UC Berkeley Class of 2027 Official Thread

Welcome prospective Cal Bears. It’s that time of year again as the UC application has now opened and submission starts October 1 through November 30 for this admission cycle. I am @Gumbymom one of the two UC Forum Champions/Moderators. My Co-Forum Champion is @lkg4answers and we are knowledgeable on the increasingly complicated UC admissions process and hopefully we can help any prospective UC applicants with their questions.

UC Berkeley like all the UC’s are test blind and will use 13 areas of criteria to review Freshman applicants. Each campus will weight the various areas of criteria differently so one size does not fit all.


The UC application website has plenty of information that can help determine if UC Berkeley is a good option when applying.

Below are some links to the UCB admission data from the UC Website: Freshman admit data | UC Admissions

Also there are changes in the admission process for High Demand majors listed below. For example, if apply for EECS in the College of Engineering, there is now an option to select CS in the College of Letters and Sciences as an alternate.
Art (Practice of)
Public Health
Media Studies
CS (L&S)
Data Science
Operations Research & Management Science
Global Studies
Political Economy
Social Welfare

  • Very important: Academic GPA, Personal Insight essays, Rigor of secondary school record
  • Important: Extracurricular activities, Volunteer work, Work experience
  • Considered: Character/personal qualities, First generation college student, State residency, AP/IBLH exam scores
    • Note: Thorough review of academic performance; likely contribution to intellectual and cultural vitality of the campus; diversity in personal background and experience; demonstrated qualities in leadership, motivation, concern for others and community; non-academic achievement in the performing arts, athletics or employment; demonstrated interest in major.
  • LOR’s by invitation only as of 2017
    Division (L&S, CNR, CoC, CED, CoE) matters for admission selectivity.

Within CoE (but not the other divisions), major matters for admission selectivity. Changing majors within the CoE after enrolling is not guaranteed, unless one is CoE undeclared.

Note that L&S admits students as undeclared; admission to High Demand majors see link: UC Berkeley Announces Fall 2022 Admissions Updates – Admissions Blog

Starting Fall 2024, the HAAS Business school will offer a 4 year Undergrad program and Freshman can apply as a direct admit. UC-Berkeley and transfer students may continue to apply for acceptance to the program as sophomores or Juniors.

All students who apply to UC Berkeley and select a major within the College of Natural Resources are evaluated based on their application, not on the particular major they select.

Best of luck to all applicants and here is a link to the Class of 2026 discussion which will have stats of the admitted class and other helpful information.

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@ucscuuw I’m pulling the discussion at the end of the 2026 thread over here.

It is interesting which L&S majors are considered “high demand.” I had no idea that Art (Practice) is in high demand. Is it a small major? Also, what exactly is Operations Research & Management Science? Is it a combo of data science and economics?

Edit: Looks like SkiEurope pulled the rest of the 2026 discussion over here and listed it below.

Big news from UCB, ability to put second choice major.


Seems like one of the more significant claims there is:

However, it only links to Academic Programs & Majors - Office of Undergraduate Admissions which says to “Check back for updates” on high demand L&S majors.

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This is consistent with the proposed CS policy - direct admit with a smaller discoverer pathway based on comprehensive review ala Haas/ORMS. This language now appears to apply that CS policy to other high demand majors such as DS.

Did I get this right, students have 2 choices now to declare CS? Directly at EECS and also LS (CS major)?

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It’s safe to assume you won’t get into EECS or CS if you declare as your 2nd choice. So technically may be (we will have to see the application form) but practically I’m not sure.

The application appears to allow you to select EECS as your major and L&S CS as your alternate and vice versa. It also lets you select two different high demand majors (ex. CS in L&S and Data Science) as your first and alternate choices.

Ya, basically this process will likely make DS way more competitive than today. There are no major barriers to declaring DS major currently but with the direct to major switch for CS will make a lot of candidates choose DS as the alternate.

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Well here we go again. One more HS senior to go. Good luck everyone. Time to start nagging my daughter about her essays.


ORMS is a big feeder to consulting and “optimization” type jobs including IB and software engineering. Its the BA equivalent of Industrial Engineering. And I think there are only 25 spots each year so competition is very intense including a 3.2 GPA requirement across Linear Algebra, Diff. Equations, Econ, and other Haas courses.

Interesting. Is it offered at other schools?

I think Columbia and MIT offer strong undergrad programs in OR. Columbia OR gets a lot of attention from wall street and so does MIT. At Cal, its a combo of consulting, IB, PE/VC analysts type jobs, in addition to software engineering.

Below is the first destination snapshot for Cal ORMS.


Yes, there are other schools that offer operations research (or something with a similar name) as a major, as a subarea of (applied) math, or as industrial engineering.

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Someone sent me this admit rate info from reddit. Posting this for what it’s worth. Apparently, its from CalAnswers


Those numbers make me feel sorry for all those students that actually indicated a CS intended major via L&S. They were honest about their intentions, and yet they went from 17.9% chance in 2020-21 down to a 2.9%. If they had not indicated their intent, they would still have had a ~10% admit chance, and they still could have majored in CS.

I expect that the LSCS admit rate will go up this year. Now that L&S essentially requires that you indicate it, if you want to have the chance to major in CS.

What does this mean for the NON high demand L&S major applicants?

D23 is applying L&S for a major in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Dept - will she be competing for a spot with other applicants applying undeclared L&S? Or will her choice of major be considered in the admissions decision? TIA

Based on the above information, if the major is housed in the College of Letters and Sciences, an applicant is still admitted Undeclared and will have to complete pre-req course/GPA requirements to declare the major if it is not a High Demand major.

For the High Demand majors, if that major is listed on the UC application and the applicant is admitted, they are guaranteed a spot in the major if they meet the requirements to declare.

Also regarding alternate majors: UC Berkeley’s advice remains that students should select the major they are most interested in as their primary major because the university will only guarantee a review of the primary major, while alternative majors will only be used if space is available, for example, as the university considers available space during the wait list process.


Does this mean that a student should not put a high demand / capped major as a second choice, because the second choice major would only be used after all the high demand programs are already full?

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