Switching to COE: Worth the risk?

<p>Hello,</p>

<p>I am currently a senior in high school who is frantically trying to decide between three schools: UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UCSD. The problem with making the decision is that I am thinking of switching into engineering(possibly MechE, EE, or BioE) at UC Berkeley or UCLA. Currently, I am in BioE at UCSD which I know is one of the best BioE programs in the nation. However, I'm worried that if I do not like BioE, MechE or EE would have been better to do at the other schools. </p>

<p>Is it worth the risk attending UC Berkeley or UCLA trying to switch from Biochemistry in L&S to EE, MechE, or BioE? Is there anyone here that was able to do so? What would be the reason to choose UCSD for BioE over the other two schools?</p>

<p>Any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! The SIR is two weeks away and so I want to use my time as wisely as I can. Thank you!</p>

<p>It can be difficult to change into the College of Engineering at Berkeley and UCLA:
[Change</a> of College (into COE) ? UC Berkeley College of Engineering](<a href=“http://coe.berkeley.edu/students/current-undergraduates/change-of-college]Change”>Change of college - Berkeley Engineering)
[Change</a> of Major ? UCLA Engineering - Office of Academic and Student Affairs](<a href=“http://www.seasoasa.ucla.edu/undergraduates/change-of-majord#for-ucla-student-who-2]Change”>http://www.seasoasa.ucla.edu/undergraduates/change-of-majord#for-ucla-student-who-2)</p>

<p>If you want to change your major at UCSD, some majors are impacted:
[Impacted</a> Majors](<a href=“http://students.ucsd.edu/academics/advising/majors-minors/impacted-majors.html]Impacted”>http://students.ucsd.edu/academics/advising/majors-minors/impacted-majors.html)</p>

<p>It is not easy to switch over to CoE from L&S at UC Berkeley. Normally, to gain admission into the CoE you need to have pretty decent grades (>3.0 technical GPA). The problem is, it is often difficult for students to get the grades needed to switch over to the CoE because the averages in a lot of those lower-division stem classes are curved to a B to B- average. However, it is easier to switch into the CoE if you choose a less impacted major within the college. If you’re a bright student then you wouldn’t have a problem switching over, but do know that an “average” student in these classes will get a B or so.</p>

<p>L&S admits a few thousands a year while each COE major only admits no more than a couple of hundreds a year. From this, you can see why switching into COE will be difficult. If it is easy, all less qualified students will just select L&S first, then switch after admission.</p>

<p>I don’t remember where I read it, but I recall reading that one of the things COE looks at is whether or not you would have been admitted when you first applied.</p>

<p>If you want to do engineering, please apply to engineering.
If you’re good enough to be accepted into L&S, then I can assure you that you’re also good enough to be accepted into CoE.</p>

<p>UpMagic:

It sounds like the OP already did, but was not accepted. Or, the OP applied to L&S, but changed his/her mind since then and now wants to major in engineering. Either way, it is too late to apply to the CoE as a new freshman.</p>

<p>

What? Where did you get this idea from? CoE is much more selective than L&S (in general). CoE admits by major and some have a very few number of spots available.</p>

<p>

</p>

<p>Depends on the CoE major, but it is likely that most CoE majors are more selective than L&S for frosh admission.</p>

<p>I heard the same COE is much harder to get into. Example MechE one of the larger ones is 500 students, beyond EECS, all the others are much much smaller and selective. Within COE its easier to change to other engineering disciplines, but the reverse is much harder. Look at the matrixes they have different lower division classes. So its best to see an advisor as soon as possible. See what your options are.</p>

<p>Sure, there might be fewer spots available. But at the same time, fewer applicants for that specific engineering major. Does that still make it more selective?</p>

<p>Thank you all for your comments. They have been very helpful. @CollegiateDreams I was accepted into UC Berkeley as a Biochemistry major in L&S. Unfortunately, I did not realize I wanted to do engineering until after I applied. I originally thought that I wanted to do Pre-Med, but after hearing stories of people at Berkeley trying to do Pre-Med and the grade deflation in it, I was turned away.</p>

<p>@blackfire That’s what I’m worried about. It would be a huge risk for me to go to Berkeley and try to switch into engineering especially with the rigor and intensity of the pre-req classes. Whereas at UCSD, I am already in COE which makes a huge difference. What do you think would be the better option to do? Should I take the risk at UC Berkeley or keep the security of UCSD?</p>

<p>@mothergoldenbear Really? I may just talk to the admissions office about that on Cal Day, just out of curiosity. </p>

<p>@UpMagic L&S admits more students than COE since COE is much more selective about their students. That’s why students that are extremely qualified for L&S may not get in to Berkeley if they applied to COE.</p>

<p>@santookie BioE(which is what I would have liked to switch into) and EECS are the most competitive engineering majors so it would be really difficult to switch into. However, I have heard that MechE is a little less competitive as they have more room for them. I’m not sure how true that is though. I plan on talking to the engineering department at Cal Day on Saturday. I’m hoping to receive helpful feedback from them so we will see.</p>

<p>We’re going to Calday too. S is actually at a sleepover at Berkeley tonight. I’m meeting him tomorrow morning. Bring my brother in law who just graduated there as well. You should print out the schedule and see what events you’d like. Lots of engineering related ones involving robotics.</p>

<p>@collegebound I think so. I asked my son and he said that was at an admissions presentation, but he’s not sure which one either (and he didn’t save his notes … it’s been 2 years). But, yeah, ask at Cal Day.</p>

<p>As many have said, I think you’ll have a very difficult time switching into engineering from L&S at Berkeley and LA, especially if you want to get into Cal EECS (which has a 2 semester waiting period even for engineers). In my opinion, you should choose UCSD. If bioE is really your thing, it’s a win-win because you get one of the best programs without the headache of switching. If you don’t like it, getting into EE, MechE, or anything else at UCSD will be really simple since you’re already in SD’s CoE. Nothing is worth potentially getting stuck with a major you hate. Sure, Cal and LA have better EE and MechE, but if you work hard, it’s not like a degree from SD would hold you back in any way.</p>