Graduate Applications increase 40% since 2001Despite a budget shortfall, hiring freeze and higher fees, the University of California, Berkeley, continues to attract more and higher quality graduate students, according to new data from the campus’s Graduate Division.

By far, students say their top reasons to come to UC Berkeley include the chance to work with distinguished faculty and to earn their degrees from world-class graduate programs.

Applicants to UC Berkeley’s graduate programs increased 40 percent between 2001 and 2009, and applicants for fall 2010 are on course to surpass the 36,600 who applied for fall 2009.

A higher percentage of prospective students are accepting admission offers as well. In 2009, 55 percent of them chose to attend UC Berkeley, versus 45 percent in 2001.

Even more impressive, many graduate students are arriving on campus with prestigious fellowships. In 2009, 30 newly-enrolled graduate students were recipients of National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships, joining 293 other NSF fellows already on campus. Over the past decade, UC Berkeley has had more NSF fellowship winners than any other university in the nation…

“We attract the very best applicants, and they are more likely to decide to come here when we offer admission,” said Andrew Szeri, dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate Division and a professor of mechanical engineering. “Our goal is to provide full financial support for all doctoral degree students so as to stay competitive with the world’s other top schools, which already do that. In this way, we support the campus’s mission to be a leader in research and teaching…”