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CS Admissions help (selecting unis: WPI, VT, Purdue, NEU, UofT)

McMunter4210McMunter4210 19 replies5 threads Junior Member
Hey guys, I need some help. I was admitted into comp sci at WPI, Virginia Tech, Purdue, Northeastern and University of Toronto (All 3 campuses, but the St. George [downtown] I got an alternate major that still allows me to go into comp sci), I am still awaiting Waterloo. Which one should I choose?

I don't know why Northeastern has a very meh reputation in my school (very easy to get into) and Purdue is known to be quite difficult and hellish and so is UofT. I am really stuck, what should I choose?
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Replies to: CS Admissions help (selecting unis: WPI, VT, Purdue, NEU, UofT)

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10213 replies119 threads Senior Member
    Purdue! Boiler up!

    My D is a second year engineering student. Far from hellish. She loves everything about Purdue. CS is going to be tough no matter where you go.

    Are finances a concern?
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  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science 4233 replies34 threads Forum Champion
    What are you looking for out of a school?

    Do you want sports and school spirit?

    Do you want an urban campus?

    How much is a co-op focus important to you?

    You've got a lot of great options for CS here, but no one can tell you what you should pick unless you know what you're looking for!
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  • McMunter4210McMunter4210 19 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Not really a problem for finances
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  • McMunter4210McMunter4210 19 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I don't really need school spirit, I just want the place that's going to lad me a good job
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  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science 4233 replies34 threads Forum Champion
    All of these are going to land you a good job. You have no other preferences?
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  • McMunter4210McMunter4210 19 replies5 threads Junior Member
    PengsPhils wrote: »
    All of these are going to land you a good job. You have no other preferences?

    At the moment I'm leaning towards WPI, VT, and UofT. However, my parents are strongly discouraging me from going to UofT because they filter out students in the first year (a.k.a they only allow you to start majoring in comp sci after getting above 80% in your first year comp sci courses)
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  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science 4233 replies34 threads Forum Champion
    @McMunter4210 Why those schools over the others? Just trying to understand your criteria here.

    CS entry requirements are good to be wary of, though 80% is pretty manageable as far as those go. The more worrisome ones are the bars set year to year by competing with other students. If you can confirm the UofT bar is always the same and at that reasonable level of 80% I wouldn't worry about it.
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  • promom4promom4 107 replies2 threads Junior Member
    My D is at WPI and we have been very pleased. No weed out classes, you can change your major at any time, they have handled the Covid-19 issue really really well.
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  • McMunter4210McMunter4210 19 replies5 threads Junior Member
    PengsPhils wrote: »
    @McMunter4210 Why those schools over the others? Just trying to understand your criteria here.

    CS entry requirements are good to be wary of, though 80% is pretty manageable as far as those go. The more worrisome ones are the bars set year to year by competing with other students. If you can confirm the UofT bar is always the same and at that reasonable level of 80% I wouldn't worry about it.

    Toronto just cuz I love the city and my brother lives in Canada and the campus looks so nice, it's one of the best universities in the world, and I can apply for PR after 5 years also and they have co-op. Purdue, Wpi, and VT are just good stem schools, and they are a bit out of cities but I don't mind that. They all have good programs but when I look at career salary earnings WPI and VT seem to come out on top. VT looks like an amazing town and a great place. But WPI is also really nice and they are project based learning which I love, plus they gave me and 80K scholarship. Purdue I am in data science and i will be hoping to switch to computer science. Idk I haven't had a good vibe from Purdue because everyone tells me they really stick it to you there and the town is quite boring. Alot of people I know have gone there and were unhappy.
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  • McMunter4210McMunter4210 19 replies5 threads Junior Member
    promom4 wrote: »
    My D is at WPI and we have been very pleased. No weed out classes, you can change your major at any time, they have handled the Covid-19 issue really really well.

    Can you tell me a bit about Worcester itself? How is the town? Stuff to do, food, etc
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  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science 4233 replies34 threads Forum Champion
    edited April 4
    They all have good programs but when I look at career salary earnings WPI and VT seem to come out on top.

    I'd be careful with this as the other schools you're looking at are not all engineering-focused, so industries that make less pull down average salaries when you don't account for major.
    Toronto just cuz I love the city and my brother lives in Canada and the campus looks so nice, it's one of the best universities in the world, and I can apply for PR after 5 years also and they have co-op.

    For me that makes me wonder why Northeastern isn't at the top here given that it hits many of the same things and has just a good of an engineering program as the rest of the places here.
    Can you tell me a bit about Worcester itself? How is the town? Stuff to do, food, etc

    Worchester is a bit sleepy but it has a known concert venue and some food options. There are basically two main areas with clusters of food and shops in the town. Boston or Toronto has quite a bit more of course. Worchester is an hour train ride into Boston so not crazy to visit but not nearly as convenient as UofT or Northeastern in terms of city access.

    Based on Purdue meaning you have to switch into CS I'd eliminate it when you have so many other options, that makes sense.

    In terms of CS strength here, I personally looked at WPI and Northeastern myself (among others) and picked Northeastern, though I have nothing but respect for WPI and its project-based approach. Boston vs Worchester was certainly part of the draw for me as well. Northeastern is also relatively project-based and co-op is great of course. One thing that differentiates Northeastern's CS is its teaching approach, which its intro approach is actually used at Waterloo as well, detailed here:

    https://felleisen.org/matthias/Thoughts/Developing_Developers.html
    edited April 4
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10213 replies119 threads Senior Member
    Switching into CS at Purdue is very difficult and not guaranteed no matter how high your GPA. If that’s your goal, scrap it from your list and go where you gave a direct admission.

    For the record though - Purdue students are happy and engaged, and have tremendous school spirit. You’ll work hard in CS at any school.
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  • promom4promom4 107 replies2 threads Junior Member
    promom4 wrote: »
    My D is at WPI and we have been very pleased. No weed out classes, you can change your major at any time, they have handled the Covid-19 issue really really well.

    Can you tell me a bit about Worcester itself? How is the town? Stuff to do, food, etc

    It’s quite diverse food-wise with many authentic ethnic restaurants. Good locally owned restaurants within walking distance from gourmet burgers to Thai to high end seafood. There are farmer’s markets, art museums, ice skating, snow skiing & hiking are close enough.

    Worcester is the 2nd largest city in New England. It’s super easy to get to Boston & there is an airport in Worcester that is served by American, Delta & JetBlue. WPI is in the nicest part of Worcester in most people’s opinion.

    We live 900 miles from Worcester & have been extremely pleased. As far as covid - they refunded every penny of room & board for students who live in a dorm right now. We already have the $. Also the online courses are live Video & it’s as close to being on campus as you can get. They are also doing office hours, tutoring, etc.

    Also, they do several career fairs & freshman are welcome to participate.


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  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer 1259 replies3 threads Senior Member
    edited April 4
    As promom4 already noted, Worcester is the second largest city in New England, but still is not Boston. I went to WPI many years ago and wrote for the school newspaper. We often traveled to Boston to hear the BSO ... for those old enough to remember, Erich Leinsdorf was conducting and tickets were cheap for students, but that is all history now as tickets are not cheap!

    Clark University, Holy Cross, Worcester State and a number of other small colleges are also in Worcester, but it clearly is not Boston. You will probably find yourself very well occupied in and around the WPI campus. Between athletics, chorus, fraternity, the school newspaper, local restaurants you will be very busy. I did report on a Timothy Leary debate while visiting Cambridge (look him up) and had a lot to write about in the University paper!

    It is very difficult to beat the flexibility offered in today's WPI curriculum. You can and likely will explore many different and related options. You are not likely to be bored!

    What will YOU do?

    See if this helps @ https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&ei=T76IXoeRHNK-gge2g5-YBw&q=worcester+MA+entertainment&oq=worcester+MA+entertainment&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzICCAAyAggAMgYIABAWEB4yBggAEBYQHjoECAAQRzoECAAQQzoFCAAQgwE6BQgAEJECOggIABAWEAoQHkoVCBcSETktMTc0ZzE4M2cxNTZnMTg1Sg4IGBIKOS0xZzlnMTBnN1DvsQFYp_cBYPP6AWgBcAJ4AIABzgGIAeUjkgEGMC4yNS4xmAEAoAEBqgEHZ3dzLXdpeg&sclient=psy-ab&ved=0ahUKEwjH9J_PoM_oAhVSn-AKHbbBB3MQ4dUDCAs&uact=5
    edited April 4
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  • CaryPlannerCaryPlanner 13 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Promom4, do WPI freshman and sophomore CS majors have luck finding internships?
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  • promom4promom4 107 replies2 threads Junior Member
    I think it varies. When we visited last spring we met several older students and they had all had multiple internships - cool ones like Hasbro & Boston Dynamics & Ames Lab. And the seniors we met all had jobs in March. I think it likely depends on how much effort your student puts in, but there are a LOT of opportunities.

    My d is in a different major and has an internship for the summer at home from a company that reached out to her through linkedin. They told her that the WPI name certainly helped and WPI is unknown by most people here. She’s finishing her 1st year at WPI.

    She did go to the career fair & was able to talk to companies & applied for a few across the country. One was in San Diego so it’s not all NE.

    I don’t know if those would have come to fruition. She is thrilled to have an internship at home for this summer. I expect she will find internships in other parts of the country in the future.

    WPI has been the best decision. Our flagship is Purdue. Zero regrets.
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  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer 1259 replies3 threads Senior Member
    If you have not already do so, check this out @ https://www.wpi.edu/student-experience/career-development/internships
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  • boudersbouders 2688 replies187 threads Senior Member
    PengsPhils wrote: »
    All of these are going to land you a good job. You have no other preferences?

    However, my parents are strongly discouraging me from going to UofT because they filter out students in the first year (a.k.a they only allow you to start majoring in comp sci after getting above 80% in your first year comp sci courses)


    That's not true, beginning this year. @McMunter4210 Previously, the cutoff was 83-87% in order to declare the CS major or specialist if you were admitted to the CS projgram. With a course average around 75%, that was indeed a high bar. Beginning this year, the conditions to declare the CS major or specialist have changed, if you are admitted to the CS program. Here are the new requirements:
    In order to meet the Computer Science Admission Guarantee at the end of first year, CMP1 students must complete these requirements.

    Computer Science Specialist and Major

    Complete at least 4.0 credits.

    Complete CSC110Y1 with a final mark of at least 70%.

    Complete CSC111H1 with a final mark of at least 77%.

    Complete MAT137Y1 or MAT157Y1.

    More details can be found here: https://web.cs.toronto.edu/a-new-first-year-experience#admissionguarantee
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  • McMunter4210McMunter4210 19 replies5 threads Junior Member
    bouders wrote: »
    PengsPhils wrote: »
    All of these are going to land you a good job. You have no other preferences?

    However, my parents are strongly discouraging me from going to UofT because they filter out students in the first year (a.k.a they only allow you to start majoring in comp sci after getting above 80% in your first year comp sci courses)


    That's not true, beginning this year. @McMunter4210 Previously, the cutoff was 83-87% in order to declare the CS major or specialist if you were admitted to the CS projgram. With a course average around 75%, that was indeed a high bar. Beginning this year, the conditions to declare the CS major or specialist have changed, if you are admitted to the CS program. Here are the new requirements:
    In order to meet the Computer Science Admission Guarantee at the end of first year, CMP1 students must complete these requirements.

    Computer Science Specialist and Major

    Complete at least 4.0 credits.

    Complete CSC110Y1 with a final mark of at least 70%.

    Complete CSC111H1 with a final mark of at least 77%.

    Complete MAT137Y1 or MAT157Y1.

    More details can be found here: https://web.cs.toronto.edu/a-new-first-year-experience#admissionguarantee

    Hi, but I was put into another program (not CS) but they said I can still do these courses and do CS in my second year even though I am out of stream
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  • boudersbouders 2688 replies187 threads Senior Member
    @McMunter4210 I didn't see previously that you had not been admitted to CS at U of T. In that case, I would recommend against U of T if you have the intention to do a CS degree. It's a very high bar if you don't have a direct admit to the CS program.
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