Choosing between CSULB, CSUF or CPP for Computer Science


Applied with an AST from Cerritos College. Just got admission letters from CSULB, CSUF and Calpoly Pomona. I’m pretty excited and now I’m trying to rack my brain over choosing a school. I’ve been to all 3 campuses and have spoken to staff and students regarding their campus. I’m strongly considering CSULB right now due to the proximity plus the glowing recommendations of my friends (different major). I’ve also heard great things about Calpoly Pomona and their competitive engineering department (not sure how that translates to my major).

Still have not made up my mind but I was wondering if anyone here is currently going into any of the 3 as a CS major. Any advice? Thanks in advance!

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all 3 are very good. follow your heart…

What did you decide? What do you think of the program? My son has been accepted to these three schools as a freshman in computer science and is trying to make a choice.

Replying and following this thread.

My son is accepted to CS major in CPP, CSUF, UCR. Waitlisted in CSULB, admitted to SJSU but for alternate major that he doesn’t like. Still waiting on SLO, SDSU, and 4 UCs before making final decision.
But at this time, we’re still almost sure that he’ll go to CPP. Not 100% sure though whether we’re making the right decision.
Would love to get more thoughts from others.

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My younger son 6 years ago had similar options for CS: CPP, CSUF, CSULB, UCR, SJSU (SE not CS) and SDSU.

We made a spreadsheet of all the CS courses avaialble at each campus for comparison. He was interested in Cybersecurity which was an up and coming concentration/area of interest for CS.

His decision was just not based on academics, but on his idea of the “fit” factor plus being farther away from home to show some independence but close enough to visit when necessary.

CPP was the local CSU so it was a safety but too close to home. CSUF also too close to home for my son. He received the Chancellor’s scholarship at UCR for CS and it was a tough decision to choose between the UC vs. CSU’s. After visiting SDSU and researching more about their CS program, options to take some CS courses through the SDSU global campus and the courses offered through ISCOR (International Security and Conflict Resolution) major, SDSU was his choice.

Now CPP offers the Cyber collaborative which I believe was just getting off the ground at that time and the other campuses offer more Cybersecurity courses/concentrations or minors so 6 years later, his decision may have been different.

All good choices and CS is such an employable major that he will do fine where ever he ends up attending.


Thank you Gumbymom, very helpful input.
My son is also interested in Cybersecurity (as of now).
We’ve been also researching and yes looks like these top CSUs and of course UCs each have their own great cyber program.

Glad to have good choices to choose from. #firstworldproblems so to speak.

The LB waitlist suggests SLO. SDSU and any of the UCs other than UCR and UCM are pretty unlikely to admit your son - of course, no guarantees with all of this year’s nuance.

I think CPP is an outstanding choice, especially for CS. Smaller class size than UCR and ‘Learn by Doing’ approach plus some huge investment in campus housing/student life.

Gongrats and good luck on the rest of the admits.

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Thank you @NCalRent
Yes, we’re not expecting he’ll get admitted on the pending schools. And in the unlikely miraculous event that he might get accepted to the other schools, we’re somewhat still favoring CPP. Or maybe because we’re already prepared on getting rejections from other schools, so we have really fallen in love with CPP now.

Thanks for your input on CPP vs UCR, I agree on that.

S21 also got admitted to SDSU, so it’s now hard to choose between CPP vs SDSU. The more we research, the more we feel undecided and confused Lol.

@NCalRent what would you choose/advise - CPP or SDSU?

I’m not the OP here, sorry for piggying back on this thread. I figured CPP is one of the choices of OP, so my question might also help the OP.

I would probably prefer the more classic student experience at SDSU but, there’s no wrong choice between SDSU and CPP. So, visit both and follow your heart.

Congrats and good luck

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@mmrl8794 Very helpful to hear your experience! S21 was rejected from his UC options so now it’s down to CPP, CSULB, and CSUF.

I’m curious if you’ve been able to talk to anyone on campus at CPP. Have you been able to ‘fall in love with CPP’ mainly by internet research or has the campus/direct connection been helpful? I’m not sure how to help my son get the info he needs to decide.

For son’s choices, it’s CPP vs SDSU. UCR was the third choice. We have decided on CPP. We’ll go to CPP on weekend of April 9, then son will accept CPP admission after that, so he can reserve Orientation dates. We’ve done a lot of research on internet and other forums, videos from youtube/CPP website, and of course we looked a lot of details in CPP website including comparing the actual class schedules and class sizes between SDSU and CPP.
We have not talked directly to a student in CPP. My friend’s sister-in-law went to CPP, that’s our only personal connection to a student in CPP. I have asked my friend and many other friends (also with Seniors) here in SoCAL, and it seems that they agree with us on our choice to go to CPP.

There is no perfect school, and all your CSU choices are good. My niece went to CSUF (she just graduated last Dec). My cousin graduated in CSULB but back in the 90s.

Does your son have any specific CS focus that he’s interested in, like Cybersecurity?

I’m not sure if this is allowed to mention here. Check also reddit forums.

My son is most experienced in game development, but he’d like to get a broader CS experience in college. He will likely commute to any of them and CSUF is the closest so that’s been one of our determining factors. But I sure wish he could do some in person touring!!

Yeah there are so many factors to consider. Actually if I would rank the schools that my son got admitted to (and considering our personal factors), it would be:

UCR costs more and it’s just not worth it.

I’ve also researched CS curriculum of CSUF and it’s pretty solid specially for Cybersecurity. I’ve had an IT career for 26 years (Fortune50 company). I can’t say I’m an expert but I can recognize some details in the curriculum. Example, CPP and CSUF have at least one course fully dedicated to Cloud. I didn’t see any Cloud-based courses in SDSU. For CSULB, I didn’t research too much cause my son was just waitlisted. It looks CSULB also has a Cloud computing class. That doesn’t mean though that SDSU does not currently teach Cloud or will have Cloud courses soon. It’s just not currently shown in their curriculum.
I zoned in on this factor for Cloud, cause it’s the latest technology and what top companies use.

Edited above: It looks like CSULB also has Cloud computing class. You can’t really go wrong with any of your choices (CPP, CSUF, CSULB), they’re all good schools. Though, I understand how nerve-wracking it is to make a choice out of many good choices, hoping that you want to make the right choice.

Check out the websites of each school, and he can read through the details of CS major. I also help my son a lot in research. We google it to get other info.