Your Guide to the Best Computer Science Schools

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August 28, 2023
5 min read


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 08/08/23

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

Top 10 Schools 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. To begin, let’s break down these top schools’ most important admission details:

School Program Ranking
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Stanford University 1st
University of California - Berkeley
Carnegie Mellon University 4th
University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign
University of Washington 5th
Cornell University 7th
Georgia Institute of Technology
Princeton University 8th
The University of Texas - Austin 8th

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

1.  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
Cambridge, MA $29,875

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:

  • 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

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 4%

Stanford University ties with MIT as the Best School in Computer Science.

Stanford offers the following B.S. undergraduate programs:

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

3. University of California Berkeley

UC Berkeley
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
1st Berkeley CA $15,602 15%

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

This university only offers two computer science degrees:

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

4. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
4th Pittsburgh, PA $48,250/ $62,260 14%

Ranking fourth in Computer Science as another one of the great computer science colleges to consider is Carnegie Mellon University.

This university offers B.S. degrees in:

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

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
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
5th Champaign, IL $17,572/ $43,894 60%

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

Illinois offers several B.S. degrees in Computer 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 $12,643 53%

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

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

  • Computer Science
  • Computer 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 $65,204 9%

Another one of the top computer science schools is Cornell University, which ranks as the seventh-Best in Computer Science.

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

  • Computer Science
  • Computer Science Engineering
  • Computer Science Arts and 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 $10,258/$31,370 18%

Ranking eighth 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.

9. Princeton University

Princeton University
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
8th Princeton, NJ $59,710 4%

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

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

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 at Austin

Stanford University
Program Ranking Location Tuition Acceptance Rate
8th Austin, TX $10,858- $48,712 29%

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 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.

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 tie 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 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 $155,880. 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?

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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