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 residential summer program on the UC San Diego campus for students accepted into CSE majors as well as for other UCSD 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 UCSD, and living on campus.

2017 SPIS

2017 SPIS will consider applications from all 2017 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
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 2017 SPIS application. Application will be open starting April 17, 2017 and its deadline is May 8, 2017.
  • Only a limited number of students will  be admitted to 2017 SPIS. Students who will benefit most from the program will be given preference.
  • Students are required to pay a total fee of $2,000 to cover the instructional, housing and dining expenses as well as books, supplies, and event expenses.

    This low fee has been possible due to generous contributions from the Qualcomm Institute, the CSE Department, and the UC San Diego. The actual value of the program exceeds $4,000.

  • A number of scholarships (based on financial hardship) are available to partially cover the cost of the $2,000 fee.
  • Participants will live in UC, San Diego campus housing for the entire duration of the program.
  • The program runs for five weeks from August 7th through September 8th.
  • 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.


2017 SPIS will run from Sunday, August 6 through Friday, September 8, 2017. Please consult the calendar for more details.

SPIS Informational Video

SPIS informational video by SPIS faculty and students. Enjoy!

SPIS Video (YouTube version)

Academic Program and People

The 2017 Academic Program page has information on how the program is organized. The page 2017 SPIS people provides information about 2017 SPIS faculty, advisors, and mentors.

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.