How tough is CMU: SCS?

<p>Relative to other top SCS schools?</p>

<p>Carnegie Mellon SCS is very tough. I think the current ranking is either #1 or #2 in the country. In terms of personal experience, I know many CS majors who don't sleep at night and program Friday nights until 12AM. First year will either make you or break you, if you have to take 15-100, which you probably won't being a CS major, I advise you not to take Pattis. </p>

<p>Anyone entering into CS, should not go in with the idea that it is going to be any easier than schools like MIT or Stanford, in many ways they will expect more from you.</p>

<p>Damn. I was intending on taking a second major in business administration, and possibly trying to get two degrees (depending on how demanding that would be). How feasible do you think that is?</p>

<p>Business is known for being the lazy major at CMU, but in reality, it is one of the most demanding. This is because Carnegie Mellon requires you to earn at BS and not a BA, which means going above and beyond. A lot of students think that if they are good at mathematics, classes like Economics will be easy. The business major is short 4 classes of the Economics major, so you will take your fill of econ. Also, as a double major in Business, your Freshman year you will be taking one of the most difficult Econ classes with a world-renowned, but HARD Professor.</p>

<p>I don't know many double majors in Business and CS, but I do know a CS major who has a BA minor. Also note, that with the MBA you don't necessarily need a business degree. You would be much more marketable with an MBA as opposed to a BA, which most BAs have to earn anyway. CMU also has AMP (Accelerated Masters Program) my friend who is in CS applied and was accepted, and gets to earn his MBA with only 5 years of college. </p>

<p>This isn't to discourage you entirely, but you should know that it won't be an easy ride. It is possible, the great thing about Business majors is that they spend so much time working together and networking, and you get to know alot of people. Working with others will make your time much easier, but be prepared to have more than 8 hours of work a night with a BA/CS degree. There are people out there who don't end up doing that much, but those that do are pretty common. </p>

<p>If I were you, I would speak to an academic advisor and find out what options are out there. A BS in Business isn't exactly necessary when you can earn an MBA with less stress later.</p>

<p>CS isn't necessarily hard it really depends on who can write code and who can't. Freshman year definately does not weed people out. First semster is a walk in the park for anyone who knows what a programming language is. Second semester requires you taking a theory course which is a lot of work and a good number fail it each semseter.</p>

<p>I was thinking of doing a double major in business and I was told that this is pretty common in the CS department. Currently I have decided to pursue a business major and a robotics minor because I found econ to be quite boring, but thought that the business background would be helpful.</p>

<p>But for CS, it is not bad until you get into higher level courses. About 70-80% of the programs this first year I finished in one day.</p>

<p>Why would they spend friday nights up til 12...? Isnt that THE prime night to go out? Maybe i'm weird but I always thought that if you have to choose a night when not to do work it'd def be friday since you dont have classes the next two days. If you work Friday, then when do you go out?</p>

<p>I got accepted to SCS but the (lack of) social life combined with all these people (including CMU itself) scaring you that SCS is a ridiculously hard program certainly isn't appealing. Im not obsessed with programming - i just enjoy it - so, to me, it is not worth it to sacrifice social life for great academics.</p>

<p>Can anyone tell me why I should go here and load myself up with work when I could be enjoying myself (at least part of the time) at the other engineering schools (i'll major in CS) i got accepted to: Columbia SEAS and Penn SEAS? Sure, CMU promises more money because companies like CS students from there, BUT i'm not a materialstic whore and I'm sure they like students from the ivies, too, even if their CS programs arent nearly as good. Is it worth it to work your ass off during whats supposed to be some of the best years of your life?</p>

<p>My son graduates next month, with CS as a second major. He also is an AMP student in the MISM program so he's a fifth year.</p>

<p>Naturally I've asked him how hard is CS at CMU. His answer is some classes are hard, some aren't. He thought 211 and 212 sequence and one other course in particular were brutal, I don't know if that was his 2nd or 3rd year, but doable. The key is some courses aren't bad so it balances out. </p>

<p>He wouldn't be could dead writing code at midnight Friday night or studying anything for that matter, not even close. I chuckle when I read on cc there's no social life at CMU. He lives in a fraternity, is very social, has had a great fun 5 years. He's headed to NYC in July so the fun will continue. There are some CS kids who seem to work all the time, you'll find that anywhere but prob more at CMU that other schools.</p>

<p>Thanks for the insight, 2331. Good to hear. :-)</p>

<p>Speaking as an older parent:</p>

<p>I am constantly amazed how people, young and old can draw strong conclusions from a statement "I know many" or " I heard of someone" ...</p>

<p>I know that this may be the only piece of information that you have, but the logic of drawing a conclusion is not based on any statistic (in this particular thread, a statistical population of, 1, or on how this can relate to your own unique personality.</p>

<p>Let's examine your first paragraph's questions but ask them in as slightly different manner:</p>

<p>'Why should*n't* they spend friday nights up to 12...? Is that the ONLY prime night to go out? Maybe I'm ordinarily wierd, but I always thought that if you have to choose a night when not to do work, it'd be def be Sunday, since you got the work done on Friday. If you work Friday, then can*'t* you go out any other time?'</p>

<p>Good study habits and skills can put you miles and meters above *your*competitition. Any you did less work and spent less time than your competition.</p>

<p>Our S gets his work done ASAP. If he thinks he should work on Friday nights, he works Friday, and if necessary, on Sat and Sun. too. If you start the work on Sunday and the stuff is due of Monday-- Can you guess who gets the better grades, the best inschool internships, the best recommendations, the best jobs. Can you see that this same situation probably exists at whatever school you attend, PENN or COLUMBIA, or any other college?</p>

<p>You would be amazed to discover how much free time and social life my S has by doing work on Friday. He also doesn't have to study as hard because he does the stuff as soon as possible rather than let the knowledge become stale. He sleeps early on Sunday night and alert on M-F, while his roommates are up very late Sunday, and who are tired every day thereafter because they are always trying to play catchup. When our S studies of Sunday, its on something that he enjoys or on something that puts him a notch above everyone else. And it takes only A notch more, to be noticed.</p>

<p>Now you have a statistical population of, 2.</p>

<p>Good Luck.</p>

<p>Keep an open mind. Explore the alternatives, even when contary to popular thinking. The famous people all did something that everyelse said otherwise. You can always say 'No' after your own investigation." Be your own person."</p>

<p>If you see the Buddha, kill the Buddha.</p>

<p>If you are writing code Friday night at midnight, odds are you either (a) are too out of it to have any social life anyway (b) have not great time management skills. An exception might be when you are having a particularly heavy week, see below.</p>

<p>A major difference between hs and college is the amount of time you are actually in class. My S hasn't had a Friday class in a long time, like itstoomuch S mine uses Friday in the day for catching up, getting ahead, whatever, the point is he has a system. His system allows him to have plenty of free time for social life, it's a priority for him. </p>

<p>Besides some classes being harder and some easier, you also find you may have a hard week or an easy week (true at any rigorous college). If S has a week where a lot exams are coming or projects are due, that will be the week he'll work Sat and/or Sun, whatever it takes. My point is you will in all likelihood develop a system that allows you plenty of free time to socialize, but things change along with the workload of that particular week. I didn't state that very well but you get my point.</p>

<p>Good luck to you.</p>

<p>how hard is the AMP, the 5 year BS and MBA. How hard is it to get into it.</p>

<p>Heh...I already stay up late on weekends writing code. Nothing new there.</p>

<p>Over the past academic year, I've been trying to expand my knowledge in CS. I bought Knuth's TAoCP and I've been reading it, just to get used to having to absorb things that initially seem to be beyond me. I've also been teaching myself new programming languages and forcing myself to use only the one I'm currently learning. My idea is that if I'm tough on myself now, having other people be tough on me in college won't be too much of a shock to the system.</p>

<p>Just so you know, I'm going to SCS.</p>


<p>Sounds like you'll do just fine. At a Family Weekend talk, the freshman advisor, a hilarious guy whose name I don't recall, talks to us parents and gives some statistics. One I recall, although not exact I'm very close, is of a recent CS class that started with about 125, in 4 (or 5) years only one transferred out of CMU, maybe 5 transferred out of CS into another major within CMU, and the rest finished the program. I remember thinking 95% of the kids who start end up with a CS degree.</p>

<p>You'll work hard but it's an amazing program.</p>