In 2013, the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department conceived of a project to help incoming students excel in their early computer science courses and beyond—even if they have no background in computer science or programming. The CSE Department is motivated by the goals of providing the best education to its students and to helping them realize their individual potential. The Summer Program for Incoming Students (SPIS, pronounced "spice") is a first step towards these goals.

SPIS will give students college-level exposure to computer science, emphasizing problem-solving, communication skills, and mathematical modeling. Students will be exposed to project-based learning as well as research in computer science and engineering. In addition to academics, SPIS will introduce participants to the social, cultural, and broader intellectual experiences open to university students. Those accepted to the SPIS program will also receive career mentoring, and enjoy a series of lectures and demonstrations illustrating the exciting and varied career opportunities available in computer science and engineering.

SPIS is a 5-week summer program on the UC San Diego campus for students accepted into CSE majors as well as for other UC San Diego admitted students who want to explore computer science as a career option. SPIS courses are taught by the very best faculty at UCSD. Students in the program interact with a wide range of CSE faculty and learn about computer science and engineering research. They also have opportunities to connect with engineers from the computer industry. SPIS provides an excellent student experience with individual meetings with faculty, tutoring from experienced CSE undergraduate students, collaborations with fellow students, individual advising to smooth the transition to UC San Diego.

2020 SPIS and Update

SPIS 2020 will be conducted online due to campus COVID-19 restrictions. The fee will be reduced to $900 for the 5-week SPIS program. We will also award scholarships to students who need financial assistance.

SPIS faculty and mentors are committed to deliver instruction in the best possible manner and create a sense of community using online tools. We believe that the current situation is an opportunity for creative approaches to reach out to students and connect them with one another.

Due to the change of plans, we have adjusted the deadlines. If you have already applied to SPIS 2020, you do not have to apply again. We will get back as per the revised schedule.

2020 SPIS Admissions

2020 SPIS will consider applications from all 2020 UC San Diego freshmen who are admitted to one of the following majors.
  • Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Bioinformatics majors in the CSE Department
  • Computer Engineering majors in the ECE Department
  • Math/CS majors the Mathematics Department
  • Data Science majors
In addition, we will consider applications from a small of number of other freshmen who would like to explore computer science and engineering.
  • All students are required to complete the 2020 SPIS application. Applications will be open starting April 4, 2020 and its deadline is May 13, 2020.
  • Only a limited number of students will be admitted to 2020 SPIS. Students who will benefit most from the program will be given preference.
  • Students are required to pay a total fee of $900 to cover the instructional costs.
  • A number of scholarships (based on financial hardship) are available to partially cover the cost of the $900 fee.
  • SPIS 2020 will be an online only program.
  • The program runs for five weeks from August 2nd through September 4th, 2020
  • If you have any questions about the program, please send email to Professor Mohan Paturi at paturi@cs.ucsd.edu with a brief statement about your interest and academic background.


2020 SPIS will run from Sunday, August 2 through Friday, September 4, 2020. Please consult the calendar for more details. 

SPIS Informational Video

SPIS informational video by SPIS faculty and students. Enjoy!

SPIS Video (YouTube version)

Mailing Address for Fee Payment and Correspondence

Summer Program for Incoming Students
Attn: Mohan Paturi
Computer Science and Engineering, UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive #0404
La Jolla, CA 92093-0404

UC San Diego Office of Students with Disabilities

If you are a student with a disability who may need accommodations to participate in our programs, you are encouraged to contact the Office for Students with Disabilities directly at 858.534.4382. Additional information may be found at http://disabilities.ucsd.edu/about/index.html.