Would an extra year help?

<p>Hello,</p>

<p>I am a first time poster, though I have been reading the forums awhile and have found lots of good information. I am currently a Computer Science major and thinking about double majoring in that and Math. However, if I do that then I am looking at a total of 4 and a half or 5 years of undergraduate school, I'm a sophomore. </p>

<p>Is it worth going another year to get the double major? Will top 50 graduate schools (Computer Science) like that, or would they prefer just getting a degree in CS?</p>

<p>I don't go to very good undergraduate school, but I do and will have a 3.9+ GPA, many EC's, and will try hard to get a good grade on the GRE. Also, I plan on doing research with the faculty. I know this isn't a lot of information, but I was hoping for some help. Thank you.</p>

<p>It really depends on your aspirations within computer science. Computer science is a mathematically-heavy field, but I'm assuming that the majority of CS undergrad programs will give you enough math to prepare for a CS graduate program. If you wanted to do something more mathematically heavy in CS programs, then minoring or double-majoring in math might be a good idea.</p>

<p>I still regret not double-majoring or minoring in math. I was a psychology major, but now in graduate school I am interested in statistical applications and I need to beef up my math. If I had minored in it in undergrad I'd already have the math I need. I would say go ahead and minor in the math if you are already interested in it, because math is always useful. But I don't think you need to double-major in it unless you are interested in some heavy mathematical research within CS. Ask some professors.</p>

<p>What juillet said. Math is useful but not necessarily useful enough to justify another year of tuition expenses. If you are interested in an extremely math-intensive area of computer science (e.g. machine learning, graphics, complexity theory), you might consider switching to a math major with a minor in computer science. Otherwise the standard math courses recommended to CS majors (discrete math, linear algebra, calculus) give you a solid foundation for the more systems-oriented branches of computer science. </p>

<p>Re grad school admissions: excel at what you do and you will get noticed. Acing a double-major in math is one way of showcasing your analytical and problem-solving skills, but certainly not the only way and maybe not the path that makes you the happiest. (Upper-division abstract math courses can make you miserable if you are not interested in that type of stuff...)</p>

<p>I was not in computer science myself but I have several friends from college who are now attending top 10 PhD programs in computer science. Some of them loaded up on math, some of them avoided math as much as they could. They all found a path that worked for them.</p>

<p>I'm going to chime in.</p>

<p>If spending another year doesn't hurt you much financially, then do it. It is well worth spending another year getting a math major. Also, the extra time you'll spend in getting more research experience will help you get into a better graduate program.</p>

<p>I've worked as a programmer at an aerospace company and as an engineer at a game software company. In addition, I've developed bioinformatics software for the scientific community. Even though I was able to do the jobs, it wasn't easy because I didn't have an extensive math background. There was a lot of trial and error for me...arrrgh!!</p>

<p>Math does more than people realize. It gets you to fine-tune your problem solving skills to a degree where you will "fit" pretty much anywhere more easily.</p>

<p>Since you're only a sophomore, you really don't know what area of computers you're going to be working in down the road. So don't limit yourself now.</p>

<p>One area that I know requires a lot of math/statistics is in the area of biology. There is so much biological data that has to be run through complex mathematically intensive algorithms. Also, molecular modeling, especially with proteins, requires a great deal of math knowledge.</p>

<p>And there are tons of other examples. </p>

<p>In 5 or 10 years, you won't even remember that you spent an extra year in school. It won't matter anymore.</p>