UC Berkeley or Cal Poly SLO?

Hi everyone! I am trying to narrow down my college list & wanted to choose between either UC Berkeley or Cal Poly SLO to apply to. I will study political science (pre-law) so cost is an important factor for me (I am a California resident so I’ll pay in-state tuition). Here are my pros/cons for each school:

UC Berkeley:
-more “prestige” outside of California
-more of an urban location
-very politically active community/liberal
-better political science departments

-not the best location (lots of homeless at Berkeley + close to home)
-bigger class sizes
-grade deflation (grades are very important for law school so I’m worried about this)

Cal Poly SLO:
-smaller class sizes
-I like their political science concentrations
-I can be admitted to their public policy masters program straight from undergrad (would be a great option if I don’t go to law school)
-newer/better campus additions

-less diverse than Berkeley
-Cal Poly is a very small town
-less opportunities than at Berkeley?
-less “prestige” than Berkeley
-not the best for Poli sci

Any advice? Thanks!

Are you a Freshman or Transfer? Are you applying for Class of 2025?

If you are a Junior, then apply to both. If you are a Senior, you are out of luck.

UCB Freshman application deadline was December 4 and Transfer was January 4.

SLO’s application deadline was December 15.

If you want to see actual grade distributions at UCB, take a look at:

CPSLO does not have publicly available grade distributions.