Interested in Computer Science at UCLA? Join These Clubs

Looking to join a club? Here’s a brief overview of extracurricular options at UCLA for students looking to deepen their knowledge of computer science.

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Noah Gardner
Edlyft Ambassador

One major pro of attending UCLA is that due to its huge student population, there are all kinds of clubs for those with all kinds of interests—including computer science. If you’re interested in getting involved with CS outside of classes, here are a few extracurricular options to check out:

Get involved with the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery). 

The Student Chapter of the ACM at UCLA is a fantastic way to both add depth to your CS knowledge and get some technical experience working on projects outside of classes, which are often more on the theoretical side. It is a broad organization with 8 different subcommittees in different CS fields. These committees include: 

  • ACM AI (Artificial Intelligence) for those interested in machine learning
  • ACM ICPC (International Collegiate Programming Contest) for those interested in competitive programming 
  • ACM Hack for those interested in web development 
  • ACM Cyber for those interested in cybersecurity 
  • ACM Design for those interested in supporting the visual identity of ACM through club branding, event banners, and other design opportunities
  • ACM Studio for those interested in game development and virtual reality 
  • ACM W for those interested in promoting diversity in tech 
  • ACM TeachLA for those interested in sharing their CS knowledge with local K-12 students 

ACM truly has something for everyone. I highly recommend attending the first meeting of a beginner track in an area you might be interested in. You never know if you’ll spark a passion. Most intro tracks are commitment-free, so you can attend whenever you want. 

Join smaller clubs. 

There are many smaller CS-centric clubs on campus with more specific goals. DevX (a club focused on product development) and Creative Labs both work on various rotating projects. But be aware, both of these clubs require a bit more of a commitment than ACM’s tracks. 

There’s Bruin Sports Analytics if you’re interested in exploring the data science behind sports. And then there’s IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) if you’re interested in the hardware side of things. This club offers a wide range of projects, from beginner Arduino projects to building a digital audio visualizer.

Check out the honor societies.

Finally, there are the honor societies. There’s UPE (Upsilon Pi Epsilon) for CS. HKN (Eta Kappa Nu) is the Electrical and Computing Engineering honor society. HKN also provides tutoring for lower-division CS classes, like CS131. Finally, there’s TBP (Tau Beta Pi), the general engineering society. All are great options for those looking to get more involved in CS-related organizations, but keep in mind that they do have GPA requirements. Besides community, they provide tutoring and exam review.

The bottom line…

As a reminder, this is a brief overview of extracurriculars and includes some of the more popular organizations. There are certainly other smaller clubs that provide great experiences as well. If you’re looking for CS clubs to expand your knowledge, or just to have fun, there are plenty of options on campus. There’s something for everyone, and you should definitely consider giving a few of them a chance.

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Noah Gardner

Edlyft Ambassador

Noah Gardner is a third year computer science student at UCLA. Working as a brand ambassador for Edlyft, he mainly writes articles to provide new and prospective students with advice based on his experiences. Outside of school and work, he spends a lot of time playing guitar and watching sports (go 49ers!).