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Computer Science and Engineering (CSE)

[ graduate program | courses | faculty ]

Earl Warren College
Engineering Building, Unit 3B
Undergraduate Affairs, Room 1200
http://cse.ucsd.edu

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

The Undergraduate Program

Degree and Program Options

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) offers three degree programs: the BS in computer science, the BS in computer engineering, and the BS in computer science with a specialization in bioinformatics. All major requirements for each degree program must be completed with a C– or better, except for courses offered Pass/No Pass only.

All CSE programs of study provide a broad and rigorous curriculum and are designed to provide students with the strong academic education and technical training necessary for placement in the competitive high-tech job market as well as for advanced studies in graduate school.

The CSE department encourages students to explore opportunities outside the classroom. Students may apply to be tutors and readers in CSE courses, which are excellent opportunities to interact more closely with faculty and gain communication and training skills. Independent research is recommended, and CSE students participate in research projects with graduate students and faculty from CSE, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, Calit2’s Qualcomm Institute, and other departments across campus. The department has strong ties with the local and national high-tech industry, where students can earn course credit through internship positions that allow them to apply their academic knowledge toward exciting commercial technologies.

Please note that DS25, MA30, and any majors within the Jacob’s School of Engineering may not double major in any CSE major, nor may they minor in CSE.

BS Computer Science Program

The lower-division course requirements are designed to provide a strong foundation in mathematics, physics, programming methodology and skills, and computer organization. Upper-division core courses deal with the theory and design of algorithms, hardware, and software. Electives allow students to gain additional breadth and/or depth in computer science and engineering.

Recommended high school preparation includes mathematics courses so that students can take first-year calculus in their first quarter. Courses in high school physics and computer programming are helpful preparation but are not required.

The BS computer science requires a total of 124 units for the BS computer science program (not including the general-education requirements).

1. Lower-Division Requirements

Students are expected to complete the following fifty-two units by the end of their sophomore year.

  1. Computer Science and Engineering: CSE 8B or CSE 11, CSE 12, CSE 15L, CSE 20 (or MATH 15A or MATH 31CH or MATH 109), CSE 21 (or MATH 154 or MATH 184), and CSE 30 (twenty-two units)
  2. Computer Science and Engineering: minimum of two units chosen from CSE 3, CSE 4GS, CSE 6R, CSE 6GS, CSE 8A, CSE 42, CSE 86, CSE 90, CSE 91, CSE 95, CSE 99, CSE 180, CSE 180R, MAE 8, MAE 9, COGS 9, COGS 10, COGS 18, ECE 15, ENG 10, ENG 15, NANO 15, CENG 15, or any CSE upper-division course not used to fulfill other degree requirements. Students who choose to take a four-unit course for this requirement will be required to complete 126 units for the BS computer science program (not including the general-education requirements)
  3. Mathematics: MATH 20A, MATH 20B, MATH 20C (or MATH 31BH), and MATH 18 (or MATH 31AH) (sixteen units)
  4. General Science: Two courses chosen from PHYS 2A, PHYS 2B, PHYS 4A, PHYS 4B, CHEM 6A or CHEM 6AH, CHEM 6B or CHEM 6BH, BILD 1, BILD 2, BILD 3, BICD 100, BIMM 101, BIMM 121, COGS 107A, COGS 107B, COGS 115, ESYS 101, HDS 110, SIO 126, or SIO 128 (eight units)
  5. Probability and Statistics: MATH 181A or MATH 183 or ECE 109 or ECON 120A or CSE 103 (four units)

2. Upper-Division Requirements

Students must complete seventy-two upper-division units: forty-four units of core courses and twenty-eight units of elective courses.

  1. Core Courses
    • Data structures and programming: CSE 100
    • Algorithms/theory: CSE 101 and CSE 105
    • Software engineering: CSE 110
    • Hardware: CSE 140 and CSE 140L
    • Architecture: (CSE 141 and CSE 141L) or (CSE 142 and CSE 142L)
    • Systems/networks: CSE 120 or CSE 123 or CSE 124
    • Programming languages/databases: CSE 130 or CSE 132A
    • Security/cryptography: CSE 107 or CSE 127
    • Learning/vision/graphics: CSE 150A or CSE 150B or CSE 151A or CSE 151B or CSE 152A or CSE 158 or CSE 158R or CSE 167

Students are expected to complete the majority of these courses by the end of their junior year.

  1. Electives: Seven courses (twenty-eight units) subject to the following constraints:
    • A minimum of twenty units of computer science-related courses, which may include courses listed under the “Core Courses” requirement but not already used by the student to satisfy the “Core Courses” requirement area. The following courses may also be applied to the twenty-unit minimum:
      1. Computer Science and Engineering
        • Any CSE upper-division course between CSE 100–194 that is not being used for another major requirement, with the exception of CSE 180/180R and CSE 191 which are not allowed to meet CSE upper-division CSE elective or technical elective requirements.
        • Undergraduate students may petition to use graduate-level course work toward their elective requirements.
        • Students may use twelve units of CSE 190 toward CSE elective credit. CSE 190 topics may vary from quarter to quarter. May be repeated for credit a maximum of three times (maximum of twelve units; courses must be taken for a different topic). The graduate analogue, CSE 291, applies to this twelve-unit maximum, as well.
      2. Cognitive Science
        • COGS 108, COGS 109, COGS 118A-C, COGS 120, COGS 120-127, COGS 160, COGS 181, COGS 185, COGS 187A-B, COGS 189
      3. Data Science
        • DSC 102
      4. Electrical and Computer Engineering
        • ECE 140A-B
      5. Education Studies
        • EDS 124AR, EDS 124BR
      6. Engineering (Global Ties)
        • Students may use up to eight units of ENG 100D/L courses toward upper-division CSE elective/technical elective credits (as part of the twelve-unit maximum of special studies courses—CSE 197, 198, 199, 199H)
        • Students must take ENG 100L twice (two units each time) to receive credit for one elective credit [technical elective or upper-division CSE elective (not exceeding the twelve units of special studies courses)]; students may no longer combine this course with another two- or six-unit course
        • Students may request to have their degree audit updated by contacting the Virtual Advising Center.
      7. Linguistics
        • LIGN 165, LIGN 167
    • A maximum of twelve units of P/NP courses may count, chosen from: a maximum of eight units of CSE 198 or 199 or 199H; a maximum of four units of CSE 197. Students who wish to exceed the twelve-unit special studies limit will need to submit a petition for faculty review (faculty will be reviewing the rigor of the special studies being completed).
    • A maximum of two courses (eight units) of non-CSE courses, referred to as technical electives on the student’s degree audit. An approved list of technical electives may be found at the end of this catalog or on the CSE website. Students may petition for other courses not on the list if they are in line with their career/professional goals.
Notes for Selecting and Scheduling Classes for BS Computer Science
  1. All courses must be taken for a letter grade, except those offered P/NP only.
  2. See the CSE website for a sample four-year plan of study.
  3. Students should read “CSE Course Placement Advice” on the CSE website for assistance in determining which CSE course to take first, CSE 3, CSE 8A, or CSE 11.
  4. Computer science advanced placement credit: A Exam (Java Programming), two units. Score of 4 exempts CSE 8A, and students should take CSE 11.
  5. CSE 8B or CSE 11 may be taken concurrently with CSE 20/MATH 15A. Please obtain department approval for enrollment permission for CSE 20/MATH 15A by submitting a course preauthorization request.
  6. CSE 15L should be taken concurrently with CSE 12.
  7. CSE 140 should be taken concurrently with CSE 140L.
  8. CSE 141 should be taken concurrently with CSE 141L.
  9. CSE 142 should be taken concurrently with CSE 142L.
  10. Once a graduate course is used for an undergraduate degree, that course may not be reused for a graduate degree.
  11. Students are responsible for verifying their degree audit is accurate and up-to-date before submitting their Degree and Diploma Application (DDA). Changes will not be made to degree audits once the degree has been conferred.

BS Computer Engineering Program

The BS computer engineering program is jointly administered by the Departments of Computer Science and Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering. The curriculum is the same in both departments. Students wishing to take the computer engineering program must be admitted to one of the departments.

The lower-division computer engineering program is designed to provide a strong foundation in mathematics, physics, electrical engineering, programming methodology and skills, and computer organization. Upper-division core courses deal with the theory and design of algorithms, hardware and software, as well as electronic systems. Students can gain additional breadth and/ or depth in computer science and engineering by an appropriate selection of technical electives.

Recommended high school preparation includes mathematics courses so that students can take first-year calculus in their first quarter. Courses in high school physics and computer programming are helpful preparation but are not required.

The BS computer engineering program requires a total of 136 units (not including the general-education requirements).

1. Lower-Division Requirements

Students are expected to complete the following sixty-eight units by the end of their sophomore year.

  1. Computer Science and Engineering: CSE 8B or CSE 11, CSE 12, CSE 15L, CSE 20 (or MATH 15A or MATH 109), CSE 21 (or MATH 154 or MATH 184), and CSE 30 (twenty-two units)
  2. Computer Science and Engineering: minimum of two units chosen from CSE 3, CSE 4GS, CSE 6R, CSE 6GS, CSE 8A, CSE 42, CSE 86, CSE 90, CSE 91, CSE 95, CSE 99, CSE 180, CSE 180R, MAE 8, MAE 9, COGS 9, COGS 10, COGS 18, ECE 15, ENG 10, ENG 15, NANO 15, CENG 15, or any CSE upper-division course not used to fulfill other degree requirements. Students who choose to take a four-unit course for this requirement will be required to complete 138 units for the BS computer science program (not including the general-education requirements).
  3. Mathematics: MATH 20A, MATH 20B, MATH 20C (or MATH 31BH), MATH 20D, and MATH 18 (or MATH 31AH) (twenty units)
  4. Physics: PHYS 2A, PHYS 2B, PHYS 2C (twelve units). MATH 20A is a prerequisite for PHYS 2A. Students whose performance on the Department of Mathematics placement test permits them to start with MATH 20B or a higher course may take PHYS 2A in the fall quarter of the first year; all others will take PHYS 2A in the winter quarter of the first year. Students who received high grades in both calculus and physics in high school may substitute the major’s sequence, PHYS 4A-B-C, for PHYS 2A-B-C.
  5. Electrical Engineering: ECE 35, ECE 45, and ECE 65 (twelve units)

2. Upper-Division Requirements

Students must complete sixty-eight upper-division units: twenty-eight units of CSE core courses, twelve units of ECE core courses, and twenty-eight units of elective courses.

  1. Core CSE Courses: CSE 100, CSE 101, CSE 110, CSE 120, CSE 140, CSE 140L, and (CSE 141 and CSE 141L) or (CSE 142 and CSE 142L) (twenty-eight units)
  2. Core ECE Courses: ECE 101, ECE 108, and ECE 109 (twelve units)
  3. Electives: Seven courses (twenty-eight units) must be completed
      1. One elective must be either ECE 111 or ECE 140B (four units)
      2. Remaining electives may be chosen from ECE or CSE upper-division courses not already being used to meet other major requirements. Please note that CSE 180/180R/191 may not be used to fulfill this requirement.
    • The following courses may also be applied to the twenty-eight-unit minimum:
      1. Computer Science and Engineering
        • Undergraduate students may petition to use graduate-level course work toward their elective requirements.
        • Students may use twelve units of CSE 190 or ECE 180 toward CSE elective credit. CSE 190/ECE 180 topics may vary from quarter to quarter. CSE 190 may be repeated for credit a maximum of three times (maximum of twelve units; courses must be taken for a different topic). The graduate analogues, CSE 291/ECE 289, apply to this twelve-unit maximum, as well.
      2. Cognitive Science
        • COGS 108, COGS 109, COGS 118A-C, COGS 120, COGS 120-127, COGS 160, COGS 181, COGS 185, COGS 187A-B, COGS 189
      3. Data Science
        • DSC 102
      4. Education Studies
        • EDS 124AR, EDS 124BR
      5. Engineering (Global Ties)
        • Students may use up to eight units of ENG 100D/L courses toward upper-division CSE elective/technical elective credits (as part of the twelve-unit maximum of special studies courses—CSE 197, 198, 199, 199H).
        • Students must take ENG 100L twice (two units each time) to receive credit for one elective credit [technical elective or upper-division CSE elective (not exceeding the twelve units of special studies courses)]; students may no longer combine this course with another two- or six-unit course.
        • Students may request to have their degree audit updated by contacting the Virtual Advising Center.
      6. Linguistics
        • LIGN 165, LIGN 167
    • A maximum of twelve units of P/NP courses may count, chosen from: a maximum of eight units of CSE 198 or 199 (or ECE 198/199) or CSE 199H; a maximum of four units of CSE 197. Students who wish to exceed the twelve-unit special studies limit will need to submit a petition for faculty review (faculty will be reviewing the rigor of the special studies being completed).
    • A maximum of one course (four units) of non-CSE courses, referred to as technical electives on the student’s degree audit. An approved list of technical electives may be found at the end of this catalog or on the CSE website. Students may petition for other courses not on the list if they are in line with their career/professional goals.
Notes for Selecting and Scheduling Classes for BS Computer Engineering
  1. All courses must be taken for a letter grade unless they are offered P/NP only.
  2. See the CSE website for a sample four-year plan of study.
  3. Students should read “CSE Course Placement Advice” on the CSE website for assistance in determining which CSE course to take first: CSE 3A, CSE 8A, or CSE 11.
  4. Computer science advanced placement credit: A Exam (Java Programming) (two units). Score of 4 exempts CSE 8A; students should take CSE 11.
  5. CSE 8B or CSE 11 may be taken concurrently with CSE 20/MATH 15A. Please obtain department approval for enrollment permission for CSE 20/MATH 15A by submitting a course preauthorization request.
  6. CSE 15L should be taken concurrently with CSE 12.
  7. CSE 140 should be taken concurrently with CSE 140L.
  8. CSE 141 should be taken concurrently with CSE 141L.
  9. CSE 142 should be taken concurrently with CSE 142L.
  10. Once a graduate course is used for an undergraduate degree, that course may not be reused for a graduate degree.
  11. Students are responsible for verifying their degree audit is accurate and up-to-date before submitting their Degree and Diploma Application (DDA). Changes will not be made to degree audits once the degree has been conferred.

BS Computer Science with a Specialization in Bioinformatics

The explosion in biological knowledge spawned by the various genome projects has created entirely new fields and industries, and a need for trained computational biologists who are familiar with biology, mathematics, and computer sciences. The computer science and engineering department offers rigorous, interdisciplinary training in the new and rapidly evolving field of bioinformatics.

Bioinformatics refers to advanced computational and experimental methods that model the flow of information (genetic, metabolic, and regulatory) in living systems to provide an integrated understanding of the system properties of organisms.

This interdisciplinary major also is offered by the Division of Biological Sciences and the Department of Bioengineering.

The BS computer science with a specialization in bioinformatics program requires a total of 128 units (not including the general-education requirements).

1. Lower-Division Requirements

Students are expected to complete the following sixty units by the end of their sophomore year. All classes must be taken for a letter grade.

  1. Computer Science and Engineering: CSE 8B or 11, CSE 12, CSE 15L, CSE 21, and CSE 30 (eighteen units)
  2. Mathematics: MATH 20A, MATH 20B, MATH 20C (or MATH 31BH), and MATH 18 (or MATH 31AH) (sixteen units)
  3. Chemistry: CHEM 6A-B, (eight units)
  4. Organic Chemistry: CHEM 40A (four units)
  5. Biology: BILD 1, BILD 3, and BILD 4 (ten units)
  6. Physics: PHYS 2A (four units)

2. Upper-Division Requirements

Students must complete sixty-eight upper-division units. All courses must be taken for a letter grade unless offered P/NP only.

  1. CSE 100 (four units)
  2. CSE 101 (four units)
  3. CHEM 114A or BIBC 102 (four units)
  4. BICD 100 (four units)
  5. BIMM 100 (four units)
  6. BIMM 101 (four units)
  7. The bioinformatics series, comprising the following five courses (twenty units):
    • CSE 181 or BIMM 181 or BENG 181 (four units)
    • CSE 182 or BIMM 182 or BENG 182 (four units)
    • BENG 183 (four units)
    • CSE 185 (four units)
    • MATH 186 (four units)
    • Six upper-division electives: The following courses may also be applied to the twenty-four-unit minimum:
      1. Computer Science and Engineering
        • Undergraduate students may petition to use graduate-level course work toward their elective requirements.
        • Students may use twelve units of CSE 190 toward CSE elective credit. CSE 190 topics may vary from quarter to quarter. May be repeated for credit a maximum of three times (maximum of twelve units; courses must be taken for a different topic). The graduate analogue, CSE 291, applies to this twelve-unit maximum, as well.
      2. Cognitive Science
        • COGS 108, COGS 109, COGS 118A-C, COGS 120, COGS 120-127, COGS 160, COGS 181, COGS 185, COGS 187A-B, COGS 189
      3. Data Science
        • DSC 102
      4. Electrical and Computer Engineering
        • ECE 140A, ECE 140B
      5. Education Studies
        • EDS 124AR, EDS 124BR
      6. Engineering (Global Ties)
        • Students may use up to eight units of ENG 100D/L courses toward upper-division CSE elective/technical elective credits (as part of the twelve-unit maximum of special studies courses—CSE 197, 198, 199, 199H).
        • Students must take ENG 100L twice (two units each time) to receive credit for one elective credit [technical elective or upper-division CSE elective (not exceeding the twelve units of special studies courses)]; students may no longer combine this course with another two- or six-unit course.
        • Students may request to have their degree audit updated by contacting the Virtual Advising Center.
      7. Linguistics
        • LIGN 165, LIGN 167
    • A maximum of twelve units of P/NP courses may count, chosen from: a maximum of eight units of CSE 198 or 199 or 199H; a maximum of four units of CSE 197. Students who wish to exceed the twelve-unit special studies limit will need to submit a petition for faculty review (faculty will be reviewing the rigor of the special studies being completed).
    • A maximum of one course (four units) of non-CSE courses, referred to as technical electives on the student’s degree audit. An approved list of technical electives may be found at the end of this catalog or on the CSE website. Students may petition for other courses not on the list if they are in line with their career/professional goals.
    • A maximum of four units of special studies course work may count from the following: CSE 197, CSE 198, CSE 199, CSE 199H, ENG 100D, or ENG 100L.
Notes for Selecting and Scheduling Classes for Bioinformatics Specialization
  1. See the CSE website for a sample four-year plan of study.
  2. Students should read “CSE Course Placement Advice” on the CSE website for assistance in determining which CSE course to take first: CSE 3A, CSE 8A, CSE 8B, or CSE 11.
  3. Computer science advanced placement credit: A Exam (Java Programming) (two units). Score of 4 exempts CSE 8A; students should take CSE 11.
  4. CSE 8B or CSE 11 may be taken concurrently with CSE 20/MATH 15A. Students may enroll in SE 20 after they are enrolled in CSE 8B or CSE 11; students on the wait list for CSE 8B or CSE 11 will not be allowed to add CSE 20.
  5. Students are responsible for verifying their degree audit is accurate and up-to-date before submitting their Degree and Diploma Application (DDA). Changes will not be made to degree audits once the degree has been conferred.

Restrictions

  1. At most four units of CSE 197 may be used toward technical elective requirements.
  2. CSE 195 cannot be used toward course requirements.
  3. Undergraduate students must get instructor’s permission and departmental approval (via the Enrollment Authorization System) to enroll in a graduate course.
  4. Students may not get duplicate credit for equivalent courses.
  5. The UC San Diego General Catalog should be consulted for equivalency information and any restrictions placed on the courses.
  6. Additional restrictions are noted below. Any deviation from this list must be petitioned.

Technical Electives for all CSE Majors

The discipline of computer science and engineering interacts with a number of other disciplines in a mutually beneficial way. These disciplines include mathematics, electrical engineering, and cognitive science. The following is a list of upper-division courses from these and other disciplines that can be counted as technical electives.

Cognitive Science

All COGS upper-division courses 100–189.

Students may not receive credit for both CSE 151A and COGS 188.

Students may only receive credit for one of the following: CSE 151B, CSE 154, or COGS 181.

Students may not receive credit for both CSE 170 and COGS 120.

Communication

COMM 105G. Computer Game Studies, COMM 106I. Internet Industry.

Data Science

DSC 102. Systems for Scalable Analytics, DSC 120. Signal Processing for Data Analysis.

Economics

ECON 100A-B. Microeconomics, ECON 109. Game Theory, ECON 110A-B. Macroeconomics, ECON 113. Mathematical Economics, ECON 120A-B-C. Econometrics, ECON 121. Applied Econometrics and Data Analysis, ECON 171. Decisions Under Uncertainty, ECON 172A-B. Introduction to Operations Research, ECON 178. Economic and Business Forecasting.

Credit will be given for only one of the following: ECE 109 or MATH 183 or ECON 120A.

Education Studies

EDS 124AR. Teaching and Computation in the Digital World, EDS 124BR. Teaching and Computational Thinking for Everyone.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

All four-unit ECE upper-division courses from ECE 100–ECE 189 and ECE 196.

Students may not get credit for both CSE 123 and ECE 158A or CSE 143 and ECE 165. Credit will be given for only one of the following: ECE 109 or MATH 183 or ECON 120A.

Engineering

Students may use up to eight units of ENG 100D/L courses toward upper-division CSE elective/technical elective credits (as part of the maximum of special studies courses allowed by their major—CSE 197, 198, 199, 199H). Students must take ENG 100L twice (two units each time) to receive credit for one elective credit.

Linguistics

LIGN 110. Phonetics, LIGN 111. Phonology I, LIGN 120. Morphology, LIGN 121. Syntax I, LIGN 130. Semantics, LIGN 160. Pragmatics, LIGN 165. Computational Linguistics, LIGN 167. Deep Learning for Natural Language Understanding, LIGN 170. Psycholinguistics, and LIGN 175. Sociolinguistics.

Mathematics

All upper-division courses from 100­–194 except MATH 168A, 184. (CS25 computer engineering majors only: MATH 183 is not allowed for a technical elective).

If a student has completed CSE 167, then he or she cannot get elective credit for MATH 155A. Students may receive elective credit for only one of the following courses: MATH 174, MATH 173, PHYS 105A-B, CENG 100, MAE 107. No credit for any of these courses will be given if MATH 170A-B-C is taken.

Credit will be given for only one of the following: ECE 109 or MATH 183 or ECON 120A.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

All four-unit upper-division MAE courses from MAE 100–MAE 189, except MAE 140 (ONLY CS26 computer science majors may take MAE 140).

Students may receive elective credit for only one of the following courses: MATH 173, MATH 174, PHYS 105A-B, CENG 100, MAE 107.

Music

MUS 170. Musical Acoustics, MUS 171. Computer Music I, MUS 172. Computer Music II, MUS 173. Electronic Music Production and Composition, MUS 177. Music Programming.

Physics

PHYS 105A. Mathematical and Computation Physics I, PHYS 105B. Mathematical and Computation Physics II.

Psychology

PSYC 161. Engineering Psychology.

Rady School of Management

MGT 103. Product Marketing and Management, MGT 110. Business: Enterprise Creations and Management, MGT 121A. Innovation to Market A, MGT 127. Innovation and Technology Strategy, MGT 164. Business and Organizational Leadership, MGT 164GS. Business and Organizational Leadership Global Seminar, MGT 166. Business Ethics and Corporate Responsibility, MGT 167. Social Entrepreneurship, MGT 171. Operations Management, MGT 172. Business Project Management, MGT 175. Supply Chain Management, MGT 176. Strategic Cost Management, and MGT 181. Enterprise Finance.

Visual Arts

VIS 141A. Computer Programming for the Arts I, VIS 141B. Computer Programming for the Arts II, VIS 142. Practices in Computing for the Arts II, VIS 143. Virtual Environments, VIS 147A. Electronic Technologies for Art I, VIS 147B. Electronic Technologies for Art II.

Warren College Technical Writing

WCWP 160. Technical Writing for Scientists and Engineers.

CSE Honors Program

The CSE Honors Program encourages eligible undergraduate students to perform advanced study in their major. Students in the honors program work closely with faculty on an undergraduate research project, typically completed over two quarters. As a result, the honors program is excellent preparation for further study in a graduate program. Students who complete the honors program also have an honors distinction officially bestowed upon them upon graduation.

The CSE Honors Program does not increase the units required for graduation in a CSE major. Students participating in the Honors Program may apply eight units in CSE 199H for the equivalent of two elective courses for their major. Students may also apply unit credit in CSE 199H toward the cluster requirement in the undergraduate program. Please note that CSE 199H does count toward the special studies limit of twelve units.

Admission

In accordance with university Honors Program guidelines, to apply for the CSE Honors Program students must meet the following prerequisites:

  • Junior or senior-level standing in a CSE major
  • 3.5 GPA in CSE major courses, 3.25 GPA overall
  • Completion of CSE 101, CSE 105, and CSE 110
  • Completion of at least twelve units of upper-division CSE courses at UC San Diego

The honors application form is available on the CSE website and from the CSE Student Affairs office. Students should submit the application no later than fall quarter of the senior year; submission during spring quarter of the junior year is strongly encouraged.

Admission to the honors program will be formally approved by the CSE honors committee based upon the materials provided in the application.

Completion Requirements

In accordance with university Honors Program guidelines, to complete the CSE Honors Program students must meet the following requirements upon graduation:

  • 3.25 GPA in a CSE major
  • Eight units of CSE 199H with a GPA of 3.0 (letter grade of B) or higher
  • Written honors thesis
  • Presentation of honors project
  • Signature from faculty adviser on an honors completion form
  • Completion of requirements by the end of the quarter of graduation

Depending on students’ performance on their honors project, students are eligible to receive the following honors designations on their diploma:

  • “With distinction”: Complete the eight units of CSE 199H with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • “With high distinction”: Complete the eight units of CSE 199H with a GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • “With highest distinction”: Complete the eight units of CSE 199H with a GPA of 3.8 or higher

Students must write a thesis describing their honors research project. The thesis must have the content, rigor, and format of scholarly publications in computer science and engineering. The faculty adviser must have reviewed and approved the honors thesis prior to submission by the student.

Students must orally present their project as a requirement for the honors program. Options are available on the CSE website. The faculty adviser can also provide an alternative presentation opportunity.

Graduation Requirements

All major requirements and upper-division electives except CSE 91, 95, 197, 198, or 199 must be taken for a letter grade. To graduate, a minimum grade point average of 2.0 will be required in upper-division courses in the major, including upper-division electives. In addition to satisfying requirements for the major, students must satisfy the general-education course requirements of their colleges. The colleges at UC San Diego require widely different general-education courses. Students should choose a college carefully, considering the special nature of the college and breadth of education.

Minor and Program of Concentration

The computer science minor is designed to provide basic proficiency in computer science. The requirements focus on programming methodology and skills, computer organization, relevant mathematical skills, structure techniques, laboratory courses with programming projects, and design and analysis of algorithms. Completing these requirements provides a strong foundation in computer science.

Lower-Division and Upper-Division Requirements

The CSE minor requires successful completion of a total of eight CSE courses (thirty-two units) taken for a letter grade.

  1. Lower-division: Four courses (sixteen units): CSE 8B or CSE 11, CSE 12, CSE 20 (or MATH 15A or MATH 31CH or MATH 109), and CSE 21 (or MATH 154 or MATH 184).
  2. Upper-division: Four courses (sixteen units)
    • CSE 100 (four units)
    • Electives: Three additional courses (twelve units) chosen from CSE upper-division courses. Note that enrollment in courses is subject to enforcement of prerequisites. For instance, to meet CSE 100 prerequisites, students must complete CSE 12, 15L, CSE 21 (which has a CSE 20 prerequisite), and CSE 30 or ECE 15.
Policies and Restrictions
  • All courses taken for the minor must be completed with a letter grade.
  • Students must achieve at least a 2.0 GPA in the upper-division CSE minor courses in order for the minor to be awarded.
  • Students in the Jacobs School of Engineering cannot minor in computer science.
  • Mathematics/computer science (MA30) majors will not be allowed to minor in computer science.
  • Data science majors may not minor in computer science.
  • Students are recommended to begin courses for the minor by their sophomore year.
  • Students should consult their college provost’s office concerning the rules for the minor or program of concentration.
  • CS26 minors do not receive priority over non-CSE majors or non-CSE minors in CSE courses.

UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) and UC San Diego’s Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP)

CSE majors are encouraged to participate in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) or UC San Diego’s Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP). Subject to approval by the faculty director of the major, courses taken through EAP/OAP will be accepted for credit toward the major. Students interested in studying abroad should contact a CSE undergraduate program adviser to discuss appropriate courses and programs for their plan of study at the Virtual Advising Center. A list of approved transferrable courses can be found on the CSE website.

Information on EAP/OAP is given in the “Education Abroad Program” section of the UC San Diego General Catalog. Interested students should contact the Study Abroad UC San Diego Office at Matthews Quad and visit its website at http://studyabroad.ucsd.edu/. Financial aid can be used for EAP/OAP study, and special study-abroad scholarships are also available.

Transfer Student Preparation for Success

To reduce the amount of time needed to complete degree requirements, transfer students should complete as many prerequisite courses as possible before starting at UC San Diego. A 3.0 GPA in these courses is recommended.

  • Calculus I—for Science and Engineering (MATH 20A)
  • Calculus II—for Science and Engineering (MATH 20B)
  • Calculus and Analytic Geometry (MATH 20C)
  • Differential Equations (MATH 20D)—required for BS computer engineering only
  • Linear Algebra (MATH 18)
  • Complete calculus-based physics series (PHYS 2A-B-C)—required for BS computer engineering only
  • Highest level of introductory computer programming language (i.e., Java, C, or C++) course offerings at the community college

Computer Science and Engineering Undergraduate Admissions

Because of the large number of students interested in computer science undergraduate programs and the limited resources available to accommodate this demand, the university has declared all majors in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering as “capped”: BS computer science, BS computer engineering, and BS computer science with specialization in bioinformatics.

Prospective students are selected by the UC San Diego Office of Undergraduate Admissions based on the students’ holistic review scores and availability of slots in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. All potential first-year students must indicate on the UC application if they wish to major in any of the CSE department majors.

New transfer students will be selected by the UC San Diego Office of Undergraduate Admissions based on the students’ holistic review scores and availability of slots in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. All potential transfer students must indicate on the UC application if they wish to major in any of the CSE department majors.

Admission to CSE’s majors is limited for all continuing UC San Diego students.

Continuing Students: Capped Major Application

UC San Diego students who wish to change from another major into one of CSE’s capped majors may apply to the Department of Computer Science and Engineering for admission into the BS computer science, BS computer engineering, or BS computer science with specialization in bioinformatics major.

Each year the CSE department will determine the total number of spots available in CSE majors, based on available resources. Most of these spots will be used for direct admissions. Most years, we do not forecast there being any spots available beyond those used for these direct admissions to fill through the capped major application.

The CSE capped major application will be open once per year in the summer.

Eligibility Requirements
  1. A minimum of eight units of screening courses must have been completed at UC San Diego prior to application: CSE 8B or 11, CSE 12, CSE 15L, CSE 20 (MATH 15A or MATH 109 may be substituted for CSE 20 if taken first), CSE 21 (or MATH 154 or MATH 184), CSE 30, and CSE 100. Courses must be completed with a letter grade. Equivalent transfer course work will not count toward the eligibility requirement.
  2. All of the previously listed screening courses (or their accepted equivalent) must have been completed prior to application.
  3. Must have a minimum of a 3.0 UC San Diego GPA in the screening courses completed at UC San Diego. All screening courses taken at UC San Diego will be used toward the CSE screening GPA calculation (as long as the course carries units of credit awarded, e.g., not retaking courses the student has equivalent credit for already).
  4. Applicants may only apply to CSE capped admissions once. Any subsequent applications will be deemed ineligible. Students who apply without meeting all eligibility requirements will be disqualified (application will be flagged as ineligible) and the application will count as their one CSE capped admissions application.
Application Process
  • After completing the above eligibility requirements, students may apply in the summer using the MyJSOE Major Change Application.
  • Eligible students who have not exceeded the one-time application limit and meet the 3.0 GPA cutoff for screening courses, UC San Diego eight-unit residency requirement in CSE courses, and approved quarter-by-quarter plan (QXQ plan needed for students with 150+ units) will be populated onto an Excel sheet.
  • Eligible students will then be sorted into two subgroups:
    1. Students who did not declare a computing-related major and who have never been in a computing-related major at UC San Diego. We define a computing-related major to be any of the following majors: CS25, CS26, CS27, EC26, BI34, BE28, CG33, CG35, DS25, and MA30. We define a student declaring a major to mean that major was declared on their application to UC San Diego as their first or second choice.
    2. All other students.
  • Within each subgroup, each student is then assigned a number using Excel’s random number generator. Students are then sorted by their assigned number from highest to lowest number. The CSE department will offer spots to students until all available spots are filled, starting with the highest numbered students in subgroup one. In the rare case that spots are still available after all subgroup one students have been extended an offer, the CSE department will offer a spot to students in subgroup two, starting with the highest number until all available spots are filled.