How to get into UC Berkeley?

How to get into the University of California -Berkeley


The University of California, Berkeley – an overview

UC Berkeley – University of California. Who would not want to study at the University of California – a state which boasts endless beaches, hours of warm sunshine, the razzmatazz of Los Angeles  and the iconic streets of San Francisco – as well as some of the best universities in the USA?

UC Berkeley is often called a “Public Ivy” since its high-quality research output equals that of the traditional Ivy League universities, and its standing in the national and global ratings testifies to the excellence of the teaching and the education it offers.  The Times Higher Education World university rankings placed UC Berkeley  7th globally, in 2020-2021, while the QS national rankings of 2020  revealed that Berkeley was the 4th best university in the USA, and its leading public university. Established in 1868, as a land-grant university, UC Berkeley now has approximately 43,000 students, and places are highly sought-after, with an annual acceptance rate of approximately 16 per cent.  UC Berkeley itself was voted the Healthiest  City in America, three years ago, and is test-free, so you do not have to submit SAT or ACT results when putting in your application.

University of California at Berkeley at the entrance gate

How to get into UC Berkeley - the application process

uc Berkeley - University of California

Study at Berkeley University in the United States

For Berkeley, as well as all UC schools, you need to have at least a 3.0 GPA in your A-G classes if you're a California resident, or a 3.4 GPA if you're a non-resident. Additionally, you can't have gotten below a "C" in any of the A-G classes. However, you should aim higher than this

Getting into UC Berkeley - what type of student is the admissions board looking for?

A close reading of UC Berkeley’s website  paints a full picture of the characteristics and personalities which will appeal to the admissions committee, namely :

  • drive
  • insight
  • intellectual independence
  • maturity
  • care for others and the community
  • achievement in any field, whether this be work, volunteering, the performing arts, sport etc
  • passion and high levels of motivation
  • curiosity and commitment
  • a broad range of diverse experiences
  • the ability to reflect and learn from challenges

How to get into University of Califronia Berkeley - what courses does the university offer?

The university is made up of 14 colleges and 180 departments, and offers 350 degree programmes, and 93 different majors.

What are the most difficult courses to get into at UCBerkeley?

  • Management, Enterprise and Technology (3 per cent acceptance rate)
  • Haas Business School (13 per cent acceptance rate)
  • EECS -Electronic Engineering and Computer Science ( 6 per cent acceptance rate)

Popular and highly ranked courses run at the University of California, Berkeley

  • Social sciences
  • Biology and biomedical sciences
  • Computer and information sciences and support services
  • Psychology
  • Economics and Political Science
  • Cell/Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Environmental studies
  • Electrical engineering
  • All STEM subjects

The predominance of STEM subjects is hardly surprising given Berkeley’s enormous list of scientific and allied ground-breaking research in these areas, including work on both the hydrogen and atomic bombs, the discovery of 16 chemical elements, the development of immunotherapy, the isolation of Vitamin E, creation of the wetsuit  and a long list of successful entrepreneurial initiatives, which gave us:

Will being an athlete help me get into UC Berkeley?

UC Berkeley has a strong sporting tradition and fields teams in many sports, including baseball, basketball, lacrosse, rugby, swimming, rowing and track and field.

Bear in mind, however, that the key to harnessing your sporting abilities is to demonstrate not only achievement but passion – and you can show this during the application process essays.

Do not generalise, but give examples which show your talents, team spirit, leadership qualities and ability to learn from defeat – and rise again.

Getting into the University of California, Berkeley - its political heritage

UC Berkeley was once synonymous with student protests , but much has changed in recent years. The home of the Free Speech Movement, the fight for civil rights and protests against American involvement in the Vietnam war is now a far quieter  campus, with its eyes firmly fixed on innovations coming out of Silicon Valley, Tesla’s R & D laboratories and the latest Facebook and Apple products and services.

Entry requirements for getting into Berkeley, University of California

You will need to show English language proficiency:

TOEFL 100,

IELTS 6.5 and above.

Your results need to be sent in by the examining board by January. The Berkeley code is 4833.

Like all the University of California colleges, Berkeley needs to see evidence that you have followed A-G high school courses.

These requirements vary according to the course you wish to study.

Contact Elab and we will check what you need to have studied, and for how long.

If I get in to the University of California, Berkeley, will it be expensive?



Health insurance


Room and board


Food, transport, leisure, books etc.


Remember, too, that the cost of living in Berkeley is 80 per cent higher than the national average for the USA.

International students are ineligible for federal, state, and need-based university financial aid. Applications to Berkeley are need blind, but be aware that, when you do apply for an American visa, you will need to show that you can cover all your costs for the period of studying. You  can, however, apply for the many scholarships which are offered by private organisations.

Contact Elab for further information on how to fund your studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

I am interested in getting into the University of California, Berkeley - what is the next step?

Call or email us, here at Elab. We have an experienced, dedicated  team of US expert consultants, who will be able to talk through your  plans, provide you with guidance , help you choose a course and give you all the practical information you need in submitting  an outstanding application to the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact With Us For More Details

Schedue a meeting with our Educational Consultants and start your US Application

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