School and Ranking Information
At least 19 schools in the Alexandria area have programs related to computer programming. Many of the schools are private, for-profit colleges. But the top ranked school in the area for computer programming is a public university. Based on available programs and school type, the following school is the top school in the area to study computer programming:
- Winner : George Mason University is a nationally ranked public school. The school is approximately 15 miles west of Alexandria. The university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in computer science and computer engineering for individuals interested in pursuing a career in computer programming.
School Info Chart
|Category||George Mason University|
|Rankings||#10 in Up and Coming Schools (2015)*|
|School Type||4-year, public|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2014-2015)||$10,382 (in-state), $29,960 (out-of-state)*|
|Computer Programming Degrees Offered||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate**|
|Computer Programming Degrees Awarded (all levels) in 2013||376**|
|Most Popular Computer Programming Degree Level in 2013||Bachelor's**|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2007 Entering Class||67%**|
|Noteworthy||George Mason University's School of Information Technology and Engineering received a $10 million gift in 2005|
Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator
George Mason University
- Faculty has a wide range of research areas, from game design to security
- A range of topic specific laboratories, including one solely for developing autonomous robots
- A department on the rise: a 50% increase in research spending since 2011
George Mason University, founded in 1972, serves more than 32,000 students. The Volgenau School of Engineering, formerly the Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering, consists of eight departments, including ones dedicated to electrical and computer engineering and information technology. The school offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Master of Science in Computer Engineering, a Master of Science in Computer Science, a PhD in Computer Science and a PhD in Information Technology.
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science stresses the concepts and methodologies of computer science as well as how to operate the tools used in the industry. The curriculum focuses mainly on math, with students completing coursework in algebra, geometry, calculus or linear algebra.
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering contains basic computer engineering classes divided between electrical and computer engineering and computer science. Electrical and computer engineering courses cover linear electronics, digital system design, electric circuit analysis, computer networking protocols and signal analysis. Computer programming coursework covers computer programming, object-oriented programming, low-level programming and operating systems.
The Bachelor of Science in Information Technology is a popular program that focuses on the tools, theories, concepts and communications skills necessary for a career in the IT industry. Students may concentrate their studies in areas such as database technology and programming, Web development, multimedia, telecommunications and information security.
The Master of Science in Computer Engineering focuses on adding physical devices to computer systems and the interactions between software and hardware. Students specialize in one of four computer engineering areas: embedded systems and microprocessors, system and network security, networks or digital systems design. Course topics include network architecture, protocols and security, embedded systems and circuit integration.
The Master of Science in Computer Science teaches the fundamentals of artificial intelligence, programming languages and software engineering. The program is available entirely online. Program requirements and classes are the same regardless of the format. Coursework includes program language semantics, secure software design, software engineering for the Web and advanced compilers. A thesis or capstone project completes the program.
The PhD in Computer Science consists of coursework, dissertation research and an exam. Students can choose their own topic, but it needs to be approved by the dissertation committee. The PhD in Information Technology allows students to design their own study plan, or to concentrate in a pre-designed area, such as software engineering. Students in this program also need to complete a dissertation.