Graduate school at Cal … not too shabby

Cal Grads Have It Good Too

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After a particularly long week of class that culminates in a rather pointless discussion section at 5 p.m. on a Friday, you might be letting your thoughts stray to other things like the weekend, or maybe spring break. Looking around, you’re fairly sure that everyone is echoing similar statements, except your GSI, who you should be listening to instead of narrating a random tangent inside your head. She actually likes it here — and thanks to your avid readership of the Clog, you’re about to find out why.

Following Berkeley’s acclaim as the world’s best public school by US News & World Report many months ago, it now has another couple notches in its already staggering belt. US News ranked three UC Berkeley graduate programs best in the nation and placed another three in the top 10, proving that Cal is the place to be for a number of disciplines — some that you might not associate with being top of the line.

By virtue of the telling average GPA — which should be seeing reforms coming to it in due time — the always fair test scores and the number of people who get the distinct privilege of putting the title “doctor” in front of their name, the English, history and sociology departments ranked first in the nation overall. Not only does this bring meaning to some of the more obscure parts of campus like Barrows Hall, but on the off chance you’re taking an undergrad English class that’s taught by a professor who teaches the graduate course, it might actually be worth it to pay attention instead of playing Temple Run 2 on your poorly concealed phone.

The College of Engineering continued its third-place finish from last year, which seems to be an inevitable outcome considering that the criteria used to determine this ranking included reputation of name and student-to-faculty ratio – categories that MIT and the pay-for-your-degree Stanford would seem to have a decided advantage in. Haas School of Business also held firm in its seventh rank, notably beating out everyone else in the top 10 in terms of cost of attending. You could save a cool $5,000 by attending Haas as opposed to a depressingly rainy place like Pennsylvania and still receive a better education than a couple of Ivies. Despite their relative success, we at the Clog believe that seventh place doesn’t warrant the incessant construction to continue on Eastside — especially when they’re splurging money on custom backpacks for all of its students.

The last major winner was the School of Law — yeah, that school of law with the gigantic brass panels that obnoxiously reflect the sun’s glare in the midafternoon. We use the term “winner” lightly, since it actually dropped a couple of spots, but still managed to stay afloat in the top 10, coming in at ninth. The biggest surprise wasn’t necessarily the drop, but that Yale supplanted Harvard as the No. 1 institution for law. No word yet on whether this will be a major plot hole in the epic TV series “Suits,” but they still have three months to refilm all the episodes, so we aren’t all too worried.

One quick note before you snap back to reality and your GSI calls on you for the answer to the question she just posed. As much as you may resent being stuck in class when the next few days of freedom taunt you from the other side of the door, you may actually want to pay attention. You may end up sticking around at Cal far longer than you expected.

Contact Uday at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @mehtakid

Image source: (left-to-right) Ingrid Taylar, Corey Seeman, & Jarek Piorkowski under Creative Commons