New year, new program brings more undergrads to Haas

Undergrad students gather for orientation. Photo: Alyssa Fong
Undergrad students gather for orientation. Photo: Alyssa Fong

A group of 359 new undergraduate students—selected from the largest applicant pool ever—joined the Haas community this week, including 267 continuing UC Berkeley students and 92 transfer students.

They were welcomed Monday during orientation with an address by Interim Dean Laura Tyson, an ethics discussion, an overview of career services and alumni networks, an introduction to the Zero Waste plan for Chou Hall, and a session on “How to be Successful at Haas” with Lecturer Krystal Thomas.

Becoming a Haasie was especially competitive this year, with an acceptance rate of just 13.5%. All but one of the UC Berkeley students who were accepted decided to enroll; 92 of the 104 admitted transfer students enrolled. The Berkeley students have an impressive average GPA of 3.68, while the average among transfers is 3.91. About half of the new students are women.

Among them is Jordyn Elliott, BS 20, and a forward on the Cal Women’s soccer team.

“I’m really excited,” Elliott said. “Haas will be a challenge—but as an athlete you are primed to face challenges and I hope that helps me in next two years. I’m so excited to take all of the core classes and explore the electives.”

Erika Walker, assistant dean of the undergraduate program, said business is now one of the most popular majors on campus, drawing many more students to Haas overall.

“We’re turning away many students, and we’ve been breaking record numbers consistently over the past three years,” she said.

In addition to the undergraduates at Haas, the program now has 33 undergraduate students enrolled in the new four-year Global Management Program, which began classes in London this week.

Students in the Global Management Program will study in London.
Students in the new Global Management Program will study in London.

Additionally, 52 new students are starting the rigorous Management, Entrepreneurship & Technology (M.E.T.) Program, which launched last year as a joint program with Haas and Berkeley Engineering.

The M.E.T. class is both academically exceptional and well-rounded. The class includes students who have built a bike sensor to alert cyclists of oncoming cars; created a “Gluten Guru” app to determine if products contain gluten; developed a YouTube following of more than 6,000 subscribers on an electronic review channel; and founded a nonprofit that promotes literacy to elementary school kids.

Students in this program hail from Puerto Rico, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland.