25 Best Computer Science Schools 2024 - Ranking & Fees

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Updated:
February 12, 2024
10 min read
Contents

”Mary

Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 2/12/24

Do you want to pursue a career in computer science but are overwhelmed in your school search? Read on to find out the top 10 computer science programs in the US.

Did you use Google to find this article? Did you search “best computer science schools” in the bar under the iconic blue, red, yellow, and green letters?

While we all recognize Google and use it on a daily basis, what’s less known about this search engine is that its founder Larry Page, is a computer scientist who graduated from a computer engineering program at Stanford University!

As a growing tech field, computer science has applications in various industries and can open up a world of opportunities for you.

So, whether you want to become the next Larry Page or are just fascinated by the world of technology, this guide will tell you the top 25 best colleges for computer science that can help kick-start your career!

25 Best Computer Science  Schools

coding on computer screen

As you begin your school search, you’ll probably be overwhelmed by the number of options there are! To save you the hassle and stress, this guide will list the 25 best colleges for computer science with consideration of their ranking, education, and cost. To begin, let’s break down these top schools’ most important admission details: 

School Program Ranking
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1st
Stanford University 1st
University of California - Berkeley 1st
Carnegie Mellon University 4th
University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign 5th
University of Washington 5th
Cornell University 7th
Georgia Institute of Technology 8th
Princeton University 8th
The University of Texas - Austin 8th
John Hopkins University 23rd
University of Michigan--Ann Arbor 14th
University of California--San Diego 15th

School Program Ranking
University of Wisconsin - Madison 16th
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) 17th
Columbia University 18th
University of California--Los Angeles (UCLA) 19th
Harvard University 20th
University of Maryland - College Park 17th
University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) 17th
Duke University 20th
Purdue University - West Lafayette 20th
Yale University 20th
Ohio State University 24th
University of California--Santa Barbara 24th

Now, let’s learn more about what each of these schools has to offer!

1.  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
1st Cambridge, MA $59,750 6%

As no surprise, this university that is dedicated to developing modern technology is ranked as the best school for computer science.

MIT offers the following degrees:

Undergraduate Programs

  • Computer Science and Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science, Economics, and Data Science
  • Urban Science and Planning with Computer Science 
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Electrical Science and Engineering

Graduate Programs

  • Computational Science and Engineering, SM and PhD
  • Computational Science and Engineering, Interdisciplinary PhD
  • Computation and Cognition, MEng*
  • Computer Science, PhD
  • Computer Science and Engineering, PhD
  • Computer Science, Economics, and Data Science, MEng*
  • Computer Science and Molecular Biology, MEng*
  • Electrical Engineering, PhD
  • Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MEng*, SM*, and PhD
  • Electrical Engineer / Engineer in Computer Science**
  • Thesis Program with Industry, MEng.*

With these interdisciplinary degrees, MIT students are not only able to find their exact niche but can gain valuable experience and education in related subjects that will expand their knowledge base and boost their chances of finding jobs after graduating.  

2. Stanford University

Stanford University
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
1st Palo Alto, CA $61,731 3.68%

Stanford University ties with MIT as the best school in computer science. Stanford offers the following programs:

Undergraduate Programs

  • Computer Science 
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mathematical and Computational Sciences
  • Symbolic Systems

Graduate Program

  • Computer Science MS Degree

3. University of California - Berkeley

UC Berkeley
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate

1st

Berkeley, California
Resident: $10,071.50
Nonresident: $26,358.50

6%

UC Berkeley also ranks as the best school for computer science. This university only offers two computer science degrees:

Undergraduate Programs

  • The highly competitive Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) B.S.
  • The College of Letters and Science (L&S) Computer Science  B.A.

Graduate Programs

  • Computer Science MS

4. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
4th Pittsburgh, PA Resident: $64,596
Commuter: $64,596
14%

Ranking fourth as another one of the great computer science colleges to consider is Carnegie Mellon University. This university offers a range of B.S. degrees and Graduate programs. 

Undergraduate Programs

  • Computer Science 
  • Computer Science and Arts
  • Music and Technology
  • Language Technologies
  • Machine Learning
  • Robotics

Graduate Programs

  • Master of Science in Automated Science: Biological Experimentation
  • Master of Science in Computational Biology
  • Fifth Year Master's in Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Accelerated Master of Human-Computer Interaction
  • Master of Educational Technology and Applied Learning Science (METALS)
  • Master of Human-Computer Interaction
  • Master of Science in Product Management
  • Master of Computational Data Science
  • Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence and Innovation
  • Master of Science in Intelligent Information Systems
  • Master of Science in Language Technologies
  • Online Graduate Certificate in Computational Data Science Foundations
  • Fifth Year Master's in Machine Learning
  • Master of Science in Machine Learning
  • Master of Science in Computer Vision
  • Master of Science in Robotics
  • Master's in Robotic Systems Development
  • Master of Science in Information Technology - Privacy Engineering
  • Master of Software Engineering
  • Master of Software Engineering - Embedded Systems
  • Master of Software Engineering - Scalable Systems
  • Master of Software Engineering Online

With these broad majors, students can explore their options and find their preferred specialty.

While curriculum and experience should factor into your decision, cost should, too, if you want to avoid drawing in debt post-graduation!

5. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
5th Champaign, IL $17,704-$22,968 6.7%

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is another one of the best colleges for computer science. It offers several degrees in Computer Science:

Undergraduate Programs

Graduate Programs

  • Ph.D. in Computer Science
  • M.S. in Computer Science
  • M.S. in Bioinformatics
  • Professional Master of Computer Science (MCS) on-campus
  • Professional Master of Computer (MCS) in Chicago
  • Professional Online MCS and Professional MCS in Data Science

While this school doesn't offer as many specialized programs as the others listed, it still offers comprehensive courses that will prepare you for a fulfilling career!

6. University of Washington

University of Washington
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
5th Seattle, WA $41,997 50%

Another school that ranks fifth in computer science is the University of Washington.

Like Berkeley, UW offers a B.S. in two majors:

Undergraduate Programs

  • Computer Science 
  • Computer Engineering

Graduate Programs

  • Master of Science in Computer Science & Engineering

For more information on the school, take a look at our complete guide to UWashington.

7. Cornell University

Cornell University
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
7th Ithaca, NY $66,834-$88,150 9%

Cornell University is also one of the best computer science schools, coming in at the seventh spot in the rankings.

Much like the other colleges, Cornell offers the following programs:

Undergraduate Programs 

  • Computer Science 
  • Computer Science  Engineering
  • Computer Science  Arts and Science

Graduate Programs

  •  CS Master of Science

While Cornell offers broad majors, it offers various research opportunities and diverse electives for students to discover their interests.

8. Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Tech
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
8th Atlanta, GA Resident: $10,770
Nonresident: $32,940
17%

Ranking eighth in computer science, Georgia Tech is another technology-focused school that made the list of the best computer science colleges.

Undergraduate Programs

  • B.S. in Computer Science
  • B.S. in Computational Media

Graduate Programs

  • Master of Science in Computer Science

Despite this school offering limited computer science majors, it offers nine minors in computing! So, computer science students can still develop key skills in their desired specialty.

9. Princeton University

Princeton University
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
8th Princeton, NJ $62,400 4%

Which best schools list hasn’t featured Princeton University? This prestigious school has a top-ranking computer science program that ranks eighth in the nation. Students at this school can choose from these degree options:

Undergraduate Programs

  • A B.A. in Computer Science 
  • A B.S. in Engineering in Computer Science 

Graduate Programs

  • M.S.E. program 

While it may seem like Princeton offers a limited number of computer science  programs, it has four pages of diverse courses in computer science students can enroll in!

10. The University of Texas - Austin

The University of Texas - Austin
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
8th Austin, TX Resident: $78,232;
Nonresident: $90,742
31%

If you love hot weather, barbeque, and big cities, this university might be perfect for you! Ranking as the eighth-best school in computer science as well, UT Austin is the final school on this list.

This school offers a computer science degree as a B.S. B.A. or a B.S.A. Depending on your interests and aspirations, you can choose the degree you’d like to pursue.

Undergraduate Programs

  • BSA in Computer Science
  • BSA in Computer Science (Honors)
  • BS in Computer Science: Option 1
  • BS in Computer Science: Option 2
  • BS in Computer Science: Option 3 (Honors)
  • BS in Computer Science: Option 4 (Integrated Program)
  • BS in Computer Science: Option 6 (Computer Science & Business Honors)
  • Elements of Computing Program
  • Evidence and Inquiry
  • Quantum Information Science
  • Scientific Computation
  • UTeach-Natural Sciences Accelerated Track
  • UTeach Natural Sciences Secondary Teaching Option

Graduate Programs

  • Master's of Computer Science
  • Master's of Data Science
  • Master's of Artificial Intelligence

11. John Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
23rd Baltimore, Maryland $63,408 8%

ohns Hopkins University's Department of Computer Science  provides a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs, each tailored to meet the diverse needs and interests of its students.

Undergraduate Programs

  • BS in Computer Science 
  • BA in Computer Science 

Graduate Programs

  • MS in Computer Science 
  • MS in Security Informatics
  • PhD in Computer Science 

12. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
11th Ann Arbor, Michigan Residents: $35,450
Non-residents: $76,294
20%

The Computer Science and Engineering Division at the University of Michigan is renowned worldwide for its program's longstanding excellence in computation.

Undergraduate Programs

  • BSE in Computer Science  (Engineering)
  • BS in Computer Science  (LSA)
  • BSE in Computer Engineering (Engineering)
  • BSE in Data Science (Engineering)
  • BS in Data Science (LSA)
  • Minor in Computer Science 

Graduate Programs

  • PhD in Computer Science and Engineering
  • MS/MSE in Computer Science and Engineering
  • MS in Data Science (LSA)

13. University of California - San Diego

University of California - San Diego
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
12th San Diego, California $18,480 32%

All the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) programs at the University of California--San Diego offer a robust curriculum designed to prepare students for both the competitive tech job market and advanced studies in graduate school.

Undergraduate Degree Programs

  • B.S. in Computer Science 
  • B.S. in Computer Engineering
  • B.S. in Computer Science with a Specialization in Bioinformatics
  • Minor in Computer Science 

Degree Programs

  • Doctoral (PhD) Degree Program
  • Master of Science (MS) Degree Program
  • Master of Data Science (MDS) Online Degree Program
  • Bachelor/Master (BS/MS) Combined Degree Program

14. University of Wisconsin - Madison

University of Wisconsin - Madison
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
11th Madison, Wisconsin Wisconsin Resident: $28,916
Minnesota Resident:
$33,480
Non-resident: $58,912
Commuter: $20,266
49%

The University of Wisconsin--Madison offers a cutting-edge undergraduate curriculum influenced by faculty research. 

Undergraduate Programs

  • BA in Computer Sciences
  • BS in Computer Sciences
  • Certificate in Computer Sciences

Graduate Programs

  • Professional Master’s CS
  • MS – Data Engineering
  • MS – Data Science (MDS)
  • Mad UX (User Experience Design Capstone Certificate)
  • Graduate PhD Minor
  • Professional Capstone Certificate

15. California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
14th Pasadena, California $60,816 4%

The California Institute of Technology boasts top-ranked computer science programs. They offer a wide array of options for both undergraduate and graduate studies:

Undergraduate Programs

  • Applied + Computational Mathematics Major
  • Computer Science  Major
  • Information + Data Sciences Major
  • Various Minor options

Graduate Programs

  • Applied + Computational Mathematics Degree
  • Computer Science  Degree
  • Computing + Mathematical Sciences Degree
  • Control + Dynamical Systems Degree

16. Columbia University

Columbia University
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
14th New York City, New York $68,400 5.8%

Columbia University's Computer Science department is on the cutting edge of computing research. Here are the programs they offer:

Undergraduate Programs

  • BS in Computer Science 
  • BS in Computer Engineering
  • BA in Computer Science 
  • BA in Computer Science and Mathematics
  • BA in Data Science
  • BA in Information Science
  • Minor/Concentration in Computer Science 

Graduate Track Options

They have specialized tracks to cater to your interests and career aspirations:

  • Computational Biology
  • Network Systems
  • Computer Security
  • Software Systems
  • Foundations of Computer Science 
  • Vision, Graphics, Interaction, and Robotics
  • Machine Learning
  • MS Personalized (by faculty invite only)
  • Natural Language Processing
  • MS Thesis (by faculty invite only)

17. University of California - Los Angeles

University of California--Los Angeles
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
14th Los Angeles, California $14,478 4%

The Samueli Computer Science Department aims for excellence in computer science  and engineering. They provide comprehensive education, collaborate with industry and government, publish research, and serve the community.

Undergraduate Programs 

  • Computer Science  (CS)
  • Computer Science and Engineering (CS&E)

Graduate Programs 

  • Master of Science (M.S.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

18. Harvard University

Harvard University
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
17th Cambridge, Massachusetts $54,269 9%

Harvard's School of Engineering delves into the world of computer science, where they explore the fundamental principles of computation and its real-world applications in its range of programs.

Undergraduate Programs

  • A.B. in Computer Science 
  • Computer Science  Secondary Field
  • A.B./S.M. in Computer Science 

Graduate Programs

  • Ph.D. in Computer Science 
  • Master's Degrees in Computational Science and Engineering and Data Science

19. University of Maryland - College Park

University of Maryland - College Park
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
17th College Park, Maryland Resident: $7,267.50
Nonresident: $21,668.00
45%

The University of Maryland--College Park boasts top-tier computer science programs. Their faculty is renowned and covers a wide range of research areas, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, computer vision, and more.

Undergraduate Programs

  • Computer Science  Major
  • Immersive Media Design Major (CMSC)
  • Computer Science  Minor
  • Data Science Minor (CMSC)
  • Robotics and Autonomous Systems Minor (CMSC)

Graduate Programs

  • M.S. in Computer Science 
  • Ph.D. in Computer Science 

20. University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
17th Philadelphia, Pennsylvania $58,620 11.4%

Penn Engineering, home to the first modern computer, the ENIAC in 1946, continues to lead in computer science innovation for over five decades. Here are the programs offered by the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania:

Undergraduate Programs

  • BSE in Computer Science  (CSCI)
  • BSE in Computer Engineering (CMPE)
  • BSE in Digital Media Design (DMD)
  • BSE in Networked & Social Systems Engineering (NETS)

Graduate Programs

  • Doctoral Program (Ph.D.) in Computer and Information Science
  • Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) in Computer and Information Science (CIS)
  • Master of Computer and Information Technology (MCIT)
  • Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) in Data Science
  • Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) in Embedded Systems (EMBS)
  • Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) in Robotics (ROBO)
  • Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) in Computer Graphics and Game Technology (CGGT)

21. Duke University

Duke University
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
20th Durham, North Carolina $63,450 6%

Duke University's Computer Science graduate program is ranked #20 in the country by US News & World Report. The department collaborates with other disciplines to make a positive impact on society. 

Undergraduate Programs

  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Science 
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Computer Science 
  • Minor in Computer Science 
  • Minor in Artificial Intelligence: Applications and Implications
  • Minor in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
  • Interdepartmental Major (IDM) with Computer Science 

Graduate Programs

  • Master of Science (MS) in Computer Science 
  • Master of Science (MS) in Economics and Computation

22. Purdue University - West Lafayette

Purdue University - West Lafayette
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
20th West Lafayette, Indiana Resident: $9,992
Nonresident: $28,794
29.5%

Purdue University-West Lafayette's Department of Computer Science  offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs designed to equip students with cutting-edge knowledge and skills in the field of computer science and related areas.

Undergraduate Programs

  • 4+1 BS/MS Degree Program
  • Artificial Intelligence Degree Requirements
  • Computer Science Degree Requirements
  • Computer Science Honors
  • Data Science Degree Requirements
  • Dual Majors
  • Minor in Computer Science

Graduate Programs

  • B.S./M.S. Degree Program
  • Degree+
  • Doctoral
  • Master's Program
  • Professional Master's in Information and Cybersecurity
  • B.S./M.S. Degree Program

23. Yale University

Yale University
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
20th New Haven, Connecticut $64,700 15%

Yale University computer science offers a diverse range of undergraduate and graduate programs to cater to student's specific interests and career goals. Here’s a list of their programs:

Undergraduate Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science  (B.S.)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science  (B.A.)
  • B.S. / M.S. Program

Specialized Undergraduate Programs

  • 4. B.S. in Computer Science  and Economics
  • Joint Major in Computer Science  and Mathematics
  • Joint Major in Computer Science  and Psychology
  • Joint Major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 

Graduate Programs

  • Master of Science (MS) Program
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Program

24. Ohio State University

Ohio State University
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
24th Columbus, Ohio $12,317.70- $24,897.20 57%

Ohio State University's computer science program, ranked #24 nationally, combines 50 years of teaching excellence with exciting topics like AI and cybersecurity.

Undergraduate

  • Bachelors of Science in Computer Science and Engineering (BS CSE)
  • Bachelors of Science with a major in Computer and Information Science (BS CIS)
  • Bachelors of Arts with a major in Computer and Information Science (BA CIS)
  • Computer and Information Science minor
  • Computational Science and Engineering minor

Graduate

  • Master of Science Program
  • Doctor of Philosophy Degree in CSE

25. University of California - Santa Barbara

University of California - Santa Barbara
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
24th Santa Barbara, California $64,830- $73,863 29%

The University of California - Santa Barbara's computer science program is ranked #24 nationally, showcasing its excellence in the field. It offers the following programs:

Undergraduate Programs

  • Bachelor of Science

Graduate Programs

  • Master of Science (M.S.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • BS/MS Combined Degree

Tips for Getting Into the Top Schools for Computer Science

Happy graduate

Now that we’ve answered the question, “What are the top colleges for computer science?” let’s dive into how to maximize your chances of getting into these great schools!

The application process varies depending on the program, but you can bet it will be highly competitive! 

This means maintaining a high GPA during high school or your undergraduate, gaining relevant experience, joining useful extracurriculars, and keeping up with the latest technology trends. 

By far, though, the best way to get into your dream computer science school is to trust the professionals! Quad Education eliminates the stress of applying to colleges by giving you all the resources and support you need to gain admission.

FAQs: Best Computer Science Schools

These frequently asked questions can answer any remaining concerns you might have.

1. What School is Best Known For Computer Science?

As more than just famous names, MIT, Stanford, and UC Berkeley are all best known for computer science and rank as the best schools in the field.

2. What College Has The Best Computer Science  Program in the US?

Although three schools are tied for first place, MIT is considered to have the best computer science programs in the US because of how specialized they are. 

3. What State Is The Best For Computer Science?

Washington ranks as the best state for computer science  due to the high number of jobs available for graduates.

4. How Do I Know If Computer Science  Is the Right Field For Me?

To excel in computer science, you have to like research, learning, and, of course, technology! You should also be a strong, logical thinker who is adaptable and open to challenges. The field of technology is constantly evolving; you have to be willing to evolve with it!

5. Is the Computer Science  Field Growing?

According to a Computer Science professor at Columbia University, now is the golden age for computer science. In fact, the job market is expected to grow 23% within a decade!

6. What Can You Do With A Computer Science  Degree?

A more appropriate question would be, what can’t you do with a Computer Science  degree? As the world is taken over by technology, almost every single industry needs programmers, developers, and researchers. A Computer Science degree is extremely versatile, so the possibilities are endless!

7. How Much Do Computer Scientists Make?

The average base salary of computer scientists is $110,289 per year. However, depending on your desired path, you can make much more! For instance, Larry Page’s net worth is $124.5 billion. Shoot for the stars, right?

8. Is UC Davis’ Computer Science Good? 

UC Davis’ computer science program ranks 41st in the nation. While it isn’t the top UC campus for computer science, it can still be an excellent option for you! It is well-known for its cutting-edge research projects, expert faculty, and state-of-the-art facilities. 

9. Who Has the Best Computer Science Program In Texas?

The University of Texas at Austin has the highest-ranked computer science program in the state. 

10. Is the University of Illinois a Good Computer Science School?

Yes, the University of Illinois ranks as the fifth-best school for computer science.

11. What Is the Carnegie Mellon Computer Science Program Ranking?

Carnegie Mellon’s computer science program ranks fourth in the nation.  

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve gone through the nation’s best computer science schools, you can hopefully narrow your options down and decide which school to attend!

It’s an exciting time to major in such a lucrative degree; doing so can give you the right knowledge and experience to excel and make a name for yourself in the technology field!

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