Updated: 03/08/2019


FAQ for Changing of Majors into or adding a minor in the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering

All requirements and information about the application process on our main Change of Major Website

Can I meet with an Engineering counselor?

Yes.  You may sign up for a Change of Major Workshop.  These are  small, personalized groups with a full time Engineering counselor and they are offered at least once a week of every quarter.  You will receive an overview of what we are looking for as well as have a chance to ask individual questions.  Groups range from 2-12 students.  

If you are interested in talking to a counselor of a particular major, you can check here and attend a  session that one of the major’s counselors is hosting.

Do I have to complete all the Prep courses before applying?

No.  You have to complete the minimum number of Engineering Workload quarters and have the minimum required major prep GPA.  Details available on main Change of major site.

What are my chances of getting in?

It is impossible to convey the chances of being approved a change of major as the applicant pool changes each quarter.  We receive different numbers of applications from the students in the College of Letters and Science and within the Samueli School of Engineering. Each cohort is assessed quarterly to determine available space and how many applicants can be accommodated.  These figures change quarterly.

Due to these factors, we do not guarantee a change of major, however if there is space in the cohort size and a student meets all the criteria for their major of choice, then you can be confident that you have a strong application.

I started in the wrong series (Math 3, Physics 5, Chem 14). What are my options?

Chemistry: Per the Chemistry Department, if you begin in the 14 series, you may not switch to the 20 series.  Below are the only points at which you may switch to the 30 series.
1.     14A, 14B and 14BL → 30A, 30AL, 30B, 30BL, 30C, 30CL, etc
2.     14A, 14B, 14BL, 14C, 14CL and 14D → 30BL, 30C, 30CL, etc
After a change of major is approved, you may file a petition to have the 14 series fulfill the 20 series  requirement.

Math: Per the Math department below are the only points at which you may switch to the 30 series.
1.      3A → 31B, 32A, 32B, 33A, 33B
2.      3A, 3B → 32A, 32B, 33A, 33B
3.      3A, 3B, 3C → 32A, 32B, 33A, 33B
After a change of major is approved, you may file a petition to have the 3 series fulfill the Math 31A and/or 31B requirement.

If you started in the LS 30 series, please note that in most cases, Math recommends you start in Math 31A unless you have AP or transfer credit that may meet requirements to start later in the series.  Check with the Math department on the best starting point.

Physics: Per the Physics department below are the only points at which you may switch to the 1 series.
1.      5A → 1B, 1C, 4AL, 4BL
2.      5A, 5B → 1B, 1C, 4AL, 4BL
After a change of major is approved, you may file a petition to have 5A fulfill the Physics 1A requirement.  You will need to take Physics 1B, 1C and lab

How do I enroll in Engineering courses if I am not an Engineering major?

Engineering courses are restricted to Engineering Majors, however, you may submit an Enrollment Consideration Request. Students will be enrolled from this list based on availability and/or be included in demand data when the department is considering growing classes.  See details here: http://seasoasa.ucla.edu/ECR

How can I complete the required courses to CS or CSE or CE if I can’t enroll in Engineering courses?

COM SCI & EC ENGR courses are restricted to students in Engineering.  Non-HSSEAS students may enroll in the COMPTNG 10 series to satisfy CS 31 and 32**

To be considered for enrollment in CS 31, 32, 33, M51A, follow the direction here: http://cs.ucla.edu/classes/enroll  Please note that CS 31 and 32 have their own links.  For CS 33, M51A, ECE 3, M16 you may use the ECR for enrollment consideration.  Click on the appropriate link and read the information carefully as it tells you everything you need to know about the timing and likelihood of getting in.  Complete the form and follow instructions. Our recommendation is to enroll in COMPTNG 10A as a backup while you wait to hear about CS 31 because enrollment is not guaranteed.  That way if you don’t get in, you are still making progress toward your goal.

Below are the programming options you can take:

  1. COMPTNG 10A, 10B, 10C, CS 33
  2. COMPTNG 10A, 10B, CS 32, CS 33
  3. COMPTNG 10A, CS 31, CS 32, CS 33
  4. CS 31, CS 32, CS 33

**the combination of COMPTNG 10AB will be accepted for CS 31.  Non-HSSEAS students who have additionally completed COMPTNG 10C may petition to satisfy CS 31 & 32.(The combination of CS 31 & COMPTNG 10C will not be accepted.

After enrolling in 1 Math and 1 Science from the prep, what else should I be taking this quarter?

For your 3rd or 4th course that you are enrolling in for these quarters, you should be taking courses applicable to your current/back-up major so that if your change of major into Engineering is denied, you are not starting from the beginning.  These courses can be GEs if you want.  Keep in mind that if you choose to take a 3rd  Engineering prep course, be cautious of taking too much though too, be honest with yourself about the workload you can handle and still get the minimum required major prep GPA.  We will consider ALL prep courses completed.

Do I have to complete any particular prep courses before applying?


Majors that require at least one Prep course be Physics:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering*
  • Computer Science*
  • Computer Science & Engineering*
  • Electrical Engineering

Majors that require at least one Prep course be Chemistry:

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering

Majors that require at least one Prep course be from either Chemistry or Physics:

  • Materials Engineering

Majors that require at least 2 Prep courses be one from Chemistry and one from Physics:

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

*Don’t forget that applicants to CE, CS,and CSE have additional required courses that must be completed with specific grades.

When is the latest I can apply to change my major to Engineering?

The latest you can apply is weeks 1&2 of Fall quarter of your 3rd year (based on Spring and/or Summer grades).  You need to have met all the eligibility requirements for the major you want and have all relevant grades posted at the time you apply. 

My application was denied. What are my options?

Until Fall Quarter of your 3rd year, you may reapply if your petition is denied.  If you are struggling with the GPA requirement, or have started this process too late, you may want to consider an alternative major within the college of letters and science that is closely related.

The UCLA Samueli Graduate Programs have shared that in the past, they have admitted students from the following alternative majors:

  • Bioengineering: Math, Physics, Biochemistry
  • Chemical Engineering: Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering: Geology, Geophysics, Environmental Science, Chemistry, Physics (depending of field of study)
  • Computer Science: Math, Physics, Statistics, Linguistics
  • Electrical Engineering – Math, Physics (more from Physics)
  • Materials Engineering –  Math, Physics, Chemistry
  • Mechanical and Aerospace – Math, Physics

It is absolutely possible to work in Engineering fields and get into graduate school in an Engineering program with these majors.  Especially if you supplement your experience by getting involved in the Engineering Student Organizations who are actively hosting events that will give you the hands up experience you will want to supplement these other majors.

I completed all the prep courses and I am waiting to hear about my change of major, what should I enroll in next?

Students who have completed the preparatory course work and are awaiting a decision should begin to enroll in courses that would satisfy degree requirements for their back-up major.  Yes, you should have a back-up major due to the competitive nature of the School of Engineering change of major process.

We advise students to meet with a counselor from that back-up major for assistance with scheduling and encourage you utilize the services of the Career Center for assistance with outlining career goals: http://career.ucla.edu/Homepage.aspx

If you are approved a change of major, the Engineering counselors will work with you to get you into the necessary engineering courses to put you back on track for the engineering major at hand.

How do I choose between the COMPTNG 10 Series and the CS 30 series?

The main difference is that the COMPTNG 10A series takes more time to cover most of the material.  They aren’t exactly a one to one course equivalence but COMPTNG 10ABC will be adequate preparation for CS 33, and we will accept that coursework later by petition for CS 31 and 32 after your change of major is approved.  The COMPTNG courses are perfect for students with little to no programming experience as CS 31 is much more intense.

Can I take Prep courses at another school over the summer?

Yes, but it is not recommended.  We want to see your grades at UCLA to show you are prepared for the demand and rigor of an engineering curriculum at UCLA.  Taking classes at another school doesn’t give us this information.  If you still want to pursue this, keep in mind:

  • Prior to Fall 17, you may not transfer any more units from a Community College after 105 total units.  After Fall 17, you may not transfer any more units from a Community College if you have over 105 total lower division units.  After those points, all lower division courses must be completed at UCLA or another UC.  
  • Grades at a a non UC-School will not be calculated into your GPA or Prep GPA.
  • Make sure you have enough prep courses left to take at UCLA to meet the minimum Engineering Workload requirement.
  • If you are taking an equivalent course to CS 31, 32, or 33 and you are applying to CS, CSE, or CE, you need to earn 1 full letter grade higher than the minimum required grade at UCLA.