Changes to Major Admission Criteria

The Department of Computer Science & Engineering (CS&E) at the University of Minnesota has seen a tremendous increase in the interest in our educational programs for more than a decade. Over the last decade, CS&E has more than tripled the number of majors (470 in spring 2013 to 1,300 in spring 2023), introduced new degree programs (such as data science), and is graduating 3.5 times as many students (156 in 2012 to 540 in 2022). We have done everything we can to continue to accommodate interested students, including increasing class sizes and advocating to the College of Science and Engineering, the University, and state representatives for more resources to meet the demand. Unfortunately, investment in computing faculty, staff, and facilities has not kept up with the demand. Therefore, the Department is now in a position where we must halt the growth in our computing programs – even with ever increasing interest and a booming job market for computing professionals. Specifically, we are forced to place strict limits on admission to the major until we have sufficient capacity to accommodate all interested and qualified students. 

In fall 2022, the technical GPA cut-off for admission to the computer science major was increased to 2.8. The cut-off will continue to increase moving forward since we anticipate an even larger number of applicants. For Spring 2023 the GPA cutoff will likely be in the 3.0–3.2 range. We recognize that this is a significantly stricter admissions criterion than in previous years. We remind you that all students may submit Self-Advocacy Statements (SAS) with their applications. The SAS was added to enable a more holistic review of applicants to the major. We  strongly encourage students who are near the projected GPA cut-off or have not maintained A’s and B’s in their technical classes to submit a Self-Advocacy Statement. 

We understand and regret that there likely will be an increase in the number of students who are not accepted into the computer science major. It is important to be aware that many other majors at the University may help students get similar career outcomes. For questions about options and next steps, we recommend a meeting with a CSE Collegiate Advisor, CLA Collegiate Advisor, or a CS&E Departmental Advisor to discuss alternative paths. Additionally, the Center for Academic Planning and Exploration is a great place to explore academic options throughout the University. 

Questions, comments, or concerns you may have regarding the CS&E’s limited capacity and the actions we are forced to take can be directed to our Department Head (