Current student answering questions

<p>Hi! I'm a freshman in SCS and I'd be happy to answer any questions from ED applicants or RD hopefuls! I'm not an official representative or anything, but I can certainly help with most of the admissions/financial aid process from firsthand experience, as well as tell you anything you want to know about actually going to school here.</p>

<p>Even if you don't have a specific question, if there's any particular aspect (dorms, classes, research, clubs, weather, etc.) that you'd like to hear more about, just throw it out there and I'll share as much as I know.</p>

<p>What’s the best dorm? I got in ED btw.</p>

<p>Second that.</p>

<p>Also how do you know if you got in on the “Where am I in the process” page?</p>

<p>It depends what you’re looking for. There are two main clusters of freshman dorms: the ones on the hill and the ones across Forbes. (The other option would be the Rez on Fifth, which is pretty far from the main campus.)</p>

<p>The ones on the hill are Hamerschlag, McGill, Henderson, Boss, Scobell, and Donner (not technically on the hill, but it’s close). Hamerschlag is the one people typically complain about because it’s all guys. The actual building and rooms aren’t bad, it just has kind of a frat house atmosphere that doesn’t work for some people. Henderson is a hidden gem. It’s supposed to be “wellness housing,” but in practice people just end up there when they didn’t get their first few choices. The rooms are nice, though, and because there’s only a handful of people, they all pretty much become friends right away. I can’t say much about the others because I’ve never visited, but I haven’t heard any horror stories. In general the advantage of living on the hill is that there’s a bunch of other students there, so there’s more to do. They’re also really close to campus and right next to Resnik, which has a bunch of great dining options.</p>

<p>The ones across Forbes, in order from closest to farthest from campus, are Morewood, Stever, and Mudge. Morewood is a huge complex that’s kind of like a YMCA; there’s a daycare, exercise rooms, lounges, and a restaurant/hangout area in the basement. You’ll get sick of the food there fast, but you’re right across the street from the UC, which has plenty of other options. Stever’s rooms are pretty small, but there are nice lounges on every floor where people generally hang out. They’re also one of the only dorms with AC. Mudge is usually pretty popular because it’s a beautiful building with spacious rooms, but there are only a couple lounge areas for the whole building, so people don’t get to know each other as well. It’s also a fairly long walk from campus, which means there aren’t many people there during the day. Again, since the Underground has a very limited selection, you’ll usually end up walking to the UC to get meals.</p>

<p>I don’t know much about the Rez because if you don’t live there you probably won’t ever visit it. I think a lot of the people who live there have bikes/scooters/skateboards to help deal with the distance, so that’s something to consider.</p>

<p>General advice: Don’t underestimate the value of lounges. The other people on your floor will probably be your largest group of friends from outside your particular school or major, and if you have a convenient spot to hang out you’ll get to know each other better and be more of a community.</p>

<p>Basically, all of the dorms are alright. Your choice will mainly depend on how many roommates you want (single, double, triple, quad) and whether or not you want a private bathroom (prime vs. standard, respectively). You can get more info here: <a href=“http://www.cmu.edu/housing/pdf/buildingfeaturestable.pdf[/url]”>http://www.cmu.edu/housing/pdf/buildingfeaturestable.pdf</a></p>

<p>

</p>

<p>If it’s the same as last year, there’s a plain little table near the top of the page that lists the schools you applied to in the first column, and the second column will fill in with decisions once they’re released. It’s not very obvious at all, just a simple “Admitted” in plain black text.</p>

<p>I applied RD though, so that could make a difference.</p>

<p>I’m going to try to check back pretty frequently over the next couple weeks, so please keep posting questions as you find this thread!</p>

<p>How easy is it to switch majors? I know if you want to major in a subject in another school you have to apply to as a transfer, but what about switching majors within the school you are enrolled at?</p>

<p>When did you get to set-up your CMU ID/e-mail?</p>

<p>I just got accepted to SCS myself. What’s the program like are you enjoying it? Any course recommendations?</p>

<p>

</p>

<p>It depends on the school and the major. You should email your advisor (as soon as you know who that is) and they’ll get you sorted out. Sometimes you just have to fill out a form, sometimes you have to write an essay, sometimes you’ll need to take some intro classes from that major and show you can do well. As long as you’re serious about it there’s nothing stopping you.</p>

<p>

</p>

<p>Hmmm. The oldest message I have in my email is from the beginning of August, so sometime before then. Again, I was RD, so maybe you’ll get yours earlier, but I’d guess they wait until after May 1 and put everyone through together. For your ID, you can send in a photo any time over summer break, and then you get to pick up the actual card when you get to campus.</p>

<p>

</p>

<p>I have very much enjoyed my time at CMU so far! The first years of the program are focused on theory, so you’ll learn how to write proofs and how to reason about code so that you understand how and why a program works (or doesn’t). Near the start of summer you’ll be contacted by the freshman advisor to walk you through registering for courses, and you’ll learn all you ever needed to know about required classes and so on. For your first semester, most of your classes are decided for you:
*76-100: a writing course required for all freshmen
*15-151: a crazy, intense, wonderful CS course they just introduced this year–a version of Concepts of Mathematics for CS freshmen
*a math course: some kind of calculus or matrices, depending on placement
*a programming course: 15-112 is the intro course and is taught in python, 15-122 is in C and is for those who already have some experience with CS
*one or two electives: probably physics or something to get the science req out of the way, or StuCos which are fun student-taught courses</p>

<p>^note that this is just how it was this year, and they might change some of it for you guys.</p>

<p>Personally, I’d recommend you try a couple StuCos so that you can still have a good amount of units without being completely overloaded with work. Great Practical Ideas in CS is a good one if you don’t know much about linux, bash, or github. Otherwise just look for course numbers that start with “98-” and find something that interests you.</p>

<p>If you want to know more about the CS course sequence: <a href=“http://coursecatalog.web.cmu.edu/schoolofcomputerscience/[/url]”>School of Computer Science < Carnegie Mellon University</a></p>

<p>I heard from a few friends and counselors that CMU’s CS program is notoriously difficult. Quote: “The teachers are really strict and most people get C’s and D’s on tests. Only 10% of students can really keep up.”</p>

<p>Can you verify/disprove this?</p>

<p>Yes, CMU can be very difficult, and not just the CS program. I can verify that one of the required classes for CS freshmen had an average grade of about 65% (on both homework and tests) throughout the semester, and I hear that’s the case for many engineering classes as well. In my experience, however, the professors, instructors, and TAs have always been completely reasonable and understanding. They know their classes are difficult, and they account for that when assigning grades, so for the classes I mentioned above the percentage needed for each letter grade was lowered substantially. Everyone here works hard, so while you will frequently find yourself coding late into the night, your classmates will be right there with you, helping each other get through your assignments. Your TAs will extend their office hours past midnight so that they can help you work out the last bugs in your program. Your professors will revise the entire structure of their course from semester to semester, trying to find the best way to ease you into the material and still prepare you well for the courses you’ll take next. Everyone is dedicated to their work, and they will be there to help you with yours when you need it.</p>

<p>If your friends and counselors have a good idea of how students from your high school generally fare in college and how you compare to the typical student there, then I would listen to them. I know you all think you’re pretty clever for doing well in high school and making it into CMU, but clever only gets you so far. You got in because you worked harder in high school than most other students, and if you want to take a break and rest on your laurels in college, then you will not be happy at CMU. The skills you’ve developed to deal with your current workload will be absolutely necessary here, and still the majority of you will need to work harder than you’ve ever worked in your lives just to keep up.</p>

<p>In the end, though, you’ll come out that much better prepared for grad school or industry or whatever your plan is. You’ll meet the most amazing people, contribute to some awesome projects, and just have a lot of great opportunities you wouldn’t get otherwise. CMU will challenge you, but it will also help you and push you to accomplish things you never thought you’d be capable of. If that sounds good to you, then I hope you’ll come join us.</p>

<p>What are your grades at CMU?</p>

<p>You mean what grades am I getting? They won’t be posted for another couple days, but probably mostly B s, with a couple As and one C. I think that’s about average. :/</p>

<p>Hey, I’m a current high school student and I just got into SCS early decision. I’ve got two or three questions. </p>

<p>Is the stress level as terrible as people make it out to be? I kind of coasted through most of high school and I’m worried that I’m going to get destroyed by an unbearable workload, especially after reading this article: [The</a> happy mask: Carnegie Mellon must address stress culture - The Tartan Online](<a href=“http://thetartan.org/2012/12/3/forum/mentalhealth]The”>The happy mask: Carnegie Mellon must address stress culture - The Tartan)</p>

<p>In short, in your experience, and possibly if you are aware of the experiences of more senior students, is it actually that terrible? I fully expect to be working hard, and for many hours, I just want to know if, with proper time management, the work load is manageable, or if I am destined to be stuck in a state of perpetual cramming for endless assignments.</p>

<p>Secondly - in light of the previous question this is pretty comically inconsequential - I have questions about dorms. I’m actually somewhat familiar with the campus, but I’m wondering, considering that I’ll be an SCS student, do you think I’ll be closer to most of my classes if I’m on the hill or if I’m across Forbes? Also, which dorms have air conditioning/heating? I know Morewood doesn’t, and once you go too far down Morewood Avenue I guess you’re talking a pretty decent walk.</p>

<p>I’m applying under ED II, so I won’t know for some time. But if I were to get admitted under ECE, how easy would it be to switch into SCS my freshman year? </p>

<p>Thanks! =)</p>

<p>That article has been passed around a lot in the past week, enough that the Dean of Student Affairs initiated a meeting with the author to talk about the situation and what could be done to improve it.</p>

<p>It’s difficult to flat-out refute it–I can’t just say “oh, everyone I know seems happy” because what if that’s just a facade and they’re actually all secretly depressed, as the article’s title implies? All I can do is assure you that if you ever feel overwhelmed like that then you really should reach out to someone, because just about everyone feels like that sometimes and I really think they’ll try to help you however they can. If you ever feel like you’re alone, I promise you you’re not. The popularity of this article is enough to prove that.</p>

<p>One thing that does distress me about the culture here is the attitude people tend to have towards sleep. Some people talk about pulling all-nighters or going for days with just a few short naps as if it’s inevitable and even trivial. I cannot stress this enough: THAT DOESN’T NEED TO BE YOU. I’m not going to tell you that you HAVE to get eight hours a night any more than I’m going to say you have to eat a certain diet or have to exercise a certain amount. But it is REALLY IMPORTANT that you take your health (physical AND mental) seriously, and that you know what’s best for you when it comes to sleep, diet, exercise, etc.</p>

<p>In short, while the workload is as heavy as everyone says, it doesn’t have to take over your life. There are people who work out every day, people who party every weekend, people who keep up with a truly ridiculous number of TV shows, and people who play videogames all the time and still pass their classes. You need to be realistic about time management, though. If there are a lot of time-consuming activities that you value over schoolwork (like if you want to be in a frat/sorority AND cook all your own vegetarian meals AND read the newspaper every day), then maybe CMU isn’t right for you.</p>

<p>For the second part of your question: Yes, as a CS major, your classes will be closer to the hill than to Forbes. I actually live in Mudge, and it’s not like it’s a huge hassle getting to campus and back, but I am jealous of my friends on the hill who can just pop back over to their dorm for a quick nap between classes. Oh well, there’s always Gates or Hunt. :)</p>

<p>All the dorms are heated. It looks like Henderson, Stever, Welch, and the Rez are the only ones with AC.</p>

<p>

</p>

<p>I think you just need to take two of the introductory CS classes and do well in them. The requirements for CIT are close enough to those for SCS that you shouldn’t have too much trouble.</p>

<p>Again, you should talk to your advisor as early as you can and they’ll help you through that.</p>

<p>EDIT: Oh, here we go - <a href=“http://www.csd.cs.cmu.edu/education/bscs/transfer.html[/url]”>Prospective Student Information | Carnegie Mellon University - Computer Science Department</a></p>

<p>I just made SCS. Do you have any tips in general for college?</p>

<p>How far is Mudge from everything in terms of walking time? From the map, it looks like a pretty far distance. For example, how long do you think it would take to walk from Mudge to Hunt Library?</p>

<p>I doubt you are familiar with either of the programs because they are in DC, but I was accepted into QSSS and SHS. Do you know anything about them at all? If you do either of the programs, you have the option to room together in Mudge. I would be open to living in Mudge, I am just scared of the large distance from everything on campus. I stayed at Donner on my overnight and really liked the central location, so that is high on the list. Any advice you could give me? Thanks</p>