Favorite campus spots

View of the campanile at night

Outside of McCone and East Asian Library (Photo by Moraldeep Singh)

We want you to get to know some of the places on campus that our students go to when they need a quiet place to study, take a moment to relax, or work on their research and projects. Find out what our students enjoy and how parts of Berkeley have become their home away from home. Clicking on a location name will take you to its spot on the campus map.

Where you can enter campus

“The best part about this place is the memories held with it. For someone who enters campus via North Gate and leaves late, this place is unforgettable since it holds a mixture of memories ranging from the struggle to get to get into the top ranked university, the scenic beauty consisting of vibrant colors, the nature, the lawn, the calmness & the storm and lastly the anxiousness of what lies ahead.” – Moraldeep, IEOR, MEng graduate student

Favorite study spots

Students studying together in the Center for Access to Engineering Excellence

Students studying in the Center for Access to Engineering Excellence, Berkeley, Calif. on March 4, 2019. (Photo by Adam Lau/Berkeley Engineering)

“The Center for Access to Engineering Excellence (CAEE) is a Berkeley engineer’s home away from home. This is a center for engineering students to have a peaceful and friendly environment to study in, where they are within arm’s reach of stellar tutoring services, and incredible resources which include but are not limited to textbook rentals, iclicker rentals, and free snacks. Due to its easily missed location in 227 Bechtel Engineering Center, I find it important for students to be made aware of this incredible resource early on in their Berkeley career.” – Natalie Celt, bioengineering, sophomore

Kresge engineering library

Kresge Engineering Library

Kresge Engineering Library is an excellent place to work collaboratively or solo. The environment is optimal for creativity and studying. Plus, the rooftop of Bechtel Engineering Center is really nice and it’s close to everything Engineering-related” – Jake, EECS, freshman

Garbarini Lounge is a really nice open space, always students there, sometimes hiring events, definitely a centerpiece of Bechtel.” – Kaichen Liu, EECS, sophomore

Where you will develop and use your skills

Richmond Field Station at sunset

Richmond Field Station (Photo by Rebecca Bennett)

“Although it’s not on our main campus, the Richmond Field Station (Berkeley Global Campus) is the most important location for Berkeley’s engineering competition teams. Many of Berkeley’s engineering teams have workshops here.There is always something cool going on–whether it be self driving cars driving around the roads, another competition team testing their latest projects, or a Berkeley lab conducting research. As a member of the Space Technologies and Rocketry team, I’ve spent so many Saturdays and late nights here (some of my best college memories.) Being here allows you to feel the vibrant energy and creative power of Berkeley’s engineering students. It’s also beautiful–you can see the sun set over directly over San Francisco and the Bay. ” – Rebecca Bennett, mechanical engineering, junior

“The Mechanical Engineering Machine Shop is a great way for organizations and students to learn how to use the tools needed for the world of engineering. Additionally, this shop laid inspiration for the creation of the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation and the CITRIS Invention Lab. There is a metal working area as well as a metal cutting CNC.” – Berkeley engineering student

“Inside of Davis Hall is the CEE structures laboratory. This lab has a bridge crane which is particularly cool since students are able to take what they have learned in class and apply in a real-life scenario. This is also near some of the student organizations that support the CEE such as the American Society of Civil Engineers and Chi Epsilon, the Civil Engineering Honor Society. Some cool specifications of the lab are that the crane can handle 17 foot test specimens, there is a machine shop attached to the lab, and a base-isolated strong floor.”– Berkeley engineering student

Stanley Hall is the home for the bioengineering department and has Yali’s cafe, which is delicious and my primary source for food, and a nice basement study space with lots of natural light and big windows.” – Lienna Chen, bioengineering, senior

Places to hang out

Smilodon statue at UC Berkeley

Smilodon statue (Photo by Teddy Forscher)

“It’s hard to describe how much I love the smilodon statue outside McLaughlin and McCone. 1) Smiley is always there giving out high fives whenever you walk by, even during physical/social distancing. 2) It invites people to learn, both about California history, and Bay Area history! 3) Many different members of the Berkeley community seem to love Smiley. She gets decorated for Halloween, graduation, and numerous other times throughout the year. 4) I know Smiley will be there when we all get back to campus, giving high fives.” – Teddy Forscher, transportation engineering, Ph.D. student

Qualcomm Cafe is a very pretty and a great study spot. When I get stressed I go there, get a drink and take a few minutes to do nothing. I always end up refreshed and ready to work.” – Arnav, bioengineering, junior

The O’Brien lawn – beautiful trees, view of the Campanile, the lounging bear statues, and new picnic tables!” – Scott Miller, Ph.D.

“5th floor, Etcheverry graduate student lounge, the views of the bay are incredible on a good day.” – Michael Vronsky, mechanical engineering, sophomore

The campanile

Campanile view with student Alexandra Novales

View from the campanile (Photo by Alexandra Novales)

“If you asked any of my friends, they’d instantly know where my favorite spot was on campus: the spot RIGHT in front of the campanile, facing the bay. It’s my favorite spot because you get to see everything: our massive campus stretching all the way to downtown + (if weather permits) you’re able to see the golden gate bridge. I try to pass this way on my way to class and/or on my way home, mostly to catch the sunset or take a picture for my Snapchat streaks. Going to my favorite spot always makes me feel better.” – Alexandra Novales, IEOR, sophomore

Build your community

Students studying together in Hesse Hall

Hesse Hall Lobby (Photo by Bianca Champenois)

“The Hesse Hall Lobby is where mechanical engineers come for office hours, finish problem sets with classmates or hang out with friends. It is where can ask staff questions about electronic parts for class projects and where projects are showcased at the end of each semester. The Hesse Hall Lobby is one of my favorite places on campus because it created a home for the people in mechanical engineering. I know that I can walk through those two giant doors on any day, at any time, guaranteed to see a familiar face.” – Bianca Champenois, mechanical engineering, senior

Places to visit

Student group photo at BicyCAL Bike Cooperative

BicyCAL (Photo by Bianca Champenois)

“The BicyCAL Bike Cooperative located under the Golden Bear Cafe is an open space with plenty of tools for students to fix their bikes. The shop fosters a culture of collaboration and learning where anyone is welcome to try a repair, regardless of skill level. The volunteer mechanics at the shop are extremely talented and friendly, always willing to lend a hand. There are very few universities that have a space like this one which promotes sustainable transportation, bike democracy, and education.” – Bianca Champenois, mechanical engineering, senior

“The fire trails are great for a quick hike between classes to clear your head, get some fresh air, and have great views of the Bay Area. You can also take a free shuttle up the hill, so you only have to walk downhill!” – Berkeley engineering student