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Chances for CS programs


Replies to: Chances for CS programs

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,036 Senior Member
    Be aware that some of the schools listed in reply #13 have more competitive admissions for CS majors and/or a secondary admission process to get into the CS major after enrolling.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,654 Senior Member
    Re the privates (at this point, others can explain the UC situation better.)
    The B in honors chem and AP calc BC are tough, as they relate to your interests. The volume of B grades is tough, partly because they want kids fully on their game and partly because once there, the classroom bar is high. Adcoms select not just for admits but for college classroom strengths.

    The 4 scores in comp sci and physics 1 are tough because, again, they relate to your major interest, reflect learning success. (A 4 isn't bad, per se, but this is a fierce competition, they'll cherry pick.)

    And the cherry picking: as said before, it's not like you offer an outstanding record in EC depth and breadth. As you realize, lots of what you project listing on your app is yet to be done.

    Sorry, but lots of kids do online courses, personal programing, create apps, do internships, enter contests. Plus non-stem activities in high school, and significantly more service, in their communities.

    The UC research is good, but you've barely started, will likely *not* publish anything (it's a long cycle to get work vetted, acepted, then enter the publishing timeline. And your name on an article, as a hs kid, is nice, but not a tip.)

    And the other sumer work is good- but the value in the sw development internship (or similar, in engineering) is in the collaboration, the interactions, teaming, etc.. No telling how it being mostly remote will be seen by adcoms.

    You're asking for a projection based on "If" I do this or that, not an estalished record, yet. Add to that, thousands of kids will apply for stem from CA and these colleges like geographic diversity.

    What I suggest: you can finalize reaches in 4 months. For now start looking hard for safeties, colleges and universities that do not expect a long term, fuller picture of activities and for whom B's and 4s are within range of their sucessful applicants. Get a Fiske Guide to colleges and as you find schools in your range, explore their EEand CS oferings and strenths. I can't suggest many of these, my perspective is the most competitives. I know what comes in stem/ engineering apps for that level and it's ridiculously competitive- there is no magic trump card.

    So CYA first.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,036 Senior Member
    edited May 2018
    And how do I know whether or not a school is a safety? Can I consider it a safety if the acceptance rate is at least 40%?

    A non-impacted CSU where CS is not an impacted major is a safety, since you easily surpass the CSU baseline eligibility criteria (for California residents, 3.0 GPA with any test score, or a sliding scale of lower GPA and test score; GPA is calculated like UC weighted capped). However, the only CSU campuses that fit this description are CSUB, CSUCI, CSUDH, CSUStan, and SFSU.

    However, it is probable that all CSUs other than CPSLO and SJSU are very likely admits for you even for CS. But only SJSU and CSUN appear to publish past frosh admission thresholds.
  • bogeyorparbogeyorpar Registered User Posts: 771 Member
    Well, since nobody addressed the elephant in the room yet, let me address it. You are an Asian Male wanting to study Computer Science. Look around and check other Asian Male CS applicant's GPA and test scores and ECs, then decide if you still want to apply to the Ivies and Stanford/MIT/Caltech. Several people already mentioned that CS program usually require higher stats and ECs; and an Asian Male applying to CS will require even higher than the already high stats and ECs.

    IMHO, if you apply to all UCs, you have your safety covered (with UCSC, UCI, UCR, UCM). You can add a few high reaches for lottery, but don't expect much from those. If you want a slightly better chance of Ivies, do ED to UPenn and Cornell.
  • gallentjillgallentjill Registered User Posts: 1,872 Senior Member
    edited May 2018
    What I suggest: you can finalize reaches in 4 months. For now start looking hard for safeties,

    This is the most important thing you can take away from this thread. If you are applying to all the UC's, it appears from what others have said, that you have some safeties. Again, I don't know the UC system well enough to comment. However, please make sure that you are actually willing to attend any of those schools. I don't want you to be one of the many kids who will post next spring, miserable, because you only got into your safety and you hate it. The best gift you can give to yourself are a couple of safeties that you LIKE and can afford. After you have that locked down, then go ahead and think about the others.

    You keep asking how you can make your application stronger. I think you have already been given that advice. Some here think there is not much you can do. I and others think that you can keep working on your ECs and especially find someone to help you present yourself in the best light. Even if that won't move the needle much on the very top schools, it will help a lot with the next tier down. However, we all agree that no matter what you do, your chances are minuscule at the very top. As @bogeyorpar said, (And I mentioned in an earlier post) as an Asian male CS hopeful, your chances are even less. You are a math kid. You should know what a 98% chance of rejection means.

    There is a thread on here somewhere from an Asian male student who made headlines for being one of only 5 students in the nation to get a perfect score on the Chemistry AP. He had a higher GPA then you and excellent scores and he didn't get into his top choices either. I wish I could find the thread.

    No one is trying to denigrate your achievements. Clearly you are intelligent and have a bright future. We just don't want you to be one of the many students that we have to talk off the ledge next spring.
  • GreymeerGreymeer Registered User Posts: 481 Member
    Your ACT scores show that you are academically qualified for all of these schools but 3.7 GPA makes it unlikely. You need to show an upward trajectory for your GPA. Also, most the colleges you've listed have CS admit rates of less than 20%. So they are reaches even with a high GPA.

    Sub 10% admit... More like 5%:
    Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Caltech, Upenn, Cornell, ?Brown?, CMU

    Sub 20% admit... More like 10%:
    Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD, Umich, USC
    GaTech has a 19% admit rate for OOS, CS 10%
    UIUC has a 60% rate for the school, CS 18% and you are OOS... So for you CS ~10%.

    Higher than 20%:
    All the other UC's Cal Poly SLO

    For reaches, I think you have a good chance at UCSD since you are instate. Maybe USC.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,654 Senior Member
    There are ways OP can improve his app. I agree there. But it's a matter of trying to properly parse the advice given and seeing how you can apply it. A mark of the right sorts of drives is that openness- not asking, if I do X, can I get into this reach. And I mean personal willingness to view this in certain ways. Not the passive leaning on others to do it or tell. It starts with the individual.

    I'm not sure OP recognizes the sort of competition this is. It's not, "Yeah, but I'll knock these one or two things out of the park, will that satisfy adcoms?"
  • lbflbf Registered User Posts: 254 Junior Member
    @Huangmaster I applaud your goals but I think you need to adjust your list a bit. I know you have worked very hard in HS and it seems as if you should have a shot at all of the schools on your list. Almost every school on your list except for some of the UC's are going to be a high reach for almost everyone as they are all very selective. Admissions is a crazy thing and it is hard to explain who gets in and why. When looking at CS programs see if the CS department is in engineering or not? Engineering programs are usually much tougher to get into. I heard USC's Viterbi acceptance was under 10%. Look at University of Maryland they have an excellent CS program as well as Northeastern in Boston. Also as @gallentjill mentioned Purdue has an excellent CS programThey both have their own CS school instead of being in engineering. I always say if you aren't going to reach for the stars when you are 17/18 when are you going to do it? That being said you need some schools that you like that will be more of a match or safety since so many of your schools are so selective. Best of luck!!!!
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,215 Senior Member
    I was going to suggest u Wisconsin, northeastern, and u Maryland for CS. They'd be excellent matches. Penn state would be a safety.
    Apply to honors college at all.
    Ugh, UCLA, UCSD for CS are basically out of reach but apply since C's only requirebone app. If you wouldn't be happy at UCSC for CS apply to more matches.
    With UCs, Santa Clara, CPP, Cal polyslo, and USC you'd be covered.
    (Add the other ones as very high reaches once you've done a good job on all of the above).
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 2,041 Senior Member
    Do keep UIUC on your list and add Case Western. Consider U of Colorado Boulder which is now
    ranked 40 in CS. While your grades are low for direct admit to CS at UIUC
    and admission at all at Case Western, you
    may be able to get into UIUC and work your way into your major. Check that carefully.

    GaTech, your grades are too low, to get into College of Computing
    but you may get into a math program there, maybe, I believe. GaTech is ridiculously
    hard for OOS applicants today.

    Ditto on all the Ivys and Michigan. Michigan is way way harder than GaTech for CS and OOS.
    Aim lower to have success, but also order up your matches, so you do not apply to so many. Its just
    a waste of money if you have an in state safety/match, like San Jose State??, or Cal Poly Pomona may
    be a match for you in state.

    Also many Ivys may not suit you, only chose the ones that have EECS, and forget the rest.
    For instance, Dartmouth,its a five year engineering degree, do you want to spend five years in
    rural New Hampshire?

    Purdue, UIUC, and Case Western should be on your list.
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 2,041 Senior Member
    You do seem to have a lot of relevant extracurriculars, and seem very hopeful to win a lot of prizes.
    If you do, then your list can shift to the more competitive schools, but you have to focus a bit more
    on studying and classroom tests to raise your GPA, to get into many of your desired programs.

    Your B in BC calculus is a little troubling. Are you in a very highly ranked Los Angeles high school?
    what math will you take in senior year? Can you get a tutor so you ace it?

    Cornell offers binding ED that ups the admission %, but you are Asian male, which i the hardest gender/race to
    get into any Ivy school, so it may be tough even with ED.

    Think about whether you want the fast paced quarter system at Cal Poly, U of Cal or Stanford, will that suit your learning style? You could eliminate quarter calendar schools, if you feel its too rapid paced for you. Think about that. Berkeley is on a semester calendar, but hardly easy going.

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,036 Senior Member
    While your grades are low for direct admit to CS at UIUC
    and admission at all at Case Western, you
    may be able to get into UIUC and work your way into your major. Check that carefully.

    https://cs.illinois.edu/admissions/undergraduate/transfer-students indicates that changing into CS after enrolling at UIUC is difficult (3.67 or higher college GPA, A- or higher in two CS courses, competitive application process (possibly two stage)). The partial CS majors are not as difficult to get into, but still not easy.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,654 Senior Member
    And the issue with counting on an internal transfer includes coming into that situation with the lower BC grade and STEM AP scores. At any point, once in a college, you could face disappointment. And there you are, in that college, wondering how to get back on track.

    OP, being empowered to accomplish often rests on finding the right college for you, not based on prestige, but on your actual strengths- and weaknesses.
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 2,041 Senior Member
    However OP may be stuck with getting into a school where a student must work one's way into engineering and CS. such as Purdue, U of Colorado Oregon State or UIUC. That may be his only option, so he needs to keep that option open. I do not see how he can get into any U of California program, (besides Merced or one of the low ranked CS campuses which he clearly is uninterested in ) given how GPA is so important. He needs to get into a college.
    He may well have to work his way into CS, no matter what, or aim much lower.

    I know perfect GPA students, in state, who do not get into a CS major at UCSD. UCSD is harder for CS admissions than Berkeley lately, I don't understand that, but thats the data I have. (about ten students, so not a lot of data )

    If he does do well in the contests in CS he mentions, or his U of Southern Cal research, that could be his ticket.
    He may qualify for spring admission at U of Southern Cal, but I almost doubt it with his grades. Spring admits
    can take community college classes in Los Angeles and transfer everything. Since he is local that may work out as well,, if he can do very well in his work at USC. But its just very hard to get in, with a lot of Bs and one C, into competitive schools.

    He should look at U of Maryland, which is truly amazing in CS but may have a slightly lower standard for OOS.
    Also, Rutgers U in New Jersey. He has an odd record, if you ask me, for very competitive schools, and being Asian American with lower grades is rather odd. Maybe though it makes him look "interesting" for some private programs, I don't know. I assume his high school is very very competitive, which may help him in state and maybe out of state, if his high school is ranked well.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,036 Senior Member
    edited May 2018
    However OP may be stuck with getting into a school where a student must work one's way into engineering and CS. such as Purdue, U of Colorado Oregon State or UIUC. That may be his only option, so he needs to keep that option open.

    However, some are more difficult than others to get into the CS major after enrolling as general undeclared. UIUC happens to be one of the most difficult to get into the CS major after enrolling as general undeclared, while some other schools like UCI ( http://changeofmajor.uci.edu/school-of-information-and-computer-sciences/#computer-science ) and UCD ( http://www.cs.ucdavis.edu/undergraduate/cs/change-of-major/ and http://www.cs.ucdavis.edu/undergraduate/cse/change-of-major/ ) have less difficult thresholds to clear to do that. Wisconsin CS is essentially an open major, since one needs only a C grade in one CS course to declare the CS major ( https://www.cs.wisc.edu/academics/undergraduate-programs/how-prepare-cs-major ). Maryland CS web pages do not appear to mention any high grade/GPA or competitive admission requirements to declare or change into the CS major (but ask the department to be sure; http://undergrad.cs.umd.edu/prospective-cs-students ).

    A student admitted to UIUC, UCI, UCD, Wisconsin, and Maryland without direct admission to CS (and not limited by cost constraints among these schools) may not find choosing UIUC to be a good idea if s/he really wants to do CS, since it is unlikely that s/he would be able to get into the major (and even the partial CS majors at UIUC are hard to get into).
This discussion has been closed.