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Best Ivy League For Computer Science

Last Updated on February 8, 2023 by Omoyeni Adeniyi

Are you interested in pursuing a postgraduate degree abroad? Would you like more information about best ivy league for computer science? We will provide you all the details you need about best ivy league for computer science.

Read about best universities for computer science, best undergraduate computer science schools, ivy ranking for computer science, best ivy league for computer engineering, and yale computer science ranking. Further related articles can also be found on CollegeLearners.

best ivy league colleges for computer science

All of these schools have great computer science degrees based on my friend’s opinions. Among all of them, I think that the best one is a tie breaker between Harvard and Columbia. For schedule flexibility, Brown is the most lenient, while UPenn and Cornell are arguably some of the physically largest universities in the “League.” Both Yale and Princeton have much smaller, tight knit communities, being a little bit isolated from “larger, big cities.”

Columbia University

Columbia is nestled in the heart of NYC, and has that pulse of Manhattan, with both the ups and the downs that come with big city life.

I’ve only taken courses or studied at two of these — Columbia and Harvard. Both of these schools have highly structured computer science programs, and I’ve worked with some extremely bright, sharp, and hard working undergraduates, grad students, and faculty from these two universities.

Over time, I’ve observed that specific CS classes at both Columbia and Harvard possess such a powerful following that they create communities complete with their own internal norms and cultures.

A top class at Harvard is CS50, taught by the charismatic David Malan. Last I checked, CS50 gives students a taste of C, Python, Javascript with CSS and HTML, and SQL. In terms of customizing your CS education at Harvard, it’s very flexible with the option to explore a unique“Mind Brain and Behavior track,” along with exploring joint concentrations.

At Columbia, the CS program is strongly integrated with other divisions and schools. There are somewhere around 7 different specializations, that range from “intelligent systems” to “robotics.” One standout class at Columbia which I’ve noticed gives undergraduates a nice advantage after they finish their studies is their exposure to C and C++. Professor “J” used to teach this class and as a mandatory requirement, I recall many of my undergrad friends and students telling me this class was brutal. However, years later, in the work-force, their exposure to C, C++, and UNIX shell scripting served them well.

So, if you’re looking for a computer science degree, consider that while all of the Ivy League schools can give you a solid and reliable CS education; the top options are Harvard and Columbia.

And now let’s talk about schools that are not Ivy League but offer a world class education in computer science in the US.


Stanford is nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley, and offers ample industry-academic opportunity. They do a lot of innovative research in Theory, Human Computer Interaction, and artificial intelligence. They currently have 17 Nobel Laureates teaching on campus.I used to work out of the basement in the Huang Engineering and Science Center ( named after CEO Jensen Huang of NVIDIA), and I will tell you — the hustle spirit at Stanford is STRONG.

I’ve seen students work late into the night in the basement here, with groups of about 8–15 students huddled around massive tables and TA’s tirelessly answering all their questions. When I imagine the CS spirit of collaboration, I always imagine the teamwork exhibited bystanders Stanford students. From friends who went to MIT with me and went on to Stanford for their Master’s, a key element that stood out was the observed happiness level.

Some people might attribute this to the fact that with most Stanford CS courses ( and this is definitely not all, there are some difficult classes), somewhere between 30–50% of students can get an A. This was a huge shock for one of my friends who also went to MIT with me, because the curve was definitely not that generous. Not that grades are a super accurate indicator of being an excellent engineer ( they really aren’t), but the pressure of not having to freak out about having an excellent GPA must be a relief and welcome alternative from other, less forgiving institutions.


And now let’s discuss Berkeley. Relative to the other schools mentioned, Berkeley is among the top public schools and a more affordable option. If you’re from California and budget conscious, then Berkeley is a great alternative.

I personally worked with Blockchain at Berkeley and have several friends studying there in Computer Science and Robotics. Known to be pressure cooker, competition for space in class is fierce, but this comes with the territory of most public universities.

I recall that CS 61A with Denero transformed the lives of several people in my friend group, laying a solid foundation for people who had never programmed or written software before they turned 18 or started college. Likewise, CS 61B, Data Structures would be among the most critical course to prepare you for the technical part of a software engineering interview. So if you’re not afraid of large classes, you’re competitive, and you’re short on money, then Berkeley is an excellent choice.

The California Institute of Technology

Many people would argue that Caltech is among the toughest schools on the West Coast. It’s one of the smallest universities in the USA, with a population of roughly 200 students per class. They also usually are considered our rivals at MIT. Their core curriculum is aggressive — all students are required to study quantum mechanics.

The Center for Autonomous Systems is a new initiative launched at Caltech, with some incredible faculty dedicated to developing Robotic Explorers, Guardians, Transformers, and Transporters. Sound sci-fi? You bet! I’m pretty confident when I say that what we think of science fiction today will become tomorrow’s scientific reality due to the amazing work at Caltech. If you want to have a challenge, have the opportunity for ample one-on-one mentorship and communication with faculty, and want to be half an hour away from La-La Land, then check out Caltech.

Carnegie Mellon University

The last on this list Carnegie Mellon. Now, this school is particularly fascinating because it is both among the Top in Computer Science and the top in Drama. The students from this school are committed, passionate, and they are no stranger to challenge. Some of my colleagues and friends from here have went on to become incredible tech leads, directors, and IP lawyers who happened to build an Intel Pentium chip or two along the way. Among the schools in this category, CMU has one of the highest acceptance rates, at around 17% in 2019.

And now, from my own perspective colored by the Institute itself, I would argue that the best university for CS is….

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

1056 professors. 90 Nobel laureates. 59 National Medal of Science winners. 75 MacArthur Fellows. 15 A.M. Turing Award winners.

MIT is one of the hardest schools to attend at in the United States. Most students at MIT study late into the night, and we abide by the philosophy of work hard, play hard.

MIT’s CS program, what we call “Course 6” was and probably still is, among the top 3 most popular and most common majors. Since you’re studying with some of the other brightest minds around the world, the experience quickly humbles you.

There’s a wide range of experience that people come into Course 6 with. When I sat in on some classes, I would have an International Chemistry Olympiad winner to my left, and somebody who had already interned at Amazon as a software engineer before they began their freshman / 1st year.

The most “valuable” class at MIT that changed lives and paradigms was 6.006 — Introduction to Algorithms. From my experience, MIT’s classes slanted far more theoretical than other universities. I think this came from the department’s emphasis that if we could learn how to learn, and if we understood the fundamental principles , we could really solve anything, or build out any application.

what are the top computer science colleges

In this technological and digital age, we’ve seen a rise in the importance of expanding the computer science workforce.

With the demand for skill sets, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, as well as software developers, web developers, and video game development, a computer science degree provides a basis for many opportunities.

Securing a place at one of the best computer science schools or universities will ensure you get access to the best jobs to start your career.

Computer Science Grad Opportunities

As online threats increase from the military to business sectors, there will be a continuous need for people with cybersecurity backgrounds.

Whether focusing on penetration testing or cybersecurity in general, small and large businesses must protect their data, especially as they move to the cloud.

There are also roles forming with the continuous development of search engines and platforms such as Facebook and Google. And there are numerous opportunities in technical SEO.

The possibilities to enter different career fields are constantly evolving. So, if you want to work for a large company or create your own, there are opportunities.

I’ve compiled a list of the best computer science schools for different budget levels and available time, so you can consider what would be the right fit for you.

Top Universities For Computer Science

National Universities

Here are some of the best computer science schools across the U.S.:

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts (in-person)

Listed as a top school across numerous sites, MIT is a renowned school where you can complete your computer science degree. While MIT only offers in-person degrees, there is online educational content through MIT OpenCourseWare and MITx Courses.

The first offers educational resources to help you expand your knowledge, and the latter provides courses people can take.

In addition, if you would like a certificate to show that you completed the course, you can get one for a small fee.

2. Stanford University

San Jose, California (BCS in-person and online masters)

Another world-renowned school, Stanford ranks high among the list of top computer science universities. They have an exceptional computer science program and incorporate a sense of community and history on their campus.

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You will have a well-rounded undergrad experience between fountain hopping, their unique mascot, and the historical Hoover Tower.

Stanford also offers free classes and an entirely online graduate degree in Computer Science. Taking these free classes or earning your master’s online through Stanford provides the experience of learning from experts in the field.

3. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (in-person)

At Carnegie Mellon University, you can go from a bachelor’s to a doctorate program in Computer Science. Not only can you take a track at the same university through degree levels, but you would be accomplishing this at one of the top schools known for science and engineering programs.

Pittsburgh is a hot spot of entrepreneurship, with a great deal of investment in a growing autonomous vehicle sector in the area. Over the last decade, 400 startups with links to Carnegie have raised more than $7 billion in funding.

4. University of California Berkeley

Berkley, California (in-person)

Known as one of the most intense programs in the country, the Computer Science program at the University of California Berkeley is a thorough route that will offer you many research and learning opportunities.

They offer two routes of study at UC Berkley, the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences route, which lead to a Bachelor of Science and is gauged for those who want to enter engineering-based jobs.

And the College of Letters and Science route is for people who want a more diverse course base and can move to the L&S Computer Science route after completing the core classes.

5. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, Georgia (in-person)

At Georgia Institute of Technology, they aim to offer classes with professors from diverse backgrounds in computer science. As we discussed earlier, there are many routes after earning a degree in computer science.

Their vision states, “The School of Computer Science (SCS) will become the thought leader in all aspects of the computing environment.”

If you’re unsure what aspect of computer science interests you, this school would be an excellent place to explore the subject.

6. University of Washington

Seattle, Washington (in-person)

Under the College of Arts and Sciences, students can earn their way to a Bachelor in Computer Science at the University of Washington. In this program, you will get a mix of hands-on learning and foundation aspects.

Some interesting facts about the University of Washington are that vinyl, synthetic rubber, and bubble gum were invented at the school and the approach that created color television.

7. Southern New Hampshire University


Students can earn an online bachelor’s degree in computer science at Southern New Hampshire University.

Attending school fully online offers you the flexibility to fit it into your schedule at a more affordable rate per course.

This program will teach you all the basics and programs such as Python, Java, and C++. If you already have credits from another school, you can transfer up to 90 credits.

This can be helpful if you want to cover some of your core classes at a community college and then switch to this online program.

8. Rasmussen College

Several locations (in-person and online)

Noted as one of the best online programs to obtain a bachelor’s in computer science, Rasmussen College offers an affordable way to obtain your degree. This fast-paced program allows you to get your degree in 18 months.

You’ll learn essential and unique skills such as quality assurance in software development, SQL, and advanced Java.

They also have in-person classes in Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. So, if online courses aren’t for you, have another option without transferring schools.

9. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, Texas (in-person)

The University of Texas at Austin offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in computer science. If you’re going for your undergrad, they offer three paths to find the one that best fits your needs.

If you already have a bachelor’s in computer science and want to complete your master’s online, they offer a program for that route.

The University Library is the seventh largest college library in the U.S. and offers close to 10 million volumes for significant book lovers.

10. University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida (in-person and online)

The University of Florida offers in-person and online options to get a bachelor’s in computer science. Both routes provide a competitive path into the computer science career field.

If you plan to attend in person and are interested in writing and computer science, you can try out for The Independent Florida Alligator. It’s the largest student-run newspaper in the U.S.

Another interesting fact is that a team of scientists created the formula for Gatorade at the University of Florida.

International Schools

Whether you’re looking to study abroad or find the best computer science school near you, here are ten international schools to check out:

1. National University of Singapore

Singapore, Singapore (in-person)

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is ranked as one of the top five schools for computer science schools and is noted as one of the best institutions in the world.

This school has a long foundation in Singapore (established in 1905) and can offer anyone a robust curriculum.

puter science to learn about, such as social media, gaming, and software development.

2. University of Cambridge

Cambridge, United Kingdom (in-person)

The University of Cambridge acknowledges itself as “a pioneer of computer science and continues to lead its development.” They offer a comprehensive program for students seeking a bachelor’s in computer science.

Students will walk away knowing foundational theories across multiple disciplines. Students will also learn to program various languages and understand hardware systems using Verilog, such as chip design.

This four-year track will give you the skills you need to enter the workforce.

3. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich

Zürich, Switzerland (in-person)

At the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich, students will get a mix of engineering and science for their Bachelor of Computer Science. This track takes three years to complete and offers both undergrad and grad programs.

This school was established in 1855 and is one of the world’s leading schools in technology and science. Compared to U.S. institutions, the yearly cost for a bachelor’s degree is much less expensive, around $1,500.

4. Nanyang Technological University

Singapore, Singapore (in-person)

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) focuses on the technical application of computer science. They accomplish this by focusing on design methodologies, data structures, and software algorithms. You can attend part-time or full-time for their Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science.

For full-time, this is a four-year program.

NTU states that since 2010, its graduates have become high-earning professionals. From the beginning of the curriculum, you dive into foundational courses such as Physics of Computing and Digital Logic.

5. University of Toronto

Toronto, Canada (in-person)

The University of Toronto has three campuses that offer a Bachelor of Science with a major in Computer Science: St. George, Mississauga, and Scarborough.

In their computer science path, they aim to help students learn how to design software and explore mathematical problems. They focus on hands-on learning so students will have the skills they need to apply them to real-world situations.

While their degree is generally earned in person, they offer online courses.

6. Tsinghua University

Beijing, China (in-person)

Ranked as one of the best schools for engineering and computer science, Tsinghua University is an excellent option for students looking to explore these curriculum paths. They also encourage potential students from overseas to apply.

This long-standing university, established in 1911, has a rigorous course schedule. Their motto is “self-discipline and excellence,” and they keep to that standard in the courses they teach.

7. Technical University of Munich

Munich, Germany (in-person)

The Technical University of Munich considers the complexity of learning a problematic degree such as computer science. They focus on applied mathematics, engineering applications, and computer science to create a thorough degree program. An important thing for international students is that they teach their program in English.

8. Peking University

Beijing, China (in-person)

Peking University was established in 1898 and had an advanced comprehensive education program.

A bachelor’s in computer science and technology is a four-year program at Peking University.

It is one of the best schools in China and is ranked highly internationally. Besides its vigorous curriculum, it is known for its beautiful campus with traditional Chinese architecture.

9. University of Technology Sydney

Sydney, Australia (in-person)

The University of Technology Sydney is “one of Australia’s most industry-focused leaders in research, teaching and learning in computer science, information technology, and information systems.”

The department has numerous academic staff members who are engaged in teaching and research across all areas of computing, including artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, programming languages, software engineering, databases, web services, distributed systems, security, and networking.

10. Imperial College London

London, United Kingdom (in-person)

The Imperial College London has Computer Science and Mathematics degree programs that prepare students for jobs across multiple industries.

The Department of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences combine to teach courses that equip students. The classes expand across multiple disciplines, including engineering, business, law, and medicine.

In addition, they offer a three-year program where students will have a combination of laboratory-based teaching and lectures.

What To Expect In Computer Science

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