John DeNero teaching CS 61A (photo: Doug Birnbaum)

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 for both a possible research career and long-term technical leadership in the 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!

More about the CS major.

Ways to Explore Berkeley CS


Students interested in CS should apply directly to the major on the University of California Application for Admission.  The holistic review process evaluates the applicant’s full spectrum of qualifications viewed in the context of their academic and personal circumstances.

Once enrolled, students may pursue a double major, simultaneous degree, or minor. Speak with a CS advisor to learn more.

Office of Undergraduate Admissions

First-year Admission

First-years are admitted directly into the CS major and spend all four years in the program. In addition to the UC Admission requirements, engineering applicants are encouraged to take additional courses, particularly in math and science. Doing well in these subjects will prepare new students for the rigors of Computer Science at the university level.

CS sample plans for first-year students. 

Transfer Admission

You are a transfer student if you have completed coursework during a regular session at a college or university after high school. Transfer applicants must complete all required preparation courses to be eligible for admission.

Please note that UC Berkeley gives California community college students first priority over other transfer applicants. These students should use assist.org to ensure admission requirements are completed and transferrable.

Transferring from another institution
CS sample plans for transfers

CS B.A. Degree Requirements

Students are required to complete core technical classes during their first few semesters. They then have the opportunity to explore various topics from computer science theory to networking and physical systems.

View degree requirements

Transferring within Cal? Pursuing a Double Major?

It is rare but possible to transfer into the CS program from another major on campus or to add CS as a second major. We also offer an EECS minor, a CS Minor, and an EIS Minor for students pursuing other majors.

Students admitted in Fall 2023 onward who did not select CS on their UCB application may apply to the major via comprehensive review. This includes students adding CS as a single major, double major, or simultaneous degree. Speak with a CS advisor to learn more.