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2021 Best Colleges for Computer Science

Approximately 47,437 computer science degrees were awarded to students last year in the United States. With so many choices it can be difficult finding the right fit. This year's Best Colleges for Computer Science ranking analyzed 209 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in computer science. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 25 colleges for Computer Science students.

Choosing a Great Computer Science School

Best Colleges for Computer Science The compsci program you select can have a big impact on your future. This section explores some of the factors we include in our ranking and how much they vary depending on the school you select. When choosing a school we recommend considering some of the following factors:

A Great Overall School

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a quality education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To take this into account we consider a school's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a collection of various factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 19% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 11%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 149 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Above Average Earnings After Graduation

A computer science degree from colleges on this list usually translates into above average earnings following graduation. While the average computer science bachelors degree from U.S. schools results in an average starting salary of $66,348, graduates of colleges on this list average $95,540.

Starting Salary  ( 65008 to 111391 )
$0
$141,100

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Computer Science students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other computer science students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized computer science related accrediting body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for Computer Science students.

Best Schools to Study Computer Science in United States

The following list ranks the best colleges and universities in the U.S. for a Computer Science degree. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list. Of the 209 schools analyzed, only 25 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 25 Best CompSci Colleges

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is among your best bets if you want to study computer science. Located in the city Cambridge, MIT is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 5 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means MIT is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, MIT also offers 2 different higher degree levels in computer science, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer science graduates receive $22,560 more than the average compsci graduate.

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#2

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

It is difficult to beat Stanford University if you want to pursue computer science as a major. Stanford is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Stanford. A Best Colleges rank of 6 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Stanford is a great college overall.

With 640 students enrolled, Stanford University is one of most popular schools to study compsci in United States. Computer Science graduates from Stanford University earn a boost of approximately $30,860 over the average earnings of computer science graduates.

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#3

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

Any student who is interested in computer science needs to check out Carnegie Mellon University. Located in the city Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 33 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Carnegie Mellon is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Carnegie Mellon also offers 2 different higher degree levels in computer science, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Computer Science majors from Carnegie Mellon University earn a boost of approximately $43,360 above the typical earnings of computer science majors.

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It's hard to beat Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology if you want to pursue computer science as a major. Located in the small city Terre Haute, Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. This college ranks 66th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Indiana.

Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology is a fairly popular college to study compsci in United States exceeding 76 graduations last year. Students from the computer science program at Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology make $12,260 more than the standard college graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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#5

Brown University

Providence, RI

Brown is a large private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Providence. A Best Colleges rank of 13 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Brown is a great school overall.

There are about 283 computer science undergraduates enrolled in this degree at Brown. Computer Science majors from Brown University receive an earnings boost of about $45,560 over the average income of computer science majors.

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WPI is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Worcester. A Best Colleges rank of 51 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means WPI is a great college overall.

A favorite choice for computer science undergrads, there are approximately 226 students enrolled in this program at WPI. Graduates of the compsci program earn an average of $88,000 in the first couple years of their career.

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USC is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Los Angeles. A Best Colleges rank of 40 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means USC is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, USC also offers 2 different higher degree levels in computer science, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. After getting their bachelor's degree, compsci students generally earn an average of $85,200 at the beginning of their careers.

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#8

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

UPenn is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Philadelphia. A Best Colleges rank of 9 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UPenn is a great school overall.

University of Pennsylvania is one of the most popular school to study compsci in United States with more than 139 graduations last year. University of Pennsylvania computer science graduates earn $13,660 more than the standard compsci grad.

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#9

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Harvard is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Cambridge. A Best Colleges rank of 3 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Harvard is a great school overall.

With 261 undergraduates, Harvard University is one of most popular schools to study compsci in United States. Computer Science students from Harvard University receive an earnings boost of about $33,360 over the typical income of computer science majors.

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#10

Tufts University

Medford, MA

Located in the suburb Medford, Tufts is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population. This college ranks 59th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

With 223 undergrads, Tufts University is one of most popular colleges to study compsci in United States. After getting their bachelor's degree, compsci students generally earn about $88,200 in the first five years of their career.

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#11

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Located in the small city Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 17 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Cornell is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Cornell also offers 2 different higher degree levels in computer science, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Computer Science graduates from Cornell University get a earnings boost of about $20,760 above the typical income of computer science graduates.

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Located in the city Chicago, Illinois Tech is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population. This college ranks 154th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

Illinois Institute of Technology is one of the most popular college to study compsci in United States with more than 322 graduates last year. Graduates of the compsci program state that they receive average early career wages of $75,600.

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Stevens is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Hoboken. This school ranks 172nd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New Jersey.

For those interested in something more advanced, Stevens also offers 2 different higher degree levels in computer science, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Soon after graduating, compsci students usually earn an average of $76,500 at the beginning of their careers.

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UC Berkeley is a fairly large public school located in the midsize city of Berkeley. This school ranks 69th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

There are roughly 763 computer science undergrads studying this degree at UC Berkeley. Computer Science graduates from University of California - Berkeley earn a boost of around $19,260 above the typical income of computer science graduates.

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Located in the large city Raleigh, NC State is a public school with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 105th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of North Carolina.

There are approximately 498 computer science undergrads studying this degree at NC State. Grads of the compsci program report average early career income of $69,800.

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#16

Duke University

Durham, NC

Duke is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Durham. A Best Colleges rank of 2 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Duke is a great school overall.

A favorite major for computer science undergrads, there are roughly 341 learners enrolled in this program at Duke. Students from the computer science major at Duke University make $4,060 more than the standard graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

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Located in the midsize city Tempe, ASU - Tempe is a public school with a very large student population. This school ranks 276th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Arizona.

For those interested in something more advanced, ASU - Tempe also offers 2 different higher degree levels in computer science, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the compsci program state that they receive average early career income of $72,700.

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Located in the city New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 32 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Columbia is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Columbia also offers 2 different higher degree levels in computer science, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who graduate from the compsci program earn about $96,400 in their early career salary.

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UCSB is a very large public school located in the midsize suburb of Santa Barbara. This college ranks 133rd out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

A preferred choice for computer science undergrads, there are roughly 167 individuals enrolled in this program at UCSB. Soon after graduation, compsci students generally earn about $77,900 in their early careers.

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RIT is a large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Rochester. This college ranks 178th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

With 277 students enrolled, Rochester Institute of Technology is one of most popular schools to study compsci in United States. Grads of the compsci program state that they receive average early career wages of $85,300.

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Located in the city Boulder, CU - Boulder is a public college with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 227th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Colorado.

There are roughly 432 computer science undergraduates enrolled in this program at CU - Boulder. Students who graduate from the compsci program make around $70,100 in their early career salary.

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RPI is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Troy. A Best Colleges rank of 58 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means RPI is a great college overall.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is one of the most popular college to study compsci in United States exceeding 245 graduations last year. After graduating, compsci students usually make around $91,900 in their early careers.

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#23

Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR

Located in the city Corvallis, Oregon State is a public school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 320th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Oregon.

There are about 765 computer science undergraduates studying this program at Oregon State. Soon after graduation, compsci students generally make an average of $69,600 at the beginning of their careers.

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#24

Binghamton University

Vestal, NY

Binghamton University is a large public school located in the midsize suburb of Vestal. This school ranks 177th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

Binghamton University is a fairly popular college to study compsci in United States with over 253 graduates last year. Grads of the compsci program report average early career income of $73,000.

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#25

University of Georgia

Athens, GA

Located in the midsize city Athens, UGA is a public school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 143rd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Georgia.

For those interested in something more advanced, UGA also offers 2 different higher degree levels in computer science, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the compsci program report average early career income of $67,200.

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Rest of the Top Best Colleges for Computer Science

#28

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA
#31

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH

Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional great schools for CompSci students that almost earned our Best Colleges for Computer Science award.

Rank College Location
32 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
33 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
34 University of Maryland - Baltimore County Baltimore, MD
35 University of California - San Diego La Jolla, CA
36 Purdue University - Main Campus West Lafayette, IN
37 Iowa State University Ames, IA
38 University of Chicago Chicago, IL
39 Northwestern University Evanston, IL
40 Harvey Mudd College Claremont, CA
41 University of Portland Portland, OR

Computer Science by Region

View the Best Colleges for Computer Science for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
The Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

Computer Science is one of 10 different types of Computer & Information Sciences programs to choose from.

Majors Similar to CompSci

Related Major Annual Graduates
Computer Information Systems 76,482
Information Technology 33,399
Information Science 17,779
Computer Systems Networking 14,055
Computer Software & Applications 12,793

View All CompSci Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Negative Space. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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