In-state UC Riverside vs UW Madison for CS

Failing and having to repeat does happen. A lot of moving parts would have to perfectly synchronize to get out in three.

I like the efficiency of BS/MS in a leisurely 5 years, but it really boils down to what @DadTwoGirls said…what does the $80k mean to the OP.

UCR has some other advantages with respect to acceleration. UCR being a UC accepts California community college credits. From, there are several transferable courses he has taken via concurrent enrollment at a community college - the two Calculus courses have 9 semester/13.5 quarter credits as per the chart. And the American Sign Language that he has taken has 3 semester/4.5 quarter credits. I believe past students have been able to use these at UCs and Cal Poly to significantly shorten their time to graduate. At least one was able to finish his Physics Bachelor’s at Cal Poly in 3 years which was useful as he has gone to do PhD. So not necessarily an advantage for UW-Madison.

If the DE courses are UC transferable, then yes these credits can be used towards fulfilling some of major prep and GE courses which could possibly reduce his time at UCR by a quarter.

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It really doesn’t matter which school he goes to. There are plenty of companies that recruit from UW as well as UC-Riverside. Personally, I don’t see a benefit of spending an extra 80k for a bachelors degree when it can be done for much less.

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I suppose, though I have trouble imagining someone who has already taken MVC and DiffEq during HS would have that type of trouble in college (unless depression hits or somehow everything goes off the rails, in which case there would be bigger issues).

I don’t see that the OP did, but that is really neither here or there. Stuff happens. The plan has to work to perfection to get out in 3. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It’s simply a risk.

For the planning purposes we cannot count on either place being able to finish in 3 years. We are planning it to be 4 years for either UW-Madison or UCR. Hence I mentioned he could have a potential acceleration at either place, but maybe it is harder to get classes at either place as well which negates any potential acceleration.

It is likely that many of the students who graduate in fewer than 4 academic years (8 semesters or 12 quarters) do it a semester or quarter (or two) early, not a whole year early (i.e. 7 semesters or 10-11 quarters, rather than 6 semesters or 9 quarters). Similarly, many who graduate late need only an extra semester or quarter, not a whole year.

However, if the major has a required senior level course that is only offered in the spring semester or quarter, then that can limit the possibility of graduating a semester or quarter (versus an entire year) early, unless the student skips a semester or quarter earlier in the program (i.e. a gap or co-op job semester or quarter). Similarly, that type of course scheduling can force a late graduate to be a whole year late instead of a semester or quarter late.

Rigor can vary a lot across CS programs. Doesn’t mean a student can’t make up for it, and being a UC, standards at UCR likely aren’t as low as at certain schools I’ve found.

Actually, I was wrong: CLEP does qualify for a bunch of gen ed/breadth requirements at Wisconsin.
Which means, depending on how many credits you bring in, if you knocked out a bunch of gen ed/breadth requirements through CLEP, you’d likely be able to graduate in 3 years and still have breathing room (not everything has to fit perfectly).