UC Berkley or USC

Hey guys!! I’m trying to choose between UCB and USC. Both universities do suit me but I really want to go to a place where I’d adjust easily. I personally like USC more, but I want to make sure I’m making the right choice. I’m a neuroscience/biology (still deciding) major and planning to go into research. Im an international student, (but I was born and raised in California for 14 years), so I can’t really visit the campus. Academics are important to me and I do like individual attention with teachers. I like people who study but also know how to have fun. Please help!!!

Well, your own comments seem to describe USC better in terms of your wish list. USC and UCB are both elite universities. USC is private and has far fewer undergraduates. UCB is public and has far more undergraduates. They both have very nice campuses.

Many - even just taking one major at an UC - find that it takes 5 years to finish a Bachelor’s Degree due to the extra required GEs and distribution requirements and trouble coordinating classes, etc. Plus the class sizes tend to be larger. Many are primarily taught by TAs.

Meanwhile, at USC, it is very common to be able to accomplish double majoring or having 2-3 minors while still graduating on time.

Neither of my daughters or any of their friends applied to UCs or even considered it, but they were also OOS. Personally, I had very little interest in sending my daughters to any state university, but that might have changed if we were CA residents, as California actually has great public universities. That is not really the case in FL. As OOS, we never even considered any UC.

As I have mentioned on this thread before, I would suggest taking a look at the Niche College Rankings… comparing USC and other colleges and universities using some of their rankings, metrics and measurements. The Niche Rankings and Grades are mainly based on survey results from past and current students and faculty, and they delve into a number of areas that really highlight the topics that will most impact you once there as an actual student on campus.

For those curious… USC ranks #19 overall on the Niche College Rankings and its grades are: A+ for its Overall Niche Grade… and then by category: Academics A+, Value A+, Diversity A+, Campus A+, Athletics A+, Party Scene A+, Professors A+, Location B+, Dorms A-, Campus Food A-, Student Life A+, Safety B. But here is likely the best indicator… USC is ranked #1 out of 1579 colleges and universities surveyed in terms of “Best Student Life” overall.

Good luck reaching your decision…

@WWWard Thanks so much! I really appreciate the help, and from what I gathered UCB seems to be more rigorous academically. Can anyone tell me more about the type of crowd, diversity, etc at both schools?

You’re welcome.

I don’t think anyone should rely on the Niche “rankings.” Its a random bunch of responses that has no methodology behind it. Just view it as some anecdotes.

The USNWR is far more credible especially on viewing the overall ranking of the school.

For what it is worth, UCB is ranked #22 while USC is #24 in the latest USNWR rankings, negligible. The previous 2 years, they were tied at #22 and a year prior both tied at #21. If you are looking at the global reputation, UCB is more renowned due to the graduate school programs. However, you get an excellent education at either school.

In my opinion, UCB’s environment is more rigorous and cutthroat than at USC. In general, USC class sizes are smaller than UCB. In terms of safety, at both schools, students have to be vigilant and be aware of their surroundings. USC is very well patrolled by security and students get free Uber rides within the patrolled areas (about 2 mile radius).

This thread was started in March so I assume OP already made his/her choice.

Closing thread for this reason.