Colleges with good undergraduate CS research opportunities

Hi all, I’m a community college student interested in pursuing grad school for computer science, so I’m looking to transfer to a school with good research opportunities for undergrads. I’m definitely applying to my state flagship, as well as a second instate option as a safety. Cost is not really a concern for me thankfully.

I’m mostly looking for schools outside of the super obvious ones that have like 5% admit rates.

Some colleges that have already caught my eye:

Highly Selective:

Reed College
Carleton College

Both seem to have large CS faculties and produce a lot of PhDs. They also require senior research projects which is something that I love the idea of.

I’ve the UC’s are extremely selective out of state so haven’t looked into them but could be an option.


Virginia Tech-VTURCS program seems awesome, lots of opportunities in a variety of subfields
NC State-Looks similar to VT, a few less open projects but the ability to select your own and get credit for it if you can find a sponsor.

Less Selective:

Rose Hulman-IP/ROP and IRC programs seem to encourage students to research and give the opportunity for undergrads to apply for funding. Small class sizes probably make finding a mentor easier.

New College of Florida- Senior Thesis, tiny school. All the classes are pass fail which might be a problem for grad school admissions. Their website claims a very high rate of producing PhDs.

Anyone have other recommendations for me to look into?

Hamilton describes its program in a way that matches your interests:

A course dedicated to a senior research project is offered, though not required.

Reed’s three CS faculty plus two visitors is “large”?

@ucbalumnus My mistake, strike that one from the list then haha. Hamilton sounds interesting, I’ll check that one out.

Also, consider the CS department at Williams, the department website has information on the research opportunities with faculty. There are tons of resources and stipends for research at Williams.

Hamilton: 5 professors*, 1 visitor, 1 retired.

Williams: 12 professors* (2 on leave this year), 1 visitor, 2 emeritus.

Carleton: 10 professors*, 1 lecturer, 1 visitor, 3 emeritus.

Virginia Tech: 55 professors*, 3 instructors

  • = anyone with a title that includes "professor", including assistant professor (typically tenure track but not tenured), associate professor, etc.

“consider the CS department at Williams”

Williams transfer acceptance rate is less than 10%, not what the OP is looking for:

“I’m mostly looking for schools outside of the super obvious ones that have like 5% admit rates”

OP - are you willing to share your state flagship? That would help in answering the question. Anyway OOS flagships are also tough to get via transfer but probably easier than the LACs you’re considering.

In the most recent year for which data appears, Williams accepted 3.9% of its transfer applicants. For this reason only students for whom Williams represents a school of unique appeal should consider it as a transfer destination in my opinion.