Colleges with Computer Design Programs: How to Choose

Computer design programs help students learn about the design and operations of computers on many levels. Students can pick a college based on the various types of design that are taught within a program and the type of knowledge or employment they hope to gain from that knowledge. Computer design is a highly technical specialty often taught as part of other computer-related curricula.

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An education in computer design can lead a graduate to careers in industries as vastly different as finance, insurance, web page design, manufacturing, e-commerce and wholesale trade. Students will want to consider the learning environment, as some college programs offer state-of-the-art computer equipment facilities to learn on, while others may teach through online course offerings.

Computer Engineering and Design Schools

Computer engineering and design programs are available at these institutions.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition* (2015-2016)
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL 4-year, Public Bachelor's Undergraduate: In-state $15,054; Out-of-state $30,214
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA 4-year, Public Bachelor's Undergraduate: In-state $12,204; Out-of-state $32,396
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: In-state $13,856; Out-of-state $43,476; Graduate: In-state $20,638; Out-of state $41,688
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's Undergraduate $49,116
University of Texas - Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: In-state $9,806; Out-of-state $34,676; Graduate: In-state $10,934; Out-of state $20,762
University of California - Berkeley Berkeley, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: In-state $13,431; Out-of-state $38,139; Graduate: In-state $11,220; Out-of state $26,322
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate $50,665; Graduate $40,625
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate $46,704; Graduate $46,400

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Selection Criteria

Students should consider several factors when selecting a computer design school.

  • Some college programs may allow students to attain a lower degree, such as a certificate, and then apply the credits earned to a higher degree to be earned later.
  • The background and education, as well as the number, of on-hand faculty and training staff may be important to students.
  • Students should consider the types of computer platforms, software and operating systems taught within programs.
  • Some colleges offer undergraduate and graduate programs, and may appeal to students considering both levels of study.

Associate of Applied Science Degree with Computer Design Emphasis

These are 2-year programs that are taught at the community college level or through various technical schools. A major in computer program design and development will include general education courses to complete the program, in addition to the technical aspects of the major.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering

These are 4-year degree programs focused on computer engineering, with computer design courses included in the learning program and applied to the degree as a whole. Certain computer course prerequisites will additionally be required.

Computer Design Technical Certificate

These can be 2-semester programs that will give a graduate the ability to enter into an entry-level career or the option to continue learning within the same program to receive an associate's degree. These computer design programs will be heavily focused on concentrated areas.

Completing a degree in computer design or computer engineering is a crucial part of pursuing a computer design career. Many reputable colleges and universities offer these programs, and it is possible to pursue studies at a public or private institution and complete undergraduate and graduate degrees.

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