Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community polls, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

Top comp sci schools

danieljvdmdanieljvdm Posts: 66Registered User Junior Member
edited September 2012 in Science Majors
I'm a highschool senior busy applying to colleges. My main interest is in computer science. Some of my top choices include Stanford, Columbia, U Chicago, and USC. What are some other "safe" schools that if I think I have a shot at those top ones I should be able to get in easily that have good computer science/software engineering programs?

Thanks!
Post edited by danieljvdm on
«1

Replies to: Top comp sci schools

  • b@r!umb@r!um Posts: 9,471Registered User Senior Member
    Some of the most influential universities in computer science include Carnegie Mellon (they set the industry standard in software engineering!), Georgia Tech and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. You'd find an abundance of courses and research activity at these big public universities, but you wouldn't get anywhere near the personal attention as at a smaller private university.

    The University of Washington has a top-ranked CS program and is particular popular because of its location in Seattle (home to many tech companies). The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is smaller and slightly less-selective but renown for the strength of its engineering programs. Northeastern has made a name for itself with its co-op programs.

    Prestige aside, most big universities have good CS programs. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville (in-state for you?) has a perfectly fine CS program too.
  • terencterenc Posts: 1,127Registered User Senior Member
    ^That list is pretty solid. CMU (for CS) is not easy to get into (maybe only slightly easier than Stanford/MIT).

    UIUC, UW, Ga Tech, and RPI are strong schools that are less selective than other top CS schools.
  • danieljvdmdanieljvdm Posts: 66Registered User Junior Member
    I'd prefer to look for more smaller private institutions (like Stanford) mainly for the sake of financial aid. Location is also a big deal - Seattle and Palo Alto are great locations to study at for obvious reasons.

    Also how did you know I was from Knoxville? Can't find it listed anywhere on my profile!
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 36,285Registered User Senior Member
    If you have a realistic chance at Stanford, you probably also have a realistic chance at the full ride scholarships at Georgia Tech (President's) and NCSU (Park). If you make National Merit Finalist, you may want to investigate Texas A&M.

    Depending on what you can afford, Minnesota, Virginia Tech, NCSU, Stony Brook, and Cal Poly SLO may be in range even at out of state list price.
  • danieljvdmdanieljvdm Posts: 66Registered User Junior Member
    I'm not sure what my chances at Stanford are.. my brother got in, but that doesn't exactly guarantee my passage. I'll look at those other colleges! Thanks.

    About GT - I visited there last year and my tour completely put me off. It could have been the guide though. Thoughts?
  • b@r!umb@r!um Posts: 9,471Registered User Senior Member
    Also how did you know I was from Knoxville? Can't find it listed anywhere on my profile!
    I did not know that you are from Knoxville! :) You mentioned in another post that you are from TN and Knoxville is the main campus of the University of Tennessee, if I remember correctly.
  • DRDM37DRDM37 Posts: 35Registered User Junior Member
    "About GT - I visited there last year and my tour completely put me off. It could have been the guide though. Thoughts?"

    We had a bad tour last summer, too. Our tour guide was showing the gym and the fun things around campus. When she got to a classroom, she said something like "I know you aren't interested in this part of the tour. Academics will be similar in any university". I was really surprised she didn't play up the quality at all.

    I've met recent grads at the local alumni group who are very positive about their education and experience at GT. It's still on my son's list.
  • danieljvdmdanieljvdm Posts: 66Registered User Junior Member
    Interesting. My only problems with GT is the location (a bit too close to home from me and I'm trying to get out of the South) and that tour... it's amazing what an influence it can have on a potential student. My tour guide was boring, slow, and didn't tell me anything that was unique to GT.
  • sumzupsumzup Posts: 799Registered User Member
    terenc wrote:
    UIUC, UW, Ga Tech, and RPI are strong schools that are less selective than other top CS schools.

    This is true for UW as a whole, but UW CSE has gotten pretty selective in recent years (you have to apply for the program separately). If you don't get into UW CSE through the "Direct Admit" process, then you have to take a gamble and see if you'll get in later on, which can be sort of risky if you're dead set on doing CS.

    That aside, Seattle's a great place and the department rocks, too. If you have any questions, let me know.
  • terencterenc Posts: 1,127Registered User Senior Member
    ^I was putting forth a relative ranking. The issue is how UW CSE compares in selectivity to Stanford, MIT, CMU SCS, Berkeley EECS/CS.
  • sumzupsumzup Posts: 799Registered User Member
    That's fine, I just wanted to point out that no one should come to UW without being a Direct Admit and simply expect to get into the CSE department. I've seen several people get burned by this.
  • GLOBALTRAVELERGLOBALTRAVELER Posts: 2,856Registered User Senior Member
    UW also has an Applied & Computational Math Sciences (ACMS) major that has a "discrete math and algorithms" option that allows some CSE courses. Also, the B.S. in Math (standard option) and the B.A. in Math both allow for a bunch of electives that can be in CSE.

    When a school is ultra-selective for the CS program, the Math major where you take the minimum amount of math courses to satisfy the degree and use the electives to take the CSE core and the "hot CS courses" like databases, networks, etc work just as well as the CSE major for software jobs.

    .....without all that stress about being admitted to some CS program.

    Your welcome :-)
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 36,285Registered User Senior Member
    However, if the CS major is extremely competitive to get into due to capacity limitations, the CS courses may be hard to get into for non-majors for the same reason. Someone considering majoring in math with CS electives may want to check whether this is the case.
  • QCstudentQCstudent Posts: 220Registered User Junior Member
    I'm warning all you new cats right now, watch out for Stony Brook CSE.
    www.cs.sunysb.edu

    With nearly 80 Professors, who are pioneers in their field, in the department already(that's more than most Ivy-leagues, and those name brand schools, and with the new CS building they will hire more, I've heard the goal is 110 quality Professors[including those who are jointly appointed])and graduates like the president of Stanford University, along with a new 100million dollar CS building now in construction, one of the top CS schools is easily Stony Brook University. The CS building alone will probably be the size of some small colleges, and if you take a look at their faculty, prepared to be impressed. Google, Microsoft, Apple actively recruit on campus. In fact, Google recommends all graduates in the world to read the book of one of the professors at Stony Brook before they interview with them. The department already has CEWIT, a core CS building, and now to keep up with growth, a new CS building. Not to mention the ongoing research they do in Brookhaven National lab.

    What's the best? It's arguably the most affordable CS program on earth, tuition is a pesky little 4000 per semester(although not easy to get into the department, and the 300 level classes are INCREDIBLY CHALLENGING, with MASSIVE projects).

    There you go, I let you in on a major secret. Don't believe me? Look at how the ACM team alone kicks Yale and Columbia's butt. One must be on some serious drugs to choose Columbia CS over Stony Brook CS -- especially when you compare the costs.
  • GLOBALTRAVELERGLOBALTRAVELER Posts: 2,856Registered User Senior Member
    However, if the CS major is extremely competitive to get into due to capacity limitations, the CS courses may be hard to get into for non-majors for the same reason. Someone considering majoring in math with CS electives may want to check whether this is the case.

    Yes, capacity limitations can be an issue. In my case (albeit, years ago), being the computational math major got me into the freshman/sophomore level CS courses with priority over everyone except for CS majors. The junior/senior level courses required me to ask the dean. The dean would look at the space and if I had the prereqs. Usually, it was not an issue because at the junior/senior level, the class size is much smaller. When you think of it, how many students are taking "CS-400 Cryptology"??

    But I agree, the space limitations will depend on the school.
    What's the best? It's arguably the most affordable CS program on earth, tuition is a pesky little 4000 per semester(although not easy to get into the department, and the 300 level classes are INCREDIBLY CHALLENGING, with MASSIVE projects).

    There you go, I let you in on a major secret. Don't believe me? Look at how the ACM team alone kicks Yale and Columbia's butt. One must be on some serious drugs to choose Columbia CS over Stony Brook CS -- especially when you compare the costs.

    I try to tell folks all the time, for a major like CS, there is no reason to spend a ton of money for tuition. There are more job openings than applicants for many positions.

    The way employers are hiring in the DC/MD/VA area, I tell folks that I could construct a curriculum using the local Maryland community colleges and the BA (not BS) program in Math (with a CS emphasis) or the traditional CS major from U-Maryland College Park or U-Maryland Baltimore County and have you prepared to be hired into software development immediately.
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.