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Top Universities in the US for Computer Science in 2018

Top Universities in the US for Computer Science in 2018 main image

If you want to study computer science in the US, there are no shortage of options, with 93 US universities featured in the latest ranking of the world’s 500 top computer science schools.

Computer science is just one of 48 subjects to be featured in the recently released QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018, and six of the top 10 US universities listed below are also in the top 10 globally.

10. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Also one of the 10 most improved computer science schools in this year’s ranking, California Institute of Technology (Caltech) climbed five places to now rank joint 22nd in the world for computer science along with Japan’s University of Tokyo.

Caltech earns a very high score for citations per paper, one of the four indicators used to compile the ranking. Computer science is the institution’s most popular major and boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 3:1, promoting innovative, interdisciplinary collaborations.

9. Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)

Georgia Tech

Another of the most improved computer science schools in this year’s ranking, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) climbed from 28th to 21st for computer science in 2018. It receives its strongest scores for the two measures of research impact, citations per paper and H-Index citations.

Computer science students at Georgia Tech benefit from the extra training provided by the university’s Center for Machine Learning, an interdisciplinary research center which comprises a growing number of the university’s researchers from its different schools and colleges.

8. University of Washington

University of Washington

Ranked joint 18th in the world and eighth among the top universities in the US for computer science, the University of Washington achieves a very impressive score for citations per paper, and is known as one of the country’s premier research-intensive universities.

Its Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering was opened in 2003 and named after business magnate and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who donated $14 million for its construction. Computer science is now Washington’s most popular major, but also the most competitive, with only around a third of undergraduate applicants achieving a place. 

7. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)


University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is ranked 13th in the computer science ranking this year, again with very high scores for both research impact indicators. Computer science is part of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, and undergraduate students can choose between a bachelor’s degree in computer science, or computer science and engineering, with the latter aimed at those who want to gain a strong foundation in computer science, but also have a strong interest in computer system hardware.

6. Princeton University

Princeton University

Princeton University retains its position of eighth in the world for computer science, with a near perfect score for the citations per paper indicator. The university has been at the forefront of computer science since Alan Turing, Alonzo Church, and John von Neumann were among its residents. Today, its computer science program emphasizes independent work as a key aspect of the curriculum, with students doing at least one independent design or research project.

5. Harvard University


Ranked sixth among the world’s top computer science schools, Harvard University receives a perfect score for its reputation among employers. Computer scientists at the university perform ground-breaking research in computational theory, systems & networks, privacy & security, artificial intelligence, imaging, linguistics, and more. The department has announced plans to expand to new state-of-the-art facilities in Allston in 2020.

4. University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley (UCB) retains its position of fourth in the world for computer science and is also fourth among the top universities in the US for this subject. UCB’s Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences Department offers two highly selective undergraduate courses, including the EECS Bachelor of Science, which combines the fundamentals of computer science and electrical engineering in one major to offer students a hands-on, interdisciplinary and dynamic education.

3. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University

Ranked third among the top computer science schools in the US this year, Carnegie Mellon University, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, consistently achieves its strongest score in the QS World University Rankings by Subject for computer science and achieved a perfect score in the academic reputation category.

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon have been credited with developments in various aspects of computer science, such as computer networks, parallel processing, programming languages, robotics, software engineering, and the invention of the smiley face emoticon.

2. Stanford University

Ranked second among the top universities in both the US and the world for computer science, Stanford University achieves perfect scores for both measures of research impact (citations per paper and H-index citations).

Stanford’s computer science department benefits from its location in the heart of Silicon Valley, and alumni from the department have gone on to found or co-found big names such as Netflix, Mozilla Firefox, YouTube, Whatsapp and Google, and current faculty members include Turing Award winners.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Consistently ranked first in our computer science ranking (and also the world leader in the QS World University Rankings® for six consecutive years), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) achieves its strongest score this year for employer reputation.

Its Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science is the largest in the university, and like UCB, offers an EECS undergraduate program which combines both subjects into a major with a flexible curriculum and practical, intensive coursework, providing students with a holistic view of the field.

Other top universities in the US for computer science

There are dozens more top computer science schools in the US to choose from, with 10 more institutions ranked among the global top 50, including Columbia University (24th), Cornell University (25th), the University of Texas at Austin (27th) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (joint 28th).

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Written by Sabrina Collier
Sabrina is a content writer for, providing guidance on a wide range of topics. A graduate of Aberystwyth University, Sabrina is originally from the West Midlands but now lives in London. 

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Hallo sabrina, I wanna ask u, what is the top 10 universities for actuarial in US ? Thank you for your information

Hi Mikysari, we don't currently rank actuarial science, but you we do have subject rankings for the similar subjects of business and finance (simply narrow the results down by subject to show options in the US).  

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what is the best university for Civil Engineering?

Hi Sourav, you can view our latest subject ranking for civil engineering here. :)

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