problem I had with Berkeley is that they put too
much attention on their graduate (chemistry) program (which is not
surprising because they are consistently ranked #1), and not enough
on their undergraduate program. I had a hard time
finding a professor who would accept me into his/her group
to do undergraduate research. I ended up not having
any undergraduate research experience at Cal (thankfully I interned at
a company so I had research experience to show when
I applied to grad school). Basically just from completing
all the course work required for the BS degree, I
left Berkeley feeling somewhat inadequate in my training and not
entirely ready to join the industry as a BS chemist.
I went to UCLA for my PhD, and from my
interaction with the undergrads there, mostly as a TA, I
got a pretty good impression of their chemistry undergraduate program.
Their program is much more comprehensive and I feel
that the chemistry undergraduates there get a much more well-rounded
education. The professors are also more enthusiastic about taking
in undergrads into their group.
Basically, if I get to
do it again, knowing what I know now, I would
have gone to UCLA for undergrad, and then apply to
Berkeley for grad school.