how to choose a school for computer science/information systems

<p>My son is interested in computers but hasn't decided anything specific. He is starting senior year of high school and searching for a college. I need to know how to determine if a school's computer dept is good. I have looked at ABET to see which schools are accredited. Is there another way to judge? Does it even matter if a school is accredited?</p>

<p>My son wants to major in computer science, and is one year ahead of your son, so I'll tell you what he learned in the past year. There are, he found, two basic routes: through an engineering school or technical college (very rigorous math/science curriculum, relatively few electives), or through a college of arts and sciences, which allows a more varied curriculum, though possibly less technical and in-depth. Some schools--e.g. Cornell University, the University of Virginia, and I believe the University of Maryland--give students the option of doing computer science either way.</p>

<p>After much waffling, my son decided on the arts-and-sciences route, because although his strengths are in math and science he wants to do a fair amount of foreign language study and is also interested in comparative religion and philosophy. He found that research universities with grad programs in computer science had more opportunities for him than the small, undergraduate-focused liberal-arts colleges.</p>

<p>Obviously, your mileage may vary on all these factors. </p>

<p>You can google rankings on computer science programs to find the best ones in the nation (MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Berkeley, Cornell, Princeton, University of Illinois, University of MD, etc). However, there are many, many other fine undergraduate programs. My son took cs and math courses as a high school student at the University of Virginia and met faculty who were fascinating and supportive, so that's where he's going; even though it's not renowned as a "science school" he's confident that he will get an excellent education there.</p>

<p>If your son does decide on a specific field, that may narrow his range of choices. For instance, my nephew is very interested in game design and for him, the best program was at Rochester Institute of Technology.</p>