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The University of California Berkeley or UC Berkeley is a public institution that was founded in 1868. Located in Berkeley, California, this school was the first campus that was built in the University of California System and offers over 130 academic departments and 80 interdisciplinary research groups with the business school, computer engineering, and biological sciences programs ranking in the top nationally. UC Berkeley has a total undergraduate enrollment of around 32,000 students that take classes according to a semester-based academic calendar. Prospective students should note that California residents receive in-state tuition at a much lower rate than applicants from out-of-state.
UC Berkeley has a history of student-based political action and discussion and was the center of the Free Speech Movement, which began in 1964 and fueled opposition to segregation and the Vietnam War. The graduation rate at UC Berkeley is an impressive 91.9%, thanks in part to the student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1.
UC Berkeley is known for its campus architecture, but the University Botanical Garden also draws international attention with over 10,000 types of plant species. Beyond academics, UC Berkeley athletic teams, represented by their campus mascot Oski the Bear, compete in the PAC-12 with an annual football rivalry with Stanford. Notable alumni include U.S. women’s soccer star Alex Morgan, actor Gregory Peck, and the legendary queen of Americana cuisine, Alice Waters.
* These statistics utilize the most recently released data from IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System)
Sources for school statistics and data include U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Data may vary depending on school and academic year.
Source data obtained from U.S. Department of Education's Office of Post-secondary Education (OPE)
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Before Gregory Peck played Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, John Cho took on a title role in the Harold and Kumar series, and Chris Pine landed the coveted part of James Tiberius Kirk in the reboot of Star Trek, these three actors all earned English degrees at Cal. And his MBA in economics and management undoubtedly influenced the career of Scott Adams, first in the corporate world and then as the creator of the comic strip “Dilbert.” Other famous folks who once made the campus home include Girlfriends’ Guide series writer Vicki Iovine, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, Pong (the videogame, not the beer contest) creator Allan Alcorn, former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
Bright minds from throughout the world come to this urban academic oasis overlooking the San Francisco Bay. They enter a place known not only for top-notch facilities but also for plenty of activity outside the classroom. The university boasts more than 1,000 student organizations, and roughly 10 percent of undergrads go Greek. Lambda Chi Alpha’s Daffodil Festival has been a popular spring event since the 1940s when the beautiful yellow flowers first began being sold around campus to raise money for charity. But what often comes to mind when people think of Cal is its liberal student activism. Berkeley gained national attention in 1964 for The Free Speech Movement, a student protest in response to the administration’s ban on political activity. Since then, Cal students have been vocal about many causes, ranging from women’s rights to ending apartheid in South Africa.
From mystery fiction to biological psychology, UC Berkeley offers a variety of undergraduate classes online. Companies often turn to Cal to provide training for their employees in areas such as leadership, team facilitation, and sales. And if you want to earn a certificate in a field such as graphic design, drug and alcohol abuse studies, construction management, or teaching English as a second language, Cal likely has a professional program to suit your schedule.
Before Aaron Rodgers became a Green Bay Packer, he served as quarterback for the Golden Bears. But the sports program covers a much greater range than just football. As of 2015, Cal athletic history included 89 national team titles in 15 different sports. The rugby team has been a powerhouse since the 1980s with no signs of letting up in the 21st century. The outstanding swimming and diving program has produced the likes of Matt Biondi, Mary Meagher, Natalie Coughlin, and Missy Franklin. What gets the average Cal student most excited, though, are any contests against rival Stanford University.
Pick any academic discipline and Cal likely has been a player in its advancement. Credit Cal professors for discovering both Vitamin E and Vitamin K, drafting no-fault divorce law, setting up the Western Hemisphere’s first string of seismographic stations to monitor earthquakes, and inventing canned fruit cocktail. During World War II, physics professor J. Robert Oppenheimer directed the U.S. government laboratory at Los Alamos, New Mexico— site of the atomic bomb development. Today, the university continues to impact the world with its research, which spans from the role of copper in neuron signaling to the potential of using renewable energy technologies in urban areas.