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What's the difference between CS and CSE?

dhp760dhp760 Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
I am planning on attending UCI this fall and I was wondering, what is the difference between CS and CSE? In the future, I want to pursue a career such as software developing.

Therefore, what's the difference and which one would be more suitable for me?

Replies to: What's the difference between CS and CSE?

  • econcalceconcalc Registered User Posts: 225 Junior Member
    I assume that you mean CE, which is Computer Engineering, and CS, which is Computer Science. The main difference between these majors is that CE is mainly about learning "how" computers are made and why they function the way they do.

    As an example, a computer engineer may be interested in "building" a robot and understanding the devices used (such as microchips, registers, resistors, capacitors ... you name it).

    A computer scientist is more interested in writing code for the robot in the way that it would be able to identify surroundings and able to overcome certain obstacles - basically the logic and maths involved in getting the robot to move, i.e. the AI.

    In your case, since you like software development, you should choose CS over CE.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 71,705 Senior Member
    You can compare the requirements for each major at UCI to see the difference.
  • dhp760dhp760 Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
    @econcalc, that really does help. Thank you!
  • dhp760dhp760 Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
    If my goal was to develop software within Apple or Google, which major would be best?
  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science Posts: 3,667 Forum Champion
    software = CS
    hardware for software to run on = CE

    You're looking to do CS.
  • DarthpwnerDarthpwner Registered User Posts: 1,007 Senior Member
    @dhp760 Apple hires a lot of software and hardware engineers, so either major would be well-suited to their roles. Google is more software-oriented just because of the nature of their products IMO, so they look for more CS majors.

    From personal experience, I am a CS major and I got an internship offer this summer with Apple and I failed my interview with Google. I do think it is easier to get the interviews as a CS major but CE has a lot of overlap with the same fundamental classes (data structures, algorithms).
  • idkNameidkName Registered User Posts: 300 Member
    CS = Software
    EE = Hardware
    CE = Firmware (communication or immediate between software and hardware)
  • umcoe16umcoe16 Registered User Posts: 699 Member
    At umich, if you do computer science through the College of Engineering, your degree is in CSE. If you do computer science through LSA, your degree is in CS. There's not really any difference between the two in terms of what programming classes you need to take. However, only the CSE program is ABET accredited. For the CSE program, you have to take more technical courses, whether it is CS courses beyond the minimum requirements, math courses, non-CS engineering courses, or other hard science courses. You also have to take technical communication and professionalism courses because of what ABET requires. None of these are required for the CS degree. The one advantage of a CS degree through LSA is that it is easier to work out a double major if you are interested.

    Computer engineering (CE) is different from both CSE and CS. CE does get you more training in the hardware than both CSE and CS. I like to think of CE as like a specialty within EE that deals with computers. Many people are right that CE is sort of like an in between of EE and CS. However, they are incorrect in assuming that CE is what you meant by CSE.

    In terms of jobs, as long as you have sufficient experience in programming, getting a software job is possible. Most employers really don't even care whether or not your degree is in computer science.
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