Computer Science

The College of Engineering provides its students a firm grounding in scientific and mathematical fundamentals; experience in analysis, synthesis and design of engineering systems, and exposure to current engineering practice and cutting edge engineering research and technology. A spirit of entrepreneurship pervades the College of Engineering–in education, scholarship, and participation in engineering practice.

UCSB’s College of Engineering has achieved national recognition in areas such as solid state electronics, materials, and high-performance computing. With state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories and a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1, UCSB offers undergraduates the finest in engineering education. All undergraduate programs have met the rigorous standards of and been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET or, in the case of Computer Science, the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. Such accreditation adds weight to the degree when students apply for graduate study and professional positions.

General Major Information

How Can I Tell If I Would Like Engineering?
An engineering student excels in mathematics and many aspects of science. The student has good reasoning, analytical and leadership qualities. Hobbies may include computers, conducting experiments and reading. Individuals with an aptitude toward mathematics and sciences and who would like to understand the technological systems we use every day would enjoy engineering.

What Are Potential Topics Within This Major?
Computer Science:
The goal of the computer science undergraduate program is to prepare future generations of computer professionals for long-term careers in research, technical development, and applications. The primary computer science departmental emphasis is on program design, analysis and implementation, with both a strong theoretical foundation and a strong practical component, covering most aspects of computing and computer communications.

To learn more about whether you might enjoy this major, check with a peer in the Career Resource Room for details on:

- Focus 2 to explore college majors and careers.

- The Strong Interest Inventory®, an assessment that compares your interests against six broad categories of work. This assessment helps match your interests and suggests potential careers to explore.

What Can I Do To Make My Major More Marketable?

  • Pursue relevant work, internship, volunteer, and/or research experience.
  • Choose a complementary minor.
  • Specialize in an area; take courses in related fields.
  • Develop your computer skills.
  • Learn a foreign language.
  • Study abroad.
  • Join professional associations.
  • Get involved in student clubs.
  • Participate in community organizations.
  • Seek out leadership positions.
  • Research specific prerequisites for different positions.
  • Network with others in fields that interest you.

General Career Information

What Are Some Possible Career Options?

Note: On its own, your major does not dictate what your job will be.  The following list provides only a handful of possibilities. Engineering majors with strong liberal arts background may pursue career options in many fields. Depending on experience, specialized coursework, and possible graduate study options include: applied research, design, management, operations, manufacturing, and consulting.

Computer Science majors can find careers in computer software, computer graphics, computer hardware, computer systems, design, coding, and integration/testing.

To learn more about these and other occupations, please visit:
O*Net Online

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Come visit the Career Resource Room to see our vast collection of career books and resources.

And, see what other UCSB alumni are doing with their major on LinkedIn

Additional sites and resources

What is Computer Science?
Nice overview of what you might learn as a Computer Science major.

Computer Science v. Computer Engineering
Not sure of the difference?  This article explains it clearly and succinctly.

Sloan Career Cornerstone Center
SCCC is a comprehensive resource center for those interested in careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Occupational Outlook Handbook
The following links cover the entire range of computer careers described in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Computer Software Engineers and Computer Programmers
Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or other device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks.

Computer and Information Systems Managers
Computer and information systems managers, often called information technology managers (IT managers or IT project managers), plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities in an organization.

Computer Network, Systems, and Database Administrators
Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of an organization’s computer networks.

Computer Systems Analysts
Computer systems analysts study an organization's current computer systems and procedures and make recommendations to management to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively.


Graduate and Professional Schools

Search and rank 23,508 programs at 2,356 universities based on you priorities. Data comes from the National Science Foundation, the National Research Council, and the National Center for Education Statistics.

Accredited Program Search
These lists show the programs accredited by ABET.

US News and World Report
While we do not endorse any rankings of schools, this list contains numerous programs and links to them.
This is a comprehensive website that provides information about where graduate programs are offered throughout the nation.

This is a database to help find where graduate programs are offered throughout the U.S.

Come to the Career Resource Room to view the CHOICES lab version of graduate schools.

Experience Search Strategies

Get Experience (Internship/Lab/Research)

Career Services Internship Resources
Build your qualifications by exploring various opportunities to get experience in your field of interest. Click on the link above!

UCSB College of Engineering Undergraduate Research Opportunities
There are many research opportunities for undergraduate students, including those through educational programs, undergraduate courses, and connections with faculty in your department.

Job/Internship Search Sites

UCSB Career Services “Job Links” section
Check out job links in the following categories: Local/CA, National, International, Industry Specific, UCSB Careers By Majors and Diversity.

Computing Research Association Job Announcements
CRA's jobs service is one of the premier places to read and post position openings for Computer Scientists, Computer Engineers, and Computer Researchers.
Dice is the leading career site for technology and engineering professionals.

When you join LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do.

Professional Associations

Women in Technology International
For more than a decade, WITI has successfully provided women in technology inspiration, education, conference, online services, publications and an exceptional worldwide network of resources. WITI has a Santa Barbara Chapter.

Association of Computing Machinery
ACM is the world's oldest and largest educational and scientific computing society.

IEEE Computing Society
IEEE's membership organization for computing professionals.

The Computing Research Association
CRA's mission is to enhance innovation by joining with industry, government and academia to strengthen research and advanced education in computing.

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
A national organization of professional engineers to serve as role models in the Hispanic community.

Society of Women Engineers
SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in those aspirations and be recognized for their life-changing contributions and achievements as engineers and leaders.

Engineers Without Borders
EWB-USA is a non-profit humanitarian organization established to partner with developing communities worldwide in order to improve their quality of life. This partnership involves the implementation of sustainable engineering projects, while involving and training internationally responsible engineers and engineering students.


UCSB Resources