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Is Computer Science a hard major?

naokifreshnaokifresh Posts: 222Registered User Junior Member
edited June 2013 in Engineering Majors
Let's say I'm going to a pretty good official state university, like "University of ___"

I was wondering if Computer Science is a hard major (no matter what I'm not changing)? Is it fun?

About me...
I didn't study whatsoever and only took SAT and ACT once each, and I got 1910 (as a junior) and 29 (early senior year) on the first tries. I didn't try to take again, but I assume I could've gotten at least 2000+ and 30+ easily if I did it again, especially if I studied for the science portion. (of course Computer Science is not that kind of science) I got a 32 on the math portion of the ACT.
So I do feel I have the capacity for a Engineering field degree..
I do pretty well in Math I believe, accelerated track since 5th grade.. I took AP Calc AB this year (senior year) and expecting a 5 most likely on it, at least a high 4 at worst
I don't have any prior knowledge of programming, but I'm really motivate once I get into to university this fall, to focus on my classes so much
I'll be taking 20 credits:
6 of which are freshman comp and a seminar, 6 the first year of a foreign language, 4 for Calculus 2...
And 4 for programming 1, my C.Sci class

Next semester I will take 20 credits as well, and two 4 credit classes of programming 2 and discrete structures for C.Sci
Post edited by naokifresh on
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Replies to: Is Computer Science a hard major?

  • naokifreshnaokifresh Posts: 222Registered User Junior Member
    Sorry if there's spelling errors..typing from my IPod

    Oh yes, and I would like to mention also that I'm a girl..so a minority in this major
  • wandering_mysticwandering_mystic Posts: 288Registered User Junior Member
    Yes, it is hard. No, it is not impossible. All that the cs classes (along with most other majors, really) will require is a good amount of time and effort. Each cs curriculum will have a few weeder courses, but everyone else is in the same boat as you.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 34,759Registered User Senior Member
    Students who are good at math and programming tend to do well in computer science. It may be a struggle for those who are not good at one or both.
  • ChrisTKDChrisTKD Posts: 881Registered User Member
    You might like programming but hate the extra math classes. Or, vice-versa. Simply put, if you start CS and enjoy it then it won't be hard (perhaps a lot of studying but it won't be a huge chore). On the other hand, if you don't like it then majoring in it will be excruciating. True for almost anything.

    BTW - 20 credit hours is a lot regardless of you major.
  • aegrisomniaaegrisomnia Posts: 1,025Registered User Senior Member
    Yes, CS is hard... but people graduate with CS degrees every semester. Apparently, software is a great job with lots of opportunities and high pay... and a bachelor's in CS will put you ahead of the curve for most jobs.
  • jwxiejwxie Posts: 1,479Registered User Senior Member
    You have the summer to find out what computer science is like, and also learn the basic of programming.
    CS is not entirely programming. Programming is necessary and is used to help you make things happen.
    :]
    Anything can be hard. Just work hard. Make friends!!! It's a wonderful experience when you really have buddies from your major!

    Don't be afraid.
  • InfoTheoryInfoTheory Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    It really comes down to 2 primary themes. What type of Computer Science degree (i.e. from where) and who you are as a person.

    In my opinion there are three types (Math, Applied, Business):

    - Math: all math... purists say CS is the study of computation... not programming
    - Applied: EE, Physics, Programming classes and of course LOTS of math
    - Business: Programming, little math, no EE or Physics... Business IT focused

    My degree fits into the "Applied" category, but my CS teachers always said if you want to learn programming, the EE department is down the hall.

    I have colleagues in all three, and the general consensus is the hardest is Applied, then Math, then Business; where math is a very close second and Business is a far third. However, Biz folks do not despair. I have often seen that you guys work for the big firms and make much more than the "nerd" CS kids... but note you might not get the same respect as the "nerds".

    And lastly, CS students are a "special" breed and you will know in the first semester if Computer Science is right for you. For instance, my class started with 80 students, but only graduated 15. It's a love it or hate it kinda thing. There is no middle ground from my experience.

    Enjoy!
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 34,759Registered User Senior Member
    InfoTheory wrote:
    In my opinion there are three types (Math, Applied, Business):

    - Math: all math... purists say CS is the study of computation... not programming
    - Applied: EE, Physics, Programming classes and of course LOTS of math
    - Business: Programming, little math, no EE or Physics... Business IT focused

    The study of computer science is not about programming, but you do programming as a matter of course while studying computer science.

    Business IT people often have very little programming skills and perhaps only user level knowledge of specific vendor technologies. Someone considering a career in business IT may want to take some advanced computer science courses in operating systems, networks, databases, and security in order to get the concepts down in order to be more adaptable to changing technologies and unusual problems than most business IT people.
  • NikStudentNikStudent Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    I am currently in a CS major,well i am a freshman but i am taking CS classes and i must say its HARD but i am enjoying them,so i think if you like CS and working with a team,doing extra hours math and programing,if you like science you will do fine :)
  • Ari7Ari7 Posts: 489Registered User Member
    I entered college with no programming experience, took Intro to CS on a whim, and loved it - transfered into the engineering school by the end of the semester. I think it is one of those subjects where you can tell pretty soon if you enjoy it or not. Not having programming background is a bit of a disadvantage, but it shouldnt be too bad catching up.
    This is just my observation based on my schools curriculum (it may be different elsewhere and in higher level classes) but I've noticed that the math you do in CS is a lot more like a continuation of the geometry and probability you did in high school, rather than calculus. Proofs and such...which was may absolute favorite part of my HS math curriculum. So whether or not the math is difficult will depend on what kind of math you like.
    Is it fun? I think so :) But I love puzzles, and CS is full of puzzles. I would second the suggestion of jwxie - make friends in your lab classes! It makes spending 8+ hours on a code project much more bearable, haha.
  • caffeinecaffeine Posts: 33Registered User Junior Member
    I love computer science. It's basically amazing. #notbiased

    yeah, it's hard, and a lot of coding. but the community you're joining is great, and there is so much more to it than "math and programming." (@InfoTheory...) you can tie computing to almost any field: biology? yep! there is incredible computational biology research out there. physics? it's used all the time in laboratories. how about assistive technology? robots, prosthetics, wheelchairs! development? there's a whole community of ICT4D researchers. linguistics, cognitive science (artificial intelligence!!), graphics and media (computational photography!), optimization, I could go on and on :)

    that said, there is definitely room for a lot of software and financial-type jobs too-- software is fun, finance is not my thing but I'll leave that for you to decide. I hope you'll have tons of fun. Don't think too much about being a girl-- it hasn't been a huge deal for me yet. Just enjoy it :D

    @Ari7: 8+ hours? my last project was definitely ~20 hours :|
  • VisualbasicVisualbasic Posts: 23Registered User New Member
    I started code since I was 10, and I enter college with a huge amount of basic programming skill. I currently at community college right now to get my General Education out of the way, and transfer to 4 years university to study my major which is computer science. I can tell you this programming is not hard at all, trust me. As long you learn the basic programming concept you are fine. For example all programming language have an array, variable, loop, end-if statement etc. All you need to learn is those basic concept, as long you understand the concept you can learn the language very fast. Basically all programming languages are the same, they just run on different platform and look different.
  • noimaginationnoimagination Posts: 6,999Registered User Senior Member
    You might find some of these class pages interesting:
    Class Home Pages

    Take a look at the posted assignments, etc.
  • YoungVeggiesYoungVeggies Posts: 41Registered User Junior Member
    It comes done to what you enjoy the most. I enjoy programming and I am doing pretty well as a CS major. My close friends who are smart don't do well in programming because they have no interest in it, but i'm awful in chemistry while I tend to believe they are geniuses in it.
  • ChrisTKDChrisTKD Posts: 881Registered User Member
    The thread is from 2011 - - I don't think the OP is listening anymore.
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