Bachelor of Science

The Department of Computer Science offers students in the College of Engineering a Bachelor of Science degree.

This program introduces students to core concepts and cutting-edge topics in computer science. The program provides students with hands-on experience and a depth of understanding of computer theory, systems, and applications that prepares them for successful careers in computer science and to participate in the next-generation of technological advances. 

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Courses required for the major MUST be taken for letter grades. Pre-requisites are strictly enforced for all CS courses.

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General Education

You can obtain a detailed list of GEs from the College of Engineering Undergraduate Office via email at Please refer all GE-related questions to the College advisors.

For information about requirements for College of Engineering majors, including Computer Science, and other program information, see the GEAR (General Engineering Academic Requirements) catalog associated with a student's year of entrance to UCSB.

All students must achieve a grade of C or above in CMPSC 16, 24, 32, and 40 to take any course for which any of these courses are a prerequisite. 

Course Units Title
Math 3A, 3B 8 Calculus with Applications, Courses 1-2
Math 4A, 4B 8 Linear Algebra with Applications; Differential Equations
Math 6A 4 Vector Calculus
CMPSC 16 4 Problem Solving with Computers I
CMPSC 24 4 Problem Solving with Computers II
CMPSC 32 4 Object Oriented Design and Implementation
CMPSC 40 5 Foundations of Computer Science
CMPSC 64 4 Computer Organization and Logic Design
PSTAT 120A 4

Probability and Statistics


Note: Students with no previous programming background should take CMPSC 8 before taking CMPSC 16. The AP Computer Science A Exam with a score of 4 or 5 will qualify students to start with CMPSC 16.

For CS major catalog years prior to and including 2022-23:

Students admitted to the major prior to/before Fall 2023 will continue to follow the Physics requirements below unless they opt to change their CS major catalog year to follow the newest major requirements. 

Course Units Title
PHYS 1, 2, 3 and 3L 12 Basic Physics (with 3L lab)

Note: AP Physics does not test you out of this series. 


Effective for CS major catalog year 2023-24:

Physics courses are no longer listed under the 'preparation for the major' section of the CS major requirements. Physics courses are now listed in 'List B' of the CS Science Electives section. Click on the drop-down below to see 'List A' and 'List B' of the Science Electives major requirements. 

Science Electives for CS major catalog years prior to and including 2022-23:

Please click on this link for a PDF copy of the prior science electives list. Students admitted to the major prior to/before Fall 2023 will continue to follow this science elective list unless they opt to change their CS major catalog year to follow the newest major requirements. 


Science Electives effective for CS major catalog year 2023-24:

For courses that appear in both 'Science Electives - List A' and 'Science Electives - List B', a student can count one course towards only either the List A or List B requirement (i.e., a single course cannot count towards units for both Lists at once).

Science Electives - List A

8 units are required from the following set of approved courses, and must be taken for a LETTER GRADE: 

Course Title


Intro Biological Anthropology

AP Biology

Advanced Placement Biology Exam (score of 3 or higher will credit you with 8 science elective units)


Basic Astronomy
ASTRO 2 History of the Universe
CHEM 1A + CHEM 1AL General Chemistry and Laboratory
CHEM 1B + CHEM 1BL General Chemistry and Laboratory
CHEM 1C + CHEM 1CL General Chemistry and Laboratory
EARTH 2 Principles of Physical Geology 
EARTH 4 or EARTH 4 W  Introduction to Oceanography
EARTH 6 Mountains, Boots, and Backpacks
EARTH 7 Dinosaurs
EARTH 8 Africa: Climate & Human Evolution
EARTH 9 Giant Earthquakes
EARTH 10 Antarctica: The Last Place on Earth
EARTH 20 or Earth W 20  Geological Catastrophes
EARTH 30 The History of Life
EARTH 111 Principles of Paleontology
EARTH 123 The Solar System
EARTH 130 Global Warming - Science and Society
ECON 1 Principles of Economics-Micro
ECON 2 Principles of Economics-Macro
EEMB 21 General Botany
EEMB 22 Concepts & Controversies in Bio Sciences
EEMB 40 Ecology of Infectious Disease
EEMB 50 Biology of Non-Infectious Disease
ENV S 2 Intro to Environmental Science
GEOG 3 Oceans & Atmosphere
GEOG 4 Land, Water & Life
GEOG 8 Intro to Global Warming
GEOG 12 or GEOG W 12 Maps & Spatial Reasoning
GEOG 115A Remote Sensing of the Environment 1
GEOG 115B  Remote Sensing of the Environment 2
MCDB 1A  Introductory Biology I 
MCDB 1B and EEMB 2, plus either MCDB 1LL or EEMB 2L Introductory Biology II and Laboratory
MCDB 20 Concepts of Biology
MCDB 21 The Immune System and Aids
MCDB 23 Biology of Cancer
MCDB 26 Contemporary Nutrition
MCDB 29 Fundamentals of Biomedical Research
PHYS 4 + PHYS 4L Basic Physics and Laboratory
PHYS 5 + PHYS 5L Basic Physics and Laboratory
PSY 108 Intro to Cognitive Psychology


Science Electives - List B

An additional 12 units are required from the following set of approved courses, including at least one lab (L) course, and must be taken for a LETTER GRADE: 

Course Title


Basic Physics


Basic Physics


Basic Physics
PHYS 3L Physics Laboratory 
PHYS 6A Introductory Physics
PHYS 6AL Introductory Experimental Physics
PHYS 6B Introductory Physics
PHYS 6BL Introductory Experimental Physics
PHYS 6C Introductory Physics
PHYS 6CL Introductory Experimental Physics
PHYS 7A Basic Physics
PHYS 7B Basic Physics
PHYS 7C Basic Physics
PHYS 7D Basic Physics
PHYS 7L Physics Laboratory 
CHEM 1A General Chemistry
CHEM 1AL General Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 1B General Chemistry
CHEM 1BL General Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 1C General Chemistry
CHEM 1CL General Chemistry Laboratory
MCDB 1A Introductory Biology I 
MCDB 1B Introductory Biology II
MCDB 1LL Introductory Biology Laboratory I 
Course Units Title
CMPSC 111 or 140 4 Intro to Computational Science or Parallel Scientific Computing
CMPSC 130A and 130B 8 Data Structures and Algorithms I and II
CMPSC 138 4 Automata and Formal Languages
CMPSC 148 or 156 or 172 4 Computer Science Project or Advanced Applications Programming or Software Engineering
CMPSC 154 4 Computer Architecture
CMPSC 160 or 162 4 Translation of Programming Languages or Programming Languages
CMPSC 170 4 Operating Systems
PSTAT 120B 4 Probability and Statistics
Course Units Title
ENGR 101 3 Ethics in Engineering

NOTE: Effective Winter 2022, students must attend a department faculty advising event in order to complete the "prior approval of major electives by faculty" requirement. We no longer require students to submit any forms since attending an event is required.

As a graduation requirement, all Computer Science majors must receive faculty advising by attending a department faculty advising event. The best time for students to receive faculty advising regarding a range of topics such as research, internships, and elective courses is in their Sophomore year (typically your second year). Students that participate in and attend a department faculty advising event will have their "Major Elective Approval" requirement marked as complete by a Computer Science staff advisor. Effective Winter 2022, students should not complete or submit an approval form, instead students must attend a department faculty advising event. 

The department usually hosts a faculty advising event every quarter: in Fall and Winter quarters students can meet one-on-one with faculty at the Speed Advising event, and in Spring quarter students can learn from faculty about the CS courses that are elective options for the major at the Major Electives Info Session event (view the Major Elective slide show here and see the recording of the Spring 2024 Major Elective information session here.  

Depending on the GEAR major year, CS students must take either 28 units (GEAR years 2018-19, 2019-20) or 32 units (GEAR years 2020-21 and 2021-22) of upper-division major field electives. At least 8 units of these electives must be Computer Science courses. The required courses in the upper-division major do not count towards these electives. All upper-division elective courses must be taken for a letter grade.

Academic Advising

Academic Advising

Undergraduate Advising

The staff advisors are here to help and support our CS majors through their studies and answer questions related to the CS major.  We are available for appointments in-person, and encourage our students to book an appointment to guarantee that we are available and prepared to answer your questions related to your degree progress and requirements. 

Staff hours are Monday through Friday 9am-12pm and 1-4pm and we are available by email at, or by appointment at or clicking the button below: 

Schedule an Advising Appointment

Faculty Undergraduate Advisors

CS majors may contact their faculty class advisor for questions regarding their own faculty experiences, undergraduate research, graduate school, jobs in industry. Faculty members are not expected to answer questions about department petitions or degree requirements. Please see below for the contact links of the current faculty class advisors: 

Tobias Höllerer     Faculty contact for class of 2027

Ziad Matni            Faculty contact for class of 2026

Subhash Suri         Faculty contact for class of 2025

Jianwen Su            Faculty contact for class of 2024

Phillip Conrad       Faculty contact for Transfer Students