Top 10 Best Computer Science Schools in the USA

By - July 2, 2018
Reading Time: 5 minutes

The computer science field is one of the best in the world to consider for a dynamic career and high salary. After all, computer science is a major part of the world economy as more and more of what we do is controlled by computers and technology.

If you have been considering majoring in computer science, it is recommended to consider the following top computer science schools, which are regarded by many as the best on the planet:

#1 Stanford University

Stanford University is regarded by many experts as home to the best computer science program on the planet. Stanford has been recognized as one of the top higher learning institutions in the world for more than 50 years. Its graduate have won 49 Nobel Prizes and 20 National Medal of Science Awards.

The computer science program at Stanford has been one of the major reasons that Silicon Valley has become a world-leading technology hubb. The computer science program has more than a 50 year history and makes it one of the oldest programs around the globe. Alumni from this program have produced some of the biggest and most powerful technology companies: Yahoo, Electronic Arts and Google among them.

#2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Many computer science experts say that MIT is the best computer science school in the world. There are so many factors that have made MIT a computer science leader: its location in Boston, close collaboration and competition with Harvard University, Boston University and Tufts University, and a world class computer science faculty. MIT has graduated more than 60 Nobel Prize winners and also sports a massive $12 billion endowment.

MIT leads several top-drawer computer research organizations, including the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Many computer science advances have been spawned from this laboratory, including much of the technology that created the backbone of the modern Internet. MIT is also a global leader in nanotechnology, information theory and bioinformatics.

MIT has produced many famous computer science alumni, such as the founder of the iRobot Corporation, Colin Angel. It also has done outstanding work for NASA Mars missions and William Hewlett, the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, is a graduate of MIT.

#3 Harvard University

Harvard University has for decades been ranked as the top university on the planet according to many ranking systems. Students who major in computer science can participate in many world-leading research labs, such as the Center for Research on Computation and Society, the Institute for Applied Computational Science, and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. These think tanks and research laboratories help to direct the university towards world class achievement in applied mathematics, computer science, electrical engineering and bioengineering.

In 2014, the computer science faculty was expanded by 50%, and a new computer science facility was opened for undergraduate and graduate students to use in their studies.

#4 University of California Berkeley

UC Berkeley is an unusual school on this list because it is one of the few public institutions yet rated as one of the top computer science schools in the country. It is one of the most respected public universities in the world. Featuring some of the most decorated and talented professors in the world, UC Berkeley boasts 130 representatives of the National Academy of Sciences and seven Nobel Prize winners. Berkeley also has more bachelor’s students who later finish a Ph.D. than any university in the country.

Berkeley has a proud history of major contributions to computer science, including the creation of Unix by Ken Thompson; the idea of sending electronic mail by Eric Allman, and the invention of Powerpoint by Bob Gaskin. Scientists from UC Berkeley have been at the lead of advancing the computer science field for decades.

This rich heritage and convenient location in California are major draws for the best computer scientists in the planet. Programming students have the chance to learn from and network with the best computer scientists in the world.

#5 Carnegie Mellon University

Since it was founded in 1900, Carnegie Mellon University has been a leading research university in the United States. The computer science department has been an esteemed leader as well with the development of software and robotic technology that was used on the Mars Rover. Other major strong points in the computer science field have been the new crash avoidance systems in automobiles, and at-home alert systems that help the elderly.

The computer science department at Carnegie Mellon University consists of these departments:

  • Computer science
  • Human and computer interaction
  • Institute for Software Research
  • Computational biology
  • Language Technologies Institute
  • Machine learning
  • Robotics Institute
  • Artificial Intelligence

Master’s in Computer science degrees and doctoral degrees are offered in all of these departments. But only computational biology and machine learning are provided for bachelor’s programs.

#6 Cornell University

The computer science program at Cornell University has been making major research contributions to the field since 1965. Students in the computer science program from the undergraduate to doctoral levels are held to the highest standards. Students are required to master such complex subjects as data structure, operating systems, programming languages, and computation theory.

#7 University of Texas at Austin

The computer science program at UT Austin is regularly ranked as one of the top 10 in the world. The computer science department has its own network and features more than 1,600 hosts and has given 12 laboratories on campus the best, state of the art computer resources. The computer science faculty is also highly respected, earning more than 150 international and national awards.

Students at the undergraduate level are expected to engage in extensive networking and research. They also are expected to complete a computer science internship to gain critical, hands-on experience. Graduate students center their studies on computer science research with a focus on networks, security, artificial intelligence, robotics, bioinformatics and verification.

#8 Princeton University

The technical aptitude in the computer science department at Princeton University is known all around the world. At this elite, Ivy League institution, you have the opportunity to research complex computer science problems in cryptocurrencies, bioinformatics, computational neuroscience, cloud storage and many other areas of information theory.

All students in computer science at all degree levels are required to complete a design or research related project before they graduate. The computer science department has the following sections:

  • Computational biology
  • Markets and game theory
  • Computer architecture
  • Graphics and vision
  • Machine learning
  • Programming languages
  • Security and privacy policy
  • Systems and networks

#9 University of Southern California

USC is one of the most respected research universities in the world with a $4.6 billion endowment. The department of computer science was founded more than 40 years ago and has made major contributions to various specialties, including information theory, bioinformatics, DNA computing, human and robot interaction, computer graphics and Internet technologies

One of the most popular programs at USC is the Master of Science in Computer science with concentrations in game development, intelligent robotics, data science, high performance computing, computer security, software engineering, and multimedia technologies. Students at the undergraduate level can choose programs in computer science, computer engineering, gaming and computer science and computer science/business.

#10 University of California – Los Angeles

UCLA’s computer science department is highly respected; while it was formally established in 1968, it was making major contributions to the information technology field as far back as the 1940s. Today, UCLA offers a bachelor’s program in computer science, as well as computer science and engineering, in addition to computer science at the graduate level.

The university has 20 research groups and laboratories available to computer science students. These labs and research groups are part of these research centers available to all students:

  • Center for Domain Specific Computing
  • The Scalable Analytics Institute
  • Center for Autonomous Intelligent Networked Systems
  • Center for Information and Computation Security
  • Wireless Health Institute


  • Best Global Universities for Computer Science. (2018). Retrieved from
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