berkeley cs ba requirements

Berkeley’s Computer Science major is a very competitive one, but it doesn’t have to be that way. This post outlines what you can do to get an edge, and become a more competitive candidate. I’m going to focus on the requirements of the major, as most students new to the program have no idea what they should be doing.

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Computer Science Bachelor of Arts

At Berkeley, we construe computer science broadly to include the theory of computation, the design and analysis of algorithms, the architecture and logic design of computers, programming languages, compilers, operating systems, scientific computation, computer graphics, databases, artificial intelligence and natural language processing. Our goal is to prepare students both for a possible research career and long-term technical leadership in industry. We must therefore look beyond today’s technology and give students the big ideas and the learning skills that will prepare them to teach themselves about tomorrow’s technology.

Why Major in Computer Science?

Most students major in CS to prepare themselves for careers in industry. A bachelor’s degree in CS will prepare you for a diverse variety of interesting jobs including software engineering, web development, data analytics, and consulting . You might choose a career in computer graphics and animation or product management. You may work for a Fortune 500 company, a small Silicon Valley start-up, or choose to be self-employed!

Some CS students plan to pursue a research career, building experimental systems to advance the state of the art, rather than systems for immediate commercial use. Researchers may be professors at universities like UC Berkeley or may be employed in the research department of a corporation. The preparation for a research career generally includes pursuing a Ph.D. degree. Graduate school can also give students a more specific intellectual background in a particular area in preparation for more advanced technical careers — be it as a software engineer or in another position.

Some students majoring in CS aren’t sure about their career plans. They study CS simply because they like it and enjoy the challenge, and that may be the best reason of all!

berkeley cs ba requirements

Freshman Applicants

Freshman applicants interested in the Computer Science major can apply to the College of Letters and Science (L&S) , indicating their intended major as CS. All L&S freshmen are admitted as undeclared and encouraged to satisfy the principal prerequisites for their major during their first two years at Berkeley. Undeclared students should apply to declare their majors by the end of their sophomore year or during the first semester of their junior year.

Changing colleges or majors within Cal? Pursuing a Double Major/Minor?

 It is possible to transfer into the CS program from another college or major on campus. Many of our student also pursue a second major of interest. For students pursuing other majors, we also offer an EECS minor and CS Minor.

CS Major Requirements

  • Lower division requirements
  • Upper division requirements

Junior Transfers

Junior transfer students interested in CS should apply to the College of Letters and Science (L&S) as intended computer science majors. However, admitted students are admitted to L&S, not the major. Once enrolled at Berkeley, students need to complete additional requirements to petition for admission to the CS major. Admitted transfer students in L&S are encouraged to apply to declare their major at the end of their first year at UCB. Junior transfer applicants should use www.assist.org to determine the courses necessary for transferring to UC Berkeley.

Transfer students should plan to complete their technical prerequisites and apply for the major at the end of their first or second semester at UC Berkeley.

Have a Question?

See the L&S CS Major FAQ

You can contact us at:  [email protected]

Requirements to declare CS major

Students who entered UC Berkeley before fall 2015 must complete CS 61A, CS 61B, CS 61C, CS 70, Math 1A, Math 1B, Math 54 with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 in those 7 courses in order to apply to the major.

Students entering UC Berkeley in fall 2015 or later must complete CS 61A, CS 61B, and CS 70 with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.30 in those 3 courses in order to apply to the major.

We only use grades for courses completed at UC Berkeley for the GPA calculation. Students may apply to the major during the semester in which the final technical prerequisites are being completed.

Want to meet with a CS advisor?

Please consider scheduling an appointment and visit this page for more information.

Our hours are 10am – 12pm, 1pm – 4pm on Monday through Friday.

Major Declaration Policies

  • Students must complete the required prerequsites and attain the GPA required to be admitted to the major.
  • Students can apply to the major during the semester in which the final technical prerequisites are being completed.
  • If a student completes equivalent courses to our prerequisite courses (CS 61A, CS 61B, CS 70) at another institution, at least one course must be completed at UC Berkeley to calculate the major application GPA. 
  • Per campus policy, students can retake and earn credit for a class in which they received a grade of D+ or lower. Beginning Spring 2017, prequisite courses which have been retaken will be averaged to calculate the major application GPA (For example: CS 61A = D; CS 61B = A-; CS 61A = A-; CS 70 = A; averaged GPA = 3.1). Attempted courses taken before spring 2017 (and repeated thereafter) will not be averaged into GPA.    
  • Students who entered UC Berkeley before fall 2015 can apply for early declaration if they have ONE prerequisite remaining to complete in the following semester  (i.e. currently taking prerequisite #5 and #6, and only need to complete the last prerequisite next semester). Students must achieve a 3.40 GPA in those prerequisites at the end of the semester in order to be admitted via early declaration.
  •  Students who do not meet the minimum prerequisite and GPA requirements for the Computer Science major, may chose to appeal the major declaration decision after they have submitted an initial application to the major. Find our more about the Major Declaration Appeal Process.

Applying to the CS Major

Please complete the Major Application Form. 

  • The application deadline is the 30th of the last month of the semesterin which you are completing your technical prerequisites: Dec 30, May 30, and Aug 30. 
  • You would be submitting your application before you get your grades.
  • Applications will be processed after grades are OFFICIALLY posted to your transcript 
  • You will be notified of the decision via email (approximately 3-4 weeks after the deadline).
  • For double or triple majors within the College of Letters & Science: complete the Double Major Application Packet, upload it to the CS major app linked above, a CS advisor will sign your forms after we process the application. You do not need a signature from us before uploading the double-major form.
  • For students double majoring with a major outside of the College of Letters & Science: complete the Simultaneous Degree Application Packet instead of the Double Major Application Packet
  • For students change majors and/or changing colleges, please review the respective web pages and complete the appropriate forms. 
  • CS advisors will sign the aforementioned forms when your online application is reviewed.

Alternatives to the CS Major

Basic Programming Skills for Entry Level Employment

Computer science skills are in high demand, and you do not need to major in CS for a career in CS. If you are planning a CS career, you should take at least CS 61A/AS and 61B/BL. Additionally, taking CS 61C ensures you understand the full stack. CS 10 and/or CS 8 is useful as preparation for CS61A/AS if you have little or no previous programming background. Mathematical skills are also important; one crucial requirement is discrete math and probability,  CS 70. Other math courses are helpful for specific areas within CS; for example, computer graphics uses a lot of linear algebra and multivariable calculus is useful for machine learning.  Completion of CS61ABC and CS70 combined with a background in biology or chemistry gives you good a foundation for upper division work in bioinformatics and computational biology.

Another Major

Cal is a great university with many wonderful majors, some of which may offer better experience and preparation for a career in industry than pure CS. 

The following majors in L&S share lower division technical prerequisites and/or some of the upper division CS courses toward major requirements:

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Cognitive Science
  • Interdisciplinary Studies Field (ISF)
  • Operations Research and Management Science
  • Physical Sciences
  • Statistics

uc berkeley computer science acceptance rate

Berkeley computer science is one of the most difficult programs to get into. The average GPA of admitted students is a 3.8, and the average SAT score is a 2190. The program is also extremely competitive, with an acceptance rate of only 16%. However, students who are admitted into the program often go on to have successful careers in the tech industry.

According to Berkeley’s overall acceptance rate, 20% of students are accepted, but only 8% of students are accepted in Computer Science. The University of California at Berkeley accepts 15% of all applications. Half of the admitted students achieve a 3.0 GPA or higher. Berkeley has done well despite state funding. Berkeley engineering students have an average GPA of over 4.0. If you have a score of 6 or higher, you are likely to get in. The University of California, Berkeley, has 42,327 students, while the University of California, Los Angeles has 44,589 students.

In college, you can choose from a variety of majors. The university’s most prestigious major is the Master of Engineering in Technology (M.E.T.). The scores on the ACT for UCLA and Stanford are 32 and 33, respectively. In comparison to Stanford University, which has 15,953 students, UCLA has 44,589.

Getting accepted into a CS program can be difficult; high-paying jobs in a field with a high demand can be difficult to find. According to a 2017 Peterson’s poll, 11% of respondents said they had accepted UC’s computer science program. As a result, 459 of the 3,994 students who applied that year were accepted, indicating that less than half of them received acceptance.

In the 2019-2020 academic year, the University of California – Berkeley awarded 845 bachelor’s degrees in computer science, which is an increase from the previous year. This ranking helped the school to place second among all colleges and universities that offer this degree.

Declare GPA/Prerequisites in order to receive the CS Major. As a general requirement, CS 61A, CS 61B, and CS 703.30 GPA are required in CS 61A, CS 61B, and CS 703.30 overall.

Is It Hard To Get Into Uc Computer Science?

How hard is it to get into UC Berkeley? Only 15% of the applications received by UC Berkeley are accepted. Students who apply to the school with the most applicants are accepted. More than half of the admitted students have GPAs of 3.0 or higher.

Why Uc Berkeley Is The Best Choice For Computer Science

Despite UC Berkeley’s high acceptance rate for computer science, acceptance rates are only 8%. Despite this, Berkeley remains one of the top computer science schools in the country. This is because of a variety of factors. To begin with, Berkeley has a long and distinguished history in computer science. Furthermore, Berkeley’s faculty is among the best in the world. Students at Berkeley receive a plethora of resources that are second to none. If you want to learn more about computer science, Berkeley is the place to go.

How Do I Get Into Computer Science At Berkeley?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to get into computer science at Berkeley may vary depending on your individual circumstances and qualifications. However, some tips on how to get into computer science at Berkeley may include studying hard for the Computer Science A-Level exam, researching various computer science programs at Berkeley, and/or seeking out mentors and networking opportunities within the computer science field.

In recent years, there has been an increase in computer science acceptance rates, and engineering offers an excellent opportunity for students interested in the field. In comparison, the acceptance rate for computer science is 8.2%, which is significantly lower than the acceptance rate of 9.5% for engineering. Engineering offers a much more selective program, which explains the disparity. A small percentage of applicants are admitted who have extremely high test scores, strong GPAs, and participate in a variety of extracurricular activities.

How Do I Get Into Cal Berkeley For Computer Science?

In order to declare for CS, a student must have a 3.0 or higher grade point average in CS 61A, CS 61B, or a discrete math course. In addition, the class had a GPA of 3.45, which was below average. A score of 3 or higher is required to participate.

Number Of Undergraduate Students Majoring In Eecs At Uc Berkeley Continues To Grow

According to the UC Berkeley website, there were 1,848 undergraduate students majoring in EECS in 2019, with 1,492 majoring in the B.S. The B.S. category has been growing in recent years, increasing by 10.5% between 2018 and 2019. A growing number of undergraduate students majoring in EECS at UC Berkeley pursue an education in the field of computer science, which has become a popular major.

berkeley cs major

Choosing a Computer Science Path

There are two ways to study Computer Science (CS) at UC Berkeley:

  1. Be admitted to the Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences (EECS) major in the College of Engineering (COE) as a freshman. Admission to the COE, however, is extremely competitive. This option leads to a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. This path is appropriate for people who want an engineering education.
  2. Enter the College of Letters & Science (L&S) and, after successful completion of the courses required to declare with the minimum grade point average (GPA), petition to be admitted to the L&S Computer Science major. This path is appropriate for people who are interested in a broader education in the sciences and arts (such as double majoring in other L&S fields), and/or are not sure at the time of application that they can gain admission to EECS. This option leads to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.

There is no difference in the CS course content between the BS and BA programs. The difference is in what else you take: mainly engineering, or mainly humanities and social sciences. In particular, an interest in hardware suggests the EECS route; an interest in double majoring (for example, in math or cognitive science) suggests the L&S route.

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Science

For information regarding the BS degree, please see the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences program information in this Guide. 

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Computer Science

This CS major is for students enrolled in the College of Letters & Science (L&S). Berkeley emphasizes the science of computer science, which means much more than just computer programming. It includes the theory of computation, the design and analysis of algorithms, the architecture and logic design of computers, programming languages, compilers, operating systems, scientific computation, computer graphics, databases, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing. Our goal is to prepare students both for a possible research career and long-term technical leadership in industry. We must therefore look beyond today’s technology and give students the primary ideas and the learning skills that will prepare them to teach themselves about tomorrow’s technology.

Declaring the Major (BA only)

It is necessary to achieve a minimum prerequisite grade point average (GPA) in order to declare the Computer Science major. Information on this GPA and the process to petition for admission to the major can be found on the Petitioning to the Computer Science Major website.

Transfer students admitted to Berkeley must apply separately to the Computer Science major after matriculating and completing the missing prerequisite courses for declaration. Not all transfer students will meet the criteria required for the major. Therefore, we recommend that transfer students be prepared to pursue an alternative major at Berkeley. Questions may be directed to the CS advising office, 349 Soda Hall, 510-664-4436, or via email at [email protected]

Five-Year BS/MS Program

This program is geared toward students who would like to pursue an education beyond the BS/BA, allowing them to achieve greater breadth and/or depth of knowledge, and who would like to try their hand at research as well. For information, please see the Five-Year BS/MS Requirements tab on this page. 

Honors Program

Computer Science majors with an overall GPA of 3.70 or above are eligible to apply to the EECS honors degree program.

Minor Program

A minor in Computer Science is available to all undergraduate students at Berkeley with a declared major, with the exception of EECS majors. For information regarding minor requirements, please see the Minor Requirements tab on this page.