<p>So here is my master plan for quitting my job in Reservoir Engineering to pursue my passion in computing.
I already have a BS in Petroleum Eng. from the Colorado School of Mines and 4 years of work experience under my belt. My goal is to earn a Masters degree in CS, but since I have few CS credits and no research experience I know that I am not likely to get into a strong program right now. Thus, I have applied as an Undergraduate Degree-Seeking student with the goal of A) taking the fundamental courses and then applying to a graduate program or B) applying to one of the joint MS/BS programs and earning an MS+BS or C) applying to a joint program, then saying to hell with the BS, and walking away with an MS (is this possible?).
And as to my main question: Should I go for the University of Maryland--College Park or UT--Austin? I have been admitted to both schools for Fall 2012 as a transfer Undergraduate degree-seeking CS Major (Admitted for Spring 2012 + Deferred 1 semester). My considerations are 1. Maximizing likelihood of getting into the graduate program 2. Program quality and 3. Cost.</p>
<p>Here are the factors I have weighed so far:</p>
(*Est. 5 Semesters for MS+BS)</li>
a. Easier to get into Joint MS BS program?
b. Easier to get into MS program?
c. Lower tuition ($21.4k/yr).
d. Fewer core requirements that I have not transferred (~3 core courses for BS).
e. More flexibility in the CS sequence pre-reqs.</p>
a. Higher cost-of-living (my guess $3.6k/yr vs. Austin).
b. Further from family.</p>
(*Est. 6 Semesters +- 1 Summer for MS+BS)</li>
a. Highly ranked school,
b. Strong in the CS specializations I think I'm interested in (scientific computing, machine learning).
c. 3 hours from my folks.
d. My wife would love Austin.</p>
a. Risk: very selective admission to MS program.
b. I lack 9-10 core courses for BS (TX Govt, Am Hist, ...)!
i. again this is just in case my only option here is to do MS+BS and complete the BS.
ii. or as a failsafe, I'd like to at least walk away with a BS.
c. Cost ($32k/yr, OOS tuition is expensive).</p>
<p>*estimates based on my transferred coursework and MS&BS requirements.</p>
<p>Also if it matters, I am 25 and recently married. </p>
<p>Thanks for the input!</p>