Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Find Schools Near

2021 Best Colleges for Computer Science in California

Computer Science is a popular major and California is the 1st most popular state for students studying this major. 10,692 of the 47,437 Computer Science diplomas awarded last year were given by schools in California. With so many choices it can be a daunting task finding the best choice. This year's Best Colleges for Computer Science in California ranking analyzed 29 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in computer science. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 15% of colleges for Computer Science students in California.

Choosing a Great Computer Science School

Best Colleges for Computer Science in California Your choice of computer science school matters. Important measures of a quality compsci program can vary widely even among the top schools. When choosing a school we recommend considering some of the following factors:

A Great Overall School

A school that excels in educating for a particular major must be a great school overall as well. To make it into this list a school must rank well in our overall Best Colleges ranking. This ranking considered factors such as graduation rates, overall graduate earnings and other educational resources to identify great colleges and universities.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 8% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 7%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 108 to 0 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Above Average Earnings After Graduation

Computer Science graduates from schools on this list tend to earn more after college than those from other schools. While the average computer science bachelors degree from California colleges results in an average starting salary of $67,343, graduates of colleges on this list average $101,075.

Starting Salary  ( 76770 to 123229 )
$0
$126,400

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 schools for Computer Science students in California.

More Ways to Rank Computer Science Schools

The compsci school you choose to invest your time and money in matters. To help you make the decision that is right for you, we've developed a number of major-specific rankings, including this list of the Best CompSci Schools.

In addition to College Factual's rankings, you may want to take a look at College Combat, our unique tool that lets you pit your favorite schools head-to-head and compare how they rate on factors that most interest you. Test it out when you get a chance! You may also want to bookmark the link and share it with others who are trying to make the college decision.

Best Schools to Study Computer Science in California

The following list ranks the best colleges and universities for a Computer Science degree.

Top 10 Best CompSci Colleges California

#1

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Stanford University is among your top options if you want to study computer science. Located in the large suburb of Stanford, Stanford is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 6 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Stanford is a great university overall.

Stanford University is a fairly popular university to study compsci in California with about 640 graduations in the most recent year we have data available. Graduates from the computer science degree program at Stanford University make $55,428 more than the average college grad in this field when they enter the workforce.

More…

Request Information

University of Southern California is one of the best schools in the United States for computer science. Located in the large city of Los Angeles, USC is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 40 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means USC is a great university overall.

There were approximately 1129 computer science individuals who graduated from this degree at USC in the most recent data year. University of Southern California computer science students receive $14,228 more than the typical compsci grad.

More…

Request Information

University of California - Berkeley is one of the finest schools in the United States for computer science. Located in the midsize city of Berkeley, UC Berkeley is a public university with a very large student population. This university ranks 10th out of 116 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There were approximately 763 computer science individuals who graduated from this program at UC Berkeley in the most recent data year. Computer Science graduates from University of California - Berkeley earn a boost of around $43,828 above the average income of computer science majors.

More…

Request Information

It's hard to beat University of California - Santa Barbara if you wish to study computer science. UCSB is a very large public university located in the midsize suburb of Santa Barbara. This university ranks 16th out of 116 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

With 167 individuals who completed this degree in the most recent year we have data available, University of California - Santa Barbara is one of the most popular universities to study compsci in California. Computer Science students from University of California - Santa Barbara get an earnings boost of approximately $6,928 above the average earnings of computer science graduates.

More…

Request Information

Located in the large city of La Jolla, UCSD is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 12th out of 116 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

For those interested in something more advanced, UCSD also offers 2 different higher degree levels in computer science, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates from the computer science degree program at University of California - San Diego get $9,828 above the average college graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

More…

Request Information
#6

Harvey Mudd College

Claremont, CA

Located in the suburb of Claremont, Harvey Mudd College is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 18 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Harvey Mudd College is a great college overall.

With 42 students who graduated from this program in the most recent data year, Harvey Mudd College is one of the most popular colleges to study compsci in California. Computer Science students from Harvey Mudd College earn a boost of approximately $53,528 above the typical income of computer science graduates.

More…

Request Information

Located in the large city of Irvine, UC Irvine is a public university with a very large student population. This university ranks 15th out of 116 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

With 661 students who completed this degree in the most recent year we have data available, University of California - Irvine is one of the most popular universities to study compsci in California. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, compsci students typically make about $71,600 at the beginning of their careers.

More…

Request Information

Located in the large city of San Jose, San Jose State is a public university with a very large student population. This university ranks 48th out of 116 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, San Jose State offers a Master's Degrees in computer science. San Jose State University computer science majors make $4,028 more than the standard compsci graduate.

More…

Request Information

Pacific is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit university located in the city of Stockton. This university ranks 23rd out of 116 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

University of the Pacific is one of the most popular universities to study compsci in California with approximately 34 graduates in the most recent year we have data available. Graduates of the compsci program make around $60,800 in their early career salary.

More…

Request Information

Cal State Fullerton is a fairly large public university located in the suburb of Fullerton. This university ranks 49th out of 116 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

With 329 students who graduated from this program in the most recent data year, California State University - Fullerton is one of the most popular universities to study compsci in California. Graduates of the compsci program make about $63,200 for their early career.

More…

Request Information

Best Computer Science Colleges in the Far Western US Region

Explore all the Best Computer Science Schools in the Far Western US Area or other specific states within that region.

State Colleges Degrees Awarded
Washington 293 1,144
Oregon 252 1,104
Nevada 190 119
Hawaii 162 121
Alaska 120 10

One of 10 majors within the Computer & Information Sciences area of study, Computer Science has other similar majors worth exploring.

Majors Similar to CompSci

Related Major Annual Graduates
Computer Information Systems 2,221
Computer Software & Applications 996
Information Technology 782
Computer Programming 551
Computer Systems Networking 475

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.

Featured Computer Science / Programming Schools

Find Schools Near You