CS Transfer Prerequisites & Sample Programs

Fall 2022 transfer students

Welcome to Computer Science at Berkeley, New Transfer Students! Whether you are just beginning your transfer journey at community college or are in your first semester at UC Berkeley, we are here to help. Find resources and information below.

Ask an advisor

Declaring the Major

How do I declare computer science?

Admissions cycles from Fall 2023 onward:

  • Students who select Computer Science on their College of Letters and Science (L&S) application and are offered admission to L&S will be directly admitted into the Computer Science major. No additional steps are required to be admitted to the major. Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA in order to be in good academic standing in L&S.
  • Please be sure to select "Computer Science" as your major during the UC Berkeley application process. If you do not select Computer Science on your application, it may not be possible for you to declare the major at a later date.
  • More questions? Review the Transfer Student Direct Admissions fact sheet.

Admissions cycles prior to Fall 2023:

  • Students who were admitted to L&S prior to Fall 2023 must earn a 3.3 GPA in CS61A, CS61B, and CS70 in order to be declared in Computer Science.
Can I use grades from my previous institution to declare CS? (Only applies to admissions cycles prior to Fall 2023)

We only use grades from UC Berkeley courses (CS 61A, 61B/BL, and 70) to declare CS. You can calculate your CS GPA using this CS Pre-Major GPA Calculator.

CS Course transferability and equivalency

How do I know which classes I should take to prepare for CS?

Use assist.org and choose the computer science major for a list of math and computer science classes available at your school. You should plan to take all the articulated classes that are offered at your school. Some transfer students choose to attend multiple community colleges in order to fulfill more requirements since it’s common for schools to not offer all our courses.

View this list of CA community colleges that usually offer classes equivalent to CS 61ABC.

I want to transfer from a non-CA community college. How do I know if my classes will transfer?

1. It is very rare that we accept any course offered elsewhere as a substitute for CS 61A or 61C. We do not accept transfer credit for 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

If you believe you have taken a course equivalent to UC Berkeley's CS 61A or 61C,  please contact cs-advising@cs.berkeley.edu. You should send the syllabus and any additional information about the course. The advisors will coordinate with the faculty to review the course materials for equivalency. They may deem the course fully or partially equivalent. 

2. 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?

If you feel that you've taken a course equivalent to CS 61B, please send the course syllabus and any other course materials to cs-advising@cs.berkeley.edu.

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

Yes. If you see the text, “Articulation subject to the completion of a university course,” this means your class is not fully transferable; this is especially common for CS 61B articulations. Please contact us at cs-advising@cs.berkeley.edu so we can discuss whether a bridge course or taking the full course at UCB is best for you after you transfer.

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.

I'm interested in fulfilling upper-division requirements for the CS Major or Minor at another university. How are they reviewed?

Please see the upper division requirements page for instructions.

Scheduling & sample plans

Is it possible to graduate in 2 years?

Yes, see sample plans for examples. The more classes you have completed before you transfer, the more possible it will be for you to graduate in 2 years. You may want to consider taking a class during the summer before you start in the fall.

Is it possible to graduate in more than 2 years?

Yes, see sample plans for examples. Transfers are guaranteed four semesters (2 years), however, if you are under the unit limit during your 4th semester, you may request a 5th semester. Work with both a CS Advisor and L&S Advisor if you would like to request an extra semester.

Which classes should I take during my first semester or two after transferring?

You should assume that your first semester will be spent completing technical requirements that you were unable to take at your community college. Most students start out in CS61A. See sample plans for more examples.

How many classes should I take during my first semester?

Since admissions decisions for this major will be based on the technical prerequisites taken at Berkeley, it is important that you maximize your potential for doing well. We recommend that you take only 2 technical courses per semester.