Undergraduate FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I meet the GPA Threshold? How do I use the GPA Threshold formula?
    1. Formula: (Supplemental Course GPA) + (0.2) x (# of supplemental courses completed) ≥ GPA Threshold (for # of supplemental courses completed)
    2. Supplemental Course GPA: Calculate the 7-course supplemental GPA first, based on the courses you completed out of the 7 supplemental courses. Use SJSU units for the supplemental courses. You can use a GPA calculator, if needed.
    3. Count how many supplemental courses you have completed (max 7) and multiply by 0.2. Add this total to your Supplemental Course GPA. The number you get needs to be equal or greater to the posted GPA Threshold for your desired major (CMPE or SE) 
    4. Go to the GPA Threshold for your desired major (CMPE or SE) and check what the GPA Threshold is for the number of supplemental courses you have completed.
    5. Note 1: The GPA Threshold can change every term/year. The CMPE Department uses the GPA Threshold numbers posted at the time the official review is conducted.
    6. Note 2: Students do not need to calculate their own GPA Threshold. This is the second part of the review process after students submit their change of major application.
    7. Note 3: Students should primarily focus on taking the supplemental courses and doing well in them.
  2. What courses should I take to better my chances of getting into the major?
    1. Take as many of the supplemental / prerequisite courses for your desired major as you can and do well in them. The more classes you complete with high grades, the better your chances of getting into the major.
    2. You may take these courses at a community college or at SJSU, if it is allowed.
      1. If you are not in the College of Engineering or the College of Science, you may need to take Physics courses at a community college, if unable to take them at SJSU.
    3. To find community college articulated courses to our requirements, use SJSU Articulation or Assist.org
  3. Besides the supplemental courses, what other major classes can I take?
    1. Typically, any lower division course (#99 or lower at SJSU) required for the major can be taken at an articulated community college (or SJSU, if it is allowed). Some courses require you to be in the major, the College of Engineering, or the College of Science before you are allowed to take them at SJSU. Check the course descriptions & prerequisites for the courses beforehand. The courses listed in 3b and 3c will count towards the respective major STEM GPA.
    2. CMPE: ENGR 10, Math 33LA, Math 42, CMPE 50, EE 97, EE 98
    3. SE: ENGR 10, Math 33LA, Math 42, CS 46B
    4. Don’t forget, you have GE requirements, so be thinking about completing those as well such as Area A1 and Area A2 (ENGL 1A).
      1. Some GE for the CMPE & SE majors: BIOL 10 (B2), ENGL 1B (C2), PHYS 50 (B1B3), Math 30 (B4)
      2. If you take ENGR 10 at SJSU, you will get Area E credit. However, you need to be a College of Engineering student to take the course at SJSU. You can take an articulated version of the course at a community college, but you will not be granted Area E credit.
  4. Can a different Biology or Chemistry course substitute for BIOL 10 or CHEM 1A?
    1. For the purposes of conducting the change of major review, we will only calculate the GPA Threshold and major STEM GPA using an articulated BIOL 10 or CHEM 1A course.
    2. If your course is not articulated to SJSU’s BIOL 10 or CHEM 1A, it will not be used in the change of major review.
    3. Note: If admitted into your desired CMPE or SE major, another Biology or Chemistry course can substitute for the BIOL 10 major requirement for the purposes of fulfilling graduation major requirements.
  5. I don’t have BIOL 10 or CHEM 1A completed, but I have passed a different Biology or Chemistry course. Should I take BIOL 10 or CHEM 1A? Will it help my chances of getting into the major?
    1. If you’ve taken most, if not all, the other supplemental courses, you may not need to take BIOL 10 or CHEM 1A, especially if you already have a strong major STEM GPA. 
    2. But if you feel you need to improve your major STEM GPA, it could benefit you to take BIOL 10 as long as you pass with a high grade. It is recommended to take BIOL 10 over CHEM 1A. The choice to take the class will be up to you, but please note that we will substitute any other Biology or Chemistry class, if/once admitted into the SE or CMPE major.
  6. Can Math 71/7X substitute for Math 30/30X (Calculus 1)?
    1. No. Only courses equivalent/articulated to Math 30/30X can count for the Calculus 1 requirement.
  7. Can a different Physics course substitute for PHYS 50 or PHYS 51?
    1. No. Only courses equivalent/articulated to PHYS 50 or PHYS 51 can count for the major’s Physics requirements.
  8. I completed courses that are not articulated to the supplemental courses. How can I know if these will count for the major requirements / change of major requirements?
    1. It is best to complete articulated courses at a California Community College (CCC) that will officially satisfy the requirements.
    2. It is not recommended to use courses if they are not already articulated. However, if you wish to use them, you will first need to get your classes reviewed for equivalency. 
      1. Email undergradadvisor-cmpe-se@sjsu.edu with the list of your classes you want reviewed corresponding to the supplemental requirements. 
      2. Attach your syllabus for each class from the term and year the class was taken. 
      3. An advisor will reach out to evaluators to have these classes reviewed. If you do not have an official syllabus from the term/year the course was completed, please plan to take the necessary articulated courses at a California Community College (CCC).
    3. Note: If you do not have articulated Physics courses completed, it may be best to take/retake the Physics courses at a CCC.
  9. How will completing AP credit affect my change of major application? Can I use my AP credit?
    1. If you have completed any AP credit (scores 3 or better) for your supplemental courses, we will count those course requirements as completed. However, no grade points are assigned to AP credit, so they would not be used in the major STEM GPA calculations.
    2. Advanced Placement (AP) Exams
      1. AP Calculus AB = Math 30
      2. AP Calculus BC = Math 30 & Math 31
      3. AP Biology =  BIOL 10
      4. AP Computer Science A = CS 46A (not CMPE 30)
      5. AP Physics C: Mechanics = PHYS 50
      6. AP Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism = PHYS 51
  10. What are my chances of getting into the major?  Can you tell me now if I can be guaranteed into the CMPE or SE major? How can I guarantee that I get into the major?
    1. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee any student into the major as the CMPE and SE majors are very impacted and competitive to get into.
    2. Your chances depend on what courses you have taken, your grades, and your GPA. The higher your grades or major STEM GPA, the better your chances of getting into the major.
    3. We also look at other factors when making decisions, such as how many classes you failed (if any), SJSU cumulative GPA, AP/CLEP scores (if any), number of units earned, etc.
    4. Typically, students who have failed several major required STEM classes will have a lower major STEM GPA which could negatively impact their chances of getting into their desired major.
    5. If you have less than a 3.0 SJSU cumulative GPA, your application will be denied.
    6. If you currently have over 90 units and you have not completed most of the lower division major requirements and supplemental courses already, we do not recommend you to apply for the change of major. See the Presidential Directive 2009-05.  
    7. We can only give out final decisions after you have submitted your change of major application and it has been reviewed.
  11. How many students are accepted into the program each semester?  What was or is the program capacity?
    1. The number fluctuates each semester based on (1) how many students are accepted into the program from Frosh and Transfers, (2) how many students graduate from program, (3) how many students change out of the major or transfer schools, (4) how many stay in major, (5) how many apply through CoM and get accepted, etc.
    2. We won’t be able to determine program capacity before conducting the review, but the CMPE Department does its best to try to accommodate as many qualified students as they can.
    3. Unfortunately, we cannot admit everyone due to impaction and how competitive it is to get into the program.
  12. I have failed and retaken several major required STEM courses. How will this affect my application?
    1. We will count how many times you failed a major required STEM course and use that as a factor when we conduct our review.
    2. The courses you failed could potentially lower your major STEM GPA, thus affecting your ranking among the other applicants.
    3. We will use all attempts of a class when calculating the major STEM GPA.
    4. Typically, students who have failed several major required STEM classes will have a lower major STEM GPA, and this could negatively impact their chances of getting into their desired major.
  13. When should I apply for the change of major? What are the deadlines?
    1. You should plan to apply for the change of major in the semester that you are completing your final supplemental courses. You will decide how many supplemental courses you are willing or able to complete. Again, the more you complete, the better your application will be. Completing only a few supplemental courses may hinder your application.
    2. There are only two application periods:
      1. After Fall semester (to change your major by Spring)
      2. After Spring semester (to change your major by Fall)
    3. If you have completed less than 60 units by the end of the semester you apply, use ESSC’s Online Change of Major Application (less than 60 units) 
      1. Visit the webpage linked above for their application window.
    4. If you have completed 60+ units by the end of the semester you apply, use this Change of Major Form (60+ units)
      1. Apply between December 1 - January 1 for admission to the following spring term.
      2. Apply between May 1 - June 1 for admission to the following fall term.
  14. When will my change of major application be reviewed? When will I receive my decision?
    1. Reviews are conducted after academic standing is posted for the semester. The academic standing post dates can be found on the Registration Calendars.
    2. Decisions are usually made mid-late January after Fall semester and mid-June to late-July after Spring semester.
    3. If accepted to the major, you will be notified through your SJSU email. If admitted, respond within 48 hours of receiving your acceptance email, and the ESSC or major advisor will work with the Office of the Registrar to officially change your major on your MyProgress report and MySJSU account.
  15. I’ve been admitted into my desired CMPE or SE major. How do I enroll into upper division CMPE required courses?
    1. Email undergradadvisor-cmpe-se@sjsu.edu for support AFTER you receive an approved decision into the major to request a CMPE Permission Number Request Form. We cannot provide add codes to non-major students for CMPE courses before the change of major decisions have been made.
    2. If you are trying to enroll into upper division CS courses, please contact the CS Department.
    3. Typically, add codes can only be given if there are available seats in the class, you meet the prerequisites, and you have been accepted into the CMPE or SE major. 
    4. If you are unable to enroll into certain classes before instruction begins, please contact the instructor of the course to request an add code.
    5. Because classes may fill up before you are able to request add codes to classes, please note that you may not be able to get the most ideal schedule your first semester in your new major.