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Do Community College classes decrease my chances of getting into a good program?


valknut
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Hello all!

I'm currently a candidate for a BA at a liberal arts school that lets students essentially design their own programs. This school isn't very mathematically oriented, so there are several classes in the spectrum of the traditional CS / Software Engineering major that I have not taken. If I complete my degree here then take community college courses to finish the traditional CS major, will this decrease my chances of getting into a good program?

I can provide a list of the classes I've taken / will take before graduating if that would help.

Thank you.

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Taking the CS classes at community college will probably increase your chances over not taking them at all. If you're worried about the prestige factor, you could check if your school has agreements with any other schools that would allow you to take classes there instead.

This also might be a case where the CS GRE makes sense. A good score on the CS GRE could show reviewers that while you didn't take your CS classes at a well-known institution, you do know the material.

Many liberal arts colleges require a senior thesis. If yours does, do it on a CS topic. The quality of your independent work there will probably have more of an effect on your chances of getting into programs.

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I would be surprised if you could complete a CS major through a CC. I took CS classes at my local CC (which is very large and is a feeder school for transfers to the state U's flagship campus). It was only possible to take the intro CS classes at the CC -- that is all they offered.

Edited by emmm
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I would be surprised if you could complete a CS major through a CC. I took CS classes at my local CC (which is very large and is a feeder school for transfers to the state U's flagship campus). It was only possible to take the intro CS classes at the CC -- that is all they offered.

I'll have most of the CS requirements by the time I graduate, I just don't have any of the Calculus, Linear Algebra, Discrete Mathematics, or Stats. They don't teach any of that here and I'm not sure why.

Taking the CS classes at community college will probably increase your chances over not taking them at all. If you're worried about the prestige factor, you could check if your school has agreements with any other schools that would allow you to take classes there instead.

This also might be a case where the CS GRE makes sense. A good score on the CS GRE could show reviewers that while you didn't take your CS classes at a well-known institution, you do know the material.

Many liberal arts colleges require a senior thesis. If yours does, do it on a CS topic. The quality of your independent work there will probably have more of an effect on your chances of getting into programs.

Thanks! I'll look into that. I'm also doing my senior thesis on software development for Mobile Phones.

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I'll have most of the CS requirements by the time I graduate, I just don't have any of the Calculus, Linear Algebra, Discrete Mathematics, or Stats. They don't teach any of that here and I'm not sure why.

The classes you mention here are usually first- or second- year level courses at a 4 year university. So, I think it should be fine to take them at a CC. If you had spent the first two years at a CC and taken these courses and then transferred to a 4 year university and got your final degree there, most grad schools won't even notice it. So it's a little strange that you are taking the first/second year level courses in your final year, but I think it should be okay!

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I'll have most of the CS requirements by the time I graduate, I just don't have any of the Calculus, Linear Algebra, Discrete Mathematics, or Stats. They don't teach any of that here and I'm not sure why.

What TakeruK said, plus: Personally I'd maybe mention somewhere how you gained a background in these areas through other means. E.g. add an extra document in which you list textbooks, online courses, etc. in those areas that you have worked through in detail.

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