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Changing Lanes?

After thinking about it for a while, and talking to a fellow student, I am strongly considering changing from Computer Engineering to Computer Science. The transition process is supposed to be fairly straightforward. The reasons:


  • I am already recieving an “engineering” degree — Bioengineering
  • “Computer Science” is more well-known than is “Computer Engineering”
  • I can take pretty much the same classes, but EE 233 is no longer a requirement (I was looking to petition it away at any rate)
  • I already have the neccesary foreign language and writing credits (And I get to utilize these credits!)
  • “Computer Science & Bioengineering” sounds better than “Computer Engineering and Bioengineering.” I think this is because the repeated sound is dropped. Furthermore, degrees that sound different (ie, not repeating “engineering”) sound like more was done to get them both (which is somewhat true, because of my many credits). This is primarily psychological, but it seems to me to be true.


  • I need 3 more VLPA credits
  • Here at the UW at least, Computer Engineering is actually a slightly harder degree to get. I won’t be taking it any easier as a CS major, but in the future it may become the better-regarded major. For right now though, CS seems to be more well-known.
  • A name is a dumb reason to change majors

Here is what my schedule might look like (note the few changes, marked with *):

Winter 2007 (16)
BioE 303 (4) — Signal Processing (BioE core)
BioE 305 (4) — Analysis of Physiological Systems & Transport (BioE core)
CSE 451 (4) — Operating Systems (CS Senior Elective)
CSE 466 (4) — Software for Embedded Systems (CS Senior Elective)

Spring 2007 (16)
BioE 357 (4) — Molecular & Cellular Bioengineering I (BioE Core)
BioE 481 (4) — Research & Design Fundamentals (BioE Core)
CSE 461 (4) — Introduction to Networks (CS Senior Elective)
CSE 471 (4) — Computer Organization & Design (CS Senior Elective)*

Summer 2007
Quit Job (?), Find Bioengineering Research Laboratory
Need 3 VLPA Credits*

Autumn 2007 (16)
BioE 482 (4) — Senior Capstone Research/Design (BioE Core)
BioC 405 (3) — Introduction to Biochemistry (BioE Requirement)
CSE 467 (4) — Advanced Digital Design (CS Senior Elective)
CSE 401 (4) — Compilers (CS Senior Elective)*

Winter 2008 (15)
BioE 482 (4) — Senior Capstone Research/Design (BioE Core)
BioE 470 (4) — Systems Engineering & E-Medicine (BioE Senior Elective)
BioE 490 (3) — Biomaterials (BioE Senior Elective)
CSE 490i (4) — Neurobotics (CS Senior Elective, BioE Senior Elective by Petition)

Spring 2008 (16)
BioE 455 (4) — BioMEMS (BioE Senior Elective)
BioE 457 (4) — Molecular & Cellular Bioengineering II (BioE Senior Elective)
CSE 444 (3) — Introduction to Database Systems (CS Senior Elective)
CSE 477 (5) — Hardware Design Capstone (CS Senior Elective, if allowed)

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