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Ask HN:Want to do Masters Comp Science,no science background in Bachelors.
8 points by BikalpT 973 days ago | 5 comments
Background: Bachelors in social science. Would like to do Masters in Computer science related field. Is it possible? Road blocks? Been learning self-basic programming.

Any helpful link, titles suggestions? Words of wisdom?




I've done research on this very topic. There are several options:

1) 'Typical' CS masters program. (1-1.5 years) Accepts students with the requisite Undergraduate CS experience. (eg. at least Intro to CS, Data Structures, and Computation)

2) The Undergraduate CS Masters degree: (2-3 years) For Students with no CS/programming experience This is basically an undergraduate CS degree, only it counts as a Masters.

3) Mixed Program: (2.5-3 years) A masters in CS, with the concomitant courses, but requires you to take the undergraduate courses first, which may tack on 1.5 -2 years by my estimate of your situation.

Option 1) is not a likely option for you. If you manage to get accepted to one of these schools, you will be looking at 3) Mixed Program.

Option 2) is a good choice if you are pressed on time or finances, and want the prestige of a Masters degree, and don't care too much about taking Masters-level CS courses.

Another option is to get your second bachelor's in CS. Which is basically Option 2) but you don't get to call it a Masters.

One recommendation: A lot of the upper CS courses have prerequisites- namely Intro to CS and Data Structures, as well as Calc I and Calc II.

You could take these at the college if need be but IMHO you could and should learn these subjects through self-study, because you'll save money and time. Then when you enter University you can hit the ground running with the more advanced courses.

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To learn CS, Programming, and Python, I'm currently working through:

6.00x (MIT's edX Intro to CS course), Python https://www.edx.org/courses/MITx/6.00x/2012_Fall/info

CS101 (Udacity's Intro to CS course), Python http://www.udacity.com/overview/Course/cs101/

Python the Hard way (Zed Shaw's online book), Python http://learnpythonthehardway.org/book/

Code Academy, (Python track), Python http://www.codecademy.com/tracks/python

I consider 6.00x and CS101 to be my CS foundation and Python Hard way and Code Academy to be brush-up on the Python/programming. Working through all these in tandem really hits my brain in 4 different but complementary angles.

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Thank you so much!!!

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I don't think a "real" CS masters would be a good idea without a lot of undergrad math and CS. Keep in mind what constitutes a masters varies widely. Some schools are basically just the same undergrad material. Others go far beyond undergrad topics and pick up where undergrad textbooks end.

It really depends on your goals are.

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Don't bother. Learn it on your own and get a job. Job looks way better.

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