University of California, Berkeley is the dream school of many Americans. Better known as UC Berkeley, it is one of the most prestigious schools in the country and the number two among public institutions across all states. If you are currently fielding universities and considering Ivy League schools, check out this article for tips on how to get into UC Berkeley.
We’ll give you detailed information about UC Berkeley’s requirements to help you get an idea of what it takes to successfully complete the admissions process. We’ll also cover the difficulty of getting admitted, along with UC Berkeley’s acceptance rate. Keep reading to for our top tips on how to get accepted into UC Berkeley.
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All About UC Berkeley Admissions
University of California, Berkeley is a very selective school when it comes to its admissions process. Being a world-class public university, incoming students must go through a rigorous application process to satisfy the admission requirements. Your past academic achievements will also play a huge role in the university’s admission decisions.
UC Berkeley also has a vibrant international student community, proving its worth as the second-best public university in the world. This global ranking makes admission to the university even more competitive. UC Berkeley puts a lot of weight on your academic performance, which can make or break your entire application.
When you apply to UC Berkeley, you’ll need to state your desired major out of the 100 majors offered by the school’s six colleges. UC Berkeley’s colleges include College of Letters and Science, Rausser College of Natural Resources, College of Engineering, College Chemistry, College of Environmental Design, and Haas School of Business.
UC Berkeley Acceptance Rate
UC Berkeley states its acceptance rate to be around 17.5 percent. In the fall of 2021, the university received a total of 112,854 applicants, with 16,412 admitted. This acceptance rate is proof that you need to have a stand-out application and go above and beyond the benchmark requirements.
UC Berkeley GPA
The admissions committee recorded a weighted Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4.25 to 4.61 for 50 percent of admitted students of the 2021 admissions cycle. Freshmen students who wish to apply should meet the minimum requirement of at least a 3.0 GPA for A-G courses taken their Grade 10 and Grade 11 years.
UC Berkeley Total Enrollment
UC Berkeley had a total enrollment of 30,799 undergraduate students and 11,548 graduate students in 2021. UC Berkeley had 38,802 full-time students and 3,525 part-time for both undergraduate and graduate degrees combined.
UC Berkeley Requirements
- UC Berkeley Account. The application process starts when you create an account. You’ll need to fill out the form with all your basic information and an active email address to receive all communication concerning your admissions and financial aid, when applicable.
- $70 Application Fee. This application fee is for each UC campus that you’ll apply to. International and non-immigrant applicants have to pay $80. Application fee waivers are available for students who are eligible and can’t afford to pay the fee.
- 15 A-G Subject Courses. The university and all its campuses require all incoming students to take A-G subject courses under a college preparatory program. These are history/social science, English, mathematics, science, language other than English (LOTE), visual and performing arts, and a college preparatory elective.
- High GPA. Student applicants should have a 3.0 GPA for the A-G subject courses taken. For non-residents, the GPA requirement is 3.4.
- Application Forms. Some students will not be required to submit forms. However, applicants to the Management, Entrepreneurship, & Management (MET) Program and the Global Management Program of Haas Business School are required to submit application forms for their respective majors.
- English Language Proficiency. If your high school education was completed in English, you no longer have to submit this requirement. If you completed some or all of the high school years in a non-English speaking country, you need to satisfy this requirement through submitting IELTS, TOEFL, or English ACT/SATs scores.
- Letters of Recommendation. In 2015, applicants were encouraged to submit two letters of recommendation. At least one of these letters should be from a teacher from a core academic subject. The letters should contain a demonstration of the student’s academic performance, leadership experience, persistence, engagement, creativity, impact on others, and love of learning.
- Personal Insight Essay. Admissions officers can still offer admission to students who do not meet the minimum requirements. They will ask you, however, to write a personal insight essay in which you’ll have to answer four out of eight personal insight questions relevant to and reflective of your circumstances.
Is It Hard to Get Into UC Berkeley?
While Ivy League schools still maintain a very selective admissions process, UC Berkeley can still be considered highly selective despite not being the most selective when it comes to its admissions process. The class of 2021 had a 14.5 percent acceptance rate. This means that it’s quite difficult to get into UC Berkeley and will only continue to be the case year after year.
How to Prepare for a UC Berkeley Interview
UC Berkeley does not require interviews as part of its admissions process. You’ll need to answer four out of eight Personal Insight Questions within 350 words each. The questions are essay prompts to write about your personal experiences. You can practice writing this essay beforehand and getting people you trust to review it with you.
10 Tips for Getting Into UC Berkeley
UC Berkeley’s acceptance of incoming students is very selective. As one of the top five public institutions of higher learning in the US, the admissions committee has a high standard when it comes to fielding accepted students. Below are 10 tips on how to get into UC Berkeley.
1. Complete the Admissions Requirements.
The first thing you need to do is complete all the admissions requirements. This will be the start of your school career at UC Berkeley, so it’s important that you do it carefully. Don’t forget to create an account on the UC Application page to get you started. Make sure you start this process early in case any hiccups happen along the way.
2. Get a High GPA.
UC Berkeley places a lot of weight on your high school academic performance. The university interprets a high GPA as academic excellence, commitment, and hard work. A high GPA will raise your chances for admission and place you in a favorable light. Similarly, if you’re transferring from a community college or different university, your college GPA should be as high as possible.
3. Write Exceptional Answers to the Personal Insight Questions.
If you haven’t met the A-G course requirements or the required GPA, you can still get admitted by answering the Personal Insight Questions. Remember that these questions are for admissions officers to get to know you personally. Make sure to answer them truthfully by expressing why you are a good fit for UC Berkeley and talking authentically about why you’re passionate about the major you want to get into.
4. Take Note of Admissions Deadlines.
UC Berkeley’s admissions process has different deadlines for different students and programs. Be sure to look for deadline dates well in advance. Typically, students will be expected to apply to universities six to 12 months before the start of enrollment. However, this can vary based on the institution.
5. Do Your Research on the School and Majors.
One of the most important decisions you will make in your college life is choosing your undergraduate degree program and major. Incoming freshmen have 100 majors to choose from. These are housed in UC Berkeley’s six colleges. Make sure you’re passionate about what you want to study.
6. Get Great Recommendation Letters.
Your letters of recommendation will help UC Berkeley get to know you better. Having great recommendation letters from your teachers and mentors will help you pass the Holistic Review Process. Recommendation letters should give the admissions officers insight into who you were in high school and should highlight your academic, teamwork, and leadership skills to improve your acceptance chances.
7. Take College Preparatory Courses and Other Online Courses.
One of the ways to be a competitive applicant is to get on the radar of the admissions committee before beginning the application process. Join UC-Berkeley-sponsored certificate programs, bootcamps, and other online courses so representatives from the school might remember you when the application process starts. This will also help you get a feel of the academic life at UC Berkeley.
8. Don’t Go Overboard with Your Application.
UC Berkeley does not require applicants to submit their school transcripts or standardized test scores. Students are expected to self-report their grades from their transcripts. Also note, that portfolios are not accepted in the application process. Knowing this should help you focus on the more important requirements and prepare for them thoroughly.
9. Participate in Extracurricular Activities.
Joining various organizations will show that you have developed your leadership abilities and your people skills. They’re also a great way to have fun and discover passions you may have outside of your studies. Aside from having a stellar academic performance, UC Berkeley checks if you are a well-rounded student. Strong leadership skills coupled with an excellent performance in school will help you get an edge in the admissions process.
10. Take Advantage of Your Opportunities.
UC Berkeley puts value on student achievement because it shows that the applicant has taken advantage of the opportunities and resources available to them. Each achievement is assessed according to the level of difficulty that the student needed to overcome. Some of the factors looked at are economic background, parental education level, and support in the home.
What Does It Take to Get Into UC Berkeley?
Getting into UC Berkeley takes hard work. Getting high grades will help you become a successful candidate for admissions, but you must be able to back it up with equally vibrant interpersonal and intrapersonal traits. UC Berkeley looks for students who can contribute and be leaders, not just within the university, but to California and the world.
How to Get Into UC Berkeley FAQ
Popular majors at UC Berkeley include social sciences, computer and information sciences and support services, biological and biomedical sciences, engineering, mathematics and statistics, multi/interdisciplinary studies, business, management, marketing, and related support services, physical sciences, and English language and literature.
Yes, UC Berkeley offers tech and coding bootcamps on data analytics, UX/UI design, and cyber security. You could also take a digital marketing course. These are great for people who don’t desire or aren’t able to attend university but still want to start a career in tech.
Yes, UC Berkeley is a good school to consider if you are planning to take up STEM courses or majors in college. It has a program called the Berkeley Science and Math Initiative, which is the university’s response to the K-12 STEM crisis in California. Moreover, the university’s engineering and science departments are well known across the country.
One of the most famous alumni of UC Berkeley is Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientific director of the Manhattan Project during World War II. The university also has a roster of Nobel Peace Prize-winning alumni in physiology, medicine, chemistry, physics, and economics.
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