How can I apply to ERSP?

ERSP applications open for current UC San Diego first-year students in late Winter or early Spring quarter, with a deadline in mid-April. ERSP applications open for incoming transfer students in mid-June with a deadline in mid-July. For information about the application and the application itself, please see the application information page.

I am not a CSE major. Can I still apply?

Yes! But we ask that you complete the last essay on the application. This is true even if you are a CE major in the ECE department.

I have taken one (or two) upper division courses. Am I still eligible for ERSP?

Maybe. We encourage you to apply, and ask that you complete the last essay on the application explaining why you should be considered even though you are already into upper division coursework.

I am a transfer student. Am I still eligible to apply to ERSP?

Yes! Transfer students who are currently in their first year at UC San Diego and have not yet taken any upper division CS courses can apply in the first round (April deadline). If you are a transfer student in your first year but you have taken one or two upper division courses, you are still able to apply. You just need to fill out the last essay question on the application. Transfer students who are incoming to UC San Diego CSE can apply in the summer before their first fall, at the July deadline.

What is the ERSP process like?

ERSP is an academic-year, group-based research apprenticeship experience. Students are grouped into teams of ~4 students and matched with a faculty advisor. In the fall quarter, students take CSE 193: Introduction to CS Research, which helps them learn the skills and knowledge needed to begin their research project. They also meet weekly with their research advisors and their groups. In the winter and spring, students register for 2 units each of CSE 198 while they carry out their proposed research project. Students continue to meet weekly with their research mentor, and also meet weekly with an ERSP central mentor to support them in their work. All work is done as a team.

What credit will I get for participating in ERSP? Will I get paid?

Students who participate in ERSP receive credit that counts toward the CSE major. CSE 193 counts as an upoper division elective, and the two terms of 2-unit CSE 198 courses can be combined to also count as an upper division elective (counting toward the maximum number of units of special studies courses). Students are not paid during the academic year, but some ERSP students go on to continue research with their group for pay during the summer after their ERSP experience.

How are the research topics assigned?

After you are accepted into the program, in late summer (usually early September) you will receive a list of descriptions of available projects for the upcoming year. You will be asked to express your interest in each (high, medium or low), your confidence in your ability to learn the skills required for each, and to give your schedule availability. We match students to projects and groups based on interest and schedule compatibility. We encourage students to be open-minded about their interests. Since you don't really know what any of the projects are about, it's hard to really know what you might find interesting. Sometimes you will be surprised!