Best Computer Science Programs in the World
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When looking for a quality computer science program, you may want to consider programs for international students, which are among the world's most innovative.
Computer science is the study of practical and theoretical applications for computing and computers, and it continues to grow rapidly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that web developer and digital designer employment will grow 8% from 2019-2029.
Earning a bachelor's degree or higher in computer science can lead to highly rewarding work in this dynamic field. And students aren't limited to the U.S.; they can pursue this degree from the best computer science colleges in the world.
Read on to learn about the best computer science colleges available to international learners, including a list sorted alphabetically by nation. If you're a globally-minded computer science student, one of these programs might be a good fit for you.
Top 10 Computer Science Programs in the World
We selected the following programs according to criteria like graduation rates, graduate placement rates, and programmatic excellence. Other considered factors include accreditation and financial support.
Top Computer Science Programs in the World
- Australian National University
- University of New South Wales
- University of British Columbia
- Shanghai Jiao Tong University
- Imperial College London
- University College London
- The Chinese University of Hong Kong
- The University of Hong Kong
- Seoul National University
- Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
United States of America
- California Institute of Technology
- Columbia University
- Princeton University
- The University of Texas at Austin
- University of California, Los Angeles
- University of California, San Diego
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- University of Southern California
- University of Washington
Featured Online Computer Science Programs
The University of Melbourne commissioned Australia's first computer in 1956. Today, Melbourne's computer and information systems college offers an innovative bachelor's in computing that uses an interdisciplinary approach to design and computer science. The eclectic program offers double majors in urban planning, graphic design, and spatial systems.
The University of Sydney maintains a reputation as a worldwide leader in research for artificial intelligence, machine learning, and bioinformatics. The school also offers several undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in computer science, computational data science, and software development, most of which are accredited by the Australian Computer Society.
University of Toronto's undergraduate catalog includes a bachelor's in computer science program at the school's campuses in St. George, Mississauga, and Scarborough. Students must take prerequisite courses in calculus, English, and advanced functions to qualify for admission. The program culminates with an integrative learning experience that enrollees can complete through the school's Professional Experience Year program.
The University of Waterloo has a reputation as one of the best computer science colleges. The school currently offers a bachelor's in computer science that allows each enrollee to choose between a regular bachelor's track and an innovative co-op program. The co-op allows learners to secure two years' paid experience after graduating.
Established in 1889, Peking University is one of the most competitive and prestigious universities in the world. The school's catalog of programs for international students includes a three-year master's in computer science taught in both English and Chinese. Learners choose research tracks in computer software and theory, computer architecture, and applied computer science.
As one of the world's preeminent universities, University of Oxford's faculty includes English scientist Tim Berners-Lee, who helped invent the World Wide Web. Oxford offers bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science that students can complete in three or four years, respectively. Courses explore computational complexity, machine learning, and computational game theory.
Technical University of Munich offers an interdisciplinary master's in computer science for international students. The program comprises three years of seminars, lectures, and tutorials, followed by a final year for thesis work. Eligibility depends on a points system that begins during undergraduate studies.
Founded in Clear Water Bay Peninsula in 1991, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology stands out for its computer science programs. The university also offers its bachelor's in computer science as a dual degree with its bachelor's in business. Non-final year learners can pursue internships lasting a summer or an entire year with industry leaders.
Established in 1863, Politecnico di Milano is Italy's largest polytechnic institute and Milan's oldest university. The school offers a master's in computer science and engineering heavily geared toward established information technology professionals. The program is delivered in English and takes two years to complete.
The University of Tokyo has earned worldwide acclaim for its graduate and postgraduate programs in computer science, which have been offered in English since 2010. Coursework explores cybersecurity, supercomputing, and robotics. As part of the admission process, applicants must take a written exam, followed by an oral exam where they present their research plans.
Established in 1875, Lomonosov Moscow State University is a public university that takes its name from the famed scientist Mikhail Lomonosov. MSU's rigorous STEM offerings include a master's program in computer science that heavily emphasizes mathematical and computational methods. The two-year program builds upon the university's bachelor's programs in applied mathematics and information technologies.
One of the United Kingdom's oldest universities, University of Edinburgh offers generous financial aid resources for international students. The school offers a four-year bachelor's in computer science that culminates with an individualized student project. Successful startups from alumni of the program include Robotical, Speech Graphics, and PlayerData.
National University of Singapore consistently ranks among the best computer science colleges, offering degrees in computer science at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. Its bachelor's in computer science allows learners to customize their degrees around data management and engineering, full-stack software engineering, or robotics and artificial intelligence.
Daejeon's KAIST is a preeminent science and engineering school both in South Korea and abroad. Its school of computing offers computer science degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels, along with specializations in mobile software, information security, and web science technology. The school also offers internship opportunities for international students.
This public university primarily focuses on educating engineers and scientists, and its alumni include Albert Einstein. The school offers competitive computer science degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. Learners in the bachelor's program can choose specializations in theoretical computer science, systems and software engineering, or information and data processing.
Founded in Taipei in 1928 during Japanese colonial rule, National Taiwan University remains one of the most prestigious universities in East Asia. Its prestigious engineering and technology programs include computing programs at the undergraduate and master's levels. The university's programs also explore social justice, international issues, and leadership skills.
United States of America
Carnegie Mellon University created the first bachelor's degree in artificial intelligence in 2018. The school currently hosts several top-level computer science degrees at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Its School of Computer Science also offers innovative majors in computational biology and human-computer interaction up to the postgraduate level.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology — commonly known as MIT — is a leader for STEM research and education worldwide, in part due to its innovative computer science degrees. The institute's computer science offerings allow learners to integrate computer science with other fields, such as engineering, electrical engineering, economics, and data science. Alumni include Richard Feynman and Buzz Aldrin.
Stanford University offers several computer science degrees that progress from foundational knowledge of programming and mathematical computation to more in-depth topics. Available computer science degree concentrations include software theory, biocomputation, and artificial intelligence. In 2021, graduate Jeffrey Ullman won the Turing Award — the computer science equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
University of California, Berkeley's undergraduate programs in electrical engineering and computer science regularly top national and worldwide rankings. To declare the computer science major, an enrollee must maintain a 3.0 minimum GPA in foundational technical coursework. The school also encourages undergraduate students to pursue optional research projects with their studies.
Worldwide Computer Science Programs Ranking Guidelines
We selected these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.
Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.
Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.
While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.
The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.
The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.
Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.
Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology
About Our Ranking Factors
Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.
Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.
We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.
In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.
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What Can You Do With a Degree in Computer Science?
Computer science is a versatile field that can lead to careers in information technology and computer occupations. Most computer science majors find work in positions related to network architecture, web development, or software engineering.
However, a computer science degree can also come in handy in unexpected industries. For example, many computer science majors use their knowledge of computing and information technology systems to work in niche positions in healthcare, financial services, and government agencies, becoming managers or analysts.
Popular Questions About Computer Science Degrees
Carnegie Mellon, MIT, and UC Berkeley are popular options, but which computer science program is "the best" varies by specialization and student need.
Yes, a computer science college's prestige can affect your job search experience. However, so long as you earn your degree from a regionally accredited school, you will likely find fulfilling employment in a computer science field.
Sometimes. Most computer science careers only require a bachelor's degree, but some employers prefer candidates with master's degrees. An online master's in computer science can also prepare you for postgraduate research or executive-level careers.
Matthew Sweeney received his Bachelor of Arts in English with a specialization in English literature from Portland State. His writings on music and culture have appeared in the publications Eleven PDX Magazine and Secret Decoder. In his free time he enjoys reading, cinema, hiking, and cooking.
Header Image Credit: skynesher | Getty Images
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