CSE Capped Major Status

Updated May 2019

MyJSOE Major Change App

  • In 2018-2019 academic year, requests to change into a CSE major will be open for Spring 2019 and Summer 2019
  • 75 students will be accepted per lottery cycle (Spring 2019 and Summer 2019)
    • Summer application decision notifications will be sent by the end of the day on July 10, 2019
  • See MyJSOE Major Change App for timeline. 
  • All non-CSE majors must apply to change into a CSE major:  MyJSOE MAJOR CHANGE APPLICATION
  • All students already in a CSE major must apply to change into another CSE major: Major/Minor Tool
  • Be sure to read the MyJSOE Major Change Application home page material carefully.
  • Any course substitutions requiring a petition must be submitted to the CSE department no later than noon the Friday before the MyJSOE Major Change App opens
  • Students with 150+ units at the time of the application review will need to have submitted a quarter by quarter (QXQ) plan for their remaining requirements to be reviewed by the CSE department and their college. QXQ plan must be emailed to csestudent@eng.ucsd.edu no later than the capped major application deadline. 
    • Students may submit their application but will not be offered a seat until a college advisor has reviewed the student's long term plan.
    • Approval from the college will be needed before the student decision deadline
    • AP units are not counted towards the 150 unit limit
  • Students will be notified via Virtual Advising Center with the decision

Non-Major Drop-In Advising

Please be advised that Non - Major Walk- In Advising will be Friday mornings 9:00am - 11:30 am at EBU3B Room 1200  (excluding the first two weeks of classes).



I was admitted directly into one of the CSE Impacted/Capped Majors, but wish to switch to a different CSE Impacted/Capped major.  What should I do?

  • All students already in a CSE major must apply to change into another CSE major using the My Triton Link Major/Minor Tool. 
  • CS-Bioinformatics became impacted in FA14, and students who wish to change from it one of the majors that became impacted in FA13 must apply competitively for a spot.


Why was the continuing student admission policy changed? 

See New Major Admission Policy Rationale


What is the application process? 

  • Apply using the MyJSOE Major Change Application.  
  • It is open 2 times per year, with strict deadlines, so plan carefully.  See the App's home page for dates. 
  • Your application will be NOT be considered until grades for all criteria grades are posted on Tritonlink.   
  • CSE WILL REVIEW APPLICANTS TO ALL OF OUR MAJORS AS ONE LARGE POOL!   There is no advantage to requesting one major over another.  For this reason, select what is truly your First Choice CSE major.
  • Students who meet the 3.3 GPA cutoff for screening courses will be entered into a lottery. Students will be randomly selected until the open number of seats in CSE are filled.
  • 3.3 GPA cutoff will be based on grades received in the UC San Diego CSE screening courses.
  • In the email you receive informing you of the department's decision, we will explain what the next steps are if you were or were not approved to declare the major.
  • Students with 150+ units at the time of the application review will need to have submitted a quarter by quarter (QXQ) plan for their remaining requirements to be reviewed by the CSE department and their college. QXQ plan must be emailed to csestudent@eng.ucsd.edu no later than the capped major application deadline. 
  • Students may apply for a change of major into the CSE department a maximum of two times (not including applications submitted previous to the 2017-2018 academic year). If a student is determined to be ineligible for any reason (i.e. missing eligibility courses, not meeting the minimum GPA in screening courses, etc.) that application still counts as one of two applications allowed per student. (NOTE: once an application is submitted, it may not be withdrawn)

What is the application process for double majors?

Students who wish to double major must still apply to and be accepted into the major through the lottery system above. If accepted into the major, students will need to contact a CSE advisor through the Virtual Advising Center or during walk-in advising to inform us of the intention to double major before the student decision deadline or it is considered a decline. A double major petition will be required. 

For double majors, does CSE have to be my first major?

CSE does not have to be listed as your first major in order to double major. However, if CSE is not your first major you will not receive CSE Major Priority for courses with a waitlist that require manual clearance.

How many students will be accepted during each application? 

For the 2019 Spring and 2019 Summer applications, we will accept 75 students in each application cycle.  

What are the eligibility requirements for submitting an application?

  • All of the following eligibility courses (or their accepted equivalent) must have been completed prior to application: CSE 8B or 11, CSE 12, CSE 15L, and CSE 20 (or MATH 15A or MATH 109). Courses must be completed with a letter grade.
  • Minimum of eight units completed at UC San Diego for a letter grade, drawn from the following screening courses: CSE 8B or CSE 11, CSE 12, CSE 15L, CSE 20 (or MATH 15A or MATH 109), CSE 21, CSE 30, and CSE 100. 
  • Must have a minimum of a 3.3 GPA in the screening courses


What courses will be used to calculate the GPA for the change of major application? 

All of the following screening courses that have been taken at UCSD (or their approved petitioned equivalent taken at UCSD) will be used to calculate the GPA for the change of major application: CSE 8B or 11, CSE 12, CSE 15L, CSE 20, CSE 21, CSE 30, and CSE 100.


I was admitted into one of the CSE Capped Majors, changed to a major outside of CSE, and now wish to change back into CSE.  What should I do?

  • Use the MyJSOE Major Change Application  to request a change of major.  
  • You will have to meet eligibility criteria by meeting the 3.3 GPA cutoff for screening courses, applying via the MyJSOE Major Change Application, and will be entered into a lottery with all other applicants. Students will be randomly selected until the open number of seats in CSE are filled.
  • There is no guarantee you will be accepted back into the major.  


If I am interested in the computational and data sciences, what are my options at UC San Diego?

There are several excellent choices available.  This CSE webpage only describes how to apply for a CSE major.  To discuss any of the below major requirements, we recommend contacting the appropriate department OR visit computingpaths.ucsd.edu  for information on the array of all the Computational Sciences offered at UCSD.


If I am interested in a CSE major, what should I do?

  • We recommend you first take some time to assess whether a CSE major is the best one for you. 
  • Take some CSE courses at UCSD.  Did you earn strong grades?  Do you have a real passion for the field?   The answer to both should be "Yes"!
  • Visit the Career Services Center and your College Adviser to discuss your academic and career goals.  Use their resources to identify all the majors that may be a good fit for you and explore each of them. 
  • Consider your academic level.  Normally we recommend that students change into the CSE major by Fall quarter of their junior year, at the latest.  Also, the colleges may block a change of major for students with advanced standing.


I was not admitted into one of the CSE Capped Majors and am currently Undeclared or other major.   If I hope to change into a CSE major in a future quarter, what should I do prior to applying?

  • Can CSE be your "back up plan?"  Explore open majors -- is there one that meets your academic and career goals?  Popular choices are Math CS, Cognitive Science, ICAM, Bioinformatics (via Biology or Chem/Biochem)
  • Enroll in the CSE courses that are required to meet eligibility requirements for applying to the major (see above).
  • These courses also fulfill requirements for the major, which means you will be making progress toward the degree by taking them.   
  • Talk with your undergraduate college adviser to determine which General Education courses to take.
  • Did you earn strong grades in CSE courses?  Have you developed a real passion for the field?  If the answer to both is "Yes!", then you should proceed with the application process (see below).

I received transfer credit from my previous institution for a CSE eligibility criteria course.  Can I repeat this course at UC San Diego and use my UC San Diego grade and/or units towards the CSE major application?

  • Repeating a course at UC San Diego, in which transfer credit has already been assigned, is considered duplicate credit (won't count towards UC San Diego GPA/units).  
  • The CSE Department follows this same policy, so students cannot use duplicate credit towards the CSE major application.


What are my odds of being accepted into a CSE major?

  • The odds will vary from quarter to quarter, which will depend on: 
    • How many students are being accepted that quarter? 
    • How many eligible applicants are there in the quarter for the lottery? 
  • The odds of getting into the major should not be your focus!  Focus on setting your long-term goals for academic and career development.  Explore the many options you have for attaining them. Learn to manage expectations, and to be resilient, resourceful, adaptable, and creative! Resources included College Advisors, Computing Paths, Career Services Center, and CAPS.



Why is the CSE major capped?

The field of computer science is experiencing an explosion of growth not seen before, and the number of students wishing to major in the field has reached all time highs.  The Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) is committed to providing an excellent education and learning environment for our students. To achieve this goal, we must assure students have access to the faculty and courses they need to thrive. Since a quality education and timely progress to graduation are thwarted by a disproportionately large student body, UCSD has made the difficult decision to implement Capped Major status.


What does Capped Major status mean?

Capped Major status means that there is a cap on the number of students who can declare the major. CSE will do everything in our power to grant access to our courses and our major for as many students as possible. Open access and a diverse student population are priorities.  There will be spaces available in the major for incoming freshmen, transfer students from other institutions, and continuing UCSD students who wish to change into the CSE major.  


Will CSE courses remain open to all majors?

Yes. We will make as many seats available as possible for non-CSE majors, especially in the courses that are required for application to the major (see below).   We offer these courses every quarter, so do not despair if you do not get a seat the first quarter you try!  Work with your College Adviser to decide what General Education courses you could take instead, or take a course in another major you are contemplating.  See also Enrolling in CSE Courses.


Which CSE majors are Capped Majors?

All of the CSE undergraduate majors are impacted for incoming and continuing students. See UCSD's Capped Majors web page for a list of all UCSD majors that are impacted, including other majors in the Jacobs School of Engineering. 


How many students will be accepted into the Capped Majors?

At the start of the UC Admissions cycle each year, CSE and the campus will determine the target number of new majors to be drawn from freshmen admissions, transfer admissions, and continuing UCSD students petitioning to change into CSE.


Historical Applicant Information: 

  Spring 2019 Summer 2018 Spring 2018
Applicants 146 154 225
Eligible Applicants  112 134 184
Admitted  75 75 75