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The Ivy Coach Daily

June 24, 2022

University of Michigan Nixes Computer Science Switchers

The University of Michigan will now pre-select its CS majors.

Are you thinking of applying to the University of Michigan to major in computer science but you don’t want to express as much on your application because you know how competitive CS can be? If so, you’re right to have trepidations about indicating you’re interested in computer science when applying to elite universities but know that if you’re applying for fall 2023 admission or later, the University of Michigan will not allow you to switch from another discipline to CS — whether you’re enrolled in the College of Engineering or the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. That’s right. The University of Michigan has declared open season on students who indicate they are interested in one subject only to later switch to the super popular field of computer science.

As the University of Michigan’s admissions office declares on its website, “Due to capacity constraints, students who are admitted to the University of Michigan in Fall 2023 or later must first be selected for the Computer Science (CS) major before they can declare the major. This selection policy, described below, is the same for students in both the College of Engineering and the College of Literature, Science and the Arts (LSA). The selection policy applies only to CS and does NOT apply to students seeking to major in the Computer Engineering (CE) or Data Science (DS) programs jointly administered by CSE with other units…As with many CS programs at other institutions, enrollment in Michigan’s CS major programs has grown rapidly over the past decade, and the number of interested students exceeds our teaching capacity. As a result, in order to provide a high quality education and to maintain a healthy community, we have limited enrollment into the CS majors under a selection policy.”

Of course, the University of Michigan isn’t the only elite university to be at or near capacity with respect to students interested in majoring in CS. But the University of Michigan, in a bold move, has become one of the first of the elite universities to initiate a pre-selection process for students interested in majoring in the discipline, an act that seemingly flies in the face of a liberal arts education. After all, the purpose of a liberal arts education is to figure out what a student wishes to study. By pre-selecting CS majors, the University of Michigan isn’t allowing students any wiggle room to figure things out. But, alas, the move is being made out of necessity due to over-enrollment in the major. So we can’t fault the school too much now can we? Yet will other schools soon follow Michigan’s lead? Stay tuned!

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