As an Information Technology student, you may be wondering what it’s like to major in Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin. In IT, your major can be crucial to your success and happiness. This is especially true with Computer Science. On top of knowing what it’s like to major in Computer Science, you’ll also want to know how much money you can make and what kinds of careers are available to you when you graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from UT Austin.
Why You Should Choose to Study CS at UT Austin
Because of UT’s status as one of the top universities in Texas, it’s no surprise that many employers recruit from The University of Texas at Austin. When you graduate here, you will be part of a network that continues into your professional life.
Whether or not you’re an entrepreneur, having contacts at some of the most prominent companies in tech is never a bad thing when you’re job searching. In addition to top-tier talent, you have access to fabulous events and organizations throughout your time at UT.
For example, HackTexas has helped cultivate connections between students interested in computer science since 2012. It was started by current students and alumni who wanted to give back and encourage others to follow in their footsteps. We hope you choose to study CS at UT!
How to Join UT Austin’s Computer Science Program
There are three ways to be admitted into UT’s computer science program:
- As an incoming fresh student.
- As a transfer student from another college.
- Through UT Austin’s graduate program.
There are two application cycles for new students and transfer students: one for fall admission and one for spring admission. The deadlines vary by semester.
You should apply during your senior year of high school for spring admission, and for fall admission, you should apply in your junior year.
The degree requirements vary slightly depending on which route you take to enter the CS program. However, most of them include courses such as:
- Discrete Mathematics.
- Calculus I-IV.
- Linear Algebra.
- Data Structures and Algorithms I-III.
- Probability and Statistics I-III (or equivalent).
- Computer Organization & Assembly Language Programming.
Additionally, you will need to complete at least 32 hours of upper-division coursework to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. Upper-division courses are typically numbered 300 or above.
Students with aspirations to pursue a Master’s Degree must complete 24 hours of upper-division coursework unique to their Bachelor’s Degree requirements.
The Cost of Studying CS at UT Austin
Depending on what type of degree you’re pursuing, computer science studies can be expensive. At UT Austin, in-state students pay $9,035 per semester for tuition and fees—that doesn’t include living expenses like food and rent.
However, if you live on campus, those costs are split between three or four semesters over two years, and there are plenty of scholarships available for Texas residents who want to study CS. You can also get financial aid for your summers by taking advantage of internships with companies in your area.
There are numerous software engineering internships on sites like InternMatch and Craigslist that you can use as stepping stones toward building a company or working at one.
Which Perks Do You Enjoy as a Computer Science Student at UT Austin
As a computer science student at UT Austin, you can enroll in highly-regarded degree programs and earn an impressive resume after graduation. Additionally, you can access cutting-edge technology that may not be available in other settings.
From free tutoring to an extensive and dedicated course library, students are taken care of with plenty of resources at their disposal. With no shortage of incredible professors or opportunities for learning new skills, it’s easy to see why so many aspiring technologists choose to study here.
Once you’ve learned all there is to know about computer science as a field, you have a chance to inspire future generations. But if you’re lucky enough (and talented enough), your future career will find you before then.
The UT Austin alumni have gone on to work at some of tech’s most prominent companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and more. There are more than 200 student organizations on campus as well.
Many of these groups cater to students with specific interests like social media or data science. Most of them provide networking opportunities—an essential skill for anyone entering the tech industry and a unique advantage for those enrolled at UT Austin’s School of Information.
The curriculum at UT Austin
Although most students enter with interest in computer science, they’ll likely finish with more general skills valued across all businesses. The skills include:
- Critical thinking.
The degree structure at UT Austin is very flexible, meaning students can choose between two-degree tracks that mirror each other. Students can customize their course schedule by choosing from many free electives. They can also opt for study abroad opportunities.
There are programs in eight different countries available. In addition to traditional majors, UT Austin offers minors and certificates in multiple fields of study.
For example, a student interested in artificial intelligence could minor or complete a certificate program in cognitive science or computational linguistics. The school offers nearly 100 courses on topics related to AI alone.
Dozens of others concentrate on machine learning and data mining. As far as research goes, there are plenty of ways for students to get involved. Undergraduates have access to multiple research groups led by faculty members and graduate students. You may even be able to join one right away if you’re looking for extra experience on your resume before graduation.
The Majors You Will Learn at UT Austin
The program offers computer science, information technology, and information assurance courses. There are opportunities for students to study abroad or participate in independent research. The department has numerous notable alumni in various fields.
Choosing a Major at UT (theUniversity of Texas) In Austin
Choosing which major is suitable for you is often one of the most difficult decisions during your college career. Sure, you love computers, but are you passionate about them? There will be days when even professionals in high-demand positions feel stuck in their jobs in most fields.
If computer science were suddenly no longer in demand, would it make you sad or excited? Think carefully about how true your answer is before committing yourself to four years of something that may not be fulfilling.
While it’s always good to keep an open mind, choosing a major based on what sounds fun can lead to some unfortunate consequences down the road. For example, if you decide to pursue computer science because it sounds cool and then discover after graduation that you hate working with computers, what do you do?
You’ve just spent four years preparing for a job that makes you miserable. On top of all that, remember that technology is constantly changing. What was considered cutting edge 10 years ago might now be considered obsolete. The field of computing changes so rapidly, and new technologies are emerging every day; what’s hot today might be cold tomorrow.
College is essentially an investment in yourself. You can join dozens of extracurricular activities at UT, but don’t feel obligated. More than anything else, you should use your time here as an opportunity to learn about something new or challenge yourself in some way.
The average undergraduate takes 19 hours per semester. Some classes will be more complex than others, and it’s normal for your grades not to be perfect. But if you approach every class with open-mindedness and diligence, you’ll never have any regrets.
Internship and Career Support Programs offered at UT Austin
Several resources are available at The University of Texas at Austin that help you in your professional development, an integral part of your undergraduate experience. Recruiting and career services information is available through each school, college and department.
In addition, there are internships, mentoring programs, and more opportunities for involvement with businesses both in Central Texas and around the world. Through UT Austin’s Career Center and partnerships with professional societies, corporations, alumni networks, and more, you are offered access to valuable experiences during your time on campus and after graduation.
Some organizations worth your consideration include the Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), American Nuclear Society (ANS), IEEE Computer Society, Biomedical Engineering Society, American Chemical Society (ACS), Graduate Students Section, Women in Energy Network, National Institute of Aerospace Scholars Program, and Business Professionals Of America.
Students can also check out listservs such as Startup Grind, which brings together entrepreneurs from all over Austin. Whether talking about problems or exchanging business cards, these interactions significantly impact students’ ability to develop professional connections.
The Final Word
While studying computer science is typically seen as an arduous task that requires you to put in long hours (and long nights) at your computer terminal, it involves little more than hard work and perseverance. However, the benefits of a degree in computer science make it all worthwhile.
Whether you want to enter academia, be a software developer, or build Web applications for fun and profit, you’ll be in good company when you major in computer science. Happy coding!