University of California, Berkeley

The University of California was chartered in 1868 and its flagship campus — envisioned as a “City of Learning” — was established at Berkeley, on San Francisco Bay. Today the world’s premier public university and a wellspring of innovation, UC Berkeley occupies a 1,232 acre campus with a sylvan 178-acre central core. From this home its academic community makes key contributions to the economic and social well-being of the Bay Area, California, and the nation.

Student demographics

  • Total Fall 2011 Enrollment: 36,142
  • Undergraduate students: 25,885
  • Graduate & professional students: 10,257

Undergraduate facts:

  • Gender: 53% female, 47% Male
  • Geographic distribution: 82% from California, 9% rest of US, 9% International
  • More than 90 countries represented. Top 5 (from most recent freshman and transfer entering classes): China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Mexico, India
  • Average time to degree for full-time freshmen: 3.98 years
  • Student to Faculty ratio: 15 to 1
  • 1,580 full time faculty, 500 part-time faculty

ESL program and/or support services

The university does not provide ESL services on campus. UC Berkeley Extension, the continuing education branch of the university, offers an Intensive Academic English Program for intermediate to advanced English learners. In addition, UC Berkeley Summer Sessions offers summer study in English.   There are also opportunities for students to find writing, editing and other academic English assistance in open labs, workshops and other venues on campus.  You can find a list of various ESL resources on our website here.

Student Housing options

There are many ways to find on-campus or off-campus housing at Berkeley. You can begin your search at the Cal Housing website. You may find links to temporary and permanent housing resources here.

Admission requirements

All freshman applicants to UC Berkeley are required to graduate from secondary school, sit for the SAT Reasoning exam or the ACT with Writing component exam, the TOEFL or IELTS exam if the language of instruction in the school is not English, have high academic achievement and be eligible for university entrance in the country their secondary school allows them to matriculate.

All transfer applicants are required to complete a minimum of 60 semester equivalent transferable units/credits (but no more than 80 from an accredited 4-year institution), complete the general education/breadth requirements as stipulated, complete the major prerequisite courses as outlined by the major area of study department and acquire good academic scores. More information on both freshman and transfer admission requirements can be found at

International Student visas issued

Most students who attend the university are issued F-1 student visas.

Cost of attendance and financial assistance

The cost of attendance is determined by the Board of Regents every July. There is no financial aid available for international students; we encourage students to seek funding from sources in their home countries.