Top Computer Science Schools in the US in 2019
The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019, released today, includes a ranking of the 600 (extended from 500) top universities around the world for computer science, based on a methodology which includes academic reputation, research impact and other factors.
If you want to study computer science in the US, you’re spoilt for choice, with 109 US universities featuring in the 2019 table. Read on as we count down the study destination’s top 10, all of which make the global top 20.
10. New York University (NYU)
Up an impressive 13 spots to rank 20th in this year’s computer science ranking, New York University (NYU) is one of the highest ranked universities in New York City, and receives a very high score for the ‘citations per paper’ indicator, a measure of research impact.
NYU has been associated with 37 Nobel Laureates and seven Turing Award winners, as well as a large number of inventions and discoveries, ranging from defibrillators, pacemakers, television, cordless telephones, contact lenses and many more.
9. Columbia University
Also based in New York, Columbia University climbed six places this year to rank joint 18th for computer science alongside China’s Peking University. Like NYU, it gains its best score in the citations per paper indicator, and is well known as a center of important research. It benefits from its location in the huge metropolis of New York City and aims to attract a diverse student body and faculty. One of the most selective US universities, Columbia counts 38 billionaires among its alumni.
8. University of Washington
Ranked 17th for computer science this year and eighth in the US, the University of Washington receives high scores for both citations per paper and the ‘H-index’, another measure of research impact. The university’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, which opened its doors in 2003, is a state-of-the-art, 85,000 square-foot facility which cost $72 million. Computer science is one of the most popular majors at Washington, but admission is highly competitive, with only a third of undergraduate applicants successful.
=7. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is ranked joint 13th with Princeton University this year and earns its strongest score in the citations per paper category of the computer science ranking. UCLA is known for being the birthplace of the Internet, as nearly 50 years ago in October 1969 a team from the university sent the very first message over the ARPANET, an early computer network which formed the basis for the Internet.
=7. Princeton University
Next in our look at the top computer science schools in the US is Princeton University, down slightly this year at joint 13th. An Ivy League university, Princeton achieves a near-perfect score for citations per faculty member as well as a high score for the H-index. Its Department of Computer Science within the School of Engineering and Applied Science has educated numerous notable figures such as the ‘father of computer science’ Alan Turing, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, and Google executive Eric Schmidt.
5. Harvard University
Harvard University is ranked seventh among the world’s top computer science schools and may be an ideal choice if you’re concerned about your chosen university’s reputation among graduate employers, as it receives a consistently perfect score in the employer reputation indicator. Its John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is involved in ground-breaking research to tackle some of the fundamental problems in science and engineering, and will open a new state-of-the-art expanded campus in Allston in 2020.
4. University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
Ranked fourth both in the US and globally in the computer science ranking, the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) offers two flexible, highly selective undergraduate programs, including the Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences (EECS), which combines the fundamentals of electrical engineering and computer science in one major. The other option, a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science, gives students the flexibility to explore other fields of interest.
3. Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University is ranked third in the world and among the top computer science schools in the US this year, once again achieving a perfect score in the academic reputation category. It’s another school known for being a center of many discoveries and innovations in this field, such as the first Wi-Fi network (created on campus in 1993), several of the first artificial intelligence software programs and programming languages, and Navlab, the first autonomous car program.
2. Stanford University
Although many of the top computer science schools featured in this list have claimed impressive scores in the citations per faculty and/or H-index indicators (both measures of research impact), none of them can overtake Stanford University, which achieved perfect scores for both.
Founded in 1965, Stanford’s Computer Science Department is unique for its location in Silicon Valley, as well as its impressive cohort of successful alumni, such as the founders or co-founders of Netflix, Google, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp.
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
And finally, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) continues to be the world leader in this year’s computer science ranking (as well as claiming the overall number one spot in the QS World University Rankings® for seven years in a row).
Students at MIT’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science benefit from a vast range of programs and resources, including the Advanced Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (SuperUROP), the EECS Communication Lab, the 6-A MEng Thesis Program, and more. Like Stanford, its alumni includes the founders of household names such as Buzzfeed, DropBox, Intel, HuffPost and Hewlett-Packard.
Other top universities in the US for computer science
Of course, there are dozens more top computer science schools in the US, with 10 more institutions ranked among the global top 50, including Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) (24th), Cornell University (25th), California Institute of Technology (Caltech) (joint 29th) and the University of Texas at Austin (also ranked joint 29th).
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This article was originally published in February 2019 . It was last updated in January 2020