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UC-Berkeley vs. CalTech

PediatricHopefulPediatricHopeful Posts: 297Registered User Junior Member
edited April 2006 in College Search & Selection
Which is more prestigious or a better college in general? Berkeley or Caltech?

Thanks for any info.
Post edited by PediatricHopeful on
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Replies to: UC-Berkeley vs. CalTech

  • KingJames23KingJames23 Posts: 671Registered User Member
    Overall, Caltech...but it really depends what you major you want to pursue.
  • PediatricHopefulPediatricHopeful Posts: 297Registered User Junior Member
    How about for these majors: Applied Mathematics and Molecular Biology/Biochemistry?
  • ckmets13ckmets13 Posts: 2,294Registered User Senior Member
    definitely caltech
  • Drew00Drew00 Posts: 2,964Registered User Senior Member
    'prestige' wise - caltech.

    But, I feel that UC Berkeley offers the better college experience and would attend UCB over Caltech in a heart beat.
  • Doc2beDoc2be Posts: 95Registered User Junior Member
    Caltech for sure.
  • frozen-tearsfrozen-tears Posts: 1,046Registered User Senior Member
    Caltech, hands down. Caltech will give you an immeasurably better education.

    However, having said that, Caltech is not for everyone. It has a small, close community -- 900 undergrads, as opposed to 18,000 or so at Berkeley. There aren't as many women. There aren't as many parties. It is HARD. It is so hard that competition doesn't really exist, because (1) you either get it or you don't, and (2) you're going to need each other just to survive. Academics is grueling, literally. As a result, it can be difficult to get into a top medical school (which is what I'm assuming you want to do from your username) because of the lower GPA.

    Then again, the campus is absolutely gorgeous, and the students tend to be laid back despite the difficulty of their classes. If you find it absolutely thrilling to spend four of the intellectually best years of your life in mental boot camp, then Caltech is the place to go. :)
  • KingJames23KingJames23 Posts: 671Registered User Member
    I completely agree with Drew. UCB would offer a much better social life, and some people just don't like schools smaller than their HS like Caltech is. Berekely is a decent size, has parties if you like partying, and has some pretty good sports teams that compete in the PAC10. If I had to choose between the two, I would take Berkeley. Yes, even if I did engineering or whatever are Caltech's strenghts. Social life means a ton to me considering whatever college I go to WILL be the place I live for the next FOUR years. Besides, Berkeley's an elite public school.

    99% of CC will disagree with this ^^^^. But you know what? Tough sh-it. I'm entitled to my opinions and there are QUITE a few schools I would take over Caltech...not just UCB.

    Now don't get me wrong, Caltech is a phenominal school. But, it's not for alot of people out there.
  • PediatricHopefulPediatricHopeful Posts: 297Registered User Junior Member
    I visited UCB and the campus seemed gigantic compared to CalTech. Are CalTech students always studying or do they have time to get involved in EC's (I know thats important when considering med-schools.)? Is Berkeley a better city than Pasadena?

    Thanks for the responses.
  • frozen-tearsfrozen-tears Posts: 1,046Registered User Senior Member
    Caltech students do study a lot, but they aren't usually always studying. There are a lot of fun things to do, and you're only half an hour or so from downtown Los Angeles if you're looking to do work at a medical center or that sort of thing. There are a huge variety of activities, though not as much as Berkeley has due to the population size... I admit, however, that for many of the students, the main EC activity is research. Techers tend to be passionate about research, and positions in labs with brilliant profs are relatively limitless. This can be a plus for you -- doing research and getting published can be a big advantage for med school.
  • VonWeberVonWeber Posts: 24Registered User New Member
    I'm making the decision between Caltech and Berkeley as well (as a biochemistry major looking to go to grad school not med school.)
  • DRabDRab Posts: 6,107Registered User Senior Member
    Overall? Overall, I would say Berkeley, really. For many, this is not the case, but let's not forget about the HUGE chunk of students outside of the sciences. For the op, this might not be important.

    Berkeley's campus is really not that big, and after a week, becomes quite manageable.

    frozen-tears, I don't know if Berkeley's population size has to do with it having more activities. I'm not sure if you're talking about school population, or population of the city, but the city of Berkeley has a lot of interesting things to do, as does SF, which is qiute accessible from Berkeley. The campus also has a wide variety of things going on daily.

    There are certain advantages Caltech offers that Berkeley cannot. I think that the two schools have different atmospheres, and you will likely enjoy one over the other during your roughly four years in college.
  • frozen-tearsfrozen-tears Posts: 1,046Registered User Senior Member
    I'm saying that the fact that there are more students at Berkeley probably means there are more student organizations.
  • DRabDRab Posts: 6,107Registered User Senior Member
    Oh. Certainly. hundreds more, I imagine.
  • lewisloftuslewisloftus Posts: 328Registered User Member
    I imagine there'd be a lot more cute guys and girls at Berkeley than at CalTech, if that's important to you. ;)
  • danielkwakdanielkwak Posts: 159Registered User Junior Member
    Are you gay or a lesbian?
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