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Computer science in New York City

Meet Charan Kandasamy Raja, a master’s student studying Computer Science at New York University (NYU). We sat down with Charan to discuss his incredible academic journey, his experience traveling from India to the States for his studies, and his exceptional plans for the future.

From India to the United States

Originally from Chennai, India, Charan traveled from India to the U.S. after completing a dual degree in theoretical computer science from PSG College of Technology. “This degree was like 50 percent math and 50 percent computer science, so it covered a lot of the foundational mathematics, like linear algebra, abstract algebra, and the theory of computing. It was a very maths-heavy course, and because of that, I didn’t get to learn much of the conventional computer science course, which you would expect from a bachelor’s.” However, when he arrived at New York University, he was able to explore the depth and breadth of computer science while already having a solid fundamental knowledge of mathematics that would help assist him along his computer science journey.

Logistical considerations

Before deciding where to study, Charan had to make a few essential decisions when choosing his university. There were a few logistical considerations that Charan took into account when choosing NYU “I had to consider the cost of attending the university and living in the city. As you probably know, New York can be pretty expensive. So, I had to factor in tuition costs, scholarship opportunities, and living expenses.” However, the cost of tuition at New York University was lower than other universities in the New York area. “When you consider the tuition cost of other master’s Computer Science programs across the country, it isn’t that bad. However, living expenses are quite high.” Despite the high living costs, Charan tackled his finances with a little help from the university. “I received a scholarship at New York University, which is $4000 per semester, and because this offsets my cost, it also helped me decide to come to NYU.”


After choosing where to study, Charan traveled from India to the U.S., which was a challenging yet ultimately rewarding experience. “The transition wasn't easy for the first month due to the time zone, a 10-hour difference from my parents back home. In addition, it's a completely unfamiliar place with new people you haven't met yet. So it takes some time to get adjusted. Once you've started bonding with your roommates, and I feel like once you've started engaging with them, it makes the entire process better.” Eventually, Charan settled into his life at NYU, found his way around the vast expanse of New York City, and found many reasons to be grateful for settling in NYC.

Settling into NYU

Charan told us of some of the other important factors that helped him settle into student life at NYU. “One of the best things about New York University is its location. It's right in the heart of downtown New York City. and the location exposes me to the industry in the already existing financial and startup ecosystem.” Charan told Cybernews Academy that university ranking is consistently high, which adds to its appeal. “My university is pretty well ranked in most ranking systems; it's often ranked in the top #25.” One biggest factors that contribute to his continuous appreciation for NYU is the career opportunities that studying at the university offers. “I know if I complete my master’s in computer science in the U.S., I will have access to the entire industry.” In addition, this student enjoys the range of courses available at NYU. “The kind of courses they offer at New York University are unlike any other university. Most other institutions have a rigid core system where you have to take particular courses to graduate. But at NYU, we only have one required course. Our course contains extensive requirements where we can take several core elective classes.”

Computer science structure

During our discussion, Charan described the structure of his master’s degree and the courses he took in his first year. “I’ve taken three courses so far. Algorithms, software engineering, and cybersecurity courses. As I’m unsure of what domain to go into, I wanted to experience all areas of computer science.” He explained that his master’s program is typically completed in two years or four semesters. “You have to take up 30 credits to complete the course, which comes out to nine credits or three courses per semester,” Charan explained. This student commends his professors for helping prepare you for each class. “The professors treat you like you have already completed a computer science undergraduate degree. So, before every lecture, there was a quiz covering huge portions of prerequisite topics before diving into the new content,” meaning that NYU professors take the time to ensure that their students are appropriately prepared.

The beauty of NYU

One of the beautiful things about NYU, according to Charan, is the quality of the lectures given at the university. “The quality of the teaching at NYU is outstanding. I have attended lectures in my undergraduate and have taken a few online courses, and no lecture has inspired me as much as the lectures at NYU.” This student expressed that the enthusiasm and the professors' knowledge are some of the greatest things about NYU. The way the professors deliver lectures and interact with students is unlike any other university or course Charan has attended. “In the middle of the lecture, you can raise your, ask questions, and discuss the content with your professor.” This interactive and immersive experience provided by the professors at New York University is an aspect of this institution that Charan appreciates.

In the future, Charan wants to enter the U.S. market and find a job in the industry. “My primary plan is to enter the software development or data science field. In the near future, Charan plans to get an internship in one of these fields and probe the possibility of converting this internship into a full-time job. Upon commencement of our discussion, Charan provided some words of wisdom for future students planning to pursue a degree in computer science. “Go beyond what is taught in the classrooms. A huge gap exists between the industry and academia, so continue to learn outside of classes, as this will lead you to success later.”