Many of the students and parents who come to us at Ivy Scholars are torn between studying business and computer science. Both are growing and dynamic fields, with incredible potential for success. While some students choose to double major, or major in one and minor in the other, this merely gives an overview of both, without discussing or delving into the connections between the fields.
A new program at UT Austin combines the best of both worlds, offering an honors program which merges the explorations of business and technology. As computer science and the internet of things continue to grow in prominence, and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs rival Wall Street, in-roads into the junction between business and technology are a great place to begin building a path to future success.
So What is This Program?
The creatively-named Texas Honors Computer Science and Business (Texas CSB) program is exactly what it says it is. Formed via collaboration between UT’s Canfield Business Honors Program and the Department of Computer Science, the program seeks to bridge the gap between the two fields.
It’s an integrated degree program, meaning that students will specialize in the fields of both business and computer science, and be granted a single degree with honors. This avoids the pitfall of some dual degree programs which require five years to complete. Students are required to complete courses in both programs, and the UT Austin core, although there is some leeway for electives.
As both of the parent programs at UT Austin are recognized as top ten in their fields nationally, their union bodes only positives. The program is very selective, and the number of students admitted quite small, so each class forms close bonds and connections, allowing for networking and partnerships to form, both in college and after.
How do you get in?
Students must complete the regular application for UT Austin, using ApplyTexas or the Coalition App. You should indicate Unspecified Business and Computer Science as your choices for first and second major. These will enable you to apply to both this honors program, and the separate honors programs for business and CS separately.
There is an additional writing prompt you must complete to be considered for the program:
Texas CSB is an innovative dual degree program looking for students who are dedicated to both computer science and business. Why do you see this as a powerful combination of skills for your career goals? What have you done in high school to prepare you for computer science and business course work? Please limit your response to no more than 500 words.
This prompt may seem daunting, so we’ll break it down a little. This prompt is asking for two things: Why do you want to study both computer science and business, and how have you prepared for these?
For the first part of the question, discuss your motivations. This is explicitly about career goals, so discuss what you want to accomplish after college with the skills and tools you pick up from completing the program.
For the second part of the question, discuss what classes you have taken, and what extracurriculars you’ve participated in, which give you a background in each of these fields. Have you learned to code, either in a class or self-taught? Have you interned at a business, or tried to start your own? How prepared are you for this very challenging program is what they’re trying to understand.
Finally, you must include an expanded resume as part of your application. While there are no strict requirements for grades and test scores in order to be accepted, the program does look for academic excellence, and students who want to be competitive applicants for the program should excel both in and out of the classroom.
It is possible for students to be accepted into UT Austin generally without being accepted into the CSB program.
Business has long been a pillar of American society, while computer science is a newcomer on the stage, a field growing and changing every day. For students who wish to merge the fields, and learn to excel and thrive in both, look no further than the Honors Program at UT Austin.
If you are looking for advice on other programs to pursue your niche interests in, or want additional help tackling the honors prompt, feel free to reach out to us here at Ivy Scholars, as we’re always happy to help new students.