10 of the Most Improved Computer Science Schools in 2018 | Top Universities

10 of the Most Improved Computer Science Schools in 2018

By Sabrina Collier

Updated March 4, 2021 Updated March 4, 2021

If you’re thinking of studying computer science, the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018 can help, featuring a ranking of the 500 top computer science schools in the world, based on a methodology which assesses research impact, employer and academic reputations and more.

With many universities greatly improving their ranking position this year, we thought we’d give you an overview of some of the most improved computer science schools, focusing in particular on the top 50. If you’d like to view the full computer science ranking, you can do so here.

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)


Up four places to now rank 16th in the world for computer science, Nanyang University of Technology (NTU) achieves a very high score for citations per paper, a measure of an institution’s research impact.

NTU was the first university in Singapore to offer a computer science program and is the only school in the country which trains students in computer science and computer engineering fundamentals. It also boasts a very high graduate employment rate, with 90 percent of students finding work before graduation.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)


Also improving in this year’s computer science ranking is The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), up from 19th to joint 14th. At undergraduate level, HKUST offers BEng and BSc programs in Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Risk Management and Business Intelligence (RMBI), as well as a dual degree program in Computer Science with General Business Management, the first of its kind in Hong Kong. This gives students the chance to gain two internationally recognized degrees in five years.

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

The next of the most improved top computer science schools is California Institute of Technology (Caltech), which is up from 27th to joint 22nd this year. Computer science is the most popular major at Caltech and students gain a thorough understanding of the mathematical and algorithmic foundations of computer science. Many Caltech alumni have had a significant impact on computing, for example Hotmail.com founder Sabeer Bhatia, John McCarthy, who was one of the founders of the discipline of artificial intelligence, and Intel co-founder Gordon Moore.

Columbia University

Columbia University

Also up five places this year is the New York City-based Columbia University, now ranked 25th in the world for computer science. Its large Department of Computer Science, within the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, offers research tracks in artificial intelligence, natural language processing, computational complexity, computer communications, computer architecture, computer graphics, programming environments and more.

Among the degrees available is a dual M.S program in Journalism and Computer Science.

UCL (University College London)

The only UK institution in this list of most improved top computer science schools, UCL (University College London) is up from 37th to 32nd in the world for computer science this year. Studying here means you’ll benefit from the university’s excellent purpose-built laboratory and experiment facilities, having world class researchers as their lecturers, and the close connections with industry due to the university’s ideal location in central London.

You can also get involved with the UCL Technology Society (TechSoc), one of the largest technology societies in the UK.

Politecnico di Milano

Politecnico di Milano

Italy’s strongest representative in the computer science ranking, Politecnico di Milano has climbed five places to rank 44th in the world for the subject this year. Although its Corso di Laurea (bachelor’s) degrees are taught in Italian, the university offers its Laurea Magistrale (MSc) in Computer Science and Engineering in English, which aims to give students a familiarity with more complex multidisciplinary problems.

The course also offers many specializations, covering the full spectrum of computer science applications.

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Next in our look at the most improved top computer science schools is Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), which is up six places to rank joint 18th this year, only nine spots behind fellow Swiss institution ETH Zurich.

EPFL’s Bachelor in Computer Science is available in English and begins with a preparatory year in which students take courses in Communication Systems and Computer Science to then choose between these specialties at the end of the year. The department is active in providing internship opportunities, helping students prepare for global careers.

Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)

Georgia Tech

One of three universities in the top 50 to climb seven places in this year’s computer science ranking, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) is now ranked 21st in the world for the subject.

Georgia Tech offers a broad choice of programs, particularly at master’s level, with Master of Science programs available in computer science, human-computer interaction, bioengineering, computational science and engineering, cybersecurity and analytics – some of which are also available online. The College of Computing boasts the highest job placement rate of any major at the university, with a median starting salary of $93,000 (among Spring 2016 graduates).

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)

Also up seven places this year is the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), now ranked joint 28th along with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the US. CUHK’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering was the first computer science department founded in Hong Kong (in 1968), and over the years has graduated many notable figures in organizations such as HSBC, Intel, Microsoft, IBM and Google.

Its BSc in Computer Science program is accredited by the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE), and there’s also an option to study a dual degree in Computer Science and Integrated Business Administration. 

The University of Sydney

University of Sydney

Australia’s University of Sydney is the final university in our look at the most improved computer science schools in 2018, climbing seven spots from 43rd to 36th. The majority of Sydney’s School of Information Technologies’ undergraduate and postgraduate degrees are accredited by the Australian Computer Society (ACS), with a strong background in research-led teaching which provides you with the skills and knowledge required to revolutionize information technology and create new solutions to challenges in IT.

Other highly improved computer science schools

Outside the top 50, other institutions which have greatly improved their position in this year’s computer science ranking include Ireland’s Trinity College Dublin (up from 201-250 to 51-100), the UK’s University of Glasgow (up from 101-150 to 51-100), Mexico’s Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM, up from 201-250 to 101-150), and Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM, up from 201-250 to 151-200).

And the overall 10 top computer science schools this year are…

Top 10 Computer Science Schools in the World

Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018


Name of Institution



Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

United States


Stanford University



Carnegie Mellon University



University of California, Berkeley (UCB)



University of Cambridge

United Kingdom


Harvard University



University of Oxford



Princeton University



ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)



National University of Singapore (NUS)



University of Toronto


See the full computer science ranking >


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This article was originally published in February 2018 . It was last updated in March 2021

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Written by

The former Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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