Deciding between Berkeley and UCSD -- ECE/EECS

<p>[I've posted this in the UCSD forum as well to get the fairest answer possible]</p>

<p>I'm having a really hard time deciding between the two for electrical engineering. I was set on UCSD, but after I visited Berkeley for the first time at Cal Day...well, this decision is going to be a lot harder than I imagined. This is how I'm looking at it:</p>

<p>UC Berkeley:
-EE+CS combination (I initially wanted to major in computer science around the beginning of high school because I like the whole programming thing. I think this would be a great way for me to get experience in both EE and CS and decide which one I ultimately like better; or perhaps I may like both equally )
-Prestigious EECS program/Silicon Valley location (easier to get jobs/internships than with UCSD, I'd imagine)
-Lots of trees on campus and an urban surrounding
-Lots of school spirit/pride</p>

-Cost (UCSD will be free; Berkeley will cost me ~$9000 a year in loans/work study)
-Competitive/incredibly difficult (those EECS horror stories are hard to get over; I'm afraid of harsh curves and getting a poor GPA that will make it next to impossible to get into a good graduate school)
-Theft (I'm scared as HELL of getting my laptop or headphone rig stolen)
-Big residence halls (hard to socialize/meet new friends?)</p>

-Honors program
-Proximity to the beach (The view at La Jolla cliffs of the ocean was beautiful; I could definetly see this as a great location for headphone listening outside)
-6 college system (easier to socialize and meet new friends, I'd imagine)
-Relaxed environment around campus
-New CalIT2 building (very cool)</p>

-Relative lack of prestige/location (harder to get jobs/internships compared to Berkeley?)
-TOO relaxed (not as much school spirit (virtually no sports?) and out-spoken attitude as Berkeley)?
-Prestige again (Ugh, I can't get over the idea that I may be selling myself short by going to UCSD, considering that I got into Berkeley EECS)</p>

<p>What do you guys think? Any help is much appreciated.</p>

<p>I think that you're completely wrong about the social environments. It is extremely easy to make a ton of new friends as a freshman at Cal in the residence halls.</p>

<p>UCSD is the LEAST social of the UCs (except for maybe Merced, but that doesn't count). The 6 College System at SD makes it really difficult for social life as does the fact that La Jolla is about as far away from a college town as one can get.</p>

<p>^ always picking on Merced -_-, I happen to disagree with that statement. Having visted Merced and UCSD, I found Merced to be the more socal campus.</p>

<p>uhh, La Jolla does have a somewhat college feel, it is a somewhat small beach community</p>

<p>and UCSD is social, just because keggers are not prominent doesn't mean that it is hard to meet people</p>

<p>My concern for being able to meet friends and socialize at Berkeley is just in line with how competitive the school is, particularly engineer majors. I'm just worried that there's going to be a lot of engineer majors on my floor/as my roommate...and I guess I'm just picturing the stereotypical Asian student that will focus all on academics and won't really want to socialize.</p>

<p>I'm in a similar bind, but I think that getting into a top graduate school is easier if I go to Berkeley. I feel that going in to either school, I have an edge (especially at SD), so the difficulty of classes, as long as everything is relative and on a curve, is not my main concern, although I will admit that Berkeley is not a sure thing when it comes to getting a 3.5. At Berkeley I will just be another student, and it will be much harder to get those good letters of recommendation... but if I do get them, then they are worth it. At SD, there are research opportunities galore, but the recs will carry less weight simply because the professors are not as well-known. On the other hand, SD is moving up the ranks at a tremendous rate, and if they can catch up to Berkeley in four years (which is very possible), then it will have been worth it. </p>

<p>Also, don't worry about the job and internship situation - there are a plethora of them at SD with comparable salaries.</p>

<p>Go to the school that you think you'll be most comfortable with because that's where you'll do the best. As far as UCSD "catching" Berkeley, sorry but that's not gonna happen any time soon. Not that UCSD couldn't become just as good as Cal in EECS, but it takes a long, long time to for a school's reputation to change. Berkeley will still be Berkeley when we are in our 80s.</p>

<p>Look at the ranking for engineering. And trust me!!!! You want to be at Cal. UCSD catching Berkeley is a joke. You don't have to worry about that!!!! I promise you!!!! I have friends at UCSD who are EECS major...</p>

<p>For graduate school, GPA is not the only thing. They look at recommendations and researches too. But don't worry about graduate school just yet. Wait until your second year to make that decision.</p>

<p>"-Theft (I'm scared as HELL of getting my laptop or headphone rig stolen)"</p>

<p>That'll happen wherever you go. Just make sure not to leave it unattended.</p>

<p>kyledavid80 - Well, the EECS student panel specifically mentioned that we need to be very careful with our laptops and stuff and that theft is very common in the dorms.</p>

<p>I haven't heard of any cases of losing laptops yet... I lost my bike though :(</p>


<p>I was in the same boat few yrs ago about either UCSD vs Berkeley. I choose Berkeley and still kinda regret it. But to tell you the truth, it doesn't really matter what college you go to. I am now graduating and am just so happy to get out of this crazy place. If you're from so cal by the way like I am expect HUGE changes and get ready to face a lot more hardships if you come here.</p>

<p>As evident in the space where it says "location" under my user name, I'm in Nor Cal.</p>

<p>Laptops are not going to get stolen if you have common sense. Don't leave it unattended in a public room. Tie it up with a kensington lock. Granted the lock is just a deterrent and won't stop theives if they really wanted your laptop-it seems that most laptops are stolen because thieves could just "swipe" them away without any hassle.</p>

<p>Berkeley is an amazing place. I find that those who say they regret going to Berkeley haven't taken advantage of all the opportunities and great things Berkeley has to offer. Comparing to other public universities, you'll be hard pressed to find a college with a better reputation (country and world), more resources, great academics, and a sea of interesting people to meet and things to do.</p>

<p>Of course there will be people who will disagree with what I just said, but the point is Berkeley is pretty cool, and I've enjoyed my time here...even though classes sometimes can be so brutal...</p>