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Cal poly slo vs ucsd engineering?

rundog2293rundog2293 Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
edited March 2011 in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
(posted on both Cal poly and UCSD forums)

Right now, I'm losing it because i REALLY cannot decide between the two. I've been told that both have solid engineering programs, especially in Computer Engineering.

I understand the research oriented vs the "hands-on" philosophies between the two universities. And cost is not a problem, I'll be paying back about the same amount after I graduate either university.

Does anyone else have any more in depth opinions about the two? Thank you.
Post edited by rundog2293 on

Replies to: Cal poly slo vs ucsd engineering?

  • AdesignerAdesigner Registered User Posts: 63 Junior Member
    Unless you are applying for graduate school, there ain't going to be any research for you to do in your undergraduate education in any university you will be attending. There is no such thing as "research oriented" undergraduate degrees. The correct understanding is theory vs practicality concepts. The ladder being Cal Poly in terms of how students are being taught, but much of the knowledge and information learned are still based on theory. If you are attending school for your Ph.D., then yes, UCSD will be the choice for research. Also consider what you are majoring in. So in your case, it looks like you are looking in some kind of Engineering or Computer Engineering. Not all careers do not even have a need for a Ph.D education, unless you want to do research or be a professor for your career Work experience is really the big factor in advancing in your career especially in the business world and even if you are applying to graduated schools, many universities want a number of years of work experience (5 years for Business at top executive MBA schools) just to apply for graduate school.
  • OsakaDadOsakaDad Registered User Posts: 1,200 Senior Member
    Tour both schools and get to know some teachers and students if you can. Then go with your gut as to which you feel most comfortable with. You know the basic differences between the schools already. Now focus on what you really want. Do you want a job prior to or immediately upon graduation? Do you want to go to grad school? Do you want to have direct interaction with professors or are you OK with larger classes and TA's for some classes. Do you want to focus on Nor Cal? Or do you want a school with a bit more regional appeal? Make a list of pros & cons for both schools and choose the one with the most pros that your gut instinct agrees with.
  • rundog2293rundog2293 Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
  • HPuck35HPuck35 Registered User Posts: 1,858 Senior Member
    I have visited both schools but am more familiar with Cal Poly as my son is a student there. They definitely have different "feels" to them. You really do need to visit and, if possible, spend some time at each one.

    I will beg to differ with one of the previous posters that said that undergraduates don't get involved in research at a reearch university. I went to school on the east coast at a research unversity and was very much involved in some research. It wasn't until my junior year, but a professor put together a team of himself, a couple of grad students and several undergrads and we got a NASA research contract. You kind of had to go looking for such an opportunity, but they were there. It was the undergrads that did most of the grunt work to be sure, but there was some real research being done by us. It was fun and I learned a lot. It even made my classes more enjoyable as I could then see where they were all going.

    My son (at Cal Poly) really didn't get involved in any real hands on stuff until his junior year. You could have done so earlier, and he looked into it, but all the leardership/direction was coming from the upperclassmen and he would have been their "tech" and he wasn't into that. Could be different with different projects, but that was his experience.

    So, on the research/hands on question, I see a difference between the two but not a great one.

    IMHO, you can't go wrong with either school.
  • LaLew5LaLew5 Registered User Posts: 49 Junior Member
    can't speak to UCSD's program, but do know that Cal Poly does require a senior project. Many are applied, but can have a research component. Senior Projects - Cal Poly Computer Science Department

    There are also research opportunities to work with the professors - availability depends on needs, etc. Faculty - Cal Poly Computer Science Department

    Advantage of a smaller school like cal poly is you get to know professors and with a little initiative can get involved. Advantage of a bigger school like UCSD is there may be more research going on. UCSD does have an undergraduate research program (remember hearing about it at college tour). Undergraduate Research Opportunities

    Like many have said, you can't go wrong with either school as far as quality of education. There may be other factors that come into play for you. Good luck!
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