Why Princeton Engineering?
1. Why Princeton Engineering?
2. What are the pros and cons of doing A.B or B.S.E for computer science at Princeton?
Why Princeton Engineering?
There are many reasons to attend Princeton's School of Engineering, but when looking at alumni and current student feedback, several points came up again and again. Many students and alumni value the emphasis on independent work, the generous financial aid package, and the covering of the cost of a visit. Princeton’s focus on undergraduates allows more opportunities to learn from faculty and participate in meaningful research. Lastly, a strong sense of community and the intimate setting of a small liberal arts college with resources and benefits of much larger institutions seemed to be the most appealing aspects for most. If you are interested in knowing more you can find student and alumni perspectives here: https://www.princeton.edu/news/2015/04/13/i-picked-princeton-because
What are the pros and cons of doing A.B or B.S.E for computer science at Princeton?
I want to preface this response by saying that ultimately, you will definitely have time to decide when you get there, if you decide to change your initial application choice. They may give you a harder time if you want to leave the engineering school, but students have done it. It's usually no issue, per the Assistant Dean, to switch from the BSE to AB program. The AB program is sometimes preferred because it offers more flexibility for students interested in interdisciplinary studies.
Some more notes regarding programs differences:
- Being a BSE student seems to restrict where you can study abroad.
- If you do all the freshman requirements (math, chem, physics, cos) you can switch to any department after the freshman year (basically) and you will also have done many of the AB science/math prereqs.
I would say that if you want flexibility after college, a BSE degree will open a whole lot more doors than an AB degree. Engineers are trained to be a lot more versatile and have a completely different skill set that makes them more qualified to do actual hands-on work---as compared to an AB science degree (physics, chemistry, etc.), which is highly theoretical and mostly aimed at people going for their PhDs to end up in academia and research. As a junior chemical engineer, students are still able to take a wide variety of classes from other disciplines--history, literature, philosophy, sociology, etc.
Current students and alumni assure me that engineering really does not dominate your schedule--although it's very easy to get that impression from freshman year, however, because you're stuck doing all the "boring" pre-reqs like intro physics, math and chem. For your other 3 years however, you will probably only be taking 1 or 2 engineering classes per semester--they space out the requirements so you're never taking more than half engineering classes. I have been told that the BSE and AB science really aren't related as much as many prospective students think they are--especially at a place like Princeton, because the physics and math AB professors are so advanced that you're going to be doing highly theoretical and highly complex stuff that you normally wouldn't find at another college.