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Carleton College vs University of Minnesota TC College of Science and Engineering

SkyDonutSkyDonut 3 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hey all, I have to admit I am rather desperate, I've been offered admission into both Carleton and the UofM CSE but I'm really lost as to which school I should choose. Carleton is more expensive then the UofM for me but as someone who tentatively wants to major in either Chemical or Biomedical Engineering or Computer Science I am rather unsure what I should choose. I haven't really found too much of a difference between campuses and while Indo admit I probably like Carleton's a bit more, I don't know how well it will prepare me for engineering. Speaking of engineering, I am looking into the 3-2 program but I really do not want to leave it to chance that I will not get in to Wash U in St. Louis after 3 years. Can anyone give me their opinion on how hard the 3-2 program is to gain admission, and whether there are other ways to pursue engineering at Carleton. Beyond that, what do you all think I should choose, the UofM or Carleton?
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Replies to: Carleton College vs University of Minnesota TC College of Science and Engineering

  • SkyDonutSkyDonut 3 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Hey all, I have to admit I am rather desperate, I've been offered admission into both Carleton and the UofM CSE but I'm really lost as to which school I should choose. Carleton is more expensive then the UofM for me but as someone who tentatively wants to major in either Chemical or Biomedical Engineering or Computer Science I am rather unsure what I should choose. I haven't really found too much of a difference between campuses and while Indo admit I probably like Carleton's a bit more, I don't know how well it will prepare me for engineering. I know CSE's engineering program is really good but I don't know if Carleton's name will carry me further. Speaking of engineering, I am looking into the 3-2 program but I really do not want to leave it to chance that I will not get in to Wash U in St. Louis after 3 years. Can anyone give me their opinion on how hard the 3-2 program is to gain admission, and whether there are other ways to pursue engineering at Carleton. Beyond that, what do you all think I should choose, the UofM or Carleton?
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  • MusakParentMusakParent 967 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    What do you mean you didn't find much difference between campuses? We have visited both and found them polar opposites, though they both have excellent faculty. If you are committed to an engineering degree, absolutely go to the U of MN. The percentage of students who start a 3-2 and complete it is pretty small. I think not because they couldn't but because they want to stay at their current school and find other interests. If you are more interested in a liberal arts education, then maybe Carleton. Both my husband and I are CSE alum. Their tech degrees are highly respected and not just in the Midwest. The average ACT scores in CSE are actually a little higher than Carleton.

    Are finances a consideration at all? My kid is leaving behind a couple more elite schools to likely attend either UW-Madison or U of MN TC. At half the price and as a student interested in grad school that feels like a no brainer. My kid got nice merit and personal attention from both when we expected none.

    Good luck!
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  • SkyDonutSkyDonut 3 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    edited April 5
    @MusakParent Thanks for your reply, in terms of campuses, of course I saw a difference, I just don’t have a preference between a big or small campus. Would you say that the essential name of Carleton will take me further? Or will CSE’s name be just fine for college and a prestigious graduate school? Finances are a definitely more expensive at Carleton but at this point I have figured out how to finance both so I am just looking for the better school for me now,.
    edited April 5
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  • UMNMomUMNMom 55 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Carleton is a Liberal Arts school, UMN CSE is an Engineering school. Those are two different things and the education you get at each will reflect it. While Carleton might have alumni social networks that help you, I don't think that Carleton's name will carry you further in the engineering world. Because UMN is so highly respected as an engineering school, many companies have associations with the U that lead to great jobs after school. As an engineer who graduated from the U many years ago, I can say that I've never come across someone who graduated from Carleton in engineering and wouldn't even think to go recruit there now.
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  • CollegeGrad79CollegeGrad79 100 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited April 5
    I like both colleges and agree with what has been said here. Just wanted to mention that I know a few students who attended Carleton, majoring in Sciences such as Chemistry, Phyiscs, and maybe Geology, who went on to earn PhDs in Engineering from prominent engineering programs.. They are very sharp professionals/academics. None of the folks I knew were in Carleton's 3-2 program.
    With regard to Computer Science, Carleton grads have no problem being recruited and many work in the top firms in the US.
    Agree with what has been said about low % of students actually taking advantage of a 3-2 program at most colleges. Also, you make such good friends at Carleton, that it would be difficult for a student to leave Northfield after junior year and "transfer" to another college for the final 2 years.
    edited April 5
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  • MusakParentMusakParent 967 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    I used to hire CS new grads and have a spouse that still does and those with a BA out of a LAC (including Carleton) have a different skill set then the BS grads out of CSE. The CSE degree is a much more technical degree. That said, many go on to do like MS in software engineering or something like that and do great. I just think your job prospects may be slightly different depending on a BA at an LAC or a BS in an engineering program if you're looking at going directly to work after graduating.

    I love LAC's personally and was sure my kid was going to end up at one, but if you're really committed to a technical path I would choose the U of MN. If you are considering grad school, it is still good to consider the finances if any debt would be involved to make Carleton happen. U of MN grads that do well launch to all sorts of fantastic grad programs, of course so do Carleton's.

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  • RockySoilRockySoil 140 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    the problem with 3-2 programs is social more than academic - how many kids want to leave all of their friends, miss Senior year, and transfer to somewhere they don't know anybody? Check out some of the 3-2 forums on CC if you want to know more. Carleton is a magical place, but if you want to pursue engineering/cs, my advice would be to save your money and go to U of M for four years, work hard and graduate with very marketable degree. Good luck with your college choice!
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  • pn24601pn24601 50 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    For CS, I recommend a undergrad degree in something else with perhaps a CS minor and then a MS in CS. Ideally the undergrad degree in an area you’d like to apply CS to after graduation. Can’t speak to the other engineering options. Sounds like maybe chemistry or biology would work well.
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  • katrina1katrina1 105 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    For what it is worth, Carleton is not ABET certified and U of M Twin Cities is. Here is a link to some information:

    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/engineering-majors/1977406-is-the-abet-accreditation-important.html

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