Getting started in Electrical Engineering - Frosh

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Students are admitted to UCSC with a "proposed major" in most cases, and later petition to officially declare the major. Admission to UCSC does not guarantee acceptance into a particular major. Students must be declared in a major by the end of the second year (or equivalent), so learning about and preparing for a major is a primary goal for first-year students.


Importance of an early start:

This is a course-intensive and/or sequential program, and students who intend to pursue this major must begin taking classes for the major in their first year at UCSC.

Qualification requirements and/or prerequisites for the major:

Review Major Qualification Requirements in the General Catalog.

Frosh who intend to pursue this major should do the following things prior to the beginning of fall term...

  • Ensure your official transcripts arrive to UC Santa Cruz by July 1; all official test scores, including AP scores, must arrive by July 15.
  • Complete parts 1 & 2 of the Slug Orientation Course process to receive your enrollment appointment date.
  • Students with college-level transferable courses must mail or email a copy of the transcript to Baskin Engineering Undergraduate Advising by July 1, in addition to providing the official transcript to the UCSC Admissions Office.
  • Complete the Math Placement process. It takes up to three business days for ALEKS PPL placement to post in your student record. Completing the assessment by July 16 will ensure your placement is posted before enrollment begins (although depending on your enrollment appointment, you may have more time!).

...and should take these courses their first term:

Please do NOT enroll in Math 11A, AMS/Econ 11A.
Only MATH 19A, 19B, 23A AND 23B are acceptable calculus requirements for this major.

The option you choose below will depend on your Math placement and programming experience.

  • Option 1:
    • MATH 3: Precalculus
    •  CSE 20, Beg. Programming in Python (this course is not required for EE majors but is recommended for students with no prior programming background)
  • Option 2:
    • MATH 19A: Calculus for Sci, Eng, Math
    • CSE 20, Beg. Programming in Python (this course is not required for EE majors but is recommended for students with no prior programming background)
  • Option 3:
    • MATH 19B: Calculus for Sci, Eng, & Math
    • PHYS 5A and 5L: Intro. to Physics I/Lab OR an intro. programming course CSE 20, Beg. Programming in Python (this course is not required for EE majors but is recommended for students with no prior programming background)

If you only have room in your schedule to take one course in this major then we recommend that you prioritize Math coursework particularly if you have placed into Math 3 or Math 19A. 

Special enrollment procedures:

All classes being used for major requirements must be taken for letter grades. 

Sample Academic Plan:

Review the Sample Academic Plan in the General Catalog.

Skills important for success in this major:

Fundamental essential skills in mathematics, abstract and critical conceptual thinking, problem solving, oral and written communication and time management.

Other Information:

It’s highly recommended to begin the Physics series as soon as possible.

Be sure to attend the BE Orientation during Fall Welcome Week! 

Links to Review:

Program Description (Catalog)
Department Website
BE Undergraduate Advising

Advisor Contact Information:

Baskin Engineering Undergraduate Advising

(831) 459-5840 or bsoeadvising@ucsc.edu
BE Undergraduate Advising Office, 225 Baskin Engineering

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