Computer Science at UC Davis

Computer Science

Computer Science

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  •   Advisor Name: Jason Sison, Andrea Abrahamson & Kari Gage
  •   Advisor Email: Contact person by email
  •   Advisor Number: 530-752-1338

Department Website

Detailed Major/Minor Requirements

Additional Requirements for Transfers

Study this Major Abroad

Major and minor

As the trend toward globalization connects people in every part of the world economically, culturally and politically, digital networks and systems are increasingly responsible for processing and delivering the massive amounts of information that keep communication flowing. Computer scientists design, maintain and improve upon these vital information systems. As a computer science major, you will focus on designing systems for application in science, industry and management. The emphasis in this program is on software, although you will master essential concepts of hardware as well.

Real World Outcomes

Computer science majors from UC Davis are well prepared for both the competitive job market and for postgraduate study. Graduates have gone on to careers with major employers such as Microsoft, IBM, Lockheed Martin and numerous start-up companies.


After completing foundation courses in mathematics, basic computer science and natural science, you will progress to more advanced studies in programming, networking, database systems and other topics. You will customize your major by selecting courses from such topics as computer graphics, artificial intelligence, data visualization and advanced mathematics. Throughout your studies, you will be encouraged to put your coursework into practice with internships and private sector employment.

Frequently Asked Question: What is the difference between the Computer Science major, which is in the College of Letters and Sciences, and the Computer Science and Engineering major, which is in the College of Engineering?

One of the most common questions students ask advisers concerns
 the difference between the Computer Science (CS) and Computer
 Science and Engineering (CSE) majors. Actually, the two majors
 are almost identical in terms of computer science core material,
 including digital circuits. The difference between the two
 curricula is that CSE also covers microprocessors, analog circuits
 and electronics, while CS offers greater flexibility via large
 numbers of free electives.

 An important advantage of CSE is that the student sees the entire
 machine, from top to bottom, insight that is highly beneficial in
 developing software for today's high-performance applications. On
 the other hand, CS is attractive in that it facilitates
 supplementary study in another field as a minor or even as a
 double major.

 Graduates of the two curricula tend to go into the same kinds of
 jobs, or focus on the same research fields if they attend graduate
 school. In either case, success stems overwhelmingly from the
 depth of insight gained in school, rather than the specific