Make the Most of Your Application

Be reflective.

Use every part of the application and use it wisely.

UC Berkeley receives more than 90,000 appications each year. Here are some ways to make your application complete and as competitive as possible within our applicant pool. 

How to declare a major

When applying to Berkeley, you will be asked what major you are interested in. Berkeley has over 100 majors across our five colleges: Letters and Science, Natural Resources, Engineering, Chemistry, Environmental Design. If you are still trying to determine your major, Berkeley Guide can help. 

Many students are undecided about their major. There are options in three of Berkeley’s colleges. For Letters and Science, select the “intended” option for one of the subdivisions in the college (social sciences, arts/humanities, physical sciences). Natural Resources applicants may select the 'undeclared" option. While the College of Engineering offers undeclared as an option, we recommend that applicants select a major.

Interested in Engineering and Business? Check out the Management, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (M.E.T.) Program, where students will take classes and receive a degree in both the College of Engineering and the Haas School of Business. Note: This pilot program is currently the only option for students to apply directly to Haas School of Business as a freshman.

Interested in pre-business? Freshman applicants are not able to apply directly to the Haas School of Business to major in business administration. If you are interested in applying potentially majoring in business administration, you should select the option for “Intending to major in Social Sciences” under the College of Letters and Science. Selecting this option will have no bearing on your class availability and your preparation for admission to the upper division business major.

How to use the Additional Comments boxes

There are two Additional Comments boxes within the UC application: one is within the Academic History, under "Other Academic History - Additional Information" and one within the Personal Insight section. Use these to provide information to supplement or explain what's already in your application or to include relevant information that doesn't appear anywhere else or that you feel should be brought to a reader's attention. 

Use the Additional Comments box within Academic History for academic-related information. This is a good place to explain any fluctuations in your academic performance and what you did about it. You also can:

  • Explain a course choice
  • Highlight grade trends (Example: C’s to A’s over a period of time)
  • Share anything about your academic record not yet covered in the application

In the Personal Insight section, use the Additional Comments box to report any meaningful extracurricular activities or volunteer work you want to elaborate on or that you were not able to include in the Extracurricular section of the application. Show us how you made a difference, showed leadership, or took initiative. For example, explain more about how you showed leadership as a team co-captain, saved money for your employer, or solved a major IT problem when you volunteered at a nonprofit organization. 

How to report your academics


  • List ALL high schools you attended (or will attend before enrolling at a UC campus)
  • Include dates you attended
  • List ALL academic courses taken during high school, even those completed in summer
  • List your grades
  • List non A-G courses (Physical Ed, Test Prep, etc.) under the Activities & Awards section: "Coursework Other Than A-G"
  • Report any TRANSFERABLE college courses taken while in high school (Transferable courses = factored into your GPA)
  • Specify which year you took each course (Example: sophomore or junior year)
  • Not sure a course is transferable? Check ASSIST.ORG or your community college catalog
  • Do NOT send transcripts with your application


  • Report ALL courses from all two- and four-year institutions, even non-transferable coursework
  • Report courses exactly as they appear on your transcripts
  • Keep any unofficial transcripts available
  • Applicants from California community colleges = copy coursework from and paste it directly into Transfer Admission Planner (TAP) or your application
  • We look favorably on academic improvement (Example: from C to A)
  • Report failing grades from early in your academic career; failure to disclose coursework will hurt your admission
  • Do NOT send transcripts with your application; you will receive information on how to send academic updates in January
Learn more

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Transfer Student Applicant

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