35 Best Bachelor's Degrees in Computer Science
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The decision to major in Computer Science is one any student can make to ensure employment and financial stability. In 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor found that Computer Programmers with a Bachelor's degree earned a median of $82,240, while Computer and Information Scientists who had a Master's degree had a median salary of $114,520. Those who pursue at least a baccalaureate degree in Computer Science will be well-prepared for either competitive professional salaries or graduate school, depending on their postgrad intentions.
All students in pursuit of at least a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Computer Science should expect to graduate with skills in a programming language, systems operations, those necessary to build technological tools, and many more. Because of the many facets of the discipline, graduates will also be well-versed in technological ethics and artificial intelligence. All programs serve to provide students with the methodologies and tools to solve problems in the discipline's professional world, as well as provide training in communication skills to accompany the work done with technology. These aspects of the degree make graduates competitive candidates for jobs. Majoring in Computer Science will guarantee long-term stability and a mind trained in both technological work and many types of marketable analysis.
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Top 35 Bachelor's Degrees in Computer Science
Duke University offers both a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, with many options for double-majors and related interdepartmental majors that include studies in CS. Many students participate in research opportunities at Duke, including 10-week summer internships, hands-on project courses, and independent study alongside faculty members. Undergraduate teaching assistantships are available, giving students both teaching experience and a chance to earn financial compensation while in school. Students in the BS program have options of concentrations in Software Systems or Data Science, while those in the BA pathway will not have room/credit opportunities for a concentration.
Harvard University's Computer Science undergraduate program is offered as a Bachelor of Arts degree (but note that they refer to it as an A.B., following the original Latin term for the degree). The curriculum for the degree includes courses in necessary software, basic math, theory, and technical electives related to the field. Four concentrations are offered in the major: the Basic Concentration, Honors Concentration, Joint Concentration, and the Mind, Brain, Behavior Concentration. Students have the option of studying abroad for a semester, in locations like Budapest. Clubs on campus that CS students may be interested in include Women in Computer Science, Harvard Computer Society, a Robotics Club, and more.
University of California - BerkeleyLocation
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program offered by University of California at Berkeley prepares those pursuing both professional careers and research careers, perhaps as professors after earning their Ph.D. Students will be well-prepped for both pathways, including possible admission to UC Berkeley's graduate programs in CS. The curriculum covers all aspects of Computer Science, including its theory of computation, design, and analysis of algorithms, programming languages, computer graphics, artificial intelligence, and more. All students should apply to the College of Letters & Sciences, and after completing major prerequisites, they can begin upper-division courses to complete the major in CS.
University of VirginiaLocation
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Virginia was designed to prepare students for competitive careers post-graduation. Graduates from the program have gone onto careers in information technology, health care, entertainment, scientific inquiry, transportation, business, and many other industries. The curriculum provides foundational and extensive knowledge in methodologies of CS, as well as describing, implementing, and analyzing information processes. Core courses include Theory of Computation, Computer Architecture, Operating Systems, Probability, and more. All students will also be required to take classes in science, technology & society, and humanities. A senior capstone project will be completed before graduation.
Georgia Institute of TechnologyLocation
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology was designed to prepare students for a wide array of careers, as they see CS as a fundamental skill for many industries. For those interested in pursuing graduate-level study, GIT offers a BS/MS program, where students can earn both the BS and Master of Science in Computer Science in just five years. The undergraduate program focuses more on CS courses in the junior and senior year, with the earlier prerequisites consisting of courses in English, humanities, social sciences, math, and natural sciences. Most students who applied to GIT had a GPA of 3.5 or higher, with average GPAs being reported at 3.9-4.02.
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignLocation
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign designed their BS in Computer Science program to provide a solid foundation in all aspects of the field, with core course topics in algorithms, ethical issues, communication in computing, systems programming, computer design, and many more. Electives include courses like Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence, Video Game Design and Development, and more. All students will also be required to take nine credit hours in math courses, and other classes like English and social sciences to fulfill general education requirements. Students will complete a Professional Development Seminar during their last term, but no senior project or thesis is required.
Stanford's Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program offers many different concentration tracks, which speaks to how interdisciplinary the discipline is. There's also an honors program available. Students who are drawn to Computer Science, as well as other liberal arts-inclined studies, may be interested in the Symbolic Systems major, which explores CS and its relationship with linguistics, philosophy, and psychology. There's also a Mathematical and Computational Sciences major available. The different options of study with focuses on Computer Science aside from the BSCS program emphasize how Stanford views the discourse as one that will serve a variety of different industries and studies, ensuring student professional success upon graduation. There are courses for those who wish to begin at the fundamentals of programming, those who are interested in fundamental ideas behind computer science, and more.
Texas A&M University - College StationLocation
College Station, TXTuition
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at Texas A&M University is a competitive program expecting its students to be dedicated. All students admitted to the university will first follow a curriculum their freshmen year that is identical for most engineering undergraduate programs. Upon finishing those prerequisites, they will apply for a major, listing at least three different majors that are a good match for their goals and academic ability. Once admitted to the CS program, students will take courses in science, mathematics, statistics, English, and computing. They will also be required to complete a 12-hour area of concentration in another related department.
University of Michigan-Ann ArborLocation
Ann Arbor, MITuition
The Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Science from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor offers a concentration in Computer Science, which focuses on computer systems, system programming, graphics and visualization, networks, and web technology. There's also an Information Systems concentration, which is similar but focuses more on databases, enterprise computing, and system analysis. The overlap in the two proves how interdisciplinary and expansive the fields are so that students will be prepared for a variety of different careers post-graduation. There's also a Game Design program. The expansiveness of UM's Computer Science-related programs guarantees that graduates will be prepared for immediate employment after graduation.
Purdue University-Main CampusLocation
West Lafayette, INTuition
Purdue University's Bachelor of Science in Computer Science has been consistently ranked as one of the top degrees in the country. Students should expect to become experts on graphics and animation, robotics, web programming, competitive programming, cryptography and security, and more, depending on what area they hope to focus on. Those admitted to Purdue and then pursue the CS program will take six core courses, and then select one or more tracks to focus on a specific areass of CS. These tracks include Computer Graphics and Visualization, Machine Intelligence, Security, Software Engineering, and six more listed on the program's website. Faculty in the department have led world-renowned research in the field.
University of Minnesota-Twin CitiesLocation
University of Minnesota's Computer Science major is offered as either a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree. All students will become well-versed in the software, hardware, and theoretical aspects of computing devices. They recognize programming as an essential part of CS but want to emphasize that the course requirements in their program cover all aspects of the field. Applicants to the program will officially enter the CS major once completing lower division courses, typically by the end of their sophomore year. Students will apply to either the College of Liberal Arts or College of Science and Engineering, depending on whether they're in pursuit of a BA or BS.
The University of Texas at DallasLocation
The University of Texas at Dallas designed their Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program to prepare students for a variety of different careers, including work with robotics, computer vision, and digital forensics. Students who apply to the program are expected to have strong high school preparation, having taken courses in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, physics, and chemistry. The CS Department at UT Dallas is massive in comparison to others in the country, with over 2,800 students enrolled and a 150,000 square-foot building. Core topics in the major include programming methodologies, analysis of algorithms, data structures, and operating systems.
University of Wisconsin-MadisonLocation
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin is designed with an understanding of Computer Science's interconnectedness with other disciplines so that graduates will be well-prepared for careers in both the directly related field as well as business, medicine, software engineering, and others. Students who are accepted to UW-Madison and wish to pursue the CS major must complete at least one COMP SCI course with a C or better grade to be formally admitted into the major. The General Education at UW includes courses on Quantitative Reasoning, Ethnic Studies, and the humanities and natural sciences.
Iowa State UniversityLocation
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Iowa State University is designed for both students looking for careers after graduation, and those pursuing postgraduate studies. There are no online course options for those in the major, and students are expected to enroll full-time. Students will take courses in calculus, arts, and humanities, and world languages and English to suffice university requirements. The major courses include topics like operating systems, programming languages, philosophy of technology, and theory of computing. All students will complete a senior project before graduation. The department also hosts a Computer Science Learning Community, ensuring students a cohort of focused peers that can join in on studying and discussion of long-term goals.
University of IowaLocation
Iowa City, IATuition
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program at the University of Iowa covers all aspects of the field, including the mathematical, logical, statistical, and theoretical foundations of computing. Upon graduation, students will have the skills to identify and understand social, professional, and ethical issues in the field, as well as the skills to apply CS principles to different problems. Graduates from the program have gone onto careers in software development and information management or graduate studies in related disciplines. All students in the program will begin as Bachelor of Arts students, but will likely switch to the BS at any time. It's not uncommon for students in the BSCS program to pursue a second major, as this is encouraged by the department.
Arizona State University-TempeLocation
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Arizona State University is offered from their School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering. Because the degree is housed amongst a wide array of related discourses, students have the option of focus areas in software engineering or cybersecurity. All students must take courses in calculus, writing and composition, engineering, and sociology and global awareness for university requirements. The rest of their time at ASU will consist of CS courses in programming languages, computer organization, computing ethics, probability and statistics, and more. All students will also complete a Computer Science Capstone Project.
Lehigh University offers both a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Art in Computer Science degree. The BA is designed for those students who wish to focus on Computer Science but would like an active liberal arts program in accompaniment. Both programs amount to a minimum of 120 credits with course topics on algorithms, structured programming, data structures, programming languages, and software engineering. Faculty in the Computer Science and Engineering department have dedicated research technology and society, structural bioinformatics, cyber-physical systems, and many more, all listed on their website. The university is home to many research groups on campus as well.
University of ArizonaLocation
The University of Arizona offers both a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science. All students will be admitted as a Pre-Computer Science major and then formally apply to the major after completing the required 100 and 200 level courses. The BA will have stricter requirements on science courses taken, whereas the BS in Computer Science path will more easily fulfill general undergraduate requirements. UA guarantees its students that both directions of study will be excellent preparation for postgraduate careers and studies, explaining that the choice between BA and BS is useful for students who are interested in other discourses that may only offer a BA, like English.
University of HoustonLocation
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program offered by the University of Houston was designed to prepare students for all kinds of industries that utilize computer science, like banking or oil industries, consulting firms, and software companies. For those interested in pursuing graduate study after their BS, UH offers an Accelerated BS/MS program, consisting of dual-credit courses that apply to both the BS and MS. Courses for the undergraduate major include Software Design, Automata and Computability, Algorithms and Complexities, and Design of File and Database Systems. Those courses will make up credits for the minimum 42 required of the major, while elective credits can include topics like Web Security and Numerical Methods.
George Mason UniversityLocation
George Mason University's Bachelor of Science in Computer science is a 120-credit program, which includes both the university core requirements, major requirements, and electives. Graduates from the program will be prepared for both professional careers and graduate-level study, with knowledge on the foundations, methodologies, and applications of computer science. The program consists of Computer Science courses focused on programming, CS methods and models, the ethics and law of computer science, and more. Students will also complete courses in math and natural science. The Computer Science department at GMU offers an honors program for undergraduate students as well as an accelerated master's program.
University of Nebraska - LincolnLocation
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Nebraska prepares students with the skills necessary to build technological tools, write software, create applications, and more. The program offers focus areas in Artificial Intelligence, Foundations, Informatics, and Networking & High-End Computing. All students in the major will be able to earn a minor in Mathematics just by taking one additional course alongside the required courses. Graduates from the program have an average starting salary of $60,000, with 100% of graduates who pursued careers found full-time jobs. Students will have access to collaboration with a dedicated cohort of peers through student organizations such as the Society of Women Engineers.
Indiana University - BloomingtonLocation
Indiana University's Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program prepares students for competitive pay careers upon completion, with graduates receiving employment with Amazon and GM and starting salaries of $72,600. The CS program offers seven specialization options: Artificial Intelligence, Data science, Foundations, Programming languages, Security, Software engineering, and Systems. The department has dedicated its resources to a variety of research opportunities. Research at IU often receive grants and national recognition, with areas in algorithms and theoretical computer science, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and security and privacy. All students must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA to complete the program. Course topics cover a wide array of topics in the field, with many focused on different types of programming.
Carnegie Mellon UniversityLocation
Carnegie Mellon University's Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program is designed interdisciplinarily, requiring its students to complete a minor in another subject. This provides the opportunity for studies in related topics in other discourse like science and humanities. Many students in the program work part-time or summer jobs to pursue research projects in the field. For those who hope to go onto graduate-level studies and research, there are intensive research courses available in the program. The average GPA for admitted students in 2018 was 3.96. 89% of students who completed the program in 2017 were employed upon graduation, and 7% went onto graduate school.
Michigan Technological UniversityLocation
Michigan Technological University's Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program focuses on all aspects of the discourse, including theory, experimentation, and engineering design. There are four available concentration areas: Computer Science, Computer Systems, Applications, and Game Development. The Computer Science concentration is the most flexible, as it covers all tracks of the discipline in preparation for graduate school or careers in computing, science, or engineering. The Applications concentration is good for those students who wish to tie Computer Science to other related discourses. Applications teach students how to successfully use computer science expertise in the analysis of other disciplines' issues, such as business, health care, or the humanities.
University at Buffalo - SUNYLocation
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from SUNY at Buffalo prepares students for professional work as Computer Scientists and graduate study. Students of UB are encouraged by the university to work alongside faculty to gain research experience and potentially receive internship opportunities. The faculty of the program is well-recognized for the variety of research topics they're engaged in, such as algorithms and theory, security and information assurance, high performance and grid computing, data mining, and more. Students will graduate with skills in programming language, operating systems, designing, abstract and formal reasoning, and selling and marketing concepts. 95%-100% of students who graduate from the program go onto careers after graduation and 10-20 percent of students pursue a graduate study.
University of Southern CaliforniaLocation
Los Angeles, CATuition
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program at the University of Southern California prepares its graduates for computational and analytical approaches of computer science in the professional workforce. Students are trained in mathematical foundations, algorithmic principles, the theory of the discourse, and construction of software systems. Course topics cover an array of fields given the interdisciplinary nature of computer science. All students will complete 42 units in Computer Science for the major, seven in Composition/Writing, 24 in General Educations, and 30 in Pre-Major Requirements, which cover Mathematics and Basic Science. USC also offers an MS and Ph.D. program in Computer Science, so undergraduate students will be well-prepared to continue higher education or go onto professional careers.
University of PittsburghLocation
The University of Pittsburgh designed their Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program for students is a 40-credit program that focuses on programming, systems, and discrete mathematics and theory. To graduate from UP with an MSCS, students are asked to maintain all C's in all their courses. All students must also complete either Directed Research, an internship, a Capstone Project, or two co-op rotations to graduate. Students who pursue the co-op option are paid competitive salaries during their time in the co-op. There are options to complete the program with honors, achieve a concentration in the field, or work towards a second major in another area. It's not uncommon for undergraduate students to take graduate-level courses and receive credit for them.
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis ObispoLocation
San Luis Obispo, CATuition
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from California Polytechnic State University prepares students to work on complex computing systems, communicate professionally and effectively, and design and implement solutions to problems one may encounter in the field. All students in the program will complete required courses, as well as core university curriculum in courses in Writing and US Cultural Pluralism. The CS program courses include topics like Systems Programming, Operating Systems, Professional Responsibilities, and Project-Based Object-Oriented Programming and Design. Elective options cover an even more extensive array of related topics including Software Security, Artificial Intelligence, and Bioinformatics Algorithms. There is a concentration in Interactive Entertainment available.
University of Massachusetts at AmherstLocation
The Bachelor's in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst is offered as, either, a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree. The Bachelor of Science program will consist of more CS courses, while the BA gives students the ability to take classes in a foreign language and other liberal arts courses. Both programs require students to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA to graduate. Admission to the program is competitive, with most students having an average GPA of 3.9, and an SAT score of 1355. Students who graduate from the program have gone onto careers with Google, TripAdvisor, EMC, Cisco Systems, and Boeing.
Stevens Institute of TechnologyLocation
The Computer Science program at Stevens Institute of Technology is offered to students as a Bachelor of Science degree, with requirements in science courses, laboratory, humanities, and physical education. The first two years of the MSCS consist of core courses taken in a specific order, while junior and senior year gives students flexibility in their electives. The department at Stevens is regarded highly for its involvement with world-class research in computer security, machine learning, and data mining. Undergraduate students are encouraged to pursue engagement with these projects in accompaniment with mentorship from faculty members. Upon graduation, students will be ready for careers in Graphic Design, Artificial Intelligence, Web Programming, and Software Design.
New Haven, CTTuition
Yale University offers students either a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science, as well as a program that enables students to earn both their Bachelor's and Master's degree. All programs are centered on five core courses in Computer Science. The courses cover topics like mathematics, data structures, systems programming and architecture, and algorithms. All students will complete a Capstone senior project, where they will conduct original research projects with the support of a faculty member. Aside from the Capstone project, there are also research opportunities through the university during the school year and summer.
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Rice University prepares students with foundational knowledge in algorithms, analytics, complex software systems, programming languages, and more. The program is a minimum of 128 credits, consisting of 84 for the major. The program is designed for students who plan on entering the workforce upon graduation. The core curriculum in the program includes courses in Math, Statistics, and Physics. The Computer Science courses cover topics like Software Engineering Methodology, Program Construction, Parallel Programming, and Program Design. All students will complete a Capstone their senior year. There is a five-year option for students wishing to receive both their BS in Computer Science and a Master's degree.
University of PennsylvaniaLocation
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania prepares students for careers in a variety of different areas related to the discourse, such as computer and network service companies, financial institutions, health industries, and medical research labs. Students will graduate having earned an education in the foundations of computer science, as well as knowledge in the connections between computer science and other related disciplines. Course topics include Algorithms, Programming Languages and Techniques, Calculus, and the Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science. Students will also complete two courses in the Natural Sciences. Concentrations are available for students who receive departmental approval.
Northeastern's Computer Science programs allow for completion of either a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts. The BA program will consist of a similar core curriculum, but not as strict requirements in Computer Science to make room for courses in foreign language and electives. The program is meant to be completed in four years with two co-op opportunities during the summer. The co-op program gives students up to 18 months of experience in both the industry or academia. Students who complete the program will have schedules alternated between academic study and paid employment in their prospective field.
The University of Texas at AustinLocation
The University of Texas at Austin designed their Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program to prepare students for competitive careers upon graduation, or those hoping to further their education in the field. There's an Integrated Program offered to those interested in postgraduate study, enabling students to earn both the BS and MS in Computer Science simultaneously. All students will complete the university's core curriculum in addition to the major requirements, which includes courses in Computer Science focused on theory, programming, and systems. There are also honors options available in the program. Students will be awarded the degree only if graduating with a 3.0 GPA in the program.
Methodology: Here's How We Rank Schools
|Academic Quality||Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates||25%|
|Affordability||Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid||35%|
|Reputation||Admission and enrollment rates||15%|
|Program Offerings||Number of program options||10%|
|Online Enrollment Score||Portion of learners taking at least one online course||15%|
Best Value Schools publishes college degree rankings with the belief of how one's higher education should be, both, affordable and an investment of continued value for the students who pursue them. The staff of BVS collects data from reputable sources in order to calculate Net Price and the short and long-term value of every ranked degree. Collected data is simplified into weighted categories before scoring and then scaled through a BVS Score up to 100. The weighted categories are:
- Degree Investment Return (25%)
- Student & Alumni Evaluation (25%)
- Cost Value (25%)
- Matriculation (10%)
- Academic Success (15%)
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