One of your most important duties as a pre-Haas freshman is to figure out the best times to take the Haas pre-requisite courses. This is extremely important; for if you don’t take all the pre-reqs by the end of sophomore year, you will automatically be rejected from Haas without a fighting chance. At the same time, you don’t want to take them all at once. You want focus. Here are some suggestions for the times to take your pre-reqs.
Most Popular Times
Freshman Fall: Math A, R&C A
Freshman Spring: UGBA 10, Math B, R&C B
Sophomore Fall: Econ 1
Sophomore Spring: Statistics
Of course, everyone is different, so don’t feel the need to follow this plan exactly. I, for instance, followed this for the most part except I took Math 16B Freshman Fall and Statistics Freshman Spring with UGBA 10. Again, the decision is yours, I am giving you general guidelines. Here are examples of such exceptions.
Exceptions and Details
UGBA 10: UGBA 10 is a class that really challenges you on how to study and prepare for a class, not necessarily in the actual material itself. That is why I say that UGBA 10 is not a good class to take freshman year. While the material is easy enough to understand, you must take advantage of office hours, participation, lecture, etc; which takes experience from other courses. I suggest waiting until you get that experience and then consequently apply it to UGBA 10 in a later semester. Some also choose to take it in sophomore spring, however UGBA 10 is still an important pre-requisite and it’s better that the Haas committee has some sort of standard (besides Econ 1) that they can use.
Econ 1: I am of the belief (and possibly minority) that if you already have experience in Econ, whether it’s from AP or IB economics in high school, you will do fine in Econ 1 first semester, or any semester really. Of the 700 people in Econ 1, I would say 45% are freshmen, 45% are sophomores, and 10% juniors and seniors, possibly less, and people did well regardless of their class level. Because it’s concept based, you don’t have to worry so much on the little details and logistics of the course. Although, I still believe taking it in a fall semester is the best way to go because the best Econ 1 professor teaches it! Professor Olney is a fantastic professor who explains concepts very clearly. Her course is difficult, but worthwhile.
Math: you should get this out of the way as soon as possible, first and/or second semester. There’s no point in waiting to take this class later, plus you most likely will have finished calculus in high school, so you’ll be prepared once you jump in. I suggest taking 1A or 16A first semester, and 1B or 16B second semester. If you passed the first semester (by getting a 5 on AP Calc BC, 5, 6, 7 in IB Math, or an A, B or C in A-Level Math) and are planning on taking 16B, take it first semester. If you’re planning on taking the 1 series and/or going into 53/54, start on the course after the one you just passed out of.
Stats: as for Econ 1, I am in the minority that taking Stats whenever you want should be fine. If you have previous statistics experience, you will find stats 20 or 21 to be no different (except maybe competition in 21) than in AP statistics. While the grade distribution is low for a business or economics related course, those with a background in statistics are already ahead of the game.
R&C: it is a campus wide requirement to have finished this requirement by the end of your sophomore year. I suggest you get this requirement completed as soon as possible, and if you can skip it, do it. This means, taking R&C A and B in the fall and spring first semester respectively, and taking R&C B in the fall if you’ve skipped A.
Foreign language: you must complete the equivalent of a second semester foreign language at Berkeley. This is also a campus requirement, and I suggest you complete this when you have time as well.
In general, you should spread out the pre-requisites, so that you have more time to focus on the courses. Do not worry about not having time to finish on time if you just take math first semester! You will definitely make it on time, just make sure you know which pre-reqs to fulfill within the four semesters.
Do your best! Grades are not everything, but it is important to do the best you can, stick to some strategies, and work hard.