High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

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manatee2005
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by manatee2005 »

cheapskate wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:43 pm 1) With very few exceptions, it makes very little sense to go to any U of California campuses if you are a CA non-resident. You get little for the non-resident tuition you pay. Very large classes, difficult to sign up for classes, getting a slot even at TA hours very hard etc.
2) As many have mentioned, at Berkeley, CS is offered with Engg (EECS) and within Letters and Sciences. EECS is direct admit, with an admission rate in the very low single digits. It is often the case that kids who are denied EECS are admitted into Stanford. CS in L&S is not direct admit, you get admitted into L&S, then admission into CS is competitive, on the basis of your GPA in 3 gateway CS classes. Make no mistake, these 3 gateway CS classes are *brutal*. Getting the 3.3+ GPA is these 3 gateway classes is not easy. The story is similar in a few other flagship state universities (UWashington and a few others), but the competition is no less fierce at these.
3) Outside of the L&S route, it is nearly impossible to switch into CS in most well known and top ranked (for CS) public universities. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just angling for your out of state tuition dollars.
4) The usual advice of local state school, direct admit CS/Engg is almost always the correct advice. It eliminates all the stress of trying to compete for the few spots in CS after admit.
5) UIllinois (Urbana-Champaign) is a school that offers CS+X majors in Letters and Sciences (in addition to CS/Engineering). All of these are direct admit. There is very little or no difference between the 2. Admission to CS+X is slightly easier than CS/Engr. Something like CS+Math or CS+Statistics might be tougher than CS/Enginering at UIUC. A few CA kids I know have attended Illinois (both CS/Engr, and CS+Statistics). It is one of the few schools where out of state tuition is probably worth it.
UCs also make little sense for California kids whose parents make more than 80k and can’t take advantage of Blue and gold plan which gives free tuition.

I’ve heard horror stories, comically large classes, comical teaching, can’t sign up for classes you want. They’re really overrated.
EggplantBasil
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by EggplantBasil »

I went to cmu for cs. The only people who ever successfully transfer into the cs major are people who could have gotten in if they had applied, but didn't apply for whatever reason (i.e. they thought they wanted to do math) and even then, the standard is higher. I got into scs, but if i had been in the ece program trying to transfer i would have failed because of 2 Bs i got in intro courses. For every 50 kids who want to transfer into cs at the start of freshman fall, 1 might get in. Advisors know that people think transferring is a back door into the program and will basically treat you adversarially rather than try to help you.

I had a few classmates get bummed out about this over the first 2 years of college, but then they started interviewing for software jobs and getting them despite not having "cs" on their diploma. I have friends/ acquaintances who majored in information systems, physics, math, chem e, mech e, cognitive science, ece, and probably a few others im forgetting who now have high paying dev jobs. If you take 2-3 cs courses at cmu and have hustle (and the tech job market doesn't collapse) you will likely be able to land dev internships over the summers and good paying ft job before graduating.

I suspect most other schools have a similar situation. So while i think that the transfer plan is probably a bad one, I also think that if this student wants to become a developer, and is capable of programming, they will likely end up a developer no matter what major they have at a school like cmu.
elle
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by elle »

EggplantBasil wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:39 am I went to cmu for cs. The only people who ever successfully transfer into the cs major are people who could have gotten in if they had applied, but didn't apply for whatever reason (i.e. they thought they wanted to do math) and even then, the standard is higher. I got into scs, but if i had been in the ece program trying to transfer i would have failed because of 2 Bs i got in intro courses. For every 50 kids who want to transfer into cs at the start of freshman fall, 1 might get in. Advisors know that people think transferring is a back door into the program and will basically treat you adversarially rather than try to help you.

I had a few classmates get bummed out about this over the first 2 years of college, but then they started interviewing for software jobs and getting them despite not having "cs" on their diploma. I have friends/ acquaintances who majored in information systems, physics, math, chem e, mech e, cognitive science, ece, and probably a few others im forgetting who now have high paying dev jobs. If you take 2-3 cs courses at cmu and have hustle (and the tech job market doesn't collapse) you will likely be able to land dev internships over the summers and good paying ft job before graduating.

I suspect most other schools have a similar situation. So while i think that the transfer plan is probably a bad one, I also think that if this student wants to become a developer, and is capable of programming, they will likely end up a developer no matter what major they have at a school like cmu.
You are probably younger than me but this aligns with my experience at CMU too. (Minus being a CS major and wanting to be a dev, but having many dev friends). Priority is given to students in major, so your ability to just take the classes and get the major isn’t a good strategy.
interwebopinion
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by interwebopinion »

If you're looking for a side-door into top-ranked UC STEM programs, the best option I think would be to do the community college transfer route. One kid I knew who was already writing apps in high school (not that special in the Bay Area I know) decided to go to a local community college and work part-time building apps. He subsequently then applied for the transfer to UC, and he was able to graduate from Berkeley CS and pay for it with his earnings, graduating debt free.

The UCs by law have to set aside seats for transfers in from CC, so you're pretty much guaranteed a spot. See http://www.communitycollegetransferstud ... ollege-uc/ and https://admission.universityofcaliforni ... -pathways/

Also, based on experience, school prestige in STEM isn't that big a factor as for other degrees. You would be surprised at the number of Santa Clara grads in Apple for example.
cheapskate
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by cheapskate »

manatee2005 wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 2:36 am
cheapskate wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:43 pm 1) With very few exceptions, it makes very little sense to go to any U of California campuses if you are a CA non-resident. You get little for the non-resident tuition you pay. Very large classes, difficult to sign up for classes, getting a slot even at TA hours very hard etc.
2) As many have mentioned, at Berkeley, CS is offered with Engg (EECS) and within Letters and Sciences. EECS is direct admit, with an admission rate in the very low single digits. It is often the case that kids who are denied EECS are admitted into Stanford. CS in L&S is not direct admit, you get admitted into L&S, then admission into CS is competitive, on the basis of your GPA in 3 gateway CS classes. Make no mistake, these 3 gateway CS classes are *brutal*. Getting the 3.3+ GPA is these 3 gateway classes is not easy. The story is similar in a few other flagship state universities (UWashington and a few others), but the competition is no less fierce at these.
3) Outside of the L&S route, it is nearly impossible to switch into CS in most well known and top ranked (for CS) public universities. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just angling for your out of state tuition dollars.
4) The usual advice of local state school, direct admit CS/Engg is almost always the correct advice. It eliminates all the stress of trying to compete for the few spots in CS after admit.
5) UIllinois (Urbana-Champaign) is a school that offers CS+X majors in Letters and Sciences (in addition to CS/Engineering). All of these are direct admit. There is very little or no difference between the 2. Admission to CS+X is slightly easier than CS/Engr. Something like CS+Math or CS+Statistics might be tougher than CS/Enginering at UIUC. A few CA kids I know have attended Illinois (both CS/Engr, and CS+Statistics). It is one of the few schools where out of state tuition is probably worth it.
UCs also make little sense for California kids whose parents make more than 80k and can’t take advantage of Blue and gold plan which gives free tuition.

I’ve heard horror stories, comically large classes, comical teaching, can’t sign up for classes you want. They’re really overrated.
The way you put it is a bit harsh :D. While what you say is true (2 of my 3 kids chose not to go to UCs for those reasons, and the 3rd didn't get into the program she was interested in, so went elsewhere), UCs are still a very good deal (in-state), at ~$35K/year. Even better if you can do 2 years at CC and then transfer (ironically transferring in after 2 years increases the odds of being able to graduate on time, because getting classes in a CC is so much easier).

There is a wide variance between UCs, in terms of the factors you mention. UCSB and UC Davis seem less impacted than Berkeley and UCLA. And kids seem happier with environment (teaching, less crazy class sizes, somewhat easier signups for classes) at the first of the 2 campuses.
Valuethinker
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by Valuethinker »

momvesting wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 6:05 pm My daughter applied at CMU and is a STEM major, but not CS or engineering. At all the presentations and when the admissions people came to campus and so on, they were very clear that you are not guaranteed anything and most likely will not be allowed to transfer to these majors since they are so tough to get in to. It sounds like this is a big problem for them. My daughter did get in but we know that her stats were definitely good enough for her major but not for CS, which has some crazy low acceptance rate at CMU. Although she had no desire to go CS or engineering, it was one of the many reasons we chose another school, it sounds like switching majors at all at CMU is really tough and often denied, and my daughter wanted some flexibility.

CMU acceptance by major:
https://admission.enrollment.cmu.edu/pa ... statistics
I think of CMU as being more or less Jerusalem, the promised land. Based on its CS reputation.

But of course that will depend on the student and the major.

And a great reputation in research does not translate to a great undergraduate experience.

I hope your daughter found somewhere appropriate where she is happy.
Valuethinker
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by Valuethinker »

EggplantBasil wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:39 am I went to cmu for cs. The only people who ever successfully transfer into the cs major are people who could have gotten in if they had applied, but didn't apply for whatever reason (i.e. they thought they wanted to do math) and even then, the standard is higher. I got into scs, but if i had been in the ece program trying to transfer i would have failed because of 2 Bs i got in intro courses. For every 50 kids who want to transfer into cs at the start of freshman fall, 1 might get in. Advisors know that people think transferring is a back door into the program and will basically treat you adversarially rather than try to help you.

I had a few classmates get bummed out about this over the first 2 years of college, but then they started interviewing for software jobs and getting them despite not having "cs" on their diploma. I have friends/ acquaintances who majored in information systems, physics, math, chem e, mech e, cognitive science, ece, and probably a few others im forgetting who now have high paying dev jobs. If you take 2-3 cs courses at cmu and have hustle (and the tech job market doesn't collapse) you will likely be able to land dev internships over the summers and good paying ft job before graduating.

I suspect most other schools have a similar situation. So while i think that the transfer plan is probably a bad one, I also think that if this student wants to become a developer, and is capable of programming, they will likely end up a developer no matter what major they have at a school like cmu.
CS at CMU. I doff my (early 1980s) cap to you.

The key line is "at a school like CMU". Or Stanford. Or MIT.

I don't think that tactic would work at the more pedestrian type schools the likes of myself attended (North of the border in my case)?

I mean if you did Physics w some CS courses, yes. Or Applied Math & ditto.

A discipline which shows capacity for rigorous thinking & technical aptitude.

I would tell any undergraduate to get as much probability and statistics as they can, w associated programming skills.

Big Data is only just beginning. I am watching it come into government for example.
momvesting
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by momvesting »

I know this isn't the question you asked, and from your posts, I cannot tell if your kid is a senior who already put in applications or if he is younger, but if he is younger I highly recommend that you try to enroll him in one of the precollege courses at one of these top schools. We did that with my daughter and I am sure that this was the deciding factor for some of the highly ranked schools she got in to. It also affirms or dissuades them from their chosen major before you pull the trigger. For example, I know that CMU has several precollege classes that range from free to $5k. I know $5k for a few weeks sounds like a lot, but compared to a year of college if the kid changes majors and takes more time to graduate, $5k is a bargain. My daughter did one summer class in her major after her sophomore year of high school at a lower ranked state school, and a full summer program at a big named school the summer after her junior year. They were worth every penny and then some. They affirmed her choice of that major and helped her narrow her focus so she was applying to schools that aligned with the specialties she was interested in.
kleiner
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by kleiner »

A bit about me: I have an engineering bachelors degree and a PhD in CS and recently retired early after a 25 year career, mostly working in AI.

Rather than trying to get into a highly competitive undergraduate CS program, I would suggest a contrarian approach: get an applied math bachelors degree and then do a masters CS degree. I feel that getting a solid foundation in math will really set you up well for a good career in the more interesting parts of the computing field like ML and quantum computing. It's a lot easier to learn math when you are young and there are numerous good masters programs in CS for people switching fields.
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TexasPE
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by TexasPE »

KlangFool wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:29 pm OP,

In engineering/CS, the goal is to weed out the existing students in the first or second year. So, why would they allow transfer in when they are try to weed out existing student?

KlangFool
+1
On my alma mater's ChE Advisory Counsel until my retirement two years ago. State university with well-recognized Engineering College (especially ChE :D ). The various engineering programs have a 'weed out' course in the sophomore year to control the number of students in junior and senior courses. Faculty resources are finite, and this is a reasonable approach to maintain a quality education for graduates. CS is in the Arts and Sciences College.
At 20: I cared what everyone thought about me | At 40: I didn't give a damn what anyone thought of me | Now that I'm 60: I realize that no one was really thinking about me at all | Winston Churchill (?)
GreendaleCC
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by GreendaleCC »

kleiner wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 2:56 pm A bit about me: I have an engineering bachelors degree and a PhD in CS and recently retired early after a 25 year career, mostly working in AI.

Rather than trying to get into a highly competitive undergraduate CS program, I would suggest a contrarian approach: get an applied math bachelors degree and then do a masters CS degree. I feel that getting a solid foundation in math will really set you up well for a good career in the more interesting parts of the computing field like ML and quantum computing. It's a lot easier to learn math when you are young and there are numerous good masters programs in CS for people switching fields.
Agreed. It seems to me that an undergrad experience in applied mathematics or statistics can lead to great opportunities in technology.

Likewise, it blows my mind that UCSD's Data Science, Math, Physics, CS, and engineering programs are "capped majors" (limited enrollment), but the Cognitive Science major -- and its "Specialization in Machine Learning and Neural Computation" -- is not.
FireProof
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by FireProof »

FWIW, my sister had no interest in STEM, applied to Berkeley L&S, fooled around with a few majors (looked at English,, took classes in Landscape Design, which is actually in yet another separate school). Then in her second year she decided she wanted to try CS, took a class, ended up choosing the major and graduating with a BA in CS with no problem. This was in the last decade.
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by KlangFool »

GreendaleCC wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:36 pm
kleiner wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 2:56 pm A bit about me: I have an engineering bachelors degree and a PhD in CS and recently retired early after a 25 year career, mostly working in AI.

Rather than trying to get into a highly competitive undergraduate CS program, I would suggest a contrarian approach: get an applied math bachelors degree and then do a masters CS degree. I feel that getting a solid foundation in math will really set you up well for a good career in the more interesting parts of the computing field like ML and quantum computing. It's a lot easier to learn math when you are young and there are numerous good masters programs in CS for people switching fields.
Agreed. It seems to me that an undergrad experience in applied mathematics or statistics can lead to great opportunities in technology.
GreendaleCC,

Only if the person is smart enough or rich enough to get a Master Degree in CS. If neither is true, the person is in deep trouble. It is not easy for a BS/BA in Math or Statistic to compete with a BS in CS for a computer science job.

Some undergraduate degree require a graduate degree in order to be employable. So, buyer beware!

KlangFool
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by KlangFool »

OP,

If you are in Virginia, you may want to check out the cyber security program in George Mason University.

https://catalog.gmu.edu/colleges-school ... gineering/

KlangFool
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Normchad
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by Normchad »

KlangFool wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:12 pm OP,

If you are in Virginia, you may want to check out the cyber security program in George Mason University.

https://catalog.gmu.edu/colleges-school ... gineering/

KlangFool
This specific GMU program is *very* good. I’ve hired three of their graduates this year.....

A lot of schools offer some sort of CyberSecurity degree now, and almost all of them (that I’ve seen) are garbage. This one at GMU is legit....
GreendaleCC
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by GreendaleCC »

KlangFool wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:04 pm
GreendaleCC wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:36 pm
kleiner wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 2:56 pm A bit about me: I have an engineering bachelors degree and a PhD in CS and recently retired early after a 25 year career, mostly working in AI.

Rather than trying to get into a highly competitive undergraduate CS program, I would suggest a contrarian approach: get an applied math bachelors degree and then do a masters CS degree. I feel that getting a solid foundation in math will really set you up well for a good career in the more interesting parts of the computing field like ML and quantum computing. It's a lot easier to learn math when you are young and there are numerous good masters programs in CS for people switching fields.
Agreed. It seems to me that an undergrad experience in applied mathematics or statistics can lead to great opportunities in technology.
GreendaleCC,

Only if the person is smart enough or rich enough to get a Master Degree in CS. If neither is true, the person is in deep trouble. It is not easy for a BS/BA in Math or Statistic to compete with a BS in CS for a computer science job.

Some undergraduate degree require a graduate degree in order to be employable. So, buyer beware!

KlangFool
(1) I agreed a CS master’s with a quantitative undergrad major was a path worth considering.

(2) I think you recognize that “great opportunities in technology” does not equate to something as narrow as “computer science job,” right?

(3) Yes, “not easy” to compete, but if they are resourceful and motivated enough, I believe Math and Statistics majors can build a set of experiences in college that can lead to a software engineering position as a new grad. It’s not like we’re talking about a licensed engineering field here. See any entry-level dev job description that includes “Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, or related technical field”... like at Google.
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by KlangFool »

GreendaleCC wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 5:43 pm
(3) Yes, “not easy” to compete, but if they are resourceful and motivated enough, I believe Math and Statistics majors can build a set of experiences in college that can lead to a software engineering position as a new grad. It’s not like we’re talking about a licensed engineering field here. See any entry-level dev job description that includes “Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, or related technical field”... like at Google.
GreendaleCC,

Then, the question becomes why intentionally handicapped the student if the end goal is software engineering? Major in software engineering/Computer Science instead. Then, even if the student is not resourceful and motivate enough, they can find an entry level position.

Why go around the block when there is a direct path?

KlangFool
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GreendaleCC
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by GreendaleCC »

KlangFool wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 5:54 pm
GreendaleCC wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 5:43 pm
(3) Yes, “not easy” to compete, but if they are resourceful and motivated enough, I believe Math and Statistics majors can build a set of experiences in college that can lead to a software engineering position as a new grad. It’s not like we’re talking about a licensed engineering field here. See any entry-level dev job description that includes “Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, or related technical field”... like at Google.
GreendaleCC,

Then, the question becomes why intentionally handicapped the student if the end goal is software engineering? Major in software engineering/Computer Science instead. Then, even if the student is not resourceful and motivate enough, they can find an entry level position.

Why go around the block when there is a direct path?

KlangFool
Sorry, I am not making the argument you seem to think that I’m making.
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Elysium
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by Elysium »

KlangFool wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:12 pm OP,

If you are in Virginia, you may want to check out the cyber security program in George Mason University.

https://catalog.gmu.edu/colleges-school ... gineering/

KlangFool
GMU admission has been secured early, although unlikely to attend. He is interested in AI and ML, while CyberSecurity program may be good at GMU, my feeling is that once they graduate they'll end up working at a Govt contracting job, given the location, which is pretty boring with limited possibilities for a young person to learn. In my engagement with CyberSecurity folks at these sort of places, they are ones doing least amount of "engineering" stuff. Working at SEC/FBI/CIA/NSA may be a different ball game, but those are very hard to get into with a GMU degree, more like MIT/CMU.
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by KlangFool »

Elysium wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 6:49 pm
KlangFool wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:12 pm OP,

If you are in Virginia, you may want to check out the cyber security program in George Mason University.

https://catalog.gmu.edu/colleges-school ... gineering/

KlangFool
GMU admission has been secured early, although unlikely to attend. He is interested in AI and ML, while CyberSecurity program may be good at GMU, my feeling is that once they graduate they'll end up working at a Govt contracting job, given the location, which is pretty boring with limited possibilities for a young person to learn. In my engagement with CyberSecurity folks at these sort of places, they are ones doing least amount of "engineering" stuff. Working at SEC/FBI/CIA/NSA may be a different ball game, but those are very to get into with a GMU degree, more like MIT/CMU.
Elysium,

He may want to talk with more people in this area. I do not think computer science is the right foundation to this area: AI and ML. And, it is very short sighted. An undergraduate degree in Engineering might be a better path. What if we evolved to quantum computing or neural computing?

AI and ML at the master degree level may be fine.

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Elysium
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by Elysium »

KlangFool wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 7:04 pm
Elysium wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 6:49 pm
KlangFool wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:12 pm OP,

If you are in Virginia, you may want to check out the cyber security program in George Mason University.

https://catalog.gmu.edu/colleges-school ... gineering/

KlangFool
GMU admission has been secured early, although unlikely to attend. He is interested in AI and ML, while CyberSecurity program may be good at GMU, my feeling is that once they graduate they'll end up working at a Govt contracting job, given the location, which is pretty boring with limited possibilities for a young person to learn. In my engagement with CyberSecurity folks at these sort of places, they are ones doing least amount of "engineering" stuff. Working at SEC/FBI/CIA/NSA may be a different ball game, but those are very to get into with a GMU degree, more like MIT/CMU.
Elysium,

He may want to talk with more people in this area. I do not think computer science is the right foundation to this area: AI and ML. And, it is very short sighted. An undergraduate degree in Engineering might be a better path. What if we evolved to quantum computing or neural computing?

AI and ML at the master degree level may be fine.

KlangFool
I believe those interests will shift and evolve, after all a high school senior doesn't know much other than what limited exposure they have. He did some AI development with friends and so thinks that's his passion, for now. My feeling once you are in CS program, they'll get some guidance based on what types of jobs companies are hiring for. My thinking is computer engineering lowers opportunity than computer science. So, with a CS degree it doesn't matter what we evolve into. I mean, I studied COBOL, Fortran, and C, but never used first two professionally and the last one briefly. Things do evolve. I agree that ML makes sense as a masters if they pursue that.
Big Dog
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by Big Dog »

Elysium wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:48 am I already know the answer to this for myself, but just wanted to have this discussion with the forum on what others here think, in case I am missing a 1% somewhere.

Edit: This question is directly related to our situation, whether it makes financial sense to pursue a Liberal arts admission at a highly ranked STEM school (with intent to switch to a STEM program later), or better to pursue STEM admission at a lower ranked school, where you get direct admission as freshman. My son wish to follow the second option, but questioning whether he should do the other based on new information.

Here is the scenario, some of kids we know from son's school applied to liberal arts major to high ranked STEM schools, even though they really wish to follow cs/engineering eventually, the idea is to switch majors once they get admitted (I know, I know), these are schools like Berkley, UCLA, and CMU, easier to get into Liberal arts school at these Univ than get into STEM/CS. They also have admissions to CS/STEM at lower ranked schools, such as Penn State, UPitt,VCU, etc. But they are selecting these highly recognized schools with Liberal arts major, over lower ranked CS major. The idea is to change majors once they get admitted. I don't know what is the backup plan if they don't get to change majors, perhaps study CS on the side and anyway get a job in Tech. These are smart kids who already know how to code in more than one programming language, so they can code no matter if they do a CS degree or English major. But with school like Berkeley or CMU they have the name recognition and alumni network. What's wrong with this strategy? why shouldn't a kid follow this and instead of go to school like PSU for CS?
Applying to Cal/UCLA L&S with the plan of transferring to Engineering is foolhardy. It will not happen. (Hint: Eng transfer slots at UC's are mostly prioritized for community college transfers.)
Topic Author
Elysium
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by Elysium »

Big Dog wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 7:21 pm
Elysium wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:48 am I already know the answer to this for myself, but just wanted to have this discussion with the forum on what others here think, in case I am missing a 1% somewhere.

Edit: This question is directly related to our situation, whether it makes financial sense to pursue a Liberal arts admission at a highly ranked STEM school (with intent to switch to a STEM program later), or better to pursue STEM admission at a lower ranked school, where you get direct admission as freshman. My son wish to follow the second option, but questioning whether he should do the other based on new information.

Here is the scenario, some of kids we know from son's school applied to liberal arts major to high ranked STEM schools, even though they really wish to follow cs/engineering eventually, the idea is to switch majors once they get admitted (I know, I know), these are schools like Berkley, UCLA, and CMU, easier to get into Liberal arts school at these Univ than get into STEM/CS. They also have admissions to CS/STEM at lower ranked schools, such as Penn State, UPitt,VCU, etc. But they are selecting these highly recognized schools with Liberal arts major, over lower ranked CS major. The idea is to change majors once they get admitted. I don't know what is the backup plan if they don't get to change majors, perhaps study CS on the side and anyway get a job in Tech. These are smart kids who already know how to code in more than one programming language, so they can code no matter if they do a CS degree or English major. But with school like Berkeley or CMU they have the name recognition and alumni network. What's wrong with this strategy? why shouldn't a kid follow this and instead of go to school like PSU for CS?
Applying to Cal/UCLA L&S with the plan of transferring to Engineering is foolhardy. It will not happen. (Hint: Eng transfer slots at UC's are mostly prioritized for community college transfers.)
What I have heard is that getting classes scheduled is very hard even for admitted students into Engineering, because of the disproportionate amount of class schedules available vs the large number of students wanting them. Therefore, graduation takes longer than expected, 5-6 years instead of 4. The UC system sounds like having lots of issues, it must be because of current pandemic situation, but may linger on for a while. We decided not to go OOS to UC's for full pay at $75K+ even with a CS admit, if he could save secured it say somewhere else other than Berkely, UCLA, and even UCLA we considered wasn't worth pursuing because of high costs and the non-availability of classes.
mr_brightside
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by mr_brightside »

STEM for the lower ranked but make sure the GPA is high

(this comment is worth what you paid for it...)

----------------------------------------------------------
KlangFool
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by KlangFool »

Elysium wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 7:14 pm
KlangFool wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 7:04 pm
Elysium wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 6:49 pm
KlangFool wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:12 pm OP,

If you are in Virginia, you may want to check out the cyber security program in George Mason University.

https://catalog.gmu.edu/colleges-school ... gineering/

KlangFool
GMU admission has been secured early, although unlikely to attend. He is interested in AI and ML, while CyberSecurity program may be good at GMU, my feeling is that once they graduate they'll end up working at a Govt contracting job, given the location, which is pretty boring with limited possibilities for a young person to learn. In my engagement with CyberSecurity folks at these sort of places, they are ones doing least amount of "engineering" stuff. Working at SEC/FBI/CIA/NSA may be a different ball game, but those are very to get into with a GMU degree, more like MIT/CMU.
Elysium,

He may want to talk with more people in this area. I do not think computer science is the right foundation to this area: AI and ML. And, it is very short sighted. An undergraduate degree in Engineering might be a better path. What if we evolved to quantum computing or neural computing?

AI and ML at the master degree level may be fine.

KlangFool
I believe those interests will shift and evolve, after all a high school senior doesn't know much other than what limited exposure they have. He did some AI development with friends and so thinks that's his passion, for now. My feeling once you are in CS program, they'll get some guidance based on what types of jobs companies are hiring for. My thinking is computer engineering lowers opportunity than computer science. So, with a CS degree it doesn't matter what we evolve into. I mean, I studied COBOL, Fortran, and C, but never used first two professionally and the last one briefly. Things do evolve. I agree that ML makes sense as a masters if they pursue that.
Elysium,

<< My thinking is computer engineering lowers opportunity than computer science. >>

1) I am thinking more fundamental than that. Like Electrical Engineering.

2) There is a trade off between the short-term and long-term. In the short-term, EE might be lowers the opportunity but in the long-term, it might be better.

3) My problem with computer science is they may not have enough foundation in science. If we evolve to quantum computing and neural computing, the existing CS foundation may not be good enough.

KlangFool
Last edited by KlangFool on Sat Mar 27, 2021 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Big Dog
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by Big Dog »

Elysium wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 7:34 pm
Big Dog wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 7:21 pm
Elysium wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:48 am I already know the answer to this for myself, but just wanted to have this discussion with the forum on what others here think, in case I am missing a 1% somewhere.

Edit: This question is directly related to our situation, whether it makes financial sense to pursue a Liberal arts admission at a highly ranked STEM school (with intent to switch to a STEM program later), or better to pursue STEM admission at a lower ranked school, where you get direct admission as freshman. My son wish to follow the second option, but questioning whether he should do the other based on new information.

Here is the scenario, some of kids we know from son's school applied to liberal arts major to high ranked STEM schools, even though they really wish to follow cs/engineering eventually, the idea is to switch majors once they get admitted (I know, I know), these are schools like Berkley, UCLA, and CMU, easier to get into Liberal arts school at these Univ than get into STEM/CS. They also have admissions to CS/STEM at lower ranked schools, such as Penn State, UPitt,VCU, etc. But they are selecting these highly recognized schools with Liberal arts major, over lower ranked CS major. The idea is to change majors once they get admitted. I don't know what is the backup plan if they don't get to change majors, perhaps study CS on the side and anyway get a job in Tech. These are smart kids who already know how to code in more than one programming language, so they can code no matter if they do a CS degree or English major. But with school like Berkeley or CMU they have the name recognition and alumni network. What's wrong with this strategy? why shouldn't a kid follow this and instead of go to school like PSU for CS?
Applying to Cal/UCLA L&S with the plan of transferring to Engineering is foolhardy. It will not happen. (Hint: Eng transfer slots at UC's are mostly prioritized for community college transfers.)
What I have heard is that getting classes scheduled is very hard even for admitted students into Engineering, because of the disproportionate amount of class schedules available vs the large number of students wanting them. Therefore, graduation takes longer than expected, 5-6 years instead of 4. The UC system sounds like having lots of issues, it must be because of current pandemic situation, but may linger on for a while. We decided not to go OOS to UC's for full pay at $75K+ even with a CS admit, if he could save secured it say somewhere else other than Berkely, UCLA, and even UCLA we considered wasn't worth pursuing because of high costs and the non-availability of classes.
Not true. The UC's are extremely generous with AP/IB credit, and kids getting into Cal & UCLA have loads of credits. Other than failing Calculus as a Frosh, and putting the student way behind, the UC Engineering programs are designed for four-year completion. The advisors just won't approve many electives that will hinder on time graduation. (The biggest hindrance to UC graduation is family income -- many UC kids have to work to pay the bills, so they take lighter academic load resulting in a 5-year plan.)


That said, I'm not a fan of paying OOS rates to attend a public. EECS at Cal is probably worth paying for, IMO.
Cartographer
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by Cartographer »

There's no value in applying for a major you have no intention of doing. As others have said, you will almost certainly not be able to transfer in to engineering. On the other hand, at some schools/majors, you actually start off effectively undeclared, and then later have to apply to the major anyway. In this case, it doesn't so much matter what major you applied to - you could put Communications or CS and your chances of admission would be essentially the same. You can still try to game things by applying to a less-desirable major to increase the chances of getting in; but whatever you do, make sure to put down a major that you would be happy with.

Also, for those claiming 5-6 years to graduation, apparently for Berkeley EECS it's actually <4 on average: https://eecs.berkeley.edu/about/by-the-numbers
KlangFool
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by KlangFool »

Cartographer wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 10:33 pm There's no value in applying for a major you have no intention of doing. As others have said, you will almost certainly not be able to transfer in to engineering. On the other hand, at some schools/majors, you actually start off effectively undeclared, and then later have to apply to the major anyway. In this case, it doesn't so much matter what major you applied to - you could put Communications or CS and your chances of admission would be essentially the same. You can still try to game things by applying to a less-desirable major to increase the chances of getting in; but whatever you do, make sure to put down a major that you would be happy with.

Also, for those claiming 5-6 years to graduation, apparently for Berkeley EECS it's actually <4 on average: https://eecs.berkeley.edu/about/by-the-numbers
Cartographer,

The 85% is the 6-years graduation rate number. So, 4-years graduation rate number could be 16% lower = 69%. Whether that is good or bad, I have no idea.

https://www.scholarships.com/colleges/u ... ion-rates/
<< Graduation Rates
Graduation Rates - 2019
Bachelor's degree seeking students completing a bachelor's degree
Graduation Rate Within 4 Years 76.0%
Graduation Rate Within 5 Years 89.6%
Graduation Rate Within 6 Years 92.6% >>

https://engineering.berkeley.edu/admiss ... grad-faqs/
<<What is the graduation rate in the College of Engineering?

Approximately 85 percent of incoming freshmen graduate from the College of Engineering and 91 percent from Berkeley overall.>>

KlangFool
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CurlyDave
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by CurlyDave »

Let me talk a little bit about my experience, even though it was quite a while ago. MIT, 1967 then a Ph.D. from Berkeley in 1972.

I am an engineer: I make things, I build things and I invent things. But, I do not do liberal arts well at all.

The concept of applying to a college in liberal arts and then transferring to an engineering program is based on the idea that a student can be highly enough ranked in liberal arts to be a desirable transfer. While this might be possible for some students, the vast majority of STEM majors are just downright awful in most liberal arts courses.

If you want STEM, start out in STEM.
Answering a question is easy -- asking the right question is the hard part.
manatee2005
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by manatee2005 »

cheapskate wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 11:47 am
manatee2005 wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 2:36 am
cheapskate wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:43 pm 1) With very few exceptions, it makes very little sense to go to any U of California campuses if you are a CA non-resident. You get little for the non-resident tuition you pay. Very large classes, difficult to sign up for classes, getting a slot even at TA hours very hard etc.
2) As many have mentioned, at Berkeley, CS is offered with Engg (EECS) and within Letters and Sciences. EECS is direct admit, with an admission rate in the very low single digits. It is often the case that kids who are denied EECS are admitted into Stanford. CS in L&S is not direct admit, you get admitted into L&S, then admission into CS is competitive, on the basis of your GPA in 3 gateway CS classes. Make no mistake, these 3 gateway CS classes are *brutal*. Getting the 3.3+ GPA is these 3 gateway classes is not easy. The story is similar in a few other flagship state universities (UWashington and a few others), but the competition is no less fierce at these.
3) Outside of the L&S route, it is nearly impossible to switch into CS in most well known and top ranked (for CS) public universities. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just angling for your out of state tuition dollars.
4) The usual advice of local state school, direct admit CS/Engg is almost always the correct advice. It eliminates all the stress of trying to compete for the few spots in CS after admit.
5) UIllinois (Urbana-Champaign) is a school that offers CS+X majors in Letters and Sciences (in addition to CS/Engineering). All of these are direct admit. There is very little or no difference between the 2. Admission to CS+X is slightly easier than CS/Engr. Something like CS+Math or CS+Statistics might be tougher than CS/Enginering at UIUC. A few CA kids I know have attended Illinois (both CS/Engr, and CS+Statistics). It is one of the few schools where out of state tuition is probably worth it.
UCs also make little sense for California kids whose parents make more than 80k and can’t take advantage of Blue and gold plan which gives free tuition.

I’ve heard horror stories, comically large classes, comical teaching, can’t sign up for classes you want. They’re really overrated.
The way you put it is a bit harsh :D. While what you say is true (2 of my 3 kids chose not to go to UCs for those reasons, and the 3rd didn't get into the program she was interested in, so went elsewhere), UCs are still a very good deal (in-state), at ~$35K/year. Even better if you can do 2 years at CC and then transfer (ironically transferring in after 2 years increases the odds of being able to graduate on time, because getting classes in a CC is so much easier).

There is a wide variance between UCs, in terms of the factors you mention. UCSB and UC Davis seem less impacted than Berkeley and UCLA. And kids seem happier with environment (teaching, less crazy class sizes, somewhat easier signups for classes) at the first of the 2 campuses.
Even though the web says UCs are 35k a year, people who have kids there that I know say it’s more like 40-45k. Also, kids that get into UCLA and Berkeley can easily get a free ride in a lot of out of state universities. I know some getting free rides in Tulane.

Two year CC and then transfer to UC in junior year is not going to work anymore. 140k kids applied to UCLA, there’s going to be a crazy number of transfer requests in 2 years. Imagine rejecting out of state schools to go to some community college and then being rejected from transferring. What do you do then?
crefwatch
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by crefwatch »

Note that "best fast track to a lucrative career" is not the same objective as "best track to a fulfilling career and a balanced life."

Maybe it's a halfway measure, but there are some top-tier small private liberal arts colleges that could provide a "credible" STEM major. When I went to Bowdoin in the 1970's, the 3-2 Engineering program was denigrated (both because it deprived Bowdoin of a year's tuition, and because it was seen as non-liberal arts, I think.) But a few schools (Smith, women-only, comes to mind) have built significant investments in Engineering majors. I taught at Amherst (the private college, not UMass Amherst ... ) and I don't see how even the most nerdy, socially-unskilled Silicon Valley duuuude could sneer at an Amherst graduate in Math, CS, or whatever, applying for a graduate CS degree.

That said, I don't think I could have gotten into Amherst in 1968. I was partly "geographical diversity" for Bowdoin, as well as a likely Math major for a six-person department when the school was under 1000 (male) students. But today, Bowdoin's reputation is much closer to Amherst and Williams. As a near-to-my-year graduate pointed out, "There are no more dumb jocks. All the athletes are very smart."
snowman
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by snowman »

Elysium wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:48 am Edit: This question is directly related to our situation, whether it makes financial sense to pursue a Liberal arts admission at a highly ranked STEM school (with intent to switch to a STEM program later), or better to pursue STEM admission at a lower ranked school, where you get direct admission as freshman. My son wish to follow the second option, but questioning whether he should do the other based on new information.
Your son is on the right track here - why complicate things? Is he a HS senior with 2 specific options in hand and a month to decide? Or is he a junior who will apply in the fall? If it's the former, can you share what the options are, so you can get better recommendations?
Topic Author
Elysium
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by Elysium »

Since some people asked additional information, I am providing it here, so better recommendations can be formed (pivoting from high ranked liberal arts).

As of now, the choices are:
UPitt (school of computer science), PSU (EECS), Clemson (school of engineering), Indiana (CS & engineering), George Mason (computer science), Virginia Commonwealth (school of engineering), and Purdue Fort Wayne (CS, offered as alternative by Purdue after waiting listing main campus).

Wait listed at VTech, Purdue West Lafayette, UMass Amherst. Deferred at UW-Madison.
Denied at UIUC, Northwestern, GT

Best option would be VT if pulled off wait list (stats are fine for admission, but strange year and school has become hard to get in).

Good student, but inattentive to subjects that don't interest him and won't study for grades in subjects with lower interest. Early interest was Health & Medicine, but do not wish to study 10 years, so switched to CS path after taking CS courses in school and finding ability to do that, with intent of finding job in 4 years. Essays were all about applying CS (AI/ML) to Healthcare. Most of these interests may change or not, but the one thing that motivates him is finding a well paying job in 4 years, in the STEM field. Not so great with hands-on engineering such as mechanical, just about okay interests in Chem, Physics etc. Bio is an interest and CS is an interest, and does well in Math (up to Calculus in HS).

Oh, and finally, is frugal with money. But not when it comes to college tuition costs, he wants to go to the best college he can get in regardless of fees (since I am paying and I am ok paying money up to $200k, I don't need that money for my retirement). He will be frugal with living expenses, and saving money.
Normchad
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by Normchad »

Elysium wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:31 am Since some people asked additional information, I am providing it here, so better recommendations can be formed (pivoting from high ranked liberal arts).

As of now, the choices are:
UPitt (school of computer science), PSU (EECS), Clemson (school of engineering), Indiana (CS & engineering), George Mason (computer science), Virginia Commonwealth (school of engineering), and Purdue Fort Wayne (CS, offered as alternative by Purdue after waiting listing main campus).

Wait listed at VTech, Purdue West Lafayette, UMass Amherst. Deferred at UW-Madison.
Denied at UIUC, Northwestern, GT

Best option would be VT if pulled off wait list (stats are fine for admission, but strange year and school has become hard to get in).

Good student, but inattentive to subjects that don't interest him and won't study for grades in subjects with lower interest. Early interest was Health & Medicine, but do not wish to study 10 years, so switched to CS path after taking CS courses in school and finding ability to do that, with intent of finding job in 4 years. Essays were all about applying CS (AI/ML) to Healthcare. Most of these interests may change or not, but the one thing that motivates him is finding a well paying job in 4 years, in the STEM field. Not so great with hands-on engineering such as mechanical, just about okay interests in Chem, Physics etc. Bio is an interest and CS is an interest, and does well in Math (up to Calculus in HS).

Oh, and finally, is frugal with money. But not when it comes to college tuition costs, he wants to go to the best college he can get in regardless of fees (since I am paying and I am ok paying money up to $200k, I don't need that money for my retirement). He will be frugal with living expenses, and saving money.
I live in NOVA and am a computer engineer by education. (Umich). I recruit UVA, VT, and PSU frequently. I really like PSU, a lot. They do a great job up there. It is very expensive though for OOS. It is my favorite place to recruit at.

I also really like VT a lot. It’s a completely different place than PSU. PSU is enormous, and VT is significantly smaller. I like that VT really has a “homey, welcoming” feel to it. The professors I meet there seem to know most of the students by name, and know about them on a personal level. I think that’s important.

I work solely with engineers. And I’ve worked with great ones from PSU and VT. But also from WVU, Purdue, GT, GMU, Hopkins, UVA, and George Washington. My point being, there is no one school that just turns kids into great engineers; they can come from anywhere.

Best of luck to you!
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by KlangFool »

Elysium wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:31 am
Oh, and finally, is frugal with money. But not when it comes to college tuition costs, he wants to go to the best college he can get in regardless of fees (since I am paying and I am ok paying money up to $200k, I don't need that money for my retirement). He will be frugal with living expenses, and saving money.
Elysium,

He is not frugal about college tuition because he is not getting the savings. It is not his money. What if you offer him the choice of keeping the saving?

A) Spend 120K and receive the savings of 80K from you'

B) Spend 200K and get nothing from you

What would he choose instead?

From your standpoint, what do you think would be better for him? (A) or (B)? 80K in the age of 20s is a great start for many folks. It offers them options. You want to invest 200K in your kid's future. Why should it be only spent on college education? It could be used for their house's down payment or a safe car instead. Money is fungible.

Both of my kids graduated with 20K to 30K of their investment each. They are far ahead of their peers financially.

KlangFool
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Topic Author
Elysium
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by Elysium »

KlangFool wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:50 am
Elysium wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:31 am
Oh, and finally, is frugal with money. But not when it comes to college tuition costs, he wants to go to the best college he can get in regardless of fees (since I am paying and I am ok paying money up to $200k, I don't need that money for my retirement). He will be frugal with living expenses, and saving money.
Elysium,

He is not frugal about college tuition because he is not getting the savings. It is not his money. What if you offer him the choice of keeping the saving?

A) Spend 120K and receive the savings of 80K from you'

B) Spend 200K and get nothing from you

What would he choose instead?

From your standpoint, what do you think would be better for him? (A) or (B)? 80K in the age of 20s is a great start for many folks. It offers them options. You want to invest 200K in your kid's future. Why should it be only spent on college education? It could be used for their house's down payment or a safe car instead. Money is fungible.

Both of my kids graduated with 20K to 30K of their investment each. They are far ahead of their peers financially.

KlangFool
I get your point, but I think the only options for that are at the moment GMU or VCU, if VT pull off waitlist then it's a no brainer. While the other two are fine schools, there is a sense of lack of accomplishment kids feel in accepting these schools since they had hoped for better names and makes it harder for them to go while friends are going to Berkley (even if liberal arts). I am sure at some point they'll get over it, and from my perspective I look at it as sunk cost since I already marked it for spending, and a second reason that could be more important is that I would like him to go away to a different part of the country and experience different things, perhaps get a job elsewhere away from DC beltway. Lastly, I am also hesitant in influencing kids with my way of looking at life, because what if it was right for me but wrong for their situation, so I see my job as steering them away from totally wrong ones but let them have freedom on the questionable ones.
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by KlangFool »

Elysium wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:24 am
KlangFool wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:50 am
Elysium wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:31 am
Oh, and finally, is frugal with money. But not when it comes to college tuition costs, he wants to go to the best college he can get in regardless of fees (since I am paying and I am ok paying money up to $200k, I don't need that money for my retirement). He will be frugal with living expenses, and saving money.
Elysium,

He is not frugal about college tuition because he is not getting the savings. It is not his money. What if you offer him the choice of keeping the saving?

A) Spend 120K and receive the savings of 80K from you'

B) Spend 200K and get nothing from you

What would he choose instead?

From your standpoint, what do you think would be better for him? (A) or (B)? 80K in the age of 20s is a great start for many folks. It offers them options. You want to invest 200K in your kid's future. Why should it be only spent on college education? It could be used for their house's down payment or a safe car instead. Money is fungible.

Both of my kids graduated with 20K to 30K of their investment each. They are far ahead of their peers financially.

KlangFool
I get your point, but I think the only options for that are at the moment GMU or VCU,
Elysium,

Please make sure that he applies to the honor's program of all the colleges too. It usually comes with extra privileges and extra scholarship.

<< there is a sense of lack of accomplishment kids feel in accepting these schools >>

I do not get this. This is a small step. If a person is resourceful, the person would make the best of each opportunity.

I went to a lower tier school. I worked at the university computing center while I earn my BSEE and MSEE. I had 5 years of working experience after I graduated with my MSEE. When I looked for my first job after graduation, nobody look at my degree since I was not a fresh graduate with no working experience.

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jj45
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by jj45 »

KlangFool wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:04 pm
GreendaleCC wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:36 pm
Agreed. It seems to me that an undergrad experience in applied mathematics or statistics can lead to great opportunities in technology.
GreendaleCC,

Only if the person is smart enough or rich enough to get a Master Degree in CS. If neither is true, the person is in deep trouble. It is not easy for a BS/BA in Math or Statistic to compete with a BS in CS for a computer science job.

Some undergraduate degree require a graduate degree in order to be employable. So, buyer beware!

KlangFool
A statistics BS is a good foundation for data science careers. Yale, U AZ, U CO, U CA Davis, and probably many others have "statistics and data science" majors. Applied Math and Statistics departments across the country are jumping on this trend since data science is an exploding career opportunity and is really just applied statistics.
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Elysium
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by Elysium »

KlangFool wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:41 am
<< there is a sense of lack of accomplishment kids feel in accepting these schools >>

I do not get this. This is a small step. If a person is resourceful, the person would make the best of each opportunity.

I went to a lower tier school. I worked at the university computing center while I earn my BSEE and MSEE. I had 5 years of working experience after I graduated with my MSEE. When I looked for my first job after graduation, nobody look at my degree since I was not a fresh graduate with no working experience.

KlangFool
Klangfool, I did too, similar experience, parents didn't have resources. But, my previous post explained this, I hesitate to influence them in a direction when the outcomes aren't well cut out, in the event it could have been right for me but wrong for them.
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wander
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by wander »

One of my CS professors got his degree from Cal State Fullerton but was the best CS professor I knew in school. Another smart engineer I knew at work also got his degree from Cal State Fullerton. My point is schools don't make you smarter or more successful. Good names may get you your first jobs, after that, not many people care.
KlangFool
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by KlangFool »

jj45 wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:43 am
KlangFool wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:04 pm
GreendaleCC wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:36 pm
Agreed. It seems to me that an undergrad experience in applied mathematics or statistics can lead to great opportunities in technology.
GreendaleCC,

Only if the person is smart enough or rich enough to get a Master Degree in CS. If neither is true, the person is in deep trouble. It is not easy for a BS/BA in Math or Statistic to compete with a BS in CS for a computer science job.

Some undergraduate degree require a graduate degree in order to be employable. So, buyer beware!

KlangFool
A statistics BS is a good foundation for data science careers. Yale, U AZ, U CO, U CA Davis, and probably many others have "statistics and data science" majors. Applied Math and Statistics departments across the country are jumping on this trend since data science is an exploding career opportunity and is really just applied statistics.
jj45,

A) For now. Taking an undergraduate degree based on whatever is hot at the moment is short-term thinking. It does not work for the longer term.

B) There is no inherent advantage for someone in the USA versus someone else oversea that could take your job. My neighbors are data scientists from Thailand. You could learn statistic and math any place in the world.

C) The most popular engineering major in the USA now is the mechanical engineering. It is least likely to be off shored.

KlangFool
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Cartographer
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by Cartographer »

wander wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:53 am One of my CS professors got his degree from Cal State Fullerton but was the best CS professor I knew in school. Another smart engineer I knew at work also got his degree from Cal State Fullerton. My point is schools don't make you smarter or more successful. Good names may get you your first jobs, after that, not many people care.
While what you say is true, it’s missing the importance of trajectory. Graduating from a better school puts you on a higher trajectory that is easier to maintain than jumping up from a lower trajectory. So while everyone may ignore where you went for undergrad after 10 years, your place after those 10 years will be correlated with where you started out.
Cartographer
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by Cartographer »

KlangFool wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 10:46 pm
Cartographer wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 10:33 pm There's no value in applying for a major you have no intention of doing. As others have said, you will almost certainly not be able to transfer in to engineering. On the other hand, at some schools/majors, you actually start off effectively undeclared, and then later have to apply to the major anyway. In this case, it doesn't so much matter what major you applied to - you could put Communications or CS and your chances of admission would be essentially the same. You can still try to game things by applying to a less-desirable major to increase the chances of getting in; but whatever you do, make sure to put down a major that you would be happy with.

Also, for those claiming 5-6 years to graduation, apparently for Berkeley EECS it's actually <4 on average: https://eecs.berkeley.edu/about/by-the-numbers
Cartographer,

The 85% is the 6-years graduation rate number. So, 4-years graduation rate number could be 16% lower = 69%. Whether that is good or bad, I have no idea.

https://www.scholarships.com/colleges/u ... ion-rates/
<< Graduation Rates
Graduation Rates - 2019
Bachelor's degree seeking students completing a bachelor's degree
Graduation Rate Within 4 Years 76.0%
Graduation Rate Within 5 Years 89.6%
Graduation Rate Within 6 Years 92.6% >>

https://engineering.berkeley.edu/admiss ... grad-faqs/
<<What is the graduation rate in the College of Engineering?

Approximately 85 percent of incoming freshmen graduate from the College of Engineering and 91 percent from Berkeley overall.>>

KlangFool
I don’t quite understand your point. I was mainly replying to the impression some have that it is difficult to enroll in classes, causing a delay in graduation. The 6 year graduation rate is basically the overall graduation rate, since very few people who can’t complete the degree in 6 years ever will. Those who fail to graduate do so for a variety of reasons, and I seriously doubt it’s due to being unable to enroll in classes. As the link I gave shows, at least for EECS at Berkeley, those who graduate tend to do so in 4 years or less. So the difficulty of enrolling in classes isn’t really a problem.
lws
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by lws »

Engineers and scientists must be ethical. This proposition does not appear to be so.
gmc4h232
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by gmc4h232 »

Just find a good CS school with a guaranteed admissions agreement with the local community college. Do 2 years at the CC and then transfer. Same degree at almost half the cost. The current higher education status quo is a joke.
Tingting1013
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by Tingting1013 »

lws wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:39 pm Engineers and scientists must be ethical. This proposition does not appear to be so.
What exactly is unethical about transferring into the engineering program using an established process set by the University?
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by Vulcan »

KlangFool wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:50 am From your standpoint, what do you think would be better for him? (A) or (B)? 80K in the age of 20s is a great start for many folks. It offers them options. You want to invest 200K in your kid's future. Why should it be only spent on college education? It could be used for their house's down payment or a safe car instead. Money is fungible.
Money is fungible, but great education isn't.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase
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wander
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by wander »

Cartographer wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:22 pm
wander wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:53 am One of my CS professors got his degree from Cal State Fullerton but was the best CS professor I knew in school. Another smart engineer I knew at work also got his degree from Cal State Fullerton. My point is schools don't make you smarter or more successful. Good names may get you your first jobs, after that, not many people care.
While what you say is true, it’s missing the importance of trajectory. Graduating from a better school puts you on a higher trajectory that is easier to maintain than jumping up from a lower trajectory. So while everyone may ignore where you went for undergrad after 10 years, your place after those 10 years will be correlated with where you started out.
So, how did my professor who graduated from Cal State Fullerton got a job at UC? His school name was not so famous in Southern California. I went to a UC, because it was near my parents' home.
However, if your goal is to become an elected official someday, then the school name is very helpful.
Cartographer
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by Cartographer »

wander wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:42 pm
Cartographer wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:22 pm
wander wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:53 am One of my CS professors got his degree from Cal State Fullerton but was the best CS professor I knew in school. Another smart engineer I knew at work also got his degree from Cal State Fullerton. My point is schools don't make you smarter or more successful. Good names may get you your first jobs, after that, not many people care.
While what you say is true, it’s missing the importance of trajectory. Graduating from a better school puts you on a higher trajectory that is easier to maintain than jumping up from a lower trajectory. So while everyone may ignore where you went for undergrad after 10 years, your place after those 10 years will be correlated with where you started out.
So, how did my professor who graduated from Cal State Fullerton got a job at UC? His school name was not so famous in Southern California. I went to a UC, because it was near my parents' home.
However, if your goal is to become an elected official someday, then the school name is very helpful.
Of course it’s possible to improve your trajectory, just more difficult than maintaining an existing one. How many of your UC professors started from Cal State schools, vs lower-tier UCs, vs top-tier UCs, vs elite private schools?
MMiroir
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Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

Post by MMiroir »

Elysium wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:31 am Since some people asked additional information, I am providing it here, so better recommendations can be formed (pivoting from high ranked liberal arts).

As of now, the choices are:
UPitt (school of computer science), PSU (EECS), Clemson (school of engineering), Indiana (CS & engineering), George Mason (computer science), Virginia Commonwealth (school of engineering), and Purdue Fort Wayne (CS, offered as alternative by Purdue after waiting listing main campus).
I suggest you spend some time reading the following article ranking CS schools. The ranking is done by a college placement company, and takes into account the percent of graduates placed as software engineers as well as average starting salaries. It does a good job explaining the data and analysis used from the perspective of a potential parent concerned about employability. Even if you don't agree with their conclusions, I found the data and reasoning to be very helpful when our two kids were deciding on which CS programs to attend.

https://www.ivyachievement.com/computer ... -rankings/

Also, there was a comment upthread about UIUC being a good school for OOS. Both of my kids got full tuition scholarships to UIUC CS, and turned them down for other schools. The primary reason is that while the UIUC CS program is strong, it is also very rigid. If you enroll as a CS-Linguistics major, you have to complete the CS-Linguistics curriculum, and can't switch to the general CS program or another CS-X program. If you change your mind and decide not to become a CS major, other competitive majors are restricted. For instance, it would be difficult to transfer into the College of Business at UIUC.

Of the schools your son was admitted to, I would discount George Mason, VCU, and Purdue Fort Wayne entirely. One is almost always better off attending a public flagship than a regional university, and there will be more opportunity at flagships.

Of Pitt, PSU, Clemson and Indiana, PSU is the highest ranked, but all these schools are roughly similar in terms of outcomes. When looking at the schools, consider not only fit, but how easy it is change gears if your son decides he does not want to major CS. For example, Indiana is probably the weakest in terms of CS placement, but IU Kelly is probably the best business school of the four and the way IU is structured one can transfer in as a sophomore.

Good luck with the decision.
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