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Computer Science vs. Computer Engineering vs. Software Engineering

  1. Jan 6, 2013 #1
    I'm applying to universities (the deadline is the 16th) and I've decided on engineering, and narrowed my choices down to 5 universities. I'm deciding between computer engineering and software engineering, but I notice that some universities only have computer science and computer engineering, but no official engineering course aimed more towards software than hardware.

    Queens university for example only offers computer engineering in the engineering department and computer science in the computer science department.

    Waterloo university offers both of those programs as well as software engineering.


    "Waterloo’s software engineering program is jointly offered by the faculties of Engineering and Mathematics, so our students benefit from the University's combined strengths in Computer Science and Computer Engineering."

    So I know for sure I'm interested in software engineering at Waterloo, but at other schools I'm not sure whether I want to apply to computer engineering or computer science. I want to learn more about software than electrical circuits and chemistry, but I've heard computer science is purely programming and very theoretical.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 7, 2013 #2
    To give you an idea, at my school Computer Engineering is sort of halfway between software engineering and electrical engineering. You would do a fair bit of programming, but there would be a major focus on hardware as well. (e.g. digital circuit design)

    From what I've heard at my school, you're right about computer science. In a lot of ways it's more closely related to the math department than the engineering department.
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