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UTD vs UH for CS

kingaionkingaion Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
So UT Dallas or University of Houston for CS. I've heard very bad things about UTD in general, and very good things about UH's CS program.

However it's entirely possibly the bad things I've heard for UTD may not really apply to their CS department. I'd think it would be pretty good seeing as how Dallas is nearly as big of a technological hub as Austin is but maybe it isn't.

I would love some direct feedback from you guys though. Thanks.
Post edited by kingaion on
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Replies to: UTD vs UH for CS

  • kingaionkingaion Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    Still wondering about this, as it could be my options for Fall 2014. I'm asking here because things I've just heard around from random people could always be exaggerations and such, and I figure opinions from people already going to UTD/wanting to go there will have a lot more merit that from what I've just picked up around others.
  • PeaceOfMindPeaceOfMind Registered User Posts: 119 Junior Member
    Don't know much about UH for CS, but the UTDallas CS department is considered very strong not just by employers, but also by industry professionals. See: Telecom Expert Leads University's Big Data Efforts for Industry - News Center - The University of Texas at Dallas and also Team Wins First-of-its-Kind Google Research Award - UT Dallas News
  • kingaionkingaion Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    Ah, interesting. Thanks for the feedback, keep it coming anyone else that comes across this. The decision wouldn't come into play for quite a while, I just wanted to get some opinions in early.
  • goingnutsmomgoingnutsmom Registered User Posts: 1,585 Senior Member
    UTD is really trying to attract talent to it's campus and gives amazing scholarships. Some really bright kids (some majoring in CS) from families we know attend (on scholarship) and as far as I know like the school. Take a look at the overall SAT's stats for the admitting class and the stats are actually competitive with UT- Austin's. No info. though on UH CS dept. though as I don't know anyone who attends.
  • atomomatomom Registered User Posts: 4,525 Senior Member
    Not sure what "bad things" you've heard about UTD. It is a new, clean, safe, suburban campus. Dorms are very nice--all 3-person suites, everyone has his/her own bedroom.
    There are a lot of international students/grad students, diverse student body. High test scores (higher than UTA now). 88 NMFs in the freshman class this year, which has increased every year over the last few years. CS dept. has a very good reputation. Downside might be that it has a lot of commuters, so not a party school. Not a sports school. No football, yet (probably will start in a few years). A newer school, so not a lot of traditions, school spirit.
    Not sure why you would choose Houston unless you just really like the city and/or have family there.
  • kingaionkingaion Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    Cool thanks to you two also.
  • BlubbaBlubba Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    My son was admitted to Honors program at both U of H and UT Dallas. He picked UT Dallas for CS because of many reasons, including UT Dallas strength in CS and strong relationship with telecom corridor in Dallas. Remember, the founders of Texas Instruments founded UT Dallas! The UT Dallas hosts many job fairs and the one for Engineering and CS recently featured dozens and dozens of local and nationwide employers seeking CS graduates. UT Dallas also just started a new CS Honors program which my son joined. Small classes, dedicated teachers, challenging work. The dorms are far , far better at UT Dallas. Son wants to focus on academics in safe, friendly, diverse campus without football, frat houses, noise, rah rah rowdiness. He really really enjoys UT Dallas. In our mind, UT Dallas was clearly a better choice than U of Houston even comparing their Honors programs. U of H has a much bigger and better sports center for students. But the campus is in a not great part of Houston. UT Dallas is in a pleasant, safe and quiet part of Richardson and close to Plano and Frisco.
  • BobbiePinBobbiePin Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    If I can add to Blubba, atomom, goingnutsmom, & PeaceOfMind's already great comments, the negative things that you have heard might be from those who are not keeping up with their work and hanging out with the not such sensible types. Especially if accepted to the Honors College you will get the highest quality education and meet others with similar interests. The freshman dorms could not have been designed better and the on campus apartments (offered after freshman year) are incredible whether you share a two bedroom/2 bathroom with a friend or get your own one bedroom (washer/dryer in every apartment). There seems to be more students now from out of state...the Dart bus will get you to the nearby stores if you don't have a car. The campus seems quieter on the weekends but it is a good opportunity to catch up on sleep, reading, watch a movie in dorm/apt living room). There will usually be someone you will know at the Dining Hall or lounges so you won't feel isolated. Also with the brand new ATEC building's magnificent concert hall there hopefully will be more events planned for the weekend evenings. What more can one ask for:)
  • kingaionkingaion Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    Awesome, I really like what I'm hearing so far. Now I know there's downsides at every school, so would there be any parts of the campus I should avoid? Also I'm not a good dorm person, I'd likely live off campus so how is housing around the area? And how well does it work for students?
  • BobbiePinBobbiePin Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    The freshman dorms are not the typical dorms. Each freshman unit has a living room with three private bedrooms (see UTD residential living web for freshman dorms & apartments) as you can lock your bedroom door so there is privacy if you prefer (outer living room door locks automatically).The non freshman apartments are awesome and designed without indoor hallways (outdoor entrances) so it doesn't feel like a dorm but rather separate apartments. UTD housing definitely allows you as much independence and privacy as you desire in a safe environment. Try to also get a tour of the dorms and apartments as it will really help you make a decision.
  • BlubbaBlubba Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    "so would there be any parts of the campus I should avoid?"

    Not sure your criteria for avoiding a part of campus. UT Dallas is surrounded on all four sides by safe neighborhoods, particularly the south, east and northeast sides. Across the street on these sides are safe residential areas. On northside, there is a large open piece of land that UT Dallas owns and plans to use to build a future bio-technology engineering building. Further north by one block is the UT Southwest Medical Center. To Northwest is also open land for future UT Dallas development plus a new international high school planned for development. On campus, there are no parts I would avoid. All seem safe.

    There is a brand new 3 story parking just east of the fabulous ATEC building, which is designed to be the new nexus on campus for the intersection of art and technology. There are many interesting areas of research going on in this building plus opportunities for performances. One room in ATEC is called the "Augmented Reality Immersion Cave." Another is a game reference library. Some of the buildings on the west part are a bit dated and reflect the Brutalist architecture style, but they are safe. I saw a screening of Pacific Rim in one of these buildings, the Clark Center, two weeks ago in the Meteor Theater. Pleasant, safe, functional.

    One benefit of UTDallas is that you enjoy the resources of a 21,000 strong student body while only about 7,000 live on campus. So there a plenty of resources available for those who live on campus. The north part of campus will undergo a facelift soon. A new superdorm is being built as we speak. It will contain a new cafeteria and recreation facility inside it. As a father of a freshman there, I am very happy with the safe, wholesome, and academically rigorous culture there.

    The CS program is vibrant and offers top professors in their respective fields. Some local employers have already contacted my son's freshman CS Honors program director to show interest in the freshman because they know the strength of UT Dallas CS and Engineering program. My son also got to do research as a pre-freshman this past summer and has opportunities to continue it during his freshman year.

    One aspect of U of Houston that is a strength is its diversity of student body. I didn't expect UT Dallas to match it because of its location in a rather homogeneous part of suburban Dallas. But I was very pleasantly surprised to see what seemed to be a comparably diverse student body and faculty on campus at UT Dallas.

    My son has plenty of opportunities to volunteer on campus and in the nearby communities.

    The local DART bus and train takes students to Dallas and many local stores near campus including WalMart, Super Target and Fry's for free.

    By the way, my son turned down the following colleges to attend UT Dallas: TAMU, UT Austin, U of Houston, Rice, Duke, Notre Dame, Emory, Johns Hopkins, Swarthmore, Cornell, Columbia, Dartmouth and University of Pennsylvania.

    He visited TAMU, U of Houston, Cornell and Columbia as an admitted student and enjoyed them all. But UT Dallas offered the best combination of rigorous academics, strong career preparation, strong ties to employers, safe, unpretentious, wholesome culture, superbly functional facilities, extreme affordability, highly diverse student body and faculty, and proximity to cultural attractions. Hope this helps.
  • BobbiePinBobbiePin Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Just to clarify what I mentioned earlier about "not such sensible types" is that every school has some students that slack off on their studies when living away from home for the first time. There are now more serious students here that turned down offers from top colleges as a result of the phenomenal scholarships and programs here.
  • kingaionkingaion Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    Wow you guys certainly are good at making the option very enticing. There is some really compelling information I've read! It's certainly a TON nicer sounding than I imagined. It just shows you really need to hear from people with first-hand experience.

    The only issue I would have with dorms is that I want to totally live alone. I can't share a kitchen with anyone as I'm really REALLY hectic about keeping things like that clean. And a bathroom? Forget it, it HAS to be a me-only bathroom. I hope that doesn't sound so rude, lol, it's not like I wouldn't let people use my bathroom or anything. But it's different when someone lives there, they get comfortable doing less which I wouldn't be able to handle.

    I'd be transferring with an Associate of Science so I wouldn't be a freshman, so if I could get a solo dorm I'd be fine with it, otherwise I'd have to be off campus.
  • BobbiePinBobbiePin Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    If you are not going to be a freshman you can apply for the spacious on campus apartments. Although it is easier to get a two bedroom apartment with a private bathroom in each bedroom (shared living room/kitchen) you can try getting on the list for a one bedroom, bath, living room & kitchen area that is totally private. All the apartment units on campus are now under University Village management so there may be several private one bedroom apartments available for next year.
  • kingaionkingaion Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    Okay, I'll try to remember to look into it if the time comes. It would be nice to have the luxury of having a private dorm while being on campus instead of away.
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