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VT v/s UVA for computer science

eager2019eager2019 Registered User Posts: 25 Junior Member
Hello All,

Thank you in advance for your responses.

My son has applied to in-state UVA Engineering and VT Engineering.
His stats are good and we are (hopefully) expecting admission offers from both in early action process.

Just wanted to sort out where should he be heading too. We have toured both universities but just need opinon in our specific case.
We live in NoVa so UVA is preferred over VT as far as location and visiting home is concerned.
Intended major is Computer Science (in Engineering school)

1) UVA is 7k more for in-state fees per year.
2) UVA has 128 credits v/s VT has 123 credits for graduating.
3) He will have about 11-12 AP courses that can fetch him credits. We are hoping to use that to complete Engineering in 3 years to save some money.
4) Overall on the web, VT seems to have better review esp. for engineering however I see that grads from UVA earn more out of college. Is it because there are three times as many @VT and hence the average is less because of the spread?
5) He intends to pursue Masters, which one would be more reputable in that case to get admitted to other higher league universities?
6) Apart from business courses is there any other advantage that UVA offers
7) Which one has less competition to get courses, as this may be important if he wants to finish in 3 years.
8) Which one has more research opportunities?

Numbers for 2018 fall point UVA Engineering is still harder to get in than VT Engineering. Is that just again because VT is a larger school?

CS does not seem to be like a hard-core engineering subject, hence the dilemma is even deeper for us.

Thanks for all your feedback.
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Replies to: VT v/s UVA for computer science

  • Hokie_gl32Hokie_gl32 Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    They are both good programs, I'm not in that industry and can't really speak beyond that.

    Anyway I'd really caution against assuming he can do a full engineering curriculum in 3 years. There are a lot of sequential classes that would be relatively difficult to get around, especially 2 semesters worth. AP credits dont always translate to less timein college, usually just fewer classes in some semesters. I'd look at his classes, the curriculum, and prereqs for each critical path class and crunch those numbers.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,936 Senior Member
    Consider whether there is a secondary admission to the CS major based on college GPA.
  • dmvmomx2dmvmomx2 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    My kid was in a similar situation (accepted by both UVA and VT). They chose VT but they have a number of friends that went to UVA for CS. For my kid, the difference was the campus and the availability of a second major that was not offered at UVA. They didn't hate the UVA campus, but liked Tech a lot more. My kid is a 2nd year junior and loves it! Just as an aside, my kid says that the engineering program overall is better at Tech but CS on its own is good at both VT and UVA.

    To address your question about the numbers (salary and competitiveness), I think the statistics are hard to compare. There are more engineering students at VT so I'm guessing the average salary after graduation is lower. And in terms of admission, VT may not seem as competitive because again, they admit more students, and more importantly, they do not use the common app.

    For classes, my kid has not had any trouble getting the classes they want. They can graduate next year, but will go for 4 years to get the double major.



  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,182 Senior Member
    I doubt he can graduate in 3 years - most Engineering majors need 5 years, taking 4 would be shorter than most. This is in part because the classes are sequential - you MUST take them in the exact right order, over 8 semesters (Gen Eds will be sprinkled in and aren't usually sequential).

    VTech would be better for Engineering - that's their specialty after all.

  • GreymeerGreymeer Registered User Posts: 475 Member
    "I see that grads from UVA earn more out of ..."

    Not really.

    UVA, MD, JHU, VPI all have the same salary range for CS. Because salary is primarily determined by where you live. Most of these graduates remain in the VA, MD areas surrounding the universities.

    Salary Scattergram halfway down...
    https://www.ivyachievement.com/computer-science-rankings/

    "5) He intends to pursue Masters, which one would be more reputable in that case to get admitted to other higher league universities?"

    Probably UVA.

    "8) Which one has more research opportunities?"

    Probably VPI.

    "Numbers for 2018 fall point UVA Engineering is still harder to get in than VT Engineering. Is that just again because VT is a larger school?"

    Most likely due to 3 things UVA has fewer number of slots to fill and more competitive pool (sat scores), and UVA has a higher yield rate so they offer fewer students to fill their CS class.

    Don't worry, both schools offer very servicible CS degrees so you really can't go wrong.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,936 Senior Member
    edited January 10
    MYOS1634 wrote:
    I doubt he can graduate in 3 years - most Engineering majors need 5 years, taking 4 would be shorter than most.

    Average (they probably intend to say median) CS program length is 4.00 years at both UVA and VT, presumably because both are on the higher end of admission selectivity (stronger incoming students => fewer of them graduate late).

    http://profiles.asee.org/profiles/7643/screen/23?school_name=University+of+Virginia
    http://profiles.asee.org/profiles/7751/screen/23?school_name=Virginia+Polytechnic+Institute+and+State+University

    One important difference: VT has a secondary admission process to go from first year general engineering to a specific major. 3.0 college GPA gives admission to the desired major; otherwise, admission is competitive by GPA: https://enge.vt.edu/content/dam/enge_vt_edu/undergraduate/com_requirements/COM_GE.pdf

    At UVA, https://engineering.virginia.edu/sites/default/files/common/offices/undergraduate-programs-office/Files/2017-2018 Undergraduate Handbook.pdf page 28 implies that declaration of engineering major for those in the engineering division is non-competitive. However, you should ask directly to verify.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,936 Senior Member
    edited January 10
    Re: #5 and https://www.ivyachievement.com/computer-science-rankings/

    That link says that "MIT graduates have high starting salaries but are not as represented at top tech companies. This is probably not because they can’t get jobs at the top companies, but because they go to smaller, less established companies." But another explanation could be that MIT is a target for elitist employers (consulting, investment banking) that hire some of the graduates.

    Also, the count of graduates for UCB in that link appears to include only L&S CS, rather than also including EECS (which is listed as "Electrical and Electronics Engineering" in IPEDS, but most of whose students emphasize CS, based on enrollments in EE versus CS courses).
  • GreymeerGreymeer Registered User Posts: 475 Member
    ^ I thought that it was odd seeing CMU graduated 3300 CS degrees in 3 years. Where did that come from?

    They only enroll 150 per year.
  • lostaccountlostaccount Registered User Posts: 5,009 Senior Member
    edited January 10
    So I'll weigh in on MIT grads-some of whom are going to large tech companies. It is also true that many are going for top incubators or smaller start-ups in Boston or SF or starting their own. Others are going to investment banking and finance companies at what can only be described as obscene starting salaries. Those going to large tech companies get starting offers considerably above 100 plus large signing bonuses, & stock worth as much as their salaries (so maybe that graph only covers salary). I'm not sure that much would be very different for grads of other schools going to the same company tho-although MIT students are often hired nearly a year before they finish-same might be true about grads from other schools-don't know. All together, that graph seems to under-represent the renumeration for recent MIT grads-but maybe it is an older graph so it may under represent all the salaries.

    And while I am on the topic, elsewhere the OP was discussing AP classes. I can't say if this is true for VT, UVA or other schools but AP's are pretty worthless for computer science and engineering. At MIT calA/B/C was worth about a week and a half. Likewise for AP physics. It would be a really bad idea to opt out of the earlier math or science classes at MIT based on getting 5's on AP exams and A's in high school classes. Talk about drowning-that's what would happen.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,936 Senior Member
    edited January 10
    Re: #8

    2013-2016 would be a four year span... but even so, that would mean that CMU graduates over 800 computer science plus computer engineering majors per year (bachelor's degree). That is more than half of its total graduating students, and does not match IPEDS data that can be seen in https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=carnegie&s=all&id=211440#programs .
  • firstwavemomfirstwavemom Registered User Posts: 266 Junior Member
    Just to chime in on graduating in 3 years. My nephew started VT with about 30 AP credits. He will graduate in 3 years with a CS major.
  • GreymeerGreymeer Registered User Posts: 475 Member
    Just for clarification, I like the Ivy ranking because of their thoroughness of the comparisons to other rankings at the end.
  • lostaccountlostaccount Registered User Posts: 5,009 Senior Member
    The more I think about that graph, the odder I think it is. They rightly state that the low placement rate for MIT is not because MIT students can't find jobs in large tech companies but that many choose alternatives. That is correct. But then how can they simply ignore that possibility for graduates of all the other schools? That is nothing short of bizarre!
  • eager2019eager2019 Registered User Posts: 25 Junior Member
    Thank you every one for responses and insight. They are really helpful in providing more information for our situation.
  • sevmomsevmom Registered User Posts: 8,050 Senior Member
    Either would be a very good choice. I had one each in engineering at these two schools. At VT, there will be plenty of kids going back and forth between Blacksburg and NoVa. Blacksburg is a great place to visit, as is Charlottesville. Your son may or may not feel the need for a Masters degree. If he does pursue it, either school should provide a good foundation for acceptance to a graduate program (provided he does well in undergrad). If VT will be less expensive , that could certainly be a consideration. There is a different vibe to these two schools, so fit is another factor. Hopefully, he will be admitted to both so he has options. Good luck.
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