Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Major Change to CS - Fall 2023 Revision


The Computer Science (CS) major is the largest academic program in the College of Information and Computer Sciences and includes two degree programs: the  B.S. in Computer Science and the B.A. in Computer Science. The same application process is used for both degree programs. Starting with the Fall 2023 application cycle, the CS major will be instituting a capped on-campus admission process based on achieving required grades in predictor courses combined with a holistic review process. The cap for the maximum number of admitted on-campus students will vary each year depending on the availability of seats. The CS program will be able to admit only a small number of on-campus students each year, and may not be able to admit any on-campus students in some years. Successful applicants in the on-campus admissions process will typically be "discoverers" who develop an interest in computing after coming to the UMass Amherst campus.

While opportunities for on-campus student to join the CS major will be reduced, students from other majors will continue to have access to a range of introductory programming and computing courses as well other academic programs including the Informatics Major, CS minor and the IT minor.

This web page describes the requirements and processes for applying to join the CS major that are in effect for applications submitted starting in the 2023-2024 academic year. As available capacity for on-campus students to join the CS major changes over time, the requirements and processes for admission are also likely to change.

Application Deadlines

Students apply to join the CS major when they have completed or are enrolled in one programming predictor course and one math predictor course. Applications are considered for the major two times a year with deadlines preceding Spring and Fall registration periods. The deadlines for the 2023-2024 academic year are copied below. Applications are only accepted according to the this schedule. We will review submitted applications and current courses and will contact applicants (mid-to late-October or March depending on application cycle) to confirm a valid application semester. Then, at the end of the semester after grades are available, we will then verify records and students who meet application eligibility requirements will be considered for admission through the holistic review process described in more detail below.

Application Cycle

Application Deadline

When to apply*   Application Confirmation Period
Spring 2024 March 1, 2024 After Spring add/drop
~Feb 16 through
Mar 1 11:59 PM EST
mid- to late-March
Fall 2024 October 1, 2024 After Fall
~Sep 20 through
Oct 1 11:59 PM EST
mid- to late-October

Application Submission and Withdrawal Petition

When applications are open, students can use the "Apply" button below to submit an application. When applications are closed, the application form is disabled. All submitted applications count against a student's application limit. A student who is not able to meet pathway eligibility requirements due to extenuating circumstances can submit a petition using the "Withdraw" button below to request that an active application be canceled.



Admission Eligibility and APPLICATION Process

The Computer Science Undergraduate Program Director (CS UPD) determines the minimum performance required for all major changes to CS, and generally looks for successful completion of the predictor courses taken here at UMass Amherst. Admission standards for major changes into CS are up to the discretion of the Undergraduate Program Director, and are subject to change.  These new rules on the CS major change process will be recognized starting on September 1, 2023 12:01 AM.

  • Note that normal restrictions on courses taken pass/fail do not apply to courses taken in Spring 2020 and Fall 2020. See the FAQ for Spring/Fall 2020 and Spring 2021.
  • Note that students admitted to some majors are not eligible to join the CS major as part of their admission conditions. This is currently the case for some students admitted to the Computer Engineering major.

Students can apply through two admission pathways, as described below. Students need to meet minimum eligibility requirements for one of the pathways to be eligible to be considered under the holistic review process. Pathway 1 is based on 100-level predictor courses. Pathway 2 is based on 200-level predictor courses. We expect to admit only a small number of students who meet minimum eligibility requirements under either pathway each semester. As a result, many students who meet minimum eligibility requirements will not be admitted.

The same holistic review process will be used for students who meet minimum eligibility requirements under either pathway. The holistic review is based on the student's academic record and responses to questions included on the application form. The eligibility requirements for Pathway 1, Pathway 2 and the holistic review questions are included on the sections below. Students are encouraged to apply once enrolled in appropriate predictor courses in a valid application semester and to answer the essay prompts in sufficient detail to give us a good picture of who you are.

Frequently asked questions