Berkeley is famous for the hippie culture that emerged there in the 1960s. Students attending colleges in Berkeley (many year-round) find the hippie vibe lives on, along with a start-up culture, exciting restaurant scene and a thriving downtown. The temperate climate, extensive public transportation and proximity to San Francisco are also attractive.
Berkeley Pre-College Scholars Summer Residential Program offers high school student the opportunity to live on-campus at UC Berkeley. Students take Berkeley courses to earn college credit while participating in extracurricular activities and workshops.
Among all Berkeley colleges, the California Jazz Conservatory stands out as the nation's only independent, accredited music conservatory devoted exclusively to the study and performance of jazz and related styles of music.
Berkeley City College, located practically across the street from UC Berkeley, has a wide range of certificate and associate degree programs. Its most popular associate programs are humanities, liberal arts, sociology and psychology. BCC has the second-highest percentage of students in the state who transfer to UC Berkeley.
Of the four-year colleges and universities in Berkeley, the University of California, Berkeley (or "Cal") is best known for its academic excellence and its role in social and cultural movements (past and present). Cal has been ranked the world's No. 1 public university by U.S. News & World Report (2018). Here are some lesser-known facts about Cal: It is the all-time top producer of Peace Corps volunteers. 31 Nobel prizes have been awarded to Cal alumni. Discoveries and "firsts" at Cal include the Western Hemisphere's first string of seismographic stations (1887), the invention of a device to create clean smokestacks (1907) and the birth of the nation's first biotech company, Cetus (1971).
The University of California, Berkeley has the most top-ranked doctoral programs in the nation. It offers more than 100 graduate programs.
Several other universities in Berkeley offer graduate-level religious studies. The largest is the Graduate Theological Union, which covers many religious traditions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism.
To see a full list of higher education institutions in the state, visit our California colleges page.