CSU schools for CS


Perhaps someone here can put this matter to rest for me. My high school senior wants to major in CS and he’s seems to have a knack for it (A+ in Intro to CS, and A in AP CS). His 10th-11th UC/CSU GPA is only a 3.6 though because his grades for classes he wasn’t interested in were B’s. He is looking at CSUs as his best fit.

He loves Sacramento State for its beautiful, tree-filled campus and proximity to the state capitol. However, we have heard not-so-great things about Sac State’s CS program and hope that he goes to a more reputable CSU for CS, like Chico or San Jose. He wasn’t impressed by either of those campuses, however. We can afford to send him to any state school here in CA. Does it really matter where you go to college for CS?

Program reputation does matter to an extent, but a lot of it is about building one’s own skills and portfolio.

You may want to expand your search to include some of the OOS publics with WUE reciprocity. It’s just two hours northeast from Sac State to UNR, which has a very solid CS program and, with the WUE rate, is cheaper than a UC. U of Utah is another with strong CS. Portland State would be a slam-dunk safety but also has a very well-regarded CS program that sends students on to tippy-top grad programs.


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CS is a very marketable degree but I agree reputation for some employers may make a difference, however, I would look over the CS curriculum and compare SJSU’s or some other CSU’s to Sac state to see if there are any significant differences.

Also Sac States CS program is ABET accredited.
With ABET accreditation, students, employers and the society we serve can be confident that a program meets the quality standards that produce graduates prepared to enter a global workforce.

Below is the link which shows 28 schools in California that are accredited for CS:

I think fit and student happiness are also important in selecting a school since Happy students tend to be more successful.

Best of luck to your son.

SJSU admission is far more competitive for CS than for most majors there. Last year, a frosh applicant to SJSU CS with a 3.6 GPA would have needed a clearly-impossible 1945 SAT score (1745 SAT score if from the local area).

Of course, now that SAT/ACT scores are not used, things are less predictable from past history. This year’s admission formula for SJSU is given here:

Sac State has neither a good nor bad reputation for CS. I’ve worked with several Sac State CS grads in the Bay Area and they were as good as anyone else.

I received my BS in CS at SDSU. Excellent school, program and location! Look at college scorecard to see what CSU and others pay the best for cs. No need to go OOS. Our CSU programs are excellent. Use the jc’s for ge’s.

Most of the CSUs have reputable CS programs so focus on where he’d like to study. SJ, SDSU CPSLO and CSULB are probably out due to his GPA but, apply if he’s interested. CPP is probably a coin toss but certainly worth an ap. If he doesn’t like Chico, Fullerton, and Northridge on the South and SF and Sac in the North are probably viable options for him., Any of those will be fine when it comes to getting a job.

Apply broadly - see where he gets in and follow his lead.

good luck.