Undergraduate Program Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
- School starts this upcoming fall. What should I do during the summer?
- What computer should I buy?
- Where are my classes going to be? Are they in the school of engineering?
- When should I start looking for internships?
- What if I am having trouble finding an internship?
- Can you enroll me for a class I am not able to get into?
- Do I need to follow my degree audit exactly?
- What CSE classes should I take as an incoming freshman?
- What is CSE 91 about?
- What are the requirements for the combined Bachelors Masters program?
- What should I do during the summer?
- When is the application DEADLINE for the 5-Year Bachelors Masters program?
- How do I get letters of recommendation?
- What are the Special Studies classes?
- I don't have the pre-requisites, but can I take this class anyway?
- How do I get into a graduate class?
- I want to double major. Can I share classes between these two majors?
- I want to have a minor. Can I share classes between my major and the minor?
- I am an engineering major. Can I have double in another engineering major?
- I am currently an engineering major. Can I minor in another kind of engineering field?
- Will the classes I take at community college or another UC count?
- What counts in my major GPA?
- What classes can be taken P/NP?
- How do I add a second major?
- I do not have room for a CSE class in my schedule. Are there any classes I can take with more flexible hours?
- Can I get a D or F grade and still apply it toward my major?
- Will every CSE elective be offered every quarter?
- How important is doing research?
- How do I find a professor to do research with?
- Do I need research to get into graduate school?
- I am undeclared. How should I decide whether to major in computer science?
- I am undeclared. How do I change my major?
- I am undeclared. What classes can I take to get a sense for whether I like computer science?
- Which of my classes will map over?
- What classes should I take first?
- How can I get more information about transferring to the CSE program at UCSD?
- Which programming classes should I start with?
- Can I become a paid tutor for a class I've just taken?
- What if I do not meet the conditions listed for becoming a paid tutor? Are there other ways I can be a tutor?
- When do I sign up for CSE 90, Undergraduate Seminar (tutor training)?
- An alternative to being a paid tutor?
Incoming Freshmen/Transfer Students
School starts this upcoming fall. What should I do during the summer?
Get a book on linux and start reading it. This will become helpful to you when you start programming.
What computer should I buy?
This depends on whether you plan to work from home on your assignments. If you plan on working remotely, then it is a good idea to get a Windows computer, which more closely resembles the lab environment on campus. If you are planning to travel home a lot, then a laptop would be good for portability. Your computer does not need to be too powerful or expensive, but a netbook might not be sufficient. For more detailed information, refer to "What Computer Should I Buy and Why?" or Dr. Paul Kube's webpage.
Where are my classes going to be? Are they held on the Jacobs School of Engineering campus?
You will find that you will have courses scheduled across the UCSD campus, including some here on the JSOE campus.
When should I start looking for internships?
It is never too early to start looking for internships. Freshman often think they do not have enough programming experience to get an internship, but many internships are looking for basic coding skills.
What if I am having trouble finding an internship?
Go to all of the job talks, tech talks, and job fairs! Even if you do not find something right away, you will begin collecting information about what companies are looking for. Even if it seems like you are just talking to recruiters casually, they are often giving you an informal interview. Coming to these will help you spot the trends going on in the industry.
Can you enroll me for a class I am not able to add?
Staff and faculty are not able to add students to classes. If you cannot add because the class is full, immediately get on a wait list (continuing students may wait list beginning Second Pass). If you cannot add because you have not fulfilled the prerequisites, you must either take the prerequisite or petition that you have had the equivalency, or ask the instructor for one of the rare exceptions to have prequisites waived.
Do I need to follow my degree audit exactly?
You must complete your degree audit in order to graduate. There is no set path to completing your degree audit, but the four-year plan provided on the CSE website is what we recommend you should follow. The CSE website is also a good place to find detailed descriptions of the CSE courses you are planning to take.
What CSE classes should I take as an incoming freshman?
Please see CSE Course Placement Advice.
What is CSE 91?
CSE 91 is a 2-unit seminar class for all incoming freshmen. It is recommended that all new UCSD CSE majors take CSE 91 during the first year. This class gives CSE students a general outlook on how the CSE program works at UCSD and what to expect during their stay here. From introducing your academic advisors to giving advice on how to write a good resume, it is a good stepping stone into the CSE world.
Sophomores/Juniors (Continuing Students)
What are the requirements for the combined Bachelors Masters program?
You will need to have taken at least 7 upper division courses and need at least a 3.4 major GPA and general GPA. You will also need letters of recommendation. Check the Bachelor's/Master's Program page for additional details, or come in to see your adviser.
What should I do during the summer?
The summer is a great time to get a few classes out of the way and to have more time to dedicate to them than may be possible during the school year. You can even study abroad while you take them! An internship or research with a professor are also great experiences that will look great on your resume.
Can I graduate with problems in my degree audit?
No, your degree audit must be cleared before you can graduate. Come see your adviser to get your degree audit cleared if you feel that there is a mistake in it.
Can I graduate with an "F" in my transcript?
For more details see "Can I get a D or F grade and still apply it toward my major?" Any "F" grades must be resolved by retaking the course.
When is the application DEADLINE for the 5-Year Bachelors Masters program?
Check the Bachelor's/Master's Program page about application deadlines. The date varies depending on when you complete your undergraduate degree.
How do I get letters of recommendation?
Get to know your professors. One of the best ways to do that is to go to their office hours. Look up their faculty profile on the website and learn about their research. If you are interested in what they are doing, you can ask to take CSE 199 with them. You may want to bring your resume, in case they would like to learn more about you.
What are the Special Studies classes?
I don't have the prerequisites, but can I take the class anyway?
In general, CSE enforces prerequisites. Exceptions are made for some students in majors that require a CSE course but not its prerequisite, and these students contact firstname.lastname@example.org for course clearance. All other exceptions require that the instructor approve waiving the prerequisite.
How do I add a graduate class?
You cannot add a graduate class through WebReg. You will need an add/drop card, which will require you to get the signature of the instructor teaching the course and the CSE department stamp from your advisors (you get the stamp AFTER the professor has signed the card). You will then take that card to the registrar's office.
I want to double major. Can I share classes between these two majors?
Yes, in general you can overlap your classes. Lower division courses may be overlapped without exception. You may also overlap upper division courses, but must first make sure that there are 10 upper division courses UNIQUE to each major before you can overlap the rest. See your major advisers to ask about which classes you may/would like to overlap.
I want to have a minor. Can I share classes between my major and the minor?
Lower division courses may be overlapped, but there must be at least ten upper division classes unique to both the minor and your major.
I am an engineering major. Can I have double in another engineering major?
No, only one major can be within the school of engineering.
I am currently an engineering major. Can I minor in another kind of engineering field?
No, only one of them may be from the school of engineering.
Will the classes I take at community college or another UC count?
The website assist.org lists all the classes at community college that will count in place of UCSD classes. Any UC class can be taken and will count for UCSD. If you want your UC class to count for a specific UCSD computer science class, you will need to fill out a petition form. The petition form is available online and in the office. In order to petition, you will need to provide a course description or syllabus from the class you are trying to take.
What counts in my major GPA?
What classes can be taken P/NP?
How do I add a second major?
First go to your college advisors and ask them if you have met the conditions to petition for a second major. It is best if you have already completed a second major petition application before you go in to meet with your college advisor. (The application is available online or your college / major office may provide you with one). Next you would need to see your advisors from each of the major departments you are considering petitioning for. Once the advisors have given their consent and signed the application, submit your application along with your statement of purpose, to your college office.
I do not have room for a CSE class in my schedule. Are there any classes I can take with more flexible hours?
Can I get a D or F grade and still apply it toward my major?
You can use your D grade, however your major GPA and cumulative GPA must be at least 2.0. You may repeat up to 16 units of D or F grades and your academic history will have an R (for Repeat) marked next to the grade to show that it has been made up but the actual D or F grade will not be erased from your permanent record. After that, both grades will count in your GPA. You may NOT GRADUATE if you have not made up a course with an F grade.
Will every CSE elective be offered every quarter?
Unfortunately no. Generally, only core classes and prerequisites to core classes are available every quarter of the school year (ie: CSE 12, 30, 100, etc). There are also classes that may be only offered once a year (ie: CSE 125, 167, etc), so keep that in mind when registering for classes. The list of classes offered during the current school year is listed under "Courses."
How important is doing research?
Research is extremely valuable, especially if you are planning on going to graduate school. Research is a great way to work on projects over a long period and to see the exciting work of faculty and graduate students.
How do I find a professor to do research with?
If you are interested in a particular subject, look at the faculty profiles on the CSE website to see which professors are doing work in your area of interest. Office hours are a great time to talk to a professor about their research. Bring your resume with you just in case. You could take a CSE 198 or CSE 199 to get a better understanding of their work, which lead to future additional research opportunities.
Do I need research to get into graduate school?
The requirements for graduate school will depend on the place you are applying and the program. It is highly recommended that you try to do research not only to make your application stand out, but also to give you a sense for whether YOU like research, which is something you will be devoting yourself to in graduate school.
I am undeclared. How should I decide whether to major in computer science?
This is something that will vary for each student, but the important thing to ask yourself is whether you like computer science. If you have never programmed, then a good way to try it out is to take one of the intro computer science classes such as CSE 3, CSE 5A, or CSE 8A. These classes are introductory and should give you a feel for whether you are interested in the subject. You can try talking faculty, other majors, or your counselors for general advice, but ultimately, the only person who can decide is you!
I am undeclared. How do I change my major?
You will need to use the major/minor tool which can be found on TritonLink to change your major.
I am undeclared. What classes can I take to get a sense for whether I like computer science?
Which of my classes will map over?
You will need to talk to your counselor at your current college about which classes they suggest taking. You can check Assist.org to see which classes from community college may count at UCSD. Note that Assist.org only compares a university's lower division courses with courses from community/junior colleges.
What classes should I take first?
Good prep classes to take are Math 20A, 20B, 20C, 20F and your core science classes. These core science classes will depend on whether you are a Computer Science major or a Computer Engineering major. If you are a Computer Science major, you can choose one of the following:
- Physics 2A - "Mechanics" and Physics 2B - "Electricity and Magnetism"
- Chemistry 6A - "General Chemistry I" and Chemistry 6B - "General Chemistry II"
- BILD 1 - "The Cell" and BILD 2 - "Multicellular Life"
- BILD 3 - "Organismic and Evolutionary Biology" and BICD 100 - "Genetics"
How can I get more information about transferring to the CSE program at UCSD?
Come to the Transfer Admit Day! During Transfer Admit Day you will get an overview of the undergraduate program, a chance to hear from a panel of students who can answer any questions, and a tour of the lab. Check the Transfer Student Gateway page for details about when the Transfer Admit Day will be. You can also sign up for a campus tour and sign up for an information session for prospective students.
Which programming classes should I start with?
It is recommended that you take the highest level programming class you are allowed to take, but if you do not feel prepared enough for it, take the CSE Course Advisory Exam and see which level might be best for you to start with.
Can I become a paid tutor for a class I've just taken?
The application is online and the listed conditions (a few being: a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and 90 units completed) as well as the consent/signature of the professor you wish to tutor for. Unfortunately, there might not be enough tutor positions for all those who apply.
What if I do not meet the conditions listed for becoming a paid tutor? Are there other ways I can be a tutor?
When do I sign up for CSE 90, Undergraduate Seminar (tutor training)?
You may register for CSE 90 on webreg as soon as you received notice that you have been hired to tutor for the course you applied for.
An alternative to being a paid tutor?
The student organization SAGE exists for this purpose. Members voluntarily tutor for the classes they wish to and gain experience by helping other students find solutions to their programming problems. You are still required to get consent from the professor teaching the class.