Frequently Asked Questions: CS Course Transferability and Equivalency

  1. ASSIST shows agreements between UC Berkeley and California community colleges. But what about courses at a non-CA community college or at other four-year institutions?

    It is very rare that we accept any course offered elsewhere as a substitute for CS 61A, 61C, or CS 70. Please read our detailed syllabi before asking for a course to be reviewed to satisfy these requirements. Here are some of the highlights:

    • 61A: higher order functions, implement (not just use) objects with inheritance, declarative programming, write an interpreter for a programming language
    • 61C: map-reduce project, optimizing memory-intensive parallel code, logic design of a MIPS processor
    • 70: stable marriage, RSA, polynomials in finite fields, secret-sharing, Reed-Solomon codes, the laws of large numbers, the central limit theorem, or any continuous probability

    On the other hand, courses equivalent to CS 61B are more likely to be offered at other institutions; if your course was called something like "Data Structures" we might accept it. Courses named after programming languages are rarely adequate. Here are some of the questions we'll ask about your course:

    • Did you implement (not just use from a library) a hash table?
    • Did you implement (not just use from a library) a balanced binary tree (e.g., red-black tree)?
    • Did you write a significant (several thousand line) programming project from scratch?

    At the moment there are no courses articulated with our Discrete Math course, CS 70. There are courses that articulate with the Math Department's course, Math 55, and in some circumstances you might get away with using one of those to meet the CS 70 requirement, but we strongly advise against it; students who've taken Math 55 instead of CS 70 tend to have a harder time in CS 170, our upper division Algorithms course.

    If you feel that you've taken an equivalent course, please submit this form for our faculty to evaluate it.

  2. ASSIST says that the courses I took only partially satisfies one of Berkeley's requirements. Do I still have to take the class here?

    Not necessarily, it depends on the class. Please contact us at cs-advising@cs.berkeley.edu

  3. Could you explain the 90 unit limit?

    When undeclared students accumulate more than 90 units, it becomes difficult for them to complete all the requirements for the major while staying within the 130 unit ceiling. This is why we strongly discourage students who have more than 90 units from declaring CS.

  4. I took the AP Computer Science exam, does an acceptable AP Score qualify for CS 61B transfer credit?

    We no longer offer any credit for the AP Computer Science exam. If you took this exam, you're prepared for our 61A course.