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Is a decent Computer Science MS attainable for me?

ZZHA8608ZZHA8608 20 replies6 threads Junior Member
I am currently a junior majoring in Math and Computer Science in a relatively selective university(top 25-ish) with 3 semester left in college(we have two semesters in a year) I have a cumulative GPA of 3.6(had straight As and A-s after the first semester of freshman year but that 2.45 haunted me for most of my college career) and a major GPA of 3.72. I have not taken my GRE yet but I always do extremely well on standardized tests so I am pretty confident that I will be able to get at least 90 percentile or something along those lines. I don't have any research experiences but I do have a summer internship experience at a fortune 500 company. I can't really predict how good my recs will be but I am pretty sure they will be at least average.

If everything works out, I can probably get my major GPA to somewhere around 3.8 and cumulative to 3.65. It is unlikely that I will be able to get any meaningful research under my belt since I will be studying aboard next semester and I really don't know any professors at Paris. Conidering my credentials, would I have a fighting chance at a decent Computer Science MS program? By decent I don't mean MIT but something like UCLA, Duke, John Hopkins etc. Thank you for your advices
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Replies to: Is a decent Computer Science MS attainable for me?

  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5986 replies1 threads Senior Member
    Two things.

    One is that universities understand that different students mature at different points. They also understand that the first semester at a top 25 university can be a steep learning curve for many very strong students. You suddenly go from being the top student in your high school to being just average in very tough classes. The fact that you pulled yourself together quickly and did very well starting the second semester freshman year is very good. I don't think that the first semester freshman year will hurt you all that much.

    Also, there is more than one way to get research experience. Some students get it while they are undergraduate students. It is also possible to get it after a bachelor's degree and before getting a master's. Personally I took the second route. I took two years between my bachelor's and master's and worked in a research facility.

    You might want to start applying to appropriate master's programs at the beginning of your senior year (presumably after you return to the US). If you get in where you want to go then you are in good shape. If not, then get a job and work for a year or two and then reapply to master's programs.

    A bachelor's degree from a top 25 university in math and computer science should be a very good start at a good career.

    A semester in Paris sounds like a great experience. Make sure to keep up with your course work while you are there and don't drink too much champagne! Bonne chances!
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  • ZZHA8608ZZHA8608 20 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Thank you very much for your advice! The thing I am worried about is that if I get a job, I will never get around to go back to being a full time student again(and that is the primary reason why I feel the need to start grad school right away). Anyways, thank you very much for the help :).
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  • juilletjuillet 12724 replies162 threads Super Moderator
    If you never get back around to being a full-time student again, that's probably because you have a job that you like and that meets your needs and perhaps you don't need an MS in computer science anyway :)

    A graduate degree is more or less a means to an end; the goal is to help you compete for roles that require one, more or less. If you are able to find a role you really love without the MS - so much that you don't want to return to school - then you've achieved your goal and have no need to spend the money and time!

    In reality, lots of people go back to graduate school after working full-time.

    That said, your profile looks fine and unless you are looking specifically for a research-oriented MS program, you don't need much research experience to get into a master's program.
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