This thread is a little old, but in case anyone references this I think that the CS program at Rose is right up there with the engineering programs. All of the schools you listed are great places to go for CS, and it’s always hard to compare, but here’s my ranking into very general tiers:
Tier A: UC Berkeley
Tier B1: Cal Tech / Georgia Tech
Tier B2: Harvey Mudd / Rose-Hulman
Tier C: WPI, Northeastern
I think UC Berkeley stands apart from the rest in CS due to it’s proximity to its excellent CS program and lots of CS opportunities. There are definitely some cons as thshadow pointed out - it might not be optimized for undergraduate education like a Rose or Mudd are, but I think the overall reputation and strength of the department and the sheer number of opportunities are hard to ignore.
In Tier B I separated Cal Tech and GT from RHIT and HMC because they are so different - all four are good schools, and I think in general they are comparable to each other within their band. Mudd’s location in California and proximity to lots of great CS opportunities is a bonus. Mudd’s admissions are also very selective, so they take great students in and put great CS majors out, which I think adds to their reputation. Rose’s CS department is strong and has great career opportunitites - you can look at the company list for the 2016 career fair: http://www.rose-hulman.edu/media/1873284/2016-fall-cf-attendees.pdf . Rose also has less stringent general education requirements than Mudd - see HMC’s common core. Some people may find that appealing, but others may be turned off by having to take so many STEM classes outside of their major.
The Tier C schools are good schools, but I don’t think are in the same category as Cal Tech / GT or UCB.
In general, looking at Rose versus other schools I think you have some pros and cons
Rose vs UCB, Cal Tech, etc.
- Pro: Undergraduate-focused environment that puts a focus on teaching undergraduates. The benefits of this are hard to overstate in my opinion. I did grad school at a UC with a good CS program, and the difference in undergraduate education was alarming (see my post here: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/discussion/comment/17118785/#Comment_17118785).
- Pro: small, familial school environment. Students are like family, willing to help each other out - not looking to be underhanded to get a leg up on grades.
- Con: less nationwide brand-name recognition. Because Rose puts out fewer CS graduates, fewer people will be exposed to Rose. I personally didn’t have an issue with this when I was looking for jobs, but it is something.
- Pro/Con: because Rose doesn’t have PhD programs, there will be less cutting-edge research at Rose that you will have the opportunity to be involved with. However, because there are no PhD students it means that the research that IS going on is done by undergraduates and masters students, and as an undergraduate you can be a significant part of a research team and work hand-in-hand with professors.
Rose vs Harvey Mudd
- Pro/Con: curriculum is a little more focused on your major at Rose. Harvey Mudd has a larger common core of required classes.
- Pro/Con: Rose admissions are less selective than at Harvey Mudd, Rose is in the midwest and Mudd is in SoCal.
EDIT: I should provide the disclaimer that I’m a Rose graduate, so I may be biased. I graduated in EE but I took several CS classes at Rose, got a job in CS and did a masters in CS.