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 on them upon graduation. 

Eligibility for Admission

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

  • Junior-level standing in a CSE major.
  • 3.5 GPA in upper-division CSE major requirements, 3.25 GPA overall.
  • Completion of CSE 101 (all majors), CSE 105 (BA & BS Computer Science), and CSE 110 (BA & BS Computer Science, BS Computer Engineering).  
  • Completion of at least 12 units of upper-division CSE courses at UCSD.

Application Procedure

To apply for admission to the CSE Honors Program, students must submit a CSE Honors Program Application (pdf)  that includes the following information:

  • Name of CSE faculty advisor sponsoring the project.
  • Project proposal (one page).
  • Signature from the faculty advisor acknowledging that the faculty member has agreed to advise the student in the honors program, and corroborates the specifics of the project.
  • Signature from CSE student affairs advisor on the application form.

Submit the application no later than the end of Fall quarter of senior year. Submission during Spring quarter of 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.
  • 8 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 advisor on an honors completion form.
  • Completion of requirements by the end of the Spring quarter of graduation.

Written Thesis

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 advisor must have reviewed and approved the honors thesis prior to submission by the student.

Presentation of Project

Students must orally present their project as a requirement for the honors program. Students have many opportunities for fulfilling this requirement:

  • UCSD Annual Undergraduate Research Conference
  • An ORU research review or workshop (e.g., Calit2, CNS, CWC, CCMS, ITA Center)
  • A conference or workshop presentation
  • A graduate research seminar
  • Alternative presentation opportunity provided by faculty advisor

Honors Designations

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

  • "With distinction": Complete the 8 units of CSE 199H with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • "With high distinction": Complete the 8 units of CSE 199H with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • "With highest distinction": Complete the 8 units of CSE 199H with a GPA of 3.8 or higher.

Unit Considerations

The CSE Honors Program does not increase the units required for graduation in a CSE major. Students participating in the honors program may apply 8 units in CSE 199H for the equivalent of 2 technical elective courses for their major.