University of California at Berkeley
UC Berkeley is the flagship institute of the University of California. Statistically, Berkeley (as it’s called) is the most consistently well ranked university in the world. It has the highest number of distinguished graduate programs ranked in the top 10 in their fields by the United States National Research Council. As you can probably gauge, it isn’t easy to get into Berkeley, unless you have an untouchable academic track record. And rightly so – some of the achievements at this institute are fantastic. To give you an idea, UC Berkeley and its researchers are associated with 6 chemical elements of the periodic table. Now that’s something, isn’t it?
University of California – Berkeley is located in the Bay Area of California, a very in-demand and rather expensive area. The university is roughly 5 miles from Oakland, and 12 miles from San Francisco. Anyone who knows will tell you that UC Berkeley has a fantastic location, with Tilden Park and Berkeley Marina pretty close by.
Infrastructure and Residing options:
Although University of California – Berkeley is one of the oldest schools in the world (it was started in 1869), it has constantly evolved over time, and still has one of the best and most modern campuses in the world. The institute is spread over roughly 1200 acres of land, with some fantastic natural sights, and an infrastructure to match its size.
There is a creek (Yes, a creek!) called the Strawberry Creek flowing through the campus. There are also a number of other attractions for nature lovers, like Founder’s Rock, Faculty Glade, Grinner Natural Area, etc.
There are 32 libraries at UC Berkeley, which when put together make the fourth largest academic library in the USA, spread over 12 acres and housing over 11 million titles! They also have excellent sports and recreation centers in the campus, which are often the ‘birth places’ of a number of Olympians and national level athletes.
Berkeley provides optional accommodation facilities for all its international students, but it often turns out to be mighty expensive. Many Asian students prefer to live off campus, but even there the rents are pretty high. ‘Northside’ is a very popular student neighbourhood, thanks to its proximity to the campus, as well as the plethora of dining options around.
Berkeley has a Mediterranean climate, though the temperatures in general are rather lower than what you come to expect in, say, Spain. Summers are cool and dry, while winters are cold and wet. Average temperatures in September (the ‘hottest’ month) are a high of 22.1°C and a low of 13.3°C, while average temperatures in January (the coldest month) are a high of 13.6°C and a low of 6.4°C.
Berkeley also experiences rainfall once in a while, mainly during winters, and not much. Snowfall is a rare commodity, and normally takes place only on the peaks of hills.
• Applied Science & Technology
• Civil & Environmental Engineering
• Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences
• Industrial Engineering & Operations Research
• Materials Science & Engineering
• Mechanical Engineering
• Nuclear Engineering
Faculty and Pedagogy:
Since its inception, UC Berkeley has been known for providing both ‘classical’ and ‘practical’ education for students. The pedagogy is exceptional, specially the importance given to research. This is why the college has some of the most amazing laboratories you would ever see.
The faculty is widely acclaimed and highly renowned. You would find a number of Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and MacArthur fellows teaching at Berkeley. It is one of the few colleges in the world which is good for just about Any form of study, and it probably owes a lot of that to its first grade faculty.
The fee at University of California, Berkeley is roughly $17,000 per semester.
All scholarships (need-based and non-need-based) at Berkeley are academics-dependant. So if you want any kind of assistantship, you’d better keep your grades pretty high.
Well, we’re talking about the 3rd best university in the US of A. Almost everyone is recruited by the world’s well known MNC’s with a mind boggling salary starting from roughly from $60,000.
Crowd and Campus Life:
Like at any other top institute, you can expect a diverse, multicultural environment at UC Berkeley. You’ll find students from different walks of life, hailing from different countries, probably speaking different languages, with one common factor – academic excellence.
But don’t be fooled, these guys know how to party. And they do. Apart from the endless parties that you have on campus itself almost every night, students also frequent a number of pubs and delis in the Bay Area. Popular ones are The Albatross, Tangerine, Nicks Lounge, Ippuku, etc.
There are a number of student committees and groups at UC Berkeley, so every student manages to find a place for himself among people just like himself.
Of course, you also have many students devoting their free time to sports, which is probably why the California Golden Bears (as the Berkeley sports teams are called), are a force to reckon with in every major sport.
- Tom Anderson - Founder of MySpace
- Shantanu Narayen - President and CEO of Adobe Systems
- Arvind Raghunathan - Former MD and Head of Global Arbitrage, Deutsche Bank
Definitely a top-5 college, regardless of what course you want to do. If you’ve managed to maintain an impeccable academic track record, make sure you apply to UC Berkeley.