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Texas A&M Computer Science ETAM

CSCE23CSCE23 1 replies1 threads New Member
Hey there, I'm a freshman at A&M right now. I've heard many many things that Comp Sci doesn't accept people who weren't auto admit for the ETAM process. I had a rough first semester and so I think I'll finish the year with a 3.3 - 3.4. Am I still competitive or am I done for?
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Replies to: Texas A&M Computer Science ETAM

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80204 replies720 threads Senior Member
    The CS department will be better able to answer your question, if it is willing to.

    There used to be stats on the ETAM web pages, but they appear to be no longer available.
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  • GenPattonGenPatton 11 replies0 threads New Member
    CSCE23, Please post what you found out. I believe the TAMU ETAM SHAM is egregiously problematic. It is way too much of a gamble to attend A&M for any program that requires entry to a major after the fact of admission. It is like, telling high school seniors, you got admitted and then a year later, saying, "Oh by the way, we don't have enough space in your selected degree plan. Pick something else or hit the road." In my opinion, if you passed the classes--even if you were a C student (although you were an A student), you should be able to select what undergrad degree you wish to pursue. Even if you were to be offered your second choice--it is just that, your second choice--not what you may want to spend you time and money pursuing. The more I learn about this process, the more upsetting it is. If ETAM is not canceled or drastically changed, A&M is not a good choice at all.
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  • SybyllaSybylla 4358 replies56 threads Senior Member
    edited February 6
    ETAM is the standard for many competitive eng programs. What often happens in less selective non competitive programs is that your kid drops or is weeded out, maybe as a sophomore, maybe even at the end of soph year, because say, the math sequence is slower, physics isn't introduced until later etc. The thing about TAMU is that the entry to pre engineering is very generous because of the various options. This takes into account the oft cited stat that drop or weed out in eng might be 50%. Does the drop and weed out reflect the entry route? I don't know. TAMU won't have to change this competitive entry option, it will just get more and more selective about admission to pre eng. UT doesn't need ETAM when all their admits have top stats.
    edited February 6
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  • GenPattonGenPatton 11 replies0 threads New Member
    Sybylla, What other competitive UNDERGRADUATE engineering programs give students an ultimatum to either change their desired intended degree plan or leave the university, although they haven't failed a single class and could very well be a B average or even A average student? I'm aware of graduate and professional schools having extremely limited slots so they take only a select few and may or may not select alternate(s), who are notified of such status. The lowest ranked person in medical school is called "Doctor". If he or she was passing, they weren't asked to change their occupation after their first year. In this instance, we are discussing an undergraduate degree. These HS students jumped through hoops to get into the university and then more hoops to get accepted into engineering. I believed the first general year was to help them decide what they liked best or were the best at--not to help them affirm their choice, only to deny them entry into it. It is the student's choice. If they barely scraped by with a C in Chemistry and they decide to go for Chemical Engineering--yes, they fail out but that is their choice to make. TAMU has turned into a gamble and that saddens me because I really want my child to attend there. Seriously, what other top rated school does this to students who are making the grade?
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  • WTXMamaWTXMama 68 replies6 threads Junior Member
    edited February 6
    FYI... Purdue University admits students to engineering after a trial year. Dr. Banks, TAMU's Dean of Engineering, used to be at Purdue. I don't know of any other school that does this, but I haven't really looked around for one.
    edited February 6
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  • WTXMamaWTXMama 68 replies6 threads Junior Member
    I should have said Purdue admits students to engineering MAJORS after a trial year. I don't know what's required or whether there's an auto-admit GPA for admission to a major. I would imagine it's very competitive.
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  • pbleighpbleigh 249 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Don't give up and make sure you put a lot of thought into your ETAM application and essays. Here are some comments I found on the aggie reddit from someone in the CSCE department that indicate it will be difficult but not impossible:

    [–]TAMUCSCE 1 point 12 months ago
    The spring ETAM round's "3.8" is actually more like 3.7 and actually is a *median* GPA and not a minimum. The evaluation is holistic so there's not a strict GPA cutoff. The minimum accepted was around 3.0 and the maximum denied was around 3.4. About 2/3 were auto-admits, so about 1/3 were not. About 60% of the first round applicants were admitted. Effectively none of the later round applicants were admitted.
    External transfer GPA medians/minimums were higher, admission percentages lower, and so on.

    [–]TAMUCSCE 1 point 1 month ago
    Just a few points. 3.4 GPA is not hopeless for CPSC and CECN. The engineering advisor was mistaken about CECN being easier to get in to than CPSC. CPSC and CECN have pretty much been limited to first choice ETAM applicants recently. CEEN admissions are judged by a different committee than CECN--be sure to apply to both. If you have a 3.4 GPA, try hard to get good grades in the math, science, and 102. That's going to go farther than weaker grades in those with core curriculum bringing up the average. If you have time do computer-related activities, but given a choice between good grades and activities, pick good grades.

    –]TAMUCSCE 2 points 1 month ago
    Well I know that MEEN accepted at least *some* students who were not auto-admit in spring 2018 and spring 2019. I don't know how many, but I know the number was not zero (every major accepted students who were not auto-admit in spring 2019).
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  • EggscapgoatsEggscapgoats 125 replies3 threads Junior Member
    edited February 6
    @GenPatton Actually, University of Wisconsin has "progression requirements" for freshman engineers to meet in order to get into their desired engineering major, and yes, it is based on GPA. And no, a 2.0 wouldn't cut it. I've heard that Purdue also has similar requirements. Don't know about other schools, whether they do or don't.

    I really don't think it's a "gamble" for freshmen who obtained a strong foundation in math, chemistry, physics, programming, etc in high school. If they truly understand the material, they will do fine for ETAM. For the kids who didn't take or excel in the advanced science/math classes in HS, then yes, ETAM is more of an unknown.

    Then again, there are LOTS of engineering schools that don't have any type of ETAM process.
    edited February 6
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  • SybyllaSybylla 4358 replies56 threads Senior Member
    Uminn does this (it has a top chen program) while it has 3.2 as the admit guideline, the average CSE admit is 3.6.
    The selective admission is to make sure the eng admits graduate as engineers. CS is just very popular so it will be competitive. I am sure you can google plenty of competitive engineering programs and find similar set ups but none that are competitive will have the admit rate to pre eng that TAMU has across all pathways.
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  • GenPattonGenPatton 11 replies0 threads New Member
    Thanks for the feedback. When a child makes great grades in HS, I always wonder if the HS is just handing out too many A's and not really preparing the students for college. I have often suspected that all the AP classes aren't really college level. But when a child scores well on the National AP exam and scores well on the Math section of ACT/SAT,--you just kind of expect they will do reasonable at college. What else are you going to base it on? There are a lot of distractions, yes, but it isn't like they needed reminded of homework, projects, or study time in HS. I am hearing and reading that many freshman get a wake up call their first semester, at TAMU that seems to doom them for a major of their choosing and I think this is less than ideal. With the current system, there are safer options than TAMU especially if a student has a clear choice in mind of which field of study. What impact is it having on TAMU engineering graduates in finding employment that ended up with unaccredited degrees? Isn't there salary differentials?
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  • WTXMamaWTXMama 68 replies6 threads Junior Member
    There really isn't much else on which universities can base their predictions of future student performance. A student with high national test scores should do fine, in theory. But people are unpredictable. The student who didn't have to be nagged to finish his work was fine when he still lived at home. Away from home, he might be distracted and spend too much time playing or he might be dreadfully homesick and lonely. He doesn't spend 35 hours a week at school anymore. His time is less structured. There's a lot of logistical stuff to figure out in those first months of college and some kids are more resilient or focused than others.

    For the TAMU engineering student, I have read again and again on this forum that 80%+ of students ETAM to their first choice major. It's that's correct, it's a pretty high number. Students who don't gain admission to their first choice could (unexpectedly) find something else they really like. Or they might transfer into another university's Computer Science program (or whatever), and graduate, probably securing a job before they leave school.

    I don't know what you mean by "unaccredited degrees".
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  • TexasMTDadTexasMTDad 256 replies0 threads Junior Member
    We did a campus visit this past week and were told:

    2.0 minimum to stay in program
    3.5 gets you automatic admission to major of your choice
    83% of students get major of choice
    90% get first or second major

    Unless you are planning on being at the bottom 10% of your class, I think you'll be fine.
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  • SybyllaSybylla 4358 replies56 threads Senior Member
    edited February 10
    I am pretty sure though, there is is nuance in those figures. Certainly break down BME and CS and it won't look like only the bottom 10% don't gain entry. This is also ignores the drop out before ETAM and those that don't bother applying to ETAM when they see they are not going to get what they want. There is an element of self selection in this process.
    edited February 10
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  • TexasMTDadTexasMTDad 256 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Sybylla wrote: »
    I am pretty sure though, there is is nuance in those figures. Certainly break down BME and CS and it won't look like only the bottom 10% don't gain entry. This is also ignores the drop out before ETAM and those that don't bother applying to ETAM when they see they are not going to get what they want. There is an element of self selection in this process.

    fair enough... but in my mind, if the student does the work, they shouldn't have to worry about it. If they don't think they're going to be able to do the work, then maybe consider a different path.
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  • pbleighpbleigh 249 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @TexasMTDad I'm curious was the statistics you were told for the Fall 2019 semester or for a specific major? Because I read on A&Ms ETAM webpage the following:

    "Spring 2019 ETAM Placement Outcomes

    88.1% of eligible engineering students were placed in their first- or second-choice major.
    82.0% of eligible engineering students were placed in their first-choice major."
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  • TexasMTDadTexasMTDad 256 replies0 threads Junior Member
    pbleigh wrote: »
    @TexasMTDad I'm curious was the statistics you were told for the Fall 2019 semester or for a specific major? Because I read on A&Ms ETAM webpage the following:

    "Spring 2019 ETAM Placement Outcomes

    88.1% of eligible engineering students were placed in their first- or second-choice major.
    82.0% of eligible engineering students were placed in their first-choice major."

    I didn't personally ask for nor verify the statistics. I'm just passing along what we were told at the Engineering information session on Friday.
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  • rosegeorosegeo 179 replies5 threads Junior Member
    They really should be required to provide the statistics by major so incoming students k ow what they are up against. They used to publish the average and minimum non auto admit gpa by major but that was even misleading since it didn’t indicate what percent were auto admits. The average being a 3.3 from the non auto applicants with 95% being auto is a very different scenario than if the percent of auto was very low. It isn’t fair to expect kids to make a decision without all the information.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80204 replies720 threads Senior Member
    GenPatton wrote: »
    Sybylla, What other competitive UNDERGRADUATE engineering programs give students an ultimatum to either change their desired intended degree plan or leave the university, although they haven't failed a single class and could very well be a B average or even A average student?

    Many others have a similar first-year-engineering system, but have auto-admit-to-major GPAs lower than the 3.5 used at Texas A&M:

    Purdue, 3.2
    Minnesota, 3.2
    Penn State, varies by major, listed publicly on web site
    Ohio State, varies by major, listed publicly on web site
    Virginia Tech, 3.0
    Michigan, 2.0
    Pittsburgh, 2.0
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  • TexasMTDadTexasMTDad 256 replies0 threads Junior Member
    ucbalumnus wrote: »
    GenPatton wrote: »
    Sybylla, What other competitive UNDERGRADUATE engineering programs give students an ultimatum to either change their desired intended degree plan or leave the university, although they haven't failed a single class and could very well be a B average or even A average student?

    Many others have a similar first-year-engineering system, but have auto-admit-to-major GPAs lower than the 3.5 used at Texas A&M:

    Purdue, 3.2
    Minnesota, 3.2
    Penn State, varies by major, listed publicly on web site
    Ohio State, varies by major, listed publicly on web site
    Virginia Tech, 3.0
    Michigan, 2.0
    Pittsburgh, 2.0

    And I only see 2-3 of those programs who has as good of a reputation as TAMU.
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