Our Faculty

Learning from the best

At the heart of U.C. Berkeley’s achievements and reputation is a faculty second to none, honored around the globe for its intellectual preeminence. Berkeley’s professors are pioneers — researchers and scholars who change the world with their accomplishments and shape the minds of future generations with their engaging teaching skills.

L&S students find themselves in classrooms with some of the most distinguished minds in research and academia. They include scientists such as molecular and cell biologist Randy Schekman who received a 2013 Nobel Prize for medicine and astrophysicist George Smoot who won a 2006 Nobel in physics; English professor and Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Hass; and MacArthur fellows Michael Manga, Lu Chen and Nicole King, winners of what’s known as the “genius award,” whose honors made Berkeley the home of more MacArthur fellows than any other institution.

Perhaps even more importantly, our professors spark students’ love of learning and discovery with their effusive passion for teaching. They are teachers such as neurobiologist David Presti, a “hero” to his students and the winner of the Golden Apple Award for Outstanding Teaching; Distinguished Teaching Award recipients such as statistician Ani Adhikari, philosophy professor Hubert Dreyfus or Shakespearean and Renaissance scholar Jeffrey Knapp; or astronomer Alex Filippenko, recently named national Professor of the Year and beloved by his students for his "ability to light the astral fire in undergraduates."

The 800 L&S faculty members includes 13 of the 20 Nobel Prize winners on the campus; 3 out of 4 Pulitzer Prizes; and 12 out of 16 MacArthur “Genius” Awards.


Alex Filippenko

Alex Filippenko

"The vote of the students means the most to me. Everyone in the universe could think that I’m great, but if the students don’t think I’m coming across to them … it doesn’t really matter."


Alex Filippenko was elected best professor on campus five times and is the winner of the Richtmyer Memorial Award and the national “Professor of the Year” award.

The L&S Faculty Includes:

  • 15 of the 22 Nobel Prizes on the campus, including four current faculty members
  • 3 of 4 Pulitzer Prizes
  • 19 out of 32 MacArthur Genius Awards
  • 3 Shaw Prize winners
  • 74 percent of Guggenheim Fellowships
  • 70 percent of the campus’ members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 74 percent of Berkeley’s members of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 31 of 39 of UC Berkeley members of the American Philosophical Society

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| Updated: May 05, 2014