Your Guide to the Best Computer Science Schools

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October 17, 2022
Best Colleges for Computer ScienceHow to Get Into the Best Computer Science SchoolsFAQs: Best Computer Science Schools


Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 5/4/22

Do you want to pursue a career in computer science but are overwhelmed in your school search? Read on to find out the ten best computer science schools 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 those with the right skills and education.

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 ten best colleges for computer science that can help kick-start your career!

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Best Colleges for Computer Science

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 ten best colleges for computer science with consideration of their ranking, education, and cost.

1.  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

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

This university offers the following specialized Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees:

MIT also offers graduate programs in the above specialties.

With these interdisciplinary degrees, 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.  

Not only is this the highest-ranking school with the most specialized programs, but it also has some of the cheapest tuition costs. Full regular tuition costs around $28,795 per year for undergraduate and graduate students.

2. Carnegie Mellon University

Ranking second in Computer Science is Carnegie Mellon University.

This university offers B.S. degrees in:

However, at the graduate level, Carnegie impressively offers 22 specialized master’s programs in the following subjects:

Carnegie also offers a Ph.D. in Computer Science program.

With these broad undergraduate majors, students can explore their options and find their preferred specialty, which they can study further through one of Carnegie’s many graduate programs.

Of course, the curriculum and experience you will gain in your program are important criteria to consider when deciding which school to attend. But the cost of attendance may also be a major deciding factor for you if you don’t want to graduate drowning in debt.

The cost of attending this school is significantly higher than MIT at $59,864 a year for undergraduate tuition, $52,320 a year for graduate tuition, and $46,400 a year for doctorate tuition.

3. Stanford University

Stanford University ties with Carnegie as the second-Best School in Computer Science.

Stanford offers the following B.S. undergraduate programs:

It also offers the following M.S. programs:

Undergraduate programs at Stanford cost $57,693, and graduate programs cost at least $50,160 per year, depending on how many courses you take.

4. University of California Berkeley

UC Berkeley also ranks as the Second-Best School for Computer Science.

This university only offers two computer science degrees:

UC Berkeley also offers these graduate programs:

As the cheapest school to attend so far, UC Berkeley costs $14,254 in tuition for undergraduates and only $5,721 in tuition a year for graduate students. If you’d like to get a computer science degree without accumulating a tremendous amount of debt, this may be the perfect option for you!

5. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Ranking fifth in Computer Science is the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Illinois offers several B.S. degrees in Computer Science:

Illinois also offers Master’s and Ph.D. programs in Computer Science and an M.S. in Bioinformatics.

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 in computer science.

As an added bonus, Illinois is also one of the cheaper universities. Undergraduate tuition ranges from $17,138-$22,324 for residents and $35,110-$42,796 for non-residents. Graduate programs cost at least $13,176 for residents and $28,464 for non-residents.

6. Georgia Institute of Technology

Ranking sixth in Computer Science, Georgia tech is another technology-focused school that made the list of the best computer science colleges.

Despite this school offering limited computer science majors – only a B.S in Computer Science and B.S. in Computational Media, it offers nine minors in computing! So, computer science students can still develop key skills in their desired specialty.

Georgia Tech also offers diverse Master’s and Ph.D. programs, making this school an excellent choice for students interested in finding a niche and gaining as much knowledge as possible in it.

As another inexpensive college option, Georgia Tech’s undergraduate programs cost $10,258 in tuition for residents and $31,370 for non-residents a year. Tuition for grad students depends on course load, with each course costing at least $669.  

7. Cornell University

Another one of the best computer science schools is Cornell University, which tied in ranking with Georgia Tech as the sixth-Best in Computer Science.

Much like the other colleges, Cornell offers B.S. degrees in the following programs:

Cornell also offers graduate computer science programs:

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

This school is placed lower on the list because of its expensive tuition costs. Undergraduate and Master’s tuition fees cost around $62,456 a year, and doctorate tuition fees cost $29,500, making this the most expensive school on this list.

8. University of Washington

Another school that ranks sixth in Computer Science is the University of Washington.

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

UW also offers:

This college is also relatively cheap to attend, with undergraduate tuition fees being $12,242 a year and graduate tuition fees being $20,535 a year. For more information on the school, take a look at our complete guide to UWashington.

9. Princeton University

Which best schools list hasn’t featured Princeton University? This prestigious school ranks ninth in Computer Science and is another great option for those considering a career in computer science.

Students at this school can choose from two degree options:

Likewise, graduate students have two options:

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!

With this reputable university’s big name comes big costs – undergraduate and graduate tuition fees are around $57,410 yearly.

10. The University of Texas at Austin

If you love hot weather, barbeque, and big cities, this university might be perfect for you! Ranking as the tenth Best School in Computer Science, UT 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.

For grad students, UT offers a Ph.D. and Master’s in Computer Science and uniquely offers a Portfolio Program in Robotics, where students receive an official certification of expertise in robotics.

Undergraduate tuition for this university costs around $10,858-$13,576 yearly for residents and $38,650-$46,498 yearly for non-residents. Graduate student tuition costs are $8,684-$10,848 yearly for residents and $17,312-$19,786 yearly for non-residents.

How to Get Into the Best Computer Science Schools

While the application process depends on which program you’d like to apply to, you’ll have to work hard regardless. Many of the mentioned computer science programs are highly competitive!

This means trying to maintain a high GPA during high school or your undergraduate, trying to gain computer science-related experience, joining useful extracurriculars, and keeping up with the latest technology trends. You’ll also need to have a genuine interest in technology because that’s what your entire career will revolve around!

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 a famous name, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is best known for computer science and ranks as the best school in the field.

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

MIT has the best computer science programs in the US because of how specialized they are. Students don’t have to wait till their graduate programs to find their niche and study it!

On the other hand, Carnegie Mellon University is likely the best college for graduate students as it offers several Master’s and Ph.D. programs and specialties.

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 professor of computer science at Columbia University, now is the golden age for computer science. In fact, the job market is expected to grow 13% within the 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 mean annual wage of computer and information scientists is $142,650. However, depending on your desired path, you can make much more! For instance, Larry Page’s net worth is $99.7 billion. Shoot for the stars, right?

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve gone through the ten 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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