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CS Master's Admissions: Carnegie Mellon or UIUC ?


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Hi all,


I’ve been accepted to the Computer Science Master’s program at CMU and UIUC and was looking for some advice/opinions on which would be the best fit for me. Any insight into this decision would be appreciated!


Here are the programs I’ve been accepted into:



  • Lighter course-load requirement (8 courses over 3 semesters) which would give me more time to pursue other technical work/opportunities outside of class
  • Courses in web application development and mobile computing which I’m interested in taking
  • Ranked at the very top of CS graduate schools


  • The MS CS program is only 2 years old, so I’m not sure how well known it is
  • The overall cost is about $5K/semester higher than UIUC



  • Well-known, established program
  • Courses in software engineering and databases which I’m interested in taking
  • Costs about $5K/semester less than CMU


  • Heavy course load (12 courses over 3 semesters)
  • Ranked lower than CMU


My primary goal after completing graduate school is to obtain a position in software engineering, ideally related to the development of web systems. I do not intend to pursue a Ph.D.


Given this information, which school do you think is the better choice for me, and why?


Additionally, I was curious if anyone could provide some insight into other qualities about these two schools:

  • How common is obtaining an assistantship in these programs? Ideally I'd like to offset as much of the tuition cost as possible.
  • How heavy is the recruitment from top companies at these schools?
  • How is the overall campus/social life?


Any insight/comments would be appreciated - Thanks!

Edited by cs_grad1
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