Are you thinking of applying to UC Berkeley and wondering what your chances of admissions are? You’ve come to the right place — we aggregated the important data of admissions from UC Berkeley’s results. In order to be a part of the group that is awarded acceptance, there are a variety of important factors that admissions officers take into account. These factors include class rank, GPA, SAT score, ACT score, SAT II score, extracurriculars, and many others that create the holistic package that they will base their decisions on.
UC Berkeley has an acceptance rate (admit rate) of 18.3%. This low acceptance rate makes UC Berkeley a very selective school. The school is one of the largest in the US and has a strong reputation.
Below, we will break down the admissions details under a more granular microscope. Let’s take a closer look:
UC Berkeley Admissions Statistics
In 2017, Berkeley accepted only 18.3% of its students. For the class of 2021, there were 15,567 admitted students out of 85,054 applicants. These figures make UC Berkeley rank third in schools in the US who receive the most applications. The average unweighted GPA was 3.91. The average weighted GPA was 4.44. The average SAT score was roughly 1480. The average ACT score was a 32 composite.
Let’s take a look at the average breakdown of scores by California residents vs. out of state residents vs. international students:
|Admits/Apps||9,715/ 49,280||4,490 / 20,326||1,362 / 15,448|
|Avg. GPA Apps||3.64||3.75||3.73|
|Avg. GPA Admit||3.91||3.92||3.93|
|Avg. SAT Apps||1232||1373||1391|
|Avg. SAT Admit||1334||1449||1455|
|Avg. ACT Apps||28||31||31|
|Avg. ACT Admit||31||33||33|
Considering the large sample size of total applicants, the typical GPA and ACT scores or SAT scores are significantly higher for international students compared to domestic students. As you can see, it is much more difficult for an international student to be accepted to UC Berkeley compared to US applicants with international students having only an 8.8% acceptance rate.
The 50th percentile for ACT scores for UC Berkeley was 30-34. This means that the bottom 25th percentile of accepted students scored a 30 composite score, and the top 75th percentile of accepted students accepted students scored a 34.
The 50th percentile for SAT scores for UC Berkeley was a 1290-1480. The Math section 50th percentile was 640-760. The Evidenced-based Reading and Writing middle 50th percentile was 640-730.
Generally, aiming for as high of a GPA and SAT or ACT scores should be the goal since they can slightly compensate for a lack in another area. However, keep in mind that test scores are not the only part of your application. If you are somewhere in between the 25th percentile and the 75th percentile, you have a fighting chance at admission. It may help your application if you are a diverse applicant in terms of geography, race, socioeconomic background. Other factors may also boost your probability of admission such as legacy applicant or excellent extracurriculars.
Even if UC Berkeley is your dream school, you should have other schools on your application list because nothing is guaranteed. Take a look at our thoughts on the optimal amount of schools to apply to.
UC Berkeley Application Requirements
If you wish to apply to UC Berkeley, you have only one round to apply since the school does not offer early action or early decision. Unlike many other schools, UC schools follow the different process of having its separate application. This UC application allows you to apply to 9 campuses in the University of California system with one application. Applying to UC Berkeley is a two part process: admission requirements and selection.
Let’s first take a look at the requirements to apply to UC Berkeley:
Score a C or better in 15 college-prep courses. At least 11 courses should be finished before starting your last year in high school. These 15 courses include: 2 years of History, 4 years of English, 3 years of Math, 2 years of Laboratory science, 2 years of a foreign language (or equivalent of 2nd year of high school instruction), 1 year of visual and performing arts, and 1 year of a college-prep elective.
California residents must have a GPA of 3.0 or better and non-residents must have a GPA of 3.4 or better. Take a look here for GPA calculation that UC schools follow.
California residents are guaranteed admission to one of the UC schools provided that they rank in the top 9 percent of California high school students and rank in the top 9 percent of their graduating class.
Let’s take a look at what the process looks like for filling out the UC application:
Submit a completed UC Application. The application fee is $70 for each campus you apply to for domestic students and $80 per school for international applicants, or you may apply for a fee waiver. Students who receive the fee waiver can only apply to 4 campuses.
Because the essay can make or break your application, you should spend time thinking through what message you wish to convey. Take a look at our thoughts on how to write a winning college essay and successful essay topics.
Have your transcript in hand. You do not need to send official transcripts when you apply, but you are required to submit your transcript if you are admitted.
Submit an SAT score or ACT score. Include your writing score. Berkeley’s SAT code is 4833. UC Berkeley’s ACT code is 0444.
The UC application also requires students to report SAT subject scores, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, TOFEL, or IELTS exams as well.
Be on the lookout for emails from the school since some students may be contacted with requests for letters of recommendation or other materials.
Have your parents’ annual income ready to fill out.
Have your citizenship status and social security number ready, if applicable.
The UC application opens August 1st and the application deadline is November 30th. SAT or ACT tests must be submitted by December 31st. Applicants are notified of their decision around end of March.
UC Berkeley Admitted Class Profile
If you are admitted and decide to attend UC Berkeley, you will be a part of a very diverse class. There are many students from all over the United States and from many different countries. Here are some statistics about your classmates:
- 46.9% Male, 53.1% Female
- 64% noted that English was their first language
- 68% of students had at least one parent born outside the USA. This means that the student population is skewed towards international students or children of immigrants.
- 4% identified as coming from a wealthy family, 41% identified with the upper-middle class, 34% identified with the middle class, 11% identified with the working class, and 10% identified with low-income class.
- For political views, 10% of students noted that they were very liberal, 37% noted they are liberal, 21% answered slightly liberal, 20% identified with moderate, 6% identified with slightly conservative, 3% identified with conservative, and 1% identified with very conservative. The last 3% declined to answer.
UC Berkeley also has great racial diversity although has a much larger Asian student population since the UC system does not follow affirmative action. The following are the statistics:
UC Berkeley Diversity
UC Berkeley Tuition Cost
The annual tuition cost for UC Berkeley is $36,015 for in-state students and $64,029 for out-of-state students. The following is a breakdown of the costs:
- Tuition: In-state $13,928, Out-of-state $41,942
- Room and Board: $15,715
- Books and Supplies: $1,240
- Other Expenses: $5,132
UC Berkeley’s financial aid program is generous. They gave 98.6% of freshmen who demonstrated financial need aid, with 55.5% of students having their needs fully met. The average financial aid award was $17,284.
UC Berkeley Academics
UC Berkeley has a robust academic environment. In a student wide survey, 79.7% of students agreed to an extent that the university has a strong commitment to undergraduate education. Furthermore, 85.5% of UC Berkeley students at least somewhat agreed to the fact that attending a university with world-class researchers is important. Take a look at the student satisfaction results here.
UC Berkeley offers a wide range of programs, with 107 Bachelor’s degrees offered across its 6 colleges.
Haas School of Business (1)
College of Chemistry (5)
College of Engineering (20)
College of Environmental Design (4)
College of Letters and Science (67)
College of Natural Resources (10)
Other individual majors (2)
Take a look at all the degree programs here.
UC Berkeley is also noted for its very high level of research activity, spending $789 million in 2015. With 1,620 full time and 500 part-time faculty members, there are abundant opportunities to be a research assistant if you are interested in partaking in these activities.
UC Berkeley Student Life
According to a student life survey, 86% of UC Berkeley students said they are happy.
The housing available for students varies greatly from apartments to Greek housing to co-ops. At Berkeley, you will have the option to find housing that best fits your style.
UC Berkeley also has a large sports presence, competing at the highest level of the NCAA Division 1 in many sports. The school is in the Pac-12 and its rival is Stanford. National championships won by Berkeley’s teams include baseball, basketball, crew, football, golf, lacrosse, swimming and diving, and track and field.
For the Big Game against Stanford’s football team every year, several traditions have existed for Cal. At the pep rally before the game, more than 10,000 students gather and listen to the history of The Stanford Axe. Students also perform the Haka, a Maori war dance. Student traditions outside the Big Game include streaking during finals week at the Main Stacks library.
UC Berkeley has many notable alumni throughout a variety of areas, from business, politics and government, military, academia, science and technology, sports, and many others areas. These individuals have achieved success, and several notable alumni are as follows:
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, 4th President of Pakistan
Natalie Coughlin, Olympic Swimming Gold Medalist
Robert McNamara, President of the World Bank
Haakon Magnus, Crown Prince of Norway
Tom Anderson, co-founder of MySpace
Masayoshi Son, CEO of Softbank