March 23rd, 2009 in Rankings
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As a Computer Science major you are looking for a school that not only teaches the fundamentals of programming and software theory but which also gives you, as a student, access to cutting edge research and technology. Plus, you want plenty of opportunities for hands on projects. The best computer science programs challenge their students to confront real problems with innovative and creative solutions that are based in logical algorithms. Many of the top schools also offer the chance to work across disciplines in relevant fields like psychology, neuroscience and other cognitive sciences. There are many solid computer science programs out there, but here are the best of the best. Also, don’t forget to check out options and classes that may be available for working towards your degree in Computer Science.
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science is home to about 30% of MIT students. The program is a leader in the development of new disciplines discovered through research by faculty and students. MIT’s award winning faculty members are dedicated to educating their students. The school offers two undergraduate degrees in computer science; an S.B. in Computer Science and Engineering and in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Masters and doctorate degrees are also offered in the two fields of study. MIT lab opportunities are vast and diverse. Students have the opportunity to select from an extensive list of lab projects to incorporate into their studies.
2. Stanford University
The Computer Science program at Stanford has a diverse curriculum. Students are taught the foundational elements of computer science necessary for a solid groundwork in the field. Additionally, Stanford offers research opportunities in the most cutting edge areas of the field including robotics and artificial intelligence. The University extends the computer science curriculum to include other related disciplines in order to provide a broad understanding of the field and its interdisciplinary implications. The program at Stanford offers 9 specialized tracks from which students can choose. Research projects are incorporated into the curriculum to provide hands on training in the field. Teaching and internship opportunities are also presented to computer science majors.
3. Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University’s Computer Science department is credited with pioneering many of the advanced technologies enjoyed today. The curriculum of the computer science program covers the breadth of the field with courses ranging from theory to design, to programming, and beyond. Students will have the opportunity to engage in research which will provide answers to problems not yet even thought of by the industry and explore revolutionary areas of technology. Students majoring in computer science can earn bachelor degrees in computer science, computational biology, computer science and arts or human-computer interaction and computer science. Minors are offered in language technologies, robotics, software engineering, and computer science. Masters and doctorate programs are also offered.
4. University of California-Berkeley
Earning a computer science degree in University of California Berkeley’s Electrical Engineering and Computer sciences department presents a unique opportunity for study in the field. The University is dedicated to expanding knowledge and technology to advance the understanding of the human body. The commitment of the University of California Berkeley to the discovery of new ideas and projects intended to solve problems and enhance existing theory has contributed to the progression of computer science as a discipline. Other disciplines have benefited from the astounding discoveries resulting from the groundbreaking research performed on the campus. Students are offered the opportunity to participate in and contribute to these projects while learning the basic ideology, theory, and practical application of the field and other interrelated disciplines.
5. Cornell University
Cornell University’s computer science programs can be found either in the college of arts and sciences or in the college of engineering. The program includes courses teaching traditional computer science courses such as algorithms, programming languages, scientific computing systems, theory. The curriculum also offers students the opportunity to explore artificial intelligence, computer graphics or vision, computational biology, databases and networks. The computer science degree programs are comprehensive programs which involve in-depth studies. Students can tailor their program to include interdisciplinary study or can elect to pursue computer science as a minor.
6. University of Texas-Austin
The University of Texas-Austin CS Department views the field of computer science as the industry which fuels discovery and innovation in almost every other field. The University believes research in computer science will advance technology to meet global societal needs. The University of Texas offers undergraduate degree and graduate degree programs in the computer science discipline. Undergraduate students can choose from the traditional bachelor program, the five year undergraduate masters program, or the challenging and rigorous Turing Scholars program. There are three separate curriculums offered in computer science. One is offered in the department of computer sciences in the college of natural sciences. Another is under the college of engineering in the department of electrical and computer engineering. And the third is through the school of business in the department of management science and information systems.
7. University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Computer Science Department has produced some of the most notable entrepreneurial leaders in the computer science industry. Students can pursue one of the three computer science undergraduate degree programs offered at the University; computer science, math and computer science or statistics and computer science. The school also offers a five year bachelor/master degree program and a software engineering certificate program. Students can choose computer science as a minor.
8. Princeton University
Princeton University’s computer science program offers instruction in the elemental aspects of the field including theory, systems, languages, programming languages, and computational science. In addition to the groundwork courses necessary to attain a basic understanding of the field, Princeton offers courses in advanced technological and peripheral subjects like security, computational biology, graphics and media. Students majoring in other disciplines can elect to simultaneously pursue a certificate in computer science.
9. California Institute of Technology
Caltech is one of the premier science and technology schools in the country and their computer science program is top notch.. Interestingly, the computer science major is relatively new to the California Institute of Technology. The program was instituted in 2004. The curriculum for the program is flexible. Students are provided with recommended study tracks to guide them, but are given broad latitude in developing a program to suit their personal career and educational goals. Students are required to complete a course of independent study. A graduate program is offered but only to students who intend to pursue a doctorate in the field of computer science. Caltech also offers an extensive range of research options in the various disciplines within the computer science field.
10. University of Washington
The University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering Department offers two bachelor degrees; computer science and computer engineering. The school also offers masters and doctoral degree programs and a part time masters program for working professionals. The school offers an award winning faculty and boasts award winning alumni as proof of the programs success. The Capstone Design Courses are a staple of the program. Students work together on projects designed by the students themselves in specific facets of computer design.
11. University of Wisconsin-Madison
The University of Wisconsin has one of the oldest computer science programs in the nation. The program has grown exponentially from its first inception as a computational science program to a program with diverse offerings in the various disciplines of which computer science is comprised. The program evolves based on advancements in the field and research performed by the University’s faculty members. Students can study and research artificial intelligence and computational biology, computer architecture, database systems, networks and security, operating systems and distributed systems, optimization and numerical analysis and many other related courses and projects. Students can pursue a bachelor science or arts degree in computer science. The University also offers a master and doctorate degree program in computer science.
12. Harvard University
Harvard University’s computer science program is an interdisciplinary investigation which links to various other majors in the University. Students are able to select from several specialized curriculums focuses on specific areas of investigative study. Computer science specialties include artificial intelligence and computational linguistics, electronic commerce, graphics, human-computer interaction, networking and systems, languages compilers and tools, or theory of computation. Advanced graduate degree programs are also offered at Harvard University.
13. Brown University
Brown University’s computer science program recognizes the broad reach of the field and endeavors to advance the field through an interdisciplinary curriculum. The program is devoted to cultivating professional and educational leaders in the constantly and rapidly evolving field of computer science. Students are taught foundational theory and applications as well as specialized and advanced courses. The research programs and opportunities offered include robotics and neuroscience as well as in-depth multidisciplinary investigations. Undergraduate students are presented with a range of opportunities including teaching, industrial partnership programs, research projects, and access to an esteemed lecture series presented by experts. The University also offers graduate programs in the computer science discipline.
14. Yale University
Yale University offers a computer science program which extends its reach into most other disciplines. The University has recognized the broad impact of the computer science field and the benefits of a collaborative education which investigates the impact of computer science on these disciplines. Yale has a limited number of required courses in the computer science discipline so as to allow students the flexibility of choosing from a range of courses geared towards their interests. The reasoning behind this practice is to allow students to pursue a second major along with the computer science program. Each student is required to complete an individual research project developed on their own known as the senior project.
15. University of California- Los Angeles
The University of California in Los Angeles’ computer science program endeavors to instill in their graduates strong communication skills, ethics, professionalism, and the ability to make meaningful contributions to the field. The computer science curriculum covers the extensive breadth of the field with a concentration on areas specific to the field. Students are taught computer systems architecture, networks, systems, languages, software, information and data management, artificial intelligence, theory, computational systems computer vision and graphics among others. Students are offered the opportunity to participate in a number of research projects. Graduate and doctorate degree programs are also offered.
16. University of Maryland – College Park
The University of Maryland at College Park’s computer science program provides a foundational education in the elemental courses of computer science. The faculty work closely with the students, even one on one for some projects, fostering a close relationship between the students and faculty. The University allows students to tailor the curriculum to suit the individual career and educational goals of the student. Students are required to select and complete 12 credit hours in a concentration in another related field. The requirement ensures students receive a comprehensive education which prepares them for entry into a professional field. Students can enter into the 5 year bachelor/master program or pursue the traditional bachelor. Graduate degree programs are also offered.
17. Rice University
Rice University’s computer science program is intended to serve global communities, educate students, and to discover new technologies through research. The University recognizes the broad reach of computer science and the impact of the discipline on a broad spectrum. From minor comforts to major social issues, computer science has evolved into a dynamic field. Small class sizes foster an environment of familiarity and mentorship. Students and faculty work closely with one another on research projects and in the classrooms. Rice University trains students to evaluate social and technical problems and solve complex issues through conceptualization and innovation. Students can earn a Bachelor of Arts or science in computer science with the B.S. degree requiring a more strenuous curriculum. And Computer science students also have the option of participating in any number of research projects.
18. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
The Electrical Engineering and Computer Science program presented at the University of Michigan offer undergraduate degrees in computer engineering, computer science and electrical engineering. The program curriculum includes classroom learning and laboratory experience. The University has a diverse selection of research projects available for undergraduate students to participate in and internship opportunities. Master and doctorate degrees are also offered. The program is consistently updated to include the most current advances and theories available in the field. Students are afforded the opportunity to pursue a number of specialties to increase their knowledge and skills in the computer science field.
19. University of Southern California
The University of Southern California, also known as USC, offers a diverse and comprehensive computer science program. The university is dedicated to advancing the number of qualified computer science professionals as well as offering a cutting edge program to train them. The school recognizes the broad reach of the computer science field and the impact the technologies have on advancing all other disciplines. The curriculum includes courses to teach the fundamental skills and theories of computer science as well as the most complex ideas and technologies. Students are encouraged to engage in research opportunities intended to solve current and future societal issues with technology. Undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs are offered.
20. Columbia University
The Columbia University computer science program balances the theoretical studies with the practical and experimental applications. The core of the computer science program at the University is research. Columbia offers students world renowned research centers at which to learn, thrive, and grow in the computer science filed. The focus of the curriculum is on developing an interdisciplinary understanding of the effect technology has on advancing and improving the available resources of all disciplines. The program provides graduates with a strong practical background in software, systems, networks, programming, robotics, design, modeling, applications, and every other applicable component of the computer science field. Students may pursue undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate degree programs. Also check out: – Clarkson University – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)