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Articles / Majors / Best Colleges for Computer Science Majors

June 22, 2021

Best Colleges for Computer Science Majors

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Photo of MIT campus by Muzammil Soorma on Unsplash

Top 10 Colleges for Computer Science Majors

These ten colleges and universities rank among the best schools for computer science. Read on to learn what sets each of them apart as a top computer science college.

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  2. Carnegie Mellon University
  3. University of California, Berkeley
  4. California Institute of Technology (CalTech)
  5. Georgia Institute of Technology
  6. University of Michigan
  7. University of Washington
  8. Oregon State University
  9. University of Texas at Austin
  10. William & Mary


Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is one of the top private universities in the United States. The school describes itself as, “fun and quirky, elite but not elitist, inventive and artistic, obsessed with numbers, and welcoming to talented people regardless of where they come from.”

At MIT, the Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS) program is the largest undergraduate program at the university. MIT offers five different computer science degrees including computer science or CS combined with Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Molecular Biology, Economics & Data Science, or Engineering. During their undergraduate career, EECS students are encouraged to participate in independent study and research under supervision of a faculty member.

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon is a private research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The school is known for its innovative contributions to science including establishing the nation’s first robotics institute.

The Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science is highly ranked in specialty areas such as programming languages, artificial intelligence, systems and theory and is home to the country’s first bachelor’s program in artificial intelligence.

University of California, Berkeley

UC Berkeley is a public research university located in Berkeley, California that cites the institution’s strength on the diverse student population with students from all 50 states, 74 countries, and who speak over 20 languages.

The Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at Berkeley focuses on preparing students for a possible research career and long-term technical leadership in industry by emphasizing a diverse computer science curriculum. One of the highlights of the program is the CS 61A: The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs course which has been ranked as one of the top five best computer science classes in the US.

California Institute of Technology

Caltech is a private university located in Pasadena, California and is known for managing the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA. Caltech’s small class sizes increase student access to faculty attention, lab usage, grants, study abroad opportunities, and more.

Within the Department of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, undergraduates can major in Applied + Computational Mathematics, Computer Science, or Information and Data Sciences. A major incentive for attending Caltech are the many research opportunities on campus and at JPL.

Georgia Institute of Technology

The Georgia Institute of Technology is a leading public research university located in Atlanta, Georgia with international campuses in France and China.

The unique undergraduate threads program at Georgia Tech’s College of Computing allows computer science students to customize their degree by developing specialized curriculums based on specific student interests. The eight thread specializations are devices, info internetworks, intelligence, media, modeling & simulation, people, systems & architecture, and theory.

University of Michigan

The University of Michigan is a top-ranked public university in Ann Arbor, Michigan offering over 280 degree programs and a 92% graduation rate.

The Computer Science and Engineering department provides a wide variety of courses and programs including Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Data Science. The department provides students with the skills needed to enter their specific industry or continue their studies in graduate school. Available to students are several research programs that allow undergraduate students the opportunity to take part in graduate-level research.

University of Washington

The University of Washington is a public research university located in Seattle, Washington. The university educates more than 54,000 students annually and is known for its innovative output, having facilitated nearly 2,000 startups since 2016.

By studying computer science at the University of Washington, students are provided with many opportunities for success including comprehensive introductory courses, hardware and software experience, and specialized advanced courses like human-computer interaction, computer graphics and animation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and more.

Oregon State University

Oregon State is an international public research university located in Corvallis, Oregon. 23% of all undergraduate students are first-generation college students, 26% are transfer students, 27% are students of color, and 4.3% are veterans.

The computer science program at OSU is known for being very student-friendly with the option of taking classes on-campus, online, or a mixture of both. In addition, the Applied Computer Science program includes the ability to choose a package of courses that emphasize specialty such as Cybersecurity, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Simulation and Game Programming, and more.

University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin is a top public research university in Austin, Texas. The university is ranked among the top national and global universities. The university houses 17 libraries, 7 museums, over 170 degree programs, and 400 study abroad programs.

The Computer Science program at UT Austin is known for their flexible course requirements – with only six core computer science courses with the remaining requirements left for students to choose among 10 different specializations. In addition, The Department of Computer Science offers three different 5-year BS/MS programs.

William & Mary

William & Mary is a premier public research university located in Williamsburg, Virginia known for being the second-oldest institution of higher education in the US, as well as for their academic programs and beautiful campus.

The computer science program at William & Mary prides itself for their hands-on approach to learning with small class sizes and a curriculum built around the Association of Computing Machinery, one of the major professional organizations for computer scientists. In addition to the opportunity to work on research projects with faculty and grad students, undergraduate computer science students have the option of applying to a one-year M.S. Degree.

Written by

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Sam Jaquez

Sam is a freelance writer, a blogger, and a bookmark collector. She studied at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she earned a degree in English. Sam has written articles about productivity, college, film & tv, and science.

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