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Top 20 Comp Sci Schools (not including the Ivies)


Replies to: Top 20 Comp Sci Schools (not including the Ivies)

  • DarthpwnerDarthpwner Registered User Posts: 1,007 Senior Member
    @ijustwannasleep I believe Utah has one of the best Computer Graphics programs in the country.
  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad Registered User Posts: 6,346 Senior Member
    edited May 2016
    The point being that going to a top-ranked university doesn't mean you're going to do better than someone from a directional state university in the job market.

    Absolutely correct. If this is your modest goal - to do programming grunt work, then it doesn't matter.

    But if you have higher aspirations, and the ability to EXCEL at good schools in a field of top students, they can provide opportunities that would not be available at directional state university.
  • simba9simba9 Registered User Posts: 3,187 Senior Member
    edited May 2016
    Maybe up to 10-15 years ago people would have had an advantage if they went to a tippy-top CS school because there were VCs and angel investors hanging around looking for students with start-up ideas. These days it's so easy to bootstrap a new idea into a business that going to a school like that is no longer necessary, If you go to a directional state university you may have to work a little harder to search out opportunities, but there will be no opportunities available to a student at a top-ranked school that aren't also available to students who graduate from less prestigious schools.

    The only advantage I can think of with going to a school like Stanford or MIT is there will be an entrepreneurial virus in the air that infects students, so many graduates will be motivated to start businesses rather than simply get a good job working for someone else.

    I've taken CS classes at multiple universities, including Stanford. The only difference is that none of the students at Stanford slept through class like they might have at other schools.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,918 Senior Member
    Regardless of the school's prestige or what you think of it, a prospective CS major should check these things:

    A. If the CS department is large enough to offer a reasonable selection of junior/senior level CS courses. Some schools (both high and low prestige) have limited CS offerings, so they may not be as suitable for a prospective CS major as some other schools.

    B. If the CS major offers direct admission to entering frosh or transfer students; if not (or you are offered admission to the school but not the major), if the CS major requires a high GPA or competitive secondary admission process to enter. Attending a school with the best CS department may not help if you cannot get into the CS major, and cannot take CS courses as a non-major because all of their space is filled with students in the CS major.
  • Much2learnMuch2learn Registered User Posts: 4,762 Senior Member
    According to College Factual the Schools with the highest average CS salaries are:

    1. Cal Berkeley
    2. The University of Pennsylvania
    3. The Naval Academy
    4. MIT
    5. Harvard
    6. Columbia
    7. Harvey Mudd
    8. Dartmouth
    9. Stanford
    10. Case Western
    11. Cornell
    12. Carnegie Mellon
  • FuroniFuroni Registered User Posts: 27 New Member

    This might help also if you want to do software engineering.
  • WalknOnEggShellsWalknOnEggShells Registered User Posts: 568 Member
    edited May 2016
    simba9 wrote:
    I've taken CS classes at multiple universities, including Stanford. The only difference is that none of the students at Stanford slept through class like they might have at other schools.

    I can't say that your experiences aren't true or valid, but I've had the exact opposite experience. I've taken CS courses at several schools and I've found big differences in the level of rigor. It's true that the course descriptions will be basically the same, but the expectations and the quality of the students and professors can vary a lot.

    I'm not saying there will always be a difference, but I think there can be big differences. For example, I went through one of the online courses at one of the Ivy schools. I wasn't matriculated. I just watched all the lectures and read the book. The professor happened to be one of the top researchers in the subject of the class. And he wrote the book. He covered some of the latest developments that were on the cutting edge of HIS research.

    While looking at CS schools for my kids, I checked that same course at some of the schools. In this case, I could tell by the books they were using and the course descriptions that some of the courses were not at the same level as the course I went through. Come to think of it, the only school that looked like it had an equivalent course was one of our public schools - not the very top one, but in the top 4 or 5. The teacher at the public school was also one of the top guys in this area. So I think it has more to do with that than anything else, and you're probably going to get more of those guys at the more prestigious schools.

    What I think is consistent across all schools is the number of teachers who just can't teach, or don't care about teaching. You'll probably get the same number of duds at MIT or Stanford as you would at a directional public school, but I think you have a better chance of getting a real expert in the latest and greatest of a particular subject at a more prestigious school.

    For the record, though, I know of an MIT CS course that is also free online, that I think is a terrible course. It tries to cover way too much material in too short of a period of time. There are actually two like that. Maybe the kids there have no problem moving at that pace, but I felt like they were moving way too fast and not covering the material deeply enough to get much out of it.
  • reden2016reden2016 Registered User Posts: 40 Junior Member
    edited May 2016
    If you're avoiding MIT and Stanford, you might want to consider UC Berkeley, which is not as difficult to get into either MIT or Stanford, but has a CS program that is as good, if not a little better, and which has better connections and stronger presence in Silicon Valley than MIT. Berkeley has a very strong entrepreneurial culture and there's a strong support coming from the administration and alumni for students and faculty who are interested in VC, or students who are launching startups. It performs better than MIT in terms of VC and the number of students who are now deeply involved in VC and startups. The university has allocted $250M for funding startups that they deem promising. In addition, there are now plenty of rich alumni who have pledged financial backing for student projects they find interesting, and a umber of them are visiting the campus giving lectures and providing mentorship to the students interested in this area. I do have friends at MIT, it obviously is a top school, but my friends are saying Berkeley has now a more organized system in terms of student support for launching startups, and has a more vibrant and exciting entrepreneurial atmosphere on campus, and the students are more passionate in participating in a number of projects they're doing.

    The other UCs, such as, UCLA, UCSD, UCSB, UC Davies and Calsu and the politechniques are also worth considering, if you are considering to work in Silicon Valley.
  • FuroniFuroni Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    ^ Assuming you want to work in startups - not a great idea to do it straight out of college (especially with the super high cost of living in that area + major competition).

    A really good CS program is University of Washington's. It's ranked #4 most likely to get you a job for CS schools straight out of college. On top of that, there's almost no competition in the state, so you're guaranteed a job at Microsoft pretty much (which pays on average, 130k + a year) or a Seattle startup (also Amazon, FB, Boeing). Personally, I wasn't too much into the entrepreneurial spirit (i just want to pay my bills after college for the first few years, then do other stuff). Only problem is that the program has a 3-5% acceptance rate (for direct admission).
  • JerseyshorJerseyshor Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
    Interestingly I don't see UMich listed in anyone's reply. Is it because Umich is not known for CS?
  • FuroniFuroni Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    @Jerseyshor The CS there is good, but I'm pretty sure, like Georgia Tech, they are mostly known for the engineering (Michigan engineer is a phrase I hear a lot)
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