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The University of California - Berkeley

How this student rated the school
Research QualityF Research AvailabilityC
Research FundingF Graduate PoliticsF
Errand RunnersF Degree CompletionC
Alternative pay [ta/gsi]F Sufficient PayF
CompetitivenessA Education QualityF
Faculty AccessibilityD Useful ResearchD
ExtracurricularsF Success-UnderstandingF
Surrounding CityF Social Life/EnvironmentF
"Individual" treatmentF FriendlinessF
SafetyF Campus BeautyC
Campus MaintenanceF University Resource/spendingF
Describes the student body as:
Afraid, Arrogant

Describes the faculty as:
Unhelpful, Self Absorbed

Male
Lowest Rating
Research Quality
F
Highest Rating
Competitiveness
A
He cares more about Research Quality than the average student.
Date: Dec 31 1969
Major: Chemistry (This Major's Salary over time)
While the graduate school is better than the undergrad teaching, that's not saying much since you're just a number and treated like crap as an undergrad. As a grad student, you're slave labor and are treated like a prisoner. The school forces you to gain in-state residency through a RIDICULOUS and invasive process (including REQUIRING copies of your tax returns and signed credit card receipts with #s every 7 days in the state). The stipends are some of the lowest in the nation and are in no way even close to the cost of living. The off-campus housing is unaffordable and dangerous. The on-campus housing is exorbitant and dangerous. Of the hundreds of graduate students I met, only TWO were not victims of some sort of violent crime. One of the researchers lost teeth to a drunken undergrad who walked up and hit him for no reason; most of my friends were mugged; several were assaulted in other ways; roughly a third suffered from home invasions.

The graduate health insurance is awful. You have to pay 20% of everything up to some small minimum, then you have to pay 100%. Pray you don't get hurt or terribly ill.

The pressure to succeed is tremendous and the facilities the university has are below sub-standard. The only facility that works is the NMR lab. Between 88 professors, there is one working instrument of any kind so you have to go borrow someone else's IR or UV, etc. The university is riding on its reputation and uses that as an excuse to not keep up any facilities and to treat their students like crap, because they know that others are willing to take their place due to reputation. Sadly, reputation is all that is left. The actual quality of education and the facilities/equipment are awful. Of all the classes I took, only ONE was good. The rest were taught by professors who only cared about research and neglected their teaching entirely. The buildings of the campus are turning into slums and falling apart. You are not paid equally each month, and sometimes they forget to pay you all together (no joke). I personally know three people not including myself that did not get paid anywhere from 1-5 months. The administrative staff is beyond unhelpful and the university graduate department seems to delight in causing students strife. The campus police force is criminally corrupt. I was personally extorted by a police officer who perjured himself, and have talked to a number of other graduate students who have had similar issues with campus police and parking enforcement. The graduate students are all depressed. Thank goodness they are all nice to one another. The library has half their books shipped off to a storage facility, so you have to wait to check things out. The librarian is nice and helpful, but is overworked and underfunded.

Graduate school here was easily the worst years of my life, made so by the school. If I had it to do over again, I would choose a different school and I guarantee I would be much happier. Had I known these things coming in, I would have never made the decision to go here. UC-Berkeley sucks.

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