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Berkeley vs UCLA for undergrad

  1. May 18, 2008 #1
    Hi, I'm a applied math major who has trouble deciding between Cal and UCLA. I know that Cal is slightly more rigorous. Also, Cal's graduate mathematics is ranked #2 in the nation. So I'm wondering if this equates to Cal being #2 for undergrad since there hasn't been any rankings published regarding undergrad ranking of specific fields(except engineering).

    So to get to the point, I like UCLA better but Cal's prestige is very tempting. So much so, that if Cal is significantly stronger academically, I might choose it.

    Any advice would be appreciated(if possible, lists some pros and cons of both schools). Thanks.

    BTW, I need to decide soon!=(
  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2008 #2
    terry tao is at ucla
  4. May 18, 2008 #3
    While Berkeley is rated a bit higher than UCLA, I think the prestige factor of an undergrad degree would be pretty minimal between the two schools. You would get a top-notch education at either place. Your best bet for deciding would be to tour both of the campuses, sit in at a class or two at each one, and talk to some students there. Find out which one feels "right" to you. When you enjoy the overall school environment, you will do better, both academically and socially/recreationally.

    UCLA is more well-known as being somewhat of a party school.
    Berkeley is quite politically active and liberal, though you would not be exposed to this as much if you major in maths.
  5. May 18, 2008 #4

    Math Is Hard

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    Oh, please. Just because we run through the streets in our underwear during finals week..
  6. May 18, 2008 #5
    While Berkeley students run through Main Stacks NAKED at midnight... except for that one guy who was on rollerblades...
  7. May 18, 2008 #6
    If you've been accepted to both, visit the campuses and decide that way or start evaluating other non-academic factors. It doesn't matter that much academically. (For grad school, it's a different story since the active research groups and interests of the faculty affect what you can do for your own research.)
  8. May 19, 2008 #7
    Are you kidding?

    My husband is a professor in the Applied Math Department at UCLA. It's definitely not a party school.

    ETA: By the way, here's something to consider: the cost of living here in LA is quite high. If you decide to live off-campus, expect to spend at least $600 per month for rent for an apartment that you share with at least 3 other people.
    Last edited: May 19, 2008
  9. May 19, 2008 #8
    the only major parties are at the fraternities, so its easy to avoid them. also, i live off-campus and pay $450 per month with 2 other people
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