The best schools for computer science give you the college experience and education to stand out in the tech job market. They offer programs with a carefully designed curriculum to ensure comprehensive knowledge that provides a range of professional opportunities.
In this article, you’ll find a list of the best computer science schools and tips when selecting your future school. We also included detailed information about careers you can start after earning each level of degree in this field.
Best Computer Science College and University Rankings: Top 10 Computer Science Schools at a Glance
|School||State||Formats Available||US News Ranking|
|Carnegie Mellon University||PA||In-person and online||25|
|Columbia University||NY||In-person and online||2|
|Johns Hopkins University||MD||In-person and online||9|
|Harvard University||MA||In-person and online||2|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||MA||In-person||2|
|Stanford University||CA||In-person, hybrid, and online||6|
|University of Pennsylvania||PA||In-person, hybrid, and online||8|
Computer Science School Rankings: Best Computer Science Colleges and Universities
The following are some of the best computer science colleges and universities. They offer different types of courses and internships that help students hone their practical skills. Keep reading to get an overview of these best computer science universities and colleges and the programs they offer.
The Best Schools for Computer Science: Types of College Degrees and University Programs Offered
The best schools for computer science offer different types of programs, including certificate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programs. These programs are across various levels of education, starting from community college certificate to PhD level. Find below details about each computer science program offered.
Comparing Popular Degree Options
Best Computer Science Schools: Other Computer Science University Rankings
The following are some of the best computer science schools for different program levels and types, including the best undergraduate schools and the best graduate schools for computer science. We also included computer science university rankings on different modes of teaching like synchronous and asynchronous online courses.
Best Online Computer Science Schools
- Auburn University. You’ll find various online undergraduate and graduate programs at Auburn University. These degrees include a Bachelor’s in Computer Science, Master’s in Cybersecurity Engineering, and Master of Science in Computer Science and Software Engineering.
- Columbia University. The School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University offers a fully online Master of Science in Computer Science. This 30-credit degree has eight tracks, including computational biology, computer security, natural language processing, vision and graphics, and machine learning.
- Oregon State University. You can find fully online or hybrid programs from over 95 academic programs at Oregon State University. Its Bachelor of Science in Computer Science is a 180-credit program that is available fully online. Computer science students have success coaches to help them benefit from online learning.
Best Community Colleges for Computer Science
- Lincoln Land Community College. This community college offers affordable online and hybrid programs to students. You can get an Associate of Arts or Associate of Applied Science Degree in Computer Science. They also offer Certificates of Achievements in Cybersecurity and Computer Science, along with training for CISCO network administration.
- Columbus State Community College. The Information Systems Technology department at Columbus State Community College offers multiple Associate of Applied Science degrees for 64 to 65 credit hours. You can earn an AAS degree in different specializations: software development, mobile app development, management information systems, network administration, cybersecurity, and game development.
- Barton Community College. This school allows students to enroll in either computer information systems or computer science associate degrees. Their computer science program prepares students for a bachelor’s degree and IT careers. The associate degrees generally take two years to complete without taking any gap.
Best Undergraduate Schools for Computer Science
- Yale University. At Yale University, you can get a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, and combined bachelor’s and master’s degrees. You can also enroll in joint majors with mathematics, psychology, electrical engineering, and economics. For a shorter computer science program, they offer a Certificate in Programming.
- University of Houston. You can get a bachelor’s degree, minor in computer science, fast-track bachelor’s and master’s program, and a post-baccalaureate degree at University of Houston. Its computer science bachelor’s degree requires 120 credits and a capstone project in data science, interactive game development, or software design.
- University of Washington. At the University of Washington, students interested in pursuing scientific, technical, or liberal arts careers can enroll in undergraduate degrees in computer science and computer engineering. Students get various opportunities to learn through capstone projects, research work, and exchange education opportunities.
Best Graduate Schools for Computer Science
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This institute offers the best research opportunities and facilities to its students. Massachusetts Institute of Technology has 10 research communities in computer science. It offers Master of Science, Master of Engineering, and Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Science degrees.
- University of Illinois. The computer science department at the University of Illinois offers a Professional Masters in Computer Science, Master of Science in Bioinformatics, and Master of Science or PhD in Computer Science. The Master of Science degree is research-based with advanced courses in computer science. Its PhD is a 96-credit program including a program of study and thesis.
- University of California-Berkeley. The master’s and PhD programs at the University of California-Berkeley have excellent faculty and allow students to contribute to research. They offer a combined Master’s and PhD degree and a joint Master of Science degree with Master’s in Public Policy.
Best Computer Science Schools With Dual Degree Programs
- Stanford University | Joint Computer Science Master of Science/Master of Business Administration Degree. Stanford University offers this joint degree between the school of business and engineering. Graduates of this specialized program take 129 credits or units of study.
- University of Colorado Boulder | Dual Professional Master of Science / Engineering Management. University of Colorado Boulder offers this dual program in a 45-credit-hour curriculum. Students can graduate in around five years by taking 24 credit hours in computer science courses and 21 credit hours of engineering coursework.
- University of Columbia | Dual Master of Science in Journalism and Computer Science. This four-semester program prepares students for digital media and journalism jobs. The curriculum covers seminars, workshops, project work, and courses in both journalism and computer science departments.
Best Schools With Accelerated Computer Science Programs
- Boston University | Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Accelerated Degree Completion Program. This two-year program at Boston University helps you advance to a four-year bachelor’s degree by completing 64 credits over four semesters and two summers. Students who are able to maintain a 3.0 GPA or above can also gain admission to a master’s degree.
- Lewis University | Accelerated Bachelor’s in Computer Science. Lewis University offers this accelerated program to students for 128 credit hours in over eight weeks. The programs are available online enabling students to pursue their degree on their own time and comfort.
- University of North Dakota | Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Computer Science. Students can get a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Computer Science in over five years by completing 138 to 144 credits. University of North Dakota’s courses are available on campus or online.
Easy Colleges to Get Into
Is Graduate School for Computer Science Worth It?
Yes, a graduate school for computer science is worth it because it teaches you beyond the foundations of computer science. Graduate programs also focus on advanced computer science areas like artificial intelligence, data science, and cyber security. Many colleges and schools also offer online master’s programs.
During a graduate degree, students get many research opportunities from the best schools and guidance from top-class faculty. Students use the tools they learn about and work towards solving real-world problems through their projects and research. In graduate school, you’ll get the opportunity to contribute to current research related to computer science.
What Jobs Can You Do With a Computer Science Degree?
The jobs you can do with a computer science degree include network architect, programmer, web developer, and information security analyst. You can also become a software developer, computer research scientist, or computer science teacher.
How Much Can I Earn With a Degree in Computer Science?
According to PayScale, professionals with an Associate in Computer Science earn an average salary of $65,000 per year. Those with a computer science bachelor’s degree earn an average of $87,000 yearly. If you have a Master’s Degree in Computer Science, you can expect to earn $105,000 annually on average.
Highest-Paying Computer Science Careers
|Profession||Minimum Education||Average Salary|
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||Bachelor’s degree||$159,010|
|Computer and Information Research Scientist||Master’s degree||$131,490|
|Computer Network Architect||Bachelor’s degree||$120,520|
|Software Developer||Bachelor’s degree||$110,140|
|Information Security Analyst||Bachelor’s degree||$102,600|
|Computer Systems Analyst||Bachelor’s degree||$99,270|
|Database Administrator||Bachelor’s degree||$98,860|
|Computer Programmer||Bachelor’s degree||$93,000|
|Operations Research Analyst||Bachelor’s degree||$82,360|
|Computer Support Specialist||Associate degree||$62,760|
Best Jobs With a Computer Science Degree
The best jobs with a computer science degree include programmers, network architects, database administrators, research scientists, and hardware engineers. You can pursue entry-level jobs with an associate degree, but most jobs require a bachelor’s degree along with programming skills. Some employers prefer master’s degrees and experience if you want a high-paying role.
How Can I Pay for Computer Science School?
You can pay for computer science school by applying for scholarships, grants, and loans. The best schools offer different financial options to make it possible for students to pay for their education and focus on learning. You may see different financial aid options for graduate school versus undergraduate school. Below are ways to help you pay for a computer science education.
- Installment payment plan. This plan allows you to divide your fee payment into installments that are easier to pay each term. Generally, students pay an additional small fee each time they make a payment.
- Scholarships. Many computer science scholarship opportunities are funded by foundations, corporations, nonprofit groups, and universities. Some are specialized in helping women excel in computer fields or scholarships for specific programs.
- 529 College Saving Plans. These plans are flexible investment accounts and can be used for expenses including tuition. They are available in various types to support education. You can open it directly with a state’s plan or financial brokers.
- Student Loans. You can borrow federally subsidized or unsubsidized loans depending on your status. You’ll get a payment plan and chip away at the debt after your studies.
How to Pay for Your Chosen School Education Path
Choosing the Best Computer Science School for You
To choose the best computer science school for you, you should consider your concentration options, a variety of electives, and accreditations. Below are the details of how to assess the important factors in choosing a computer science school.
Some schools offer specializations in computer science at an undergraduate level. This is important for students wanting to pursue specific interests. They also get to work with faculty that have the same interest and do research on topics related to their preferred concentration. If you already know what career path you want to take, this is an important factor to consider in your school search.
Availability of Electives
Most colleges and schools offer electives in information technology and engineering for broader learning. You want to choose a school that offers electives that match your career goals and personal interests. Electives allow students to acquire knowledge in areas that are not covered in the core curriculum but seem interesting or valuable on a personal level.
You want to look into the regional and national accreditation earned when choosing a school. Accredited schools ensure to provide quality education and maintain standards for students year after year. The credibility of your degree program and academic reputation give you a competitive advantage for future jobs.
How to Get Into the Right School for Your Profession
Does It Matter What College I Go to for Computer Science?
No, it doesn’t matter what college you go to for computer science. Most accredited programs cover the fundamentals of computer science. Depending on the degree that you choose, you can explore areas of computer science in-depth and through hands-on experience. Ultimately, you have to be passionate about computer technologies to pursue an education in computer science.
Computer Science University Ranking Methodology: How We Ranked the Best Schools for Computer Science
We ranked the best computer science schools by consulting the university rankings conducted by US News & World Report and Times Higher Education. To further refine our computer science university ranking methodology, we gave special consideration to things like reputation, graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, and breadth and depth of computer science degree program offerings.
Additional Reading About Computer Science
[query_class_embed] https://careerkarma.com/blog/computer-science-research-topics/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/computer-science-bachelors-degrees/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/computer-science-associate-degrees/
Best Computer Science Schools FAQ
All of the Ivy League schools offer excellent computer science education, but Cornell University stands out among them for the research and faculty. Harvard University and Columbia University are also great choices if you can meet the requirements to get into an Ivy League to study computer science. These schools also offer courses to learners through online platforms.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer science majors earn $97,430 annually. This salary is higher than the average median salary for all occupations of $45,760 per year. Getting an in-person or online computer science degree can set you up for a successful career.
Yes, computer science is hard. It can be challenging and demanding, as it involves many high-level concepts of math and science. Programming in particular requires you to have attention to detail or else your code can fail. It’s also constantly advancing, thus keeping you on your toes to stay updated with relevant knowledge in your field.
Yes, computer science majors are in high demand. Computer and IT roles have a job outlook of 13 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There’s also a 31 percent growth prospect for data scientist jobs like bioinformatics technicians, business intelligence analysts, and research scientists. Fields in computer science like AI have a projected employment growth of 6.5 percent.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.