Computer science (CS) in the field of study of computers and its many applications. The field includes computer systems and networks, information technology (IT), software engineering, and artificial intelligence (AI) among others. It is a rapidly growing field where the pay is competitive, and the work is rewarding. If you want to have a future in this field, then it is best to get a degree from this list of the top-ranked universities in computer science:
Top Computer Science Schools
1. Stanford University
- Department: Computer Science Department
- Degrees offered: Undergraduate, Masters, PhD
A consistent topnotcher in any university ranking, Stanford University is a private research university and is a top computer science shool very well-known around the globe. Contributing to Stanford’s prestige is its Silicon Valley-based Computer Science (CS) Department which is ranked as one of the world’s best. The department focuses on cutting-edge basic research in many areas including robotics, systems, and AI, but also involves interdisciplinary and applied research, like genetics and construction.
Its undergraduate program allows students to do a variety of CS-related things. You can major or minor in CS, teach, do research, or even just take some courses. As a Master’s CS student, you must pick one specialization out of the nine the department has, e.g. AI, computer and network security, and software theory. Ph.D. students are taught core CS subjects to make sure they have adequate knowledge in those and are given the opportunity to do lab rotations before choosing a specific research group to be in.
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- Department: Schwarzman College of Computing
- Degrees offered: Undergraduate, PhD
MIT, being at the cutting edge of technological research and innovation, is one of the world’s most prominent and distinguished universities for computer science. With the student body populated mostly by computing majors, it only makes sense that its Schwarzman College of Computing provides the excellent and rigorous hands-on education that defines MIT.
Undergraduate degrees are offered by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), a joint venture between the Schwarzman College of Computing and MIT’s School of Engineering. Majors can be EECS-focused or blended which involves other fields like molecular biology. MS and PhD students may work under five institutes: the EECS, Center for Computational Science and Engineering, the Institute of Data, Systems, and Society, and the Operations Research Center.
3. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)
- Department: School of Computer Science (SCS)
- Degrees offered: Undergraduate, MS, PhD
Carnegie Mellon University is a global research university that is the result of the coming together of the two institutes of Carnegie and Mellon. While it is also a leader in the arts, CMU is most well-known for its science and technology programs. The SCS is a pioneer in the field of CS with its extremely advanced research across 7 different departments, including institutes that focus on robotics and machine learning.
SCS is a leading computer science school across the globe that offers bachelor’s degrees in many CS-focused and interdisciplinary fields, such as AI, computational biology, CS, and human-computer interaction, CS & the Arts and Music & Technology. They also offer additional majors and minors. For MS degrees, students can choose among several specializations across the 7 departments. Based on their interest, Ph.D. students are matched to advisors and may delve into research from day one with a flexibility that allows them to work with many institute members.
4. University of Oxford
- Department: Department of Computer Science
- Degrees offered: Undergraduate, MS, PhD
Famous for its world-class facilities and excellent research, the University of Oxford is one of the most distinguished universities for computer science in the world. Its Department of Computer Science prides itself as one of the earliest CS departments in the country and undertakes research in a number of fields including core CS, quantum computing, and computational linguistics. The meticulous theory is merged with practical application in this department.
The department offers undergraduate degrees in CS, Mathematics and CS, and CS and Philosophy. Students are taught using a combination of reading assignments, lectures, small classes, tutorials, and lab sessions. There are also 6 graduate courses which include 2 full-time MSc, 2 part-time MSc, and 2 full-time Ph.D. courses. One of the Ph.D. courses in the Oxford 1+1 program wherein committed students can combine a Ph.D. in CS with an Oxford MBA.
5. National University of Singapore (NUS)
- Department: NUS School of Computing
- Degrees offered: Undergraduate, MS, PhD
As Singapore’s flagship university, NUS is a global university that is one of the best in Asia and one of the leading universities for computer science around the world. With it being in service of its country and the bigger society, NUS’ particular focus on talent creates a university that is dedicated to high-quality education, top-tier innovation, and radical enterprise. Its School of Computing, the first of its kind in Singapore, houses multiple research centers and boasts of internationally renowned researchers and educators.
Undergraduate students can take degrees in CS, Information Systems, Computer Engineering, Business Analytics, and Information Security among others. Minors and double majors in math and statistics are also offered. Master’s students can specialize in CS, AI, Information Systems, and Infocomm Security, or take an MS in Digital FinTech and Business Analytics. They may continue their research through the joint MSc-PhD program. Finally, research PhD programs are offered in CS and Information Systems.
6. University of Cambridge
- Department: Department of Computer Science and Technology
- Degrees offered: Undergraduate, MEng, MPhil, PhD
A prestigious university is known by most, the University of Cambridge boasts of an illustrious history and impressive educational and research capacity. The Department of Computer Science and Technology offers world-class computer science programs and prides itself on its collaborative and transformative nature of approaching research and education. It has 10 different research themes, and many projects involve more than one theme, fostering the spirit of cooperation and teamwork within the institute.
The undergraduate course, the Computer Science Tripos, culminates in students earning a BA honors degree, but stellar students can choose to stay an extra year to graduate with a Masters of Engineering degree as well. The one-year MPhil in Advanced Computer Science involves both theory and practice to prepare its students for higher study in CS, and the three-year PhD focuses on individual research and allows the student to practice research skills and attend conferences.
7. University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
- Department: Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
- Degrees offered: Undergraduate, MEng, MS, PhD
The pioneering campus of the whole UC system, UC Berkeley (UCB) is known for its talented students and esteemed faculty members. Its reputable Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) Department has one of the strongest and most comprehensive programs in the field of CS and is built on projects that are cross-disciplinary and collaborative. Research in the department has a wide scope and is subdivided into 20 research areas, including AI, Energy, and Micro/Nano Electro Mechanical Systems.
Undergraduates may choose between 2 degrees – BS EECS and BA CS. The former integrates the CS fundamentals with that of electrical engineering, while the latter focuses on computer theory, design, applications, and information processing. Graduate programs are divided into 2 categories – industry-oriented (Master of Engineering; Joint BS/MS Program) for those who pursuing industry-related careers, and research-oriented (MS; PhD; MS/PhD) for those pursuing careers in R&D and academia.
Of course, it ultimately depends on the student’s interest and specialization in which CS program is the best fit for them. Earning a degree from accredited universities not on the list will still give you a good chance for employment in the CS field of your choice. However, graduates from these prestigious universities are more likely to have an easier time looking for work and a higher-paying job, so why not try these out?
I hope this article on the best computer science schools in the world was informative and insightful. Make sure to also check out the Available Computer Science Programs for International Students!