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UC Berkeley academic environment

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Zipperiezoo

This question is for current/former UC Berkeley students only please. How would you describe the academic environment at Berkeley optometry school? Are most of the students pretty laid back, or are most of them pretty competitive? Undoubtedly, the students there are highly motivated... Are many of them boastful and arrogant? Unbalanced and study constantly? OR are they balanced, happy, and humble? I know it depends on the class and the individuals, but before I apply, I would like to know if it has the sort of environment that would suit me.
 

POJO

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The optometry school is an official division of the Graduate Division of UC Berkeley and is now an official Graduate degree. As such, the expectations are a bit different than in a strictly professional environment. All students are expected to maintain a 3.0 B average. Anything less may cause the student to lose their seat because of the Graduate Division's policies. The Graduate Division is esteemed across the country in many disciplines including vision science and optometry.
 
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Zipperiezoo

I'm guessing.... the smart ones study all the time.. and the dumb ones who made dumb friends are not studying all the time. Just like any other school. :laugh:

In my experience, the "smart ones" are the ones that DON'T study all the time... They don't need to. This doesn't address my original question either way.

I would like someone that has direct knowledge of the Berkeley environment to respond, and if you would like to PM me that would be great too!
 

iiiimonica

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but here goes

optometry school is hard, because of the volume. cal is hard because of the caliber of students admitted and the grad school rules (you have to maintain a B average) now the professors do curve so they don't flunk out the class, but it's hard. and you can get your ass handed to you weekly -

but - and here's the big butt! we start preclinic day one. day frickin one - slit lamp. we learn how to drive before we know what the heck we are looking at, but we learn.

everyone studies all the time! and there are no dumb students at cal. no one sneaks into cal - ever. you have to be both smart and hard working to come here. even the super smart in class hit the books. the best thing is that although you may feel overwhelmed at times,you are not alone. and i bet that it's like this at other programs as well (i know for sure at SUNY, it gets overwhelming at times from a friend that goes there, SCCO gets crazy as well) if you get through your program and don't feel overwhelmed - well there's something wrong. we are going to be somebodies eye doctor soon - we should be fighting to keep up - but hey that's just me.

in summary - optometry school - should be hard
cal - hard - but not impossible
cal - great clinical program, even better people (i :love: :love: :love: my classmates, student affairs office, and most of admid and faculty)

okay back to work!
 

scotis322

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Thanks for this...I was just accepted at Cal and I was trying to get a better grasp of what the environment will be like. My numbers aren't amazing, but I'm used to struggling and having to work hard for every grade. Hopefully I'll cut it.:D
 

Elfego Baca

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The school is heavily female in recent classes. The current first year class had 9 men and 54 women, with the majority being Asian. I don't think there has ever been any kind of "cultural divide" at UCBSO. Like any school, some students work harder than others. There are stars who are smart and work hard, there are middle of the pack students who are bright but lazy or not-as-bright but hard-working, and there are lazy not-so-bright students (who usually don't last very long). Some students are good academically, but not clinically. Some are good clinically, but less so academically. Some are good at both, and some are not as good as both. Some classes are more laid-back, while other classes study more overall. Every class has its own "personality", and that's something that you can't predict. The vast majority of students are interested in helping their classmates to succeed, though there will always be a few that want to step on you as they climb to the top. More students are "humble" rather than "arrogant" or "boastful". Remember that if you were accepted, it means that you did something in your academic career to convince Berkeley that you can handle the program, so you shouldn't feel that you somehow are not up to the task.
 

iiiimonica

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The school is heavily female in recent classes. The current first year class had 9 men and 54 women, with the majority being Asian. I don't think there has ever been any kind of "cultural divide" at UCBSO. Like any school, some students work harder than others. There are stars who are smart and work hard, there are middle of the pack students who are bright but lazy or not-as-bright but hard-working, and there are lazy not-so-bright students (who usually don't last very long). Some students are good academically, but not clinically. Some are good clinically, but less so academically. Some are good at both, and some are not as good as both. Some classes are more laid-back, while other classes study more overall. Every class has its own "personality", and that's something that you can't predict. The vast majority of students are interested in helping their classmates to succeed, though there will always be a few that want to step on you as they climb to the top. More students are "humble" rather than "arrogant" or "boastful". Remember that if you were accepted, it means that you did something in your academic career to convince Berkeley that you can handle the program, so you shouldn't feel that you somehow are not up to the task.

your class personality is so hard to predict, but i have a good feeling about 2011 - and you're going to have some wonderful big sibs!
 
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