Insider Look at University of California Schools
Learn more about campus life and academics at UC Berkley and UCLA.
2021-09-14 Insider Look at University of California Schools
[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s panel on Insider Look at University of California Schools. Today, we’re going to be focusing on UC Berkeley and UCLA. Since we have wonderful alumni of both schools with us here. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q and a on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q and a tab.
Now let’s meet our panelists. Oh, yeah. Kaitlin, go ahead. Yeah, I’ll introduce myself first. Um, thing is gonna join us in a second here. Um, my name is Kaitlin. I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2018, which somehow was three years ago. Um, and I decided that I wanted to do kind of a combination between econ and English.
And now in my day to day, um, I work in marketing in Silicon [00:01:00] Valley, which I feel is the most Cal student thing to do, um, to work in tech. And, uh, I really excited to have all of you here today. We’re going to go through a bunch of information about UC Berkeley and UCLA, but, uh, thing. And I both have a lot of the UC application or the UCS as a whole, um, feel free to ask those questions and we can get to them.
And it doesn’t look like he has joined us back again yet. Um, so why don’t we just dive right into our UC Berkeley sides and, um, we can have him introduce himself once we get to the UCLA slides. So here’s just a brief overview of UC Berkeley. And I think this is a really good sense of how big the school is, what type of school I also would love to add in here that not [00:02:00] only is the student to faculty ratio amazing, but our library to student ratio is also one of the top in the entire country.
There are so many libraries. I actually was back on campus a few weeks ago and found another one that I never found as a student. So there is a perfect place to study for everyone, which I also think is really important. And we have a Greek theater where there are amazing. We have stadiums for every single sport.
So you can also get involved in the school at that time.
Here’s some more, really important information as we noted in the follow-up or the intro to this webinar, there’s a lot of notable alumni from both UCLA and UC Berkeley. Here are a few that are definitely important. I always love to also add Alex Morgan because she’s an amazing woman soccer player. And we also have Aaron Rogers who not only is good at football, but could be the next host of [00:03:00] jeopardy.
So I think they both really sum up what makes Cal so great. There’s really a combination between amazing academics and whatever extracurricular you’re interested in. And along with these really fun facts that we added here, including the botanical garden, which I highly recommend visiting, even if you don’t end up attending Cal it’s absolutely beautiful.
Uh, we also have a few really funny traditions, like 4.0 hill. Uh, so everyone at the beginning of the semester, usually when you’re a freshman, that there’s a grass hill that you can roll down. And in theory, if you roll down it before. The civil semester starts, or at least before finals, you’ll end up with a 4.0 that semester.
And then on the flip side of that, there are all of these seals around campus. And whenever I tell anyone seals, they are picturing like sculptures of the animal. That is not what I mean. You are not going to find Eddie seals sculptures on campus. Uh, maybe we should add one just to, you know, [00:04:00] add an extra thing to all of our tours, but seals on the ground, um, of the university of California and do not ever step on those.
I feel like that should be announced to anyone who’s even thinking of attending the rumor behind that is if you step on it, you’ll fail all of your classes, which seems very drastic. I think maybe if you stepped on it and then you rent down 4.0 hill, you would probably be okay. Um, but those are just some of the quirky things that we have on campus.
And, um, hopefully you can all get to go check those. Along with all of our quirks, uh, academics of course are extremely important. There are five different colleges and the high school of business. And amongst all of those are actually 130 different depression. So, if you are thinking of one major and you’re not 100% certain, you will find something that is perfect for you and the professors in every single department are the best in the world.[00:05:00]
That was one of the things that really drew me towards Cal in the end, when I was making my decision was I wasn’t 100% certain on what I wanted to do. And actually on average, most students change their major two or three times. And it’s a school where whatever you major in, whatever you’re interested in studying, you will be with the best of the best and you will get an incredible education.
So that’s something that I think should be noted and there are so many majors. Um, you can really go down a rabbit hole and see majors that maybe you didn’t even hear of before.
And really quickly while we’re waiting for a thing I’m just going to skip over this UCLA stuff will just be really Cal heavy in the front. Um, so bear with me. If you are people who are just here to hear about UCLA, I promise we will get there. Um, but first, if you are entering school in this fall, um, or I’m sure everyone’s probably in school now since school starts so [00:06:00] early in the summer, um, please submit what grade you’ll be this year.
Okay. It looks like we have a lot of people entering senior year, very exciting, and a few 11th and 12th graders as well.
Amazing. Okay. Yes. So numbers are starting to, even out. We have 3% ninth graders, 8%, 10th graders, 34%, 11th graders, 50%, 12th graders, and 4% other incredible. It is never too early to start looking at the UCS. And for all of you seniors, hopefully this is really helpful in finalizing that college list.
Amazing. And I definitely clicked other, I wish that I was back in high school, but it is way too far away at this point. Uh, so [00:07:00] quickly on top of all of those incredible departments in schools that are at UC Berkeley, we also have listed here the most popular majors. Um, I do want to know that when it comes to the most popular majors, including economics, which I happen to major in, there are some impacted programs.
Um, you can always do a little additional research on that, but that kind of too long didn’t read version. This is one of the most asked questions I get when helping students with their UC applications is that it’s a. A smaller program. Um, and a lot of students want to be part of it because it’s one of the best in the country.
So they do limit the amount of students who can be in that program, but the requirements are really just doing well in your prerequisites freshman year and sophomore year. It’s not something that you should be worried about. If you want to do this major, if you’re interested in it, you will most likely end up in the program.
Um, but just make a note, do your research. Uh, I always like to call that out since that’s [00:08:00] a question we get. And on top of our popular majors, I know we touched on this with Alex Morgan and Aaron Rogers. We do have a lot of really amazing sports teams. And if you don’t necessarily want to play on one of these teams, they are so fun to watch.
One of the things that really drew me to Cal was when I went and visited everyone is so excited to be there and is so proud of their school. And that was something that was really important to me, was a school where students not only are proud to be there, but are representing their school at all times.
So when you are on campus, you are going to see so many college shirts. You’re going to see so many shorts with big golden bears on them. And people yell, go bears at each other all the time. Um, I will say if someone yells go bears, make sure you yell it back. The first time it happened to me when I was a freshmen, I just said, thank you.
Cause it was so out of context. So, um, if anyone says, go bears to you, just make sure that you respond. Listen. [00:09:00] And then on top of our sports and academics, there are so many extracurriculars on campus. I was involved in quite a few clubs and also got to help create a club. And I think that’s something that’s really important to know is even though there are more than 1200.
If there’s something that you would love to be part of and you don’t see it on campus. The student union is so helpful in starting clubs and helping you get funding, getting advisors. So they really do enable students to pursue whatever interests them. And then you can get other students involved because Cal students are nothing.
If not motivated to make the world a better place and learn as much as they can while they’re at school. Um, I will also note here that we have the big game and we always try to get the ax back from Stanford. Um, that is the biggest rivalry thing, and I are definitely gonna make fun of each other a little bit on who went to the top university, top public university, but the really big [00:10:00] rivalry.
Amongst, uh, the UCS, Stanford, at least for pal. Um, and we all the UCS get along. So if you’re feeling any of that rivalry, no matter what you see you go to, it will be a great experience. And, um, students really encourage each other. So thanks since you are on, I will go back to the beginning for you, so you can do your internship.
Okay. Awesome. Uh, can, can everyone hear me? Are we, are we good now? Awesome. So sorry about that. Apologize to Caitlin had a, the 98 attendees we have in here. Um, uh, yeah, big marker is officially, uh, dropped out of my top three. Um, video call up platforms, uh, as of, as of today. But, um, hi everyone. My name is, uh, Faye young Lou.
I go by, he, him, his pronouns. Um, I believe, uh, Caitlin, did we do an introductory slide? Um, should I start with that? Okay. Uh, it’s a little [00:11:00] brief kind of background. Um, I’m from near, uh, from Davis, which is near Sacramento, California. I did my undergrad at UCLA. Um, I graduated with my bachelor’s in political science and minoring in global studies.
Uh, and while I was at UCLA. They do a number of activities. I was involved with, uh, UCLA Greek life. Uh, I studied abroad in Hong Kong. I was also involved with, uh, UCLA UniCamp, uh, which is a summer camp for, uh, underserved, uh, children kind of in the LA area, um, uh, uh, up in the woods for a week during summer, um, as well as doing sports marketing, uh, for UCLA athletics.
So, um, definitely, uh, uh, you know, um, a lot of amazing experiences, um, that I’m happy to talk about later on. Um, so kind of getting into UCLA, um, you know, I I’m sure, uh, you know, uh, if you hear a lot about UCLA, um, kind of being this huge institution, um, being big public school, much in the [00:12:00] same mold as, as UC Berkeley, um, So there are a lot of similarities there.
Um, uh, but a lot of differences too. Uh, just, just like how, you know, bay area and Los Angeles have a very different vibe. Um, UCLA and Berkeley do, uh, as well. Um, and when you, uh, when you think of UCLA, a couple of points that I do want to highlight that are a little, uh, more underrated, uh, UCLA has, um, one of, if not the best, uh, dining hall food for students on, on campus.
So, uh, when I was, when I was touring, they told me that UCLA was ranked number two, but, um, but number one was, uh, was Cornell. And, uh, but they have their food prepared by their culinary school. So technically they don’t count. Um, and a fun fact about that is I have a younger sister who actually goes to Cornell.
Um, I haven’t visited her yet, but I’m definitely planning to make a trip there and see once. And for all, uh, whose whose number. Um, and, uh, I can see, you know, campus size 419 acres, much [00:13:00] smaller than Berkeley. Um, UCLA is kind of in a much smaller area, but, uh, don’t, uh, don’t underestimate it because the way the campus is laid out, it’s actually kind of on a bowl.
Um, so on one side, uh, of the, uh, like if you could imagine like a skateboard bowl, um, uh, on one side is the on-campus housing and the, on the other side is campus. So everyday you’re walking downhill and then you’re, you’re, you’re walking pretty much straight up hill to get to your classes. So, um, there are many, many times where I had to bring like a change of shirt or something like that, because you’re, you’re just, especially in hot LA weather.
It’s, it’s a lot, it’s a lot for sure. Um, uh, so you can go to the next slide here. Um, a lot of really amazing, uh, amazing people have graduated from UCLA. Um, Jackie Robinson, Jeff Black, uh, Gabrielle union, just to, just to name a few. Um, but there are so many, um, more, more amazing, uh, people that have, have worked at UCLA and kind of [00:14:00] gone through such as John wooden, um, you know, for, for those that are basketball fans, basketball bus, um, super legendary coach, um, that’s won 10 national championships, uh, at UCL.
And no other school has, uh, as many basketball championships. Um, and so going into a couple of, uh, traditions, uh, students at UCLA during finals week, or I’ll do a midnight yell, um, and I’ve definitely been on both sides of it. I’ve participated and I’m also been, you know, the person trying to study and, and, you know, kind of you’re super anxious and nervous about my, like, Heinlist like, ah, really like now of all times.
Right. So it’s really nice to get that perspective. Um, and then, uh, finally the internet was started at UCLA, uh, which I think we’re all very grateful for, uh, even though, uh, so, so that’s a cool, um, cool fact, uh, have there as. Um, and then a little bonus fact I’ll throw in there is, uh, students on their way to their final exams or, um, not final exams, but just any [00:15:00] exam.
Um, if they’re passing by the Bruin bear, they’ll, uh, they’ll sometimes touch their cough or good luck. Um, even though, uh, as I was kind of thinking about that fact, I know it’s a little weirder now. I’m not sure how many students will do that because of, you know, um, public health and COVID and everything.
And me personally, I never really did. Um, but, you know, knowing my advanced scores, looking back, like I probably should’ve done it like more, to be honest. So, um, that, uh, that is my little bonus, uh, fun fact and personal anecdote for you. Uh, academic colleges. Um, so you were, um, first and foremost, the biggest, uh, kind of, uh, biggest department, the college or otherwise known as college of letters and science.
Um, this is where more than 85% at UCLA is a total undergrad population. Um, uh, our are, are studying, you know, huge department more than 34 departments. Um, with over 109 undergraduate majors. [00:16:00] So as, as a, as a student, you have opportunity to take classes, uh, within the letters of science. Um, but you can also be a part of many of these other amazing schools as well.
Our arts in architecture, engineering, uh, music, nursing, uh, public affairs, or our theater, film, and television. And the cool thing is that, um, once, once you’re in, you have an opportunity to take classes from all these different schools, um, from, if you’re just interested in, in general education class, a GE class, uh, I remember one of my coolest classes, actually, a theater and performance class, and it’s, it’s just really nice to be in a, in a new environment, um, be, uh, be around students that you generally don’t interact with.
Um, and I think that’s a huge value add and a really cool, uh, interesting experience, um, to have. So, um, you’ll probably end up taking classes from all, all these different, um, different. Okay. I believe we did this poll, right. [00:17:00] So me. Okay. And then some fast forward, a little bit. And then now, uh, uh, okay, so now we’re looking at some of the popular majors, um, at UCLA, um, definitely biology, uh, business economics.
It’s called biz econ, um, uh, from. Well, that, that, that’s what, uh, the shortened, a shortened version, biz, econ, uh, political science, which is, uh, kind of my neck of the woods, um, psychology and then as well as economics. Um, and then for me personally, uh, I actually did very much take a scenic route, uh, to, to my major.
I actually came in engineering. Um, didn’t have great reasons. Um, you know, I, I thought that, you know, I, I took a bunch of math and science classes and that’s what science equals engineering. Right. Um, and while that’s not wrong, you know, it’s not the greatest reason to, uh, to go into. So I went from engineering [00:18:00] to economics and, and, uh, I think I might’ve been like sociology for a week before ending up in, uh, political science.
So, um, I think I just want to put it out there that I’m a living breathing example of, you know, you don’t need to have, you know, your whole life figured out, you know, when you’re both applying college or you, when he gets to college, you know, it’s all about exploring and, and, and trying things out. And, and if something doesn’t feel right, you know, being open to, uh, to going in a different direction.
So, um, so I always just want to encourage, uh, you know, those, uh, those of you out there that, um, maybe kind of a little bit closer to where I was, um, that it’ll all be okay. Um, you know, just continue to explore and continue to, uh, um, uh, to try new things, athletics, um, That was a huge reason for why I chose UCLA.
Honestly, I was really excited to go to the sporting events, uh, go to football games, go to basketball in games with friends and UCLA is, uh, is, uh, is really, really known for their [00:19:00] amazing, uh, sports venues, such as the rose bowl, um, which is actually, um, not on campus. It’s actually in Pasadena, like 15 minutes away.
So on game days, uh, you’ll, you’ll get onto the bus and buses with your friends and you’ll all be shuttled over. Um, and then it’s this legendary sports venue, um, as well as Pauley pavilion, uh, which is, uh, where DCL plays their basketball games as well. So, um, for, for those, uh, those of you that are into sports or interested in sports and trying to want to get into a more UCLA.
Extracurriculars, um, very similar to Berkeley. If, you know, if you can imagine, um, imagine doing something with your friends, uh, you know, UCLA probably has it, or what at least give you the opportunity to start that. Um, and in terms of these activities, um, there’s this real. A wide, uh, main, uh, walkway it’s called, uh, it’s called Bruin lock and definitely the start of every, uh, definitely have to start over a year, but [00:20:00] I’ll also have to start every quarter.
Um, you’ll see, just tons of, uh, students flyering and, uh, when you’re, when you’re a freshmen, that’s, um, that’s where you’ll get most of your flyers and your information about, um, about what clubs you can join. And honestly, it can be a little overwhelming, but, um, uh, looking back, I’m grateful for it because, uh, kind of having spent some time around Berkeley.
I know, um, there are many ways for, um, for students to kind of get onto campus from like all four directions, but at UCLA Bruinwalk is the main way. So when you’re. Uh, eventually, but most of you will probably be in a club and you’ll be recruiting and trying to get the word out for events. You’re going to be grateful that this just a bunch of students that are forced to kind of walk through you and yeah, you have this opportunity to, um, to talk to them and try to, uh, uh, let them know about events you have coming up, um, for your club.
Uh, you also have a ton of intramural sports, um, that students can join and participate in, um, as well as a lot of really cool, uh, [00:21:00] traditions. I mentioned Roseville stadium, um, but there’s also the, a Murphy sculpture garden, which is on campus. Um, you also have a really cool, uh, Fowler museum, which is on campus and then a hammer museum, which is a little bit further in Westwood, but also, uh, also very cool.
And then I, I know that, uh, Caitlin mentioned. Yeah. Uh, how, uh, Berkeley and Stanford, uh, rivalry and, um, uh, so UCLA is rival is a USC, our cross town LA rival, um, which, uh, I I’m actually, uh, currently attending getting my master’s in education. So, uh, I’ve lost some friends over, uh, over that, uh, that decision.
I’m just kidding. But, um, but yeah, it definitely gives me a hard time. Um, uh, and, uh, so that’s just something to keep in mind, um, going into the UCLA.
Okay. So we’ve got another poll and we would love to know if you’re planning to apply to one [00:22:00] UC school more than one. You’re not sure, or absolutely not. In which case I might be a little surprised that you’re at this webinar, but, uh, we can change your mind and you can change your mind. Yeah.
Okay. It looks like a lot of people are interested in more than one. Very exciting if you’re interested in just one and more than 20% are not sure. So you, you still have some minds to this way. Okay, awesome. I’m going to close the poll out now.
Great. Um, thank you for sharing all of that information about UCLA thing. And we just both wanted to really go over why we chose our school in particular. Um, so for me, again, it is the top public university officially. We kind of went back and forth last few years, but I think how has come out on top, um, and what I’ve [00:23:00] seen more than anything else is every single student on campus.
Not only are they proud to go there and proud to tell people that they go to Cal, but they also are extremely passionate about making the world a better place. That’s where the free speech movement started. There are a ton of big political movements that have either started on Cal or come to Sproul hall, which is our version of the walk that UCLA students have to go down.
There’s still a ton of flyering. But really, truly whatever you want to do, there’s support for that. There are resources and some of the top professors and students in the world for you to bounce ideas off of and really good food. I feel like I should add that the best food around campus. Yeah. Awesome.
Thanks Kaitlin. Uh, so I, I intentionally chose this, um, because this really, uh, my, uh, this quote kind of captures my mentality in high school very well. Um, I [00:24:00] think I was very much kind of growing up in California. UCU was very much within my focus and my, uh, and my, uh, kind of priorities. And I coming from.
A smaller town, you know, near, near Sacramento. I wanted to go to a big city. I wanted to be in that type of exciting environments and, uh, and go to all these, all these sport games, um, and UCLA checks check both those boxes. And, and, but I do want to mention that I, I feel like this, this particular quote, or if I’m Intellia at the time, um, it doesn’t really do UCLA justice because there’s so much more that the campus and both the city has to offer.
Um, I don’t know how many of the attendees today had spent much time in LA, but you know, LA basically, you know, anything you can imagine, LA probably has it, you know, in terms of food, you know, if you just on a whim, I’m on that. Yeah. I want, you know, Mediterranean food LA has that, oh, I want this very niche type [00:25:00] of Asian cuisine.
Ellie has that, you know, if you’re willing to like, you know, brave the traffic and probably get there and it’s closed and everything, but LA has it basically. So. Um, whether that’s a live music events or, or networking or, or entertainment, um, you know, Westwood has a lot of movie premiers, um, for some of the most well-known movies that, uh, that come out, um, and these days, so, um, uh, UCLA and, uh, that, and its look and where it’s at in general has so much to offer.
Um, and it’s really amazing for, um, for students that just want a little bit of a taste of everything and kind of figure out, you know, what, what they like and you know, what, uh, um, uh, what their type of, um, you know, uh, vibe is.
Great. So really quickly to [00:26:00] go through the UC Berkeley application process. Um, this is pretty similar to all the other UCS. Uh, I feel like another question that we get a lot is can I send specific essays to a specific UC? And, um, it’s one application. It’s a check box. You can check as many schools that you would like to apply to.
They receive all of this. Personal insight questions or PIQ, there are eight different options. You get to choose four of them, 350 words, max. So if you’re working on your common app right now, it’s a little bit less than half. Um, and our acceptance rate is about 16.3%. So it is getting a little bit lower as the years go on.
I think last year in COVID we also were kind of thrown for a loop. All of the UC has got an increasing amount of applications. Um, so take all of these numbers with a grain of salt. Um, but if you are a California resident and you apply to multiple UCS, you have [00:27:00] taken all the correct classes. Um, there is a guarantee that you will get into at least one.
So just keep that in mind. It might not be your top one. It might not be any of the ones you applied to. Um, but that is something of note and there is a financial aid application, but it’s just your typical.
Yeah, very, very similar to the Berkeley slide. Um, uh, slightly more applications. Um, I am, uh, very, very proud of, you know, uh, being, being associated UCLA, which is the number one most applied school in the country, basically your year after a year. Um, and, uh, and similarly, uh, this past year with COVID, I believe, uh, applications went up, uh, 28%, something like that.
So, so definitely, uh, you know, there are, there are a lot of students applying, but don’t let that, uh, don’t let that discourage you. Um, [00:28:00] definitely. Um, I would encourage you all to do your research. Um, you know, even though. You don’t get a chance to customize, um, you know, your essays for specific schools. Um, you know, there, there might be an opportunity where, um, you know, uh, if you are wait-listed and the school invites you to, uh, to, uh, to appeal, um, that’s your opportunity to talk about, you know, if UCLA is your dream school, why is that?
And, and what activities you’re really, really excited to get involved with on campus. So, um, so, uh, in a sense, that’s your opportunity to shine. So, but let’s still think about it and, and keep in mind, um, you know, why you’re, why you’re excited to apply to all these schools. Um, that was a, that was a trap that I kind of felt fell into because you I’m in the UC app.
It’s so easy to just listen, you know, check, check these boxes off. Um, but at the end of the day, you know, even if, uh, Uh, if you do get to get to school, you [00:29:00] still need to figure out, you know, what clubs are you going to join? And what, what, what makes you excited to, uh, participate in what activities are on campus?
So it’s, it’s always nice to just get ahead and start thinking about that, um, as far in advance as possible.
All right, so this is the end of the presentation part of the webinar. We hope you found this information helpful, and remember, you can download the slides from the link in the handouts tab, moving onto the live Q and a I’ll read through questions you submitted in the Q and a tab, paste them in the public chat.
So you can see and then read them out loud before our panelists, give you an answer as a heads up, if your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions. Just double check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not the webinar landing page. Okay. Our first question is if my major is not offered at UCLA or another UC, can I create my own major or a path?[00:30:00]
Um, so I, for another UC, I know that at UC Berkeley, you can create your own major. Um, you just have to find a mentor. Who’s a professor or an advisor who is willing to sign off on it. Um, so you have to come up with a game plan of what the major name will be and what types of classes you would like to take.
Usually that means kind of combining a few different tracks. So a popular one that I’ve seen quite a few times is some version of marketing. So UC Berkeley doesn’t have a marketing major. Um, so what I did was I just did econ and English, but a lot of people who made their own major would have added in econ, English, and then maybe some political science classes or accounting classes, depending on what their advisor records.
Yeah. And I, uh, to be, to be honest, I actually don’t know anyone that created their own major at UCLA. Um, so I’m not totally [00:31:00] sure whether that’s, um, a possibility. Um, but I do, uh, but I definitely want to encourage you, even if they don’t have the, uh, UCLA or Berkeley doesn’t have, um, or any school for that matter, it doesn’t have the exact major that you’re looking for.
Um, uh, still, still keeping an open mind. I would say there’s, there are kinds of career paths where there are a number of majors that feed into there and keep in mind, you still have the opportunity to switch majors, um, for your first couple of years. So, um, so you know, there’s no, you know, uh, quote unquote one right path that you have to go on otherwise, you know, uh, everything else is just ruined.
Um, it’s not that, uh, not that that’s not the case at all. Okay. Our next question is what is your take on applying.
So I, yeah, I, I definitely think that that is totally fine. I know that there is a lot of kind of scariness behind not knowing, [00:32:00] thinking, okay. If I applied undeclared, does that mean that it looks like either, you know, I’m not a dedicated student or will I have to apply into a major? And I would say a few of my best friends at Cal all applied undecided, all got in undecided.
It means at least for UC Berkeley specifically. And I think this is pretty general across the UC is usually end up in their version of letters and sciences college, where both the majors are. Um, it does make it a little bit hard if you want to go into something that has a specific college like ekes, um, any type of computer science, but it’s not impossible.
And you have so much time to make up your mind. All of these UCS are incredible schools to take a variety of classes and figure out what you want. Yeah, definitely. I, uh, I second that, and I, I love this question so much because, um, I, uh, when people ask me, oh, if you look back to college, is there one thing you would do differently?
And this, this was the one thing I would apply undeclared. Um, and I, you [00:33:00] know, and at the end of the day, I don’t know if that would still like lead me to UCLA, but, um, I think looking back, um, something I really wish I had was, um, to be really able to explore the, a variety of options and majors, um, because coming in engineering, you know, uh, they say, oh, you, you can still explore, but, um, uh, but you, you, uh, to, to be transparent, you are in these, uh, prerequisite classes with, uh, students from similar majors with similar mindset.
So, um, you’re kind of caught in the current. And, um, and then when you try to get out, there’s just kind of more, um, more you have to work through and, and, and everything. Whereas, you know, um, you get a little less of that when you’re undeclared, um, you, you, uh, really get to be open open-minded about, uh, what’s to explore.
So, um, definitely, um, you know, if you, if you feel like you want to apply and declared, I, I definitely, um, [00:34:00] you know, my, my take is, um, uh, it’s, it’s a worthwhile option to explore for sure. Um, and, uh, and it’s, it makes sense, you know, you’re, you’re, uh, when you’re applying you’re 17, 18, like you don’t have the rest of your life figured out, um, for those of you that do you know good for you.
Um, but, but, but, but, but yeah, uh, that’s, that’s my state. I I’m, I’m all for that. Absolutely. Okay. Our next question is now that the UCS will not be looking at standardized test scores, what criteria will become more important in admissions? This is a great question. Um, it’s something that we’re seeing a lot and I will just speak briefly because I’m not the one on this call who has been a former admissions officer.
Um, but what I’m seeing is that our essays, your PIQ are becoming increasingly important because the way that I think of an application is [00:35:00] your test scores, your grades, all of those numbers are just kind of to meet the benchmark of what they’re looking for, and then ultimately your extracurriculars and your essays are what really make you a good fit for the school.
Um, so I think those will become increasingly important. So you can actually show your personality and what you would like to accomplish. Yeah, thanks. Caitlin kinda expose me right there. Um, but this is a part of my experience that I didn’t, uh, I didn’t get a chance to, uh, to mention during my super rushed and brief introduction, but, um, I did, uh, I did work, uh, at UC Berkeley, um, for a brief period of time as an admissions reader.
So I actually read applications for, um, for students from this past year. And, um, and that’s a great question and asking that a lot. And, um, it was a one, one side and I, I don’t know if, uh, you know, this is going to be like a [00:36:00] great answer, but. It’s hard to quantify. What, what size are, um, what, what parts of application are specifically like more, uh, more important than the other?
Um, kind of the, the philosophy behind holistic review is everything is taken in context and everything. Um, and there’s no one side that says, okay, if a student, you know, really killed it on the academics, you know, that, that accounts for a certain percentage of the, uh, of the decision. Um, but you know, that being said, yeah.
Um, what Katelyn said was absolutely true, you know, Um, without standardized testing, there is a little bit more attention that we’ve paid to, um, to all other areas, uh, that are factored in consideration. So your, your academic record, um, so, uh, your, your personal qualities, um, such as like love of learning or, or, and, and in terms of your, uh, your, is your service or concern for others, and, and that can show up in your application, [00:37:00] uh, sorry, not your personal insight questions, uh, that can show up in your extracurricular activities.
Um, so those, those are, uh, those are all criteria that, um, just without SANDAG testing, all of them are, are slightly elevated, but I wouldn’t say there’s one, you know, make sure you nail this one part now. That’s not how a UC does things.
Okay. Our next question is what are the eight questions for, for the personalized. So we can definitely send this in the public chat. Um, you can also find them, if you just look up you IQ, there’s a list. And I would also say if you’re going through these, um, pay extra attention to the additional kind of follow-up questions underneath, um, those are extremely important and also really helpful when you’re going through and writing your PIQ.
Is there the only application that really [00:38:00] does a bunch of followup things to think about instead of just giving you kind of one overall prompt or a few sentences? Um, so I just posted them in the public channel and you can click on that and it will take you to all the PDQs.
Wonderful. Okay. Our next question is, um, how has the safety outside of campus?
Uh, yeah, so I, uh, I don’t know if I’m the best to answer this question. I haven’t been to LA in like a really long time, but, um, I, uh, so I want to make sure I’m interpreting this question correctly. Is safety kind of in terms of asking about, uh, COVID or, or more like general safety? Um, I, I’m going to try to address just from both.
Um, I can’t speak too much in terms of, um, the, uh, the COVID [00:39:00] aspect. Um, but I w I would say, um, in general, um, I feel like. Uh, students should always be, be conscious and be careful. And, and in terms of the public safety aspect. Um, but in terms of general safety, um, Westwood is a very pretty safe location. You know, all the streets are, you know, really, um, really well lit.
Um, there’s always, uh, you know, at no point did you know myself or my friends, you know, kind of coming back, uh, to, to the dorms at night, do we ever feel, um, feel unsafe? Um, The neighboring area of UCLA is, um, there’s no problem there. Um, I think it’s when you kind of go more towards say like, um, downtown LA and, you know, I would say that, that it becomes a little bit more of a concern.
Um, but I, this is, uh, uh, I don’t know if this is a pro or [00:40:00] con, um, it’s kinda hard to get to downtown LA, um, from, uh, from Westwood you’re, you’re a little isolated and, and, you know, it’s a long Uber ride or a really annoying, uh, bus ride, uh, where you transfer like three times, uh, to get there. So, um, so I would say, uh, safety, um, in UCLA and the media, uh, area is, um, is really, really good.
So hopefully that answered your question and I actually grew up in LA. Um, so let’s take a quick note. Yeah, we don’t like the back of our hand. Um, I think in any college that you’re thinking about attending that’s an or near a big city, like, yes, you’re going to be thrown kind of into that. Um, campuses are extremely safe.
They take precautions are so many different options of shuttles or they have security guards that you can have walk you back to your dorm or to a late night class. Um, look them up. Every campus has them. And then just, you know, as you would in any big city, just [00:41:00] stay alert, try not to walk around wearing headphones, all that good stuff.
Uh, but I, I wouldn’t make that a make or break on deciding to go to. Absolutely. Okay. I didn’t know. You grew up in LA Caitlyn. That’s super cool learning new things. Yeah. Okay. So we’re going to take a quick break in the middle of the Q and a, and I want to let you know what you can do. If you want to work one-on-one with an advisor from over from our network of over 200 advisors and admissions officers.
If you follow the pop-up, you can sign up for a free consultation with us by going to college advisor.com and clicking the green chat button in the bottom, right of the screen from there, just write in consultation and a live team member. We’ll get back to you to help coordinate your free consultation with us and back to the Q and a.
Our next question is what’s the application process for arts and music majors. So I did not personally apply [00:42:00] into arts and music. Um, as far as I know, I do not believe that there is a typical portfolio, uh, And I would say, uh, if you’re applying into arts and music for Cal specifically, you end up in the letters in sciences, which is the biggest college.
We don’t have an art specific college, but we do have incredible programs. And if you’re interested in maybe majoring in something else and doing a minor, there are a ton of minors that you can do in the arts field. Um, there are also, if you’re interested in kind of dabbling, aren’t sure there are a bunch of freshmen seminars.
Um, I took one myself where you meet for an hour to three hours a week and you get an introduction to whatever art you’re interested in. Um, so for mine, we actually went to a bunch of different museums and actually met artists and then got to try out whatever medium we just observed. And I’m not sure if, uh, for UCLA with any [00:43:00] different, I think it’s fairly similar.
Definitely kind of coming in as a freshmen. Yeah. There it’s, it’s the same application. Um, in fact, uh, I know, uh, have having read for, uh, for Berkeley, a lot of, a lot of students. Um, there’s a lot of really amazing Townsend students that apply and some of them will include like, you know, um, hyperlinks to their performances or interviews or, or things that they’ve done.
Um, it breaks my heart a little bit, but, um, the, uh, admissions readers, uh, unfortunately do not have time to take a look at any of that. Um, so, um, please, you know, save yourself a little stress and anxiety and time. Um, so, uh, no need to include that. Um, but, uh, I do not. That when, uh, when students do end up declaring the majors, if it is, you know, an art or a music major, um, then, uh, once they’re on campus, there may be a extra say, uh, a performance or, or, [00:44:00] or, or something of that nature, um, when, when it comes to that stage, but at, in the initial stage of applying for the UC app, um, there’s, there isn’t really anything too substantial, uh, to include.
One thing I do want to note here is that, um, I’m actually not sure specifically about UCLA, but if you’re applying to a music school within a larger university, so I know UCLA has a music school, you probably will have to send in certain, um, recording supplements, um, compositions, whatever it is that you’re applying in.
Um, but that, that would be separate from doing, uh, like Fang said a music major at. In the college of arts and sciences. Um, so, and all of the application requirements for a specific music school are going to be available on their website. They’ll say exactly everything that you need to send in. [00:45:00] Okay. Our next question is any advice on PIQ.
Definitely. Um, so I would say my number one piece of advice, and it’s so funny, cause Fang and I were chatting about this yesterday in preparation for the webinar is really to tell a story. Um, I say to my students all the time, and I think a few of you are on here. So I apologize cause I say this probably six times a week, um, to show, not tell as often as you can give an example or an anecdote of the characteristic of yourself that you would like to have the admissions officer understand, if you can show them by describing a situation and when you were a leader or, you know, a moment in time where you felt your creativity really shined, that is way more important to them.
And also more engaging to read, um, as humans, we love storytelling. So as much as possible, add your personality in there, share memories, share stories. [00:46:00] That’s a lot. Yeah. I don’t want to say better. Um, but that’s a lot more engaging than if you just listed out all of the amazing accomplishments you’ve done.
Yeah, absolutely. That’s, that’s a great one, Caitlin. And not just, just kind of build off that, um, yeah, really focused on, uh, writing a, um, a response that only you, you can write. And I want to clarify that because a lot of times. When, um, when students hear that they think, oh man, I ain’t even come up with this new topic.
I need to, uh, like do research that no one else has done. I’m not saying, yeah, I’m, uh, I’m not saying that, um, you know, there are, there are so many, um, shared experiences that high school students have. Um, that’s impossible to, to, to kind of create these topics from the ground up. But the thing is, even if it’s a shared experience, it affects everyone differently, you know?
So what were your thoughts and feelings kind of going through that, [00:47:00] um, and, and really dive into that and, and, and, um, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, you know, um, uh, really show your personality, show the way that you think and the way that you, uh, you process the world around. And through that, you know, um, cause, uh, cause in that sense, everyone is unique and, and if you kind of keep going on that route and keep asking those questions and the, I think really introspectively, um, in the end that that’s an essay that only you can drive and no one else, whether that’s, you know, uh, uh, a friend or a family member or an advisor, no one else can write that essay because no one else, um, abused, uh, your experience the way that you do.
Okay. Our next question is how easy is it to get a research opportunity? So I didn’t personally do research. Well, I was an undergrad, um, but I lived with a [00:48:00] few students who are now in med school. So there was a lot of research happening in our apartment and outwardly and I, none of them had any, any problem.
Um, I think what is important though, sometimes at a big school, it can feel a little intimidating to go and talk to professors to get to know the grad student instructors. And they’re really the ones with the research opportunities. Um, so as long as you, you know, put yourself out there or attending office hours are raising your hand in class, you should be totally fine.
There are a ton of opportunities. Um, Cal is known for its research. So it’s not like there aren’t enough, there aren’t too many students per research opportunity. You just need to kind of go out and get it a little bit. Yeah, absolutely. Uh, kind of same, same thing. I, uh, I personally didn’t do, um, our research, but I had a lot of friends I did.
And generally, uh, the pattern of how it works is, um, they would get to know, uh, fellow classmates in their [00:49:00] major a couple a year or two up and see what they’re doing. And then, uh, once they find an opportunity that they’re interested in, um, they would have that classmate kind of speak to the, uh, the professor, whoever they’re doing research with, and then use that as a networking opportunity to try to, um, uh, try to set themselves up for that, for that same, uh, for that same research.
So, um, that’s where, yeah, you still got to put yourself out there a little bit and, uh, to, um, you know, be a little uncomfortable and getting to know your classmates and getting to know, uh, your floor mates and then people in your major. But, um, you know, if you’re had your heart set on doing research, it’s definitely.
Okay, our next question is can I transfer from one UC UC school to another UC school? If I decided that one wasn’t right for me. So you can, but you would have to apply as a transfer. It’s not like a one-to-one [00:50:00] you would have to reapply. Yes. Uh, yeah, and I actually, I have a very close friend that transferred from UC San Diego to see UCLA, um, in her, uh, as a third year.
So, um, I do, I do want to mention it. It is, um, it is, uh, it is more rare than the community college transfers, um, in terms of sheer number of students that transfer UCS. Um, but no, it’s definitely possible. And, and for my friends, you know, she, um, She’s very much, you know, she, she did marketing and she wanted to be closer to onto LA and, and, and the opportunities that, uh, that are present.
So, um, so definitely, you know, if you feel like there is a better fit within the UC system, um, it’s, uh, it’s definitely possible and I encourage you to, uh, to look into it. All right. Our next question is what is the difference between minors and majors? And do you recommend doing a [00:51:00] double major? It’s funny because we both had a major and a minor.
Um, the difference between majors and minors are your official official degree is your major. Um, so if there is a requirement for a job that you want that says, must have a BS or a BA to bachelor’s of science or a bachelor’s of arts in the subject, that has to be your major. Um, minors are great because it allows you to study something additionally to your major without having to take all of the necessary.
Prerequisite classes that you would have to, to apply into another major? Um, I actually was in kind of a funny boat. I thought I was going to double major and I decided I wanted to graduate early instead. Um, so English became a minor for me. I, I had four more classes would have been a double major. Um, it’s doable.
It’s really up to you. And if you do want to have multiple majors, you kind of have to come in with a plan. Um, that’s a lot harder [00:52:00] to decide kind of down the line, um, because there are all those prerequisites you apt to take before you take those upper levels. Yeah, absolutely. This is, this is one of those questions where, uh, I have to give them super unsatisfying answer.
You know, it depends, um, because you know, uh, a double major for say E and CS, you know, is, is, uh, very different than say a double majors in political science and, and global studies, you know, both in terms of time, commitment of required classes and, and, uh, and each student is different. You know, some students just want to get, get in as fast as possible and get out as fast as possible.
And other students, um, you know, fifth year right here, um, uh, tend to take their time and explore and wander around. So it really depends. Um, so I would say, just keep your, uh, keep your options open and keep, keep an eye out. See if there are two majors that you’re interested in and, and, uh, [00:53:00] see what the requirements are, how, how long that would take and, and go.
Okay, our next question is, do you see schools have BSMD program? So I actually, I know that UC Davis used to, I don’t think that it does any more. Um, and UC San Diego also used to, so I would say if you do a quick Google search and I’m trying to do one for you right now, um, there are a few, but for the majority, it’s really that you would do a bachelor’s of science in a major that would be great to apply to med school.
That’s what most students do. That’s what all of my friends who were doctors did. Um, so there is molecular biology. That’s a really popular one. I would look kind of into all of the bios. Um, that’s the most popular, and then it sets you up to actually have time to do all of your med school apps.[00:54:00]
Okay, our next question is what are the UCS policies on college credit transfers for high schoolers like AP or dual credit programs? Personally, I would say they have one of the best. Um, I actually was able to graduate early because I had so many units coming in from taking APS. Uh, you have to get kind of a, you have to pass obviously.
Um, each AP is worth about the same amount I would look into it. Um, in general, it evens out to about one AP is worth one college credit, a class. So about four units for Cal. Um, I would look into more specifically the, any to like type of community college class that might transfer over. But for the most part, if it’s a community college or a high school in California, AP classes, The entire us, it usually is applicable.
It just might not take off requirements for your major. Um, [00:55:00] so usually you get the units, but you have to get a five on the AP in order to not have to take that same class in college. Yeah. Uh, so even if you don’t necessarily test out of a class, sometimes your AP credits would really also come in handy in terms of, um, giving you those credits to start your, um, start college with, and that, that factors into your, uh, your what’s called your standing.
Um, so sometimes the students will be, will be freshmen, but they have say sophomore standing because of the AP or IB classes, um, that they’ve taken in high school. Um, so where that comes into play is maybe when you register for classes, um, uh, enrollment kind of comes in in waves, you know, um, and if you have a higher standing, uh, you might be able to register for classes a little earlier, um, than, than some of your peers.
So, um, yeah, definitely, definitely look into it. Um, see, uh, [00:56:00] see which AP exams kind of make sense for you to, if you need to take and, and, and how, uh, how school is not, not just usually used by any school. Um,
Okay. And I think this is going to be our last question for the night, but who are the ideal students for each of your schools? Oh, goodness. Um, I don’t think there’s one type of student. I would kind of narrow it down to that. You’re passionate, but you, there is something in this world that you would like to see change or better that you’re curious.
It is a very academic school. We’ve listed all the other great qualities, but the UCS are top academic universities. Um, I mean, multiple had been listed in the top 30 colleges on Forbes list this week. So make sure that you are an avid student. Um, not that it’s necessarily difficult, but you are going to be asked to engage in your classes and, you know, make sure that you attend, do all of your homework, all that good stuff.
Um, and then lastly, I would say [00:57:00] for UC Berkeley specifically, look at our top majors, look at the programs. Are available to you. See if that’s a good match for you. If you’re someone who loves sports, you know, likes being in the bay area, kind of wants that independence where most students do live off campus after freshman year, if that’s appealing to you, um, you would be a great fit, but literally anyone could walk on that campus and have an incredible time.
Yeah, absolutely. I think, um, I, uh, I feel like my answer might skew more towards like, answering for like Berkeley, just because like, I’m like trained and trained in like literally like, like, uh, um, terms of, uh, uh, uh, reviewing applications. Like I feel like I have like more of an answer for like what, uh, what, what Berkeley might be looking for.
Um, but I think in general, I w. I think [00:58:00] the, the, um, the actual answer is there is no ideal student. Every one brings their own own qualities, their own characteristics to the table. Um, I would say, um, maybe, maybe the one thing is that, you know, students, uh, you know, when you come to a really big school, like UC Berkeley and UCLA, you’re going to be around a lot of different students.
You know, some of those students are going to be from similar backgrounds and some students are going to be from very, very different backgrounds. So I would say, I mean, not, uh, like, uh, um, you know, something to consider is coming in, being open to that open, being open to being challenged, um, as, as much as you’re being open, uh, open to being around, um, those that are very similar to you.
Um, and, you know, cause that’s definitely gonna happen, you know, you’re going to be around, um, students that, uh, that you’re, you’re, you’re going to click with and students that you may click with a little less. Um, but in general, I, I kind of want to close this [00:59:00] with a, um, an analogy. I actually shared this with Caitlin yesterday in our conversation.
Um, but everyone tends to think of admission. That’s like a science, right? There’s all these inputs, you know, grades and essays, these, uh, extracurriculars and you put them all together, you know, uh, goes into this like dark box and gender and all this, like, you know, science stuff happens and then it pops out in admissions.
Um, but it’s actually more. Um, you know, because every student’s bringing something different to the table and in terms of their experience and their background and, and their passion and, um, and, uh, to be Frank, that’s not going to resonate with every school, you know, because when you think about it, when you go into a museum, you know, you might see a painting, do you think it’s the most amazing painting in the world, but then the person comes after you.
They’re like, what is this? It’s just kind of like, let me scribble Scrabble. Um, and that’s okay. And that’s okay. You know, so that’s why, you know, um, there is no ideal student, but the ideal approach I would say is be yourself, [01:00:00] you know, let your, let your uniqueness shine and, you know, um, write, uh, write that essay that only you can write and, you know, be yourself.
And that’s going to resonate with the right school, whether that’s Berkeley, whether that’s UCLA, whether that’s, you know, um, any other school.
Okay. Awesome. Thank you all so much for being here tonight and thank you, Caitlin and Fang so much for presenting
chat with you all. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you so much for having us happy too. Okay. So this is the end of the webinar. Thank you all for coming. And here is a calendar of the rest of our webinars series for September. So we hope to see you there have a wonderful night, everyone.