CSE Capped Admissions Program

Updated: November 2019


Currently declared CSE Majors: 

  • All currently enrolled students already in a CSE major must submit their request to change into another CSE major through theMajor/Minor Tool  (requests are processed monthly except during summer)

  • Newly admitted UCSD CSE majors will need to wait until they are enrolled in courses in order to submit a change of major request using the Major/Minor Tool

  • CS-Bioinformatics (CS27) became impacted in FA14. CS27 majors who entered the program before FA14 who wish to change from CS with Specialization in Bioinformatics (CS27) to Computer Science (CS26) or Computer Engineering (CS25) must apply competitively for a spot through the CSE Capped Admissions Application

  • CSE Majors who intend to double major may NOT drop their CSE major to accept their offer into their secondary major. Come in and meet with an advisor before dropping your CSE Major. Once a student leaves the CSE Major, they will not be able to re-add the major unless they go through the CSE Capped Major Application Process which does not guarantee a student will be able to re-add.


Non-CSE majors who are continuing enrolled undergraduate UCSD students: 

  • All non-CSE majors must apply to change into a CSE major through the MyJSOE Major Change Application

  • See MyJSOE Major Change Application for the timeline and all application deadlines. 

  • In the 2019-2020 academic year, requests to change into a CSE major will be open for Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 (80 students will be accepted each cycle, with an anticipated yield of 75 students) 

  • In the 2020-2021 academic year, requests to change into a CSE major will be open for Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 (55 students will be accepted each application cycle, with an anticipated yield of 50 students)

  • Be sure to read our this webpage and the MyJSOE Major Change Application webpage material thoroughly (once an application is submitted, it may not be withdrawn)


Non-Major Drop-In Advising

Please be advised that Non-CSE Major Drop-In Advising will be Friday mornings 9:00 am - 11:30 am at EBU3B Room 1200  (excluding weeks 0 and 1 of each quarter).



Eligibility Requirements to Submit 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 (MATH 15A or MATH 109 may be substituted for CSE 20 if taken first). Courses must be completed with a letter grade.

  • If some or all of the eligibility courses listed above were completed with transfer credit from a different institution, students must still plan to complete a minimum of eight units at UC San Diego for a letter grade, drawn from the following screening courses(or their approved petitioned equivalent): CSE 8B or CSE 11, CSE 12, CSE 15L, CSE 20 (MATH 15A or MATH 109 may be substituted for CSE 20), CSE 21, CSE 30, and CSE 100. 

  • Must have a minimum of a 3.3 UCSD GPA in the screening courses (or their approved petitioned equivalents)

  • May not exceed the 2-time CSE Capped Admissions Program application limit (each student may apply a maximum of two times for the opportunity to major in the CSE department  through the CSE Capped Major Admissions Application)

  • 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 and approved the student's QXQ plan.

    • Approval from the college will be needed before the department's decision deadline. Students who cannot complete the CSE major requirements within the university term limits (6 terms for transfer students, 12 terms for students who start here as freshmen) may be considered ineligible for the CSE Capped Admissions Program and may not be approved to switch into the major.

    • 150 unit cap includes all credit, including AP and IP credit

  • Students will be notified via Virtual Advising Center with the decision


Application Process

  • Eligible students may apply using the MyJSOE Major Change Application .  

  • Eligible students who have not exceeded the two-time application limit and meet the 3.3 GPA cutoff for screening courses, UCSD 8 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. Each student is then randomly assigned a number using Excel's random number generator.  Students are then sorted by their assigned number from highest to lowest number. The students with the 80 highest assigned numbers are offered a seat in the CSE department (80 seats offered with an anticipated yield of 75 students). 

  • In the message 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.


If you are interested in the computational and data sciences, but do not receive admission to the CSE department, there are several excellent alternate choices available at UC San Diego. 

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.

We also recommend you visit the Career Services Center and your College Adviser to discuss your academic and career goals.  Use their resources to identify majors that may be a good fit for you and explore them. 





What does Capped Major status mean?


Which CSE majors are Capped Majors?


Why is the CSE major capped?


Why was the continuing student admission policy changed? Why is GPA ranking not sufficient for the application process?


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


Does my GPA in the screening courses impact my chances of getting accepted into the major? 


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?


Is there a benefit to requesting one CSE major over another in the application? 


What is the application process for double majors?


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


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?


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


Will CSE courses remain open to all majors?


How many students will be accepted into the Capped Majors?


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



Historical Applicant Information