Best Computer Science colleges in the U.S. 2021

“It’s a world without rules or controls, borders or boundaries…a world where anything is possible.” – The Matrix

Be like Sherlock.

No, I’m not trying to pitch you on a criminal justice degree, which is, I’m sure, very interesting.. I’m talking about computer science. One of your main tasks - next to coding - will be problem solving. Debugging. You will go on a quest to find the broken piece, the typo, the bad boy who messes with your software, messes with your head, messes with YOU. I’m talking about the science of problem solving. As a computer science major, you must be adept at modeling and analyzing problems. You will have to design solutions and verify that they are correct. You’ll be hunched over your keyboard until the early morning hours. You’ll need a skillset consisting of precision, patience, creativity, and careful reasoning. Ran Libeskind-Hadas, the computer science department chair at Harvey Mudd College noticed an increasing “enthusiasm to contribute something meaningful to society and do ‘cool’ things” among his students. Yep, being a geek is cool in today’s world.

Computer science is a discipline that spans theory and practice. You might need to think outside the box, in abstract terms as well as in concrete terms. Whether you already have a fascination with computers and programming or you’re simply toying with the idea of learning code, computer science could be the degree path for you. Computer technologies are becoming an integral part of all industries. There are growing opportunities for those with computer science degrees to contribute in the success and daily operations of nearly every industry. Earning a computer science degree will allow you to join the ranks of this fast-developing industry and may provide you access to the growing demand of computer science. A degree in computer science can be obtained from many traditional colleges and schools as well as the possibility of online degrees and courses.

Best Computer Science colleges in the U.S. for 2021

You want to change the world? With a cutting-edge program and world-class faculty, this innovative school is what innovative minds might just be looking for. The Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department (EECS) at MIT prides itself on offering “outstanding education” and conducting “innovative and award-winning research.” Although its outside image might give the impression of being a highly competitive and cut throat program, alumni reviews state that the opposite is the case. Knowledge is openly shared, and helping hands are never far away. Its holistic approach is one of the reasons, why the computer science department at MIT consistently ranks #1 in reputable college rankings and is recognized widely for its programs. To prep students for the working world, MIT offers an Industrial Connection Program (ICP) with the purpose of recruiting EECS students. Students attending those events will “learn about industry expectations and corporate cultures and gain a better understanding of how their own skills fit summer internship and full time job opportunities.”

Brown University
Providence, RI
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Less than an hour from Boston, three hours from New York City, and within one hour’s drive of one of the best beaches in the country is where you’ll find Providence, Rhode Island – and subsequently, Brown University. It was voted as the third most charming city in America. And Brown prides itself on being “a friendly and welcoming place.” That’s not everything though. Their computer science department combines technical strength with a great diversity of backgrounds and perspectives, and its interdisciplinary options enrich the educational experience of graduate as well as undergraduate students. Fresh and exciting content is key! The university has a long history of matching students with “industry leaders, startup companies, and everything in between.” At the annual Tech Fair in fall, students in the tech sector will have the chance to get together with employers looking to hire.

Cornell University
Ithaca, NY

Cornell University offers 3 Computer Science degree programs. It's a very large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a small city. In 2019, 613 Computer Science students graduated with students earning 372 Bachelor's degrees, 225 Master's degrees, and 16 Doctoral degrees.

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Stanford University
Stanford, CA
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Stanford University is another big name institution that provides students the opportunity to make an impact in the world. The School of Engineering is home to nine departments, more than 240 faculty, and more than 4,000 students. They believe that “engineering should solve human problems – not just technical ones.” Whether it’s climate change, overpopulation, or network security, Stanford takes on the toughest challenges of the 21st century and asks, “What can we do about it?” Stanford answers this question with a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary research and a general multidisciplinary approach. The school also offers a Computer Forum, offering industries the option to learn about the professional abilities and interests of Stanford students through its active recruiting program. More than 60 companies located in Silicon Valley, the rest of the U.S., Europe, and Asia are members of this cooperative venture.

Carnegie Mellon will “bring out the best in you.” At least, that’s what their website states. But “mutual trust and support among all faculty, staff and students” might be just the right way to actually fulfill this statement. Especially outstanding is the department’s diversity - around 33 percent of students receiving an undergraduate degree in computer science are women, which is almost twice as much as the national average! No wonder Carnegie Mellon University's Carol Frieze is the recipient of the 2017 A. Nico Habermann Award, which recognizes her sustained and successful efforts to promote diversity in computer science. Post-graduation survey results from 2015 state that 85% of their graduates with a bachelor’s degree are now employed, while 10% are continuing their education.

Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH
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Dartmouth College offers 3 Computer Science degree programs. It's a medium sized, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a remote town. In 2019, 103 Computer Science students graduated with students earning 87 Bachelor's degrees, 14 Master's degrees, and 2 Doctoral degrees.

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Columbia University in the City of New York offers 6 Computer Science degree programs. It's a very large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 680 Computer Science students graduated with students earning 379 Master's degrees, 282 Bachelor's degrees, and 19 Doctoral degrees.

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
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University of Pennsylvania offers 2 Computer Science degree programs. It's a very large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 139 Computer Science students graduated with students earning 70 Bachelor's degrees, and 69 Master's degrees.

As one of the most distinguished institutions of higher learning, University of California Berkeley, or better known as Cal, sure has something to offer. An excellent faculty, educational opportunities, and close proximity to the California high-tech economy definitely have to be factored in. As the website states: “This close proximity to the latest and coolest technologies enlivens our curriculum, provides many research and summer job opportunities for our students, and makes this a very exciting place to study electrical engineering and computer sciences.” With two different undergraduate degrees from two different colleges (the Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences offered by the College of Engineering and the Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from the College of Letters & Science) UC Berkeley stands out among other institutions. And if you want to further your education even more, EECS’s graduate programs are also among the best in the nation.

Duke University
Durham, NC

Duke University offers 3 Computer Science degree programs. It's a large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 341 Computer Science students graduated with students earning 282 Bachelor's degrees, 46 Master's degrees, and 13 Doctoral degrees.

List of all Computer Science colleges in the U.S.

School Average Tuition Student Teacher Ratio Enrolled Students
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Logo Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA
5/5
8 : 1 11,520
Brown University Logo Brown University Providence, RI
5/5
11 : 1 10,333
Cornell University Logo Cornell University Ithaca, NY
5/5
13 : 1 24,027
Stanford University Logo Stanford University Stanford, CA
5/5
11 : 1 17,249
Carnegie Mellon University Logo Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA
5/5
11 : 1 14,180
Dartmouth College Logo Dartmouth College Hanover, NH
5/5
11 : 1 6,606
Columbia University in the City of New York Logo Columbia University in the City of New York New York, NY
5/5
19 : 1 31,456
University of Pennsylvania Logo University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
5/5
18 : 1 26,675
University of California-Berkeley Logo University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA
3/5
24 : 1 43,185
Duke University Logo Duke University Durham, NC
5/5
12 : 1 16,686
Washington University in St Louis Logo Washington University in St Louis Saint Louis, MO
5/5
16 : 1 16,191
Northwestern University Logo Northwestern University Evanston, IL
5/5
15 : 1 22,448
University of Chicago Logo University of Chicago Chicago, IL
5/5
12 : 1 17,452
University of California-San Diego Logo University of California-San Diego La Jolla, CA
3/5
28 : 1 38,736
University of California-Irvine Logo University of California-Irvine Irvine, CA
3/5
26 : 1 36,908
University of Southern California Logo University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
5/5
22 : 1 48,321
University of Washington-Seattle Campus Logo University of Washington-Seattle Campus Seattle, WA
3/5
23 : 1 47,576
Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus Logo Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus Atlanta, GA
3/5
34 : 1 36,302
Tufts University Logo Tufts University Medford, MA
5/5
14 : 1 11,878
Vanderbilt University Logo Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
5/5
11 : 1 13,131