When searching for the best colleges, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the financial data, graduation rates and other hard insights.

Who We Are

The team at The Newsroom has over 100 years collective experience in the education industry. Using that experience alongside our team of researchers we have compiled this research. The research is meant to help you make good decisions about the future of your education.

Ranking Methodology

Overall Selectivity (25%)

Though selectivity is not a perfect proxy for college or major/program quality, it is highly correlated with student ability/achievement and institutional expenditures per student–both contribute significantly to the undergraduate learning experience. We looked to a college’s freshman admission rate and average SAT/ACT score (as reported by the College Board) when measuring selectivity.

Major Emphasis (25%)

If a (relatively) high percentage of students at a particular college are studying a specific major, it is likely that the major attracts a relatively high amount of resources. Moreover, if a college enrolls a relatively high percentage of all students (in the U.S.) studying a particular major (i.e. it has a large market share), it is likely that the college has been identified (by both prospective students, employers, and other stakeholders) as a leader in that subject area. Though the latter may appear to encourage bias against smaller institutions or programs, it is important to account for the fact that larger programs may attract more tuition revenue, have a better ability to meet fixed costs, and thus greater opportunity to invest in program/major offerings.

In order to measure major emphasis (i.e. the percentage college’s students enrolling in a particular major) and market share (i.e. the percentage of all students studying a major that are enrolled in a particular college), we relied on data collected by National Center for Education Statistics and as reported by WebCaspar.

In our general rankings we take a look at the top degree programs for that school and compare it to schools with similar demographics to determine it’s 25% consensus.

Peer Review (25%)

In order to derive a peer review score, we look to rankings and “strong programs” data published by U.S. News and World Report, Times Higher Education, and Niche. Each utilizes thousands of student, faculty, and/or administrative surveys/questionnaires to identify colleges that offer strong majors/programs within a particular field. Alone, peer assessment surveys are subject to a fair amount of bias. However, when evaluated in sum and when considered along with more objective data–such as that examining selectivity, earnings, emphasis, and productivity–they can provide more complete and corroborative insight into the strength of a particular program/major.

Graduate Earnings (25%)

To measure graduate earnings, we relied on data provided by PayScale.com, which indicates both early-career and mid-career wages of students by college and by category of major. For example, PayScale provides salary data for student attending Boston University and majoring in engineering, which is different from salary data for students attending Boston University and majoring in business.

Both early-career wages and mid-career wages were analyzed, given that the former is typically an indicator of how employers perceive the quality of a particular major/program, while the latter indicates how well a major/program may have prepared students for work.

Though PayScale provides important insight into earning differences across institutions, it has significant limitations–data ere self-reported and encompass major groupings rather than specific majors. For example, all social science majors are grouped together, as are majors within the humanities, physical and life sciences, and other broad academic categories. Thus, distinctions between political science and economics or biology and physics are not possible. Nevertheless, given PayScale’s massive sample size (nearly 1.5 million different individuals across approximately 1000 institutions) and ability to gather earnings information for both early-career and mid-career graduates, we believe the use of such data in our analysis was justified.

Here are the best computer science programs in the United States.

Related Ranking: Best Video Game Design Colleges

  1. MIT
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    MIT is often found at the top of the computer science rankings, It doesn’t disappoint in our rankings either. It is ranked 1st for computer science and has also been the world’s leading university in the overall QS World University Rankings® for numerous years.

    MIT’s CS program and it’s electrical engineering department make up for the largest departments at MIT.

    MIT is well known as leading research university but it’s also a practical educational institution as well preparing many leaders who have made have made instrumental contributions to cybernetics, artificial intelligence, computer languages, machine learning, robotics, and cryptography.

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  2. Stanford
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    Stanford is the gold standard in education both for computer science and in the overall academics.

    Stanford University’s is located in Palo Alto, California at the foosteps of Silicon Valley.

    As a result it attracts some of the top talent in the world who end up working at some of the world’s largest high-tech corporations in Silicon Valley, as well as many startups. Stanford’s computer science department was founded in 1965 and is part of the university’s School of Engineering.

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  3. Carnegie Mellon University
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    The next of the best colleges in the US for computer science is Carnegie Mellon University, situated in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    Carnegie Mellon University achieves a high ranking in computer science ranking #3. Its School of Computer Science is based at the Gates and Hillman Centers, a $98 million complex which opened in 2009 and has accomplished LEED Gold confirmation for its large amounts of sustainability.

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  4. California Institute of Technology
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    California Institute of Technology is known as one of the US’s best technology institutions, with a prominent class of alumni including engineers, astronauts, and startup founders, including Sabeer Bhatia (author of Hotmail). Like the college itself, the Computing and Mathematical Sciences Faculty is tiny, with just 20 employees and 150 students.

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  5. Harvard University
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    Harvard’s Computer Science Department is part of the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (founded in 1847, with computer science courses available since 1984).

    Famous technology founders have studied at Harvard include Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg. They actually both dropped out of school to pursue careers in technology.

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  6. Columbia University
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    Columbia University is one of the world’s most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields.

    Columbia University’s Department of Computer Science remains at the forefront of educating aspiring developers by exposing them to both cutting-edge technologies and the tried-and-true systems and theories behind them.

    It is located in the metropolis of NY which helps it attract some of the world’s best technology talent.

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  7. Brown University
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    Brown University is a private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, it is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

    It is one of oldest colleges in the United States.

    What makes Brown a great program is that the students there seem to be actually interested in learning about computer science instead of just doing their latest startup. It’s strong focus on academics leads the way.

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  8. Yale University
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    Yale consistently is one of the top universities in the US (Ivy League), and over the last number of years has invested a significant amount into it’s department of computer science to compete with other Ivy League schools.

    The Department of Computer Science was founded by people who had a vision. This vision was how computer science would fit into the unique spirit of Yale University, an institution oriented to an unusual degree around undergraduate education and close interdepartmental collaboration.

    The Department has always had close ties to mathematics and engineering, but has increasingly experienced collaborations with other disciplines important to Yale, including psychology, linguistics, economics, business, statistics, music, medicine, physics and more. It is through these collaborations that the importance of computer science in a broader sense is best appreciated.

    Since its founding in 1701, Yale has been dedicated to expanding and sharing knowledge, inspiring innovation, and preserving cultural and scientific information for future generations.

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  9. University of Southern California
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    UAB has enrolled more than 18,500 students who are pursuing undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.

    The online program offers seven bachelor’s degrees in healthcare management and business topics such as financing and marketing, as well as nearly 20 masters programs including topics in areas of sociology, civil structural engineering, and elementary education.

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  10. Georgia Institute of Technology
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    Lewis University houses 6,800 students through its five colleges and schools.

    The school’s online program offers bachelor degrees in business administration, information security and risk management, information technology management, and professional studies, as well as seven online master’s degrees in areas of aviation and transportation, business analytics, and organizational leadership.

    A doctoral in nursing practice is also offered.

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  11. University of Pennsylvania
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    Home to 25,000 students over a dozen schools and colleges, Drexel has one of the nation’s largest cooperative education programs.

    Drexel Online offers roughly 80 certificate programs, as well as doctoral programs in topics such as educational leadership and management, nursing practice, and health science in rehabilitation services.

    Drexel Online has received several accolades as one of the best online colleges.

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  12. Cornell University
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    Penn State World Campus joined the highly respected Pennsylvania State University in 1998.

    The World Campus offers a hefty list of online programs, with more than 120 online programs leading to a variety of certificates, as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees.

    World Campus is home to more than 10,000 students in fields ranging from engineering, technology, business, healthcare, and more.

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  13. University of California - Berkeley
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    Concorde was formed in 1988 as a Delaware corporation. With programs designed to jump-start your career in as few as nine months, Concorde has accredited programs in health care fields such as dental and medical specialties. Concorde currently operates 16 campuses in eight states throughout America and focuses on the population that is seeking a career-focused education. Concorde’s Online campus is fantastic for those students who need the flexibility to work and go to school at the same time.

    One reason Concorde Online is considered one of the best online colleges is that it uses its Canvas(TM) technology – an online learning management system that makes it easy to stay on track with your online education. Concorde Career College is accredited through the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), a nationally recognized accrediting agency.

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  14. Rice University
    MERIT: 64
    Average Cost: $6,380

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  15. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
    MERIT: 62
    Average Cost: $8,453

    Ne soleat suscipit appellantur usu, ex vim integre delectus, est habeo fabellas et. An iudicabit periculis adversarium mel, in nam minim debet petentium, vitae consul propriae ei qui. Ex sea malorum expetendis voluptatibus, te iusto soleat saperet eum, scripta invenire dissentias at pri. Ornatus corrumpit mea ei, sed ne brute iusto mandamus, eos cu dicant nonumy. Ferri disputationi cum te, id pri persius utroque.

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  16. Duke University
    MERIT: 60
    Average Cost: $8,310

    Ne soleat suscipit appellantur usu, ex vim integre delectus, est habeo fabellas et. An iudicabit periculis adversarium mel, in nam minim debet petentium, vitae consul propriae ei qui. Ex sea malorum expetendis voluptatibus, te iusto soleat saperet eum, scripta invenire dissentias at pri. Ornatus corrumpit mea ei, sed ne brute iusto mandamus, eos cu dicant nonumy. Ferri disputationi cum te, id pri persius utroque.

    Putent ullamcorper delicatissimi eum ei. Tamquam consequat voluptatibus sit ut, quidam fastidii duo ea, eam ei aperiam vivendum consulatu. Te meis libris constituto pro, autem bonorum utroque duo ei, ius at debet atomorum. An munere assueverit ius. Id sea erant possit ceteros. Eu mea ignota iriure dolorem.

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  17. Dartmouth College
    MERIT: 58
    Average Cost: $8,850

    Ne soleat suscipit appellantur usu, ex vim integre delectus, est habeo fabellas et. An iudicabit periculis adversarium mel, in nam minim debet petentium, vitae consul propriae ei qui. Ex sea malorum expetendis voluptatibus, te iusto soleat saperet eum, scripta invenire dissentias at pri. Ornatus corrumpit mea ei, sed ne brute iusto mandamus, eos cu dicant nonumy. Ferri disputationi cum te, id pri persius utroque.

    Putent ullamcorper delicatissimi eum ei. Tamquam consequat voluptatibus sit ut, quidam fastidii duo ea, eam ei aperiam vivendum consulatu. Te meis libris constituto pro, autem bonorum utroque duo ei, ius at debet atomorum. An munere assueverit ius. Id sea erant possit ceteros. Eu mea ignota iriure dolorem.

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  18. Harvey Mudd College
    MERIT: 55
    Average Cost: $8,350

    Ne soleat suscipit appellantur usu, ex vim integre delectus, est habeo fabellas et. An iudicabit periculis adversarium mel, in nam minim debet petentium, vitae consul propriae ei qui. Ex sea malorum expetendis voluptatibus, te iusto soleat saperet eum, scripta invenire dissentias at pri. Ornatus corrumpit mea ei, sed ne brute iusto mandamus, eos cu dicant nonumy. Ferri disputationi cum te, id pri persius utroque.

    Putent ullamcorper delicatissimi eum ei. Tamquam consequat voluptatibus sit ut, quidam fastidii duo ea, eam ei aperiam vivendum consulatu. Te meis libris constituto pro, autem bonorum utroque duo ei, ius at debet atomorum. An munere assueverit ius. Id sea erant possit ceteros. Eu mea ignota iriure dolorem.

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  19. University of California - Los Angeles
    MERIT: 53
    Average Cost: $8,520

    Ne soleat suscipit appellantur usu, ex vim integre delectus, est habeo fabellas et. An iudicabit periculis adversarium mel, in nam minim debet petentium, vitae consul propriae ei qui. Ex sea malorum expetendis voluptatibus, te iusto soleat saperet eum, scripta invenire dissentias at pri. Ornatus corrumpit mea ei, sed ne brute iusto mandamus, eos cu dicant nonumy. Ferri disputationi cum te, id pri persius utroque.

    Putent ullamcorper delicatissimi eum ei. Tamquam consequat voluptatibus sit ut, quidam fastidii duo ea, eam ei aperiam vivendum consulatu. Te meis libris constituto pro, autem bonorum utroque duo ei, ius at debet atomorum. An munere assueverit ius. Id sea erant possit ceteros. Eu mea ignota iriure dolorem.

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  20. University of Chicago
    MERIT: 52
    Average Cost: $7,559

    Ne soleat suscipit appellantur usu, ex vim integre delectus, est habeo fabellas et. An iudicabit periculis adversarium mel, in nam minim debet petentium, vitae consul propriae ei qui. Ex sea malorum expetendis voluptatibus, te iusto soleat saperet eum, scripta invenire dissentias at pri. Ornatus corrumpit mea ei, sed ne brute iusto mandamus, eos cu dicant nonumy. Ferri disputationi cum te, id pri persius utroque.

    Putent ullamcorper delicatissimi eum ei. Tamquam consequat voluptatibus sit ut, quidam fastidii duo ea, eam ei aperiam vivendum consulatu. Te meis libris constituto pro, autem bonorum utroque duo ei, ius at debet atomorum. An munere assueverit ius. Id sea erant possit ceteros. Eu mea ignota iriure dolorem.

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