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Got an admit in WUStL. Need some information.


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I am an international applicant applying for MS in Computer Science for AI. I have got an admit from Washington University in St. Louis.

The problem is, for some reason, very less number of people from India apply here (at least for engineering) and all information I have is from their web site. I would like to ask some questions to people from this forum.

  1. First of all, is this university reputed and has a good CS dept?
  2. Since there is no funding for MS, are there any RA/TA available for students? If not, are there any campus jobs available?
  3. Do big CS companies take interns from here?
  4. How is the overall job scene in St. Louis and in this university in particular?
  5. Finally, is this one good for research? will the MS from here be respected in top 20s for PhD?

Thank you so much in advance. :)

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I did my undergrad at WUSTL and have a few friends who did their BS/MS in CS there. The university overall is highly reputable -- consistently in the top 15 in the US over the past several years. The CS and Engineering depts. in general are ranked slightly lower, in the 20's and 30's.

I can't speak to their funding opportunities but I know that my friends all got good jobs out of school, though not in St. Louis. There are not many CS jobs in St. Louis, at least when compared with NYC/Bay Area, so I suspect that you will be looking primarily elsewhere. Top 20's may be a stretch, but it is not far off. If you do well, I'm sure that many major companies will consider you -- and once you get the interview, how well you perform is really all that matters.

St. Louis itself is great, there are lots of areas that are fun and worth exploring and the cost of living is dirt cheap, which is a factor if money is an issue.

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I actually know of a handful of students who have MS degrees from WUSTL and ended up in top 15 PhD programs (a couple of them even in top 5). So the answer is it will depend mostly on your drive and ability to make things happen, along with other factors such as your field of interest, the professors you work with and so on. Of course this isn't to suggest that this is typical or even necessarily likely, but I'd say it will definitely be more useful than some will have you believe.

From the little I know, I would bet that doing well here could certainly lead to good employment options. No promises from me on this though. So to answer your question.. its a respectable program. With the right effort on your part, you will be able to make your time there take you places. I can't say much about St Louis as a place though.

EDIT: Just noticed that you indicated AI as your area of interest. Unfortunately I can't say I'm familiar enough with WUSTL to tell you what this will mean about what kind of prospects to expect with this degree.

Edited by sgp3213
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Can't speak to C.S. programs, though I'll be going to WashU for education so I'm in favor of the University in general!

Are you familiar with the U.S. News & World Report rankings?

According to them ( http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-science-schools/computer-science-rankings/page+2 ), WashU is ranked #39 in Computer Science, which is pretty good considering how many colleges there are in this country.

I live in St. Louis, and around here WashU is definitely a big name, but I don't know how well it is known outside the midwest. In the U.S. New's rankings of national universities, it is #14, putting it above schools such as Notre Dame, U.C. Berkeley, and U.C.L.A., which have more name recognition (often because of sports programs).

For education, they only have T.A. positions for PhD students, but Ed is also a very small department, so it might vary elsewhere.

I really love living in St. Louis. It's not on the same scale as Chicago, L.A., or NYC, but it's big enough to have a lot of the resources of a large city, yet still small enough to be friendly. The economy in St. Louis has not been hit as hard as in other parts of the U.S., and I certainly know computer science people, but I don't know anything about that job market over-all.

Best of luck on your decision!

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