25 Best Colleges for Computer Science 2020

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We ranked the top 25 schools by median salary one year after college for students who graduate with a bachelor's degree in computer science. The top ranked school is Brown University, with a median salary of $141,100 for CS alumni. The school with the lowest median debt for CS majors is Duke University, with a debt of $7,890. The range of median salaries for computer science majors at the top 25 schools is $85,300-$141,100.

Tuition, median salaries, and median debt were reported by the U.S. Department of Education. View our methodology for more details about these rankings or read more about the top-ranked schools.

Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Annual Tuition Median Debt Median Salary
#1 #1 Brown University $55,466 $12,871 $141,100
#2 #2 Carnegie Mellon University $55,465 $20,510 $138,900
#3 #3 Harvard University $50,420 Not Reported $128,900
#4 #4 Stanford University $51,354 $15,000 $126,400
#5 #5 Harvey Mudd College $56,620 $24,089 $124,500
#6 #6 $51,832 $12,292 $118,100
#7 #7 $55,188 $13,500 $116,300
#8 #8 $43,176 $13,389 $114,800
#9 #9 $55,584 Not Reported $109,200
#10 #10 $49,871 $24,979 $107,800
#11 #11 $55,453 $12,250 $100,500
#12 #12 $55,695 $7,890 $99,600
#13 #13 $49,816 $12,000 $97,800
#14 #14 $59,430 $15,000 $96,400
#15 #15 $53,399 $13,625 $96,200
#16 #16 $31,664 $19,500 $92,200
#17 #17 $36,588 $15,641 $92,000
#18 #18 $53,880 $26,000 $91,900
#19 #19 $55,450 $15,000 $91,000
#20 #20 $53,922 Not Reported $88,700
#21 #21 $54,568 $15,683 $88,500
#22 #22 $56,382 $16,000 $88,200
#23 #23 $50,530 $27,000 $88,000
#24 #24 $58,230 $17,492 $87,000
#25 #25 $42,345 $27,500 $85,300

2020 Best Colleges Highlights

Learn more about the top five colleges for a Bachelor's in Computer Science degree. You can also read student reviews of each school by clicking on the stars. Although student reviews were not used as a ranking factor in this list, we provide ratings and reviews so students can consider the experience of alumni in their decision-making process.

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Brown University offers both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science. Each has two tracks and there are a dozen concentrations, so the program is very flexible. The CS program is designed to combine the practical and theoretical basics with broad exposure to how computing is currently evolving. Students will also be able to acquire a depth of knowledge in specific subfields, based on their choices of concentration. The concentrations include Systems, Data, AI/ Machine Learning, Visual Computing, Architecture, Security, and Computational Biology.

The BS has a heavier mathematics and science content than the BA. Both degrees have a Standard Track and a Professional Track. In both, the Professional Track involves two 2 to 4 month full-time professional experiences. Students have the option of obtaining a master’s with an additional year’s enrollment. Courses in the degrees include Introduction to Algorithms and Data Structures, Real-Time and Embedded Software, and Software Security and Exploration.

Brown is located in Providence, Rhode Island.

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Through its School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University offers two undergraduate degrees in computer science: the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS), and the Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA). Both degrees have a solid core of computing and programming basics, with breadth built into the program by the requirement for a minor in another academic subject. The BSCS has a heavier component of math and technical skills. The basics of computer science are strongly emphasized, as are communication skills. Students will learn a variety of computing skills, particularly the ability to analyze and solve problems. They will also learn ethics, teamwork, and effective communication skills.

The BCSA is a joint degree with the CS program and the College of Fine Arts. Students combine the CS program with one of the Fine Arts programs: Architecture, Design, Art, Drama or Music. Among the courses in the program are Principles of Imperative Computation, Parallel and Sequential Data Structures and Algorithms, and Great Theoretical Ideas in Computer Science.

The school is located in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

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Harvard University features a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science (BASC). There is also an option for students admitted with advanced standing, the BA/SM option. A student in this option can graduate with both a BA and a master’s degree (not necessarily the same field) in four years. 

The computer science degree curriculum will ground students in the basics of theory and fundamentals of computing, as well as mathematics, statistics, and computing languages. The Harvard program also strongly emphasizes a breadth of experience. Students will learn computer science in the context of a liberal arts education. They will learn contemporary theory and how to solve problems that may emerge in the rapidly changing field. Study abroad is encouraged. Courses offered in the program include Multivariate Calculus, Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science, Stochastic Methods for Data Analysis Inference and Optimization, and Graph Theory and Combinatorics.

A unique element of the program is Harvard’s MBB (Mind, Brain and Behavior), a college-wide initiative. The BASC has an evolving track in MBB that uses a computer perspective on neuroscience and cognition.

Founded in 1636, Harvard is the nation’s oldest university.

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Through its School of Engineering, Stanford University offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. This degree program offers ten tracks, allowing a great deal of flexibility for students. The ten tracks are AI, Biocomputation, Computer Engineering, Graphics, Human-Computer Interactions, Information, Systems, Theory, Unspecialized, and Individually Designed. All tracks provide students with an education in the fundamentals of computer science and will help students become well-versed in the various computing disciplines. The program covers AI, complexity theory, systems architecture, analysis, and applications. 

The courses offered include Mathematical Foundations of Computing, Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Translational Bioinformatics, and Computer Systems from the Ground Up.  There are also two related interdisciplinary majors offered; the Symbolic Science degree merges computing with linguistics, philosophy, and psychology while the Mathematics and Computational Science degree combines math, computing, and science.

Stanford is located in Palo Alto, California.

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Harvey Mudd College offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science that has several options. It is one of the colleges in the Claremont College consortium.

The CS degree focus is giving students both depth in computing science basics and breadth of exposure to its uses. The program emphasizes communication skills and combining computer courses with a liberal arts curriculum. Students will learn analytical and problem-solving skills. Students may also major in Computer Engineering, which has a greater focus on the design of both hardware and software.

The college offers two additional and closely related interdisciplinary degrees. The Computer Science/Math program concerns the interface of computing and mathematics. The Computer Science/Math/Biology program covers the growing field of quantitative methods in biological science. These are offered in conjunction with the Math and Biology programs.

Among the available courses are Domain Specific Languages, Computer Systems Performance Analysis, Parallel and Real Time Computing, and Programming Languages. The Department encourages study abroad.

Harvey Mudd College is located in Claremont, California, in the Los Angeles metro region.

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