What is UC Berkeley Looking For?
So you have decided that you want to attend the best public research university in the world.
The most important factor determining your chances at UC Berkeley is your recalculated UC GPA. UC Berkeley re-calculates your GPA for admissions purposes by:
- factoring in only sophomore and junior year grades (no freshman grades),
- using academic courses only (no physical education or typing courses or band/orchestra)
- weighting the difficulty of academic courses taken such as AP courses.
The average admitted GPA for the College of Letters & Science at UC Berkeley is 4.2. For the College of Engineering, not including Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EE/CS), the average admitted GPA is over 4.3.
UC Berkeley Computer Science Admitted GPA
For Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EE/CS) in the College of Engineering, which is the most marketable undergraduate degree coming out of Berkeley (although Haas students may disagree), the average admitted GPA is over 4.4. Unlike the Ivies, UC Berkeley uses an aggregate point rating system where points are added for factors such as academic record, test scores, extra-curricular activities, leadership positions, and overcoming hardship.
UC Berkeley also admits applicants who are well-rounded as opposed to students who are specialists like at the Ivies. In addition, UC Berkeley does not employ Affirmative Action. For engineering applicants to UC Berkeley, engineering faculty are involved in the selection process. As such, there is a greater focus on academic achievement, standardized test scores, research in engineering, and interest in STEM.
Admitted engineering applicants have higher GPA’s and SAT scores relative to applicants admitted to Letters & Science. In addition, female engineering applicants are given admissions boost for diversity purposes.
Since Computer Science is the most in-demand major at Berkeley, we at Solomon Admissions would like to share with you a backdoor into the Computer Science major at Berkeley. One can major in Computer Science in either Letters & Science or in the College of Engineering. For students who lack a 4.4+ UC GPA and relevant computer science extra-curricular activities, we recommend applying to major in Computer Science in the College of Letters & Science instead of in the College of Engineering. There is a lower GPA bar for admission: 4.2 for Letters & Science versus 4.4+ for EE/CS in the College of Engineering.
Students who earn a B.A. in Computer Science through Letters & Science (instead of a B.S. through the College of Engineering) still take the same courses and get the same technology company interview opportunities as Computer Science majors in the College of Engineering.
At UC Berkeley, internal transfer from Engineering to Letters & Science is not difficult. However, internal transfer from Letters & Science to Engineering is difficult and is dependent on performance in prerequisite courses for engineering and space availability.