Starting at a Community College and then transferring to a four-year University is a great way to get a college education at a reasonable cost. Here at the UC Davis College of Letters and Science, you can transfer into the Computer Science major as a third-year student. If you come with the right preparation, you can graduate from UC Davis after two more years of enjoying interesting advanced CS courses and all the other opportunities offered by a world-class University. But be warned! Without good planning and preparation, you might find yourself spending three or more years completing the CS major at UC Davis. So here are some guidelines on how to get ready.
Start early! Take an introductory Computer Science course in your very first quarter, or as early as you can. The computer language in your first course is not important – Java, Python, Basic, C or C++ are all fine.
Take three or more computer science classes before you get here. Check on www.assist.org to find courses that fulfill the UCD lower-division requirements: ECS 20, ECS 30, ECS 40, ECS 50 and/or ECS 60.
Learn C++ and the Unix programming environment really well. This is the computing platform in many of our advanced courses, and not knowing it can lead to disaster. Unfortunately, courses in Object-oriented Programming and Data Structures taught in Java, although they do fulfill the lower-division requirements, don’t prepare you for advanced courses taught with C++/Unix!
Take at least two quarters of Calculus, and maybe one of Linear Algebra. Our major requires some advanced math courses. Again, use www.assist.org to make sure your math courses articulate to MAT 21A-D and maybe MAT 22A.
Don’t take all your GE (General Education) courses before you get here. This is for two reasons. One is that only the truly crazy take three or four advanced Computer Science and Math courses every quarter. A little variety keeps you energized! The second reason is that you want to see some of the University besides the computer lab. Keep in mind that if it comes down to it, you can always finish up GE over the summer, or even at our new Los Rios Community College facility right here on campus.
UCD gets a lot of great transfer students, and some of our very top Computer Science students come to us from the Community Colleges. We hope these suggestions can help you plan and prepare for a fun and successful experience as a UCD CS major!