Admissions/Change of Major Information


Admission to the University

For information on how to apply to the University, please see the UC Santa Barbara Admissions Page or apply directly online through the UC Admissions Page.

Admission to the Major

Students interested in computer science who apply to UCSB should declare the computer science major when they apply. Non-UCSB computer science majors and those looking to double major can petition for a change of major once they complete the minimum requirements (specified below) for doing so. Computer Science majors have priority when registering for all Computer Science courses. Students admitted to the Computer Science major are responsible for satisfying the major requirements in effect when they declare their major. Upper and lower division courses required for the major must be taken for letter grades. Only some General Education classes (GEs) can be taken for a pass/no-pass grade. For any questions on GEs, contact the college advisors or see this page.

Changing Your Major to Computer Science (UCSB students only)

Severely limited resources and our desire to provide the Computer Science (CS) majors with an excellent education and learning experiences has made the CS change of major process extremely competitive.

The following are the minimum requirements for consideration - achieving them do not guarantee approval of the change-of-major petition. Preference will be given to those who complete these requirements at UCSB and to those with the strongest academic records. Transfer students are not eligible to apply for a change of major into CS.

Complete the following requirements:

  • A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
  • Satisfactory completion of Computer Science 16 and 24 with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher; First takes only.
  • Satisfactory completion of Math 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B and Computer Science 40 with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher; First takes only.

In addition, petitions are required to have

  • Never been placed on academic probation,
  • Fewer than 105 total units, and
  • Demonstrable evidence (via a study plan submitted with the petition) that the CS degree can be completed without exceeding 200 units or five total years of post-secondary study, including time enrolled at other institutions.

Students should submit their petitions to the Computer Science Department when they are currently completing the last of the minimum requirements. The change of major petition and study plan can be found here or picked up from the CS Department office in 2104 Harold Frank Hall. The department will respond to petitions when the quarter is over. Any denied petitions will be automatically considered and evaluated a second time the following quarter (unless the student withdraws his/her petition). Petitions denied a second time will not be reconsidered. For additional questions, contact the CS Undergraduate Advisor Margaret Salisbury

Print friendly version of change of major information here. GPA calculator tool here.


Change of Major FAQ's


1) Does being in a certain major or college make it “easier” to switch in?

-Below are the majors who have priority enrollment in the CS classes needed to petition. Priority enrollment means these students have access to the classes in their 1st and 2nd pass times, in addition to the 3rd pass when the classes open up to the rest of the campus for enrollment. Any majors not on these lists have to wait until their 3rd pass time for class registration to add these classes or add into their waitlist if already full.

CS 8: Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Geography, Geography GIS, Pre-Math, Pre-Math Sciences, Pre-Financial Math, Statistics, Statistical Sciences, and Actuarial Sciences

CS 16: Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Statistics, Statistical Sciences, and Actuarial Sciences

CS 24: Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering

CS 40: Computer Science and Computer Engineering


2) Can I take these classes somewhere else and transfer the credit?

-Our classes are heavily impacted, and thus, enrolling in them is usually the biggest hurdle faced in the change of major process. You can choose to take their equivalents during summer at another 4-year institution (UC/CSU or out of state) or at a community college. To get a 4-year school’s equivalent approved, email the undergrad advisor with the course information (website, syllabus, etc) BEFORE you enroll in it. She will tell you whether the class would be equivalent or not. For 2-year CA community college classes, you can check on If you see the equivalent approved on there, you can take the class. Once the course is finished, have your transcripts sent to the UCSB Registrar’s office.

NOTE: Transfer work (that is not done at another UC campus) will just result in completed credits. The grade does not transfer to your UCSB GPA nor will be taken into account when your change of major GPA is calculated for the petition. The cumulative GPA requirements (3.2 for CS 16-24 and 3.0 for the rest) will be calculated from the courses completed on a UC campus.

Recent Admissions Statistics 

Five Year Enrollment History Computer Science 

Fall 2012   Fall 2013   Fall 2014   Fall 2015   Fall 2016 Fall 2017
378   346   366   371   379  


Computer Science Degrees Awarded 

2011-12   2012-13   2013-14   2014-15   2015-16   2016-17  
73   71   75   107   85   94