Hey all. Recently got accepted to SCU, UC Davis, and UC Santa Barbara for computer science major. Trying to figure out which is the best when it comes to computer science. Some pros and cons:
. cheapest (w/ my scholarship/grants)
. low student/teacher / small classes
. flexible in class schedule
(don't know about ucd or ucsb, but i heard berkeley engineering not very flexible with which classes you take)
. in silicon valley
. may not have as much recognition
. think theres more recognition
. 2nd cheapest (w/ my scholarship)
. college town
. big class sizes
UC Santa Barbara
. looks like might have best program, and the computer science major is in the engineering college
. more recognition, but also maybe a party school bias i think
. most expensive
. party school
. big class sizes
So this is all the pros and cons I can think of. I'm not entirely sure how good each of these schools' computer science programs are.
I admit I don't know much about the reputation of each school's CS department, but they are all very good universities and I don't think you could go wrong at any one of them. Personally I would prefer the smaller classes offered at SCU, its location in the heart of Silicon Valley, and the Jesuit philosophy of education. Not to mention it's the least expensive option for you!
You have some very good schools from which to choose and are fortunate to have been offered generous financial aid. Like I said, you really can't go wrong. Good luck with your decision!
P.S. Our eldest son was also accepted to SCU, UCD and UCSB, but went to USF where he majored in CS. He had no problem getting a good job after graduating.
I don't know too much about the programs at both UCD and UCSB but I do know a bit about SCU. I would say SCU is the best best choice here, ecspecially considering it is the least expensive option. Santa Clara provides small classes sizes, plenty of personal attention, and a great campus and facilities.
I see you are declared computer science, but I'm wondering if you considered the computer engineering degree though the Santa Clara engineering school (or I believe the official title is Computer Science and Engineering). I think it might be similar to the program at Santa Barbara. From my understanding, the Computer Science degree is more theory based than its engineering counterpart. Obviously I don't know exactly what your interests are (if you want a more technical or liberal arts based program), but the School of Engineering at Santa Clara is very highly regraded, as is the College of Arts and Sciences.
I have quite a few friends who are computer engineering majors, each had a wealth of marketable skills by even junior year, great summer internships and now as seniors great job and/or grad school offers.
I've never heard of SCU's CS program, which is not a good thing. Especially if you are looking at grad school, I would NOT go to SCU. You NEED recognition, and experience doing undergraduate research for leading professors if you want to get to a good graduate school (talking about the Stanfords, Berkeley, CMU, etc.). It's possible here, but I think much more difficult. However, if you're thinking of just getting a B.S. and working, I think it would be a fine choice.
I'm a UCD student, but UCSB has a good program too. I know they're pretty good with computational biology and geography. Whereas UCD is a bit more known for graphics/visualization/GPU areas. Of course both schools have good professors in each other's fields too. I think both are good schools, and if you are truly a good student and apply your skills well, should be able to get a great job afterward, or go to a great graduate school. Have you visited both campuses? What did you think of them?
What do you think about going to SCU and grad school later? Is it maybe harder at SCU?
I've never heard of SCU's CS program, which is not a good thing.
Even if they haven't heard of SCU's program, I guarantee you every single tech company in SV has. I'd say that's a good thing.
I would also recommend SCU mainly based on the fact that it's the cheapest for the type of education you will get.
Santa Clara is NOT a college town, unfortunately, but it is surrounded by some interesting mega-cities. San Jose is on the S border and has tons to do especially in Down Town: SJMOMA, Film Festivals (just had an awesome one), PLENTY of unique places to eat, etc. SF is a liitle bit North, but I hear college students take the Cal Train there all the time (I think it drops you off at 3rd and King - right across the street from Willie Mays Plaza and the SF Giant's AT&T ballpark - but I've never taken it so don't know for sure). You can also drive if you have local friends or someone eventually gets a car. About an hour's ride. Santa Cruz is SW if you want to try the surfing/beach gig and the Boardwalk has some decent Fall hours of op but is pretty dead all Winter for obvious reasons. You can also take a drive up highway 1 with all the pretty and elegant views it offers. I've also heard of students taking weekend trips to go to Lake Tahoe for skiing/snowboarding and I've driven from SJ to Las Vegas in about 13 hours (with heavy traffic because of a brush fire near the highway), so it's doable in a long weekend as well. In short, does SC have a bunch of pubs and clubs for all the broke college students to spend for booze and socialize? No, but you don't have to go too far to get it if you want it.
Typically I'm all for a UC over a private institution because of costs and the fact that for most programs a student will generally get the same exact classes to fulfill the reqs, but in your case and from what it seems like you're looking for, if I were you, I would got o SCU. It has that nice combo of having a smaller student body where you can get some more personal attention from professors (if you seek it), graduate in a timely fashion, get good local exposure for your desired field, and still be able to get a traditional college social life with a little extra effort.
I've never really researched UCD's or UCSB's programs so I can't draw the compaisons or contrasts.
Go with SCU because since it is the cheapest it will be best on your wallet. Smaller class size is a good plus because as an undergrad you want to know that the teachers have a focus on you and not just the graduate students.
Also, since it is in Silicon Valley it will give you lots of opportunities to intern and work with major high-tech companies since you are a CS major.
SCU is just a lesser-known school, but it is certainly one that is up and coming and well worth attending.