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Top 5 US Universities to Study Computer Science

MAY 21, 2021

Computer Science and its many related disciplines have become highly sought-after for university students chasing a lucrative career. As the world becomes increasingly digitized and technology-dependent, demand for talented programmers continues to grow. Whether it be artificial intelligence, human computer interaction, app development, software development or any number of adjacent fields — a degree in computer science lends itself to a fruitful and engaging career.

The information in this blog comes from our Top 5 US and UK University Rankings eBook, which explores some of the world’s top-ranking universities in five popular subject areas including medicine, law and more. Download the eBook to read fast facts, admissions stats, and interesting tidbits about each university!


Computer Science has emerged in recent years as a popular degree choice for left-brained students with an affinity for technology, algorithms, data structures, information processes and artificial intelligence. Given that virtually every part of our daily lives is impacted by computers in some form and by extension, most industries rely heavily on computing in some capacity, Computer Science is often seen as a future-proof study pathway.

Many universities around the world offer Computer Science degree programs, but not all are created equal! Given the field is a relatively young one often requiring hands-on research and lab experience, some universities are better equipped to offer a truly top-notch program with highly qualified professors and the best available resources.

The following five universities are known the world over for their undergraduate Computer Science programs, which see graduates join a highly lucrative industry with ample job opportunities. With their top-quality academic resources, alumni networks spanning world-leading companies, and unmatched research opportunities, these universities draw Computer Science majors from every corner of the globe.

Read on to learn more about the 5 highest-ranking universities in the US for studying Computer Science:

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

MIT and Frontiers form open access publishing agreement – Science &  research news | FrontiersMassachusetts Institute of Technology

Renowned for its academic rigor and innovation, the Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS) program is the most extensive undergraduate program at MIT. Their curriculum is flexible, with coursework and research that prepares students for success in a wide range of industries, from software to bioengineering and econometrics.

EECS students explore subjects both experimental and theoretical — from mathematical computer theory to circuit design and electronics, control and communication theory, artificial intelligence, and robotics. Starting salaries for students with bachelor’s degrees average well above $100,000 at MIT.

Carnegie-Mellon University | Carnegie mellon, Best engineering  universities, UniversityCarnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon founded the school School of Computer Science around 25 years ago and has been a world leader in computing research and education. CMU is also highly ranked in interdisciplinary majors in computer science and the arts, and music and technology.

Carnegie Mellon introduced the nation’s first bachelor’s degree in Artificial Intelligence in 2018 and added a bachelor’s program in human-computer interaction in 2020. In terms of industry, a survey by editors of The Wall Street Journal ranked Carnegie Melon’s undergraduate computer science program best in the United States among corporate recruiters.

Stanford, University of Washington cancel classes amid coronavirus outbreakStanford University

Stanford University’s Computer Science Department is part of the School of Engineering which was founded in 1965 as a center for undergraduate research and education. Stanford offers research opportunities in areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics, foundations of computer science, scientific computing, and systems.

The university’s research groups hone in on fundamental work in computer science, but there is also a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary research in areas like chemistry, genetics, linguistics, physics, medicine, and various engineering, construction, and manufacturing disciplines. In addition, both faculty and students commonly work with investigators at nearby research or industrial institutions.

UC wins North America's largest open access publishing agreement | Berkeley  NewsUniversity of California, Berkeley

UC Berkeley offers two different paths for computer science students: the engineering-centric route or the interdisciplinary route.

The interdisciplinary focus is for students enrolled in the College of Letters & Science (L&S). Berkeley emphasizes the science in computer science, meaning it focuses on much more than just computer programming. Coursework includes the theory of computation, the design and analysis of algorithms, the architecture and logic design of computers, programming languages, compilers, operating systems, scientific computation, computer graphics, databases, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing. The goal is to prepare students for a possible research career and long-term technical leadership in the industry.

UC Berkeley’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) program is similar in nature; however, there is an essential difference between the two routes: the EECS program requires many more math and science courses and a more technical, application-centric approach.

Caltech | LinkedInCalifornia Institute of Technology

The Computing & Mathematical Sciences (CMS) Department is home to students and researchers who share a passion for science and engineering and a drive to investigate challenging, fundamental problems in computation and information. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 3:1, Caltech has innovative interdisciplinary collaborations throughout campus and their very own Jet Propulsion Laboratory!

Computer science is the most popular major at Caltech and introduces students to the mathematical and engineering foundations of the discipline. Advanced coursework follows one of several tracks in which students learn in greater depth about topic areas such as networking, distributed systems, robotics, machine learning, graphics, databases, and more. Students are provided various research opportunities, both through the SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships) program and the required capstone project sequence.

Are you interested in studying Computer Science at a top US university? Crimson is the world’s leading university admissions support company specializing in helping students gain entry to the most competitive universities in the US and UK, starting with identifying the best-fit universities for each student’s goals, interests and priorities. To learn how Crimson can help you explore opportunities at top universities, schedule a free consultation with one of our expert academic advisors today.

Alex N.

Written by

Alex N.

Alex is a longtime Crimson student who was admitted to Middlebury College to study physics. He enjoys poetry, history, philosophy, Spanish, and of course — physics! In his free time, he enjoys writing, exercising, and spending time with his friends.