How hard is Georgia Tech?

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ahazaq2
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How hard is Georgia Tech?

Postby ahazaq2 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:31 pm UTC

Hey guys. I'm trying to figure out where I'm going to go to college. Georgia Tech sounds like it has really really good academics, but almost everything I've seen said about it on the internet has been that it chews people up and spits them back out, but on the other hand I know that it is really easy to get in compared to most other schools that are ranked as high in engineering so it could just be that people who were kind of underqualified found it really difficult. So I guess my question is, how hard would you say Georgia Tech is compared to MIT or Northwestern, or if you had any other experience with the school I'd appreciate hearing about it.

Thanks.

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jmorgan3
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Re: How hard is Georgia Tech?

Postby jmorgan3 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:15 pm UTC

It depends on what you are majoring in. For engineering, Georgia Tech is hard, but probably no harder than schools with similar rankings. I think you are correct that the admissions are lenient enough that we get a lot of people who aren't prepared for such a rigorous curriculum. The kind of people who come to Georgia Tech because MIT turned them down have GPAs in the 3.8-4.0 range. The kind of people who come to Georgia Tech because it's in-state and cheap and they hear engineers make a lot of money end up with low GPAs or failing out. Regardless, you will have to work hard.

Basically, it comes down to you: are you taking AP math and science classes, and acing them? Are you comfortable with calculus, vectors, matrices, and logarithms? Can you draw the basic polynomials, trig functions, and exponential functions/logarithms, as well as their integrals and derivatives? If so, you'll probably do fine.
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charolastra
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Re: How hard is Georgia Tech?

Postby charolastra » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:55 pm UTC

I went to one of the biggest feeder high schools for Tech. Plenty of people got in (and graduated!) who I would not consider the biggest brainiacs out there.

From my humble Facebook (aka schadenfreude) observances, those who seem to do well (with the criteria of remaining in an engineering/science major and not dropping to "technology communications" and graduating in 4 years) at Tech are more determined by their work ethic in college than their intelligence. Of course you must be smart, but Georgia Tech has some of the smartest people from around the world studying in the same classes that you will be attending. That may sound intimidating but that challenge is what creates some incredibly marketable, successful professionals after college. You need to be confident in your ability to tighten up and focus on your studies, your ability to know when you need help and ask for it, and your own sense of balance. Of course, these are important qualities no matter where you go to college or what you study.

ahazaq2
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Re: How hard is Georgia Tech?

Postby ahazaq2 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:41 pm UTC

All right, awesome. That's basically just what I wanted to hear.

Thanks.

plsander
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Re: How hard is Georgia Tech?

Postby plsander » Tue May 10, 2011 9:36 pm UTC

Every college that I have encountered that is heavily technical (Ga Tech, MIT, RPI, etc) has a reputation of 'eating their young'...

It just goes with the territory.

Peter - Ga Tech, class of '88.

Parsifal
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Re: How hard is Georgia Tech?

Postby Parsifal » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:11 am UTC

I have no idea, but I'll tell you in a few months after I start my MS in CS :) I have also heard that Georgia Tech has a challenging engineering program but is otherwise in the same tier as other decent state institutions. I can't compare it to MIT because I didn't accept admission there for financial reasons (for undergrad).

The thing is, getting into a solid program is a lot easier than people tend to think if you have great grades, good work experience and strong motivation. If you go GT and then decide to be an engineer, you're in for a rude awakening. If you go there because your dream is to be an engineer/software developer/biochemist, you'll have a great time.

maxh
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Re: How hard is Georgia Tech?

Postby maxh » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:27 am UTC

I would assume it's pretty hard. Most universities are not in bouncy castles, unfortunately. :P

gorcee
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Re: How hard is Georgia Tech?

Postby gorcee » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:23 am UTC

plsander wrote:Every college that I have encountered that is heavily technical (Ga Tech, MIT, RPI, etc) has a reputation of 'eating their young'...

It just goes with the territory.

Peter - Ga Tech, class of '88.


Yeah, engineering and science programs have a high freshman and 4-year attrition rate, but that's also something that seems to be a feature of the nature of the studies, rather than the school. Many schools, if not most, have undertaken efforts to curb this.

That said, I truly don't believe that there is really a lot of variation as to the difficulty of different colleges/programs. Maybe in the upper echelon of the top tier there is -- Caltech, MIT, Stanford, etc. -- but that is more likely due to the competitive culture of the student body than due to university protocol. Also, different personalities enjoy different environments. And different generations have different burdens and expectations. The system changes because it must.

In the end, you have your best chance at succeeding someplace that you can truly enjoy. And, to find success after college, you want to find a place where you can find people to teach you how to look at the world top-down; that is, industry -> company -> job -> major, rather than the other way around. There are resources to do this at every college, but the depth and fidelity of those resources varies based on your program and the faculty therein.

Greatpatient
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Re: How hard is Georgia Tech?

Postby Greatpatient » Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:29 am UTC

First of all, Georgia Tech is definitely difficult. I am a senior in Mechanical Engineering, and the course work is not easy. That said, if you come here you will get a great education, and if you are a Georgia resident, I don't know where you can get a better education for the value. The mechanical engineering undergraduate program is currently ranked second in the nation.

The key to doing well is pretty simple. Attend all the classes and pay attention, do the assigned homework, and study. Almost all professors are more than happy to help you during office hours, which most students rarely attend. If you are smart and hard working, it should not be a problem to do well. There are some classes that are quite difficult and some that consume large amounts of time, but the grading and work load tend to be reasonable. You will not have as much free time or fun as you would have at other universities, but it depends on what you want to get out of your time in college. For an example, the discussion in one of the ME computer clusters the other day was about the best brands of tools rather than what costumes people intended to wear for Halloween that night.

Graduates I have talked to have all said how much more prepared they were for their engineering jobs they got after graduating relative to students who went to Clemson and Auburn. You will get out of college what you put into it and what is demanded from you, and tech demands a lot from you and you have to put a lot into it.

If you do not intend to work hard, I would recommend you look elsewhere. Out of the close friends I made during my stay here, about a fourth of them flunked out or withdrew from school, and others changed from engineering majors to management or liberal arts majors.

Parsifal
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Re: How hard is Georgia Tech?

Postby Parsifal » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:07 pm UTC

I'm now nearing the end of my first semester in the MSCS program and so far I have found it to be quite challenging relative to the lower-tier university where I got my BS. I'm not sure how much of that is due to the graduate program, vs the culture of Tech itself, vs going back to school after an extended stint in the 'real world'. I've definitely found the workload - amount of tests, homework and projects- to be a LOT more intense than I expected. However, the professors and graders seem happy to provide extra assistance and in 3 of my 4 classes, only those who didn't come to class regularly and didn't put in the work got left behind.

I'm not sure whether this is good advice for Tech or just grad school in general, but DO NOT think you can bang out every project the night before it is due because it WILL NOT work.

In one class, the professor asked who had started each project several days before it was due:
Project 1: 1 person had started
Project 2: 25% of the class had started
Project 3: 100% of the class had started (professor had to cover a laugh)

But maybe you'll learn the hard way, like me...


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