School and Ranking Information
Not many schools are located within a 50-mile radius of Chesapeake that offer computer science programs. Based on rankings, tuition and school type, the following are considered the three top schools:
- Winner: Hampton University, located in Hampton, is the top pick due its program levels offered in computer science and for the school's small class sizes.
- Runner Up #1: Elizabeth City State University, found in Elizabeth City, NC, makes the first runner up for its tuition rates, proximity to Chesapeake and for being a public institution.
- Runner Up #2: Christopher Newport University in Newport News takes third place for its regional and national rankings from U.S. News & World Report and for its amount of degrees awarded in the field.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Hampton University||Elizabeth City State University||Christopher Newport University|
|Ranking(s)|| 27th for Regional Universities (South);
4th for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, nationwide*
| 30th for Regional Colleges (South);
20th for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, nationwide;
3rd for Top Public Schools, nationwide*
| 23th for Regional Universities (South);
8th for Top Public Schools, nationwide;
3rd for Up-and-Coming schools, nationwide*
|Location||Hampton, VA (30.5 miles from Chesapeake)||Elizabeth City, NC (20.2 miles from Chesapeake)||Newport News, VA (35.8 miles from Chesapeake)|
|School Type||Four-year, private not-for-profit||Four-year, public||Four-year, public|
|Tuition and Fees (2012-2013)|| $19,738 (undergraduate),
| $4,150 (in-state, undergraduate),
$14,868 (out-of-state, undergraduate);
$4,280 (in-state, graduate),
$15,420 (out-of-state, graduate)**
| $10,572 (in-state, undergraduate),
$20,122 (out-of-state, undergraduate);
$8,532 (in-state, graduate),
$15,192 (out-of-state, graduate)**
|Computer Science Degree Levels Offered||Bachelor's and master's degrees||Bachelor's degrees||Bachelor's degrees|
|Computer Science Degrees Awarded (all levels) in 2011-2012||4**||10**||39**|
|Most Popular Computer Science Degree Level in 2011-2012||Bachelor's degree (4 awarded)**||Bachelor's degree (10 awarded)**||Bachelor's degree (39 awarded)**|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2005 Entering Class||44%**||55%**||63%**|
|Noteworthy||Graduates of the master's program have been actively recruited and hired by major hardware and software companies||Ranked 1st among baccalaureate colleges in Washington Monthly's 2012 rankings||Every freshman enrolls in a Learning Community program which places them in two to four courses with the same 15-30 students. This has been shown to increase student participation and has positively affected retention rates|
Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator
Winner: Hampton University
- Small class sizes with a student-faculty ratio of 10:1
- The Computer Center consists of three major labs, including The Artificial Intelligence Lab and The Network and Information Security Lab
Hampton University offers undergraduate and graduate computer science programs through the School of Science. The computer science major includes general-education courses in the humanities, as well as core classes in computer organization, data structures, programming, software design and information security. At the master's level, students may participate in research projects related to information assurance, artificial intelligence, software engineering, parallel processing, and computer graphics. Hampton University has strong collegiate partnerships as well as corporate connections with IBM, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Allstate, Vanguard, and Northrop-Grumman. Internships with these companies are available to students who qualify.
Runner-Up #1: Elizabeth City State University
- Student-faculty ratio of 15:1
- Four large computer labs with over 100 computers total
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at ECSU offers a computer science program at the bachelor's level. Students interested in pursuing a degree may choose from Aviation Science, Business, or Scientific specializations, with core classes in physics, programming language, and operating systems. ECSU received a $3 million grant from the U.S Department of Education under the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Masters Degree Program Grant in 2009, and the computer science department will benefit from the funds through 2015. In 2010, the school had a 77% retention rate for full-time students, according to NCES data.
Runner-Up #2: Christopher Newport University
- The Physics, Computer Science & Engineering Department is closely connected with TJNAF and NASA
- Students may participate in ACM (the Association for Computer Machinery) or IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)
- Student-faculty ratio of 17:1
The PCSE department of Christopher Newport University, which has a total of 22 full-time faculty members, offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Foundations with an option to major in computer science. In addition to general education courses, students will take courses in computer engineering, physics, mathematics, and computer science. Advanced courses will provide students with a strong foundation in programming languages, computer organization, algorithms, and operating systems. Graduation from the program requires the completion of a 3-credit Capstone course.