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CMU comp sci vs. Berkeley comp sci.

gnrfangnrfan Registered User Posts: 357 Member
edited December 2006 in Carnegie Mellon University
I live in California and I recently read an article about overcrowding at the UCs, with there being waiting lists to get onto waiting lists for the most popular classes and 900 students per class. Now I'm considering going to the East Coast and I've always been interested in Comp Sci and UCB. How you say CMU's program compares to Berkeley's. Would you still choose CMU if you could go to Berkeley for less?
Post edited by gnrfan on

Replies to: CMU comp sci vs. Berkeley comp sci.

  • KrazyKowKrazyKow Registered User Posts: 1,526 Senior Member
    What are you looking for in a school? If you want a smaller school where you have more interaction with professors, smaller classes, and plenty of opportunities for research jobs, then CMU might be a better choice. If you want a very busy, active campus with stuff always going on, Berkeley might be a better choice. I was advised by a professor that UCLA would be a better choice for grad school than undergrad because of the class sizes and amount of teaching done by TAs that don't want to teach. I imagine that similar arguments would apply to Berkley.
  • kanagawajinkanagawajin Registered User Posts: 150 Junior Member
    I have a friend (CS major) who got into UCB and CMU. He ended up choosing CMU (because it was too close to home for him), but he doesn't seem to like it too much here. As KrazyKow says, if you are looking for having a fun college life and lots of things going on on Campus, you should be in UCB.

    I, on the other hand, like it a lot here. I take academics very seriously (yah I'm Japanese...) and so does CMU. Also, I love how most people (except some girls) are (or act like they are) impressed when I tell them that I am a CS major, since it is the most selective program here haha...
  • mcpmcp Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    CS program at CMU is really excellent. Good faculty, good student body, small classes but loads of work. There are plenty opportunities of research. Students of CS program are sought after by top SC/Engineering/Consulting firms. Small class size makes learning fun(!). I opted for CMU.All CS classes are taught by Full time faculty

    University of Pittsburg is about 5 mins walk. Off campus social life is pretty good.
  • tb2588tb2588 Registered User Posts: 137 Junior Member
    Both CMU and Berkeley have exceptional CS programs. At that level, it's pretty much impossible to say which one is better unless you start delving into specifics. From what I've heard, Berkeley CS is very theory-oriented, but CMU definitely deals with a lot of theory as well. I'd say CMU is better known for robotics and the engineering-oriented aspects of CS.

    USN&WP ranks CMU, UCB, MIT, and Stanford as #1 for Ph.D's in CS.

    CMU is one of the most expensive schools in the country; UCB is significantly cheaper. I would absolutely say to go with UCB if that's all you cared about. The tuition you'd be paying at UCB would be saving you somewhere in the range of $30K per semester. I don't think the overcrowding is significant enough to make it worth paying that much extra for CMU. :)
  • sachitsachit Registered User Posts: 1,036 Senior Member
    i think as schools their the same. but if you wanna have fun, go to berkeley.

    and im the friend kanagawajin is talking about.

    EDIT: its not that bad though. if you know the right people, you can always find parties. and then there is always pitt.
  • FutureholdsFutureholds Registered User Posts: 571 Member
    I live in Berkeley and my son is looking at UCB and CMU for CS.
    Bad things about Berkeley
    1. You can take courses in CS for two years and still not get in to the major when you officially apply for junior year (unless you are accepted in the EECS major)
    2. Homeless people bugging you all day and even knocking on your dorm door and apt door (no clue how they get in)
    3. Not being able to get your classes and therefore taking 5-6 years to graduate.
    4. Telegraph avenue
  • tb2588tb2588 Registered User Posts: 137 Junior Member
    Heh. The homeless people seem to have a very poor strategy if they're asking for money from college students.

    I'm not sure how serious the situation is at Berkeley for CS majors. If it's going to take you 5 or 6 years just to get all the proper classes for graduation, I'd say it's probably worth the extra money to go to CMU. But if that's not going to be a huge problem, don't throw away your money. :)
  • NotAPrettyGirlNotAPrettyGirl Registered User Posts: 168 Junior Member
    I got into Berkeley and was comparing it to here before I ended up finding out I got NO financial aid at Berkeley (I'm from NJ). I love CMU. Plus, I applied to the wrong CS at Berkeley (the one easier to get into). Here you have security; it's hard but everyone's supportive and friendly. And if you consider yourself a dork.. here is DEFINITELY the place to go.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 30,485 Senior Member
    If you want to live on campus Berkeley isn't ideal either, what's it like at CMU?

    For a non-Californian, the financial differences were miniscule, the housing crunch and the impacted majors were big minuses so my son chose not to apply to Berkeley - it seemed, for him at least, like a better deal for grad school if he chooses to continue his studies.
  • Lakshya MLakshya M Registered User Posts: 1,597 Senior Member
    ^that is precisely what I thought when I chose not to apply to Berkeley.
  • itstoomuchitstoomuch . Posts: 1,745 Senior Member
    parent here; We loved CMU for '06 CMU grad. Guaranteed student housing for 4 years, free summer storage, wide variety room choices and apartment living, nice neighborhoods, parks. transportation. Direct PAT bus to airport.
  • itstoomuchitstoomuch . Posts: 1,745 Senior Member
    S (CMU, ME'06) and in MS, CS grad school, shares aptmt with Berk CS grad. Comparable experiences. Son has not had problems with CS, but he gets help from fellow TA's who had majored in CS as undergrad.
  • bruno123bruno123 Registered User Posts: 1,390 Senior Member
    [mathmom] Opinions about the CMU campus vary, but are generally favorable. Some of the residential neighborhoods close to CMU (Shadyside, Squirrel Hill) are really nice, with tree-lined streets and
    middle or upper-middle class housing. The western section of Shadyside bordering CMU (between Morewood and Aiken) is actually quite affluent, whereas the middle section (along Walnut Street) features several upscale shops and ethnic restaurants. Oakland (the home of the University of Pittsburgh) is on the other hand kinda ugly IMHO with plenty of weird people on the streets, but it has two small-sized museums (the Carnegie museums of art and natural history), a music hall, a public library, and several restaurants.

    The CMU campus itself is relatively small (compact) and borders a huge urban park (Schenley Park) which has attractions for both the summer and winter seasons. The academic buildings properly are definitely not the type of imposing historical sites you'd find e.g. in Oxford/Cambridge or some ivies like Yale, but they're OK, although some of the older ones (like Baker, Porter and Doherty halls) are a little bit on the rundown side IMHO. Over the past 10 years or so, CMU has however embarked on a major campus expansion program that led to several new buildings being either built from scratch or renovated (the University Center, the Purnell Center for the Arts, the Newell-Simon Hall, a new wing in Baker Hall, the new Margaret Morrison roof, as well as new residence halls like New House). The Gates Computing Center is also expected to be added in the near future.
  • bruno123bruno123 Registered User Posts: 1,390 Senior Member
    [mathmom] I forgot to mention also the brand new Roberts Hall, which is an appendix to the old ECE building (Hammerschlag Hall).
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