What is Computer Science?
Computer science is the study of computer software. Computer scientists study methods of representing, organizing and manipulating information. They are concerned with ways to solve problems more efficiently and with ways to simulate human reasoning. Some important areas of computer science are: the design of more powerful or more easily used computer languages; the design of more powerful compilers, which translate programs written in computer languages into machine-executable code; the design of operating systems; and the design of networks and methodologies for computing over multiple distributed machines.
Computer science differs from computer engineering in that, for the computer scientist, strategies for the theory of software development are of primary importance. For computer engineers, computer hardware is a principal concern and, in creating software, they tend to focus more on applying and merging techniques. Computer science differs from the field of information systems (IS) in that IS is targeted directly toward business applications.
Admission criteria for this program vary based on the relative strength of test scores, class rank, GPA and co-curricular activities. Please see the Freshman Class Profile for this major in the Quick Facts sidebar on this page for the range of academic credentials typically accepted into this program. Test scores in the lower range may be acceptable with higher class rank and/or GPA.
Freshmen applying to this program should also have completed the following college preparatory subjects:
- English (4 units)
- Mathematics, including algebra, geometry and either pre-calculus or calculus (4 units)
- Science, including Chemistry and Physics (3 units)
- Social sciences (3 units)
- Electives (5 unit)
Successful computer science professionals are generally proficient in math and science and tend to be mathematical or kinetic learners. They are often detail-oriented and enjoy problem-solving. Attributes contributing to a successful career in computer science include strong written and verbal communications skills as well as perseverance and patience.
Graduates of this major pursue many different careers. A few examples include:
- Applications programming
- Web programming
- Network management
- Systems programming and analysis
- Software development and maintenance
Transfer students in good standing from accredited colleges and universities will be considered for admission to the college at the first, second and third-year levels. The degree requirement of professional practice experience normally precludes acceptance beyond the third-year level. For further detailed information such as required grade point average, please refer to the Transfer Students page.
Students changing majors from outside programs or colleges within UC will be considered based on the same criteria as outside transfers.
Freshmen must begin the program during fall semester. Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis. High school students who wish to be considered for scholarships must apply by December 1 of their senior year.