Computer Science

About the Program

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

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 Bachelors of Science (BS) degree. This path is appropriate for people who want an engineering education.
  2. Enter the College of Letters and Science (L & S) and, after two years and successful completion of required courses, 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, 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.

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.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Computer Science

This CS major is for students enrolled in the College of Letters & Science (L&S ). 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.

For information regarding the BA degree, please see below, and consult the tabs on this page.

Please note that the BA program is not an ABET-accredited program.

Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Computer Science

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

Declaring the Major (BA only)

It is necessary to achieve an overall and technical grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 to declare the computer science major. The technical GPA (that is, the GPA in the lower division courses required for the major) is the main determining factor and students meeting the criteria are routinely approved. Applications to the major should be submitted to the Computer Science Advising Office, 377 Soda Hall, (510)-642-7214, during the semester in which the final technical prerequisites are being completed.

Transfer students admitted to Berkeley must, in addition, apply separately to the computer science major. 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. For further information, contact the Advising Office.

Honors Program

Computer science majors with an overall GPA of 3.75 or above are eligible to apply to the EECS Honors Program.

Minor Program

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

Major Requirements

In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.


Category: Computer Science

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