California golden bears
Founded in the wake of the gold rush by leaders of
the newly established 31st state, the University of
California’s agship campus at Berkeley has become
one of the preeminent universities in the world. Its
early guiding lights, charged with providing education
(both “practical” and “classical”) for the state’s people,
gradually established a distinguished faculty (with 23
Nobel laureates to date, including eight current faculty),
a stellar research library, and 289 degree programs.
This California institution became a catalyst of
economic growth and social innovation – the place
where vitamin E was discovered, a lost Scarlatti opera
found, the u virus identi ed, and the nation’s rst
no-fault divorce law drafted. Scholars at Cal have
conducted ground-breaking research on urban street
gangs and basic human nutritional requirements,
identi ed why wartime supply ships were failing at
sea, invented technologies to build faster and cheaper
computer chips, and imaged the infant universe.
In recognition of broad and deep excellence, respected
sources have repeatedly ranked the University at or
near the top in elds ranging from engineering and
the “hard” sciences to the social sciences, arts and
humanities. For 21 consecutive years from 1998-
2018, Cal was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. News & World
Report rankings of the top public schools in the nation.
Among undergraduate programs ranked by peer
academics, Cal is tied for second in business and third
in engineering. According to U.S. News and World
Report, Cal ranks fourth in global universities.
In accordance with the University’s “public” character,
Cal has long served talented individuals regardless
of means. As early as 1897, nancial aid was available
for “needy and deserving” students. Nearly 125 years
later, Cal combines outstanding teaching and research
programs with broad access for students of all means.
From 10 faculty members, 40 students and three
elds of study at the time of its founding, UC Berkeley
has grown to more than 1,500 full-time faculty and
42,000 students working in 289 degree programs in
184 academic departments and 80 interdisciplinary
research units. Just under 20 percent of freshmen are
rst-generation college students.
UC Berkeley has one of the top university library
systems in the nation. With well over 12 million book
volumes and more than 400 special collections,
Berkeley’s library holdings among its 25 libraries are
the fourth-largest among universities in the United
States. Additional facts and gures follow.
• 137 faculty members of the National Academy of
• 108 Fulbright Scholars