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UCSD or USC for Computer Science?? Please help

TwenmiTwenmi 231 replies13 postsRegistered User Junior Member
I'm a transfer student and both schools would cost me roughly about the same as tuition is being covered at both schools, so I just need to pay for my housing. I've visited both schools and I like them both a lot, so I wanted to ask here for some opinions because of a lot of the opinions from my friends and family automatically go to USC because of the name recognition.

Here are some of my thoughts about both schools

UCSD:
+Slightly stronger CS program.
+Start with a fresh slate in terms of GPA
+By the beach
+Guaranteed housing
-Class sizes are huge compared to USC
-The campus is relatively dead
-Location isn't the best for CS
-No entrepreneurial spirit


USC:
+Name recognition
+Strong alumni network
+Good social scene/school spirit/etc
+Much smaller class sizes
+Entrepeneurial spirit
-/+ LA might be a better area for CS?
-No guaranteed housing
-Do not start with a clean slate in terms of GPA
-The surrounding area is pretty rough
-CS program isn't a strong as UCSD's (csrankings list them at #15 while UCSD is listed at #10)


As you can tell I am very torn with my decision and would love some insight. Thank you
edited June 2018
4 replies
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Replies to: UCSD or USC for Computer Science?? Please help

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77240 replies673 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Are you admitted to the CS major at each school?
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  • simba9simba9 3250 replies20 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 2018
    For plain, old CS, I'd rate the two schools pretty much the same. Some rankings have USC CS higher while others have UCSD CS higher. No hiring manager going to differentiate between the two, so ignore the rankings.

    Looking through the two programs, is there one with a specialization you like more? UCSD has a bioinformatics specialization, while USC has specializations in computer games, business, and computer engineering. I tend to think of UCSD when it comes to things like big data and bioinformatics, while I think of USC when it comes to the use of computers for entertainment purposes, like movies and games.
    edited June 2018
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  • TwenmiTwenmi 231 replies13 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @ucbalumnus I was admitted to CS at UCSD and CSBA at USC but I called my advisor at USC and they said I was free to switch to CS if I want to as I'm already in Viterbi
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77240 replies673 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Try mapping out the course work you will need at each school to determine (a) how many quarters/semester it will take, and (b) how interesting the required and elective courses will be.

    Also, why is "clean slate for GPA" a consideration? Presumably, your prior GPA is good, since you got admitted to these schools for CS. However, it would be surprising if either school included your prior GPA at a different college (other than other UCs for UCSD) in GPA calculation for its own purposes, but graduate and professional schools will want to see all college records if you apply to them.
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