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Engineering, Jacobs School of

[ courses ]

Warren Mall
7310 Engineering Building Unit 1

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

The Irwin and Joan Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego comprises the Departments of Bioengineering (BE), Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE), NanoEngineering (NE), and Structural Engineering (SE). The Jacobs School is directed by the dean of Engineering. The departments offer seventeen undergraduate programs as well as many graduate degree programs. For links to engineering undergraduate and graduate programs, please visit Students interested in engineering should consult the website and the individual department listings that follow this section of the catalog.

UC San Diego’s six undergraduate colleges differ in their general-education requirements. Prospective students should review the general-education requirements and take them into account when planning their college curriculum.

Acceptance to Departmental Majors in the Jacobs School of Engineering

Student demand exceeds program capacity in all of the undergraduate majors. Owing to limited departmental resources, engineering major programs have more students apply than can be accepted, and have been declared capped majors. Acceptance into a capped engineering major is based on academic excellence demonstrated in high school or at a community college. Acceptance will be granted to the maximum number of students in each of these capped major programs consistent with maintaining acceptable program quality and in compliance with admissions procedures and criteria approved by the Academic Senate’s Educational Policy Committee.

First-year Students

All engineering majors are capped. First-year student applicants must indicate an engineering major as their first choice on their UC application in order to be considered for acceptance to the major by the UC San Diego Office of Admissions.

It is strongly suggested that all students accepted into engineering programs consult their department’s academic adviser at an early stage to plan their lower-division engineering courses, and that they consult with a college academic counselor to arrange general-education courses around the required screening courses. Students admitted fall quarter should attend the engineering department’s orientation meetings during Welcome Week.


Following California’s Master Plan for Higher Education, UC San Diego gives high priority to students transferring from California community colleges.

All engineering majors are capped for transfer admissions. Since acceptance to capped engineering majors is quite competitive for first-year and transfer applicants alike, academic standards are high. Acceptance to capped majors may be limited to the best transfer applicants, e.g., those who have been admitted to UC San Diego with the most complete lower-division preparation and the highest college grade point averages. Since acceptance is restricted to these majors, transfer students are encouraged to apply to more than one major degree program and to include one open major in their selection.

Transfer students who choose capped engineering major programs as their first-choice major on their UC application are required to complete the minimum lower-division major preparation courses prior to transferring. Many of the following courses are required to be taken for a letter grade for all engineering transfer students in their major:

  • Linear Algebra (MATH 18)
  • 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)
  • Complete calculus-based physics series with lab experience (PHYS 2A-B-C)
  • CHEM 6A (except computer science and computer engineering majors)
    Note: A total of ten quarter-units of general chemistry (including laboratory) will be recommended for students applying to all majors offered by the Department of Bioengineering.
  • Highest level of introductory computer programming language course offerings at the community college*

*Refer to the UC San Diego General Catalog to select major prerequisite recommendations for computer language courses.

Please note that exact transfer admission requirements may vary by major and department. For exact eligibility criteria, please reference the respective department’s catalog listing or the California community college articulation agreement listed on

It is strongly suggested that all students accepted into engineering programs consult their department’s academic adviser at an early stage to plan their lower-division engineering courses, and that they consult with a college academic counselor to arrange general-education courses around the required screening courses. Students admitted fall quarter should attend the engineering department’s orientation meetings during Welcome Week.

Continuing UC San Diego Students

Effective fall 2015, all engineering majors are capped for continuing UC San Diego undergraduate students. Continuing UC San Diego undergraduate students who wish to change into capped engineering majors must submit an application to the department on or before the target dates and must meet minimum requirements. Interested students should visit this website for additional information:

Double Majors and Minors

It is the policy of the UC San Diego Academic Senate not to approve double majors within engineering. Students who qualify for admission to graduate school and who have the extra time are encouraged to consider integrated five-year bachelor’s/master’s programs.

For more information visit

Integrative Engineering Education

California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS): COSMOS is a four-week residential pre-college academic enrichment experience in math, science, technology, and engineering for talented high school students. Students participate in one of the following eleven academic courses (or clusters):

  1. Computers in Everyday Life
  2. Engineering Design and Control of Kinetic Sculptures
  3. Climate Change
  4. Structural Engineering: Building Better
  5. Photonics: Light-Based Technology in Everyday Life
  6. Biodiesel from Renewable Sources
  7. Synthetic Biology
  8. Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
  9. Music and Technology
  10. Robot Inventors
  11. Introduction to Autonomous Vehicles
  12. Machine Learning: Can We Teach a Computer to Think?
  13. H40: Hacking for Oceans

Typically, twenty percent of admitted students are awarded financial assistance. For more information, visit

EnVision: The Arts and Engineering Maker Studio: Our 6,000-square-foot maker studio at UC San Diego provides engineering and visual arts students with a wide range of design, fabrication, and prototyping tools. It’s a creative, experiential space where students are empowered to design, tinker, and make. Over twenty UC San Diego faculty have created innovative, hands-on courses that take advantage of the studio’s 3-D printers, laser cutter, electronics, and much more. The class projects that students work on are rooted in theory and are scaffolded across four years, making use of progressively advanced equipment and tools. Visit for more information.

IDEA Engineering Student Center: The IDEA Engineering Student Center promotes equity, community, and success for all Jacobs School of Engineering students at UC San Diego from admission through graduation. The IDEA Center offers a variety of programs, events, and services, including summer programs, undergraduate retention programs, academic enrichment, mentorship, student organization support, and leadership, personal, professional, and technical development workshops. For more information, visit the office in Jacobs Hall, Room 1400, email the staff at, or visit

Institute for the Global Entrepreneur: The Institute for the Global Entrepreneur (IGE) is a formal collaboration between the Jacobs School of Engineering and the Rady School of Management, providing entrepreneurial education and services to UC San Diego students, faculty, alumni, staff, and affiliates, through innovative programs and partnerships. IGE assists start-up teams by providing access to best-in-class resources, including entrepreneurial education and knowledge development to help translate ideas from concept to market, mentorship from subject matter experts and fellow start-up founders, and start-up business services to help founders further develop their ideas, prototypes, designs, and businesses. Programs include Technology and Business Accelerators, vertically-oriented acceleration programs in MedTech, and the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program focusing on customer discovery and product-market fit. IGE serves start-ups and partners from across the UC San Diego campus, including the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the School of Medicine, plus global university and economic development partners in Japan, Korea, Honduras, and Chile. For details, visit

Global TIES: Global TIES is an award-winning program in design, social innovation, and sustainable development. Teams of undergraduate students cocreate solutions to some of the world’s most vexing problems in collaboration with nonprofit partners and the communities with which they work. Faculty-advised, student-directed projects result in affordable, sustainable, and life-changing solutions benefiting underserved communities in San Diego, Tijuana, and in developing countries around the world. Students may take the Global TIES courses for up to six quarters, giving them a rare start-to-finish “real world” design experience. For details, visit

Gordon Engineering Leadership Center: The Gordon Engineering Leadership Center was established in 2009 with the generous support of the Bernard and Sophia Gordon Foundation. The Gordon Center is the hub of engineering leadership development for the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. They exist to educate and equip engineering leaders to positively impact society. The center provides hands-on leadership and team building skills, mentoring, individual and team coaching, community outreach, and connections with industry partners. A unique feature of the Gordon Center is the Gordon Scholars program. Gordon Scholars are selected students who demonstrate exceptional engineering leadership attitudes, capabilities, and knowledge. The Scholars attend a rigorous twenty-week development program to increase the success rate in college and postcollege career. The development program curriculum includes a systems approach to prepare students to meet the demand of developing new technologies to address the problems faced by society. For details, visit

National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars Program: The Grand Challenge Scholars Program is an innovative certificate program for undergraduate students. Endorsed by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), the program encourages students to focus their curricular and cocurricular experiences on addressing one or more of the NAE’s Grand Challenges or the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Students design their own programs that complete requirements in seven areas: project-based learning and research, interdisciplinary collaboration, global or cross-cultural experience, social responsibility, innovation and entrepreneurial thinking, leadership, and ethics. Scholars also complete a Grand Challenge Commitment Project that culminates and integrates their learning. For details, visit

Team Internship Program (TIP): Under the direction of the Corporate Affiliates Program, this corporate-sponsored program gives students the opportunity to develop their engineering skills in a multidisciplinary team environment that provides real-world engineering experience in preparation for entering the workforce. In these full-time, competitive summer paid internships, students work for industry and government partners as a systems-oriented solution team focused on a clearly defined and significant project. For details, visit

Research Centers

The Jacobs School’s affiliated research centers and institutes are on the leading edge of tomorrow’s technological revolutions. Our institutes place a high priority on relevant research, collaboration with industry partners, technology transfer, and educational opportunities that prepare our graduates to meet the engineering needs of the nation.

For details, please visit the individual research center website:

CaliBaja Center for Resilient Materials and Systems:

Center for Energy Research:

Center for Engineered Natural Intelligence:

Center for Extreme Events Research:

Center for Memory and Recording Research:

Center for Microbiome Innovation:

Center for Nano-ImmunoEngineering:

Center for Networked Systems:

Center for Visual Computing:

Center for Wearable Sensors:

Center for Wireless Communications:

Charles Lee Powell Structural Research Laboratories:

CHO Systems Biology Center:

Contextual Robotics Institute:

Deep Decarbonization Initiative:

Information Theory and Applications Center:

Institute for the Global Entrepreneur:

Institute of Engineering in Medicine:

Institute for Materials Discovery and Design:

Qualcomm Institute (UC San Diego Division of California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology):

San Diego Supercomputer Center:

Sustainable Power and Energy Center (SPEC):