UC Berkeley Class of 2028 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. UCB does consider AP/IB scores in their admission process.


Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Freshmen Requirements

PIQ specifics: Personal Insight Questions - Office of Undergraduate Admissions

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

UCB will consider all 3 UC GPA’s, the emphasis will be on the Unweighted and Fully Weighted UC GPA’s.

  • 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 requires you select those Majors are your 1st choice. An alternate major can be listed but mainly used during the waitlist process.


Starting Fall 2024, the HAAS Business school will offer a 4 year Undergrad program and Freshman can apply as a direct admit.
Here is more information: High School Students - Undergraduate Program - Berkeley Haas

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 the select.

Best of luck to all applicants.



Data are still preliminary for 2023 admits, but this most recent 3-year trend might be useful for those Class of 2028 students interested in applying to Berkeley in this year’s cycle.


Wow, CNR/Rausser has really dropped over the last two years.

I remember reading on the 2027 thread that some private college advisors were advising students to apply to CNR as a backdoor into UCB. Perhaps that door has being closed (as it should be, imo).

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@parent365 thanks so much. what does the data look like for california applicants only?

I don’t think UC Berkeley publishes the acceptance rate by undergraduate college AND also by residency, at least I’ve never found it. Berkeley does publish some really interesting data that consolidates the admissions data for the past 3 classes, but that data right now is only updated thru the class that entered in fall 2022. (Google “Berkeley Office of Planning & Analysis” – lots of interesting admissions data.)

The chart I posted was based on a data extract someone did from Cal Answers, which was detailed enough to see the applicant counts and admits by college. But I think those with access to Cal Answers are usually campus staff and administration, not regular folk like me.


I agree with @parent365 that I have never found admit data by college and residency for UCB nor any other UC since I have been on CC. Only overall campus admit rates by residency. Here are the 2023 numbers for California applicants:

Hello, I am a current senior in h.s. and want to apply to the Spieker business program. I noticed on the Berkeley website that if not admitted into the program they don’t consider an alternate major. Berkeley is my top choice, and I’m not sure if I should apply under a different major( and apply to hass my soph. year) Do you think this program will be as competitive as other Hass 4-year programs such as M.E.T, Global Management, etc?

Sophomore students will still be able to apply to the business major — however, fewer spots will be available for continuing students as the program transitions to a four-year model.

I am not sure how long the transition will take, but I would apply for the Freshman direct admit program this year for the best chances.

Before this year, the Freshman admit rate for the “Intended Business Admin” major in the College of L&S was around 9%. Not as low as MET and GMP which have been less than 5%.

UCB alternate major option is also something new which began in 2023, however they will only guarantee a review of the primary major while alternates will only be used if space is available such as during the waitlist process.

Bottom line, if you want to pursue Business at UCB, apply as a direct admit Freshman.

Best of luck.

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I’m wondering your thoughts on submitting AP Test scores that are 3’s? Not the best score, but at least passing.

This has been brought several times over the years and the consensus is self report 4’s and 5’s since 3’s will not add to your application. Many admitted students did not submit any scores so although they are considered in the application review, the course grade vs the score is more important.

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Generally 3s aren’t elgible to obtain AP credit where available although there may be some exceptions. So, there is no real value in reporting scores 1-3.

Obligatory USNWR post keeping with the theme of the day. Updated Berkeley rankings:

National - 15
Engineering - 3
CS - 2
Data Science - 1
Business - 2
Psychology - 1
Econ - 1
Undergrad teaching - 62
Undergrad research - 13

This one is a bit unfortunate, of course.

I’ve never really dug into the ratings - how exactly is this determined?

Its not based on actual teaching quality.

The rankings for Best Undergraduate Teaching, as part of the 2024 Best Colleges rankings, focus on schools whose faculty and administrators are committed to teaching undergraduate students in a high-quality manner. College presidents, provosts and admissions deans who participated in the annual U.S. News peer assessment survey were asked to nominate up to 15 schools in their Best Colleges ranking category that have strength in undergraduate teaching.

The Best Undergraduate Teaching rankings are based solely on the responses to this separate section of the 2023 peer assessment survey.

Huh, that seems an odd way to determine it. But I guess rankings are always very subjective.