Prospective Students

Computer science is one of the fastest growing, recession-proof professions in the country. Computer science is embedded in almost every aspect of daily life. Computer science is also about using technology to solve society's problems in fields such as the environment, medicine, robotics, and social services.  

The CSE department pursues a range of activities that reflect the profound societal changes being brought about by innovations in computing. The department’s research and teaching are centered on exciting areas of algorithms, bioinformatics, computer architecture, computer vision & graphics, cryptography & security, databases, embedded systems, machine learning, mobile & ubiquitous computing, systems & networking, and software engineering.  In addition, our department boasts top-quality, award-winning undergraduate instructors who employ innovative curriculum and pedagogy to give you an outstanding undergraduate course experience. Our undergraduate program provides three majors and a wide range of electives, allowing you the flexibility to explore your academic and career interests and passions.

These are some of the many reasons to join the Computer Science and Engineering department at UC San Diego (UCSD), here are just a few:

Accomplished Faculty

The CSE Department is currently comprised of 50+ distinguished faculty members and supports excellent research facilities. Classes are taught by a large, diverse faculty who are leading researchers in the course areas they teach. Faculty commitment to excellence in teaching has been recognized and honored with numerous engineering and university teaching awards. A large faculty enables the department to offer a wide range of classes in both traditional and cutting-edge topics in computer science. In addition to classes, students also have the opportunity to interact with faculty as course teaching assistants, tutors and readers, as graduate and undergraduate research assistants, and through faculty mentoring.

Transferable Skills

While taking courses and participating in experiential learning opportunities, students who major in CSE will gain not only technical knowledge but also many transferable soft skills that employers look for in various industries. Students in CSE majors develop: analytical skills which include thinking critically about a situation; problem-solving in order to find errors and solutions in as little time possible; communication skills; and the ability to collaborate with others on large projects.

CSE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We all benefit when we embrace different perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences, which is why diversity, equity, and inclusion are key staples of the UCSD Computer Science and Engineering community. We are continuously looking for ways to improve our department, and this starts with creating an inclusive environment. Ongoing support of student organization activities, as well as faculty- and staff-led initiatives, promote the growth and values of our community. Our dedication to diversity and inclusion enables us to reach a broad set of students, to work in diverse teams, and to better train students to be the leaders of tomorrow.

Research Opportunities

CSE undergraduate students are encouraged to collaborate on projects and research with faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students.  Participating in research allows students to: get hands-on experience, make connections with faculty, explore a specific area of interest, develop academic and career goals, and prepare for education beyond an undergraduate degree.

Internship and Career Opportunities

Internships are an invaluable experience.  The majority of our students participate in at least one internship experience, often in the summer, and as soon as the end of freshmen year.  There are many resources available to help students prepare for and connect with job and internship opportunities, including: the Career Center, the Jacobs School of Engineering Corporate Affiliates Program and Team Internship Program, and CSE department workshops and info sessions


Admissions to CSE - Capped Major

In recent years, there has been a high demand from students who want to major in the CSE department. Since a quality education and timely progress to graduation are thwarted by a disproportionately large student body, CSE has made the difficult decision to implement Capped Major status. Capped Major status means there is a cap on the number of students admitted to the major.  Students who were admitted to UC San Diego, but not directly into a CSE major will need to apply competitively after enrolling at UC San Diego and completing eligibility criteria courses.  Please read full information on our Capped Major webpage.   

Admissions to UC San Diego

Students who are interested in pursuing a major within the Department of Computer Science and Engineering must first be admitted to the University of California, San Diego. Prospective students who are interested in applying to UC San Diego should visit the UC San Diego Admissions website to review eligibility and admission requirements. The Computer Science and Engineering Department is not involved in the UC San Diego admissions process. All questions related to university admission should be directed to UC San Diego Admissions.

Triton Days

UC San Diego annually hosts Triton Days, with both virtual and in-person campus experiences for admitted students and families. You can visit the Computer Science and Engineering Triton Days page and The IDEA Center for more videos, programs, events and resources for admitted undergraduate students. 

UC San Diego College System

UC San Diego undergraduate students are admitted into one of seven unique colleges. To graduate, students must fulfill requirements for the major as well as general education requirements. The requirements for the CSE majors (or any other major) are always the same, but the general education requirements will vary by college. There are CSE majors in each of the colleges, and the choice of college should be based on the student's academic interests outside of the major.

Take a Tour of UCSD

We recommend you visit UC San Diego, and sign up to attend a Campus Tour.  You can also attend available courses.

Take a virtual tour of campus.

Are you a prospective or admitted student with questions about computer science at UC San Diego?