CSE Selective Major Process

Updated: April 12th, 2024

Please note: UC San Diego has updated the Capped Major program to the Selective Majors program

Thank you for your interest in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at UC San Diego. The CSE Department does not play a role in any portion of the undergraduate admissions review of applicants. Once a student matriculates at UC San Diego, the only way to change into one of the majors in the CSE Department from another major outside of our department is to go through our CSE Selective Major Application Process. There is no appeal process for changing to a selective major.  Please be advised that the number of available spots in the CSE majors is constrained by the available resources. There are no guarantees you would be able to major in CS as a result of the CSE Selective Major Application Process.

  • For the Summer 2024 application cycle, there are no spots available. The JSOE Application for the CSE Selective Major Application process is not available for students to apply in Summer 2024 for this reason.
  • For the Summer 2025 application cycle, students will be able to apply to this major once per year (between Summer and Fall quarters).  Note that space will be limited and acceptance to this major is not guaranteed.  For more information about the admission process and criteria please see the UC San Diego Selective Majors Page.

After carefully reviewing the Selective Majors page on the University's website, if you have any questions, please contact the Admissions Office.

CSE Selective Major Screening Course Information

Currently, the criteria for the Selective Major process for the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Department has not yet been finalized. CSE will specify screening courses for the selective major process, which will be posted to this website. Please check back soon for more information.


What does Selective Major status mean?

Selective Major status means that there is a maximum on the number of students who can declare the major. 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. Students admitted to UCSD but not directly into one of the CSE majors will have to go through our CSE Selective Major Application process.   

Which CSE majors are Selective Majors?

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

Why is the CSE major a selective major?

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 Selective Major status.

What about pursuing an Individual Major with CSE coursework?
  • Each college offers an individual major for a B.A. degree; Revelle College offers a B.A. and B.S.
  • Some students who want to bypass our CSE Capped Major process attempt to declare an individual major with CSE coursework. Students who have declared an Individual Major within their college will NOT receive priority for CSE courses that are restricted to specific majors. 
  • Although creating an Individual Major is something that the colleges allow, when it comes to CSE coursework being included, the department policy is that our faculty deny the request to sponsor the student. The reason being is that most of our upper-division courses are restricted to CSE majors, so it would be difficult for a student to graduate on time because they would NOT receive priority in our major restricted courses. 
What to do if you are not accepted into one of the CSE majors?

See our Computing Paths website. If you are interested in a CSE minor, please review our website.