Best Colleges and Universities for Computer Science Degrees

The best computer science degree programs are those with rich histories of influence, proven through the work produced by the program’s faculty and alumni. Beyond demonstrating scholarly impact in the field, the best computer science degree programs maximize your opportunities to interact with outstanding computer science faculty.

Best Colleges and Universities for Computer Science Degrees

A bachelor’s degree in computer science is an excellent starting point for a career in programming, video game design, cybersecurity, and a host of other rapidly growing fields. As a computer science major, you’ll study algorithms, data structure, operating systems, networking, and much more. With a bachelor’s in computer science, you’ll qualify for well-paying roles such as network architect, information security analyst, or computer systems administrator. The best schools for computer science are those which are regionally accredited, which offer a full array of computer science concentrations, and which give you the chance to work with the best and most influential professors and classmates.

Degree popularity: Computer science bachelor’s degrees are the 14th most popular undergraduate degrees across all student demographics. It is much more popular among men, ranking 6th across men of all demographics. For women, it doesn’t rank among the top 25 degrees. It is the 3rd most popular degree for Asian men, and 11th for Asian women, according to the number of degree earners reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics.

Frequently Asked Questions About Computer Science Bachelor’s Degrees

Computer science is a highly logical and analytical field that develops critical thinking skills applicable in all aspects of life. Moreover, computers are a constant presence in our daily lives, professionally and personally. Computer science majors have the knowledge and skills to understand how this technology functions, how to maintain and repair it, and how to make important decisions regarding the use of this technology.

The technology and application methods developed by computer science majors wield tremendous influence throughout the world, affecting key business decisions, supporting information security, and analyzing data. Today, top influencers in computer science are breaking new ground in artificial intelligence, data analysis, information security, and much more.

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Computer science is a popular major because it can provide pathways into countless fields and career opportunities. If you’re looking for a well-paying and secure job, a computer science degree is a great place to start. In the next ten years, computer and information technology occupations are projected to grow by 11%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With that kind of growth, job security is high, and so are salary rates, even if you only have an associate degree. The world runs on computers, and computers run with the help of computer science majors.

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Once you’ve declared your major in computer science, you will likely be required to complete a set of core courses in a number of STEM-related subject areas. While your concentration will give you a chance to choose from a wide range of highly-specialized computer science electives, there are a number of common courses that most computer science majors will be required to take, including:

  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Computer Architecture
  • Operating Systems
  • Databases
  • Computer Security
  • Computer Network Architecture
  • Computer Hardware
  • Computer Software
  • Programming
  • Human-Computer Interaction and Design

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Earning a degree in computer science can qualify you for an extremely wide variety of well-paying jobs in nearly any professional setting from business and healthcare to engineering and entertainment. Your computer science major can lead down a wide range of career paths, including these top jobs:

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Best Colleges and Universities for Computer Science Degree Programs

Frequently Asked Questions About Research Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Online Colleges

In pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you will need to choose between three kinds of schools: research universities, liberal arts colleges, and online colleges.

Research universities are colleges and universities whose faculty are active in research and publishing. These schools offer a wide array of doctoral programs, especially in the sciences. They tend to be big, with tens of thousands of students.

Do you prefer a larger university setting, such as largest public university in your state? Research universities are typically big, offering degrees in many different disciplines. Is a big high-powered research environment the thing for you. If not, you should think about a liberal arts college. In deciding on an undergraduate institution, ask yourself what sort of environment will best help you to be happy and excel.

  • Consider whether you are self motivated enough to be a face in the crowd for some classes and largely unknown on campus at a large university. Of course you can find clubs and friends at a large university, but often liberal arts colleges have a more personal quality to them. If you want the community feel, a research university may not fit you well.
  • Are you interested in STEM fields? Research universities have that name for a reason – real research is happening there. This can create an exciting atmosphere for students interested in STEM. Attending a research university can give you a better chance of getting into better programs for graduate degrees, although a lot of that depends on your performance.

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Often referred to as “teaching colleges” liberal arts colleges put a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree.

  • Do you want your professors to know you? Liberal arts colleges strive to cultivate campus cultures that encourage tight bonds between professors and students. Professors at these schools will typically conduct original research. Yet the best of these schools offer their faculty reduced teaching loads so that they can both be productive researchers and still have plenty of time for students (both in and outside the classroom).
  • Do you want to feel like you know everybody? One of the most enticing features of a liberal arts college is that in very little time, you can feel like you know who’s who, which can create strong friendships, but also more pleasurable walks across campus. While your sports teams may never be on ESPN, it’s more likely that you’ll know the athletes as your peers. Beyond student and faculty relationships, it’s not unusual for the school president and other administrators to learn who you are. When faced with problems with your student account or the need to switch classes, this can be comforting during a stressful moment.

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Online colleges are typically the same colleges and universities you could attend in-person, but for certain degree programs the college or unviersity has made the degree programs available to be completed online. For over 5 million students, online degree programs allow students to earn their degrees in the most flexible format available. Online degrees are as respected as the on-campus degress you could earn from the same schools. There’s usually no disctinction between the two degrees, and your degree and transcript will not say that the degree was earned online. Online degree programs are offered by a vast majority of colleges and universities, and the number of offering continues to grow. Whehter you are searching for an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate, there’s a good chance you can earn your degree online from a respectable online college.

  • Are you a self-driven student? Perhaps the hardest aspect of obtaining an online degree is whether you will be disciplined enough to manage your time and course demands. Many online students report that online college made them more disciplined in all areas of their lives, but the flexible, self-paced learning that makes online colleges attractive can often be the same qualities that make it difficult. If you tend to be a procrastinator, you need to be honest with yourself. You can change your habits and propensities, or you can throw money down the drain.
  • Do you need the flexibility of an online degree program? Most online students study online because of time demands balancing work and life, or becuase the online colleges afford them the chance to attend a better school without moving. If you are serious about earning your degree for career advancement, online colleges make it possible. The most flexible options among online degrees are those that are aynchronous, meaning you don’t have scheduled times to meet with your class online. However, many students seek synchronous online degree programs so that they have some structure – set meeting times, scheduled exams, etc.
  • The good news is that attending an online college doesn’t mean you will miss out on getting to know your professors and classmates. In fact, many online students who have experienced both online and on-campus courses report having easier access to their professors. Since most communication with your professor is expected to be in text – via email or your class learning management system – it makes asking your questions easier. The same students also report that they got to better know the thoughts of their classmates. While in-person course conversations can be dominated by a few extroverts, online courses that require online discussions make it so that you see all of your classmates’ thoughts and questions.

If you interested in an online bachelor’s degree, check out what the best online colleges offer, or search our online degrees for the exact program that interests you. In either case, you will find well respected colleges and universities that offer online degrees.

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The Best Colleges and Universities for Computer Science Degrees

Best Computer Science Major Research Universities

  1. MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  2. Stanford University
  3. Harvard University
  4. University of California, Berkeley
  5. Carnegie Mellon University

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Best Computer Science Major Liberal Arts Colleges

  1. Swarthmore College
  2. Harvey Mudd College
  3. Amherst College
  4. Pomona College
  5. Wesleyan University

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Best Data Science & Analytics Major Online Colleges

  1. University of Alabama at Birmingham
  2. Saint Louis University
  3. Southern New Hampshire University
  4. Golden Gate University
  5. Maryville University

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The Best Computer Science Schools in Your State

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