School and Ranking Information
Aspiring computer engineering students can choose from among four large universities (three public, one private) within a 25-mile radius of downtown Long Beach. Based upon school rankings and available program options, the following three universities are the top schools in the area:
- Winner: University of Southern California (USC) comes in first based on being ranked in the top ten nationally for its engineering programs. USC boasts cutting-edge labs, a variety of research opportunities, and an award-winning faculty.
- Runner Up #1: University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) is one of the top public schools in the nation. It is also very highly ranked for its undergraduate and graduate engineering and computer science programs.
- Runner Up #2: California State University-Long Beach (CSULB) is also well ranked, consistently placing in the top 50 for undergraduate engineering programs. CSULB's College of Engineering receives the highest number of grants and contracts for research among the colleges within the California State University system.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||University of Southern California||University of California, Los Angeles||California State University - Long Beach|
|Ranking(s)||24th for national universities in 2013*
16th for undergraduate computer engineering programs in 2013, nationwide*
12th for graduate computer engineering programs in 2013, nationwide*
|24th for national universities in 2013*
15th for undergraduate computer engineering programs in 2013, nationwide*
|28th for regional universities (West) in 2013*
44th for undergraduate engineering programs in 2012, nationwide*
132nd for graduate engineering school in 2013, nationwide*
|Location||Los Angeles, CA (16 miles from Long Beach)||Los Angeles, CA (24 miles from Long Beach)||Long Beach, CA|
|School Type||Four-year, private not-for-profit||Four-year, public||Four-year, public|
|Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)||$44,463 (undergraduate), $37,500 (graduate)**||$12,692 (undergraduate, in-state), $35,570 (undergraduate, out-of-state); $12,566 (graduate, in-state), $27,668 (graduate, out-of-state)**||$6,052 (undergraduate, in-state), $17,710 (undergraduate, out-of-state); $7,506 (graduate, in-state), $17,052 (graduate, out-of-state)**|
|Computer Engineering Degree Levels Offered||Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees**||Bachelor's degrees**||Bachelor's degrees**|
|Computer Engineering Degrees (all levels) Awarded in 2011-2012||40**||36**||17**|
|Most Popular Computer Engineering Program in 2011-2012||Bachelor's degrees (28 awarded)**||Bachelor's degrees (36 awarded)**||Bachelor's degrees (17 awarded)**|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2005 Entering Class||90%**||90%**||54%**|
|Noteworthy||School offers 155 different minors - more than any other U.S. university||UCLA guarantees housing for two years||Has 350 California Merit Finalists among current undergraduate population|
Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator
Winner: University of Southern California
- USC has an overall student-faculty ratio of 9:1, according to NCES
- In 2012, USC was ranked 5th among up-and-coming schools, according to U.S. News & World Report
- 9th for graduate engineering schools in 2013 by U.S. News & World Report
The USC Viterbi School of Engineering offers B.S. Electrical Engineering (EE) with an emphasis on computers (BSEE(C)) programs, Master of Science in Computer Engineering (MSCENG), and Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Engineering (PhDCENG). The 132-unit BSEE(C)program requires 32 units for general education, 36 units covering science, physics and math, 22 units in EE, 21 units for computer science (CS) coursework, and remaining 21 units for a design course and electives. EE coursework includes topics covering microprocessors, digital circuits, digital logic, and computer system organization. CS curriculum includes object oriented programming, data structures, discrete methods, and algorithm design.
The 27-unit MSCENG program requires pre-admission courses in programming systems design and computer system organization. The program's fundamental and core courses include computer networks, (MOS) VLSI circuit design, communications network, and systems architecture. Four required units are for a thesis. For the 60-unit PhDCENG program, students need required courses in theory, software, hardware and systems. The program's structure covers research that is both highly theoretical to more applied concepts, with interdisciplinary research encouraged.
Runner-Up #1: University of California, Los Angeles
- 2nd for top public schools in 2013 by U.S. News & World Report
- Almost 70% of undergraduate classes have fewer than 30 students
- 14th for graduate computer science in 2010 by U.S. News & World Report
UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Computer Science (CS) and Engineering, B.S. in Electrical Engineering (EE) - Computer Engineering, and M.S. and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in EE. The undergraduate degree in CS and engineering emphasizes EE hardware and computer architecture, with courses covering OS principals, computer networks, digital design, EE physics, and circuits. Students in the B.S. in computer engineering program learn embedded systems and EE, with CS courses in computer organization, software construction, and networks layers. The graduate program has an embedded computing track, which requires students to complete advanced courses in VLSI design, embedded systems, DSP circuit design, and computer architecture. A thesis is optional, with the alternative a comprehensive exam. Students pursuing the doctoral program must complete the degree within five years. The program has circuits and embedded systems specialization, and requires an EE seminar, coursework on technical communications and four additional graduate advisor supported courses. Besides a required doctoral dissertation, students after two years need to pass a written Ph.D. preliminary exam.
Runner-Up #2: California State University - Long Beach
- Highly diverse student body, according to NCES
- NCES showed in the 2011-2012 school year, 72% of first-time undergraduates received financial aid, which is the highest of the three profiled schools
- One of the largest campuses in 23-member California State University system
The College of Engineering (COE) at CSULB offers curriculum leading to B.S. degrees in computer engineering and CS, and further master's and PhD degree programs. The B.S. in computer engineering requires 128 units for graduation. Upper division courses include logic design, microprocessor and controllers, system on chip (SOC) applications, integrated circuit design, and a senior project. The 30-unit M.S. degree offering has two options for students, in computer engineering or CS. The computer engineering option offers advanced study in computer hardware and software covering theory, analysis, design and applications. Core courses include advanced OS, computer architecture, SOC design, analysis of algorithms, and fault tolerant systems. Certificates in web technologies and applications are available for all non-B.S. engineering students, and a PhD in Engineering is offered jointly with The Claremont Graduate University.