If you have recently been admitted to the UCSB College of Engineering, we congratulate you on this proud achievement and we’re glad you’ll be joining our community. Below are resources for preparing for fall quarter.
If you are still making your decision about which college to attend, we hope you'll find helpful information on our main admissions page and our events page. You can also read about student experiences in the college. Send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have additional questions!
Accepting Your Offer of Admission
UCSB’s Orientation Programs will introduce you to important student services and the academic expectations of the university level. Students who participate in orientation will receive extensive one-on-one academic advising, meet with staff and continuing students, and register for their fall quarter classes with staff assistance.
Register to attend freshman orientation here.
If you are unable to participate in freshman orientation, we will send emails with more information about course registration. We will also create a Canvas/GauchoSpace page with the presentations you've missed during orientation. Please check your UCSB email throughout the summer.
More information about orientation for international students is available here. We highly recommend that you register for and attend an orientation session.
Information about and registration for transfer orientation is available here. All transfer students should complete the online orientation module to learn about the campus and College. Completion of this orientation module will grant you early registration for courses in late August. We highly recommend you attend a one-day online transfer orientation as well. If you attend this session, an academic advisor will provide you with a personalized study plan and course enrollment assistance.
Summer Preparation Opportunities
FRESHMAN SUMMER START PROGRAM
If you are seeking a head start on college, incoming freshman can participate in UCSB’s Freshman Summer Start Program (FSSP). FSSP is an exciting summer term opportunity designed for admitted UCSB freshmen to start courses early and make a successful academic and social transition to UCSB.
College advisors will host a webinar covering information for engineering majors interested in FSSP, including what courses you may take during FSSP.
A note about community college courses: If you wish to take summer courses closer to home at a California community college before starting your freshman year, or have taken classes in the past, visit assist.org to see how your courses will be credited at UCSB.
UC SUMMER RESEARCH PROGRAMS
Incoming students who wish to dive into a research experience prior to starting at UCSB in the fall can apply to participate in summer research programs hosted at UCSB or sister UC campuses. Please note that deadlines to apply to these programs are typically several months earlier during the winter.
- SIMS – Summer Institute in Mathematics and Science: SIMS is a two-week intensive residential program for newly admitted UCSB freshmen. Students engage in preparation, professional development, educational presentations, and research projects.
- CAMP – California Alliance for Minority Participation: The CAMP summer research program provides a 10-week intensive research experience for eligible students interested in a career in science, engineering, technology or mathematics. CAMP participants work in a UCSB laboratory with a graduate student or postdoctoral research mentor, receiving one-on-one training and support for the research project.
- COSMOS – California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science: COSMOS is a four-week residential program for talented and motivated students completing grades eight through twelve. Students work side-by-side with outstanding university researchers and faculty exploring advanced topics.
Important Fall Events
UCSB Week of Welcome
UCSB’s Week of Welcome is an annual tradition welcoming new and returning students. It is held at the start of a new academic year, during the week before classes begin in fall quarter. The week's festivities include a series of workshops, presentations, physical activities and events designed to introduce you to the resources and services available for all students at UCSB. Become a part of the campus community while getting a glimpse of the campus culture and making new friends.
UCSB Engineering’s Week of Welcome event just for new students is Discover Engineering, an afternoon to meet your fellow new students, talk to engineering student organizations, meet your advisors and career services staff, and learn about engineering programs like undergraduate research, study abroad, and the Honors Program. The Undergraduate Studies Office will invite new students when the date/time is set for Discover Engineering each year.
New Student Convocation for all new freshmen and transfer students takes place on the first day of the quarter.
Academic Requirements Preparation
Entry Level Writing Requirement
All incoming freshmen at UCSB must satisfy the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement. This can be achieved by several means, including earning an acceptable score on AP exams or SAT tests, passing the UC systemwide Analytical Writing Placement exam, passing campus writing placement exam offered the first week of fall quarter, or taking an equivalent, transferable course at another college. Students who enter UCSB without having fulfilled this requirement must enroll in Writing 1 or 1E their first quarter at UCSB. Once students matriculate at UCSB, they may not fulfill this requirement by enrolling at another institution. Please note: If you have not satisfied the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR), you must take the Collaborative Writing Placement Exam. + Details and sign-up at writing.ucsb.edu.
The Math Placement Exam (MPE) is required for all students who have not placed into a Math 2 or 3 series course through AP scores or transfer work. The test is available online and admitted students can take the exam as soon as they activate their Umail account. + Information about AP/IB placement, the MPE, and the link to the test
What computer or software should you purchase?
We are frequently asked what type of computer and software students should bring to campus. We have consolidated information for each major below. If you have further questions please contact the department directly.
Students often work in computing labs on campus to get access to major and course specific software. You can find more information about the Instructional Labs, managed by Engineering Computer Infrastructure (ECI), at: http://eci.ucsb.edu/eci/services/labs/. All students will receive a College of Engineering computer account upon enrollment.
Computer Science: No preference on brand or operating system. Any programming assignment can be done in the Computer Science Instructional Lab (CSIL). Most students use CSIL regardless of their computer set up because the software is the most up to date and formatted already. Students report they don't have problems using a PC or Mac when working at home.
Chemical Engineering: No preference on brand or operating system. A laptop is recommended over a desktop.
Computer Engineering: No preference on brand or operating system.
Electrical Engineering: No preference on brand or operating system.
Mechanical Engineering: The best advice is to go with Solidworks's system (link is external) requirements, as it is the most resource intensive program used by students. We suggest a minimum of 8GB+ of memory and 256GB+ hard drive. We recommend the new i-series processors from Intel, i5 and i7. Most students do not run much engineering software on their laptops. Full versions of all the engineering software you need are available on the computers in the ECI labs. A solid state drive (SSD), more ram than minimum, and a dedicated Nvidia (or AMD) card can help your computer run more smoothly.