Originally Posted by texaspg
It takes a lot of effort and planning to finish engineering at Cal in 4 years. So switching from one school to another might stretch your graduation time period. If you are serious about Cal, you might be better off starting inside California in another college than Penn State because you will probably be doing what is needed at Cal in the first year.
It is not that difficult for freshmen in Berkeley engineering to finish in 8 semesters (especially since Berkeley engineering is so selective now that most come in with AP credit for math). However, junior transfers often have a more difficult time finishing in 4 semesters, since their prior colleges (whether California community colleges that provide the bulk of junior transfers, or other four year schools) often do not have exact matches for the necessary lower division courses, so they have to take those courses to "catch up" after transfer. This can be an issue with any transfer.
The colleges that provide the best coverage for Berkeley lower division courses for transfer purposes are likely community colleges near Berkeley (e.g. Diablo Valley or Laney). However, they may not have as good coverage for other UCs and CSUs, or private or out-of-state universities, and have other issues like extreme course overcrowding at some (because they are open admission, while reducing capacity due to budget cuts).
Penn State is still a very respectable school for engineering, so you should not be dissatisfied with attending for four years and graduating from there.