Berkeley Freshman Admission EECS vs. CS

Update (9/5/2023): CS is being moved to the College of Computing, Data Science, and Society. So far Berkeley is stating that no significant changes are expected in terms of available spaces and admission evaluation process, but that may change later.

Update (10/18/2022): Berkeley is changing the major declaration process for some “high demand” majors (including CS) in the College of Letters and Science; find a list of affected majors and the updated major declaration process/restrictions here.

You can find a comprehensive analysis on the pros and cons of declaring EECS vs. CS in L&S when you apply to Berkeley as a freshman applicant here. The dataset included in the analysis was from 2014-2015, but you can make an educated guess of future trends based on the information. The Analysis is long, but worth the read if you are deciding between the two majors.

Berkeley also has an EECS/CS Program Comparison Chart that outlines some the differences in the two programs.

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Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Jeff Cunanreply
February 22, 2017 at 12:42 pm

Is there a source for admit rates major by major and/or college by college at Berkeley?

Ms. Sunreply
February 22, 2017 at 8:01 pm
– In reply to: Jeff Cunan

Not for freshman admission (nothing published publicly anyway); although, according to the report, you may be able to find that information by asking a current Berkeley student to check Cal Answers. For transfer admission, you can find that information using the Transfers by Major data table at the UC Information Center.

February 25, 2017 at 7:23 pm

I am an American attending senior year high school in a foreign country. If so far I have not received a request for submitting recommendation letters to Berkeley, does that imply I may not qualified for admission?

Ms. Sunreply
February 26, 2017 at 12:33 pm
– In reply to: jim

Berkeley only requests recommendation letters from a very small pool of applicants. I wouldn’t worry about not getting a request (majority of the applicants wouldn’t have received a request).

March 25, 2017 at 8:14 pm

I found this in the Berkeley Freshman FAQs for EECS: “A minimum of two years of laboratory science is required for admission. We strongly recommend completing physics even if the minimum has been completed.”

Does this mean I should have had two years of physics already completed? I’ve completed AP Physics 1 and will complete AP Physics C by the time I graduate.

Ms. Sunreply
March 25, 2017 at 9:33 pm
– In reply to: Emma

What you have should be fine. Essentially Berkeley is saying that a student who already took Biology and Chemistry (met the two-year minimum requirement) should still take Physics (above the minimum). I assume you took Biology and/or Chemistry already and the two years of Physics should give you an advantage.

March 25, 2017 at 10:03 pm
– In reply to: Ms. Sun

Yes, I have also taken non-AP bio and chemistry and AP Chemistry. Thank you so much for your quick reply! I was really concerned about this 🙂

Ms. Sun
March 25, 2017 at 10:11 pm
– In reply to: Emma

You are totally fine, I couldn’t have asked for a better lab science lineup from an EECS applicant 🙂

May 22, 2017 at 8:29 pm

Hi so I will be a freshmen next year at the college of chemistry. Can you discuss the possibilities of getting into 61A my first semester while in the college of chemistry? Also, if I decide to transfer out into L&S for my second semester, would it still be feasible to declare the CS major and graduate on time?


Ms. Sunreply
May 22, 2017 at 8:40 pm
– In reply to: Derek

You will have much better luck discussing this with your academic advisor. I remember Berkeley requiring students to stay in their college for one year before switching to another college; I don’t know if that is still the case (check with your academic advisor).

May 15, 2021 at 9:10 pm

What is the UC Berkeley’s L&S school’s acceptance rate for students with an undeclared major?

Ms. Sunreply
May 15, 2021 at 10:01 pm
– In reply to: Akhil

Last set of admit rates by college I have was from Fall 2014 and you can see it here. Freshman applicants are generally admitted into L&S as a pool (major is not considered, although Computer Science is probably an exception).

March 26, 2022 at 9:49 pm

CS in L&S (Computer Science in the College of Letters & Science) major declaration process is being reevaluated (consideration to admit directly into major). The faculty is looking into this right now and you can learn more about it here.

We are not aware of the above info when we applied for L&S at Berkeley. My son opted for math as the interest area and we focused little on this as we thought Berkeley admits to the L&S school and not into the major. My son got admitted and I don’t see any info on the offer letter, it just said “You have been admitted for Fall Semester of 2022 to L&S”.

He wanted to keep CS option open, and he is confident that he can meet the GPA requirement for the 3 courses to be eligible for CS.

Is Berkeley following the GPA requirement for Fall 2022, or did they finalize the above proposal to limit applicants who opted for CS on their application during Nov 2021?

We have few CS offers from other colleges and would like to know if his doors are closed for CS at L&S.

Thanks in advanced.

Ms. Sunreply
March 28, 2022 at 1:01 pm
– In reply to: Prasad

The proposal is being considered but, as far as I know, no decision has been made. Any decision that affects students’ ability to declare a major will likely have two to three years of grace period.

Questions or Comments?