College Recommendations for Computer Science/AI major, math minor

Can you guys recommend some schools, here are my preferences:

  1. mall-Medium sized
    2.Stem-Oriented(light general ed requirement on unrelated subject)
    3.High Outcome Salary
    4.Around California, NY, and Washington(State)
    5.Offers merit scholarship to international students not eligible for federal aid(I can only afford 45k at most per year)
    6.Abundant research opportunities for undergrads
    My SAT English is 730, Math 800, Math II 800, Physics 780 4.2 GPA
    I would prefer a college where I can be at the top of the class, thank you in advance!

One of the schools I like is Stevens Institute of Technology

STEM-focused schools may have significant general education requirements. For example, Stevens Institute of Technology requires 2-3 English composition courses and 4-6 other humanities courses for bachelor’s degree students.

You can look on each school’s web site for its net price calculator. For example, at Stevens Institute of Technology, you can go to and click on the “Net Price Calculator” link. This can give you an estimate of cost and financial aid to see how likely it will be within your budget. If the net price calculator asks for things like GPA, SAT scores, etc., it may also include merit scholarships, or merit scholarships may be embedded in financial aid.

As an international student needing merit, it will be a challenging search. It may be beneficial to also consider schools in the midwest or south , rather than just the coasts.

What state do you live in?
What is your unweighted GPA?
Senior year math class?

I am currently a junior taking Calc AB, probably gonna take Calc BC in the senior year.
I live in Alaska but that would not affect which state I choose to go to college
I would prefer going to college near big cities in order to land a job at big tech companies easier(I am not exactly sure if it works that way)
My unweighted is 3.99

I read those humanity classes at stevens are highly related to the field of computer science and the English writing class is rudimentary and pretty much same for all colleges

Without citizenship, it will be very difficult for you to gain employment in the US because many jobs in these STEM fields require a security clearance. Also, US employers are mandated to offer and seek out US candidates first for ANY open positions. Sponsoring a non citizen takes time, requires fees, and is a headache for employers. There are a good amount of US students graduating with CS/ math degrees that can fill these positions first.

Seek out schools that will help you become employed in your home country.

Right now, your budget, in California, will cover the CSU’s.

University of Rochester?

Why? Someone I admire once said

I hated being “the smartest guy in the room” through several jobs and finally found a career with an industry leader known for attracting talent. It was great admiring the brainpower surrounding me.

I strongly disagree with the statement that a huge portion of STEM jobs in the US require security clearance. I worked for one of the largest technology professional services firms in the world and only a subset of our Federal Practice, maybe 50% of the practitioners in 15% of our practice, required a security clearance. I worked with a very large percentage of H1B holders. The lottery for H1B foreigners to work in technology filled to capacity the first day it was open for many years.

In my previous career as an engineer, security clearance never came up in anything I did. My D is an Engineering Junior and it has never come up in any interviews or job offers.

While many STEM jobs might not require a security clearance, it is difficult for international students to stay in the US and work long-term after college…and getting increasingly more difficult.

Sorry for the tangent.

Stanford, CMU, MIT are some obvious ones, though you’d have to be very talented to be at the top of the class.

Harvey Mudd, although the Claremont Consortium schools might not be all that great for financial aid.

OP is looking for merit scholarships to bring the price down to $45k per year or less, which presumes being in the upper part of the admission class of a private or flagship public as a nonresident, whether or not that is desired for other reasons.

@“Jaysen Cong” - With respect to Stevens, in the computer science curriculum (and subspecialties such as AI and Cybersecurity), eight Humanities courses are required. Two of these are Writing and Communications Colloquium (first semester) and Knowledge, Nature, and Culture, which are required of all students. The Writing and Communications course is a critical and rigorous course on high level writing and deep understanding of literature and the Knowledge and Nature course is a critical and in depth study of literature, culture and influence on literature, and great works in European, American, and Asian literature. They are not “English 101” type courses, replicating what one should have had in high school English. Stevens students enter the university with developed communications and writing abilities (as indicated by their verbal SAT/ACT scores - including yours), and begin with critical analysis of literature in their first semester in college.

You can review the CS curriculum in the Stevens catalog:

Stevens historically has sought to graduate literate scientists and engineers, who appreciated both the technical and the artistic/literate aspects of their fields, and to have a “life of the mind” in addition to being trained as a scientist and to make significant contributions to one’s field. Stevens was the first technological university in America (it is the fourth oldest of STEM schools in America, BTW) to have a dedicated Department of Humanities. The Humanities curriculum is rigorous and requires deep original thinking. It is not “related to the science courses” as a whole (though there are science-related humanities courses such as History of Science, Science, Technology, and Society, among others that you can take as electives). Stevens has prided itself and is well known throughout its 150 year (this year anniversary) history for educating well rounded technical people. Rather than looking at the humanities/general ed part of the curriculum as just another obstacle to be overcome as easily as possible, embrace the wealth of culture and expansion of the mind that those courses offer.

With regard to income potential, Stevens graduates come in at thirteenth of 1300 colleges and universities in the US for starting salary and mid-career salary - one of the highest in the nation and the highest of all New Jersey institutions (Bloomberg Business Week/Payscale, “What’s Your College Degree Worth, 2019”):

Typically, Stevens seniors have several offers from industry, government, or graduate/professional school admission before graduating. Stevens also has a large and highly successful co-op and internship program. It is ranked by Princeton Review as one of the top such programs in the US.

You can check out the most recent outcomes report published by the Stevens Placement Office:

You are no doubt an excellent student and a highly intelligent person - to be sure, you would be a tremendous asset to Stevens’ student body. Being at the top of the class takes hard work in any hard science/STEM school, and especially so at Stevens given the large number of math, science, engineering, and humanities courses that require the ability to grasp the underlying principles of their subjects intimately not merely memorizing and repeating information on an exam. It is very difficult - but not impossible - to be the valedictorian or the salutatorian. In recent graduating classes, only one or two students have had 4.0 GPAs, and there is only one valedictorian and salutatorian, however, getting a high GPA is certainly achievable. I am certain you would be up to the task.

Stevens has many undergraduate research opportunities:

You certainly would make an excellent choice attending Stevens.

@“aunt bea” - Security clearances - which require the holder to be a US citizen- generally are required only for government or industrial (government contractor) positions that deal with classified or sensitive information. Most commercial, non-government industry does not require a security clearance (in fact, one cannot get a clearance unless there is a need and the clearance is requested by the industrial or government organization, which means that the nature of the work requires it) and is not a factor in those positions. Not being a citizen or sponsored person in the US however is a hurdle to working here, some companies will sponsor foreign nationals to work for them, but many prefer not to since it is an expense and requires time.

This OP wants to be employed in the US and is not a citizen.

He wants schools in certain states where the industry has certain jobs. Many of those lucrative companies have a citizenship requirement as noted on their websites.
Many employers, where these students apply (because of the type of job/income) want their candidates to be eligible for clearances and won’t sponsor non-eligible applicants.

My daughter and husband are both engineers at huge firms. My daughter is a EE/CS and has worked at 3 different corporations (her choice) since her graduation in 2013. They both interview candidates who have been pre-screened by HR.

According to my daughter, her few classmates, who had tried to find employment in the US, with similar credentials, did not fare well if they were not US citizens. Even without looking at the government jobs, most were disappointed in their options and returned to their home countries.

No, some jobs don’t require clearances, but if the “customer” has a government tie, there will be a requirement for clearance.

@“aunt bea” - I work for a large aerospace manufacturer with government contracts, therefore, I think I speak from a base of knowledge regarding this matter.

Many companies require US citizenship, but there are ones that do not. The ones that don’t may or may not sponsor foreign nationals for an H1-B visa to work in the US. In the past, many of the Silicon Valley industries didn’t mind sponsoring H1-Bs. They do have to (theoretically) “prove” that no US employee was obtainable or qualified for the position, but the reality is that there are loopholes that allowed them to bypass that requirement. Today, with the current administration, it may be more difficult to obtain an H1-B visa however.

The determining factor in requiring a clearance is the particular job, not the fact that the company does government work. In my organization for example we have many employees who do not have clearances because they do not work on classified projects and thus do not need the clearance (and in fact, could not get it because they are not working on jobs for which it is required, so there is no need) despite the fact that the company has government contracts.

Government contractors frequently require US citizenship and be eligible for a clearance, but they do not necessarily require one to actually obtain a clearance, it depends upon the particular job the person is hired for. It is possible to be hired in an unclassified role and later on, be assigned to another role for which the clearance is a requirement, at which time the company will have the employee fill out the application.

Most computing jobs do not require security clearances, even if the government is a customer of the employer.

However, someone who is not a US citizen or permanent resident will be at a significant disadvantage when looking for desirable computing jobs with a bachelor’s degree:

  • Many employers see US citizens or permanent residents as less trouble and cost, due to not needing to deal with visas.
  • The number of H-1B visas is limited, and low-end IT outsourcing companies consume most of them*, much to the annoyance of companies trying to use them for their stated purpose of hiring top-end international talent (not limited to computing).
  • For the actual top-end international talent in computing, most job seekers will have at least master's degrees, since the pipeline commonly runs through funded US graduate study in the US that is affordable and selects more for talent than expensive US undergraduate study that heavily selects for parental money more than talent. An international bachelor's degree graduate from a US university is likely to be at a disadvantage compared to an international master's degree graduate from a US university.

I.e. an international bachelor’s degree graduate (needing an H-1B visa) is likely to be at a disadvantage compared to a US citizen or permanent resident bachelor’s degree graduate (no visa needed, of course) or an international master’s degree graduate (needing an H-1B visa).

*See . The low-end IT outsourcing companies are easily seen by the much lower pay levels than what one would expect for those with master’s degrees in CS with 0-6 years of experience, if it is not obvious from their names.

thanks guys

all responses are very helpful