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Chances of taking more than four years to graduate with a computer science degree at a state school

Shiprock1976Shiprock1976 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
edited March 20 in Parents Forum
due to the difficulty in registering for classes. My son has been accepted to Umass Amherst as a computer science major. Ostensibly, the net cost of attendance of Umass Amherst would be about $7.5K cheaper per year than some of the other schools that he has been accepted to like WPI and RIT and dead even with the net cost of attending CWRU. My question is how common would it be for a student at a state school like UMASS where the computer science classes are in high demand to take more than four years to graduate due not being able to register for all the required courses (inside or outside the major for that matter)? I have heard of this happening at state schools and wanted to know if any current students or parents could weigh in with personal experience on whether this a legitimate phenomenon to be concerned about that will effectively increase the true cost of attendance over four years.

Replies to: Chances of taking more than four years to graduate with a computer science degree at a state school

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 59,797 Senior Member
    U Mass limits the number of CS majors, presumably to avoid this problem. But students who are picky about class times or instructors may find it more difficult if every section is full or close to full.

    But it is likely that this claim is more of an excuse used by students who need something to tell their parents when they ask for funding for an extra semester.
  • woodlandsmomwoodlandsmom Registered User Posts: 321 Member
    I just know about UT. I know it takes about 5 years because they do not have enough classes for the students. It can be difficult if there are not enough sections of each class at a larger state school. I would talk to some students there to get an idea of what they think.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 59,797 Senior Member
    When I went to college, the 4-year graduation rate was under 40%. But it was not difficult for a motivated and well prepared student to finish in 8 semesters. Reasons many did not:

    * School was not that selective, so many students needed remedial courses (more than half of frosh were placed into remedial English composition), and probably many had difficulty with full course loads.
    * Some students worked to support themselves and pay for college (it was more possible to "work one's way through college" back then). But that often meant taking light "full time" course loads (12 instead of 15 credits), resulting in taking more than 8 semesters.
    * Some students voluntarily took light "full time" course loads, since the cost was so low back then that the cost penalty for a delay was small.
    * Some students were not careful in their first two years about planning for all majors that they were interested in, so that a late change of major meant delay due to missing prerequisites.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 11,844 Senior Member
    It depends on the school. Perhaps you can find out more on the various colleges' CC sites. Some of the top twenty schools do and others do not limit CS major enrollments. The intro level courses could be problematic for fitting schedules as many who choose other majors may be taking those courses, which are necessary for advanced CS courses. I know that advisors can be helpful at orientation in navigating the ins and outs of doing things at a school- ie circumventing the computer or knowing how to register after classes start and people drop it... But you need to choose your school first.
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