An In-Depth Guide To Letters And Science Majors At Uc Berkeley

Deciding on a major is one of the most important choices you’ll make during your time at UC Berkeley. The expansive Letters and Science division offers over 80 diverse majors spanning physical sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities.

With endless options to choose from, the decision can feel overwhelming.

If you’re looking for a quick answer: The most popular L&S majors at Berkeley include Computer Science, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, and Biology. Consider your interests, career goals, and Berkeley’s strengths when weighing your options.

In this detailed guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about selecting a Letters and Science major at Cal. You’ll learn about the breadth of programs available, popular major options, insights from current students, tips on declaring a major, and strategies for choosing the right fit based on your passions and aspirations after Berkeley.

Overview of L&S Majors

At UC Berkeley, the College of Letters and Science (L&S) offers a wide range of majors for students to choose from. These majors are divided into four main categories: Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Social Sciences, and Arts and Humanities.

Each category provides unique opportunities for students to explore their interests and develop their skills.

Physical Sciences

The Physical Sciences category includes majors such as Physics, Chemistry, and Astronomy. These majors focus on understanding the fundamental principles of the physical world, from the behavior of atoms to the structure of the universe.

Students in these majors often engage in hands-on laboratory work and research projects to deepen their understanding of scientific concepts.

For example, the Physics major at UC Berkeley offers a rigorous curriculum that covers topics such as mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, and astrophysics. Students have access to state-of-the-art research facilities and may have the opportunity to work with renowned faculty members on cutting-edge experiments.

Life Sciences

The Life Sciences category encompasses majors such as Biology, Molecular and Cell Biology, and Integrative Biology. These majors focus on the study of living organisms, from the molecular level to ecosystems.

Students in these majors learn about topics such as genetics, physiology, ecology, and evolution.

UC Berkeley’s Biology major, for example, provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the principles that govern life. Students have the opportunity to participate in research projects, internships, and fieldwork to gain practical experience in the field.

The university’s proximity to the vibrant scientific community in the San Francisco Bay Area also offers unique opportunities for collaboration and networking.

Social Sciences

The Social Sciences category includes majors such as Economics, Psychology, Sociology, and Political Science. These majors focus on the study of human behavior, societies, and institutions. Students in these majors learn about topics such as economic systems, social interactions, psychological processes, and political ideologies.

For instance, UC Berkeley’s Economics major is one of the most popular majors in the College of Letters and Science. Students in this major study topics such as microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, and economic theory.

The department has a strong faculty that includes Nobel laureates and offers a wide range of courses to cater to students’ diverse interests.

Arts and Humanities

The Arts and Humanities category encompasses majors such as English, History, Philosophy, and Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies. These majors focus on the study of human creativity, culture, and expression.

Students in these majors engage in critical analysis, creative writing, and artistic performance.

UC Berkeley’s English major, for example, offers a rich curriculum that includes the study of literature, writing, and cultural theory. Students have the opportunity to explore a wide range of literary genres and periods, and they can also develop their writing skills through workshops and seminars.

The department also hosts literary events and readings, providing students with opportunities to engage with established authors and poets.

Most Popular L&S Majors

Computer Science

One of the most sought-after majors at UC Berkeley’s College of Letters and Science is Computer Science. With the rise of technology and the increasing demand for skilled programmers, it’s no surprise that this major is popular among students.

Computer Science majors at UC Berkeley benefit from a rigorous curriculum that covers topics such as algorithms, data structures, and software engineering. Graduates from this program often find themselves with a wide range of career opportunities in fields like software development, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity.

To learn more about the Computer Science major at UC Berkeley, visit their website.


Economics is another highly popular major within the College of Letters and Science. As a social science, economics explores how individuals, businesses, and governments make decisions regarding the allocation of resources.

UC Berkeley’s Economics program offers students a comprehensive understanding of economic theory, statistical analysis, and policy evaluation. Graduates from this program often pursue careers in fields such as finance, consulting, and public policy.

To learn more about the Economics major at UC Berkeley, visit their website.

Political Science

For those interested in understanding the complexities of politics and governance, the Political Science major at UC Berkeley is a popular choice. This program examines the theory and practice of politics, with a focus on topics such as international relations, comparative politics, and political theory.

Graduates from this program often find themselves working in government, nonprofit organizations, and the legal field. To learn more about the Political Science major at UC Berkeley, visit their website.


The study of the human mind and behavior is at the core of the Psychology major at UC Berkeley. With a focus on empirical research and critical analysis, this program provides students with a deep understanding of human cognition, emotion, and behavior.

Graduates from this program often pursue careers in counseling, social work, and research. To learn more about the Psychology major at UC Berkeley, visit their website.


As one of the fundamental life sciences, Biology attracts many students seeking to understand the complexities of living organisms. UC Berkeley’s Biology program offers a diverse range of courses that cover topics such as genetics, cell biology, and ecology.

Graduates from this program often pursue careers in medicine, biotechnology, and environmental science. To learn more about the Biology major at UC Berkeley, visit their website.

Insights from Current L&S Students

Following Your Passions

One of the great things about pursuing a Letters and Science (L&S) major at UC Berkeley is the opportunity to follow your passions. L&S offers a wide range of majors, from English and history to biology and mathematics, allowing students to explore and delve into subjects they are truly passionate about.

Whether you have always been interested in literature or have a curiosity for the natural sciences, L&S provides the flexibility to pursue your academic interests.

Current L&S students often emphasize the importance of choosing a major that aligns with your passions. By studying a subject you love, you are more likely to stay motivated and engaged throughout your academic journey.

Additionally, pursuing your passions can lead to a more fulfilling and rewarding college experience, as you will have the opportunity to dive deep into topics that truly interest you.

Preparing for Your Future Career

While following your passions is important, L&S students also recognize the need to consider their future career goals. Many L&S majors at UC Berkeley offer valuable skills that are highly sought after in the job market.

For example, a major in economics can provide a strong foundation for a career in finance or consulting, while a degree in computer science can open doors to a wide range of tech-related industries.

Current L&S students often advise their peers to think about how their chosen major aligns with their desired career path. By considering the skills and knowledge gained through their major, students can better prepare themselves for future job opportunities.

Internships, research experiences, and networking can also be invaluable in building a strong resume and making connections in their chosen field.

Seeking Support and Guidance

Another essential aspect of navigating the L&S program at UC Berkeley is seeking support and guidance. The university offers a plethora of resources to help students succeed academically and personally.

From academic advisors to tutoring services, students are encouraged to take advantage of the support available to them.

Current L&S students often recommend building relationships with professors and seeking their guidance. Professors can provide valuable insights, mentorship, and even opportunities for research or internships.

Additionally, connecting with fellow L&S students through clubs and organizations can create a sense of community and provide additional support throughout your college journey.

It’s also important to remember that it’s okay to ask for help when needed. UC Berkeley has numerous counseling and mental health services available for students who may be facing challenges or feeling overwhelmed.

Taking care of your mental and emotional well-being is just as important as your academic success.

For more information on the Letters and Science majors at UC Berkeley, you can visit the official UC Berkeley website at

Declaring an L&S Major at Berkeley

Choosing a major is a significant step in a student’s academic journey at UC Berkeley’s College of Letters and Science (L&S). In order to declare an L&S major, students must follow certain guidelines and meet specific requirements.

This article will provide an in-depth guide to help students navigate the process of declaring an L&S major at Berkeley.

Major Declaration Timelines

At UC Berkeley, students typically declare their major by the end of their sophomore year. However, it is important to note that certain majors may have different declaration timelines. It is recommended that students consult the department website or academic advisors to determine the specific deadlines for their intended major.

Planning ahead and staying informed about major declaration timelines is crucial to ensure a smooth transition into the chosen field of study.

Meeting Major Requirements

Each major within L&S has specific requirements that students must fulfill in order to declare. These requirements may include completing prerequisite courses, maintaining a minimum GPA, or submitting a written statement of interest.

It is essential for students to familiarize themselves with the major requirements early on in their academic career to ensure they are on track to meet the necessary criteria. Academic advisors and department websites are valuable resources for obtaining detailed information about major requirements.

Change of Major Process

In some cases, students may decide to change their major after initially declaring one. UC Berkeley offers a change of major process that allows students to explore different fields of study within L&S.

The change of major process typically involves meeting with an advisor from the desired major department, submitting an application, and fulfilling any additional requirements specified by the department.

It is important for students to carefully consider their options and explore their interests before initiating the change of major process.

For more information about declaring an L&S major at UC Berkeley, students can visit the College of Letters and Science website or schedule an appointment with an academic advisor. Declaring a major is an exciting milestone, and with proper planning and guidance, students can make the most of their academic experience at UC Berkeley.

Choosing the Right Letters and Science Major For You

Choosing a major is an important decision that will shape your academic journey and future career. When it comes to Letters and Science majors at UC Berkeley, there are a wide range of options to explore. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing the right major for you:

Assessing Your Interests

The first step in choosing a Letters and Science major is to assess your interests and passions. Consider what subjects you enjoy studying the most and what topics spark your curiosity. Are you drawn to social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, or a combination of these?

Take some time to reflect on your academic strengths and weaknesses, as well as the subjects that bring you the most joy and fulfillment.

Additionally, researching different majors and their course requirements can help you determine if the subject matter aligns with your interests. Look for opportunities to speak with current students or professionals in the field to gain further insights into the major you are considering.

Considering Post-Grad Goals

Another important factor to consider when choosing a Letters and Science major is your post-graduation goals. Think about the career path you envision for yourself and whether a specific major will provide the necessary skills and knowledge for that field.

Some majors may have more direct career paths, while others offer a broader foundation that can be applied to a variety of industries.

Researching career prospects and salary data for different majors can help you make an informed decision. Websites such as Bureau of Labor Statistics and PayScale provide valuable information on job outlook, average salaries, and required qualifications for various professions.

Exploring Options Outside Your Comfort Zone

While it’s important to choose a major that aligns with your interests and career goals, don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and explore new subjects. UC Berkeley offers a diverse range of Letters and Science majors that cover a wide array of disciplines.

Consider taking introductory courses in subjects that you may not have considered before to see if they pique your interest.

Exploring different majors can also open up new opportunities and help you discover hidden passions. You might find that a major you had never considered before turns out to be a perfect fit for your skills and interests.

Remember, choosing a major is a personal decision, and it’s okay if it takes some time to find the right fit. Take advantage of the resources available to you, such as academic advisors, career centers, and campus organizations, to help guide you in your decision-making process.

Ultimately, the goal is to choose a Letters and Science major that excites you and sets you on a path towards a fulfilling and successful future.


With over 80 diverse majors to explore, settling on just one area of study can feel overwhelming as a Berkeley Letters and Science student. By assessing your passions, career aspirations, and comfort with uncertainty, you can narrow your options and select a major that’s the best fit for you.

Leverage campus resources like academic advising to discuss your decision. Don’t be afraid to take introductory courses across disciplines before declaring. Though the major declaration process at UC Berkeley can be competitive, staying open and focusing on your interests will lead you to a rewarding area of study.

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