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Transferring to Amherst College

Userr001Userr001 12 replies6 threads New Member
Hi, I read somewhere on Amherst's website that students are required to have '32 credits in the liberal arts curriculum' yet I'm not certain about what that actually means; quick side note, I'll be attending Hamilton College.

Please disregard past threads or past comments from my account; currently, I will be applying to certain transfer schools with better computer science programs in the long-run. I have a wonderful opportunity already at hand and another with a GT for Cornell in what I would like to do but I would like to know this information just in case my priorities change and I end up preferring a smaller LAC for CS.

Hamilton is well regarded and highly ranked and affordable, yet, from what I have heard, seen, and personally experienced, the CS department isn't as strong as I hoped for it to be. With a limited amount of profs and one of the best of the four profs available retiring, it feels as though the CS department is almost non-existent.

I like Amherst because it still has the open curriculum and it's in a relatively more urban environment with a strong CS department and wonderful FA for those with a lower EFC.

Now that I got that off my chest, how should I proceed to attempt to transfer to Amherst? Assuming that I would want to do so? My main concern currently is that I don't really understand by what they mean in regards to the credit system as I'm not really all that familiar with that stuff.

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Replies to: Transferring to Amherst College

  • apple23apple23 545 replies16 threads Member
    edited June 2016
    You may gain further understanding of the respective colleges' CS programs from this table by @ucbalumnus. Hamilton's key upper-level courses appear to be both more numerous and more frequently offered than Amherst's.

    edited June 2016
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  • merc81merc81 12152 replies207 threads Senior Member
    Since a "credit" has no universal value, the referenced Amherst wording can be said to have no meaning without further explanation, and may actually be a mistake related to a graduation requirement for the school, in that 32 full-semester courses are typically needed to graduate from Amherst College.
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  • apple23apple23 545 replies16 threads Member
    edited June 2016
    Transfer admission into highly selective liberal arts colleges can be notoriously difficult, and since it appears you may be unhappy with your current choice of a school, consideration of a gap year -- or perhaps community college enrollment, followed by the Cornell GT -- might be appropriate for your situation. That said, Hamilton CS grads do pretty well:

    edited June 2016
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  • Senior2016MSenior2016M 354 replies23 threads Member
    If you genuinely want to pursue CS, transferring from Hamilton to Amherst seems the height of foolery from my point of view. Cornell I could maybe see, but as an environment, it's sooooo much more stressful than a college experience ought to be (imo). However, if you want to have a broad ranging liberal arts experience, Amherst MAY have an advantage, but good luck getting a transfer place in your position.

    It's not that you can't do high level CS going to Amherst - it's the person not the college - but Hamilton is such an obvious advantage in this arena being the first LAC to institute CS (right?) and therefore having a far more established program with reputation and recruitment opportunities. Think carefully before you toss aside such an opportunity.
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  • rangeologerrangeologer 2 replies0 threads New Member
    Send your transcript to Amherst to have it reviewed (try the transfer dean). They will tell you which courses that they will accept for transfer, they did that for me. I can think of two people who graduated CS from Amherst, one is a PhD candidate at Yale, another is earning 6 figures in Silicon Valley.
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