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Rankings of Computer Science Programs?

mathmomvtmathmomvt Posts: 4,083Registered User Senior Member
edited September 2011 in College Search & Selection
Hi,

My son is interested in computer science programs, and we are wondering if there is a list of rankings specifically of CS programs (as opposed to the colleges as a whole).

By the way, we're mostly concerned about undergrad CS program rankings at this point.

Thanks!
Post edited by mathmomvt on
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Replies to: Rankings of Computer Science Programs?

  • MilwDadMilwDad Posts: 545Registered User Member
  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Posts: 4,083Registered User Senior Member
    The google-based ranking is sort of fun, but not really what we care about :) I'm interested in the quality and perception of quality (by employers and graduate schools) of an institution.
  • MilwDadMilwDad Posts: 545Registered User Member
    Try this: The Best Schools for Computer Science Majors - 20 Top Colleges & University CS Programs Ranked For 2009

    Actually, the first link I posted also includes the US News rankings, as well as the Google rankings. There is actually a lot of overlap among these.
  • ivytrollivytroll Posts: 67Registered User Junior Member
    Why is Brown ranked so lowly in those rankings? I thought it was like on a par with Stanford, MIT, etc. lol
  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Posts: 4,083Registered User Senior Member
    Are the US News rankings in the google list also the grad school rankings, or do they also have undergrad rankings? I think that if a school has a highly ranked graduate program, it probably also has a great undergrad program, but I don't think the converse applies -- just because a school doesn't have a top graduate program doesn't mean they don't have a great undergrad program.
  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Posts: 4,083Registered User Senior Member
    Thanks, noimagination, for those links!
  • midmomidmo Posts: 3,720Registered User Senior Member
    Most of the rankings I have seen are based primarily on the graduate programs. Computer science is a bit hard to rank, in my opinion, because sometimes it is a stand-alone department, sometimes it is combined with computer/electrical engineering, in some places it is not even in an engineering school (e.g. Univ. of Chicago), sometimes it is an entire school (e.g. Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science). I don't know the details of the ranking methods, but it seems a bit hard to apply standard measurements when the field is spread out like that.

    While it is reasonable to conclude that strong graduate programs mean strong undergraduate programs because the profs are well-funded and well-connected, I don't think that automatically translates into supreme opportunities for undergraduates. Access to research opportunities varies. On the other hand, if a student is interested in doing some real research, complete absence of a graduate program could make it hard to find hands-on research.

    I usually suggest students find out who the undergraduate program director for their field is, and contact them with specific questions about research opportunities, placement specifics (both industry and graduate school), internships and so on.

    Visits are good, also.
  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Posts: 4,083Registered User Senior Member
    We've just started doing visits. At MIT we got a separate EECS tour, so we got a lot of information there (and its reputation is of course well-known). I wish we'd visited the CS college specifically at Northeastern because it's a very small program there and the tour guides and info session folks did not know much about it. Northeastern is an exciting choice due to its co-op program, but I think my son will want to do graduate studies, so I want to make sure that he is getting a strong and well-recognized undergrad education. Other schools on our list so far (some visited so far, some not) are WPI, RPI, CMU, UMass Amherst (weren't crazy about it when we visited, though I know it's CS program is supposed to be good), RIT, University of Vermont. We're in Vermont, and want to stay reasonably close, ideally. We may look at Vermont Technical College, but I think that's a lower-tier program. We're also looking at Daniel Webster, but again I think that's a lower-tier. If he wanted to go much farther, we'd look at Cal Tech, Stanford and Berkeley.

    My son has strong numbers, and decent but non-spectacular ECs. MIT and CMU would be a stretch, the others should be match or safeties. He's a legacy for both MIT and CMU, but MIT doesn't consider it (both parents were grad students there). I think CMU does consider legacy, but it's a grandparent in that case.
  • hippo2718hippo2718 Posts: 207Registered User Junior Member
    ivytroll wrote:
    Why is Brown ranked so lowly in those rankings? I thought it was like on a par with Stanford, MIT, etc. lol
    I doubt there's many, if any, fields in which Brown is on par with Stanford or MIT. Computer science is certainly no exception.

    Being #13 in the NRC ranking and #20 in the US News ranking is not exactly "lowly," however.

    mathmomvt wrote:
    Other schools on our list so far (some visited so far, some not) are WPI, RPI, CMU, UMass Amherst (weren't crazy about it when we visited, though I know it's CS program is supposed to be good), RIT, University of Vermont.
    Also in Rochester, the University of Rochester has a very good computer science program.
  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Posts: 4,083Registered User Senior Member
    Also in Rochester, the University of Rochester has a very good computer science program.

    Thanks, we'll check that out!
  • chsowlflax17chsowlflax17 Posts: 941Registered User Member
    Brown does poorly because it's Grad School programs don't do as well. And I've chatted with a Stanford friend of mine. Seeing their tests and some of their hw problems, their program for undergrads seems a tad less demanding than ours (we both came to college without any programming experience, and we both have taken about the same amount (accounting for different schedules) of programming-based courses, though my friend has taken a few more theory courses as they're a year ahead of me).
  • modestmelodymodestmelody Posts: 4,651Registered User Senior Member
    I doubt there's many, if any, fields in which Brown is on par with Stanford or MIT. Computer science is certainly no exception.

    Actually, it specifically IS the exception, where for undergraduates, Brown often comes up in the same sentence as Stanford, MIT, CMU, etc.
  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Posts: 4,083Registered User Senior Member
    Here's another interesting list of rankings:
    Computer Science College Rankings

    hmm, on second thought, I think that's just the same as the US News list.
  • JWT86JWT86 Posts: 539Registered User Member
    mathmomvt - That list has a big error. They completely left off UT-Austin, which is top 10 in Comp. Sci. by every rankng, incl. USNews, which it is based on. Bad oversight on their part!
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