Chances for Computer Science at UCs/CSUs

Hello! Now that apps are submitted and it’s just a waiting game at this point, please help chance a nervous CS major. I know with COVID this year admissions are going to be more random than ever, but I kind of want to know if I really have a chance at these schools.

Schools: Cal Poly SLO; UC Santa Barbara; UC Irvine; San Jose State; Cal State Long Beach
Already Accepted To: Chico State; University of Nevada, Reno; Northern Arizona University

Demographics: Female; Half-Asian/Half-White; Attend a large but average public highschool in California (not super competitive but offers a great number of APs).

Intended Major: Computer Science
Alternate Majors: Graphic Communication (Cal Poly); Digital Media Art (SJSU); Cognitive Science (UCI); Statistics & Data Science (UCSB).

Test Scores: n/a (Couldn’t take due to COVID and the UCs/CSUs are test-blind anyways)

GPA: 4.07 (UC/CSU Calculated GPA)

Rank: Top 10% in a class of ~500 (School doesn’t numerically rank)
For the UCs I got ELC (Eligibility in Local Context) meaning that I’m in the top 9% of students from my school applying to UCs. I don’t know if this really matters but apparently it is one of the factors they take into account.

APs: Human Geography (4); AP CS Principles (4); AP US History (3); AP Lang. & Comp. (5)
Currently taking AP Stats, AP CS A, and AP US. Gov. and am planning to take the exams for all of them. Schools offers about 13 AP courses.

Honors: Honors English (9th-10th); Honors Integrated Math (10th-11th); Honors Chemistry (10th); Honors Biology (11th)
For some reason the UCs/CSUs do not weigh honors English and Math because it’s called something else at my school (Pre-AP), but they do weigh honors Chemistry and Biology.

Dual Enrollment: Took 5 courses at my local community college that were transferrable general education courses (ex: Psychology, Music Appreciation, etc.) for a total for 15 credits and got a 3.8 gpa.

9th- Girls Who Code club (Member)
11th/12th- Model United Nations club (Member for 11th; Publicist for 12th)
11th/12th- Link Crew (“Leader”- basically lead freshman through orientation and mentored them)
12th- Computer Science Pathway Leadership Team (Vice-President; this pathway just started this school year at my school)

I will note that my biggest weakness in my application is probably my grades in math. I’ve gotten A’s in every class except honors math in 10th and 11th. In 10th I got two B’s and in 11th I got a C first semester but worked hard and got a B second semester. Not sure if UCs/CSUs will pay close attention to this specifically as I’m applying for CS but just wanted to note it.

For SJSU last year (for fall 2020 frosh), CS was the most selective major – applicants with a 4.07 GPA needed a 1570 SAT score to meet the threshold used then (of course, it is different now that CSUs are test-blind). Digital media art admitted applicants at baseline CSU eligibility, but did not have space for applicants who listed it as an alternate major.

Congrats! You have some solid options already.

I think SJSU will admit you to your alternate major. I think LB will take you - SLO, probably not. The UCs, could go either way with a compelling essays.

Good luck

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I agree with @NCalRent assessment for CSULB and SJSU. Congratulations on your college admits so far.

UCSB, UCI and SLO will be tough admits especially since CS is highly competitive.

ELC is a consideration but it only guarantees that you will be offered a spot if available at UC Merced (default campus) if you are not accepted into your choice UC.

Freshman admit rates for UC GPA of 3.80-4.19 capped weighted and not major specific so CS would have lower overall admit rates than posted.

UCSB: 32%

UCI: 35%

SLO uses 9-11th grades so do you know your SLO GPA? Freshman profile middle 50th percentile for the College of Engineering was 4.04 – 4.27.

With test scores out of the equation, GPA will be heavily weighted along with your HS course rigor and grades specially in the Math and Science courses for all the Cal states and UC’s.

Best of luck and you do have some good options already from which to choose.

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Thank you so much for your input and information!

Actually since posting my original chance me, I ended up changing my primary major at SLO to Graphic Communication (they allow majors changes up to Jan. 15th). After doing more research, it seemed like a better fit for me since it offers a UX/UI concentration which is the area of tech I want to do and SLO is the only school I applied to that offered that major. I still applied as CS for the rest of my schools though.

Edit: Just calculated my SLO GPA and it’s 4.07 UW and 4.28 W.

Thank you so much for the input! That’s what I was thinking to, I think I have a good shot at LB (though I heard it’s harder to get admitted if you’re not local- I’m not from the SoCal area) but like you said, SJSU maybe not so much at least for my primary major.

Also, since my original post I ended up changing my primary major at SLO to Graphic Communication (they allow changes to your application until Jan 15th). Upon more research, it seemed like a better fit for me as it offers a UX/UI concentration and no other schools really offer that major. I heard it’s easier to get into than CS which is a plus, as SLO is my dream school but obviously that wasn’t the sole reason I switched.