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University of San Francisco - How "applicable" is their program?


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I've recently been looking into Master's programs for CS, and have applied to NJIT, RIT, NYIT, SFSU, and USF. I've so far gotten into the former three (though NYIT's ridiculous 2 week response deadline means I probably already missed it). I know companies these days value experience over education, but with a math degree I can't seem to find jobs that I have the experience for. Hence, I'm looking mostly for a school that will give me more experience with building projects that I can show later on, rather than a bit of code and a lot of writing, and also with an easier opportunity to work/intern at the same time. So far, from the outside, USF sounds like they are just that - programming of more complex systems and concepts. However, I want to know if anyone out there has gone through their Master's Program - particularly from anyone who has done the Entrepreneurial concentration.

Things I've heard so far from the school:


- A multitude of internship/job offers from Silicon Valley (believable since a third party verified they're looking those companies are looking for a lot of people)

- They teach a much more "applicable" set of skills, with a lot more coding involved, as told to me by the graduate admissions prof, the mission statement, and a few of the class descriptions. However, I'm still a bit skeptical of this, as SFSU's Multi-player gaming class sounded great from the outside, but students there say it's a joke.

- The professors act as teachers before researchers

- The projects at the end are given to students directly from companies


- Only one of the four classes in the entrepreneurial concentration is really worth taking

- Two profs were on sabbatical recently, so it's hard for me to gauge the interesting class availability

From third parties, I've gotten mixed reviews on the actual quality of the education. I've heard good from some and bad from others, but I generally haven't gotten an opinion from someone who has gone there. I also can never find a review for them outside of Nursing/Business/Law.

If anyone who has gone to this school, or knows anyone who has, especially for Master's in CS, can shed some light that would be great.

Also, as an aside - I'm an Atheist and I know the school is religiously affiliated. Is this in general going to be a problem?

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While I didn't go to USF, I did consider it briefly for undergrad (I got in but didn't attend). I don't know anything about the program to which you refer, but I can answer your questions about the religious affiliation and academic quality. To clarify, USF is a Jesuit institution.. while it is Catholic, the Jesuits are (in my opinion) the most liberal of them. There are requirements for religious classes for the undergrad core, but I don't think there is for grad school. People on the campus don't go to USF because it is Jesuit. There are a lot of local people on the campus, so as a result there is a vast mix of religions and cultures among the student body.

I had a good friend who used to be on faculty in the School of Nursing (undergrad and grad both), so again I can't speak about the academic quality for your program.. but from what I understand, the academic quality of the student body in general has definitely declined in recent years. To clarify: the professors are top notch, but the students are not. I'm sure you would have no issues getting an internship and relevant work experience (side note though- public transportation to the south bay from SF isn't very good, you would need a car) as a USF student. My personal opinion on USF would be if you have to pay out of pocket for it, I would think carefully about it before committing.

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