A diverse graduate student population is important to the UC Berkeley as both a state institution and a land grant school. Diverse graduate students contribute to the introduction of new ideas and approaches to research, expose all students to interaction with people of different backgrounds, and fulfill the state's objective to educate its inhabitants, a population more diverse than ever before. Of the 2,559 graduate students enrolled in L&S in Spring 2016, the following racial/ethnic groups were represented: White/Caucasian 1,459 (57%); Asian 302 (11%); Hispanic 196 (8%); African American/Black 93 (4%); Native American 40 (2%); and international students 469 (18%). The undergraduate population at L&S is represented by an even more diverse student body, with diversity on the rise: White/Caucasian 5,939 (30%); Asian 7,377 (37%); Hispanic 2,980 (15%); African American/Black 753 (4%); Native American 143 (1%); and international students 2,537 (13%).
In addition to the student population, UC Berkeley is also well known for diversity of thought in its curriculum. The depth and breadth of the curricula reflect the variety of perspectives that is encouraged and celebrated at Berkeley. Where else would you find separate programs for East Asian, South East Asian, and Asian Studies, or the possibility of studying Slavic, Scandinavian, or Hebrew languages? Additionally, UC Berkeley students and the Berkeley community have a long tradition of social activism that continues today and is often manifested in the public arena.