Computer Science (Berkeley vs. UCLA)

<p>Ok, so I've got like two days left to make a very difficult decision. I'm a transfer applicant who was accepted into Berkeley and UCLA for computer science. Here's the deal: I realize that Berkeley is way more respected than UCLA for computer science. I also like Berkeley's program better, since it is in the college of letters and science and allows me some freedom in my course selection. At UCLA, my entire schedule for the next two/three years is totally planned out and doesn't really allow me to take anything except computer science and engineering courses. So as far as academics go, Berkeley wins. Right? Or is UCLA's program better than I'm giving it credit for?</p>

<p>The thing is, I felt a lot more comfortable at UCLA. UCLA feels like my dream school, while Berkeley would likely be a big adjustment. I like the fact that UCLA has a "work hard, play hard" vibe, while it seems that Berkeley might just be too nerdy and "study all day" for my personality.</p>

<p>Is the difference in quality of program large enough that I should just go to Berkeley anyways? I mean, I didn't hate Berkeley and I don't think I will be unhappy there. Plus it's only for two/three more years. I felt a lot more comfortable at LA though. What would you recommend?</p>

<p>Bumped for help with a tough decision!</p>

<p>It won't hurt you if you just want a standard job after graduation, but Berkeley will help significantly for:</p>

<p>1) prestigious companies e.g. Google
2) banking/consulting jobs
3) graduate school admissions (for rec letters you want profs well-known in their field; this goes a long, long way)
4) anything international (Berkeley is more famous)</p>

<p>If none of that interests you, then go with UCLA.</p>

<p>Isn't Berkeley's L&S Computer Science program end up with a BA rather than a BS? I don't know what difference that makes, and even if there isn't one, go to UCLA. Why?</p>

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<p>Yeah, at Berkeley's computer science you end up with a B.A. That's one of the reasons I like it better. I have room in my schedule there to take a more diverse set of classes. It's certainly not like they're limited there because of the B.A.</p>

<p>And sure I felt more comfortable at UCLA, but, it's closer to home and I've been there three times. I'm bound to feel more comfortable there. I'm feeling like maybe it's a good idea to just give Berkeley a shot and get a new diverse experience. I don't know. I'm lost.</p>

<p>I went to Berkeley for a tour last month, and i too totally got that "nerdy + study all-day" vibe from it. I've never been to UCLA, but i've had a few friends that have been on tours on both campuses, they said they like UCLA alot better because of the feel you get from it. I'm just a high school student, but in my opinion, i'd say go for whichever suits your personality better.</p>

<p>My son's CS friends say that UCLA's Computer Science is well respected, but it's just not as cut-throat as UC Berkeley (especially the dreaded CS 150 class). Where do you ultimately want to end up working, NorCal or SoCal? And which school do you think you will be happiest at? Because that counts for a lot, unhappy students are less motivated.</p>

<p>I'm not sure where I'd like to end up working. I really haven't been to northern california ever except when I went to visit Berkeley. It may turn out I really like it up there.</p>

<p>The happiness thing is too tough to call. Right off the bat, I like UCLA better. But like I said, I live close to the area, and I've visited the campus 3 times. I only got to visit Berkeley once and it was while school was not in session. I didn't love it, but I didn't really get the true vibe of the school either. However, Berkeley has the program I prefer (bachelor of arts gives me more free room in my schedule), while UCLA's program leaves me feeling a bit restricted. I loved the overall environment and atmosphere of UCLA though...</p>

<p>So I guess what I'm saying is is there enough of a reputation difference between the two that I should take the risk and go to Berkeley? Or should I just go where I know I'll enjoy myself, UCLA?</p>

<p>Go with whatever fits your personality the best. And best wishes to you wherever you decide to enroll. Good Luck! :)</p>

<p>Like I said, it's a tough choice. I do feel like UCLA had the better vibe, but I wonder whether the reputation of Berkeley's program is enough to just choose it.</p>

<p>It seems like the ability to diversify your classes also contributes to wellness in the same way you would like UCLA. In my opinion, it seems like if you like Berkeley enough to consider it then it should be fine because taking classes you don't want to take SUCKS. It's likely to happen anyway but anything you can do to have a say in the matter I think is a good idea.</p>

<p>Plus, it'll help you in the future for whatever endeavors you attempt to pursue (grad school, top company, etc.).</p>

<p>My dad is a senior software architect at Yahoo! and he hires UCLA B.S grads every time. He says there really is no difference in skill between Berkeley, Cornell, and UCLA grads...although he did notice the UCLA ones were more social. He's rejected countless Berkeley grads over a UCLA ones because the UCLA grads seemed to know the people skills (not to mention they were pretty skillful). But then again, he too has rejected UCLA grads over Berkeley ones.</p>

<p>My uncle is a Chief architect at Google. He once rejected a Harvard comp sci major to pick a UCLA one. </p>

<p>Now my dad and uncle do note that comp sci majors from MIT and Caltech are at another level...haha.</p>

<p>Chose UCLA. Sure Berkeley's got the prestige, but that's just not the most important thing for me. UCLA felt right. When I visited UCLA, I felt like I was at Disneyland. When I visited Berkeley I felt like "Ok, so UCLA for me".</p>

<p>No brainer. Thanks for all the help guys.</p>

<p>Nice choice!</p>