Effective Fall 2015 - Admissions to the Major

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. UCSB students in majors other than computer science major can petition to the Department of Computer Science for consideration for admission via 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 major requirements in effect when they declare their major. Upper and lower division courses required for the major that are offered by the Department of Computer Science or any other department must be taken for letter grades.

Changing Your Major to the Computer Science BS (UCSB students only)

Severely limited resources (Faculty, TAs, classrooms, labs, computing infrastructure, etc.) and our desire to provide Computer Science (CS) majors with an excellent education and learning experience, has forced the CS department to cap the number of students who change their major to Computer Science once enrolled at UCSB. The combination of this cap, the explosive growth in student interest in CS, and very high major retention rates, have made the CS change-of-major process extremely competitive. In particular, we expect to have fewer than 20 slots available and to receive over 100 petitions that meet the minimum requirements each year. We thus strongly encourage all students who are considering changing their major to CS to also investigate alternative courses of action.

To ensure that students are prepared to succeed in the major, the requirements for petitioning are as follows. These are minimum requirements for consideration -- achieving them does not guarantee approval of the change-of-major petition or admission to the major. Preference will be given to those who complete these requirements at UCSB and to those with the strongest academic records. Students who take equivalent courses outside of UCSB must include transcripts and links to the class descriptions and syllabi for all the classes. Classes taken outside of UCSB must have a classroom/lab component. Petitions will be considered based on time to graduation and until the number of available slots have filled for the student’s graduating class.

  • 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 by the start of Pass 1 of registration in the quarter following completion of the minimum requirements. The department will make its best effort to review and respond to petitions by the start of Pass 3 that same quarter. 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


Recent Admissions Statistics 

Five Year Enrollment History Computer Science - BS Only

Fall 2011   Fall 2012   Fall 2013   Fall 2014   Fall 2015  
326   342   320   354   369  


Computer Science Degrees Awarded - BS Only

2009-10   2010-11   2011-12   2012-13   2013-14   2014-15  
35   45   73   71   75   107