SJSU vs UCSC vs UCSB vs UCR for computer science

hey, for context i’m from socal and i applied to some schools in texas / california / the east coast. ultimately, im choosing between:

• ⁠san jose state university
• ⁠uc santa cruz
• ⁠uc santa barbara (honors engineering college)
• ⁠uc riverside

i got into all of these colleges for comp sci, but i hope to double major in comp sci/math or comp sci/physics.

i don’t care too much about location — my main concern is the academics at each school (i think the social aspect will work out at any of them).

thank you!

The academics are going to be comparable. What about affordability and the ease if double majoring at each campus? Would a double major require you to attend more than 4 years? What is your career goal as a CS/Math or CS/Physics double major?

If you intend to double major, check each college to see if you can fit all of both majors into a four year (eight semester or twelve quarter) schedule.

  • Add up all of the courses / credits for the first major.
  • Add up all of the courses / credits for the second major that do not overlap with the first major.
  • Add up all of the general education requirements that do not overlap with the majors.
  • Subtract courses / credits that can be fulfilled with AP scores.

But also, reconsider whether you want to add a second major, as opposed to taking some courses of interest in the second major subject.

Also, does cost differ or matter?

hi, thank you for the responses! i’ve already looked into cost — that’s not a deciding factor as each college costs close to the same amount.

i am relatively confident that i would be able to double major in 4 years given the amount of gen ed’s / major requirements i have finished through aps and transferable community college courses respectively. i am uncertain about double majoring because i know that i can graduate with a comp sci degree much sooner if i just go for that, but i hope to attend a college that keeps the option open (so, i hope to attend a college where either the math or the physics program is strong). does anyone have any insight on that (as well as the relative strength of the comp sci programs, internship access, and ability to connect with professors)?

also, editing to add: i hope to get a job mainly focused on coding. my main reason for wanting to major in math / physics is that those are two subjects im very passionate about and interested in. quite frankly, im not certain what i would do with those degrees, but as i said before, i hope to keep the option to double major open in case i decide that getting a degree in math / physics would indeed be useful for my career / further education prospects.

i’ll add here what i generally have learned about the colleges: ucsb has a small engineering program so it’s easier to connect with colleges; sjsu has great access to internships b/c of location; each school has a strong comp sci program; ucsb has a strong physics program.

thanks again for everyone’s help; i really appreciate it!

Why double major? A career path with a CS degree is straight forward and sticking to that would allow you to dig deeper into that. UCSB will arguably have the best residential experience, but the 2 closer to Silicon Valley probably have some advantages too.

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i’m not set on doing a double major, but i hope to attend a college at which i can, since (as someone still in high school), i don’t know what exactly my future plans are. i’ll likely gain more clarity in college and be able to make a decision then.

essentially, im trying to avoid being in a situation where i decide that i would like to double major for some reason, and realizing that the college im at doesn’t have a strong program for math / physics.

Sadly that’s the thing about majoring many STEM. It can be difficult to do them unless you either start college in the major or decide in your frosh year (depending on how many frosh units doing something else apply to the new major). And frosh year is just the next year for a HS senior so it’s somewhat unlikely for someone to get a lot more clarity on their future than they had at the end of HS. Here’s an example of what I mean about the difficulty: at UCLA the BS in physics takes 110 units and the BA takes 96. You need 180 units to graduate and can get up to 216. So somewhere in those extra units you’d need to fit in all your GEs, any classes you took out of interest. There’s not a lot of room to spare; someone deciding after 2 years of college that physics is what they really want may not be able to do it.

Double-majoring is often possible because there can be a lot of overlap between somewhat related majors (maybe math and CS), or you can pick a 2nd major that doesn’t have a ton of requirements. History, for example.

It’s probably too late to look into before your SIR is due but UCSB has an entirely separate college, College of Creative Studies, which has majors in Math, Physics, and Computing. Despite the 1960s vibe in the name it’s really more of a grad school for undergrads where students have small classes for their major, advising, and can enroll in any class (undergrad or grad) at UCSB they feel ready to take on regardless of whether they’ve met the prerequisites. And UCSB also houses the Kavli Institute For Theoretical Physics. But in all honesty any college in the country is probably able to give an undergrad all the math or physics they can handle. Strength of the program isn’t the main issue, its the luck of the draw for who you get teaching them your semester.