Top Computer Science Schools in the US | Top Universities

Top Computer Science Schools in the US

By Keshala Jayawickrama

Updated October 27, 2023 Updated October 27, 2023

In the United States, there are 109 top computer science schools featured in the QS University Subject Rankings 2023, meaning that if you want to study computer science in the US, you have plenty of options. Of these 109, 28 are featured in the world top 100. 

The QS University Rankings by Subject are based on five indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, research citations per paper, international research network and the H-index (a way of measuring the productivity and published work of a scientist or scholar). You can find more details about the methodology behind the subject rankings here

Read on to find out more about the top 10 universities in the US to study computer science. Alternatively, see the full computer science schools ranking here.  

Top Computer Science Schools in the US 

Based on the QS University Rankings by Subject 2023 

US Ranking 

World University Ranking 

Institution 

Location 

1  

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 

Massachusetts 

Carnegie Mellon University 

Pittsburgh 

Stanford University 

California 

4  

University of California, Berkeley (UCB) 

California 

Harvard University 

Massachusetts 

13 

Princeton University 

New Jersey 

14 

University of Washington 

Washington 

17 

Cornell University 

New York 

18 

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) 

Los Angeles 

10 

23 

Columbia University 

New York 

10. Columbia University

Columbia University

According to the 2023 QS University Rankings by Subject, Columbia University in New York, established in 1754, ranks 10th in the United States and 23rd worldwide. This prestigious institution has nurtured a multitude of accomplished graduates, encompassing Oscar champions, Nobel Laureates, United States Presidents, and Supreme Court justices.  

The highest score achieved is for citations per paper, reflecting the significant contribution made through research.  

9. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

UCLA

Dropping three places to 18th this year is the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), earning its highest score for employer reputation. The university is known for being the birthplace of the internet and offers a computer science course that will enable students to ‘design, implement and use the software and hardware of digital computers and digital systems’. 

8. Cornell University

Cornell University

Cornell University has climbed two spots this year to be ranked eighth in the country and 17th globally for computer science and information systems. The university scores particularly well in the category of citations per paper; an indication of the high quality of the university’s academic research.  

Also located in New York, Cornell’s computer science programme has a high employment rate, with 99 percent of graduates employed or in further studies after six months.  

7. University of Washington

The University of Washington

Rising by two places this year to the 14th position globally and seventh in the US, the University of Washington offers several exceptional computer science programmes. The university has partnerships with companies like Microsoft as part of its Global Innovation Exchange project to develop innovation in teaching, learning and research.  

The university is also home to the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering – a US$72 million state-of-the-art, 85,000 square-foot facility. 

6. Princeton University

Princeton University

One of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the US, Princeton University was founded in 1746, and is renowned for its green campus, architectural splendour and strong research output. Climbing two places in this year’s world ranking for computer science, Princeton University ranks 11th worldwide and sixth in the US.  

Notable alumni include Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos and Google executive Eric Schmidt, as well as Alan Turing. 

5. Harvard University

Harvard University

The oldest higher education institution in the US, Harvard University earns a perfect score in employer reputation, with its graduates highly sought after by top graduate employers.   

Ranked eighth worldwide, the university also ranks fifth in the US for another consecutive year. Harvard's impressive alumni list boasts eight US presidents, numerous foreign leaders, 62 billionaires, 359 Rhodes Scholars, and 242 Marshall Scholars, making it a consistent top-ranking university globally. 

4. University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

The University of California, Berkeley (UCB), maintains its fourth place standing in both the global and US rankings for another year. As expected, UCB performs well across all four indicators, scoring a perfect score for research citations per paper and a near perfect score for H index indicators, reflecting the high quality of research output of the university. 

3. Stanford University

Stanford University

Stanford University performs exceptionally well once again this year, securing the third position in global and US rankings. The university earns a perfect score for H-index indicator and a near perfect score for research citations per paper.  

Situated in Northern California's Silicon Valley, the university is surrounded by the birthplace of tech giants like Yahoo, Google, and Hewlett-Packard.

2. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University is widely recognised as one of the best computer science programmes in the world, earning a perfect score for academic reputation in this year’s subject rankings.  

This year, the university ranks second both in the US and worldwide. Known for its innovative approach, Carnegie Mellon University works closely with students to create solutions for real world problems. 

1.Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Top in both the world and the US for computer science, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) earns excellent scores across all the indicators. Innovation is at the heart of MIT’s teaching, especially in its computer science course.  

MIT’s computer department strives to improve the stability and security of computers and communications networks, and continually make breakthroughs that enable people to communicate more easily and lead more interconnected lives. 

FAQs 

What is the difference between computer engineering and computer science? 

Computer engineering focuses on both hardware and software, combining computer science and electrical engineering, while computer science centres on software development, algorithms and theoretical aspects of computing. The choice between them depends on one's interests and career goals.  

Which country is number one in computer science? 

With half of the top 10 universities in the world for computer science and information systems hailing from the United States, it's safe to say that the US holds the top position as the leading country for computer science schools. 

Which school has the best computer science degree? 

As per the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023: Computer Science and Information Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is identified as the school with the best computer science degree.  

Which CSE has highest salary? 

As numerous factors affect post-graduation pay, it is difficult to identify a particular computer science and engineering (CSE) school or university that regularly gives the best salaries.  

The demand for computer science jobs in the market, location, the specialised sector of CSE, and an individual's talents and experience can all have a significant impact on salary. 

However, some of the top universities known for strong computer science and engineering programmes in the United States, like Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Carnegie Mellon University, often produce graduates who receive competitive job offers and salaries in the tech industry. 

This article was originally published in March 2020 . It was last updated in October 2023

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