UCSB Department of Computer Science

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The UCSB Computer Science Department in the University of California Santa Barbara's College of Engineering was founded in 1979.[1] It offers Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Computer Science and provides courses for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science offered through the College of Letters and Science. Since 1999, the CS Department has offered the Computer Engineering Program in conjunction with Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.[2] UCSB has a strong tradition in the computational sciences, having been the #3 ARPAnet host.

According to the National Research Council, the department's PhD program is ranked 4th in the United States.[3] It is ranked 40th in the 2011 Academic Ranking of World Universities among other Computer Science departments.[4]


Between 1996 and 2006, the CS Department experienced growth in both students and funding. During that time the department's undergraduate program more than doubled from 246 to 638 students. However, enrollment began to follow a national trend of decreased enrollment since its peak in 1992.[5] In the same time period, the departments funding received a six-fold increase from $1.3 million from 22 grants to $8.1 million from 41 grants.[6]

The CS Department's PhD program has also grown since its inception. The PhD program began in 1988 and saw its first graduate in 1990. In the 2006-2007 school year, the CS department saw a record 25 PhD students graduate. As of the 2007-2008 school year, the department has 100 PhD students and 50 Masters students.[7]


Undergraduate Degrees
B.S. in Computer Science[8]
The Computer Science B.S. program is a four year, 180 unit track that is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.[9]

B.A. in Computer Science
The B.A. in Computer Science is offered through the UCSB's College of Letters and Science, but requires students to pass both lower and upper division programming courses through the Computer Science Department. Emphases in the B.A. include: Computational Biology, Computational Economics, and Computational Geography.[10]

Graduate Degrees[11]
Masters in Computer Science
Masters students can optionally emphasize in Computational Science and Engineering (CSE).
PhD in Computer Science
Doctoral students can optionally emphasize in Computational Science and Engineering (CSE), Technology and Society, or Cognitive Science.

Double Majors and Letters and Science Minors[edit]

Students in the College of Engineering are able to double major in a Letters and Science or Creative Studies major, but may not double major solely in the Engineering Department. Even with this option, freshman have up to 15 regular quarters to complete their degree while transfer students have up to 9 regular quarters. Students may minor in any subject listed in the College of Letters & Science minor subjects.[8]

Five Year Combined B.S. / M.S[edit]

A combined BS/MS Program in Computer Science provides an opportunity to earn both degrees in five years. Students interested in the program begin meeting with their department late sophomore to early junior year.[8]

Five Year B.S. / M.S. in Computer Science

Five Year B.S. in Computer Science / M.A. in Economics

Five-Year B.S./B.A. in Creative Studies and M.S. in Computer Science

The College of Creative Studies and the Computer Science Department offers a five-year BS/MS program for qualified students.

Five-Year B.S. in Computer Engineering / M.S. in Computer Science



There are over 80 courses offered through the Computer Science Department. They are divided into three categories: lower division courses (numbered 1-99) prepare Freshman and Sophomore students for their major and are required to progress out of the Computer Science pre-major, upper division courses (numbered 100-199) are required for the student's major and build upon lower division courses, and graduate courses (numbered 200-599) are offered only to graduate students or undergraduates on an accelerated curriculum program.[12]

Computer Labs[edit]

CS students have access to two primary computer labs: the Computer Science Instructional Lab (CSIL) and the Graduate Student Lab (GSL). CSIL is the CS Department's main facility and is primarily used for completing homework, studying, and interacting with other students. The lab is generally open for use 18 hours a day and offers instructors from the late afternoon to the evening. The CSIL Lab also includes a server dedicated to remote access. This allows students to access required applications from anywhere on campus without being physically in the lab. This benefit comes at the cost of sharing the workstation with varying amounts of users. The Graduate Student Lab is lab dedicated to Graduate students and their work that is open self-service 24/7. The GSL features a projector and conference tables for graduate students to practice presentations.[13]

Study Abroad[edit]

The CS Department actively encourages students to utilize the University of California's Education Abroad Program (EAP). Studying abroad usually occurs during the student's junior year or the summer before and can last from a university quarter to an entire year.[14]


Research is a crucial component of the CS Department. As of 2006, the CS Department maintains over 20 research labs under its auspices.[15]

A valuable resource to the CS Department is the 65 workstation CISE/IGERT Beowulf Cluster. It is dedicated to computing large amounts of information supplied by CS researchers and anyone from UCSB who needs access can apply through one of the campus' faculty investigators. Infrastructure for the research was partially funded by the National Science Foundation through grants EIA-0080134 and DGE02-21715. [16]

The amongst the department's strengths are cloud computing, computer security, database systems, and human-computer interaction.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ UCSB, "COE Facts Brochure," University of California Santa Barbara College of Engineering, http://www.engr.ucsb.edu/pdf/facts_august2007_final.pdf, accessed 27 October 2008.
  2. ^ UCSB, "Computer Engineering Department," UCSB Computer Engineering Department, http://www.ce.ucsb.edu/, accessed 27 October 2008.
  3. ^ http://graduate-school.phds.org/rankings/computer-science/rank/__MM_____M________M_____________________M_______________________U Priorities were set to maximum, without discrimination, for all categories.
  4. ^ http://www.shanghairanking.com/SubjectCS2011.html
  5. ^ Jay Vegso, "Continued Drop in CS Bachelor's Degree Production and Enrollments as the Number of New Majors Stabilizes," Computing Research Association, http://www.cra.org/CRN/articles/march07/vegso.html, accessed 27 October 2008.
  6. ^ UCSB, "10 Years of Growth," UCSB Computer Science Department, http://www.cs.ucsb.edu/info/growth/, accessed 27 October 2008.
  7. ^ UCSB, "Department," UCSB Computer Science Department, http://www.cs.ucsb.edu/department, accessed 27 October 2008./
  8. ^ a b c UCSB, "Undergraduate Degrees," UCSB Computer Science Department, http://cs.ucsb.edu/undergraduate/, accessed 27 October 2008.
  9. ^ ABET, "Accredited Schools," Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org/schools.asp, accessed 27 October 2008.
  10. ^ UCSB, "Computer Science B.A.," UCSB College of Letters and Science, http://www.catalog.ucsb.edu/2008cat/depts/compsci-ls.htm, accessed 27 October 2008.
  11. ^ UCSB, "Graduate Degrees," UCSB Computer Science Department, http://cs.ucsb.edu/graduate/, accessed 27 October 2008.
  12. ^ UCSB, "Courses," UCSB Computer Science Department, http://cs.ucsb.edu/courses/, accessed 27 October 2008.
  13. ^ UCSB, "Labs," UCSB Computer Science Department, http://cs.ucsb.edu/department/tech_support/labs/, accessed 27 October 2008.
  14. ^ UCSB, "Computer Science Education Abroad," UCSB Education Abroad Program, http://www.eap.ucsb.edu/academics/Compsci.html, accessed 27 October 2008.
  15. ^ UCSB, "Research," UCSB Computer Science Department, http://www.cs.ucsb.edu/research/, accessed 27 October 2008.
  16. ^ UCSB, "Labs," UCSB Computer Science Department, www.cs.ucsb.edu/department/tech_support/labs/ci/, accessed 27 October 2008.

External links[edit]