I’ve seen many posts addressing this question but they are usually at least a few years old - sometimes quite old. Some are a bit negative, others are a bit positive, but I can’t get a clear answer. I realize Tufts is not MIT or Stanford for CS, but how good, and in particular how technically rigorous and challenging, is the Tufts computer science major? I would appreciate as many knowledgeable opinions as possible. THANK YOU VERY MUCH
Tufts is strong for computer science, both academically and through related activities. Computer science majors are invited to join a campus coding club that handles critical projects for the college and area businesses. CS majors receive summer internships and job offers from some of the best employers in the nation to include Amazon, Draft Kings and others.
Thank you for that, and I’m definitely glad to know that there are good summer internship and job possibilities for Tufts CS students. I guess part of my confusion is that people often talk about the bigger, well-known schools for STEM fields as being great places to major in CS (Cornell, Penn, UMaryland, RPI, NYU, Hopkins, etc.) but Tufts is not usually included in those very high computer science rankings. Do you know if the Tufts CS major involves a high level of technical rigour, which is something I do want? I’ve also read some comments about the Tufts CS department becoming weaker in recent years due to specific faculty changes.
Though there are pros and cons to published rankings, most at least have a consistent methodology in comparing schools.
USNews has Tufts as the 61st best undergrad CS program (vs. #30 for the University), CSRanking has it at #76, and it’s not ranked at thebestschools.com (top 20), THE (top 35), QS (top 35) or Shanghai (top 50).
My D is looking at CS programs and Tufts isn’t on her list. At a comparable GPA/SAT/overall university ranking, I’d put Michigan, GA Tech, and UVa as a better choice, not to mention less selective (overall) schools like Maryland, Purdue, Wisconsin and others.
I have seen the US News ranking. I guess 61 still seemed reasonable to me and I really like Tufts, but you are right, it’s not near the top. I don’t know what that means for undergrads going to that school. I’m wondering, for Tufts in particular, does it mean less science rigour? less challenge? less broad education in all the different important topics to learn for cs? less depth in terms of elective offerings? lower level of academic excellence or standards in related topics? fewer opportunities after college? teachers not at the top of their fields? I’ve even read some about how those rankings are done, but I can’t tell what #61 means really, for Tufts in particular? I’m sorry if I’m coming across as picky about what I’m looking for, but I’m just really trying to understand what the differences would be. I guess I’m trying to understand what would a student at Maryland or UVa get that a Tufts student wouldn’t get? I would like to be in the Boston area or at least northeast, if possible, although not necessarily crucial, so that’s part of why I’m interested in Tufts, plus I just think of it as a really good school in general.
Although the US news rankings may be directionally correct for national universities and liberal arts colleges, using their UG major rankings, beyond the top 10, is something I would never do - Laughable among industry experts and used with close to 0% of employers.
I would compare CS course offerings at Tufts vs other schools on your list. Look for depth and breadth in courses, as well as prof bios. Pay attention to class size and how often the upper level courses are offered.
I also encourage you to reach out to the career centers at the schools on your list, and ask them about CS placement in both internships and jobs. Find out what types of companies recruit there, the types of jobs grads are getting, the range in pay, etc. All the career centers should be happy to share that information with you, if not, consider that a negative.
Ivy Achievement Rankings. Outcome related CS rankings. Tufts is #39
You might find this site interesting in terms of comparing schools for computer science.
My S applied to Tufts and they have one of the largest programs for CS at private schools so we are expecting some depth, though he will need to learn more if accepted.
Ok that is helpful and I will try the advice. Is there anyone who can comment who is a recent Tufts computer science graduate? Thank you again.
No, but my friend’s student just got the two internships I described earlier - and he is heading to the west coast this summer - took Amazon. Note he had zero development experience prior to starting as a Tufts CS major and beat out more than 1.5k students. These interviews involve more than just answering questions BTW. They take resumes from anyone, but have 10 choice schools worldwide and Tufts is one of them. $2k per week for 12 weeks, 80% get jobs after with Amazon for $150k first year out of college…
If you get into Stanford or MIT, go, but if not you would be fortunate to have this option. Have you been accepted yet?
Great story but that’s a single data point. My spouse has been in that industry for 30+ years. Tufts isn’t a leader in CS. Especially if compared to other area schools ( MIT, Harvard, Umass, WPI, BU, Northeastern, etc).
I’d investigate fully if my kid wanted to attend Tufts for CS.
Sure, one can do well anywhere. But CS students are in demand. Attending a highly ranked program can help a lot since technology changes frequently, therefore networking is important. .
Is WPI considered better for CS than Tufts?
Does your husband work at Google, Amazon, Microsoft or Facebook (or Draft Kings Locally)? You should check with them. We are in a new world, no disrespect to 30-year veterans - as I am also one of those.
You get these jobs through coding challenges and Tufts kids are winning in MA. I have employed kids from all of those schools BTW - and the winner is Northeastern!
It is very hard to compare specialized schools with larger universities. It is also hard to compare schools when the average accepted applicants are not the same level. I do it all the time, but it is point for an interesting discussion IMO.
@michaeluwill can you please elaborate? Especially with respect to large vs small schools.
Ty to all. We are West Coast so trying to compare, potentially without visiting. S leans smaller private but applied to BC, Tufts, Dartmouth, Vermont honors. Accepted to Wpi and Umass early round. Out here it will be larger publics mainly in the mix plus SCU.
Risky territory, but here is how I see it. Big schools often come with bigger reputations, but people who know more don’t get fooled by that. Specialty schools, like WPI, may have better coursework than even Dartmouth, but people who know don’t get fooled by that either.
I give a lot of weight to the company you keep, who you are in class with -
Who has the “Stronger Student” from top to bottom -
THERE IS A LEVEL OF SCHOOL MISSING HERE
THERE IS A LEVEL OF SCHOOL MISSING HERE
This matters, no matter what you find about any specific major or program. On the other hand, I would layer in my knowledge of specific programs and make “minor” tweaks to this list. And that is how you know which school is actually stronger IMO. If you go too far with knowledge about the major, you may find that you are sorely mistaken. That goes for most schools, most majors - not just this discussion.
Another Q if you will and happen to know. Over in our neck of the woods, there is quite a bit of faculty poaching by big tech. The big schools fare better with that. Is that an issue over there as well?
It happens, but not my area of expertise. Sorry.
If you combine these two sets of criteria, you’re almost there. I’d discard the rankings as none of them capture what matters to you (e.g. CSRanking is more a function of the size of the CS department than anything else).
Also keep in mind that CS is very broad and specialization within it is often highly important. If you know what area you’re more interested in, it’d help a great deal in picking the right school.
That is an issue with many of the college “major” rankings, Big schools tend to over-perform. There are always criteria that favors them, and not enough interest in “major ranking” for anyone to figure it out.