The University of California-Berkeley, located in Berkeley, California, came into existence in 1868 as the result of the merging of two institutions following the California gold rush– the private College of California in Oakland and the new state land-grant institution, the Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Arts College. Starting out with just ten faculty members and forty students, the school has grown up since then and has been rated the #1 Best Public National University for over 15 consecutive years by the U.S. News & World Report, as well as #3 in the Best Global University ranking. A public research institution, Berkeley’s current faculty includes a remarkable list of Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners as well as recipients of National Medals of Science.
Accredited through the Western Association of Colleges and Schools, Berkeley offers over 270 undergraduate and graduate degree programs through 170 academic departments and programs. Berkeley is made up of fourteen different colleges and schools, including the Haas School of Business; Chemistry; Education; Engineering; Environmental Design; Information; Journalism; Law; Letters & Science; Natural Resources; Optometry; Public Health; Social Welfare; and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy. Berkeley students have access to approximately 12 million volumes through the university’s 30+ libraries.
Online degree programs are also offered for students who desire the quality education that Berkeley has to offer, but whose situation requires the flexibility of an online degree. Berkeley’s first online degree was offered back in Spring 2012 and the school offers a wide variety of courses and options in areas such as Art and Design; Behavioral Health Sciences; Business; Education; Humanities and Languages; Sciences, Biotechnology and Mathematics; Technology and Information Management; Writing, Editing and Technical Communication.
Berkeley has a total enrollment figure of over 37,000 students, including more than 27,000 undergraduates, split nearly in half between male and female students. Approximately 17% of Berkeley’s freshmen are first generation college students and students hail from all around the globe, creating a diverse community. Students have the option to experience and see a number of different events and attractions in and around the campus and greater community, as well as participate in a variety of student organizations, recreational sports, and volunteer opportunities. Over 95% of entering freshman choose to live on campus, as do many upperclassmen. A variety of different on-campus housing options exist, ranging from traditional high-rise residence halls to suite environments, fraternities/sororities to family student housing in the University village.
As an NCAA Division I-A school, sports play a huge role in student-life. Berkeley has helped produce some of the greatest athletes in the country, as is evidenced by the 85+ national championships won by Berkeley’s teams, and the nearly 200 Olympic medals brought home by Berkeley students, including over 100 gold. Thirty varsity teams exist and a number of Berkeley traditions center around sports, including the Big Game Rally; the Stanford Axe, started in 1899, which now serves as the trophy for the Big Game; and Oski, Berkeley’s mascot.