UCSB Engineering

Choosing a Major

The College of Engineering at UCSB offers undergraduate degrees in five disciplines.

Chemical Engineering Computer Engineering
Computer Science Electrical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering  

Chemical Engineering

What does a Chemical Engineer do?

Chemical Engineers are basically problem solvers. They develop processes and products that transform raw materials into useful products. Because of their broad technical background, chemical engineers are employed in a wide variety of industries, including: chemical manufacturing, energy conversion, plastics, biotechnology, pulp and paper, and semiconductor processing.

Stats and Facts

  • 207 Undergraduates
  • 19 Faculty
  • The Department of Chemical Engineering is ranked 9th in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Students have research opportunities with 21 engineering research centers.

Review the description of this major on Assist.org.

Computer Engineering

What does a Computer Engineer do?

For Computer Engineers, hardware and software system design is focused on devices and their interfaces with users and other devices. Embedded systems are an important area of focus within computer engineering. The average car sold today, for example, has more than 15 interconnected microprocessors that control everything from the car's antilock brakes to its entertainment system.

Stats and Facts

  • 155 Undergraduates
  • 19 faculty from the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department and Computer Science Department
  • The undergraduate program culminates in the Senior Capstone courses that bring all the student's design education and experience together in a final project.

Review the description of this major on Assist.org.

Computer Science

What does a Computer Scientist do?

As a discipline of problem solving, the Computer Science curriculum at UCSB is designed to give the student the tools needed to tackle whatever new challenges come down the road. Possibilities include working on self-adapting wireless networks that span the globe, designing systems that recognize gestures and moods, pushing the frontiers of science and health, building online communities, designing and programming games and entertainment, or constructing systems like Google Search that serve the needs of billions of people across the world.

Stats and Facts

  • 289 Undergraduates
  • 30 Faculty
  • 2 faculty named by MIT's Technology Review Magazine as among the top 35 innovators in the world under the age of 35:
  • The Bachelor of Science degree available from the College of Engineering and Bachelor of Arts degrees emphasizing interdisciplinary collaboration in Biology, Geography and Economics available through the College of Letters and Science.

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Electrical Engineering

What does an Electrical Engineer do?

Electrical Engineering is a very broad field which creatively uses math and science to solve many practical problems. For the student who likes physics, semiconductor materials and devices may be a good focus. If the student's interests lie more toward the theoretical/mathematical side, then learning about high data rate communication methods or crafting special audio or image processing tools might be the right niche.

Stats and Facts

  • 222 Undergraduates
  • 37 Faculty

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Mechanical Engineering

What does a Mechanical Engineer do?

Mechanical engineering applies the principles of motion, energy and force to create mechanical solutions and incorporates a broad range of expertise including technical, social, environmental, and economic fields. The broad range of career paths for mechanical engineers includes almost every part of industry or business, especially the automotive, aerospace, and defense industries.

Stats and Facts

  • 354 Undergraduates
  • 27 Faculty
  • Opportunities for participation in student design competitions in national events.
  • Balanced emphasis on engineering education and hands-on design activities.

Review the description of this major on Assist.org.


Contact us at: admissions [at] engineering [dot] ucsb [dot] edu

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