EECS Study Abroad Program

"People often ask 'Why would you leave the best EE/CS university in the world to study abroad at a university likely teaching your subject at a lower caliber?' But you don't study abroad to learn CS. You already have three or four years (or more, if graduate school is in the cards) to do just that. You study abroad to gain perspective, to ask yourself 'where do I fit in in this world?' To learn other lifestyles. To learn a new language. To develop an identity outside of the academic one that you've known for the last decade of your life. To develop into your own independent person apart from things and people you've known."

Yuan Yuan, CS B.A. 2017

Study Abroad and EECS

The academic integration of study abroad into the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science makes the option of international education a reality! Engage the breadth and depth of EE and CS while exploring a global perspective and gaining academic credit towards your degree.

Why Study Abroad?

Studying abroad allows our majors to broaden their horizons and gain an international perspective. Students can take advantage of these opportunities to learn about and participate in developing research in other countries.

Study abroad will help students:

  • Develop skills that are critical to a science education
  • Take advantage of unique academic and experiential opportunities in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Participate in a different educational system and get a comparative perspective on the study of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Increase language proficiency
  • Improve critical thinking skills
  • Experience another culture firsthand
  • Develop self-confidence and independence
  • Enhance resumes and/or applications for graduate school
  • Prepare for a career in an internationally competitive world

When Can I Study Abroad?

While students can study abroad at just about any point in their academic careers, the particular term and length of time chosen to study abroad depends on the requirements a student has left to complete the major and whether or not they plan to take courses towards the major while abroad.

EECS majors need to schedule an appointment with their ESS advisor when considering studying abroad, and also with a department advisor.  CS students should meet with a department advisor. Your advisor can help you determine how to best fit a study abroad experience into your academic schedule.

Example program plans for both majors

What Classes Can I take?

In addition to their general education requirements, EECS and CS students have a wide variety of options in completing major requirements abroad. Many of the Berkeley Study Abroad partner universities have specific Electrical Engineering and Computer Science departments/programs or offer relevant courses through other departments. Please meet with your major advisor to determine if your Berkeley Study Abroad courses will satisfy major requirements. View a list of our pre-approved courses.

Even if the BSA courses do not fulfill major or college requirements, Berkeley Study Abroad programs offer amazing experiences to add to your academic repertoire. Our students have taken a wide variety of courses all around the world such as New Zealand, Hong Kong, London, Singapore, Chile, and Taiwan.

Getting Course Approved

The Department allows EECS and CS majors to satisfy at most three upper division course requirements at another four-year institution. EECS and CS minors may satisfy at most one upper division course requirement elsewhere.  View a list of our pre-approved courses here. Study abroad courses that are not yet listed must be evaluated and approved before your study abroad experience commences. We suggest making prior arrangements and consulting with Advisors to ensure the course(s) you select is transferrable. 

  • EECS majors and minors: If the course is not on the pre-approved list, review UC Berkeley course descriptions and webpages. If you believe the course(s) to be equivalent to a UC Berkeley upper-division computer science or electrical engineering course, submit the Course Evaluation Request to 205 Cory Hall or eecs-advising@eecs.berkeley.edu.  Students need to meet with their ESS advisor to obtain approval for studying abroad, and also will need to meet to finalize the courses they plan to take.
  • L&S Computer Science majors and minors: 
  • If the course is not on the pre-approved list, review UC Berkeley course descriptions and webpages.
      • If you believe the course(s) to be equivalent to a UC Berkeley upper-division computer science or electrical engineering course, contact the current faculty of the corresponding UC Berkeley EECS course. You should send them the syllabus and any additional information about the course. The faculty should review the course materials for equivalency. They may deem the course fully or partially equivalent. Ask them to copy cs-advising@cs.berkeley.edu on their evaluation. 
      • For course equivalency requests for CS 169 – Software Development, please first review this page: http://cs169.saas-class.org/articulatio
    • If the UC Berkeley EECS Department does not offer a similar course, consider if it may qualify as an upper-division technical elective. If so, submit the CS Major Appeals and Exceptions Requests form and include the syllabus and/or other course materials. The request will be reviewed by the Faculty Vice Chair and you will be notified of the decision via email.

This should be done no later than the semester before studying abroad.

Please note, if a student takes the same course abroad and at UC Berkeley, only the UC Berkeley version and units of the course will count towards the CS major graduation requirements.

What Are My Next Steps?

Plan ahead! Visit studyabroad.berkeley.edu or schedule an appointment with a study abroad advisor for more information.

Meet with a major advisor to confirm the degree requirements and to create a program plan that includes your study abroad experience.

Check out other opportunities for traveling abroad:

Edward Liu (EECS B.S., 2019)  and friends in Venice, Italy