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Princeton vs UC Berkeley MET vs Columbia: Undergrad CS

UndergradCS2021UndergradCS2021 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
edited April 2017 in Princeton University
Hi guys,

I’m currently a high school senior from California and was fortunate to be accepted into several of my top choices for undergrad. I am planning on majoring in computer science and engineering, with a focus on either bioinformatics or machine learning, and hope to pursue an entrepreneurial career path within the tech industry.

I am currently deciding between Princeton, UC Berkeley’s new MET program (EECS + Business), and Columbia (awarded an Egleston Scholarship).

I value Princeton’s small class sizes, undergraduate focus, and abundant research opportunities. The Egleston Scholarship at Columbia definitely makes it attractive to me as well, since it provides faculty mentoring and research stipends. However, I was wondering if the lack of proximity to Silicon Valley for both these schools would be a downside in terms of securing summer internships in the tech industry.

UC Berkeley for me is a very attractive option as well, given the opportunity to pursue a dual degree in EECS and Business Administration as well as its proximity to Silicon Valley (the MET program mentions they would help students secure summer internships in local companies). However, I was concerned about the large class sizes and the harsh grading systems of some classes at Berkeley.

Money should not be a deciding factor for me. What would be your opinions and thoughts on this decision, based on your experiences deciding between these or similar institutions? Are there any other factors I should consider?

Thanks a ton!

(Posted on Berkeley and Columbia threads as well)

Replies to: Princeton vs UC Berkeley MET vs Columbia: Undergrad CS

  • Penn95Penn95 Registered User Posts: 2,320 Senior Member
    @UndergradCS2021 Imo, I feel the choice comes down to Princeton vs Berkeley. (The pros of Columbia are similar to those of Princeton but imo Princeton is the better choice over Columbia).

    On the one hard Princeton has amazing (second to none) undergrad focus, access to professors, mentorship etc, a stronger undergrad student body and it is more prestigious for undergrad.

    On the other hand Berkeley has a stronger CS department, gives you the ability to do a dual degree and it has the edge in terms of location (Silicon Valley). but it also has harsher grading and bigger classes/less individual attention.

    While it is far from a straight-forward decision, I would probably go with Princeton. The undergrad focus and quality is worth a lot and I cant imagine that as a Princeton student you will have trouble getting internship/jobs in Sillicon valley.

    But it really boils down to what you value most. You can't really go wrong with either.
  • psywarpsywar Registered User Posts: 716 Member
    Tour both schools, talk to CS (COS in Princeton speak) profs and you'll know almost immediately. You cannot lose with either school. BTW - while Princeton doesn't do dual majors, you can pick up certificates in various fields. https://admission.princeton.edu/academics/certificate-programs

    Good luck!
  • LongdistancemumLongdistancemum Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    My Tiger is a COS major at Princeton doing a certificate in Entrepreneurship. He has a good internship with a NY tech firm (as a rising junior). If you think you will like Princeton experience, go for it
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