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The ABCs of UCUES — How it’s conducted

 Undergrad Lowdown logoFive-part series:
A 360-degree view of a student body

• Roots & Identity: Family background, keeping in touch with home, campus personas
• School & Play: Academic experience, time and technology use
• Unpacking 'Diversity': Student accounts of encounters across boundaries
• Growing Convictions: Politics, religion, and community engagement
• New on Campus: The freshman and transfer-student experience

• The ABCs of UCUES: How the survey is conducted
• Complete student-survey results

Each spring all 23,000-plus UC Berkeley undergraduates (not just a sample group) are asked to take the online UC Undergraduate Experience Survey, and every other year the entire UC system’s 150,000-plus students are asked to complete the survey. Only limited enrollment/second-degree students and students under 18 are excluded.

The survey begins with a core group of questions — about family background, educational and social experience at Cal. Respondents are also assigned randomly to complete one of five modules — on academic engagement, civic engagement, student development, student services, and a “wild card” topic chosen by each UC campus. Berkeley’s 2007 wild card topic was diversity.

At UC Berkeley, the Office of Student Research (OSR) administers UCUES — which, unlike other national higher-ed surveys, includes all class levels, freshmen through seniors, as well as transfer students. Each year OSR gives out $4,000 to $5,000 worth of prizes, by lottery, to respondents, with a grand prize of $1,000. In 2007, 11,957 out of 23,278 spring-semester Berkeley undergrads (51.4%) took the survey.