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. For TRANSFER STUDENT information, please see this Transfer Admissions Page for requirements.
Admission to the Major
Interested students should prioritize the CS Bachelor's of Science major when they apply to UCSB. UCSB students who are NOT currently CS majors can petition for a change of major once they complete the minimum requirements (specified below) for doing so. The change of major process must also be followed for those interested in adding CS as a double-major. Transfer students admitted under another major are NOT eligible.
Changing Your Major or Double-Majoring With Computer Science (UCSB students only)
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. It is your responsibility to stay in contact with the CS advising staff, especially if you are confused about your eligibility or specific requirements. They can be found in 2104 Harold Frank Hall or at 805-893-4321.
*If you are a transfer student, see additional information regarding the change of major process or double majoring on our Special Programs page.
Minimum Requirements for Consideration
The following are the minimum requirements for consideration. NO EXCEPTIONS ARE MADE FOR THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS.
1. Complete these courses with a letter grade and on the first attempt:
CMPSC 16*, CMPSC 24** and CMPSC 40 (or Math 8)**
- Minimum of cumulative 3.2 GPA
Math 3A (or 2A), Math 3B (or 2B), Math 4A and Math 4B
Minimum of cumulative 3.0 GPA
2. Never have been on academic probation at UCSB
3. Have less than 105 UCSB units completed by the end of the quarter in which you applied
AP and transferable non-UC units do NOT count toward this limit
4. Complete a study plan that demonstrates you can finish the CS degree without exceeding 200 units or 5 total years of college
5. Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
*CMPSC 8 is a prerequisite for CMPSC 16, but can be waived with an AP Computer Science A score of 4 or 5
**Can take CMPSC 24 and CMPSC 40 concurrently
Note: CMPSC40 has been moved from the math requirements to the CS requirements as of Spring 2019.
Admission to the major (beyond minimum requirements)
Due to the overwhelming volume of UCSB students looking to change their major to Computer Science, please understand that meeting the minimum requirements is not a guarantee that you will be admitted into the Computer Science major. Specifically, students who have taken CMPSC 16 (or its equivalent) in Winter 2020 or later will be subject to a change-of-major admission limit, to be determined based on the available resources within any given year.
Policy on Transfer Courses: **Changed as of Fall 2019**
You are allowed to transfer department-approved equivalents of any of the above courses from another UC or from another accredited institution except CMPSC 24. CMPSC 24 must be taken at the UCSB campus for a student to be considered for a change of major to Computer Science. Additionally, students must earn a B or above in any transferred course they wish to use for their change of major. Every change of major petition turned in Winter 2020 and following must adhere to this policy.
For 2-year CA community college classes, you can check Assist.org. If you see the equivalent approved there, you may take the class. Once the course is finished, have your official transcripts sent to the UCSB Admissions office. The Registrar's office can take up to a quarter to process transfer work. If the transfer class is a pre-requisite for another CS course at UCSB, you will need to email the CS undergrad advisor for clearance to enroll.
NOTE: Transfer work (anything completed outside of a 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 petition GPA is calculated. The cumulative GPA requirements (3.2 between CS 16, 24 and 40 and 3.0 between Math 3A&B and 4A&B) will be calculated from the courses completed on a UC campus.
When and How to Apply
Students interested in changing their major to Computer Science should submit their application to the Department of Computer Science during the quarter in which they finish the last of their minimum courses required for a change of major. Example: A student has already taken CS 16, CS 24, MATH 3A, MATH 3B. and MATH 4A. They are now in Spring quarter taking the last of their minimum required courses to petition to enter the major: MATH 4B and CS 40 (or MATH 8). They should submit their application materials during this Spring term.
The application should consist of the Undergraduate Petition for Change of Major, and the completed study plan. If petitioning to double major, you also need to include the Proposal for Double Major form. These forms may be downloaded at these links, or picked up from the CS Department Office in 2104 Harold Frank Hall. Applicants can expect to hear back with a decision from the Department 2-3 weeks after grades are posted for the term of application. Note: Any denied petitions will not be reconsidered due to the no exception policies stated above. For additional questions, contact the CS Undergraduate Advisor at 805-893-4321.
Change of Major FAQ's
Please see our Change of Major presentation here for a summary of the process and answers to some common questions.
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 MUST wait until their 3rd pass time to add these classes or the class waitlist if already full. There are no exceptions to our major restrictions.
CS 8: Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Geography, Geography GIS, Pre-Math, Pre-Math Sciences, CCS Math, Pre-Financial Math, Statistics, Statistical Sciences, and Actuarial Sciences
CS 16: Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Statistics, Statistical Sciences, Actuarial Sciences and Statistics and Data Science
CS 24: Computer Science and Computer 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 undergraduate advisor with the course information (website, syllabus, etc) BEFORE you enroll in it. They will inform you as to whether or not the class is considered UCSB-equivalent. For 2-year CA community college classes, you can check on Assist.org. If you see the equivalent approved there, you may take the class. Once the course is finished, have your official transcripts sent to the UCSB Admissions office. The Registrar's office can take up to a quarter to process transfer work. If the transfer class is a pre-requisite for another CS course at UCSB, you will need to email the CS undergrad advisor for clearance to enroll.
See our Policy on Transfer courses section above for important information regarding transfered courses.
3) What does "first attempt" mean?
If you get less than a C in CS 16, 24, 40 or Math 8, you will not pass and are ineligible to change the major. You can re-take the course for your own GPA improvement purposes, but you will not be allowed to switch into our major.