*UC Berkeley Class of 2025 discussion**

Now that the UC application submission filing period has opened, I have posted a thread for discussions regarding the UC campuses. Please post any questions of interest in regards to the specific UC campuses and the UC application process.

Best of luck to all.


Hello Gumbymom,

I have a question. My SD is deciding which major to apply for for UC Berkeley. My understanding is that they don’t admit students by major in L&S. SD wants to major in CS but thinks it’d be better to apply for less competitive major to get a better admission chance. Which understanding is correct?


UCB’s College of Letters and Sciences does not admit by major and all Freshman are admitted as Undeclared. To declare the CS major, she will need to meet the GPA and course pre-req’ s.

Complete CS 61A, CS 61B, and CS 70 with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.30 in those 3 courses in order to apply to the major.

That’s how I understood too. Thanks so much for the clarification, Gumbymom!

Why would they bother to even ask you your first and second choice major? If it was truly admission that was blinded by major, why even ask this question?

You can’t have 95% of the incoming class admitted to the college of Letters and Science be STEM/science/pre-med majors.

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@MrQster: That is why there is a secondary admission hurdle: The GPA and pre-req course requirements to be able to declare the major for these popular majors (weed out process).

@Gumbymom What you are saying is true. However, when you apply as a freshman to UC Berkeley to the College of Letters and Science, on the application it asked to put down your intended major. There is a reason for that. It may be just a minor consideration, but it is taken into consideration.

You can’t have all the humanities professors sitting on their hands with nothing to do.

I am sure there is a sorting process even if all Freshman are admitted as Undeclared and students do change their mind in regards to major. Approximately 30% of all college students will change their major after being accepted especially if they are unable to meet the GPA requirements.

UCB like most schools are pretty savvy when it comes to selecting a balanced Freshman class each year.

For OOS students does UCB ever waive the one year of Fine Arts credit?

The UC’s stance on the VPA requirement is that is a “Requirement” so unless you have extenuating circumstances such as VPA courses are not offered at your HS which makes it impossible to take a year of VPA, your application will be impacted during the application review.

The UC’s give you several options to fulfill the requirement:
1 Semester 3-4 unit course at a community college or
Score of 3, 4 or 5 on the AP History of Art, Studio Art or Music Theory Exam or
score of 5, 6 or 7 on any one IB HL exam in Dance, Film, Music, Theatre Arts or Visual Arts

If you want to be a competitive applicant, then you as a student need to make it happen and fulfill the requirement.

UC admissions quote:
“While the University of California has a set pattern of academic courses that are required for admission, we understand that these subject requirements may be difficult for some applicants to meet due to differences in school curriculum.

All applications for admission are reviewed within the context of courses available to them; if a particular required subject is not available, we will consider the application without it. We would not deny an applicant due to any one single criteria, therefore if the applicant is otherwise a strong competitive applicant but they are missing the VPA course (1 semester or the entire year) we can still admit that student.

There is no single academic path that we expect all students to follow, but the strongest applicants take the most rigorous high school curriculum available to them including a VPA course.”

Yes it is possible to be admitted without a VPA course but that would on a case by case basis.

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Thank you!

Can someone help me out please. I received a request to submit two letters of recommendation for UCB and I didn’t waive my right to access the letter. I am now regretting this decision so I went back to the portal to see if I can change it somehow. There is an option that says “Exclude” and I’m wondering if I can exclude the request then request the same person but I’ll waive my right to the recommendation this time. Is that possible? i’m so scared

That is interesting, do you mind sharing your stats, I am curious to hear if this is common?

They send the invitations to about 15% of applicants. my stats aren’t that good (4.09 uc gpa, 4.0 uw, average extracurriculars)

Seems like a good sign. Good Luck!

Thank you but can you help with my issue i stated up there? sorry im just kinda nervous

Sorry I don’t have any insight.

Thank you, i appreciate it.

I think you can resend the request again with your waive my right to access the letter checked in this time. My son applied for a summer program last year and by mistake didn’t waive his access and his teacher only sent a reply back to him saying that he needs to waive his access, and so he resent it. You should be able to do so, just email to your teacher separately that the first request was sent without the waive to access and not to consider that one. Hope this helps!

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That really helped a lot, thank you soo much. I just changed it. I also noticed that the ones I excluded still display on the page. Do you think it will have any kind of negative impact when they review my letters?