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Yale vs Brown vs UChicago vs Harvey Mudd vs Berkeley for Computer Science

royalflush2020royalflush2020 1 replies1 threads New Member
I was admitted to these schools, but I can't visit any of them. I want to major in computer science, and also have some interest in math and economics. I also value the schools that offer combined bs/ms degrees. Which would be the best option?
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Replies to: Yale vs Brown vs UChicago vs Harvey Mudd vs Berkeley for Computer Science

  • RelicAndTypeRelicAndType 200 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited April 6
    Wow, congratulations! How well do you see yourself in an engineering college? If that's a stretch it might rule out Mudd, which would be a start. If it's not and you're attracted to that kind of place, it would militate in favor of Mudd.
    edited April 6
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 82767 replies738 threads Senior Member
    Net price and debt at each?

    For UCB, are you in EECS or L&S?

    What do you think of general education requirements?

    Harvey Mudd: very heavy
    Chicago: heavy
    Yale: moderate
    UCB: moderate
    Brown: very light
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  • royalflush2020royalflush2020 1 replies1 threads New Member
    edited April 6
    @ ucbalumnus
    For Berkeley I'm in EECS.

    I would prefer to not have strict general education requirements, but if most of the requirements can be satisfied with STEM classes, then it doesn't concern me as much.
    edited April 6
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 82767 replies738 threads Senior Member
    @ ucbalumnus
    For Berkeley I'm in EECS.

    I would prefer to not have strict general education requirements, but if most of the requirements can be satisfied with STEM classes, then it doesn't concern me as much.

    Note that Harvey Mudd's general education requirements are heavy in both STEM and HSA areas.

    https://www.hmc.edu/academics/common-core-curriculum/
    https://www.hmc.edu/hsa/curriculum/graduation-requirements/ (11 HSA courses, including a distribution, a concentration, and writing)
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  • merc81merc81 11676 replies199 threads Senior Member
    Harvey Mudd: Top level programs in CS, math and, through CMC and Pomona, economics. Purely undergraduate focused. Not an engineering school as stated above.

    Brown: Excellent for CS, math (particularly applied) and economics. Notably flexible curriculum.

    Berkeley: Highly regarded for CS and economics. Consider whether potentially large class sizes (1000+ students in some instances) would hamper your experiences.

    U Chicago: Superb programs with renowned faculty in economics and math.

    https://ideas.repec.org/top/top.usecondept.html

    https://ideas.repec.org/top/top.uslacecon.html
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 82767 replies738 threads Senior Member
    merc81 wrote: »
    Harvey Mudd: Top level programs in CS, math and, through CMC and Pomona, economics. Purely undergraduate focused. Not an engineering school as stated above.

    But much heavier in engineering majors than the other schools listed here.
    merc81 wrote: »
    Berkeley: Highly regarded for CS and economics. Consider whether potentially large class sizes (1000+ students in some instances) would hamper your experiences.

    Also math is highly regarded. Class sizes in CS can be very large due to the popularity of the major. However, other colleges also often have CS class sizes larger than normal for them (e.g. 200 at Harvey Mudd).
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2885 replies8 threads Senior Member
    It's like saying "Which $300,000 Toyota Camry is the best?" I would say none of them. Buy the one for $25,000. These are all private schools for the exception of Berkeley, which I'm assuming is out of state. My response would be none of them. A CS degree is ridiculously employable, and the vast majority of employers recruit locally or regionally. This means that it makes more sense to go to your own in-state school. Not only that...you don't even need a CS degree. You could take 12 hours of programming classes and find a good paying entry-level job after college...without even taking a single math class. If you or your parents have to take out $200k in loans to pay tuition...then it's not worth it.
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  • shmu61shmu61 21 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @ucbalumnus I would actually argue that Yale’s gen ed requirements are closer to UChicago’s than UC Berkeley’s. Yale has “distribution requirements” to take classes in certain broad subjects. As I understand it, Berkeley, on the other hand, has fewer of these requirements and even lets you opt out of many of them with APs. That said, UChicago has a core curriculum with seven subject areas required so it is VERY heavy on gen ed.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1876 replies23 threads Senior Member
    I would prefer to not have strict general education requirements, but if most of the requirements can be satisfied with STEM classes, then it doesn't concern me as much.
    That excludes UChicago.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 82767 replies738 threads Senior Member
    Since the OP is concerned mainly about general education in H/SS, here is the comparison:

    Harvey Mudd: 11 H + SS courses, including a 4 course concentration, a distribution across at least 5 different subjects, and at least one writing course beyond the required HSA 10. No AP credit generally.
    https://www.hmc.edu/hsa/curriculum/graduation-requirements/

    Chicago: 6 H + 3 SS = 9 quarter courses ≈ 6 semester courses, plus 3rd quarter (≈ 2nd semester) foreign language skill. AP credit allowed only for foreign language.
    http://collegecatalog.uchicago.edu/thecollege/thecurriculum/

    Yale: 2 H + 2 SS = 4 courses, plus 3rd to 5th semester foreign language skill (at least 1-3 courses at Yale), plus 2 writing courses (appears that they can double up on H or SS). No AP credit for these requirements, except that AP foreign language credit can reduce the number of courses in exchange for requiring a higher level.
    http://catalog.yale.edu/ycps/yale-college/distributional-requirements/

    UCB College of Engineering: 6 H+SS courses, 2 of which are reading and composition, 2 of which are upper level. No more than 2 lower level courses by AP credit.
    https://engineering.berkeley.edu/students/undergraduate-guide/degree-requirements/humanities-and-social-sciences/

    Brown: 2 writing courses. No AP credit for these courses.
    https://www.brown.edu/academics/college/degree/curriculum/writing-requirement
    https://www.brown.edu/academics/college/degree/curriculum
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 82767 replies738 threads Senior Member
    What stands out about Yale's H/SS requirements is the emphasis on foreign language (3rd semester minimum skill level is higher than at most other colleges, and at least 1 course is required at Yale even if entering with high placement), even though the total number of H/SS courses required is not huge.

    Of course, Brown would be favored by those who want to avoid most kinds of general education or distribution requirements.
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  • RelicAndTypeRelicAndType 200 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Brown is a very liberal-arts focused place. Some (by no means all) STEM kids would find that annoying. Harvey Mudd (sorry for calling it an engineering school, but I think my meaning was clear) is a place to be around other brilliant STEM kids who also enjoy H/SS in their place.

    Basically you could decide whether you want a liberal arts-focused university (Brown, Yale, U of C), a historical land-grant university that does everything, or whatever we're supposed to call Mudd. Once you decide that you've either made your choice or narrowed it down significantly.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 82767 replies738 threads Senior Member
    Brown is a very liberal-arts focused place. Some (by no means all) STEM kids would find that annoying. Harvey Mudd (sorry for calling it an engineering school, but I think my meaning was clear) is a place to be around other brilliant STEM kids who also enjoy H/SS in their place.

    For comparison, the percentage of engineering and CS majors at each, from College Navigator:
    Eng CS  School
    39  19  Harvey Mudd
    12   7  UCB, counting EECS in engineering category
     7  12  UCB, counting EECS in CS category
     6  11  Brown
     7   6  Yale
     1   5  Chicago
    
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  • merc81merc81 11676 replies199 threads Senior Member
    @RelicAndType: Mudd is tech-oriented by mission, and your advice to differentiate it on that basis seems sound.
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  • strike11strike11 2 replies1 threads New Member
    At Harvey Mudd, one of the most popular majors is a joint CS-Math B.S. This involves taking upper division classes in both subjects such as algorithms and abstract algebra, but you usually won't go as in depth into both. Additionally, every student is required to complete a concentration (basically a minor) in a field outside of stem. For you, this could be economics and you could take great classes at CMC, Pomona, Pitzer, or Scripps. If you want to get experience into all of these subjects, HMC might be the place for you. But remember, there's a lot more to college than just academics. Theres also school culture (HMC is a very small tight knit community) and social life (no greek life but still good parties).
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