Computer Science Transfer Pathway

Taking the following courses will prepare you to major in computer science at any UC campus.

Course expectations

  • Introduction to programming (computer science I)
  • Data structures (computer science II)
  • Computer organization and assembly language
  • Single variable calculus for STEM majors (one-year sequence)
  • Multivariable calculus
  • Discrete mathematics
  • Linear algebra
  • Differential equations
  • Calculus-based physics (one-year sequence with labs; topics covered must include mechanics and electromagnetism)

Note: Specific programming languages are more important at some campuses than others. See individual campus websites for guidance.

Full sequences can take two to four terms to complete (depending on whether your institution is on semesters or quarters), so you'll want to start them early. To check which of your community college courses satisfy the Pathway course expectations at multiple UC campuses, refer to the UC Transfer Pathways Guide for a summary list. Use ASSIST to find the specific classes offered at your community college that will satisfy the expected coursework at a particular UC campus. In addition to the coursework above, you will need to fulfill minimum requirements expected of all transfer applicants to UC.

If you're working on an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) in computer science at your community college, there's a lot of overlap with UC Transfer Pathway coursework. The difference between what UC expects and what an ADT requires is multivariable calculus, linear algebra and differential equations.

Applicable majors

The Computer Science Pathway applies to the degree programs listed below. More degree programs may be added in the future so you should check back periodically to see if your major has joined this list.

  • General computer science majors: 
    • Computer Science, B.A. at Berkeley
    • Computer Science, B.S. at Davis
    • Computer Science, B.S. at Irvine
    • Computer Science, B.S. at Los Angeles
    • Computer Science, B.S. at Riverside
    • Computer Science, B.S. at San Diego
    • Computer Science, B.S. at Santa Barbara
    • Computer Science, B.A. and B.S. at Santa Cruz
    • Computer Science and Engineering, B.S. at Merced
  • Engineering majors:
    • Computer Engineering, B.S. at Santa Cruz
    • Robotics Engineering, B.S. at Santa Cruz
  • Specialized computer science majors:
    • Computer Science: Computer Game Design, B.S. at Santa Cruz
    • Network and Digital Technology, B.A. at Santa Cruz

Campus GPA requirements

Admission to different UC campuses and majors varies in competitiveness depending on how many students apply and how many slots are available. As a result, the minimum GPA and grade requirements for particular courses may vary from campus to campus. Make sure to look on the campus admissions websites to find minimum expected grade point averages for the major you are interested in.