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so worried

austinaustin Registered User Posts: 547 Member
Hey guys,
I might be going to CMU.
I am worried that I wouldn't be able to get a high GPA and that if I want a high GPA, I will have to spend all the time in books.
Do any of you guys have above a 3.6?
If so, then how much time do you spend studying everyday(on average)?
I am planning to go into Computer Engineering.
Post edited by austin on

Replies to: so worried

  • Ray111Ray111 Registered User Posts: 454 Member
    Austin I am a parent and Mechanical Engineer, I've done some work with CMU and also spent 4 weeks there a few years back at a Exec development class. I currently have a friend finishing his Chem Eng PhD there.

    CMU is a demanding school, the students I met and the Faculty I have worked with are top notch. I have recruited kids from the school with GPA's approaching 4.0. My impression is that you will have to spend considerable time with your studies, but it depends what type of student you are. Some students just get it, they don't have to spend much time studying as they just have that knack. They are also good at time management and the labs and papers just fly out. I was a good student but I didn't have that knack, endless pounding of the books and daily sessions at the Library were required. I guess it depends alot on how you see yourself.

    CMU will make you work especially in the early years when it's the natural weeding out process that goes on at any top engineering school. They have a good reputation and they aim to keep it so it will be a rigourus program for sure.
  • austinaustin Registered User Posts: 547 Member
    Thanks a lot Ray
  • Tony Montana OSTTony Montana OST Registered User Posts: 141 Junior Member
    any reason why you want a real high GPA? Grad school? I mean it is obviously good to have a high GPA but if you have below a 3.6 you can still get a good job. Really!

    CMU's ece department is among the best, sure GPA is important but it's not the "be all end all of life" etc etc, if they admitted you then they think you can do it.....focus on learning and deciding if you really are in the right major freshman year rather then worrying about graduating with a 2.6 vs 3.4 vs 3.1 vs. 3.8
  • Ray111Ray111 Registered User Posts: 454 Member
    What matters to companies to the first order are your field of study, where you went and how well you did. Then they will get into the what you did if you make it past the first hurdle. Jobs are competitive and no one can forecast what they will be in the future. Achieve the highest GPA you can achieve in college, in a peer to peer comparison the higher achieving person may carry the day.
  • MarilynMarilyn Registered User Posts: 3,290 Senior Member
    Presumably true story told by the CMU SCS Admin when we were there:

    One year Microsoft hired the lowest person in the graduating CS class - number 135. The next year they called and said, "Please send us all your 135th students!".

    Not sure if the ECE major is of similar repute but I'm sure it's at least close!

    This is one of the reasons our S picked CMU over other top rated (and cheaper) schools.
  • KrazyKowKrazyKow Registered User Posts: 1,526 Senior Member
    It's important to remember that your GPA doesn't necessarily reflect all your knowledge that is relevant to a job you might be hired for. There are plenty of people who might not have as high of grades as they could, but it's because of time commitment to research, jobs, and contributing to the open source community (yes, we're geeks at CMU). What matters is your ability to contribute to the company, and GPA is only one indicator of that. You might find, though, that for internships or scholarships they will only consider people above a certain GPA, say 3.0 or 3.5.
  • cmonyukcmonyuk Registered User Posts: 254 Junior Member
    I'm a Freshman in ECE, probably going the CE route as well. I had a 4.0 last semester, and I think I can keep it this semester.

    I never got straight A's in high school, not even one semester, and I went to a non-competative public school. But somehow CMU's classes are just so much better, and I actually enjoy doing homework. Never thought I'd see the day. As a CIT student shooting for ECE, you'll be taking 4 classes and CSW, which is a pass-fail course that doesn't matter even a little bit. Your classes will be: 1. Intro to ECE, 2. Calc at some level or Concepts in Math if you're done with calc (show off :p), 3. Programming 15-100 or 15-111, 4. Interp. and Arg. or another humanities class (I highly recommend getting Interp out of the way.)

    I spent 4 hours per week on ECE, 2 hours per week programming (now I'm in 15-111 and I spend more like 8 hours per week), 3-5 hours per week on Interp (depending on if a large paper was due), and 2-3 hours per week on Calc 3D. That totals to about 12 hours outside of class per week, or 2 hours a day if you spread your work out evenly and don't work on one day.

    The key is to balance your classes. Intro to ECE was heavy, but intro to programming was light. Interp tends to be time consuming but easy. Calc is just average.

    Now, I'm taking Intro to Econ, which is apparently much harder first semester, but it's light for me because I have some Econ background. Don't take the AP econ tests if you're going to CMU; you will not get worthwhile credit. Also, I'm taking 15-111, which is a heavy class, EPP, which is light, Concepts in Math, and Probability (36-217) which are both average difficulty.

    So, expect to spend the same amount of time outside of class as inside of class on homework if you want a good GPA. You still have another 16 hours every day to do whatever you want (perhaps sleep?) so I wouldn't worry about being buried in books.
  • KrazyKowKrazyKow Registered User Posts: 1,526 Senior Member
    It is, however, worth taking the econ AP tests if you're in computer science and plan on never taking econ again. The econ department won't recognize AP as a prerequisite to anything, but the CS department will grant credit for a category (distribution, general ed) requirement.

    Your mileage may vary as far as what people say about how time consuming/difficult various classes are. 15-100 varies by professor- usually it's an easy class, but there are one or two professors who try to cover much more material than necessary, making it a lot more time consuming. 36-217 should be an easy class, but there was a really bad professor a few semesters ago. I know many people who think concepts is really hard, but for others it's easy because they've seen the material before or because it comes naturally to them.

    I do agree that the key is balancing your classes. You should be able to figure out before the semester starts if it's going to be hard or easy, based on what other people have to say about the class.
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