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 the specific requirements. They can be found in 2104 Harold Frank Hall or at 805-893-4321.
Policy on Transfer Courses:
You are allowed to take a maximum of TWO courses outside of a UC campus to fulfill the change of major requirements. However, only ONE course from the programming sequence (CMPSC 16, 24, or 40) may be taken elsewhere. If one programming course is transferred, one math course (Math 3A, 3B, 4A, or 4B) maybe also be transferred. If all programming courses are taken at a UC campus, you may transfer credit for two math courses. Every change of major petition turned in Winter 2019 and following must adhere to the TWO transfer course maximum.
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 cummulative 3.2 GPA
Math 3A (or 2A), Math 3B (or 2B), Math 4A and Math 4B
Minimum of cummulative 3.0 GPA
2. Never have been on academic probation at UCSB
3. Have less than 105 UCSB units at time of application
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
*If no programming experience, must take CMPSC 8 before CMPSC 16
**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.
Submit the Change of Major petition and Study Plan to the Computer Science Department during the last quarter of required classes (before you pick your classes for the next quarter). Both can be 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 not be reconsidered due to the no exception policies stated above. For additional questions, contact the CS Undergraduate Advisor at 805-893-4321.
*See FAQs below.
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 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, CCS Math, Statistics, Statistical Sciences, and Actuarial Sciences
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 undergrad advisor with the course information (website, syllabus, etc) BEFORE you enroll in it. They will tell you whether the class would be equivalent or not. For 2-year CA community college classes, you can check on Assist.org. If you see the equivalent approved on there, you can 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 (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.
Policy on Transfer Courses:
You are allowed to take a maximum of TWO courses outside of a UC campus to fulfill the change of major requirements. However, only ONE course from the programming sequence (CMPSC 16 and 24 or 40) may be taken elsewhere. If one programming course is transferred, one math course (Math 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B) maybe also be transferred. If both programming courses are taken at a UC campus, you may transfer credit for two math courses. Any change of major petition turned in Spring 2018, Summer 2018 or Fall 2018 is exempt to this policy. Every change of major petition turned in Winter 2019 and following must adhere to the TWO transfer course maximum.
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.