University of California-Berkeley

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University of California Berkeley- An Overview

UC Berkeley, also known as Berkeley, Cal, or California, is a public land-grant research university situated in Berkeley, California. Founded in 1868 as the University of California, it holds the distinction of being the state's inaugural land-grant university and serves as the founding campus of the University of California system. For more than a century and a half, UC Berkeley has been reshaping the world by defying conventional norms and creating unmatched intellectual, economic, and social value. From a cohort of academic trailblazers in 1868 to the Free Speech Movement in 1964, Berkeley has stood as a nexus where the most brilliant minds from around the world converge to delve into exploration, pose inquiries, and contribute to the betterment of the world. 

The Graduate Division at the University of California-Berkeley, tasked with serving over 12,000 graduate students across more than 100 diverse degree programs, fulfills three pivotal roles. Functioning as a central service hub for the entire campus, the division guides and supports students from admission through various milestones, ensuring the fulfillment of degree requirements. Providing essential academic, personal, diversity, and professional support services, the Graduate Division plays a crucial role in the daily well-being and lifelong successes of Berkeley's master’s, professional, and doctoral students. Serving as the authoritative resource and primary advocate for graduate education, the division ensures the fair administration of policies governing graduate studies across Berkeley’s 14 schools and colleges. As the administrative arm of the Academic Senate’s Graduate Council, the division collaborates with faculty, staff, and deans to uphold Berkeley’s world-renowned quality of graduate education. Through these responsibilities, the Graduate Division acts as a steward, preserving the support and generosity of those who champion graduate education at Berkeley.


Here are some prominent rankings where the University of California-Berkeley has been highly placed: 

  • U.S. News & World Report Best Global Universities Rankings: It remains the 15th best university in the world and the top public university nationally in the year 2024. 
  • Times Higher Education World University Rankings: In the 2024 edition, UC Berkeley was ranked as the top ninth university in the world rankings. 
  • Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU): It was ranked as the 5th top university internationally for two consecutive years in 2022 and 2023. 
  • QS World University Rankings: As of 2023, UC Berkeley was placed 10th amongst the best universities in the world. 

Schools Under the University of California-Berkeley

The University of California-Berkeley consists of various schools and colleges that offer a diverse range of academic programs. The notable schools under UC Berkeley are:

  • Haas School of Business: The Haas School of Business offers a range of educational programs, encompassing undergraduate degrees, MBA programs, and executive education.
  • Berkeley Chemistry: The Berkeley Chemistry Institute comprises the departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.
  • Berkeley College of Computing, Data Science, and Society: The College of Computing, Data Science, and Society serves as a hub for data science education, bringing together the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, Statistics, the Berkeley Institute for Data Science, and the Center for Computational Biology.
  • Berkeley Graduate School of Education: The Graduate School of Education encompasses a variety of academic offerings, including master's and doctoral programs, teacher preparation initiatives, an undergraduate minor program, and leadership training opportunities.
  • Berkeley College of Engineering: The College of Engineering comprises various departments, namely Bioengineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Nuclear Engineering.
  • Berkeley College of Environmental Design: The College of Environmental Design comprises the departments of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and City and Regional Planning.
  • Berkeley School of Information: The School of Information offers graduate programs in information, data science, and cybersecurity.
  • Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism: The Graduate School of Journalism features a comprehensive two-year immersive Master of Journalism program.
  • Berkeley School of Law: The School of Law provides J.D. and J.S.D. programs and holds the distinction of being the first U.S. law school to offer M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in jurisprudence and social policy.
  • Berkeley College of Letters & Science: As Berkeley's largest college, the College of Letters & Science encompasses over 60 departments spanning the biological sciences, arts and humanities, physical sciences, and social sciences.
  • Berkeley Rausser College of Natural Resources: The Rausser College of Natural Resources houses various departments, such as Agricultural and Resource Economics, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, Nutritional Science, and Plant and Microbial Biology. 
  • Berkeley School of Optometry: The School of Optometry incorporates a professional program dedicated to optometry. 
  • Berkeley School of Public Health: The School of Public Health features a diverse array of master's and doctoral programs covering a broad spectrum of disciplines within the field of public health.
  • Berkeley Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy: The Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy offers a master’s, doctoral, and undergraduate minor program in public policy.
  • Berkeley School of Social Welfare: The School of Social Welfare encompasses master’s, concurrent master’s, doctoral, and credential programs.

Some Notable faculty who had taught at the University of California-Berkeley

Renowned experts across diverse fields, Berkeley faculty are at the forefront of employing research to bring about profound transformations in our comprehension and engagement with the world. This list contains some of the Nobel laureates who teach at Berkeley University: 

  • David Card: David Card engages in empirical research spanning a diverse array of subjects, including immigration, unemployment, gender and race disparities, and inequality. He holds fellowships in esteemed institutions such as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the Econometric Society, and the Society of Labor Economics. Notably, he has received accolades such as the John Bates Clark Prize, the Frisch Medal, the IZA Prize in Labor Economics, and the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award.
  • Jennifer A Doudna: Jennifer Doudna, honored with the Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, occupies the Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair in Biomedical and Health Sciences and holds the position of Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology. Her research is centered on RNA, particularly its formation of intricate globular structures, some of which exhibit enzyme-like functions or create functional complexes with proteins.
  • Eric Betzig: Eric Betzig holds the positions of Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, Senior Fellow at the Janelia Research Campus, and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. His contributions include pioneering work in the development of near-field optics, an early iteration of super-resolution microscopy, as showcased in his Ph.D. thesis at Cornell University and subsequent endeavors at AT&T Bell Labs.
  • Saul Perlmutter: Saul Perlmutter, honored with the 2011 Nobel Laureate in Physics for the groundbreaking discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe, serves as a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to his academic role, he holds the Franklin W. and Karen Weber Dabby Chair and works as a senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 
  • George A Akerlof: Recipient of the 2001 Alfred E. Nobel Prize in Economic Science, Professor Akerlof earned this prestigious honor for his influential theory on asymmetric information and its impact on economic behavior. Additionally, he assumed the role of President of the American Economic Association in 2006, having previously served as vice president and as a member of the executive committee.

Current Faculty members at the University of California-Berkeley 

The University of California, Berkeley, boasts a diverse and esteemed faculty known for their expertise across various disciplines. Comprising accomplished scholars, researchers, and professionals, the current faculty members at UC Berkeley contribute significantly to the university's reputation as a hub of academic excellence. Their collective impact extends beyond the classroom, influencing cutting-edge research, innovative discoveries, and societal advancements. Let's delve into the profiles of some prominent faculty members who shape the dynamic academic landscape at UC Berkeley:

  • Marié Abe: Marié Abe, a music and sound scholar, remains actively engaged in ethnographic studies spanning Japan, Okinawa, Ethiopia, and the US. Her research delves into the political and affective dimensions of (musical) sounds, examining their impact across contexts—from everyday life to social movements, predominantly within contemporary Japan.
  • Pieter Abbeel: Pieter Abbeel holds the position of professor in electrical engineering and computer sciences, serving as the Director of the Berkeley Robot Learning Lab and co-director of the Berkeley AI Research Lab at the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Aaron Edlin: Aaron S. Edlin, an American economist and lawyer specializing in antitrust and competition policy, held the position of Senior Economist in the Clinton White House from 1997 to 1998. During his tenure, he focused on industrial organization, regulation, and antitrust matters within the Council of Economic Advisers.
  • Ruzena Bajcsy: Ruzena Bajcsy, an accomplished American engineer and computer scientist specializing in robotics, holds the position of professor in electrical engineering and computer sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. Additionally, she serves as the director emerita of CITRIS at the university.
  • Alexei Efros: Alexei "Alyosha" A. Efros, a Russian-American computer scientist, is a distinguished professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Renowned for his impactful contributions to computer vision, his work has garnered significant attention, with references in prominent media outlets such as Wired, BBC News, The New York Times, and the New Yorker.
  • Trevor Darell: Trevor Jackson Darrell, an American computer scientist and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is renowned for his influential research in computer vision and machine learning. Recognized as a leading expert in deep learning and explainable AI, he has made significant contributions to these fields.

Alumni at University of California-Berkeley

UC Berkeley boasts a notable roster of accomplished alumni across various fields. Some prominent individuals include:

  • Dana Vollmer ’10, Olympic gold-medalist swimmer: A decorated Olympian with five gold medals and numerous world records, Dana Vollmer is a force in the pool. Known for her powerful butterfly stroke, she continues to inspire athletes and advocate for women in sports.
  • Yahya Abdul-Mateen II ’11, Emmy Award-winning actor: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has captivated audiences with his versatile acting range, winning an Emmy Award for his role in "Watchmen." He continues to impress with diverse roles in film and television, captivating audiences worldwide.
  • Laci Green ’11, sexual-education YouTuber: Laci Green uses her platform to empower others through education. Her YouTube channel, "Sex+," provides clear, accessible information about sex and relationships, sparking important conversations and challenging taboos.
  • Keenan Allen, NFL wide receiver: Keenan Allen is a star wide receiver in the NFL, known for his exceptional hands and route-running ability. He's a valuable asset to any team, consistently making plays and elevating the offense.
  • Marcus Semien ’12, MLB shortstop: Marcus Semien is a versatile and talented shortstop in Major League Baseball. His power-hitting and defensive prowess make him a threat on both sides of the ball, leading him to All-Star appearances and Gold Glove awards.
  • Layshia Clarendon ’13, WNBA guard: A skilled point guard, Layshia Clarendon provides leadership and stability on the court. Her dedication to her team and passion for the game has made her a fan favorite and a role model for young athletes.
  • Alex Morgan ’14, Olympic gold-medalist soccer player: Alex Morgan is a household name in the world of soccer. Her athletic prowess and scoring ability have made her a key player on the US national team, leading them to Olympic gold medals and World Cup victories.
  • Jaylen Brown ’15, NBA shooting guard: Jaylen Brown is a rising star in the NBA, known for his athleticism and scoring ability. He's a key contributor to the Boston Celtics, using his platform to advocate for social justice and inspire others.
  • Brittany Boyd ’15, WNBA point guard: A dynamic point guard with a knack for creating plays and scoring at will, Brittany Boyd is a force on the court. Her leadership and on-court presence make her a valuable asset to any team.
  • Jared Goff, NFL quarterback: With a strong arm and a knack for making plays under pressure, Jared Goff has established himself as a talented quarterback in the NFL. He's a key player for his team, leading them to playoff appearances and Super Bowl contention.
  • Patrick Laird, NFL running back: Patrick Laird brings speed and versatility to the running back position in the NFL. He's a valuable asset on both offense and special teams, contributing to his team's success with his explosive running and reliable hands.

Berkeley's accomplished graduate students become part of a distinguished alumni network, including:

  • 35 individuals who have been awarded the Nobel Prize
  • 41 recipients of the MacArthur Foundation's "Genius Grant"
  • 28 individuals were honored with the National Medal of Science
  • Founders of over 270 companies.

Beyond the remarkable array of accolades, Berkeley graduate alumni contribute significantly to advancing knowledge across diverse fields worldwide.

Graduate Acceptance Rate at California-Berkeley

In the last ten years, the acceptance rate at UC Berkeley has been going down, which means it's becoming harder to get admitted. Back in the 2013-2014 academic year, about 18% of students who applied got accepted, but by the 2022-2023 academic year, only around 11.33% were successful. This declining trend shows that UC Berkeley is becoming more selective in choosing its students. It also indicates that there's a lot more competition among applicants vying for a spot at this esteemed university.

After conducting a brief search, I uncovered some interesting information about the admissions process at the University of California, Berkeley for the Class of 2024. Out of a staggering pool of 88,026 applicants, only 15,404 were fortunate enough to receive acceptance letters, leading to an overall acceptance rate of 17.5%. This acceptance rate reveals a marginal uptick in applications compared to the previous year, which tallied 87,353 hopefuls.

These statistics shed light on the competitive landscape of UC Berkeley's admissions, mirroring the patterns observed among elite universities. Across the board, we see a persistent decline in acceptance rates as more students vie for limited spots in these prestigious institutions. This trend underscores the formidable challenge of securing admission to UC Berkeley and other top-tier universities, where competition is fiercer than ever before.

Composition of Undergraduate Students

17.48% Acceptance Rate
88062 Students Applied
15390 Students got Accepted

An acceptance rate of 17.48% makes it relatively tough to get admission.

Composition of Graduate Students

11528 Students Enrolled (On-campus & Online)
6380 Students enrolled exclusively in distance education
4007 Students enrolled in at least one distance education course
290 Students enrolled in top 7 Masters degree program
123 Total Graduate Programs Specialization
What is the admission policy at University of California-Berkeley?

University of California-Berkeley has an open admission policy. It will accept any student who applies.


University of California-Berkeley has been ranked 21


Acceptance Rate: 17.48%


Tuition for Graduate Programs: $29,347

Under Graduate Program Tuition: $44,066

Financial Aid

Average Amount of Financial Aid Awarded: $19,359

Average Amount of Institutional Aid Awarded: $11,350

University of California-Berkeley most popular Master's Degree programs with respect to student count are

  • Law : 331
  • Business Administration and Management -MBA : 306
  • Public Health : 253
  • Civil Engineering : 227
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering : 184

University of California-Berkeley most popular under graduate programs with respect to student count are

  • Cell, Cellular and Molecular Biology : 670
  • Econometrics and Quantitative Economics : 645
  • Political Science and Government : 453
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering : 440
  • Business Administration and Management -MBA : 385