To Law School or Not To Law School

I’m a Legal Studies major at Cal. I entered my freshman year intending to major in Political Science, but quickly switched to Legal Studies when I realized how much more the classes in that department intrigued me. At the time, I also was sure that I wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to be like Elle Woods from Legally Blonde (my favorite movie) and wear pink as I argued my cases. I always thought that would be my path.

Now, as a senior, when I tell someone my major, they almost always ask me if I’m headed to law school. Freshman and sophomore year I would have proudly exclaimed “YES!”. My Legally Blonde fantasies were still at the top of my agenda when I imagined my life post-grad. But now, I’m not so sure anymore. read more

How I figured out what I didn’t want to do at Berkeley

At college, it seems that it’s essential to know what you want to do in the future, but what’s equally important is knowing what you don’t want to do. Before my freshman year started, I had a variety of interests and potential career goals. After one year at college, my interests and career goals have changed. I discovered new careers and interests and realized which careers and interests are not for me. The most notable of these careers and interests that I’m no longer interested in are consulting and economics. read more

Comparing Dorms and Finding Housing at UC Berkeley

 

Hello again everyone!

It’s finally that time of year where new and returning students may be trickling back into Berkeley looking for their new classes, tourist sites, and most importantly, new housing locations. But for those who haven’t yet found their housing location, or are looking a semester or year early (which, good for you!), here’s a brief overview of the different housing options that Berkeley students have access to, and how to find those options.

In summary, there are many different housing options that Berkeley has for its students, including the on-campus dorms, co-op housing, housing through Greek life, university affiliated housing, and off campus housing in apartment complexes or houses. Most students (both at Berkeley and beyond) tend to live in the dorms for their first year, then explore the off-campus housing mentioned above that were offered.

Living in the dorms your first year is not required. Some students choose to commute from home or live off-campus during their first year. However, living in the dorms for one’s first year is a very popular option: 92-97% of our first-years and 30% of our transfers choose live in one of the campus residence halls (learn more at https://housing.berkeley.edu/overview). read more

So you want to be an Education major?

Guess what? Did you know that UC Berkeley’s School of Education will be unveiling a new undergraduate major in Education? That’s right! Starting in Fall 2023, students will be able to declare Education as a major! This is a huge milestone for students who are interested in all things related to public education. Let me give you a quick low-down on the history of being an “Education student” at Cal!

 

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Studying Education at Berkeley begins with our undergraduate Minor in Education. Students would major in something else while pursuing the Minor. The Minor was created by our Graduate School of Education (now known as the School of Education) and has quickly become one of the largest Minor programs on campus. 

 

Our School of Education primarily focuses on Graduate programs in the field of Education. They offer teacher-preparation programs, Masters of Arts in Education (M.A.), and Doctorate of Philosophy in Education (Ph.D.) programs. The M.A. and Ph.D. programs center around different subfields that graduate students can focus on. Some of these subfields include:

  • Critical Studies of Race, Class, and Gender
  • Learning Sciences and Human Development
  • Policy, Politics, and Leadership
  • Social Research Methodologies
  • School Psychology

 

The School of Education created the Undergraduate minor in Education as a way to engage undergraduate students in studying Education and help create the next generation of educators in the country. The minor requires five upper-division courses which includes three units of fieldwork. The fieldwork allows students to get hands-on experience in the field of education.

 

UC Berkeley also offers our amazing CalTeach program for students interested in Math and Science education. If you want to major in a STEM-oriented field, you will be able to participate in the program. This pathway allows students to earn a teaching credential in math or science upon graduation! Absolutely amazing for anyone interested in teaching 🙂

 

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Our new Education major gives students the opportunity to explore the field of education, teaching, and learning through an interdisciplinary curriculum. Students who are interested in this major will have to take one prerequisite course to be able to declare (Education 40AC – From Marco to Micro: Experiencing Education (in)equality in and beyond Schools). 

 

Here is the course description for the prerequisite course: “The goal of equality has long dominated social and political discourse in the United States. This goal has struggled alongside our nation’s professed commitment to diversity – diversity of race, ethnicity, class, language, culture, ability, and religion (among many others). Public schools are arguably the primary arena within which efforts to nurture equality and diversity have been focused and challenged. The schools, and the myriad educational contexts beyond them, play a central role in the organization of inequality. At the same time, they also offer the potential for increased opportunity and equity” (Berkeley Class Guide).

 

After students declare their major, they will have to take four required upper-division courses. These courses allow students to get an overview of the field of education and hands-on experience working with educational professionals. The four required courses are:

  • Education 140AC – The Art of Making Meaning: Educational Perspectives on Literacy and Learning in a Global World
  • Education 144 – Practicum in Education
  • Education 153 – Research in Education: Studying Educational Inequality and Possibility
  • Education 163 – Contemporary Issues in U.S. Education
  • read more

    Cal in the Capital: A Summer in DC

    I was never someone who had a plan to study abroad coming into college. I’ve only traveled to a few states, and have never been out of the country, so the idea of going abroad for a few months was never really on my radar. I used to think that instead of going abroad, I would do a semester at UCDC, a program that allows University of California students to study and intern in Washington DC for a semester. But then with the COVID-19 pandemic beginning halfway through my first year of college and impacting the entire following school year, I felt like so much time at Berkeley had been ripped from me already. I had a fear of missing out on the Berkeley experience during my last two years, so I didn’t apply.

    Then I found Cal in the Capital. Cal in the Capital is a program through the UC Berkeley Public Service Center that sends a cohort of Cal students to intern in DC for the summer. It’s extremely similar to the UCDC program – just in the summer and without classes. This seemed like the perfect compromise: I wouldn’t miss out on any semesters at Berkeley, but I also would be able to travel and live somewhere new for a couple of months. I applied and got in, and now I’m writing this from my apartment in Washington, DC.

    I am halfway through my DC summer and it already feels like time is running out. DC is a place where you can never get bored, there are a million museums, monuments, and concerts to go to. So much good food to try and so many cool people to meet. And having spent my whole life living in California, the East Coast feels like another world (almost as if I’m abroad ;)). So far, I’ve been to three Smithsonian museums, a music festival, all of the major monuments (the Lincoln Memorial was the coolest), and I’ve visited both Maryland and Virginia. I’ve been able to visit the U.S. Capitol as an official guest for my job, which felt very fancy. Even though this may seem like a lot, there is still so much more to explore in DC before the summer ends.

    This was just the experience I needed as I near graduation next Spring. My internship has oriented me as I think about a future career and has allowed me to realize that I want to pursue non-profit work in the future. Working a 9-5 four days a week in a big city almost feels like a taste of what post-grad life can be, and it’s not so scary.

    Kalysta stands in front of the U.S. Capitol
    Kalysta stands in front of the U.S. Capitol

    Econ@Cal

    Hey!

    Hey you!

    Yes you 🙂 You look like you clicked on this article looking to get a better sense of what studying Economics at the University of California, Berkeley is like!

    First of all, congratulations! You have made a truly wonderful choice in pursuing an education in Economics! While the word “Economics” has been increasingly used as a convenient scapegoat that exists to be pointed at when talking heads need to blame something for something else, I truly believe that there is no more rewarding (or interesting!) field of study than Economics! And no better place to learn it than at the beautiful University of California, Berkeley!

    But who am I to be making such bold claims? Well hi! My name is Jeff, and I’m currently a Junior studying CS and Economics (self plug, but if you enjoy this article do please check out my previous article “CS@Cal”, published on 6/13), and I hail from Boise Idaho, but have spent the majority of my life bumbling about between continents and countries all across the world. Applying to Cal as an economics major was quite the leap of faith for me! Despite having taken some Econ classes in High school, I had really no idea what studying economics really entailed, what skills this major would impart in me, and – most importantly – if I would enjoy it!

    Economics is quite a unique field, not quite a STEM major yet not quite a humanities subject, as only a major that attempts to assign a numerical number to all of human behaviour can be. While not as math heavy as some classes can be, a fair amount of economics could quite simply be described as “applied statistics.” There’s this pretty excellent math joke that says that what higher level math really teaches you is ancient Greek, and boy does that feel true in Economics. The greatest pain of my semester of macroeconomics was squinting pathetically at lecture slides trying to decipher if a certain squiggle is a Kappa or a K (which, spoiler alert, look pretty much identical), and drawing the ugliest lowercase Zeta known to man (sorry Professor Hawkins!). But! I digress.

    At the end of the day, I believe economics to be a widely applicable and incredibly useful field of study, one that not only applies itself very well to a career in finance or business, but also lays terrific groundwork and a strong academic foundation for a future in law or politics. The skills emphasized in an economics education in Berkeley (statistics, data analysis, reasoning and critical thinking) also lend themselves well to other fields, and indeed economics is a popular double major or simultaneous degree with a lot of other courses offered in Berkeley. I personally find that studying something that provides you with technical know-how and skills (like CS!), while combining it with a pseudo-humanities field such as economics, could provide you with a best-of-both-worlds education that not only gives you the tools to make a difference in society, but also gently nudges you towards where these tools might be best utilized. Market efficiency!

    Okay okay, but Jeff I hear you ask, how exactly do I study Economics at Cal? What classes do I need to take? Could you please stop talking about Greek letters?

    Right away! In order to declare the Economics major, potential students would need to complete the following prerequisite courses, and maintain a 3.0 GPA across all of them. These are: read more