Best Computer Science Schools
The CS major is exploding at colleges and universities across the United States and gaining admission at any of the best colleges for computer science is highly competitive. The computer science explosion extends even beyond the higher education world as more and more public k-12 systems are requiring that every student learns how to code. These trends are a recognition of the tech-heavy nature of modern industry as well as modern life in general. Attending any of the Best Computer Science Schools that cracked our list will set graduates up for a rewarding and lucrative tech career.
See the bulleted key facts and click the links below for additional information about each college's computer science program. Click here to read our methodology.
Updated: March 2023
1) Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Number of CS graduates annually: 424
- An astounding 90% of undergraduates in this department complete an undergraduate research project during their time at MIT.
- There are 169 professors presently teaching in the Electrical Engineering Computer Science (EECS) department at MIT.
2) Stanford University
- Number of CS graduates annually: 307
- Depending on the source, Stanford is typically ranked as one of the best colleges for computer science every single year.
- There are 72 esteemed faculty members in this department and undergrads have the opportunity to research alongside them in a number of world-class laboratory settings.
3) California Institute of Technology
- Number of CS graduates annually: 72
- Students complete undergraduate research in a variety of areas including Algorithmic Economics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Computational Biology, Graphics and Geometry, Information Theory and Applied Probability, Mathematical Modeling and Analysis, Networked and Distributed Systems, and Robotics and Autonomous Control.
- Courses include Decidability and Tractability, Data Structures & Parallelism, Algorithms, Introduction to Computers Science in Industry, and Computer Language Lab.
4) University of California, Berkeley
- Number of CS graduates annually: 845
- What makes UC Berkeley one of the best colleges for computer science? For starters, there are over 200 faculty members including 41 Sloan Research Fellows, 1 National Medal of Science winner, 35 National Academy of Engineering Members, and 2 MacArthur Fellows.
- Berkeley has an almost incomprehensible number of CS-related research labs located on campus.
5) Columbia University
- Number of CS graduates annually: 341
- Professors have “well-developed collaborative relationships with companies such as Bell Labs, IBM, Lucent, and Microsoft, as well as other leaders in the field.”
- Undergraduates work alongside their professors researching topics such as Graphics and User Interfaces, Security and Intrusion Detection, Languages & Compilers, Machine Learning, Speech and Natural Language Processing, Network Computing, Software Systems, and Vision and Robotics.
6) University of Michigan
- Number of CS graduates annually: 930
- Can pursue a CS major within Computer Science & Engineering or LSA (read about the difference here); a minor is also an option.
- 150 undergrads conduct research with EECS faculty in an average year and many of these are paid positions.
7) Duke University
- Number of CS graduates annually: 339
- Undergraduate research opportunities include 10-week summer programs like CS+, Code+, or Data+. You can also participate is Bass Connections or an independent study during the school year.
- Duke has advanced to the International Collegiate Programming Contest World Finals 9 of the last 13 years; student-run Hackathons also run regularly.
8) Harvey Mudd College
- Number of CS graduates annually: 47
- A minor in Computer Science as well as three majors are offered by HMC: Computer Science, the Joint Major in Computer Science and Mathematics, and the Mathematical and Computational Biology Major.
- Check out this link for the types of research opportunities available during the school year as well as in the summer.
9) Georgia Institute of Technology
- Number of CS graduates annually: 706
- The undergraduate program is ranked #5 by S. News and receives top grades for cybersecurity education and software engineering.
- Students follow 8 “threads” to further personalize their undergraduate computer science education. They are: Devices, Info Internetworks, Intelligence, Media, Modeling & Simulation, People, Systems & Architecture, and Theory.
10) Princeton University
- Number of CS graduates annually: 158
- Students can major in computer science or pick a different major and work toward a Certificate Program in Applications of Computing. This involves completing four courses and a senior thesis that incorporates computing in some manner.
- There are a vast array of fascinating research projects that are open to undergraduate participation.
Best Computer Science Schools (Continued)
11) University of California, San Diego
- Number of CS graduates annually: 435
- Three bachelor’s degrees are available: B.S. Computer Science, B.S. Computer Engineering, B.S. Computer Science with a Specialization in Bioinformatics. UCSD students can also minor in the discipline.
- The department’s 50 faculty members are engaged in research in over 15 fields within CS; See the full list here.
12) University of California, Los Angeles
- Number of CS graduates annually: 283
- UCLA’s computing roots go back to the 1940s but the UCLA Computer Science Department was officially established in the mid-1960s.
- The Samueli Computer Science Department has 38 faculty members and 31 research labs and centers.
13) Harvard University
- Number of CS graduates annually: 190
- Students complete eleven to fourteen 4-credit courses in mathematics, theoretical computer science, computer software, and other areas of computer science. The final number depends on whether they place out of introductory math courses.
- Harvard has limitless opportunities for undergraduate CS students to take part in hands-on research.
14) Cornell University
- Number of CS graduates annually: 396
- Cornell has 62 full-time faculty members in this department.
- 40% of current undergraduate CS majors are women.
15) University of Southern California
- Number of CS graduates annually: 247
- Of 91 total faculty members, 23 are NSF Early Career Award winners, 60 are Society Fellows, and 9 are National Academy members.
- View full B.S. in Computer Science degree requirements here.
16) Brown University
- Number of CS graduates annually: 229
- Students have the option to complete a fifth year of study in order to earn a master’s degree.
- There are 45 primary faculty members in the department as well as dozens of affiliated professors and lecturers.
17) Carnegie Mellon University
- Number of CS graduates annually: 237
- Undergraduates choose from a variety of concentration topics. They are as follows: Algorithms & Complexity, Computational Biology, Computer Graphics, Computer Systems, Human-Computer Interaction, Language Technologies, Machine Learning, Principles of Programming Languages, Robotics, Security and Privacy, and Software Engineering.
- Students can complete undergraduate research during their four years of study and must ultimately write an undergraduate thesis.
18) Swarthmore College
- Number of CS graduates annually: 65
- Swarthmore College has placed first in several categories in the SENSEVAL computational semantics competitions, won robot contests at the annual American Association of Artificial Intelligence conference, and have qualified for the International Finals of the Association for Computing Machinery programming contest.
- Many students ultimately attend graduate school or apply their CS skills in the fields of medicine, law, academia, or industry.
19) University of Texas at Austin
- Number of CS graduates annually: 445
- Undergraduate Computer Science majors select an area of concentration in one of the following: Big Data, Computer Systems, Cybersecurity, Game Development, Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence, or Mobile Computing.
- Close to 20 student organizations related to computer science.
20) University of California, Irvine
- Number of CS graduates annually: 805
- Students assist faculty with research in the following areas: algorithms and complexity; artificial intelligence and machine learning; biomedical informatics and computational biology; computer architecture and design; computer graphics and visualization; computer vision; databases and data mining; embedded systems; medical informatics; multimedia computing; networks and distributed systems; operating systems; programming languages and systems; scientific and numerical computing; security, privacy and cryptography; and software engineering.
- Nine areas of specialization are available for those pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science.
Best Computer Science Schools (Continued)
21) Williams College
- Number of CS graduates annually: 64
- One of only a handful of liberal arts colleges that cracks our list of Best Computer Science Schools, Williams has 13 faculty members that teach in this discipline.
- 50-100 students per year participate in summer research opportunities.
22) Yale University
- Number of CS graduates annually: 96
- Yale offers both Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts majors in Computer Science and a combined Bachelor’s/Master’s. There are also joint majors with the Departments of Economics, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, and Psychology.
- View all of Yale’s CS-related research opportunities here.
23) Johns Hopkins University
- Number of CS graduates annually: 128
- Offers B.A. and B.S. programs in computer science as well as a minor option.
- 52 professors presently teach in the department.
24) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Number of CS graduates annually: 291
- The CS program within the Grainger College of Engineering is one the most-selective and best computer science colleges in the country.
- There are 120+ faculty in the department who collectively have earned the following: 20 IEEE Fellows, 18 ACM Fellows, 11 Sloan Research Fellows, and 47 NSF Career Awards.
25) University of Pennsylvania
- Number of CS graduates annually: 107
- Degree requirements include the completion of a senior project or thesis as well as courses such as: Automata, Computability, and Complexity, Computer Operating Systems, and Programming Languages and Techniques I & II.
- Undergraduate research opportunities abound in a wide variety of specialization areas.
26) University of Washington
- Number of CS graduates annually: 378
- One of the best Computer Science schools in the United States, this public university offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science through the College of Arts & Sciences and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering through the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science of Engineering.
- The department includes 75 core tenured or tenure-track faculty.
27) University of Maryland
- Number of CS graduates annually: 746
- CS major requirements include: Object-Oriented Programming I Beyond Fundamentals, Object-Oriented Programming II, Introduction to Computer Systems, Discrete Structures, Organization of Programming Languages, and Algorithms.
- UMD allows students to complete an undergraduate research project for credit.
28) University of Chicago
- Number of CS graduates annually: 93
- An award-winning and ever-expanding faculty presently includes 65 total members.
- All CS majors must also take a sequence of related courses in Econ, Math/Stat, Physics, Chemistry, or Linguistics.
29) University of Texas at Dallas
- Number of CS graduates annually: 714
- One of the larger CS programs around, the top college for computer science offers Computer Science and Software Engineering majors.
- The average starting salary for those possessing a UT Dallas CS degree is $83,000.
30) Dartmouth College
- Number of CS graduates annually: 99
- Can minor or major in computer science as well as pre-approved modified majors (listed here).
- Courses include Computer Architecture, 21st Century Algorithms, Data Stream Algorithms, Digital Modeling, Full-Stack Web Development, and Artificial Intelligence.
Best Computer Science Schools (Continued)
31) Amherst College
- Number of CS graduates annually: 46
- Computer science students can gain research experience during the summers via the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience.
- The five required courses to complete the majors are Introduction to Computer Science 1 & 2, Computer Systems, Data structures, and Algorithms. Students must also take 4 additional electives and pass an oral exam as a senior.
32) New York University
- Number of CS graduates annually: 487
- Can major in Computer Science or one of three joint programs: Computer Science and Data Science, Computer Science/Mathematics, and Economics/Computer Science.
- Students can gain research credits through one of two courses: Undergraduate Research or Independent Study.
33) University of California, Santa Barbara
- Number of CS graduates annually: 145
- Many student-organizations are active on campus including: The Association for Computing Machinery(ACM), CodersSB, Data Science Club, Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA), SB Hacks, Women in Computer Science (WiCS).
- Upper Division major courses include Operating Systems, Computer Architecture, Automata and Formal Languages, and Translation of Programming Languages.
34) Washington University in St. Louis
- Number of CS graduates annually: 180
- The McKelvey School of Engineering awards degrees in the following: BS in Business + Computer Science, BS in Computer Science, BS in Computer Science + Math, BS in Computer Engineering, BS in Computer Science + Engineering, or a BS in Data Science.
- The department dates back to 1965 and is credited with awarding the first PhD in computer science in the United States.
35) University of Wisconsin - Madison
- Number of CS graduates annually: 628
- There are now over 2,100 undergraduate CS majors studying at the University of Wisconsin. This figure represents 811% growth over the last 10 years.
- Advanced coursework is offered on topics such as Building User Interfaces, Software Engineering, Computational Photography, Computer Architecture, and Virtual Reality.
36) Carleton College
- Number of CS graduates annually: 71
- There are 16 faculty members in the department.
- During senior year, CS majors complete their Comps where they complete a capstone project on a faculty-specified topic, under the supervision of a professor.
37) Northwestern University
- Number of CS graduates annually: 94
- Students can complete a B.S. degree through the McCormick School of Engineering or a B.A. degree through the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.
- Research areas in which many undergraduate students take part include: Systems and Networking, Security and Privacy, Programming Languages, Theory, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Human-Computer Interaction and Information Visualization, Vision and Graphics, Robotics, and Computer Engineering.
Best Computer Science Schools (Continued)
38) Worcester Polytechnic Institute
- Number of CS graduates annually: 201
- Students have the chance to complete a Major Qualifying Project which allows undergrads to gain real-world problem-solving experience.
- WPI has an extensive list of required and elective courses for CS majors.
39) Pomona College
- Number of CS graduates annually: 34
- A smaller program, but still one the best computer science schools around, Pomona requires courses in programming languages, operating systems, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, databases, computer security and human-computer interaction as well as an optional senior research project.
- 52% of Pomona students actually take at least one introductory Computer Science class, so the department touches a good percentage of the total student body.
40) University of Virginia
- Number of CS graduates annually: ~220
- A sampling of undergraduate research opportunities in the field can be found here.
- 60 faculty teach within the Department of Computer Science.
41) Northeastern University
- Number of CS graduates annually: 314
- The Khoury College of Computer Sciences just celebrated its 40th anniversary and has long been one of the best computer science schools in the country.
- Northeastern offers a plethora of double-major options that include computer science.
Best Computer Science Schools (Continued)
42) Purdue University
- Number of CS graduates annually: 469
- The Department of computer science offers three distinct bachelor’s degrees: Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, and Data Science.
- The core requirements of the undergraduate degree program in computer science at Purdue are: Problem-Solving and Object-Oriented Programming, Foundations of Computer Science, Programming in C, Computer Architecture, Data Structures and Algorithms, and Systems Programming.
43) Rutgers University
- Number of CS graduates annually: 572
- The Computer Science program at Rutgers dates all the way back to 1966 and all faculty members are part of the School of Arts and Sciences.
- In order to gain acceptance into the CS major at Rutgers you must achieve a C or better in five courses: Calculus I & II for Physical Science Majors, Intro to Computer Science, Data Structures, and Intro to Discrete Structures I.
44) Virginia Tech
- Number of CS graduates annually: 311
- Undergrads can major in Computer Science or the more specialized tracks of Secure Computing or Data-Centric Computing.
- Numerous chances for experiential learning exist including internships, study abroad, conferences, competitions, capstone projects, student clubs, and undergraduate research.
45) University of Minnesota
- Number of CS graduates annually: 462
- There are 62 faculty members in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering which began in 1970.
- $35 million in research funding over the last two years has led to research in the following areas: Architectures and compilers, Bioinformatics and computational biology, Data mining, databases, and geographical information systems, Graphics and immersive computing, High-performance computing, Human computer interaction, Networks, systems, and security, Robotics and artificial intelligence, Software engineering, programming languages, and compilers, and Theoretical foundations.
46) Penn State University
- Number of CS graduates annually: 300+
- Bachelor of Science degrees are offered through PSU in Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Data Sciences, or Electrical Engineering.
- Faculty allow students to join research projects in the following areas: Data Sciences, Programming Languages, Algorithms and Complexity, Systems, Computer Vision, Networks, Security, Cyber-Enabled Discovery, Computer Architecture, Very Large Scale Integration, Embedded and Mobile Systems, High-Performance Computing.
47) University of Massachusetts Amherst
- Number of CS graduates annually: 310
- UMass Amherst has one of the highest-rated public computer science programs in the entire Northeast. In the last decade, program enrollment has grown by 300%.
- Attending CS students have an average GPA of 1429 and an average high school GPA of 4.2.
48) University of Colorado Boulder
- Number of CS graduates annually: 446
- CU Boulder offers 13 different degrees and certificates in the field of Computer Science.
- Areas of specialization include Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Computational Biology & Bioinformatics, Human-Centered Computing, Numerical & Scientific Computing, Programming Languages, Robotics, Software Engineering, Systems, Networks and Security, and Theory of Computing.
49) Texas A&M University
- Number of CS graduates annually: 257
- Elective coursework is offered on the following CS topics: algorithms, languages and computability, software systems, networking, computer systems and architecture, artificial intelligence and cognitive modeling, vision, graphics and robotics, and computational science and engineering.
- The ABET-accredited program is offered at the main College Station campus as well as the Galveston campus.
50) Stony Brook University
- Number of CS graduates annually: 250
- A highly-ranked public CS option that also offers an Honors Program in Computer Science as well as specializations in areas like Information Assurance, Game Programming, Data Science, and Human-Computer Interaction.
- The program is ABET-accredited and includes an option to minor or enter a joint-degree program like the BS/MS in Computer Science or a BS/MBA program.
51) Ohio State University
- Number of CS graduates annually: 119
- Undergraduate research opportunities primarily go to juniors and seniors but underclassmen are welcome to apply as well.
- Those majoring in Computer Science and Engineering complete one Capstone Design course in either Software Applications, Game Design & Development, Computer Animation, Knowledge-Based Systems, or Information Systems.
Best Colleges for Computer Science – Additional Resources
We hope that you have found our list of the best computer science schools to be helpful in your college search journey. College Transitions has published a number of other blogs and Dataverse pages that may be helpful to you as you explore a CS major.
- 13 Best Coding Jobs in 2023
- Top 6 Easiest Programming Languages to Learn
- Best Python Bootcamps for High School Students - 2023
- Best Summer Programs for Computer Science
- Policies for Changing Your Major to Computer Science at Top Colleges
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