right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Join us for a LIVE webinar Friday, April 3 at 3pm ET to hear from admission officers on how COVID-19 is impacting admissions at schools. REGISTER NOW and let us know what questions you have and want answered.
As schools continue to announce their decisions, we put together the Class of 2024 RD Discussions Directory. Connect with fellow applicants NOW!

Prerequisites for CS (Engineering)

SpoorthiSpoorthi 20 replies4 threads Junior Member
Would it be an advantage to know how to program languages like C++, C, Python, or Java if I want to major in CS especially in top ranked colleges like Rice, Duke, Vanderbilt?
5 replies
Tagged:
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Prerequisites for CS (Engineering)

  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science 4081 replies33 threads Forum Champion
    edited March 23
    Having experience in some sort of programming before college is generally a good idea. What language won't really matter a ton at the end of the day (though you can find many opinions on the "best" beginner languages), so I'd generally recommend either going along with any courses in your high school curriculum if available, and if not, doing some sort of project you're passionate about and learning the language you need for that.

    Once you get to college, you'll get little to no credit for prior work at most top CS schools, so it's not like you'll be miles behind if you don't know things going in. Of course it can be helpful, but it's not required.

    Generally, I'd recommend depth over breadth. If you already know one or two languages, doing more interesting things with those languages will usually be more useful than picking up a third language.

    Personally, I think python is a good language to start on your own with and is pretty versatile for most projects. If you want to make an iOS app, I'd recommend Swift over Objective C to start.

    Long story short: Yes, but focus deeply on 1-2 languages versus trying to learn as many as possible.
    top ranked colleges like Rice, Duke, Vanderbilt?

    I'm sure you're just getting started with the college process but as a note, CS strength and general rank don't always correlate. While Rice is a great CS school, Duke/Vanderbilt aren't particularly known versus say GT, CMU, or UMichigan. That's not to say they are bad for CS either of course.
    edited March 23
    · Reply · Share
  • SpoorthiSpoorthi 20 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @PengsPhils Thanks for your input! Yea, getting better in one or two languages helps.
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80870 replies726 threads Senior Member
    PengsPhils wrote: »
    Once you get to college, you'll get little to no credit for prior work at most top CS schools, so it's not like you'll be miles behind if you don't know things going in. Of course it can be helpful, but it's not required.

    A college may have more than one entry point for CS courses. Examples:

    * College has a "CS 0" and a "CS 1" course. Students with no computing experience start with "CS 0" before taking "CS 1" which students with computing experience can start in.
    * College has an introductory sequence "CS 1A" and "CS 1B" which is suitable for students with no computing experience. But it also has a "CS 1fast" which is an accelerated course covering both "CS 1A" and "CS 1B" in one course for those with prior computing experience.
    · Reply · Share
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9069 replies89 threads Senior Member
    Just a side note - don't sacrifice any core class to add another CS or programming class. If you have elective space, that's fine but don't take fewer courses in history or foreign language.
    · Reply · Share
  • SpoorthiSpoorthi 20 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @ucbalumnus
    @ momofsenior1
    It is definitely better to do some programming before so that you can get a head start and use it to take other core classes.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity