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UC Berkeley vs. UCLA

casrolcasrol Posts: 27Registered User New Member
edited April 2008 in College Search & Selection
I am in a big dilemma here! Can anyone help point me anywhere? My declared major right now is pre-business, but it is most likely going to be changed into political science( i am also interested in law, sociology, psychology)...

I visited both campuses and here are my observatiosn(tell me if you agree/disagree with me): UCLA seems so so so impressive that I feel it is very uptight. Like I am in a very prestigious college campus. Berkeley seems more relaxing with the random streams, all the grass, trees etc.) Westwood is very nice however, whereas Berkeley is sorta the opposite....

I also do understand that CAL is ranked higher than UCLA....how big of a factor is this?

Also, I am of the independent type, wanting to get away from home. I live 20 minutes away from Berkeley. Most of my friends are going down south(UCLA, UCSB, UCI, UCSD). I like the feeling of going away to a place far away. I really dont like the feeling of knowing that you are right next to home...

Are there any differences I shuld also consider??

And given what i said above, what should I take?

Do people usually default to CAL(because it is ranked higher) unless they find something in UCLA that they raelly like?(i.e good vibes, extremely like the campus, surrounding areas). because after visiting UCLA, i think i LIke berkleys better b/c it is more relaxing.

I am just confused.

Any help would be greatly welcomed

Thank you!
Post edited by casrol on
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Replies to: UC Berkeley vs. UCLA

  • liek0806liek0806 Posts: 3,316Registered User Senior Member
    go with the school you think your personality fits better with, and it seems like that may be berkely.
  • dhl3dhl3 Posts: 2,666Registered User Senior Member
    UCLA can be relaxing too.
    Not everyone at UCLA are running wild crazy jamming and partying 24/7 and going to hollywood for clubbing and drinking, etc. And not everyone at Cal are pot-smoking laid back Hippies either. As a matter of fact, I heard in terms of academics, UCLA is more laid back and relaxed whereas Berkeley tend to be cut-throat competitive among students. This isn't to say that UCLA is academically easy or anything (trust me on this, it isn't), but from what I've heard, one major major complaint that I hear from Berkeley students is its infamous competition, and I'm sure you've heard about it too.

    And please don't choose a school based on ranking. As a matter of fact, don't put ANY factor into ranking on these two schools because the difference between Cal's rank and UCLA's rank is the same as comparing Harvard & Stanford, Duke & Cornell, and Emory & Carnegie Mellon. The small difference in number is negligible enough to guarantee you the same education quality and career opportunity regardless where you go.
  • JP_OmnipotenceJP_Omnipotence Posts: 465Registered User Member
    I have to agree with the above posters. A tiny difference in rank like that between UCLA and UC berkeley is no reason to attend one school over the other.

    Choose the school you like best.
  • UCBChemEGradUCBChemEGrad Posts: 10,079Registered User Senior Member
    If you're pre-business though, Berkeley's Haas is a much better business program than UCLA's bizecon. However, there are no guarantees - you have to apply to Haas during your sophomore year and acceptance rate is around 50%.
  • UCLA Band MomUCLA Band Mom Posts: 1,180Registered User Senior Member
    Berkeley seems more relaxing with the random streams, all the grass, trees etc

    You would probably enjoy UCLA's Japanese Garden and Sculpture Garden. :)

    UCLA Hannah Carter Japanese Garden

    Hammer Museum: Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden
  • mikemacmikemac Posts: 7,356Registered User Senior Member
    Also, I am of the independent type, wanting to get away from home. I live 20 minutes away from Berkeley. Most of my friends are going down south(UCLA, UCSB, UCI, UCSD). I like the feeling of going away to a place far away. I really dont like the feeling of knowing that you are right next to home...
    This seems something you should think about. If you go to Cal you'll enjoy the streams and grassy areas, but is that worth the tradeoff of not getting away?

    I don't know the answer for you; nobody does, maybe not even you. Welcome to life in the adult world! The tradeoffs are often murky, and even when somewhat clear (as in this case) are still often hard to evaluate.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 21,453Registered User Senior Member
    I have to disagree with dhl regarding competitiveness -- both can be competitive. The statistical differences between students are minimal -- plenty of high SAT & AP scorers on both campuses fighting for top grades in the premed & engineering classes. OTOH, humanities at each is much more collegial.
  • UCBChemEGradUCBChemEGrad Posts: 10,079Registered User Senior Member
    Cal is on the semester system, UCLA is on the quarter system.

    Advantages to semester:
    Month long winter break around holidays, less tests, more time to absorb material, more forgiving if you have to skip a class, only have to buy textbooks and register for classes twice per year.
    Start late August - finish early-mid May

    Disadvantages to semester:
    Longer time in a class that could potentially bore you.

    Advantages to quarter:
    Quicker pace, more variety of classes and profs, start late September.

    Disdavantages to quarter:
    Need to buy books and register 3 times per year, more exams, less time to explore additional subject matter.
    Start late September - finish mid June.

    I'm biased to the semester system. Others like quarters.
    It may not be the deciding factor in choosing a college, but it is a factor to consider.
  • DunninLADunninLA Posts: 4,272Registered User Senior Member
    The top 20% of both Berkeley and UCLA's undergraduates (which is probably the group you'll be competing with for internships, jobs, graduate school, Haas school, etc.) test score on par with CHYMPS schools.... I found an interesting graph showing the SAT scores by band (750-800, 700-750, etc.) and at both UCLA and Cal the top 20% of matriculated students clustered around 740 on both test = 1480.

    So as far as competiveness goes, the competition for As, for research opportunities, etc. will be just as high at either school, and on par with any school in the country.

    Where UCLA and Cal will differ from many private schools is the more relaxed competition in the next 80% of the class. Not hard at all to get Bs.
  • Columbia_StudentColumbia_Student Posts: 5,046Registered User Senior Member
    I'm biased to the semester system.

    You are biased to UCB period. :D
  • UCBChemEGradUCBChemEGrad Posts: 10,079Registered User Senior Member
  • laika08laika08 Posts: 3Registered User New Member
    I got accepted to both ucla and cal. I like both schools, but i don't know which one I should go to. I am planning to double major in political science and some type of engineering
  • UCLA Band MomUCLA Band Mom Posts: 1,180Registered User Senior Member
    laika,

    Consider other factors about the two schools and how they apply to you. Did you feel more comfortable at one or the other? Can you picture yourself living on campus? What about distance from home, do you want to go to a campus that is closer or farther away? My son made this same decision 4 years ago and he has been very happy and successful at UCLA engineering. Wherever you go, good luck to you. :)
  • Columbia_StudentColumbia_Student Posts: 5,046Registered User Senior Member
    laika,
    You should consider whether you like quarter/semester. Quarter system is very fast and semester is not as fast. If you have some ECs that you would like to do while you are in college, the semester system is better. Good luck with your decision. They are both great schools.
  • kenf1234kenf1234 Posts: 1,865Registered User Senior Member
    This is a huge problem with Berkeley. A lot of Berkeley-types live near Berkeley. Their kids would be happiest at Berkeley, but since they grow up near Berkeley, the kids want to go somewhere else for college.

    I wouldn't go to UCLA just go get away from Berkeley. If you want to get away, do a year abroad.
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