4
5 months ago
Admissions Advice

What are the best ECs for aspiring CS majors?
Answered

Hi! My passion--and hopefully major-- is in Computer Science. Are there any specific ECs that will help me get into colleges (such as MIT) with this focus? Thank you!

Ann 🤍

apcomputerscienceprinciples
computerscience
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Accepted Answer
5 months ago[edited]

I think I can give you a couple of ideas on this topic, some of these are based on my personal experience with preparing to major and accumulating "C.S stuff" for 4 years and some are based on people I've talked to and things I've read but overall this is literally all my knowledge on this topic -

1.INTERNSHIPS!- this is one of the most important and provides the most exposure to the real and economical world of CS and provides the chance for actual hands-on experience. This is also a way to display your ability in CS because CS is an almost completely applied and practical skill and very minutely theory-based.

2.WEBSITES AND APPS- This is an obvious one but it is important and is also a nice opportunity to combine two interests. for example- I personally combined finance and computer science and made a crypto-bot but you could obviously combine any interests.

3.MATH OR CS CLUBS-this is also a good way to share ideas and improve your grip on this concept, it is even better if you have a leadership position. I mentioned math because math is a vital part of CS especially graph theory and number theory if you've started coding and are pretty good at it you might observe that a lot of math goes into answering the prompts and making programs this especially helps in-

4.COMPETITIVE PROGRAMMING-This is an amazing community here you'll find so many talented individuals and even if you don't win the experience is unmistakable. I will admit preparing for c.p was one of the toughest things I did in my life but it is worth it when you win you've basically proven that your the cream of the cream and a win is almost the strongest EC you can have!

5.OLYMPIADS-This is pretty self-explanatory and a good way to get a win on the national or international level, and also prove your worth in STEM especially by winning national and international titles which are unmistakable proofs of your knowledge.

6.SUMMER CAMPS OR PROGRAMS- This is also pretty self-explanatory, it helps you gain experience and hands-on experience and also might have the potential for building a team(this was in my case, again this is only if you want to go the competitive programming way) and find more opportunities and competitions.

7.CHESS OR ANY OTHER BRAIN GAME- chess=brain power, CS needs brain power

8.JUST TAKE STEM CLASSES AND KEEP YOUR TEST SCORES IN CHECK- this is an important way for the A.O to directly compare you to other applicants, so it's pretty important.

9.PASSION- Having a genuine passion will definitely come through in your application and essays it'll also get you through the hours of hard work.

P.S- Although these examples are great for C.S, remember that no set of extracurriculars can guarantee admission into any uni but it definitely helps. Most importantly look out for burnout and take breaks, C.S is stressful and it's easy to overwork yourself and it'll hold you back way more in the long run than a 10-minute break. Cheers and good luck!.

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1
5 months ago

So for the so-called Ivy+ schools you typically to have a national level EC in you did something on a scale outside of your city. For example, I competed at a national circuit tournament. However I want to emphasize that this isn't necessary and multiple people will get in without it, it is the strongest way. As such you could join or start a club that does computer science. You could supplement that by having some sort of technical job whether that's an internship or some other computer based job. You could also make an app or just program something. There was one CV user who made a website and their school district used it during the pandemic.

https://blog.collegevine.com/extracurriculars-for-aspiring-computer-science-majors/

Look for more details here.

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