I’m an international student. I’m taking math HL, Physics HL, econ hl… I’ve got pretty good grades in physics, my IB math grades are average, I’ve got good grades in english, social sciences, etc… I’m working to build up my SAT Math, but its currently below average to average level especially for an engineering student
So I’m trying to figure out if I should apply to one (or more) of these certain types of colleges:
- Really Tech based colleges (Polytechnics, Institutes of Technology like Stevens Inst. of Tech, Small tech colleges like Olin)… I have feeling because I’m not like 100% math-science nerd I won’t be able to compete for these colleges. What do you think?
- Large universities with liberal arts programs where I can focus on tech and CS, but also work on my soft skills and social sciences maybe even do some business, etc… I’m concerned my job prospects in CS will be low if I’m taking a Baccalaureate of Arts instead of Baccalaureate of Science and being in the Arts&Sci School instead of Engineering School of the Uni… What do you think?
- Small Liberal Arts colleges. These offer good liberal arts and have some new CS programs, but they seem underfunded, not that varied in courses, etc… What do you think?
What do y’all think about all this?
This article touches on CS programs and outcomes across colleges of various types: https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_4546120. Beyond common destinations for computer science such as Georgia Tech, CMU and HMC, you’ll note the presence of some liberal arts colleges.
What LACs are you looking at? Most of the top-ranked ones are very well-funded, and those at the very top have per-student endowments of over a million.
This story will give you a sense of the environment for computer science majors at a liberal arts college:
Whether the CS department is adequately sized to offer the expected upper level courses in the various subareas needs to be investigated individually for each college.
Also, LACs are not immune to capacity limitations. For example, Swarthmore has had to deny some students entry into CS courses and increase CS class sizes beyond the usual size at LACs due to not having enough capacity.
In comparing colleges, note that at even excellent engineering-oriented schools such as Stevens the math SAT score range lands at about the same place as that for top liberal arts colleges. This seems fairly remarkable considering the wide range of academic (as well as extracurricular) interests typically represented at an LAC.