B.S. Computer Science

Updated September 28, 2022

This is CSE’s core major, preparing students to contribute to the profound societal changes being brought about by innovations in computing.  Courses and research are centered on exciting areas like algorithms, computer architecture, computer vision & graphics, cryptography & security, databases, embedded systems, machine learning (AI), mobile computing, programming languages, software engineering, and systems & networking. Students interested in a hardware emphasis might also consider Computer Engineering (CS25).  The CSE program provides three majors in all, with numerous electives, allowing flexibility to explore your academic and career interests.

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.

UCSD Catalog

Degree Plan Checklist:

  • BS Computer Science Checklist (Fall 2022 Curriculum): a checklist of all major requirements for students on the Fall 2022 curriculum
    • All major requirements must be taken for a letter grade AND passed with a C- or better (with the exception of CSE 95, 197, 198, and 199). 
  • BS Computer Science Checklist (Fall 2021 Curriculum): a checklist of all major requirements for students on the Fall 2021 curriculum
    • All major requirements must be taken for a letter grade AND passed with a C- or better (with the exception of CSE 95, 197, 198, and 199). 
  • BS Computer Science Checklist (Fall 2020 Curriculum): a checklist of all major requirements for students on the Fall 2020 curriculum
    • All major requirements must be taken for a letter grade AND passed with a C- or better (with the exception of CSE 95, 197, 198, and 199). 
  • BS Computer Science Checklist (Fall 2019 Curriculum): a checklist of all major requirements for students on the Fall 2019 curriculum
    • All major requirements must be taken for a letter grade AND passed with a C- or better (with the exception of CSE 95, 197, 198, and 199). 
  • BS Computer Science Checklist (Fall 2017 Curriculum): a checklist of all major requirements for students on the Fall 2017 curriculum

    • All major requirements must be taken for a letter grade (with the exception of CSE 95, 197, 198, and 199).

    • For CSE majors on an old degree curriculum, if you want to switch to Fall 2017 requirements, please send a request to advising through the Virtual Advising Center (VAC) or come in to meet with an advisor

Four Year Plans:

  • Academic Planning Worksheet (link to copy a Google Sheet): blank worksheet for students to be able to create a sample long term plan which can be brought to an advising meeting 

  • Sample Plans By College: sample long term plan that includes college requirements

  • Sample 4-year Plan (Fall 2022 Curriculum): 

Year Fall Winter Spring

First Year

CSE 8A or 11*1

MATH 20A

GE

LDE

CSE 8B*1

MATH 20B

GE

 

CSE 12 & 15L 

CSE 20*2

MATH 20C

Second Year

CSE 21*3

CSE 30

CSE General Science 

CSE 100

CSE 105

CSE General Science 

CSE 101

CSE 110

MATH 18 

Third Year

CSE 140

CSE 140L

CSE 103 (or MATH 183/ECON 120A/ECE 109)

Systems/Networks

CSE 141 or 142*4

CSE 141L or 142L*4

 

Language/Databases

Learning/Vision/Graphics 

CSE Elective 

Fourth Year

Security/Cryptography 

CSE Elective 

CSE Elective (CSE 197) 

CSE Elective

CSE Elective

 

CSE Elective (or Technical Elective)

CSE Elective (or Technical Elective) 

*1: Students who do not have programming experience should begin with the two-track course: CSE 8A (take CSE 8B in the second quarter). Students who have programming experience may begin with CSE 11 (take CSE 12 and CSE 15L in the second quarter).

*2: CSE 20 may be substituted with MATH 109 or MATH 31CH. This is a manual update an advisor needs to make. Send a message through the Virtual Advising Center (VAC).

*3: CSE 21 may be substituted with MATH 154 or MATH 184. This is a manual update an advisor needs to make. Send a message through the Virtual Advising Center (VAC).

*4: Students must either take CSE 141 + 141L or  CSE 142 + 142L.

*Electives: Students are permitted to take any of these pre-approved courses to fulfill their CSE Electives and Technical Electives requirements.  Please note that courses on this list may not automatically populate in the correct area of a student's degree audit.  In order to update the audit, please contact the CSE major advisors through the Virtual Advising Center (VAC). 

Major restrictions - The following majors may NOT double major or minor in CSE: 

- Any majors that fall under the Jacob's School of Engineering

- Data Science majors (DS25)

- Math-Computer Science majors (MA30) 

Transfer Students:

Transfer students are in a special situation where the credits they come in with vary vastly from one student to another. To assist transfer students with their long term plans for completing major requirements, we have created different long term plans with different entry points depending on the CSE credits students typically come in with. These plans only include CSE major requirements, for questions regarding your college and university requirements please check with your college.

*These plans only focus on CSE coursework. For a list of all CSE Major requirements (including math and general science courses needed), please see the BS Computer Science Checklist above

Incoming Computer Science (CS26) majors with transfer credit for CSE 8A and CSE 20, click here for sample long-term plan.
Fall Quarter - Year One Winter Quarter - Year One Spring Quarter - Year One
CSE 11 CSE 12 CSE 30
CSE 21 CSE 15L CSE 105
Technical Elective CSE Elective CSE Elective
  Technical Elective  
Fall Quarter - Year Two Winter Quarter - Year Two Spring Quarter - Year Two
CSE 100 CSE 101 CSE 120/123/124
CSE 140 CSE 130/CSE 132A CSE 141 or 142
CSE 140L CSE 110 CSE 141L or 142L
CSE 103/MATH 183 CSE Elective CSE Elective
Fall Quarter - Year Three    
CSE 107/127    
CSE 150/151/152/158/167    
CSE Elective    
Incoming Computer Science (CS26) majors with transfer credit for CSE 11 and CSE 20, click here for sample long-term plan. 
Fall Quarter - Year One Winter Quarter - Year One Spring Quarter - Year One
CSE 12 CSE 30 CSE 100
CSE 15L CSE 105 CSE 140
CSE 21 Technical Elective CSE 140L
    CSE Elective
Fall Quarter - Year Two Winter Quarter - Year Two Spring Quarter - Year Two
CSE 101 CSE 141 or 142 CSE 107/127
CSE 110 CSE 141L or 142L CSE 150/151/152/158/167
CSE 103/MATH 183 CSE 120/123/124 CSE Elective
  CSE Elective Technical Elective
Fall Quarter - Year Three    
CSE 130/132A    
CSE Elective    
CSE Elective    
Incoming Computer Science (CS26) majors with transfer credit for CSE 11,  CSE 12  and CSE 20, click here for sample long-term plan.
Fall Quarter - Year One Winter Quarter - Year One Spring Quarter - Year One
CSE 15L CSE 100 CSE 101
CSE 21 CSE 105 CSE 110
CSE 30* CSE 140 CSE Elective
  CSE 140L Technical Elective
Fall Quarter - Year Two Winter Quarter - Year Two Spring Quarter - Year Two
CSE 120/123/124 CSE 130/132A CSE 107/127
CSE 103/MATH 183 CSE 141 or 142 CSE 150/151/152/158/167
CSE Elective CSE 141L or 142L CSE Elective
CSE Elective Technical Elective CSE Elective
Incoming Computer Science (CS26) majors with transfer credit for CSE 11, CSE 12, CSE 20, and CSE 30, click here for a sample long-term plan.
Fall Quarter - Year One Winter Quarter - Year One Spring Quarter - Year One
CSE 15L CSE 100 CSE 101
CSE 21 CSE 140 CSE 110
Technical Elective CSE 140L CSE Elective
  CSE 105 Technical Elective
Fall Quarter - Year Two Winter Quarter - Year Two Spring Quarter - Year Two
CSE 120/123/124 CSE 141 or 142 CSE 107/127
CSE 103/MATH 183 CSE 141L or 142L CSE Elective
CSE 130/132A CSE 150/151/152/158/167 CSE Elective
  CSE Elective CSE Elective