Top 20 Universities in the USA


20. University of California – Berkeley
Photo credit: johpan / Flickr

A memorable university experience involves more than merely what you learn in the classroom; it’s also comprised of the people you meet, the places you hang out, and the memories you make in the city while seeking higher knowledge. Here are the top 20 universities in the USA that provide excellent education and quality of living.

20. University of California – Berkeley

University of California – Berkeley is a public institution that was founded in 1868. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 25,951, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 1,232 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. University of California–Berkeley’s ranking in the 2015 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 20. Its in-state tuition and fees are $13,844 (2014-15); out-of-state tuition and fees are $25,064 (2014-15).

The University of California — Berkeley, often referred to as Cal, is situated overlooking the San Francisco Bay. Berkeley guarantees two years of housing for incoming freshmen in a number of residence halls throughout campus.

There are more than 1,200 student organizations on campus, ranging from political groups to a hang gliding club and everything in between. Berkeley also has a thriving Greek life with more than 55 fraternity and sorority chapters. The California Golden Bears, Berkeley’s athletic teams, compete in the Pac-12 Conference and are known for their traditional arch rivalry with Stanford.

Berkeley is comprised of 14 schools and colleges, including a number of graduate and professional schools such as the School of Optometry, Graduate School of Journalism and College of Environmental Design. Other graduate programs are the highly ranked Haas School of Business, Graduate School of Education, College of Engineering, School of Law, School of Social Welfare, School of Public Health and Goldman School of Public Policy.

Berkeley is well known as a hub of liberal student activity: the Free Speech Movement—a 1964 student protest at Berkeley in response to the administration’s attempt to remove student political groups from campus—gained widespread national attention.

Distinguished alumni include former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, Olympic gold medalist Jonny Moseley and actor John Cho of the “Harold and Kumar” films. Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, scientific director of the Manhattan Project during WWII to develop the atomic bomb, was a physicist and professor at Berkeley.

Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at University of California–Berkeley is 17:1, and the school has 60 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students.

The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 96.8 percent.

Student Life

University of California–Berkeley has a total undergraduate enrollment of 25,951, with a gender distribution of 48.1 percent male students and 51.9 percent female students. University of California–Berkeley is part of the NCAA I athletic conference.

Campus Services

University of California–Berkeley offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, student patrols, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc).


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