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If you've graduated from UC Berkeley's EECS major/program, how was your experience within it?

I'm currently a senior in high school who was recently accepted into UC Berkeley for the major: Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS). I'm set on attending Berkeley, and would like to learn more about a past graduate's experience in the EECS program.

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Natalie’s Answer, CareerVillage.org Team

Hi Engoron,

Congratulations on your acceptance! What a huge accomplishment. I went to UC Berkeley and did not study EECS, but I had a lot of friends in the program, so I can give you some secondhand thoughts. :)

First, if a student wants to do Computer Science at UC Berkeley, they can either do EECS or just Computer Science... EECS is in the College of Engineering (students earn a Bachelors of Science), where CS is in the College of Letter & Sciences and leads to a Bachelors of Arts (which, in my opinion, makes no sense as this is definitely a scientific degree! Alas.). If a student does the CS degree, they have to get a minimum GPA in some pre-reqs (some math classes and a few CS classes). All this to say, starting out already in EECS would be a big relief, since you wouldn't have to worry about meeting the minimum GPA to get into the CS major.

Second, my friends who were in the EECS major mostly focused on the CS part, and I believe only took the two EE classes required as part of the major. The majority of their classwork was focused on CS, though I'm sure if you were more focused on EE, you would have the opportunity to take electives on the EE side.

As I'm sure you are aware, UC Berkeley Computer Science department is a really well-regarded and top-notch program. My friends who majored in EECS all got really competitive jobs and internships (ranging from Software Engineers to Product Managers to working at Hedge Funds). They had access to brilliant professors and interesting classes, and they also all worked really hard, studied a ton, and managed challenging courses. Going into this major will be tough, but you will be surrounded by amazing classmates who I'm sure you will get to know well studying late, often. :)

I hope that's some helpful secondhand advice, and please let me know if there's anything else specific I might be able to help answer. Congratulations again and Go Bears!
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Diana’s Answer

Hi Engoron, great question! I graduated from UC Berkeley, but not in EECs, so please take this experience with a grain of salt. I knew many friends that were in the program. It was regarded as one of the most challenging and rigorous majors at UC Berkeley. Not to sway you one way or another, but I know that after freshman year, a lot students (myself included!) reconsidered their majors and the workload that came with it (switching majors is really common!). The good news is that regardless of whether you end up with an EECs degree or not, if your goal is to be a software engineer, there are a wealth of options available and you can definitely make it one way or another. For example, a friend of mine took CS as a minor instead of a major (worked part time in student tech support) and now works at Google. I myself didn't have any CS experience in Berkeley, but took a bootcamp after I graduated, and am a senior software engineer now. Best of luck at Cal!
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