With an acceptance rate of 17%, admission to UC Berkeley is definitely competitive. Based on our analysis, to have a good chance of being admitted, you need to be at the very top of your class and have an SAT score of closer to 1600, or an ACT score of around 35.

So, you’re thinking about applying to UC Berkeley, and you’re curious about your chances of admission. Well, we’re here to help! Of course, there are a lot of factors in the admissions process, and it’s impossible to accurately predict whether you’ll be admitted or not. However, the most important factors in the admissions game are your GPA and test scores. So, using those as a measure, we can give you an estimate of your chances.

With an acceptance rate of 17%, admission to UC Berkeley is definitely competitive. Based on our analysis, to have a good chance of being admitted, you need to be at the very top of your class and have an SAT score of closer to 1600, or an ACT score of around 35.

Not quite there? Try taking our SAT prep course and You'll still have a chance of getting in, but it’s in the single digits. Let’s take a closer look at UC Berkeley admission statistics.


UC Berkeley Admissions Statistics

The UC Berkeley acceptance rate in 2017 was 17.2%. For students applying to the class of 2021, out of 85,054 applicants, UC Berkeley admitted about 14,624. The average GPA of admitted applicants was 4.15-4.30, the average ACT score was 32, and the average SAT score was 1440.

For students who took the ACT, the 25th percentile score of successful applicants was 29, and the 75th percentile score was 34.

For students who took the SAT, the 25th percentile score was 1330. The 75th percentile score was 1540.

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If you’re somewhere in the middle of these numbers, remember that a high test score can compensate for a slightly lower GPA, and vice versa. If you’re at the lower end, it helps if you’re a diverse applicant, the child of an alum, or have incredible personal achievements. Still, at the 25th percentile, your chances of getting in are in the low single digits.

Other aspects of your application, such as athletics, extracurricular and recommendations, are important, but will likely only make a difference for admission if you’re in the 75th percentile range for your GPA and SAT/ACT scores.

As we said, admission to UC Berkeley is pretty competitive. Even if UC Berkeley is your dream school, and even if you’re in the 75th percentile, you’ll still want to make sure you apply to a wide variety of schools to ensure you’ll gain admission somewhere.

Generally, you should have at least three safety schools (where you are in the 75th percentile of GPA/test scores), three reach schools (where you are in the 25th percentile of GPA/test scores) and three target schools (where you are near the average for GPA/test scores) on your list.

OK, so you’ve decided to apply. We took a look at UC Berkeley’s admissions requirements to help you get everything in order.


UC Berkeley Application Requirements

To apply to UC Berkeley, you’ll need to meet the minimum subject course requirements, have a 3.0 GPA in those minimum subject courses taken during your 10th and 11th grade high school years (3.4 GPA for non-residents), and take either the SAT reasoning test or ACT. Everything should be submitted by November 30th.

Here’s a list of the minimum application requirements:

  • Complete a minimum of 15 college-preparatory courses (a-g courses) with a letter grade of C or better, with at least 11 courses finished prior to the beginning of your last year of high school.
    • The 15 preparatory courses are:
      a. History 2 years
      b. English 4 years
      c. Mathematics 3 years
      d. Laboratory science 2 years
      e. Language other than English
      *or equivalent to the 2nd level of high school instruction
      2 years*
      f. Visual and performing arts 1 year
      g. College-preparatory elective
      (chosen from the subjects listed above or another course approved by the university)
      1 year
  • Earn a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better (3.4 if you're a nonresident) in these courses with no grade lower than a C.
  • Meet the examination requirement by taking the ACT Plus Writing or SAT with Essay by December of your senior year. We don't require SAT Subject Tests, but certain programs on some campuses recommend them, and you can use subject tests to satisfy the "a-g" requirements listed above.

The application deadline is November 30th. March 2nd is the financial aid application deadline. Regular Decision applicants find out their fates at the end of March.

Have you been admitted to UC Berkeley? Congratulations! Below is a glimpse of what your classmates will be like.


UC Berkeley Admitted Students Profile

If you matriculate at UC Berkeley, you’ll be joining a diverse class, with students from all over the U.S. and the world, and have a chance to study in dozens of fields.

Here are some interesting facts about the recently admitted class:

  • Roughly 48% are male and 52% are female
  • 11% of students are international
  • 100% graduated in the top quarter of their class and 99% graduated in the top ten percent of their class

UC Berkeley has a diverse class, as well, with a large number of people of color. The ethnicities of admitted applicants are:

  • International: 11.6%
  • Underrepresented minority: 17%
  • White: 24.5%

What do these admitted students plan to study? UC Berkeley offers dozens of majors, and students matriculating there pursue a wide number of subjects. Here is a list of some of the top programs:

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  • Social Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Now, how are you going to pay for this?

man confused

UC Berkeley Tuition Figures

At $33,418, UC Berkeley’s total cost of attendance (for freshman year alone, in-state costs) is astronomical. But, don’t panic! Most incoming students receive some form of financial aid, and the average award is $17,232.

Here’s a fuller look at UC Berkeley tuition and financial aid in 2017:

  • Total budget: $33,418
  • Average financial aid package: $17,232
  • The average student debt of a Cal Tech graduate is $18,789

Now, what is life like at UC Berkeley? Let’s take a look.


UC Berkeley Location

UC Berkeley is located in Berkeley, California, on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay in northern California.

Much of the campus' classical architectural design is based on the Beaux-Arts Classical style, others were designed in the Collegiate Gothic style.

Remember, you’re going to UC Berkeley for its excellent academics! Below is a look at what academic life will be like.


UC Berkeley Academics

UC Berkeley has dozens of majors. Some of the school’s more popular or interesting majors are:

  • Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Political Science
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Environmental Science
  • Economics
  • Social Sciences
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Mathematics and Statistics

Now, let’s take a look at life outside the classroom at UC Berkeley.


Student Life at UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley has hundreds of student organizations, covering academic interests, creative and performing arts, cultural and racial initiatives, gender and sexuality affinity groups, government and politics interests, and various media and publications.

Here’s a sampling of Cal Tech’s student activities:

  • Berkeley American Civil Liberties Union
  • Berkeley Student Food Collective
  • Students for Sensible Drug Policy
  • Cal Berkeley Democrats
  • Berkeley College Republicans
  • Residence Hall Assembly
  • The Berkeley Group
  • ImagiCal
  • The Berkeley Forum
  • DeCal
  • Cal Quidditch (for all you Harry Potter fans)
  • University of California Jazz Ensembles


Cal Tech Athletics

UC Berkeley offers a large number of intercollegiate sports with extensive varsity, as well as club, offerings, for both men and women. So, if you’re not up to varsity level, remember there are plenty of club and intramural sports to try out for, too.

UC Berkeley’s sports include:

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Gymnastics
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Judo
  • Rugby

Who might you become with a UC  Berkeley degree? Let’s take a look at some well-known and successful alums:


Notable Alums

UC Berkeley has produced politicians, business tycoons, entertainers, musicians, media figures, and leaders in dozens of other fields.

Here’s a list of some particularly well-known alums:

  • Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman
  • Nobel laureate Saul Perlmutter
  • Academy Award-winning actor Gregory Peck
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Rube Goldberg
  • Fields Metal-winning mathematician Michael Freedman
  • Author Joan Didion
  • Chef Alice Waters
  • Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak
  • Philosopher Stanley Cavell
  • Author Robert Penn Warren

And this is only a partial list!


Getting into UC Berkeley is very competitive. Don’t despair if you get a no. If you have a strong GPA and high test scores, you still have a great chance of getting into at least one of the more competitive schools. And if you don’t, remember: where you go is NOT who you are. If you work hard, you’ll end up at a school that’s right for you, and still get a great education.

If you need to boost your GPA or test scores before application time rolls around, you should consider signing up for a course with Prep Expert. We offer one-on-one tutoring and classes, both in-person and online, at locations throughout the United States.

Our expert teachers and tutors will not only share with you tried and true methods for improving your score, but also help you correct deficiencies in any subject that you’re having difficulty with—English, Writing, Mathematics or Science. Additionally, online classes can be watched On Demand, so if you miss a class due to your busy schedule, you can catch it online later.

We have helped hundreds of students get the scores they need to attend the school of their dreams.

Best of luck with your applications and go check out Prep Expert!


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