Drexel vs. Northeastern

<p>All other things being equal, how do you think these two compare for a NMF interested in computer science and game design. S has been admitted to the honors colleges at both of these schools and will be offered full tuition for his NMF status. </p>

<p>He has some high reaches (MIT, CMU, Cornell) that he hasn't heard back from, a couple more schools of similar caliber to NEU/Drexel two where it looks like the money won't be as good (RIT and WPI) and RPI which seems kind of in between. (He's been admitted to WPI, but the finaid package, even with substantial merit money, isn't all that great. I suspect RIT's will be similar, but we haven't heard from them yet.)</p>

<p>An interesting offer from RPI or one of his reaches might change this, but with the full tuition offers at Drexel and Northeastern, and both of them with strong co-op programs and interesting-looking game design programs, it does seem like it might come down to a choice between the two of these schools. </p>

<p>Our impression is that Drexel's honors college has cooler social activities and extremely enthusiastic students, but that NEU's honors college actually has many more honors sections of core classes that could help ensure that the challenge/pace of classes is more appropriate. We're having a hard time figuring out if either school's co-op program is significantly better than the other. NEU is more conveniently located, with relatives nearby.</p>

<p>Anyone with thoughts on these two schools for a high-achieving student who wants an academically rigorous program?</p>

<p>mathmom - It strikes me (reading your post) that you probably know more about the group of listed schools than almost anyone. And as you point out, your S may have acceptances that make moot offers from both Drexel and Northeastern.</p>

<p>As a former engineering student myself (at one of the schools you list), my advice is to find your S a social environment that works for him. Engineering school difficult enough without having social struggles also.</p>

<p>Best of luck to your S.</p>

<p>Thanks NewHope. My S didn't apply anywhere where he didn't like the social environment. He likes the "nerdier" schools a bit better than the generalist schools, but not to a point where the general schools would be a social "struggle" -- he's pretty socially adaptable.</p>

<p>Has he visited the schools? My son did not consider Drexel but the visit to Northeastern plus the co-op is what put it on the top of his list. He is now a freshman at Northeastern. Go, Huskies!</p>

<p>I would check out the intern opportunities for his particular major at both schools. My employer has a relationship with NU and hires a lot engineering coop interns from NU. I wonder where the gaming kids get internships.</p>

<p>@pugmadkate, Yes, he has visited both schools, and liked them both. He doesn't have a favorite (between them or in general). </p>

<p>@mamom We are trying to see if he can get copies of the most recent batch of CS co-op jobs from both schools.</p>

<p>Very similar schools but I would put NEU as being a little better in prestige and upcoming reputation. Boston is also a little better hub for high tech jobs.</p>

<p>Don't both of these college have co-op programs and not internships? My son is considering Drexel and when we visited the iSchool this fall they told us that they have three to five co-op opportunities for every student. We heard something similar at RIT. That was in contrast to Pitt where were told that most students got internships but they had to seek them out (no co-op fairs) and some of them were un-paid. At Drexel and RIT they said that they didn't allow unpaid co-op's unless it was a non-profit company that the student really wanted to work at. The average co-op pay for iSchool students at Drexel is $17,000 for a 6 month position.</p>

<p>CS co-ops at Northeastern make really good money. $20+ an hour, generally. I don't know much about Drexel so can't compare.</p>

<p>Kathiep, I'm curious, how does Drexel fit in five co-ops? Are those all six-month, full-time? In how many years?</p>

<p>I think kathiep meant that they have more possible jobs than students. They told us that in the CS program as well. The five-year three co-op pattern at Drexel is very similar to that at Northeastern.</p>

<p>Mathmomvt- where might your son want to end up living/ working ?
I say this as a mother with a recent Univ of Notre Dame grad, who is now working in Chicago. The four/ or five years go by really fast, then the job offers probably in the area where he attended school ? Hence, my son is in Chicago.</p>

<p>Interesting thought, SJCM. I think he currently think he wants to return to VT but I think that's unlikely in any case. but I'll bring that up to him as a possible factor when he is deciding. </p>


<p>Drexel is probably less a "generalist" school than Northeastern. It is really an engineering school that has tacked on some additional areas (including, recently, a medical school, law school, public health school). The vast majority of the kids who go there are science/engineering oriented. That has never been my impression of Northeastern, although I know a lot less about Northeastern.</p>

<p>I know a couple kids at Drexel now, one in the fashion business program (very much a non-engineer), and one in the sound engineering program. It has been really successful for both.</p>

<p>Both schools are "up and coming". I think NEU has a slightly better overall reputation, but nothing too significant (Drexel Engineering>NEU Engineering). I suggest visiting both campuses and deciding which seems like the more comfortable fit. Both schools are really changing (I know Drexel is constructing a really nice new business building for 2014, NEU could have some plans). In the next ten years or so, I think both of these schools will hold much more reputation.</p>

<p>If he does go into the Game Design specialty of Computer Science, he may want to also include the courses most useful in general for software development careers, in case game design jobs and careers are not always readily available, or he finds that particular part of the industry not to his liking. Such courses would include software engineering, operating systems, networks, and intro theory (some of them may be included in the Game Design specialty). Additional courses whose concepts are likely commonly used would include databases, security, and user interfaces (the last is probably included in the Game Design specialty).</p>

<p>I think I would be curious to see what kind of co-ops were being offered for his major , and whether or not they are paid. Some of my daughter's friends had unpaid co-ops and a couple had no co-ops. But the majority of them had really great co-ops with impressive pay.
Also , my daughter has completed one co-op so far ( and she is still working there part time because they really liked her and wanted her to stay ) and she is currently participating in an unpaid internship as well .</p>

<p>Just want in on this thread to hear more contrasts of the 2 schools.</p>

<p>Can anyone comment on the level of challenge in the core courses at either of those schools for someone who is academically very strong? Are we right in our conclusion that Northeastern seems to offer more "honors sections" (presumably with a more appropriate pace and level of instruction) than Drexel?</p>

<p>At Northeastern, co-op is a requirement. (Can't comment on Drexel. At most engineering schools it is just an option, and it makes roommate coordination tricky if you have to miss a semester.) </p>

<p>NEU co-op is cool because it is part of everybody's rotation. You can continue to live on campus at least through the end of your third year, staying with your friends and clubs etc. Typically the student goes 5 years, with three 6-month co-ops intermingled.</p>

<p>Co-op seems about as central at Drexel as it is at NEU. It may not be a "requirement" but almost everyone does it, and life seems to revolve around the co-op rotations. (DH and I both attended (and met at) a co-op school, so we "get" how co-op works and how great it is. S did not apply to our alma mater because it does not offer game design.)</p>