Any input on either the Environmental Studies departments at these schools or the culture in general at these two schools? We are going to visit but both campuses are technically closed and it is hard to get a real “feel” for the schools. Also any input on what campuses will be like in the fall? Thanks!
I went to UCSB for undergrad and Berkeley for grad school. They are very different in many ways. I can’t speak about that particular major but can help share my view on the difference in vibe.
UCSB is 90% undergrads and 10% grad students.
UCB is closer to 2/3 undergrad and 1/3 grad students.
UCSB is 20 minutes north of Santa Barbara in its own community on the coast. It has a beachy college town of Isla Vista adjacent to campus. Average age in IV is 20 years old. Students bike to campus and around town. It has a reputation of a party school. Regardless of whether one is drinking or not, there is always something happening - especially on weekends. UCSB is on the quarter system (three 10 week terms) which is faster paced than the semester system.
UCB is an urban campus with the city of Berkeley being a mix of college students and residents. Berkeley is built on a hill and most students walk or take the bus to school. The average age in Berkeley is 31 years old. Berkeley is a Pac-12 school with both basketball and football teams. Berkeley is on the semester system.
Although classes are competitive at both schools, Berkeley students tend to be more “cutthroat” than UCSB.
When you visit, make sure you stop and eat in Isla Vista. Sit outside and people watch. Do the same in Berkeley - find a place on Telegraph within a block or two of campus.