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I hear most people that go to Berkeley are smug and overly defensive about their school since it's in an undesirable city, is this true? Oh wait nevermind you already answered.

Same here! I can't answer for Berkeley specifically, but I find it to be a pretty decent offer as I'm currently surviving in SoCal on a similar yearly budget -- but the biggest costs for me are defini

Short answer: Yes! Longer Answer: I have lived in Berkeley for only about a month and a half last summer, but from what I remember, there was always something happening somewhere in Berkeley/Oakland/S

  • 9 months later...

How easy is it to get from Berkeley campus to SF (say, the Exploratorium or whatever)? Google Maps says 45-ish minutes, which surprises me because I've heard anecdotally that Berkeley students are closer to SF than say, their rivals across the bay. 

Edit: Not that I think doing a PhD is going to give me any time to run around SF, but still....

Edited by peanutjellyfish
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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest tarsila89
On 1/26/2019 at 9:09 PM, peanutjellyfish said:

How easy is it to get from Berkeley campus to SF (say, the Exploratorium or whatever)? Google Maps says 45-ish minutes, which surprises me because I've heard anecdotally that Berkeley students are closer to SF than say, their rivals across the bay. 

Edit: Not that I think doing a PhD is going to give me any time to run around SF, but still....

BART can take you to SF in 20 - 30 minutes depending on where you are going in SF. It's a pretty easy commute, and one a lot of people do. For my undergrad I lived in Berkeley and worked in SF, it was pretty quick and cheap to commute. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2/7/2019 at 10:13 PM, tarsila89 said:

BART can take you to SF in 20 - 30 minutes depending on where you are going in SF. It's a pretty easy commute, and one a lot of people do. For my undergrad I lived in Berkeley and worked in SF, it was pretty quick and cheap to commute. 

I would just add that the BART is significantly more expensive than the Boston T or NYC Subway where you pay the same price regardless of where you enter and exit the stations. It is even more expensive than the Paris Metro. One-way from Downtown Berkeley to Embarcadero (SF) is over $4. 

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On 2/25/2019 at 4:04 AM, thejellybean said:

Does anyone happen to know what the music scene is like in the Berkeley area? For example, are there venues like jazz bars or coffee shops that host small shows? Maybe places with open mic nights?

Short answer: Yes! Longer Answer: I have lived in Berkeley for only about a month and a half last summer, but from what I remember, there was always something happening somewhere in Berkeley/Oakland/SF. 

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  • 10 months later...

Howdy everyone! I was recently accepted into UC Berkeley's chemistry program (yay!!) and my potential PI informed me that the stipend should be around $36,000. Is this a livable stipend for a year at Berkeley? It seems like too little to me but I was wondering if anyone else can chime in with their experience. 

 

Also, if you have been accepted into Berkeley and will need a roommate please let me know :))

 

Thanks so much!

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On 1/7/2020 at 12:45 AM, OscarGon1234 said:

Howdy everyone! I was recently accepted into UC Berkeley's chemistry program (yay!!) and my potential PI informed me that the stipend should be around $36,000. Is this a livable stipend for a year at Berkeley? It seems like too little to me but I was wondering if anyone else can chime in with their experience. 

 

Also, if you have been accepted into Berkeley and will need a roommate please let me know :))

 

Thanks so much!

I just graduated from berkeley and am a now current PhD student at another university, and I can tell you that's pretty much as good a stipend as it gets (except ivy leagues pay like $40k/yr, but thats such a small difference), unless you have fellowships to add onto school funding. you can definitely thrive in berkeley on $36k a year, i survived on half that as an undergrad, paying my own rent. you just wont be saving too much, but that's phd life for everyone. berkeley chemistry is one of the top chemistry departments in the world, definitely plan on going there! also berkeley is a great city with good food/bars, and 30 mins from san francisco, which is a great city too. congrats! 

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On 2/24/2019 at 10:04 PM, thejellybean said:

Does anyone happen to know what the music scene is like in the Berkeley area? For example, are there venues like jazz bars or coffee shops that host small shows? Maybe places with open mic nights?

The bay area has an amazing music scene, comparable to the diversity of NYC's music scene. in berkeley in particular: right on campus is the greek theater which has a ton of top tier concerts, and in oakland are many great hip music venues like the Fox Theater and The New Parish.  Not to mention, SF is 30 minutes away which doubles the amount of concerts and music life going on. You can definitely find open mic nights and jazz bars. In berkeley specifically, a local favorite for open mic and "funk night" on thursdays is the starry plough bar in south berkeley. options are limitless since oakland and SF are so close and have great scenes. i went to at least 10 concerts as an undergrad

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On 1/6/2020 at 9:45 PM, OscarGon1234 said:

Howdy everyone! I was recently accepted into UC Berkeley's chemistry program (yay!!) and my potential PI informed me that the stipend should be around $36,000. Is this a livable stipend for a year at Berkeley? It seems like too little to me but I was wondering if anyone else can chime in with their experience. 

 

Also, if you have been accepted into Berkeley and will need a roommate please let me know :))

 

Thanks so much!

Same here! I can't answer for Berkeley specifically, but I find it to be a pretty decent offer as I'm currently surviving in SoCal on a similar yearly budget -- but the biggest costs for me are definitely tuition and rent.

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  • 1 month later...

Same here! Berkeley is one of my top choices but I'm curious about the cost of living. How feasible is it to study at Berkeley with a $31,500 stipend? That's how much I've been offered through the Berkeley Fellowship (from what I understand this is some sort of university-wide fellowship but I don't really know means/how this differs from other types of funding packages.)

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On 3/3/2020 at 1:42 PM, krysinska said:

Same here! Berkeley is one of my top choices but I'm curious about the cost of living. How feasible is it to study at Berkeley with a $31,500 stipend? That's how much I've been offered through the Berkeley Fellowship (from what I understand this is some sort of university-wide fellowship but I don't really know means/how this differs from other types of funding packages.)

Do you know if that is typical ? I haven't received a funding offer yet and am hopelessly trying to estimate a ballpark...

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On 3/4/2020 at 4:42 AM, krysinska said:

Same here! Berkeley is one of my top choices but I'm curious about the cost of living. How feasible is it to study at Berkeley with a $31,500 stipend? That's how much I've been offered through the Berkeley Fellowship (from what I understand this is some sort of university-wide fellowship but I don't really know means/how this differs from other types of funding packages.)

I lived in Berkeley until recently and that sounds like it would depend on what kind of place you want to live. Good studios are a little over 2k a month (like, 2100~2200 I'd say) while older cheaper studios can be in the 1500~1800 range. Single rooms in a shared apartment are roughly 1000 and up and doubles are 600~900ish. So personally, 31.5k sounds like enough to support 1 person.

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4 hours ago, hajjibaba said:

Do you know if that is typical ? I haven't received a funding offer yet and am hopelessly trying to estimate a ballpark...

Really, really depends on the department. I would say a rough ballpark tho would be around 30k and up for sciences and 20~25k for humanities (STEM gets a lot of funding in Berkeley).

Edited by joysii
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3 hours ago, joysii said:

I lived in Berkeley until recently and that sounds like it would depend on what kind of place you want to live. Good studios are a little over 2k a month (like, 2100~2200 I'd say) while older cheaper studios can be in the 1500~1800 range. Single rooms in a shared apartment are roughly 1000 and up and doubles are 600~900ish. So personally, 31.5k sounds like enough to support 1 person.

This is helpful, thanks so much!

 

8 hours ago, hajjibaba said:

Do you know if that is typical ? I haven't received a funding offer yet and am hopelessly trying to estimate a ballpark...

Not sure how typical this is. My funding is through the Berkeley Graduate Fellowship and I'm in the humanities, if that helps.

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13 hours ago, krysinska said:

This is helpful, thanks so much!

 

Not sure how typical this is. My funding is through the Berkeley Graduate Fellowship and I'm in the humanities, if that helps.

I realized I should have clarified. The rent costs I mentioned are for places that are close to campus (5~12min walks). so if you were willing to go further away, which a lot of grad students tend to do because they want quieter locations, the rent will be 200~500 cheaper.

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  • 11 months later...

Reviving this chain -- would anyone have any thoughts on grad housing (I see Jackson, Manville apts, and garden village) and as someone who will be moving countries if this is a feasible option for year 1?

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