CS/CSE FAQ

For Frequently Asked Questions for all HSSEAS students please reference: /undergraduates/faqs

Frequently Asked Questions by CS/CSE students

#1 Question:  What is the difference between the CS and CSE Majors???

Answer:  CS is software, CSE is software and little bit of hardware.

Logistically?  The majors are virtually identical with the exception of a few courses:

Courses only required for CS Courses only required for CSE
  • 1 additional Elective from CS 143, 161, or 174A
  • 1 elective from CS 112, 170A or EE 133A
  • 3 upper div Sci-Tech courses
  • EE 3
  • EE 10/11L
  • EE 102
  • EE 110/111L
  • 1 upper div EE Elective.
Total Major Units: 179 Total Major Units: 180

There is a lot of talk that CSE doesn’t have enough software so you should choose CS.  But this is just not true.  There are 2 additional required CS courses for the CS major than the CSE major.  The only way a CS major is getting significantly more CS experience than a CSE student is if they choose Computer Science as their Sci-Tech area, which many students do not.

There is also talk that there is not enough hardware in CSE, so why major in it… There are not very many required EE courses for this major, but if you supplement by choosing Electrical Engineering as your Technical Breadth (for a total of 6 courses) then that is a solid foundation.

If you are loving your EE courses and want to take more than 6, then an EE major may be for you!

So how do you choose?  If you are 100% sure you do not want to work with nor want to know anything about the hardware behind the software, then Computer Science is probably a better match.  If you want to diversify in a different direction that is not Electrical Engineering (like Linguistics or Civil Engineering) then Computer Science is probably a better match.  But if there is any part of you that may want the hardware AND software experience, then Computer Science and Engineering is a better match.  Both majors give you just as much preparation for a job in software, but only one has a built in opportunity for experience in hardware.

OTHER QUESTIONS by AREA

CURRICULUM CHANGES:
Summary of recent curriculum changes can be viewed here!  click link.

 

REQUIREMENTS:


ENROLLMENT:  http://cs.ucla.edu/classes/enroll/


GENERAL QUESTIONS:

 

CURRICULUM CHANGES:

Do I have to take Chem 20A?

CS/CSE students in the Fall 2016 and later catalog are NOT required to take Chem 20A.  If you would like to take advantage of the new curriculum, you may submit your information to have your catalog year changed: (https://ccle.ucla.edu/mod/questionnaire/view.php?id=12530)  Catalog change requests are updated every few weeks.  Please continue to check DARS for the change to reflect.

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EE 11L and 111L vs 110L.  What do I take?

(6/19/14) Effective Fall 2014 , EE 10 and 110 will each have one-unit co-requisite labs which are 11L and 111L, respectively.

  1. Students who have not yet taken EE 10 or 110 should enroll in 10 with 11L and 110 with 111L instead of taking 110L.
  2. Students who have already completed EE 10, the department recommends that you take 11L in Fall and then 110 and 111L in Winter.

For older catalogs, EE 11L (1 unit) & 111L((1 unit) together may be petitioned for EE 110L (2 units).  The number of units is the same.

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Can I take EE 131A, C&EE 110, or Math 170A instead of STATS 100A?

Yes.  Students admitted prior to Fall 2014, will need to petition for credit.  Petition will be approved, but required for tracking exceptions to posted catalog requirements.

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REQUIREMENTS:

What is my Catalog Year?  Why is that important?

Your Catalog year is the year you started your current major.  For some of you who have never changed your major, this is the year you were admitted to UCLA.  If you have changed your major, then your catalog year is the year of the Quarter you were approved that change.  This includes CS –> CSE and CSE–>CS changes.

This is important because your catalog year and the posted requirements for that catalog are the requirements you will need to fulfill.  And the CS Department may choose to change their requirements for any new Catalog year (Summer, Fall, Winter Spring).  So it is key that you are following the correct requirements and using the right worksheets when tracking your courses.  Example:  You have been planning out your courses using the 2011-2012 CSE Worksheets and Catalog, but you didn’t actually change your major until Winter 2014.  Your Catalog year is 2013-2014 and there are slightly different requirements.  If at anytime you are making changes and you are worried, just make an appointment and talk to a CS counselor.  It may help you to be in a newer catalog, or you  may want to petition to follow the older plan you have already been following.

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I heard I could petition out of Com Sci 1 (freshmen seminar course)?

This course is recommended for anyone who is interested in possibly pursuing a career in Computer Science.

Com Sci 1 is a required course for students admitted directly into the CS or CSE major.  This is a seminar course that will give you an introduction to the Computer Science Faculty and the research they are doing at UCLA as well as the different areas of this diverse field.

For NEW incoming transfer students, the Com Sci 1 requirement will be waived, but you are welcome to take the course to get to know the faculty and department since you have the disadvantage of not making these connections in your first years of study.  This a 1 unit course.

For Continuing students who were admitted to a major other than CS/CSE and are later approved a change of major to CS/CSE, the requirement will be waived if you have not already taken CS 1.  You may also petition to substitute another introduction course (e.g.  BioEngr 10, El Engr 3, Engr 98).

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Am I required to take CS 31?

COM SCI 31 is a required course for all CS, CSE, and EE majors.
Previously, it was required for all HSSEAS students admitted before Fall 2012.  If you change your major from another Engineering discipline and have taken MECH&AE M20/C&EE M20, you will still be required to take COM SCI 31.  CS 31 is offered every quarter (F, W, Sp).  It is currently being offered during the Summer at UCLA: http://www.summer.ucla.edu/

*Please note:  During the early part of enrollment for Fall quarters, COM SCI 31 is restricted to CS/CSE/EE/Undeclared/CS-affiliated majors to ensure that incoming students who need that class in their first quarter get in before it fills up. 

After Summer Orientation is over in September, the class will open up to all engineering majors, who can fill the remaining spaces.  However, most non-CS/CSE/EE majors prefer to take the course in Winter or Spring quarter, when there are almost no CS or CSE majors in the class.

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Can I take MECH&AE M20 / C&EE M20?

No.  This course will not fulfill any CS or CSE degree requirements.  If you have already taken it and then want to change your major, you will need to take CS 31 and 32 prior to changing your major.

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I’m starting my Upper Division courses, what should I take and when?

Once you hit your upper division courses, there is no dictated order in which you need to complete your classes.  The only limitations are “Does it work with your schedule that quarter?” and “Do you meet the requisites?”  So how do plan your classes.  See course planning tips:  http://www.seasoasa.ucla.edu/computer-science-worksheets/#planning-cs-courses

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Am I on track to graduate?

  1. Print out a worksheet for CS or for CSE.  Make sure you are using the correct one for your Catalog year.
  2. Run a new Audit and cross out all the courses you have completed on your worksheet.

If you need assistance, please schedule an appointment with a counselor in your major field by calling 310-825-9580.

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I enrolled in CS 188 but it is not showing up on my DARS Audit…

Upper Division CS Electives are defined as courses numbered within this range: 100-187.  Anything outside of that range must be petitioned (CS 188 and CS 199 are the most common petitions that we see).

These requests will be reviewed by the Vice Chair of the department.

For CS 188, please include the quarter you were enrolled and the topic of the course.  You may enroll in and petition a 2nd CS 188 course as long as it is a different topic.  Approval is not guaranteed and may not be approved for more than 2 188 courses and you should be addressing why you are enrolling in so many of these temporary variable topics courses instead of already approved Upper Division CS Electives.

For CS 199, please include the quarter you were enrolled, so we can pull your original contract.  You can petition after you have submitted your final report.  You must have at minimum 4 units to petition (e.g. a 2 unit CS 199 will not be approved).

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ENROLLMENT:

What are the COM SCI Impacted Courses and what does that mean?

Computer Science 35L

Computer Science M152A

Computer Science 152B

*The drop deadline for impacted courses is Friday of the 2nd week of the quarter at 5pm. Plan accordingly.  You are responsible for adhering to HSSEAS deadlines and enrollment policies.

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I looked on myUCLA and the course I need is listed as “Closed” with an enrollment of 0/0. Why?

Often these are courses with an “M” in front are cross-listed with another department.

COM SCI M51A is cross listed with EL ENGR M16

COM SCI M152A is cross listed with EL ENGR M116L

COM SCI M151B is cross listed with EL ENGR M116C

COM SCI M117 is cross listed with EL ENGR M117*

COM SCI M171L is cross listed with EL ENGR M171L*

If one course is closed with zero enrollment then you should attempt to enroll through the cross listed course.  These courses are the same.  And will give you the same credit.

*Credit for only one of M117 and M171L will be allowed.

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    myUCLA says I do not meet the requisites?  Why?

myUCLA may not recognize your transfer or substitution credit like AP credit.  If you believe you fulfilled the pre-requisite through a course you took at another institution then you should contact the department that teaches that course for enrollment assistance.

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How come I can’t take CS 118 before CS 111?  Do I have to follow the requisites?

Yes, you need to have completed listed requisite courses to be able to enroll in a CS course.  The Computer Science department enforces all requisites.

Requisites are reviewed and assigned by the faculty to ensure that each student is prepared for the course material.  With only 10 weeks in a Quarter, enforcing requisites will improve the quality of CS courses because the instructor will not have to go over certain base knowledge, but can assume that all students enrolled have it.

If you meet the requisite but are still having issues enrolling, see how to get assistance in the question above.

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All the courses I want to take are full!  How do I get in?

If a course is full, please submit an Enrollment Consideration Request (ECR) form: /ECR

To take full advantage of the ECR, you should be submitting this as soon as you are unable to enroll because a class is full.  This helps us measure demand and allows us to work with the dept. to see how many more people can be accommodated.  It also puts you on a list so that if there are any course updates, everyone on the survey will be notified and have insider information as to when new sections are opening, etc.  Please note that filling this out is not a guarantee of enrollment, or that the department will be able to accommodate your request, but it gives you your best chance.  Be sure you enroll and plan alternate course options available to you in case you do not get in.

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GENERAL QUESTIONS:

 What is the Technical Breadth Requirement?

ALL HSSEAS Students in catalog 2006 and thereafter are required to satisfy the Technical Breadth Requirement (12 units).  You must declare an area on my.engineering.ucla.edu (formerly Courseweb) and you must complete 3 courses from the listed choices under one area.  Courses selected can not be used to satisfy other major requirements and must be from an area outside your major department.  To view the approved list, please click on the following link and select “Summary of Areas”: Technical Breadth Summary of Areas

    • Please note there is no mixing and matching within the approved areas.  Students who wish to do so may file a petition for consideration at 6426 BH, however filing a petition does not guarantee approval.

The Technical Breadth Requirement is a different requirement from the Science and Technology Electives required for Com Sci Majors.

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 What is the Science-Technology Requirement?

The Science and Technology Elective is a requirement for Computer Science majors only.

 CSE majors do not have a Sci-Tech requirement.

You do not declare this anywhere.

You are required to complete three upper division Science and Technology courses (12 units), not used to satisfy any other requirements.  Please refer to the List of approved Science & Technology Electives.

    • Pay special attention to the subset restrictions!! You may only get credit for one course under each subset.  If a required course is listed (e.g. STATS 100A in the Probability & Statistics subset), you may not take any of the other courses listed for credit, Sci-Tech or otherwise.  If you have questions regarding the restrictions, email your academic counselor.

There are 4 options to complete your Sci-Tech (refer to list for detailed breakdown and subset restrictions).

Please note: If you file a petition to include a course as part of your Sci-Tech elective please include the course descriptions in the petition for reference as well as the other 2 courses you are planning to apply to your Sci-Tech.  We advise you attach a copy of the course syllabus.  Please check your DARS first.  Petitions are only required if the course is not automatically applying, or if you are trying to combine courses into a new area.

****Please note there is no mixing and matching within the approved areas/departments.  Students who wish to do so may file a petition for consideration at 6426 BH, however filing a petition does not guarantee approval.

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What is the difference between a Sci-Tech and a Tech Breadth Requirement?

Tech Breadth Electives: You must declare this on MyEngineering and you must complete 3 courses from the listed choices under one area.

Sci-Tech Electives: Only applies to CS majors.  You do not declare this anywhere.

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What is the Policy on taking COM SCI 194, 199?

Information on CS 194 and CS 199 can be found at this website.

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What are Subset restrictions?

There are several subsets of courses listed on the Technical Breadth Summary of Areas, and on the List of Science & Technology Courses.  Be aware of these lists.  You may only get credit for one course under each subset.  If a required course is listed (e.g. STATS 100A in the Probability & Statistics subset), you may not take any of the other courses listed for credit, Sci-Tech or otherwise.  If you have questions regarding the restrictions, email your academic counselor.

If you are enrolled in one of these courses, there should be a warning at the top of your Degree Audit about enrolling in other courses on that list.

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 How do I get help for classes?

Your classes are meant to be challenging.  Many student benefit from attending office hours, forming study groups of their peers, and utilizing the tutoring options available.

OASA Tutoring: /undergraduates/need-tutoring

Tau Beta Pi (TBP) Tutoring: http://tbp.seas.ucla.edu/tutoring/

Upsilon Pi Epsilon Tutoring:  https://upe.seas.ucla.edu/tutoring/

Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) Tutoring: http://www.hkn.ee.ucla.edu/tutoring

Lower Div Math help @ Student Math Center: http://www.math.ucla.edu/ugrad/smc.shtml

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