Also known as UC Berkeley and simply Berkeley, the University of California, Berkeley is a public research college located in Berkeley, California. The school was founded in 1868 and is the oldest of 10 research universities that make up the University of California system. It is also commonly recognized as the best public university both in the country and worldwide. U.S. News & World Report ranks University of California, Berkeley third on its list of Best Global Universities in 2015, and in 2016, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings named the school as one of six leading universities in terms of world reputation rankings.

University of California – Berkeley Accreditation Details

University of California, Berkeley is accredited by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges. Both undergraduate electrical engineering and computer science majors are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

University of California – Berkeley Application Requirements

Acceptance into University of California, Berkeley is a two-step process. Prospective students must satisfy major and college requirements and be selected for enrollment. The school considers both personal and academic forms of achievement. All UC Berkeley applicants must meet the admission requirements of the University of California. Interested students must complete a minimum of 15 college preparatory courses, earn a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or better, submit a completed application and fee. The school has two paths to admission for California residents, including a local path and a statewide path.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Both undergraduates and graduates can expect to pay $14,068 per year for tuition. Nearly two-thirds of undergraduate students are eligible for financial aid, and eligible graduate students may receive work-study funds and federal student loans in addition to departmental fellowships and awards. Undergraduate and graduate students should begin the process of seeking financial aid by completing the Free Form for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), but graduate and professional students should not include parent information on this document. Types of loans include private loans, federal Perkins loans and federal direct subsidized/unsubsidized loans. However, master’s degrees are self-funded, and financial aid is generally not available for students seeking the five-year joint bachelor’s/master’s degree in computer science. In addition, UC Berkeley provides transitional courses, specialized student orientation and comprehensive financial aid packages to veteran students and active duty members.

Computer Science Degrees Available

Students seeking a computer science degree from UC Berkeley have two options. First, students may be enrolled at the College of Engineering in the Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences (EECS) major. Admission into the College of Engineering is competitive, but this path leads to a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree and is appropriate for students seeking an education in engineering. Second, students may be enrolled at the College of Letters & Sciences (L&S) and petition for admission into the computer science major. This path is designed for students seeking a wider education in the arts and sciences such as those who wish to double major in other Letters & Sciences field or those who are undecided regarding a major. This path leads to a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science degree.

Computer science coursework is the same in both the B.A. and B.S. programs. The difference lies in other courses students take, whether they are mainly humanities and social sciences or mainly engineering. Students interested in hardware may be better suited for the EECS path, while students interested in a double major in cognitive or math may be better suited for the L&S path.

Specifically, the Bachelor of Arts in computer science emphasizes the science aspect of computer science, which means that students will develop skills and knowledge about more than computer programming. The degree includes education in natural language processing, artificial intelligence, databases, computer graphics, scientific computation, operating systems, compilers, programming languages, the logic and architecture design of computers, the design and analysis of algorithms and the theory of computation. Students may expect to take coursework in machine structure, calculus, discrete mathematics and probability theory, designing information devices and systems, an introduction to robotics, an introduction to embedded systems, user interface design and development and programming languages and compilers. The school offers a number of approved non-computer science technical electives that students can take to broaden their education, including financial accounting, planetary astrophysics, game design methods, special topics in digital design theories and methods, cognitive neuroscience, basic issues in cognition, economic analysis, natural language processing, climate dynamics, mathematical methods in geophysics, mobile application design and development and an introduction to linguistic science.

UC Berkeley also offers a five-year B.S./M.S. program geared toward students seeking education beyond the undergraduate level. This path is not designed for students seeking a Ph.D. after graduation as those students are encouraged to apply for a specific Ph.D. program. However, students who begin the five-year B.S./M.S. or B.A./M.S. program may later change their minds and continue toward a Ph.D. if they so desire. The five-year program is not concurrent. Rather, students earn first earn their bachelor’s degree and then the master’s degree. However, students who carefully plan their education may be entitled to start their research projects and finish one or more course requirements at the master’s level while still remaining at the undergraduate level. Depending on the student’s pace throughout the undergraduate degree, he or she may enter the graduate level a year early.

The five-year program includes three main components, including breadth courses, a research project with a faculty advisor and technical courses. This path is focused on graduate education, and students must complete at least eight units of coursework outside what is required by the EECS. Students will receive interdisciplinary education and experience in related technical fields such as biology, statistics, materials science and physics as well as professional disciplines such as public policy, law, business and management technology. The program lasts one year, or two semesters, beyond the baccalaureate degree and is only available to UC Berkeley L&S and EECS computer science undergraduates. If admitted to the five-year program, students must start the graduate portion of the degree in the semester immediately after they receive their bachelor’s degree. Participants may also serve as graduate student instructors as long as they receive approval from the Five-Year M.S. Committee and their faculty research advisor.

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