Baskin School of Engineering

Baskin School of Engineering
335 Baskin Engineering Building
(831) 459-2158
https://www.soe.ucsc.edu/

Dean’s Office
335 Baskin Engineering
(831) 459-2158

Undergraduate Office
227 Baskin Engineering
(831) 459-5840

Graduate Office
595 Engineering 2
(831) 459-3531

Professor Alexander Wolf, Dean

The Baskin School of Engineering has a high-technology focus incorporating programs and curricula that educate students to meet the changing demands of society and a high-technology global marketplace. The school offers a stimulating academic environment that provides a foundation for professional growth as well as a lifetime of learning. The Baskin School’s programs and courses prepare students for the human aspects, as well as the technical challenges, of careers in engineering, computer science, and bioinformatics. The Baskin School of Engineering includes the Department of Applied Mathematics, the Department of Biomolecular Engineering, the Department of Computational Media, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Department of Statistics.

Graduate Study

The Baskin School of Engineering offers 16 graduate programs designed to prepare students for advanced study and research in major areas of biomolecular, computer, and electrical engineering, as well as computer science and statistics and applied mathematics:

  • Applied Mathematics M.S. and Ph.D.
  • Biomolecular Engineering and Bioinformatics M.S. and Ph.D.
  • Computer Engineering M.S. 
  • Computational Media M.S. and Ph.D.
  • Computer Science and Engineering M.S. and Ph.D.
  • Games and Playable Media M.S.
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering M.S. and Ph.D.
  • Scientific Computing and Applied Mathematics M.S.
  • Serious Games M.S.
  • Statistical Science M.S. and Ph.D.

These programs are described in subsequent sections. The aim of these programs is to develop professionals who can address the complex scientific and technological problems of today and tomorrow.

Graduate Student Affairs Office

The Baskin School of Engineering Graduate Student Affairs/Advising Office offers general advising for prospective and current students in the School of Engineering graduate programs. The office handles general advising, financial support processing, and degree certifications. Graduate students obtain and submit all paperwork requiring departmental approval to the Graduate Student Affairs office. Students may obtain additional information and assistance on the School of Engineering Graduate Student Affairs website.

Undergraduate Study

The School of Engineering offers seven undergraduate Bachelor of Science (B.S.), two Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and three contiguous B.S./M.S. degree programs in the following majors:

  • Biomolecular Engineering and Bioinformatics B.S. or contiguous B.S/M.S.*
  • Computer Engineering B.S. or combined B.S./M.S.
  • Computer Science B.A. and B.S. or combined B.S./M.S.
  • Computer Science: Computer Game Design B.S.
  • Electrical Engineering B.S.
  • Network and Digital Technology B.A.
  • Robotics Engineering B.S.
  • Technology and Information Management B.S.
  • *The contiguous B.S./M.S. is only available from the bioinformatics concentration in the B.S.

Biomolecular Engineering and Bioinformatics. The biomolecular engineering and bioinformatics major includes the biomolecular engineering (BME) and bioinformatics (BINF) concentrations. The BME concentration is designed for students interested in protein engineering, stem cell engineering, and synthetic biology. The emphasis is on designing biomolecules (DNA, RNA, proteins) and cells for particular functions, and the underlying sciences are biochemistry and cell biology. The BINF concentration combines mathematics, science, and engineering to explore and understand biological data from high-throughput experiments, such as genome sequencing, gene-expression chips, and proteomics experiments. The program builds upon the research and academic strengths of the faculty in the Biomolecular Engineering Department. 

Computer Engineering. The computer engineering curriculum focuses on making digital systems that work. It overlaps with computer science on one end (software systems) and with electrical engineering on the other (digital hardware). The emphasis of our program is on design rather than analysis—on making things work, rather than on explaining the abstract theory of computation or electronics. The program’s emphasis on problem solving provides both excellent training for future engineers and a strong foundation for graduate study. The combined B.S./M.S. program provides an opportunity for outstanding undergraduates to begin advanced study and earn both degrees in five years.

Computer Science. The computer science curriculum has options that include topics in hardware and software, giving students a solid grounding in both theoretical and practical aspects of computer technology and computer usage. The bachelor of arts focus is designed to give students a solid grounding in both theoretical and practical topics in computer science, computer engineering, and mathematics while leaving flexibility for a broad program of study, including many courses outside of science and engineering. The bachelor of science curriculum has a stronger concentration in the sciences, with more courses in computer science and computer engineering. Students become proficient in many areas, with a good academic foundation for various careers in the software industry, as well as preparation for graduate school.

Computer Science: Computer Game Design. The computer game design curriculum is a four-year interdisciplinary program that focuses on the technical, dramatic, and artistic elements of computer games. The program provides a rigorous education in computer science, in concert with a broad introduction to those aspects of art, music, narrative, digital media, and computer engineering most relevant to games. An intensive year-long game design studio sequence permits students to create substantial video games as part of a multi-student team. Students receive proficiency in many aspects of computer science, a good academic foundation for careers in the computer game industry or information technology industry, or for the pursuit of graduate studies in computer science, or computer game design.

Electrical Engineering. The electrical engineering curriculum provides a balance of engineering science and design and allows students to specialize in both the traditional topics and the latest subjects in electrical engineering. Students may concentrate their electives in the areas of electronics and optics, communications, or signals and systems. The major is designed to attract motivated students who, upon graduation, will be sought by employers in the high-tech industry. The electrical engineering program is accredited by The Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Network and Digital Technology. The network and digital technology B.A. program provides students with in-depth knowledge of the underlying structure and function of network and computer technology and the design processes which make these technologies function. The program, through its flexible requirements, is especially tailored to students who wish to combine technology with other fields, such as through a double major or a minor, or who, through the choice of electives, wish to concentrate on the digital design or computer networks aspects of computer engineering in preparation for future employment. The network and digital technology B.A. program is offered by the Computer Science and Engineering Department.

Robotics Engineering. The robotics engineering program prepares graduates for rewarding careers at the interfaces between electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering. UCSC robotics engineering graduates will have a thorough grounding in the principles and practices of robotics and control, and the scientific and mathematical principles upon which they are built; graduates will be prepared for further education (both formal and informal) and for productive employment in industry.

Technology and Information Management. The technology and information management (TIM) curriculum is multidisciplinary and focuses on the fusion of information systems, technology, and business management for two purposes: the use of information systems to solve business problems and the management of technology, which includes new product development and enterprise management. Students must learn the mathematics, science, and technical fundamentals of computer science and engineering as well as understand the environment in which information technology (IT) solutions will be applied—through economics, business, and management of technology courses. It is a rigorous, challenging major for those students wanting to pursue careers in information systems management and the management of technology.

Undergraduate Minors

Undergraduate students may choose from the following nine minor options:

Applied Mathematics. The applied mathematics minor is available to students who wish to develop 1) proficiency in modeling real-life problems using mathematics and 2) knowledge of standard, practical analytical and numerical methods for the solution of these models. This minor could be combined with a major in any of the physical, biological, mathematical, or engineering sciences as preparation for a graduate degree in that field or in applied mathematics.

Assistive Technology. The guiding principle of the assistive technology minor is robotic assistance for people with movement disabilities, which can include such concepts as motorized prostheses, exosuits, motorized wheelchairs, or follow-me luggage.

Bioelectronics and Biophotonics. The bioelectronics and biophotonics minor is primarily focused on electronics and photonics from devices to systems required for interfacing biology with electronics from sensors to actuators and diagnostics.

Bioinformatics. The bioinformatics minor is intended primarily for bioinformatics tool users who are majoring in a biological or chemical specialty. The bioinformatics minor is also appropriate for computer science or computer engineering majors who are considering graduate work in bioinformatics.

Computer Engineering. The computer engineering minor provides a solid foundation in digital hardware, electronics, and computer software, as well as the prerequisite material in mathematics and physics. The minor is well-suited to students who wish to take part in the design of computer and embedded systems in any discipline.

Computer Science. The computer science minor is available for students whose primary interest is in another area, and are interested in the applications of computer science in other areas of study, from art and music to business and science.

Electrical Engineering. The electrical engineering minor provides a solid foundation in the core areas of electronic circuits and signals and systems, as well as the prerequisite material in mathematics and physics. Concentration of upper-division electives in either of the major tracks constitutes substantial and focused work in the discipline of electrical engineering. This minor is particularly suitable for students with majors in applied physics or any School of Engineering major.

Statistics. The statistics minor is available for students who wish to gain a quantitative understanding of how to a) measure uncertainty, and b) make good decisions on the basis of incomplete or imperfect information and apply these skills to their interests in another field. This minor could also be combined with a major in mathematics as preparation for a graduate degree in statistics or biostatistics.

Technology and Information Management. The technology and information management minor provides undergraduates in the School of Engineering as well in other programs and divisions in the university, such as economics and business management economics, the physical and biological sciences, and arts, the opportunity to expand the breadth of their knowledge and training to include the management of information systems and the management of technology.

Undergraduate Advising Office

The Baskin School of Engineering undergraduate advising office offers general advising for prospective and declared undergraduates majoring in School of Engineering programs. The office handles major declarations, transfer credits, course substitutions, articulations, and degree certifications. Undergraduate students obtain and submit all paperwork requiring departmental approval to the undergraduate advising office. Students may obtain additional information and assistance on the School of Engineering undergraduate advising website.

Admission to School of Engineering Majors

High School Preparation for Engineering Students

It is recommended that high school students intending to apply to a School of Engineering major have completed four years of mathematics (through advanced algebra and trigonometry) and three years of science in high school. Comparable college mathematics and science courses completed at other institutions also serve to properly prepare students for these majors.

College Board Advanced Placement Credit

Prospective students are encouraged to take the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IBH) Examinations as acceptable scores on these examinations may satisfy both university or major degree requirements. Prospective engineering students should consider taking examinations in computer science, mathematics, economics, chemistry, physics, or biology. Students must provide official examination scores to the UCSC Office of Admissions to be granted credit toward course prerequisites or degree requirements. The following AP and IBH scores are accepted for course credit requirements as follows:

CEEB AP Exam Score UCSC Course Credit
Biology 5 Biology 20A, Cell and Molecular Biology; and


Biology 20B, Development and Physiology
Chemistry 5 Chemistry 1A, General Chemistry
Computer Science:
Exam A
3

Computer Science and Engineering 10, Introduction to Computer Science


4 or 5 Computer Science and Engineering 20, Beginning Programming in Python
Economics: Microeconomics 4 or 5 Economics 1, Introductory Microeconomics
Economics: Macroeconomics 4 or 5 Economics 2, Introductory Macroeconomics
Mathematics: Calculus AB 3 Mathematics 3 or AM 3, Precalculus
Mathematics: Calculus AB 4 or 5

Mathematics 3 or AM 3, Precalculus
Mathematics 11A, Calculus with Applications
Mathematics 19A, Calculus for Science, Engineering and Math

Mathematics: Calculus BC 3 Mathematics 3 or AM 3, Precalculus
Mathematics 11A/B, Calculus with Applications
Mathematics 19A, Calculus for Science, Engineering and Math
Mathematics: Calculus BC 4 or 5

Mathematics 3 or AM 3, Precalculus
Mathematics 11A, Calculus with Applications; and
Mathematics 3 or AM 3, Precalculus
Mathematics 11B, Calculus with Applications
Mathematics 19A, Calculus for Science, Engineering and Math; and
Mathematics 19B Calculus for Science, Engineering and Math

Physics: C Mechanics 4 or 5 Physics 6A

5 Physics 5A
Physics: C Electricity and Magnetism 4,5 Physics 6C

5 Physics 5C
Statistics 4,5 Statistics 5

International Baccalaureate Credit

IBH Exam Score UCSC Course Credit
Computer Science 5 Computer Science and Engineering 20, Beginning Programming in Python
Computer Science 6 or 7 Computer Science and Engineering 20, Beginning Programming in Python

Students may check with the Office of Admissions for details about other AP and IBH examinations that also satisfy university requirements.

Admission as First-Year Students

Students interested in pursuing a School of Engineering major should indicate the major as their first or second choice on the UC application for admissions. Most School of Engineering programs require that students be listed as a proposed major in order to be admitted. The proposed major status is also required to enroll in many BSOE major courses. 

Computer Science

Students interested in pursuing a computer science B.S. or B.A. must indicate the major on their University of California application for admission. Students who do not indicate this on their application will NOT be allowed to declare the computer science major. Students must be admitted as proposed computer science majors in order to declare the major.

Proposed Engineering Major Status

A proposed engineering major status carries several benefits including being connected to advising, receiving pertinent communication, and priority access to enrolling in some required major courses. The School of Engineering majors require students to be listed as a proposed major in one of the following majors in order to declare: biomolecular engineering and bioinformatics, computer engineering, computer science: computer game design, computer science (B.A. and B.S.), technology and information management, electrical engineering or robotics.

Students who are interested in computer science who are NOT listed as proposed computer science majors will not be allowed to migrate into the major. Students must properly list computer science as their proposed major.

Students pursuing network and digital technology are not required to be proposed in any BSOE majors in order to declare network and digital technology.

Students in their fourth quarter or beyond who would like to become a proposed major, or students who are proposed and would like to retain their proposed status, must have passed MATH 19A or MATH 20A, and two additional BSOE classes from the following list within their first three quarters: CHEM 1A, CHEM 1B, CSE 12, CSE 13E or CSE 13S, CSE 16, CSE 30, MATH 19B, MATH 20B, PHYS 5A, PHYS 5C, CSE 50, or CSE 58.

Students who are in an engineering proposed major and who do not meet these criteria will be removed from their proposed major. Students who want to change to an engineering proposed major must also meet these criteria. Students that do not meet these criteria can appeal this decision within 15 days of notification. Within 15 days of receipt of the appeal, the student will receive the appeal decision. More information about the appeals process can be found on the Undergraduate Advising website.

Declaring a School of Engineering Major

Students interested in declaring a School of Engineering major can do so by following the major qualification criteria for that major as specified in the corresponding program statement and can also be found on the  BSOE Undergraduate Advising Major Qualification Requirements page. Major declaration must be completed by the sixth quarter of study at UCSC, including students declaring a BSOE major as their second major. Students can declare earlier, once major qualification requirements are met.  The School of Engineering major declaration process can be found on the BSOE Undergraduate Advising Declare Your Major page.

Appeal Process

Students who are informed that they are not eligible to declare the major may appeal this decision within 15 days of notification by following the steps on the BSOE Undergraduate Advising Major Declaration Appeal site. Within 15 days of receipt of the appeal, the student will receive the appeal decision.   

If you have further questions concerning the appeal process, please contact the Undergraduate Advising Office at (831) 459-5840 or email advising@soe.ucsc.edu.

Junior Transfer Acceptance to Majors

The School of Engineering strongly encourages applications from transfer students. Due to the prerequisite structure for upper-division courses, prospective transfer students should have completed as many of the lower-division major requirements as possible to complete the degree within a reasonable time. Students must plan carefully because many courses must be taken sequentially.

Students are encouraged to follow the new UC Transfer Pathways. Any student who finishes the UC Transfer Pathways courses for computer science will more than satisfy the admission requirements for transfer to computer science, computer engineering, robotics, and network and digital technology. Any student who finishes the UC Transfer Pathways courses for electrical engineering will more than satisfy the admission requirements for electrical engineering, computer engineering, and robotics. Note that each department will have different GPA requirements for these courses.

Completion of mathematics and engineering courses is essential for transfer students; those applying to selective majors should carefully verify the admission requirements for their major.

Students who apply as transfer students with junior status (90 quarter credits or more of transfer credit) who wish to earn a degree from the School of Engineering must indicate a School of Engineering major as their first choice on their UC application.

Acceptance into the major is based on the student’s academic college record and preparation for the major. Applicants are encouraged to take and excel in as many courses that are equivalent to the department’s lower-division major requirements as possible. For many School of Engineering majors, this includes completion of a year of calculus (accepted as equivalent to Mathematics 19A-B), linear algebra, differential equations, a year of calculus-based physics courses (accepted as equivalent to Physics 5A, 5B, 5C), and two programming courses are strongly recommended.

Letter Grade Policy

Starting fall 2014, all students admitted to a School of Engineering major, or seeking admission to a major, must take all courses required for that major for a letter grade.

Ethics Requirement

Graduates of the Baskin School of Engineering are expected to become professionals with the highest ethical standards. Knowledge and practice of professional ethics is a requirement for the degree. Examples of professional society codes of ethics are available here and here. Students of the Baskin School of Engineering are also expected to adhere to high ethical standards while pursuing their undergraduate studies.

Substitutions for Courses Taken at UCSC

Undergraduate engineering students who wish to substitute a major course with a course from UC Santa Cruz must first consult the School of Engineering Undergraduate Advising Office. The advising office requires a Petition for Course Substitution be approved before credit for an alternate course can be applied to any School of Engineering major requirement.

Petition forms are available at the undergraduate advising office and online.

Petitions and procedures for approval must be obtained from and submitted to the Undergraduate Advising Office.

Course Equivalencies and Substitutions Taken at an Outside Institution

Once enrolled in the School of Engineering continuing students must have permission to take courses at another institution to apply toward their School of Engineering major or minor requirements.

Community Colleges

Once enrolled in the School of Engineering students who wish to take a course at a California community college must first check Assist.org to see if the course is equivalent at UC Santa Cruz. If the course is not listed on Assist.org, students must submit a course substitution petition to the BSOE Undergraduate Advising Office to have it reviewed for equivalency. Courses that need to be reviewed must be accompanied by a course description and syllabus. It is very helpful if students can provide further evidence of course content, such as examples of programming assignments, homework, or examinations. To guarantee equivalency, departments may sometimes require a grade of B or better.

If the course is approved for equivalency or was on Assist.org, then the student must also receive approval by their major department to take the class at the community college PRIOR to taking it. Forms and procedures for approval can be obtained from and submitted to the BSOE Undergraduate Advising Office.

Four-Year Institutions and the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP)

Students who intend to take a course at a four-year institution or UC Education Abroad, must submit a Course Substitution Petition to the BSOE Undergraduate Advising Office to have the course reviewed for equivalency. Courses that need to be reviewed must be accompanied by a course description and syllabus. It is very helpful if students can provide further evidence of course content, such as examples of programming assignments, homework, or examinations. To guarantee equivalency, departments may sometimes require a grade of B or better.

If the course is approved for equivalency, then the student must also receive approval by their major department PRIOR to taking the class. Forms and procedures for approval can be obtained from and submitted to the BSOE Undergraduate Advising Office.

Personal Computer Requirement

The Baskin School of Engineering (BSOE) requires that all BSOE students own a laptop. A MAC or PC from the last several years is generally acceptable. The exact minimum specifications appear on the Undergraduate Advising website.

School-Wide Information and Policies

Computing Facilities

The Baskin School of Engineering houses research facilities and teaching laboratories in the Baskin Engineering Building for courses in programming, software design, circuits, electronics, graphics, digital design, and computer and system architecture. Emphasis in these laboratories is on state-of-the-art equipment, including personal computers, engineering workstations, a 1000-processor Linux cluster, logic analyzers, microprocessor development systems, a wireless network for mobile computers, and network support at 100MB/sec. All Unix computers and workstations and most personal computers on campus are networked together, allowing students to access the School of Engineering and the Information Technology Services (ITS) facilities from any computer account on campus. For a more complete description of the computing facilities on campus, see the ITS website.

Prerequisites

Because of the sequential nature of the School of Engineering curricula, most courses have prerequisites, which are listed in the course descriptions. Students should carefully review these descriptions in the catalog and the quarterly Schedule of Classes. Students must have passed all prerequisites of a course for which they are enrolling. Pre-enrolled students who then fail a prerequisite are no longer eligible to be enrolled in the course and will be dropped.

Students who have transferable course work from another institution that appears to satisfy a UCSC course prerequisite, but is not listed in current articulation agreements, should promptly consult with the School of Engineering’s staff advisers for guidance. Students will be asked to present records from the other institution to document the course equivalency. Until such evidence has been verified by the department, students attempting to enroll in a course using a prerequisite course that was not completed at UCSC will be informed that they have not satisfied the course prerequisite. (See the Course Substitutions section.)

Permission Numbers

Students not meeting the regular prerequisite requirements for courses sponsored by the Baskin School of Engineering may petition the course instructor to receive a permission number to enroll. The instructor may ask a student to demonstrate the ability and/or potential to succeed in the course or may request additional information to formulate a decision. If no instructor has been assigned to the course, please contact the Undergraduate Advising Office for direction.

Materials Fee

Students should be aware that some laboratory courses require each student to purchase miscellaneous parts or a material kit for completion of the laboratory work. Some laboratory courses may include consumable (one-time use) parts and materials that are distributed to the entire class. Some laboratory kits include parts that the student will assemble into a project and keep. Please refer to the Baskin Engineering Laboratory Support web page for specific course material-fee amounts.

Miscellaneous Fees

Miscellaneous breakage or loss of equipment fees are assessed to address the cost of damaged laboratory equipment and loss of laboratory materials due to abuse or negligence. This fee is only charged if a student breaks or loses laboratory equipment or materials and is not a mandatory fee charged to all students taking the course. Please refer to the Baskin Engineering Laboratory Support web page for more information.