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Top Schools for Computer Science

Learn about the top schools for aspiring computer scientists, including areas of study and degree options. Read about programs offered by four top-notch universities, and get an overview of other schools around the country that provide training for aspiring computer scientists.

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Many top-rated schools in the country offer programs for computer science at the bachelor's to doctoral levels. These schools include the University of Texas, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of California - Berkeley and Stanford University.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Computer and Information Sciences, General
  • Computer Programming
  • Computer Systems Analysis
  • Data Entry Processing
  • Information Technology Management
  • Networking and Telecommunications
  • Software and Computer Media Applications

School Overviews

The top schools profiled in this article offer both undergraduate and graduate programs in computer science. Graduates should be able to design secure networks, implement computer software applications and/or develop artificial intelligence programs. The following schools were highly rated by U.S. News & World Report.

Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA

School Highlight: CMU's computer science faculty has won numerous awards, including the Nobel Prize.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Carnegie Mellon University as tied for 24th among national universities in 2017, and the university's School of Computer Science also tied for first place on USN&WR's list of top computer science programs, which was last updated in 2014. The School of Computer Science features multiple interrelated departments and centers, including the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and the Machine Learning Department.

In addition to offering Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs in computer science, the school features a variety of Master of Science (M.S.) programs in diverse subjects, including entertainment technology, software engineering and privacy engineering. Students pursuing Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs can also choose from a number of specialized areas. These include joint degree programs leading to a Ph.D. in Statistics and Machine Learning or a Ph.D. in Machine Learning and Public Policy, among other fields.

University of California - Berkeley

School Highlight: Berkeley is a leader in artificial intelligence theory, as well as in progress with related technologies (such as improving the ability of machines to interpret spoken language, or to draw useful information from images).

The College of Engineering's Computer Science Division, part of its Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department, tied for first place among computer science schools in the 2015 U.S. News & World Report rankings.

The division offers a B.S., an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Computer Science, as well as a 5-year B.S./M.S. in Computer Science. Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Master of Arts (M.A.) programs are also available; however, these programs have not been approved by ABET, formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Ongoing areas of research include artificial intelligence (A.I.), graphics and system programming.

Stanford University in Stanford, CA

School Highlight: Stanford commonly hosts research events and colloquiums for its students on a broad array of new subjects each semester, including topics such as 'algorithms for modern massive data sets' and cutting-edge computational theory.

Stanford is a private university that has also tied for first place on U.S. News & World Report's list of top computer science schools for 2014. Through the Stanford Computer Science Department, students can pursue B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. programs in computer science. In cooperation with other university schools, the department also offers four interdisciplinary undergraduate programs in computer systems engineering, symbolic systems, mathematical sciences and computational sciences. Additionally, students have access to the Computer Systems Laboratory (CSL).

University of Texas in Austin, TX

School Highlight: The school has the state-of-the-art Bill and Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex.

UTA tied for ninth place on U.S. News & World Report's list of top computer science schools. The computer science program offers certificate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs. Graduate students can study areas that include computer systems and networks, artificial intelligence and robotics, data mining and visualization, security and bioinformatics.

Top Computer Science Programs

Other top schools for computer science include:

  • The University of Washington in Seattle, WA, offers a professional master's program for working adults.
  • The University of Illinois in Urbana, IL, has the Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science.
  • Located in Ithaca, NY, Cornell University's Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Computer Science program offers a track in computer science and medicine.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA, has a close relationship with the Center for Experimental Research in Computer Systems (CERCS).
  • Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's computer science school is tied at number one nationally according to U.S. News & World Report.
  • Princeton University in Princeton, NJ, offers a program in Integrative Information, Computer and Application Sciences (PICASso).

Prospective computer science students can find programs with a variety of specialization options to consider at some of the nation's highest-ranked schools. Students may also want to consider access to cutting-edge technology and other resources and research opportunities when choosing a school.

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