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What should I take for a computer science major?

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First time posting :D

Hi, I'm entering the fifth year of my MYP program and aiming for a computer science major at an American college.

Recently I've heard that chances of acceptance are improved if people take HL math and physics for any engineerin courses. However, I'm not really all that good at math and haven't tried a hand at physics yet, but I've managed to create three java games in the short time I started learning programming and I'm enjoying the area so far. :D

...Which brings me to my question(s). Are the chances of college entry still acceptable even if I take SL math and/or physics? (btw, right now there isn't a computer science class available at my school) Also, do most colleges require at least some experience in physics if you want to be admitted into a computer science course? I've scoured the internet but couldn't find much help

Thanks for the help :D

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Hey I'm majoring in CS too! :) Generally American Unis do accept both HL or SL maths course...taking HL courses would enable you to get credits for the beginning maths classes at uni if you get the required grade. But SL maths works just fine. And yes, you do need to take physics. Some of the unis such as CalTech require atleast 1 (or 2) years of physics. Again, it can be SL physics. But for CS a strong maths background is always helpful.

good luck :)

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From what I've read, physics is a preferred subject but not compulsory for computer science. Maths is basically essential SL or preferably HL. American Universities seem to not specify which subjects one should take at IB level. The requirements, if there are any, are usually general such as 1 or 2 years of Physics as mentioned above.

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Computer_Science_Degree

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For the most competitive computer science schools in the US, you'll want to take as much math as you can, and at least a physics class or programming/computer science class if possible. Computer science is a TON of math, more than you'd might think, so you'd want to be prepared. Schools do understand that not every student had the opportunity to take a formal computer science class or had access to really advanced math classes, so it's ok if you didn't. You can demonstrate that this is something you are interested in through hobbies/extracurricular activities and things like that. For less competitive (but still good) schools you should be all right. I'd still take physics if I were you, although it may not be a requirement everywhere. And you should be OK with SL math, but be prepared to take some more math classes once you get into the program. Your best bet is to go to individual university websites and see what their requirements are.

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As a soon-to-be computer science major, for most top tier universities to consider you, this is probably the only 'requirement'. I say 'requirement', because schools in the US don't require anything, but applying to a place like, I don't know- MIT with a 5 in Maths SL for Computer Science isn't going to get you anywhere!

HL Maths (score a 5 or above) or SL Maths (score a 7) - if the admissions process is holistic at the place you're applying to, then you'd be fine if you got a high SAT math score and didn't achieve those grades in the IB courses. However, if HL math is a scary prospect to you, you might not love computer science as much as you think you do! Trust me, if you're focusing on the 'sciencey' parts of computer science, it's a lot of math work, and HL maths really does teach you to think in a way that'll make you a successful computer scientist.

Of course, if your school suggests it- take Computer Science! It's an awesome course, I've been taking it, and it's a lot of fun! :)

Physics isn't a requirement, but again, if you're looking to apply to a top tier university, HL Physics shows you have a passion for mathematics, love for problem solving, and academic rigor.

I guess as long as you have a good grasp on Maths, and that shows in your subject list, you're fine!

Also, try to demonstrate a passion for computer science! If you love computer science, do something about it! Do projects that show you love the subject! Here's some stuff I've done over the last few years: http://karankanwar.me (sorry, it's not done yet!)

Good luck!

Edited by unicornication

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