AIT Budapest is an off-campus study program in computer science, founded in 2007, that many Carleton CS majors have attended in recent years. For the last several years running, we’ve had multiple junior CS majors go to Budapest in the fall of their junior year. (AIT is a semester program, and going for AIT’s Spring semester would overlap with both Winter and Spring terms at Carleton, and may not yield enough academic credit to make this a good choice. And going in the senior fall is incompatible with a Fall/Winter comps schedule.)
To participate in any non-Carleton OCS program, including AIT, you must complete an application form for approval from the OCS office to participate.
If you’re considering going to AIT Budapest, here are the policies that you need to know. Feel free to ask around the halls of the CMC for advice, from current CS majors who have gone to Budapest or from CS faculty, if you have questions.
Virtually all of the AIT Budapest CS courses require CS 201 (Data Structures) as a prerequisite. Successful applicants have also typically taken at least one proof-based mathematics course, such as CS 202 (Math of CS). Carleton students who have gone to AIT report that they have found Math 232 (Linear Algebra) to be important background for many courses, so this course is recommended as well.
Admission to AIT is competitive, and not all students who apply are admitted. Successful applicants typically write a thoughtful essay and have solid grades in CS courses (the B+ to A range is the norm, with weaker grades addressed directly in the student’s essay).
CS major electives
Most, but not all, of the AIT Budapest courses transfer for CS elective credit at Carleton. Some of the courses at AIT Budapest are similar to courses that we offer at Carleton; in those cases, students cannot “double dip” and receive credit for both. In the list of AIT Budapest courses below, if a course overlaps with a Carleton course, it is indicated in parentheses afterwards. Note that while we try to keep this list updated, it is not necessarily 100% accurate. If a course you’re interested at AIT Budapest is not listed here, or if it seems to heavily overlap with a Carleton elective that is not indicated here, ask a Carleton faculty member.
AIT Budapest courses that transfer for Carleton CS elective credit:
- Semantic and Declarative Technologies
- Graph Theory
- Combinatorial Optimization
- Data Science, Parts 1 and 2 (overlaps with Carleton CS 324)
- Computer Graphics (overlaps with Carleton CS 311)
- Quantum Probability and Quantum Logic
- Computational Biology and Medicine
- Advanced Algorithms for Bioinformatics
- Structure and Dynamics of Complex Networks
- Computer Vision for Digital Film Post-Production
- Mobile Software Development (overlaps with Carleton CS 342)
- Applied Cryptography (overlaps with Carleton CS 231)
CS major required courses
The AIT Budapest course Theory of Computing overlaps considerably with Carleton CS 254, which is required for the CS major. Students cannot double dip and receive credit for both courses. On the other hand, students who successfully transfer credit back to Carleton for the AIT Theory of Computing course can use that credit to fulfill the Carleton CS 254 major requirement. AIT Theory of Computing completely satisfies the CS 254 requirement at Carleton.
The AIT Budapest courses Scalable Systems and Development Processes and User Experience Design (previously User Interface Design) overlap considerably with Carleton CS 257, which is required for the CS major. As above, students cannot double dip to receive credit for both CS 257 and either AIT course. But students who successfully transfer credit back to Carleton for both of these two AIT courses can use that credit to completely fulfill the Carleton CS 257 major requirement.
Courses that don’t transfer at all
The following AIT Budapest courses that don’t transfer at all, though you may still choose to take them because they might be interesting and fun:
- Design Workshop. This potentially interesting course doesn’t seem to intersect with any particular department at Carleton, and so we don’t grant transfer credit for it.
- Algorithms and Data Structures. We don’t grant credit for this because it is a hybrid course between CS 201 and CS 252. It doesn’t cover enough of CS 252 to warrant us granting Carleton credit for it. Students who attend AIT Budapest but have not taken CS 201 might be able to negotiate partial credit for CS 201; if you have not yet taken CS 201 and you wish to take this AIT course, talk to a CS faculty member.
While at AIT Budapest, you must remain enrolled at a credit level that will earn you a minimum of 12 Carleton credits when you transfer them back.
The following AIT Budapest courses transfer for non-CS credits:
- Entrepreneurship and Leadership Studies
- Hungarian Music in a Central European Context
- Hungary Through Hungarian Cinema
- Budapest Studies
- Hungarian Language I and II
Policies on credit arithmetic
The Registrar’s Office determines how many Carleton credits you will earn from AIT; contact them with questions. (Generally, an AIT 2-credit course transfers as 3 Carleton credits, and an AIT 4-credit course transfers as 6 Carleton credits.) Unlike some other departments at Carleton, the CS department has not designed a cap on the number of major requirements that you can fulfill with credits earned abroad. Consult the OCS policy on credit transfer and contact the registrar’s office if you have questions.