This is a question about going for a degree in Computer Science when one has great grades in high school computer science, good grades in Physics/Chem/Biology and mediocre grades in math. Here are some statements I’ve come across while perusing this site :
-Avoid large public universities that weed students out. Questions: do public universities really do this more than privates? Do large schools (public or private) do this more than smaller schools? p.s. I’ve read the New York Times on this subject. It has the scary info about weeding, but does not specifically mention the type of school, with regards to it.
-Go to school where comp sci’ is not in the college of engineering. Questions: 1) are colleges of engineering truly harder to get into than getting into the arts & sciences and then trying to transfer to engineering? 2) Do employers look down on programs where the Comp Sci major is not within the school of Engineering? 3) Can you offer a list of schools where this is the case? ( a description of my son’s stats is at the end). 4) What about going to a lower tier school and being accepted into engineering?
-Aim for a school that is below the level of your stat profile. (i.e. make sure that even the weakest aspects of your profile are above average within the program you attend). This doesn’t just help you get in, but also succeed. Questions: 1) Which looks better to employers, a better school with good grades in comp sci courses and barely scraping by in math or a school a tier down where the comp sci grades will likely be even higher and more decent math grades? (he has zero idea if a graduate degree is in his future, so we have to operate with that as an unknown).
-math classes in college are more difficult than their counterparts in high school. Question: true or false (assuming you go to a school on par with your stats)?
-if you declare your interest in computer science, admissions will look more closely at your math grades. Question: is this only the case when applying to an Engineering College?
How important is it to do well on the AP computer science test? Obviously, it’d be great to do well, from a financial standpoint. But, does it look bad to have taken the class, gotten a good grade, and then do so-so (say a 3) on the test?
What about pursuing a BA in comp sci, rather than a BS? I’ve seen it described that the BA might be more for students who are looking to have careers outside of the world of computer science, but where some computer science is necessary. In comparing the BS to the BA degree at schools that have both, however, it looks like the BA makes more room for liberal arts and science classes (by having fewer math and CS requirements), BUT it doesn’t stop you from using the majority of your electives to take most of the same CS courses as someone with a BS. Question: How would that go down with employers? If it depends on the discipline within the field of computer science, which ones might care the least?
Here are my son’s stats (he’s a junior at a good public high school). :
Freshman year: CP Geometry, B+. Honors Physics, B. (does the algebra 1 grade from 8th grade matter?). Overall weighted GPA 3.47 (would have been a 3.76, had he not completely bombed music!).
Sophomore year: CP Algebra 2, B+. CP Chemistry, A-. Honors Comp Sci A+. Overall weighted GPA 3.82.
Junior year thus far: CP precalc, C+. Biology, A (plans to take AP bio next year). AP Comp Sci, A. Honors Networking, A. Overall GPA 3.8-would be a 4.0, if he could get precalc to a B
As you can see, his math and science grades are quite reasonable, but they are in CP level and his grade in precalc is not promising.
Also, his SAT math is 640 (verbal 710). Meh.
He is not very motivated to work harder to get his math or SAT score up (grrr); therefore, we need to operate within the above parameters in our college search.
I welcome help with any or all of my questions. Obviously, there are a lot. The college search just feels overwhelming with all of these unknowns. Thanks in advance.