considering the alternative. You can also find a large group thatâ??s walking and tag along behind them. (3) Common Sense â?? trust your gut. If you see/suspect anything suspicious, report it and stay away from that area. Donâ??t make a habit of going out at late times, and keep a phone handy and an eye on the people around you. Read the crime warnings! Elementary, really, but those small things just could prove to be the difference.

    Greek Life

    Greek life, as it is anywhere, is very time consuming. The fraternities range from professional to social, and frat row is a block away from the southeast of campus.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are so many activities and clubs considering the number of students, so it isnâ??t a matter of having to seek them out; instead itâ??s more a matter of sifting through every opportunity out there and realizing which ones are best for you. Walking down Sproul Plaza â?? the main and most frequented area of campus â?? youâ??ll likely get over a dozen flyers handed to you about some club or another. At the beginning, Iâ??d definitely recommend signing up for as many organizations as possible, because you can always remove your name from their mailing list a little later on. If you have an interest, thereâ??s guaranteed to be a club for you. If you have a specific focus, or think that you can do a better job, itâ??s very easy to create a club yourself.

    Great for these types of students

    Cal is great for students who donâ??t mind being in an environment where there are multitudes of people around, and for those who donâ??t mind socializing with others. Itâ??s also a fantastic place for those who are driven and self-motivated to take initiative â?? a place where little is handed to you, and anything you earn will truly be the product of your own hard work.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Berkeley Time is an unusual tradition we have â?? all classes start 10 minutes after their posted time. This helps the average student who tends to run late.

    Bang for the buck

    Considering that UC Berkeley is widely acclaimed as the best public university in the world, the quality of education and experience is unsurpassed. Combining that with approximately $30,000 in overall yearly expenses for in-state students means that it is competitive in affordability as well â?? noting that longtime competitor Stanford costs upward of $50,000 for roughly the same education. The tuition is a very reasonable $14,000 compared to $40,000+ for that of private schools. Despite the perpetually existent tuition hikes, there is definitely no comparison.

    What to do for fun

    Both San Francisco and Oakland are a short BART ride away, and there are a myriad of options there. Within Berkeley, one can explore the vast amount of nature â?? among them the Fire Trails and the Hike to the Big C, both of which are near campus. There are lots of parks and secluded areas that are accessible by bus. The AC Transit pass comes free with your tuition, so the entire city is at your disposal.

    Food and Dining

    The food is solid for a university setting, though it does depend on which dining hall you choose. Crossroads has a wide variety of food, while Clark Kerr is recognized as having the best quality of food. There are two other dining halls, Foothill and Café 3. There are plenty of options for Vegetarian and Vegan diners, and the food (while not as good as that of UCLA, per se) is still passable. A flat fee of meal points allows for all-you-can-eat in the dining halls, which most certainly contributes to the Freshman 15 syndrome. There are on-campus dining areas which take meal points for food, and theyâ??re scattered across the length of campus so there is always one relatively near you. The Bear Market is the equivalent of a grocery store that accepts meal points. Apart from campus dining, the streets are lined with a number of eateries, most notably â??Asian Ghettoâ?? on Durant Ave and the pizza place Cheeseboard. There are a number of cuisines on Southside especially.

    Dorm Life

    There are a total of seven university dorms, with both communal floor styles and suite styles. On the housing application, a preference can be made for the number of roommates (double, triple, quad), location, and single sex vs. coed. Detailed information can be seen here (http://blog.admissions.berkeley.edu/dorm-options/). In general, the RAs are very accessible and lenient, and tend to be cool people to talk to. Given the obvious initial adjustment, it is a very comfortable living arrangement. Most will find that there is sufficient space for whatever they bring and more.

    Academic Rigor

    As UC Berkeley is a world-class institution that regularly tops the charts and rankings in terms of every academic department, it expects a high level of commitment and dedication from its students. Since those who are accepted are generally diligent and ambitious, this does not prove to be a problem for most, but it must be said that one should be accustomed to studying for long hours every day in order to ensure success. The available resources â?? Professor/GSI office hours, the Student Learning Center, tutoring â?? are fantastic and available to everybody, but they can only be of benefit if one takes initiative to use them. The distinguishing factor between UC Berkeley and any high school is that anything you desire wonâ??t come naturally, effort has to be put in on a regular basis to obtain it.

    Tips for prospective students

    Applicants to any of the UC schools should make use of all the space provided in the application. No matter how insignificant or diminutive any of your activities may seem to you personally, they say something about your character and have undeniably contributed to the person youâ??ve become today â?? so be sure to include them under any of the extracurricular activities slots. If you run out of space, feel free to continue on the â??Additional Commentsâ?? section. The activitiesâ?? descriptions are often considered the most crucial element â?? lots of people donâ??t do their activity justice when they describe them in the minimal space provided. Try to include information that isnâ??t already obvious by the name of the activity, such as your time commitment or responsibilities and leadership. Taking the SAT Subject Tests, while not required, can only strengthen your application. If one is already taking the AP exam for a given subject, they can also take the subject test, since the latter is easier and would not require any additional studying. For those already accepted, enjoy your summer but make sure youâ??re continuing to flex your academic muscle occasionally so youâ??re not left behind when the year starts.

    In three sentences

    A true college experience at a quality university and a model city. UC Berkeley is situated in a fantastic atmosphere created by celebrated and accessible professors combined with a friendly and motivated student body. Combining the rigorous academics with the surrounding college town gives a true taste of independence and self-sufficiency that every college student should get a chance to live.

  • 06/26/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    183 of 222

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is a great school for many academics. Although it is not a private school, it teaches you great independence skills. It's an awesome school.

  • 06/26/2013

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    184 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Studious, disciplined, know how to manage their time.

    Bang for the buck

    It's pretty expensive for a state school. And honestly, the teachers aren't better than anywhere else. They've won awards for research, not teaching.

    What to do for fun

    Eat. Haha. Really though, there's not much. Find some improv groups on campus to go watch.

    Food and Dining

    I thought it was great.

    Dorm Life

    Meh. You get all kinds of people. Mostly though, you won't get much sleep on Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays.

    Academic Rigor

    It's tough and it's competitive.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't slack off when first midterms come around. Go to office hours a lot.

    In three sentences

    Not the easiest school to attend, but not impossible either. If you work hard, you can play hard too.

  • 06/28/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    185 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    A lot of selection and a new menu everyday! The quality of the food is decent, but, like all dorm food, it will get tiring after awhile.Better than most colleges though!

    Dorm Life

    Amazing. I loved dorm life here. I was on the APATH (Asian Pacific American Theme Housing) floor. We got so close to each other, and after only a couple weeks in, we already felt like a community. Theme floors are highly recommended.

    Academic Rigor

    Extremely harder than what I was faced with in high school. It took me awhile to get used to the amount of time I had to put into studying. I also got my first F in my life here. It is A LOT of work here, but after a semester or two, you'll slowly get used to it. There are many programs here to help get used to it, including free tutoring and counseling.

  • 06/28/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    186 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Greek life is big and done right in Berkeley. One in ten students are part of the Greek system.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are more than 1,500 student organizations on campus for literally every kind of interest possible. You will find where you belong.

    Great for these types of students

    -hipsters -music/art-lovers -social justice folks -progressives / liberals -everyone else, honestly. there's a place for everyone

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Homeless culture. But in my opinion, it gives Berkeley personality.

    Bang for the buck

    As a public university, it is cheaper... but going to college is still expensive. However, a prestigious university like Berkeley will definitely give you the education you need to succeed in the real world and successfully compete in the job market. But the best part of Berkeley is the people you meet and the experiences you share with them. There's no price tag on that !

    What to do for fun

    GO TO SAN FRANCISCO. There is so much to see in San Francisco so make sure you spend a good portion of your freshmen year exploring !

    Food and Dining

    Dorm food is not the best at Berkeley but there are days every now and then that could surprise you. The dorm food is not great.. but the on-campus restaurant stops are a lot better for a little more mealpoints. A lot of people dont even end up using all their meal points anyways. The food around Berkeley in local restaurants are definitely better.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms themselves are not the best (because they're super old...) but the dorm life is a great experience here. You become close with your floor and if not, there are other floors in the same building that you can meet. And if not there, there are many other buildings and many other units with even more buildings of people you can meet. Make sure you live in the units !!! (Avoid Unit 4... )

    Academic Rigor

    People are not joking when they talk about Berkeley's notorious academically rigorous classes. Most people feel like the first semester is a 'sink or swim' experience -- and it is. But eventually, just like everyone else, you learn to value Berkeley's intensive education and learn to value education for being education rather than focusing so much on numbers.

    Tips for prospective students

    Study Hard, Play Hard. Just like everyone else does here.

    In three sentences

    Coming to Berkeley was the best decision I have ever made in my life. Because of the diversity of all the students here, you will definitely meet your perfect niche in the numerous communities that are found here. Public University ftw.

  • 07/02/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    187 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Not the safest campus but UC Berkeley has really tried and succeeded at making their campus safer through programs like Bearwalk.

    Greek Life

    Great thing to get involved in if you like to party. Allows you to meet a ton of people and offers affordable living arrangements right next to campus.

    Great for these types of students

    Hardworking students who are looking for a good education.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The Naked Run: Where students to relieve some stress during dead week (the week before finals) run through Main Stacks either naked or in underwear.

    What to do for fun

    Go to parties or take Bart to San Francisco to have a fun night out. Living in a city and next to Oakland and San Francisco there is plenty to do. Different events are always going on and all the cities offer tons of different activities and food.

    Food and Dining

    The different dining commons are okay. They offer decent but repetitive food. Late night at Crossroads and Foothill are the best though. They offer yummy but not very healthy food for late night meals and/or snacks.

    Dorm Life

    They dorms are expensive and small. But they offer you a great chance to make close friends and really experience college. They also usually have pretty chill RAs and are conveniently located near campus.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes here are hard to get an A in. Especially Math and Science classes but you learn a lot and you get some amazing teachers. Most students come to Berkeley after being the top of their class in high school and they find that they are no longer the smartest person on campus. Everyone here is smart and things get competitive.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get involved. It's a great way to make friends and have a great college experience.

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is a very competitive but great university. It offers a great education and you can find many opportunities and clubs here. It also has a beautiful campus and is conveniently located in a city and around other cities (like SF and Oakland) that offer plenty of fun things to do.

  • 07/08/2013

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    188 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    explore the area!

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't procrastinate.

    In three sentences

    Diverse. Challenging. Rewarding

  • 07/09/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    189 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    One of my favorite things about Berkeley is how safe it is if you use the tools given to you. Berkeley does this program called BearWalk, it's a FREE service available for ALL students. At night if you're walking home or to the dorm alone, or with friends, you can call the BearWalk number and someone will come pick you up and take you where you need to be, and it's completely free.

    Greek Life

    Rushing is one thing everyone recommends. Everyone should rush for the experience, and then if they don't want to commit to Greek life they don't have too. If Greek life interests you there are plenty of options so you're bound to find one you like.

    Clubs and Activities

    This one is easy. Berkeley has THOUSANDS of clubs. If there is an activity you want to participate in, you definitely can. One thing I love the most about Berkeley is that it offers Decal classes which are taught by other students. They are typically one or two units and very light, but they are in a totally random field that might interest you. Like a particular superhero or sport, it can eve get so specific that you take a decal about a specific person. Of course there are broad ones too, like taking a decal to help premed students learn about the requirements. Decals are awesome.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The all girl dorm, Stern, and the all boy dorm, Bowles, have several interesting traditions. For example some nights the guys go serenade the girls, it's awesome. They also have game nights. It's extremely different but a huge tradition up here at Cal.

    Bang for the buck

    UC Berkeley gives the most financial aid out of the UC's, tied with UCLA. They really make an effort to make sure you get what you deserve and the financial aid office helps you find other resources to meet to cost of attendance. Tuition is very fair. You're going to be leaving the number five university in the nation, you already are set for a bright future. With that in mind tuition is VERY fair.

    What to do for fun

    Concerts are extremely popular in the Bay Area. Bands constantly come play on Campus and many come to the Oakland Fox Theater which is just a Bart trip away. Concerts are a great way to hang out with your friends and relax. On top of it most bands offer lawn seating that is usually 25 dollars for a ticket. It can be really inexpensive and you will still have a great experience.

    Food and Dining

    Dining center food is great, but after four years it gets boring. The largest dinning hall at Cal is Crossroads. It's a typical buffet style restaurant with anything and everything you may want. And the food is good. Let eating be the least of your worries.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is nice. At the end of this summer all of the buildings will be remodeled. Of course they are expensive and over priced, but dorms have always been that way. Rumors of certain dorms being social while others are not are constantly spread, but those aren't true. It's how you make it. If you want to be social you make friends on your floor and in your building, if you want a party scene you make a party scene. Everything is there for you, it's your choice to participate or not.

    Academic Rigor

    Yes it is tough here, but did anyone ever say college would be easy? There are a few things that need to be set straight though, do not get the idea that Berkeley is cutthroat. It is not at all. It's extremely rigorous and because it's a challenging school to get into you're surrounded by extremely intelligent students, but it's not survival of the fittest. Every student is here to help other students. No one is fighting to be Valedictorian like it was in high school. If you need help there are so many resources to make it happen.

    Tips for prospective students

    Come in with an open mind, and do not believe it when people say it's predominately liberal. That's not true, there are people from every group you could think of. Do not think you won't fit in because the college has a certain reputation, because it really it doesn't.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is a fantastic university. It is renown and, my favorite aspect, diverse. Here at Berkeley you'll fit in guaranteed- the campus does an excellent job of thoroughly reviewing the students application and makes sure to accept students from all different groups giving everyone the opportunity to make tons of friends.

  • 07/09/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    190 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Berkeley is great for any student who is up for a challenge.

    Bang for the buck

    Of all my university options UC Berkeley was the cheapest and best option for me.

    What to do for fun

    Berkeley is the ideal college town. Set in the heart of the California spirit, UCB is essence of freedom and liberty. Thus, at a location like this things to do is up to the imagination of the individual. However, the fun is not limited in Berkeley, but with UCB's close proximity to San Francisco it allows for fun to flow.

    Food and Dining

    The meal plans at Berkeley, may seem like an endless possibility of buffets, but sooner or later one grows tired of the options. However, because of the location of UCB the surrounding area is humming with potential restaurants.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life at Berkeley is like any other university's dorm life.

    Academic Rigor

    In Ivy League schools, the toughest part is getting in. However, at Berkeley the difficulty does not end there. The challenge continues in Berkeley's classrooms.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not overwhelm yourself the first semester. Start off with 13 units and do not start working until your second semester. During the first semester begin exploring organizations. Also, be sure to engage yourself in the Berkeley community by dorming the first year.

    In three sentences

    Although UC Berkeley is known for being the best public university in the world and for its extreme amount of liberalism, UCB holds a vibe like no other. Being liberal is not requirement, because UCB is open minded to all sorts of backgrounds and individuals. No matter your political preference, religious attitude, or life style Berkeley welcomes you.

  • 07/14/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    191 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Anything on telegraph!

    Food and Dining

    There's a billion options but it's a pretty average place to eat.

    Dorm Life

    Looks pretty fun!

    Academic Rigor

    I was valedictorian at my HS. It's tough to get in.

    Tips for prospective students

    Work hard. Period. Join in at high school and study for your SATs. Berkeley doesn't have a formula to accepting people honestly, but you have to be a good student.

    In three sentences

    It's such a beautiful place to be. The students are all very excited to be there and have a voracious desire to learn. There's also and endless amount of activities off campus.

  • 07/18/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    192 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    BEAR WALK FTW. Its the Berkeley campus security. Press it and walk safe at night with a Bear walk cal student at night.

    Greek Life

    Although I'm not a part of the Greek Life, the parties are a must- go-to.

    Clubs and Activities

    I wish I could do them all!

    Great for these types of students

    Anyone. Its cal. normal, not normal, lgbt, straight, nepali, mexican, thai, white, not white, tall, short. you'll all be great for Cal!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Naked Run. Google It ;)

    Bang for the buck

    Taco Tuesday at Cafe Durant are the best. Thee tacos remind you of home and its like a little fiesta every tuesday night. Its a great breakaway from school work :)

    What to do for fun

    Relax, Do yoga, Run, Exercise, Watch movies, go bowling, sit in the Memorial Glade, Party, Kick Back, Eat. Its all here. Promise.

    Food and Dining

    Cafe 3 food sucks! GBC is my favorite! :) Also tons and tons of places to eat around town like the Creme, la burrita, Cafe Durant, Thai Basil, Asian Ghetto.. yummm

    Dorm Life

    Always filled with events. Rooms are tiny and loud but the most fun.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes require a lot of outside effort and thinking and work input. Going to tutorings are a must! You'll learn to be a true scholar at Cal!

    Tips for prospective students

    - Don't be scared if you have a C or a few Bs on your transcript! Focus on your grades but stay well rounded! Have fun! Do extra curriculars- it does not matter if youre great at it! As long as you have fun doing it, Berkeley will consider you. I promise. - Don't be intimated by Cal. It's # 1 and all but so are you! Don't ever doubt yourself. If you're interested, APPLY! And write about what you're dedicated about. If your way of interpreting those questions are different from your teacher/ counselor's perspective, go with your gut instinct!

    In three sentences

    Challenging, Exciting, Rewarding

  • 07/22/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    193 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Not the best area.

    Clubs and Activities

    1,300 clubs, enough said.

    What to do for fun

    Study! Just kidding. For fun you can join one of the 1,300 clubs, or do a decal, or just go out and hang with friends at the many food locations.

    Food and Dining

    Cafeteria food is usually good and pretty traditional. they try sometimes for international dishes, but they're not the same.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are small, just like any university, but there are a lot of options in terms of sizes and types. Sadly, it is unlikely you'll get what you want.

    Academic Rigor

    What I've heard and seen of classes, they are very very difficult, some majors more so than others.

    Tips for prospective students

    If your an active member of the student body and love academic challenges, Berkeley is the place for you.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is a huge school set in a beautiful area. It's not perfect, but it can easily become home. The academic are hard but enriching and there are more pros than cons to attending.

  • 07/25/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    194 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    Berkeley is rather expensive but I definitely think that the education and the experience are worth it.

    What to do for fun

    I think that cafe hopping a really fun way to spend a night at berkeley; so many good places to eat.

    Food and Dining

    I personally like the food provided at the dinning commons, but the great thing about Berkeley is that there are SO MANY places to eat outside of school if such is not the case with you.

    Dorm Life

    I love the Clark Kerr Campus housing; the rooms are huge and the dining common at CKC is said to be the best on campus.

    Academic Rigor

    Although I have yet to start my semester at Berkeley, I know that the classes are extremely difficult and require a lot of dedication.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not psych yourself out and think that your admission to Berkeley was mere luck; we were all accepted because we are exactly what the university is looking for. Leave the I'm not good enough for Berkeley complex behind and enjoy your acceptance.

    In three sentences

    I absolutely love the college town feel and how diverse the student population is. I've had the opportunity to meet some of the University's professors and have come to realize that many of them do care about their student's contribution to the school. Overall, I think it is a great school and has a lot to offer.

  • 07/28/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    195 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    If you live in California, this is an amazing school at half the price.

    What to do for fun

    Sports, clubs, and touring your new city; that's what to do as a Cal Bear!

    Food and Dining

    Berkeley is a killer food city, and riding across the Bay to San Francisco isn't terribly hard.

    Dorm Life

    It's nice, but most of the dorms are older.

    Academic Rigor

    This is no walk in the park, but if you are serious about your education, there is no better place to go.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get your SAT and GPA scores up! I scored a 2200 and am still nowhere near the top of their prospective class due to a somewhat subpar 3.85 GPA.

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is a great school that I dream of one day attending.

  • 08/13/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    196 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    There's a lot of vegan food on campus and nearby if you're in to that.

    Dorm Life

    The dorm buildings are cool.

    Academic Rigor

    UC Berkeley is definitely for serious students.

    In three sentences

    The campus is amazing! I really hope I get accepted here in the future. UC Berkeley is definitely my dream college!

  • 08/18/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    197 of 222

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    This school is amazing. When I first moved out to California I only had my mind set on one school and that was University of California-Berkeley ! Great academics, great campus, great people all around absolutely loved it !

  • 08/28/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    198 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Bear walk, owl walk services, UCPD.

    Greek Life

    Great! It is fun and open to anyone interested.

    Clubs and Activities

    Many different types of clubs and activities, and if there isn't something you are interested in you can always start your own club!

    Great for these types of students

    Any and all types of students! There are many spaces and different types of people with whom any student can identify themselves with and build great relationships.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    -Founders rock, is where the founders of UC Berkeley met and decided to create the university and strangely a year after their meeting the rock was broken in half by an earthquake. - There is a fault that runs through the top side of campus and it runs through the football stadium. -Triple Rock, has a drink called Monkey Heads - The Campanile, it is a reflection of the clock tower in Venice, Italy.

    What to do for fun

    Go to frat parties, go out to eat with friends, the movies, go to the shopping center in Emeryville, bars, club parties, and getting involved with clubs that interest you.

    Food and Dining

    There are great places to eat around Berkeley, many locally owned restaurants.

    Dorm Life

    Fun! People are nice you make friends quickly and the dorms are beautiful.

    Academic Rigor

    Very competitive and difficult, but very rewarding and exciting.

    Tips for prospective students

    Focus on your classes, do not slack off. However, remember to have lots of fun on the way, it is a challenging place, but a wonderful learning experience.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is an amazing, competitive and intellectual place. One grows a lot and learns a lot from the great staff and fellow students. Also, it is academically difficult, but very rewarding and fun!

  • 08/31/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    199 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Berkeley is not the safest place to walk around alone at night, so try not to do that...however, we have a lot of programs to help keep students safe, including Bearwalk, which is a free service for students that you can call to get someone (I think it's a UCPD officer) to walk you back to your dorm if you're out late at night. It's not like murders are happening on our doorsteps or anything--you should just exercise some caution and good sense, as in every city environment.

    Clubs and Activities

    Everything you could possibly imagine is here--and if it's not, you can create it. We have some...ahem, interesting clubs, to say the least. If you want to join a new sport, this is the place to do it. Everyone is very welcoming of newcomers.

    Great for these types of students

    Berkeley is, simply put, great for people who work hard and play hard. Don't come here if you're not motivated and ready to put in effort, because you will not have fun and college will be a sucky experience for you.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Best Cal tradition is definitely Berkeley Time. Basically, all classes start 10 minutes after the scheduled time. For example, 8 AMs don't actually begin until 8:10 (sometimes even later if you have a pretty chill professor). You could, theoretically, wake up at 8 for your 8 AM. Though I wouldn't suggest doing that for the first few days of class, especially if you don't know the campus very well.

    Bang for the buck

    It's rather pricey, especially if you're an out-of-state student, but it's nothing compared to the price tag of most private colleges. You get a stellar education (it is, after all, the Number 1 Public University in the World) and we have pretty good financial aid. In my opinion, however, it's worth every cent. The atmosphere at Cal is not something you can experience anywhere else.

    What to do for fun

    There's always something happening around here, I haven't ever been bored. It's just a matter of getting out there! I'm not a huge partier, but apparently our frats are pretty legendary. There's no pressure to party if you don't want to, which is really nice. The RSF (campus gym) has a ton of free classes, including free martial arts during welcome week, and most of the clubs have free events at the beginning of the year so you can decide whether you want to commit or not. There's a lot to do on campus, but tons to do off campus as well! Berkeley has a profusion of museums and galleries (many of which give you a discount for being a Cal student), and there are free music events and festivals and all sorts of things happening. The bus systems in the Berkeley area are free for students, too. And if you're interested, San Francisco is a short BART ride away.

    Food and Dining

    Crossroads (the main dining hall) is fairly okay. It's not my favorite. Cafe 3, however, is pretty great. They have an awesome brunch menu and made-to-order omelettes! There are a ton of places on campus to eat, so you usually have time to grab food between classes, no matter where you are on campus. The surrounding area has amazing restaurants, too! The Thai places are especially good. And Cheeseboard is the greatest pizza experience you will ever have, hands down.

    Dorm Life

    I really love living in the dorms--if you decide to, I suggest Unit 3. My room has a pretty amazing view and the bathrooms are really nice (and they're cleaned and restocked daily!) My only complain is that there's construction at most of the Units right now, but it's at completely reasonable hours and isn't expected to continue for much longer.

    Academic Rigor

    You will need to study a lot, probably more than you're used to. But it's very rewarding--joining study groups leads to strong relationships with a very diverse group of students. And if you have to take the notorious Chem 1A for your major, go to office hours and get tutoring! It's totally possible to do really well in your classes if you are willing to work hard.

    Tips for prospective students

    You should be willing to try new things, because there are a crazy huge number of clubs for every interest, and free classes and lessons in things you may not have had exposure to before, like ballroom dancing, judo, etc.

    In three sentences

    Best decision of my life! There's always so much going on, I'm never bored. Everyone is really friendly and eager to help you with whatever you need.

  • 09/16/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    200 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There is a program called Bear Walk which will send a trained professional to walk you back to your dorm in case you are out by yourself or it is late. There are many emergency phones around campus.

    Greek Life

    There are many clubs to choose from. Both for men and women and some co-ed options.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is a numerous amount of clubs and activities. They have clubs for everyones interests. No matter what you like, you will find someone who likes the same thing.

    Great for these types of students

    -Active -Leaders -Determined to succeed -Not afraid to handle lots of work -Explore -Get new insight on the world

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    4.0 Hill, if you roll down that hill, you will get a 4.0 for your semester There is a whispering bench near the Campaneli

    Bang for the buck

    It depends if you like a town full of small business. if you prefer a huge town with many places to do, Berkeley is not for you. If you want a place were you can focus on your academics and not be distracted by outside entertainment, Berkeley is perfect.

    What to do for fun

    You can hike the Big C. You can go to the Berkeley Art Museum or to the Berkeley Marina. You can always explore Berkeley. If that doesn't seem exciting, you can take the BART to San Francisco and have a fun time over there.

    Food and Dining

    There are four main dinning commons to choose from and each serves different food. They also have special nights when they will serve some extra amazing food. the variety is nice so you can't really get bored. There are options for vegetarians too so everyone is included.

    Dorm Life

    not much social interaction goes on. Many students go out and party and get drunk or high, which can be a distraction when trying to read or study.

    Academic Rigor

    There is lot of competition and many students wanting to be the best so you always have to strive to do your absolute best.

    Tips for prospective students

    Go to office hours. Engage in the discussions; don't just be a passive listener. Ask questions. Go to the Student Learning Center. (SLC) GET SLEEP!

    In three sentences

    The campus itself is quite nice; there is lot of diversity in the architecture of the buildings. All of the instructors I have had are full of energy and passion. UC Berkeley offers lots of help to those in need.

  • 10/28/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    201 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Find parties outside if berkeley. Frat row is not my scene

    Food and Dining

    wack

    Dorm Life

    Depending on which dorm you live in it can be great or horrible. I lived in a theme program dorm so I had an amazing experience. I'm also a RA so i've lived in the dorms all my 4 years.

    Academic Rigor

    Depends on your major.

    Tips for prospective students

    Study and read and you will be fine.

    In three sentences

    I will give Cal 8/10 in terms of my personal experience here. For a minority student, it is not easy, but I will say you are offered a great education and awesome resources for your future.

  • 11/04/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    202 of 222

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    This university has set high standards for all of their students. I believe this to be a students dream to strive for acceptance from a school of such honor. From all my research this school is awe-inspiring in many ways.

  • 11/11/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    203 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    The dining hall serves good quality food, as opposed to the usual cafeteria food, but there is not a lot of variety. The lunch and dinner menus are repeated after a few weeks, but breakfast stays the same, which gets sickening.

    Dorm Life

    Our dorm is generally clean and comfortable, but other dorms may not be as quiet as ours. The location, however, is troublesome, because the dorm sits on top of a hill. It is essentially a hike coming back from class - 10 minutes of steep slopes and stairs.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes require a lot of reading. Midterms cannot be passed with studying alone; you have to truly understand the material and have command over it.

    Tips for prospective students

    Because of the rigor, time management is an absolutely essential skill to have.

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley can be likened to a melting pot of its own in which people from different cultures meet together. It is a rigorous and competitive school, but that does not mean you are confined to your studies. You are given every opportunity to explore beyond the classroom and enrich yourself.

  • 12/28/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    204 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    The food is overpriced and repetitive.

    Dorm Life

    It's great having such wonderful people so close by. You just have to be outgoing and get out there!

    Academic Rigor

    With plenty of other smart students attending this school, you're probably not going to be the smartest student by a long shot.

    In three sentences

    The academics are great but difficult, the people are generally nice and open-minded, and the overall college experience is fantastic albeit not too wild.

  • 12/30/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    205 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Absolutely anything you can think of, including underwater basket weaving, happens here.

    Food and Dining

    There is much variety, so if you get bored of the food, go someplace different.

    Dorm Life

    Your floor is your family. If you make an effort to know them, they will support you through everything.

    Academic Rigor

    Be prepared to struggle, but also be prepared to learn more than you ever thought you could.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get busy, fast. Enjoy the amazing things to do on campus and off campus. Make connections with GSIs and Professors.

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is Intellectuallly Stimulating, an environment where people are constantly inspired to do more, and delve deeper into studies. The campus environment, while sometimes a bit stressful, is filled with a wide varieties of activities to do, so if you go out to look for them, you will never be bored. The most important thing to learn at Berkeley is the value of learning, which is much greater than the value of a good grade.

  • 12/31/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    206 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There are countless opportunities for fun! Join a club, play football, whatever!

    Food and Dining

    The food can be of better quality...

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are nice, but they are extremely expensive.

    Academic Rigor

    Hard as hell, but great! They are doable! Do not be discouraged!

    Tips for prospective students

    Be prepared for the academics! They are much more difficult than your high school classes, even your AP classes.

    In three sentences

    The University of California, Berkeley is the best school in the world! The academics are extremely difficult, but they are not impossible. Be sure to balance the crazy academics with extracurricular activities.

  • 01/02/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    207 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    On our campus, there are hundreds of clubs to join, whether you have a passion for serving others, making music, dancing, speaking a language, going to sporting events, cooking, supporting social justice movements, or simply bonding with peers of similar backgrounds, you are guaranteed to find a group or organization that's filled with students and people that you very well might one day refer to as your second family.

    What to do for fun

    The popular destination of San Francisco is just a short trip away via BART (Bay Area Rapid Transportation, the Bay Area's metro system), and all Berkeley students get a free Alameda Country buss pass, which allows you to ride for free to Emeryville, where there's a nice shopping mall, as well as to San Francisco and other cities nearby. There are multiple swimming pools, a track, and a large recreation center/gym that require only a $10/semester membership for students, lots of trails to hike nearby in the Berkeley Hills, multiple movie theaters, and a bowling alley all within walking distance or a short bus ride. The Lawrence Hall of Science (a super cool interactive museum and exploratorium) is also a 10 minute (Free) bus ride up the hill from campus, and students get in for free!

    Food and Dining

    The dining halls for students who live in the residence halls (dorms) are pretty good and are buffet-style, and in addition, there are tons of delicious eateries extremely close to campus and student housing. You basically can find one or two (or three) places with every type of food imaginable, which means you get diversity and delicious food in Berkeley! There are plenty of nicer restaurants as well as casual places, which students frequent often.

    Dorm Life

    Living in the dorms for your freshman year is a must - it's the perfect way to get to know a bunch of people from diverse backgrounds, and instantly gives you people to walk to class with, eat meals with, and do fun stuff with in your free time. Group movie nights, hikes, and trips to local eateries and to San Francisco are often organized throughout your time living in the dorms as well. The only downside is that all dormitories are at least a few blocks from campus, but the dorms are still primarily the closest student housing to campus (anywhere from 5-10 minute walk).

    Academic Rigor

    This school definitely challenges you academically, but there are also ample resources available to support you in your learning experience, including free tutoring services for many courses, weekly open office hours with graduate student instructors as well as professors, and organized study groups.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you're applying or planning on attending Cal, don't be afraid to reach out to other students you know for tips ahead of time. Know that while the academic scene is competitive, you are sure to experience some of the best education in the world at this school, and you won't regret it. If you choose to attend, live in the dorms your first year, reach out to lots of people (even ones you don't think would be 'your type'), and get involved in a club or two!

    In three sentences

    Cal is an amazing school and there's never a dull day on or off campus. Not only is UC Berkeley the top rated public university in the entire world, but it also is located in the heart of the East Bay area in California, which boasts easy access to San Francisco, a diverse social community, and a strong network of available jobs.

  • 01/05/2014

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    208 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    There's a cafe on campus that all the student's like a lot and I must say that the coffee is phenomenal, which is rather appropriate for a college campus.

    Dorm Life

    From what I have heard (as I've not been accepted here yet) the dorm situation isn't as bad as I had originally made it out to be. There are many options for dorm rooms and if you end up meeting the right people it may only be a one semester thing, since off campus apartments are multitudinous and very close to campus usually.

    Academic Rigor

    I spoke to a current freshman while taking a tour guide and all she did was rave about how wonderful the academics at this school were. Not to mention that this school is second in the nation for my intended major - Mathematics. Absolutely incredible in this category.

  • 01/06/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    209 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Lots of hobos and reports of violence/robbery. It's probably safer than it seems but I'm international after all so I worry.

    Clubs and Activities

    Huge variety, and lots of freedom to start one if you have something specific in mind.

    What to do for fun

    ....study. LOOOL. It's Berkeley after all. And eat. Lots of good restaurants! Emeryville is a bus ride away if you want to shop, not to mention all the amazing SF spots made accessible by BART! Six Flags is an adventure park that's short drive away, and you can also take lessons at the on-campus ropes course or the Berkeley marina.

    Food and Dining

    Quite expensive imo. But there are a lot of options and good cafes scattered around campus.

    Dorm Life

    Really depends on your luck. I was in a double mini-suite, which means I don't have to share a public bathroom with an entire floor but also that everyone tends to keep their doors closed and we get SIGNIFICANTLY less time to interact with my floormates. Some people get good floors and some people don't. Really depends. As for furnishing, cleanliness etc.... it's standard.

    Academic Rigor

    In every subject, there's going to be intense people setting the curve high, and professors are quite ruthless in grading. You have to realize that in every class, there are geniuses in that subject matter who are ALSO hardworking, and it's hard to compete with them when you're not putting 100% effort in the class. Also, number of units are sometimes not reflective of the effort you have to put in in order to succeed in the class. What matters more is whether it's a technical class or not. But of course, there are easy A classes if you know where to look. They're just also quite useless.

    Tips for prospective students

    1. Be prepared for the slight cultural shock if your high school doesn't have a lot of Asians. 2. If you're a person of faith, fellowship-hop until you find one that feels right in your gut! There are loads of big churches here and you'd be missing out if you settle down too soon. Although there seems to be pressure to commit and be loyal to your home church, most are open to the idea of church-hopping, especially if you're a freshman. 3. Set your priorities straight, and revise them every semester. Cal is the kind of school where everyone seems to be doing everything perfectly and still find the time to party hard. After 3 semesters of devoting myself to various leadership positions I finally decided to focus on studies and strengthening my faith. It pays to realize early that you CANNOT do everything at once. Trust me, you think it's simple, but its SO easy to forget once you get here. 4. Put yourself out there!! Cal is an incredibly big school and the quicker you find your core group of friends, the happier you'll be. 5. Talk to academic advisors about your academic plans, and be open to trying new subjects. 6. L&S Discovery Courses are the best if you're looking for a fabulous professor and interesting topics. Also keep your eyes open for courses taught by professors that won awards.

    In three sentences

    An amazing school with ambitious, driven, and incredibly smart students in almost every field. Perhaps due to my prospective majors (Econ / Biz with an IEOR minor), most of friends are Asians with a very similar -- albeit a bit narrow -- view of what success is. However, I truly believe that everyone can find a place for themselves here, thanks to its free and tolerant culture: I, for one, found my second home my first semester here.

  • 01/06/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    210 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There are plays that you can watch, athletic games such as basketball, rugby, or football. Some of our sports teams are in the PAC 12. The team spirit at CAL is like no other; it's filled with so many spirit crazy fans who also love the school.

    Food and Dining

    The dining commons serve all types of foods. A different ethnic food is served every meal.

    Dorm Life

    I personally didn't live in the dorms at Berkeley.

    Academic Rigor

    Berkeley is a tough school. Some classes may be harder than the others, but there are always tutors available through the Student Learning Center on campus or Academic Services located in the dorms.

    Tips for prospective students

    Study hard! Anything is possible, do not give up!

    In three sentences

    This school is filled with great opportunities. There are so many different clubs, research activities, and diversity, so everyone can find their own niche. CAL is a great school!

  • 01/11/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    211 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Some areas of Berkeley can be sketchy at night, but cops are generally pretty good about patrolling at all hours of the day.

    Greek Life

    This is where you will attend your parties! Good fun.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are many, many, many clubs to choose from! There is bound to be something that interests everyone.

    Great for these types of students

    Hard-working, intellectual, loves learning.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Hike the Big C! There are a lot of hidden, really neat spots on campus that are worth hunting for in between classes.

    Bang for the buck

    You have a high chance of success once you graduate from Berkeley. It is worth every penny because having your name on that diploma will benefit you tremendously in the future.

    What to do for fun

    Downtown Berkeley, or go to SF...just a short bart-ride away!

    Food and Dining

    Pretty mediocre food in the area, but you will learn to appreciate pizza like never before.

    Dorm Life

    Don't stay in there for long.

    Academic Rigor

    Getting A's is NOT easy.

    Tips for prospective students

    JOIN CLUBS. It is the best thing you can do for yourself here while at Berkeley!

    In three sentences

    It is rigorous and competitive, but if you don't let Berkeley get to you too much, you can go very far here. Many professors are tough, but under this kind of pressure, it forces you to come up with more original thought. There are many things to do on campus, and you can get involved in just about anything.

  • 01/12/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    212 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    One I heard as a freshman, and still regularly floats around campus, is that if you roll down 4.0 Hill, and your professor sees you doing it, you will get an A in that class. Seems worth trying, although I'm not sure about asking my professor to stand there and watch.

    Bang for the buck

    For In state students. Hell yeah. Do it. No option better than Berkeley. The best state school in the US, and cheaper by a landslide for in-state students as opposed to out-of-state and international students. International students and Out-of state students may have to sell their souls to pay for college, but the degree might just be worth it.

    What to do for fun

    Hop on the Bart, and go to San Francisco. See Pier 39, walk on the Golden Gate Bridge, go shopping, or whatever, in SF. It takes less than an hour, and less than 10 dollars. Or, you can go to the Berkeley Marina or go hiking in Tilden Park if you're more adventurous. Watch a movie in Emeryville or even in the Berkeley Cinemas. Go thrift store shopping (a pastime I discovered recently). Berkeley is filled with weird stores, but if you look hard enough, you can always find the gems.

    Food and Dining

    Berkeley is filled with incredible restaurants and eateries. Be it from Thai to Vietnamese, Indian to Brazilian, you name it, and that food exists in Berkeley. The off-campus food truly makes Berkeley an exceptional college town. On campus food on the other hand, is quite a mixed bag. The dining halls don't exactly have the greatest food, with Cafe 3 and Crossroads being among the worse ones, and Foothill and Clark Kerr known for being a lot better. Foothill Late Night,in particular has pretty good food for starving college students at odd hours past midnight. The on campus restaurants are pretty good, with Qualcomm, GBC and Ramona's seving some of the best, albeit pricey sandwiches and soups.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is actually quite fun. I would advise all incoming students to stay in the dorms at least for a year. You find your first and in most cases, best friends in college, in the people that live around you. Dorm memories will be the best memories- be it of casual hangouts in the common lounges, fire alarms going off at 2 am, incestuous floor hookups or, as in my case, seeing projectile vomiting out of a window on a Friday night. It's all worth it.

    Academic Rigor

    Be prepared to slog. The I studied half an hour before the test and got an A approach will not help you in Berkeley. Trust me, I would know. That certainly didn't bring me an A my first semester. It got me my first C. (That too, after hours of tears and sweat in shed in preparing for the final after realizing I was close to failing the class). Most classes, especially the tech ones will have killer curves, and be prepared to put up with many sleepless nights. The classes are no walk in the park, so make sure to put in decent time and effort into your classes.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't slack off your senior year in high school. Do well on your SATs and write a kick-ass essay. It is generic advice,yes, but not any less true. There are no shortcuts to getting in. Simply work hard and leave the rest in the hands of the Admissions' Gods.

    In three sentences

    Weird, quirky, hipster, diverse, weed-central - you've probably heard it all before. And it's all true. The heart of liberal America, UC Berkeley is an exciting mix of different ideas, cultures, and people, and the cozy college town is always buzzing with activity. By virtue of it's diversity, Cal is probably a good fit for almost any type of student. Except slackers. And maybe conservatives.

  • 02/03/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    213 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    There are hundreds! Get involved!

    Great for these types of students

    Everyone! People learn so much about other cultures here, it's amazing,.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    THE BIG GAME

    What to do for fun

    Trips to SF! Walking around town, trying new restaurants, parties, clubs. There's so much to do!

    Food and Dining

    Housing: awesome. Food: eh, could be worse I guess.

    Dorm Life

    Live in the dorms! My best friends live on my floor and I love them to death.

    Academic Rigor

    It's hard, obviously, but if you put in the time you will succeed.

    Tips for prospective students

    GET INVOLVED! There is so much out there that you have no idea about! If you go outside your comfort zone you are destined to find something you love and are passionate about!

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is home. There are so many different types of people here it's impossible not to find your clique. UC Berkeley is amazing--go here.

  • 02/17/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    214 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    theres a ton of things to do here

    Food and Dining

    Lots of vegan/veg options and all the food is pretty organic/local/sustainable. lots of gluten free items too

    Dorm Life

    eh it depends if your a social type or not.

    Academic Rigor

    its a bit hard here but worth it.

    Tips for prospective students

    Just apply! Berkeley wants people from all sorts of backgrounds. even if your gap isn't absolutely amazing but your a go getter/ have opinions/ care about stuff, berkeley wants you.

    In three sentences

    This school is extremely diverse- you always meet new people and thats great! Honestly, you have opportunities everywhere, you just have to act. Work is hard, but you definitely learn a lot in one semester, and its still possible to get A's...just most dont because its pretty tough.

  • 03/03/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    215 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    anything

    Food and Dining

    Dining options are pretty good. Not too much late night options so just keep easy munchies on hand.

    Dorm Life

    It can be a good experience. I had to switch rooms, but it ended up for the better. Choose wisely and make the best of what you get.

    Academic Rigor

    As a world renowned institution, you are expected to have rigorous classes. Get involved with study groups.

    Tips for prospective students

    Pay attention to the housing situation. If you are going on campus, its all lottery based. Off campus housing is limited and expensive. Plan on meeting others to share rooms with if that's your route.

    In three sentences

    The diverse place the come. This is the melting pot school and you will fit in here, no matter who you are. With so many things to get involved in, you will quickly find yourself part of the Cal community.

  • 03/04/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    216 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    I am part of a sorority and I love it.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are so many clubs on campus!

    Great for these types of students

    Hard working

    What to do for fun

    Explore the bay area, explore Berkeley, shopping, movies, etc.

    Food and Dining

    Foothill has the best food, in my opinion.

    Tips for prospective students

    It's a lot of work, but it's very worth it.

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is an amazing college. The campus is absolutely beautiful. The academics are very challenging, though.

  • 03/04/2014

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    217 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Anything and everything you can think of is here.

    Food and Dining

    Food is good, and meal plans rock.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is welcoming.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are tough, but in a good way.

    Tips for prospective students

    Start early, work hard, and don't be afraid to ask questions!

    In three sentences

    Big school. Prestigious name. Really, really nice campus and programs.

  • 04/05/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    218 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    I've been to my fair share of restaurants around campus. We have pretty great cafes/brunch places.

    Dorm Life

    I've actually never lived in the dorms so I can't say much here. Sorry!

    Academic Rigor

    You're essentially coming to a school that prides itself in its academics. We have students from all over the world that have gotten straight A's throughout their high school careers and when you're competing with them... well.

    Tips for prospective students

    Study hard! Your hard work will pay off!

    In three sentences

    Berkeley is beautiful! I love it here. We have tons of interesting people and there is never lack of stimulating conversation.

  • 05/26/2014

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    219 of 222

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Visit San Francisco

    Tips for prospective students

    Keep your application process on track and manage your time.

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is an accepting institution that does not discriminate. It is a university that not only impacts the lives of its students, it impacts the lives of ordinary americans. It is not only a powerful academic entity, but a powerful social one as well.

  • 05/31/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    220 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus is pretty unsafe at night if your walking by yourself. I would call Bearwalk, the school's escort system--someone will come walk you home. Or you can take a night shuttle that also circulates the school at night.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are many clubs from archery club to league of legends...

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Asian Ghetto, is on Durant Avenue! It's cheap, good food. But don't eat their too often! haha

    What to do for fun

    Hiking! Try the fire trails, or hike up to the big C. Go into the city, or go to the marina!

    Food and Dining

    The dining option is pretty good, especially in foothill.

    Dorm Life

    It's okay, it's what most expect.

    Academic Rigor

    It is difficult. A lot of studying.

    Tips for prospective students

    Work hard. Don't freak out if you don't know what you want to do in the future, most students are pretty uncertain too. Join a research group, it's a good experience. Check out some clubs, you can make a lot of friends there. For academics, make study groups.

    In three sentences

    Best academics in the world. Super cultured and diverse. Lots of nature.

  • 05/31/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    221 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus has shuttles going to all major areas from 7:30-5 am and they run every 15 minutes. They are great.

    Greek Life

    10% of students are involved in Greek Life. It is HUGE.

    Great for these types of students

    All students.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Before every football game, the Pappy Waldorf statue is blindfolded by members of the UC Rally Committee. You can also see the band at Noon Rallies at Noon on Fridays before games.

    What to do for fun

    Attend a sporting event or a concert, you are a 45 minute $7 round trip BART ride to San Francisco. The possibilities are limitless.

    Food and Dining

    Berkeley dining halls are known for their good food, but outside of that the city of Berkeley is known for its incredible food.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms have all recently been redone and they are incredible nice.

    Academic Rigor

    It is a world class research institution, ranked among the top universities in the world. It has such a reputation due to its prestige and academic rigor.

    Tips for prospective students

    Work your butt off in high school, and don't get senioritis. School does not stop when you are a senior in high school, so why stop trying? Keep yourself motivated and the transition to Berkeley rigor coursework is manageable.

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley is the best public university in the world. On the levels of spirit, academics, and social life, it is unparalleled. The experiences and opportunities UC Berkeley graduates have can only be rivaled by the Ivy League schools.

  • 06/12/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    222 of 222

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    Berkeley has an amazing range of academic clubs and such, meaning that there really is something for everyone.

    Great for these types of students

    If you're driven, independent, and have an open mind Berkeley is definitely the place for you. There's a niche at Berkeley for almost everyone.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    During dead week (the week before finals when no classes are held) avoid the main stacks of Doe Library, unless you enjoy people running naked through the stacks of books on the traditional pre-finals naked run.

    Bang for the buck

    While its true that most undergraduate classes are large lectures, you really do get a stellar education, and for much less than you would spend on a private school education.

    What to do for fun

    Going into San Francisco is always fun and presents endless options. If you're running a little low on funds, however, downtown Berkeley has some fun spots of its own, from movie theaters that sometimes show old movies for $5 to used bookstores where you can browse the shelves while petting cats (yup, its a real place).

    Food and Dining

    Dining hall food is mediocre at best, but on campus dining options aren't bad and the restaurants around campus vary from disease-ridden to absolutely amazing good (with most being at the latter end of this spectrum). You will certainly never be bored with all the options for food in Berkeley, from burgers to pizza to Korean barbecue.

    Dorm Life

    Be prepared for noise (especially between the hours of 2-4 am on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights), gross bathrooms, the possibility of a not-so-great roommate, and living space that certainly can't be described as spacious. That being said, living in the dorms is definitely an experience, and one that no college freshman should miss out on. You might not meet your best friend for life or your soulmate, but you'll learn how to wash dishes in a bathroom sink and tune out your roommate's Skype conversations with ease.

    Academic Rigor

    Berkeley lives up to its reputation in terms of its academics. While not every class is equally challenging, there are definitely some incredibly difficult courses. Often, however, it is the difficult classes that prove the most rewarding as they force you to push yourself beyond what you thought you could achieve.

    Tips for prospective students

    Though it might be tempting to jump straight into as many classes as possible (especially since there are so many amazing offerings) there is nothing wrong with taking things slow the first semester. College is nothing like high school - courses are more rigorous, there's no one looking over your shoulder to make sure you go to class (which might sound nice, but trust me you don't want to miss a single class at Berkeley!), and sometimes your grade in a class might be determined by two or three assignments.

    In three sentences

    UC Berkeley (or Cal) is an incredible, life-changing experience. While it can be challenging and frustrating at times the educational experience is phenomenal. To top it all off, Cal is surrounded by the town of Berkeley, which is one of the strangest, most vibrant places I've ever been, adding to quirky charm to Cal's academic prestige.