More objective ranking of Comp Sci Schools?

I’ve found this website: csrankings. org. It ranks schools using a metric based on number of publications by faculty. It allows the user to include and exclude areas of computer science that they are or aren’t interested in, so as to individually tailor the list. After each school name shows the number of publications and the number of faculty. Is this at all a relevant way to decide the quality of a program?
Whether on this site or others, when you plug in “college computer science rankings,” the results only seem to go as far as the top 10 or 15 schools.
p.s. there are some mis-spellings within the list because I copied and pasted it here and, for some reason, the site lets me post it as long as I do something to make it not include an actual link.

Institution Count Faculty

1 ► Carnegie Mellon University 15.4 142
2 ► Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 12.4 92
3 ► Massachusett Institute of Technology 11.0 76
4 ► Univ. of California - San Diego 10.4 88
5 ► Stanfor University 9.4 60
6 ► Univ. of California - Berkeley 9.2 79
7 ► Universit of Michigan 8.7 71
8 ► University of Washington 8.2 61
9 ► Georgia Institute of Technolog 7.9 88
10 ► University of Maryland - College Par 7.8 76
11 ► Cornel University 7.5 69
12 ► University of Wisconsin - Madiso 6.0 46
13 ► Northeastern Universit 5.4 60
14 ► Columbia University 5.2 44
15 ► University of Pennsylvani 5.1 52
16 ► Purdu University 5.0 54
17 ► University of Massachusetts Amhers 4.9 49
18 ► Pennsylvania State University 4.5 49
19 ► University of Southern Californi 4.4 40
20 ► New York Universit 4.3 44
20 ► Stony Brook University 4.3 47
20 ► Univ. of California - Irvine 4.3 65
20 ► Univ. of California - Santa Barbara 4.3 34
20 ► University of Texas at Austin 4.3 39
25 ► University of Chicag 4.2 29
26 ► Rutgers University 4.0 42
26 ► Univ. of California - Los Angeles 4.0 33
28 ► Ohio Stat University 3.9 31
28 ► Princeton University 3.9 33
28 ► Texas A.M University 3.9 39
28 ► Univ. of California - Riverside 3.9 41
32 ► University of Utah 3.8 43
33 ► Northwester University 3.5 39
33 ► University of Colorado Boulder 3.5 59
35 ► University of Minnesota 3.2 37
36 ► Harvar University 3.1 22
36 ► Univ. of California - Davis 3.1 31
36 ► University of North Carolina 3.1 25
39 ► Brown University 3.0 27
39 ► Duk University 3.0 31
39 ► Universit of Virginia 3.0 32
42 ► University of Central Florida 2.9 33
42 ► Virginia Tech 2.9 35
44 ► Indiana University 2.8 45
44 ► North Carolina State University 2.8 32
44 ► Univ. of California - Santa Cruz 2.8 40
47 ► University at Buffalo 2.7 35
47 ► University of Illinois at Chicago 2.7 37
47 ► Yal University 2.7 27
50 ► Boston University 2.6 29
50 ► Johns Hopkins University 2.6 27
50 ► University of Pittsburgh 2.6 32
53 ► Arizona State University 2.5 26
53 ► George Mason University 2.5 27
53 ► Oregon State University 2.5 24
56 ► Rice University 2.4 20
57 ► Michigan State University 2.1 21
57 ► Universit of Notre Dame 2.1 24
57 ► University of Texas at Arlington 2.1 22
57 ► University of Texas at Dallas 2.1 27
61 ► Binghamto University 1.9 19
61 ► Univ. of California - Merced 1.9 15
61 ► Universit of Florida 1.9 22
61 ► University of Rochester 1.9 18
61 ► Washingto University in St. Louis 1.9 16
66 ► Rochester Institute of Technology 1.8 25
66 ► University of Tennessee 1.8 13
68 ► College of Willia and Mary 1.7 10
68 ► Dartmout College 1.7 10
68 ► George Washington University 1.7 14
68 ► Stevens Institute of Technology 1.7 17
68 ► University of Arizona 1.7 17
68 ► Worcester Polytechnic Institute 1.7 20
74 ► Clemso University 1.6 19
74 ► Florida State University 1.6 15
74 ► Iowa State University 1.6 17
74 ► University of Houston 1.6 15
78 ► Californi Institute of Technology 1.5 7
78 ► Case Western Reserve University 1.5 12
78 ► Colorado School of Mines 1.5 10
78 ► NJIT 1.5 14
78 ► TTI Chicago 1.5 6
78 ► Tuft University 1.5 12
78 ► Univ. of Maryland - Baltimore County 1.5 15
78 ► University of Connecticut 1.5 12
78 ► Universit of Delaware 1.5 11
78 ► University of Iowa 1.5 14
78 ► University of Massachusetts Lowell 1.5 15
78 ► University of South Carolina 1.5 12
90 ► Brigham Young University 1.4 15
90 ► CUNY 1.4 12
90 ► Emor y 1.4 8
90 ► Georgetow University 1.4 12
90 ► Temple University 1.4 11
90 ► University of Kentucky 1.4 7
90 ► University of Oregon 1.4 15
90 ► Vanderbil University 1.4 10
90 ► Washington State University 1.4 12
100 ► Brandeis University 1.3 7
100 ► Florida International University 1.3 8
100 ► Illinois Institute of Technology 1.3 13
100 ► Kent State University 1.3 8
100 ► Portland State University 1.3 5
100 ► Syracus University 1.3 13
100 ► Texas State University 1.3 7
100 ► UCCS 1.3 9
100 ► UNC - Charlotte 1.3 10
100 ► University of Georgia 1.3 8
100 ► University of Kansas 1.3 8
100 ► University of Nebraska 1.3 12
100 ► University of Nevada 1.3 15
100 ► University of New Mexico 1.3 10
100 ► University of South Florida 1.3 9
100 ► University of Texas at San Antonio 1.3 7
116 ► Boise State University 1.2 6
116 ► Boston Colleg 1.2 4
116 ► Colorado State University 1.2 7
116 ► Georgia State University 1.2 8
116 ► IUPUI 1.2 8
116 ► Kansas State University 1.2 6
116 ► Lehigh University 1.2 7
116 ► Louisiana State University 1.2 6
116 ► Michigan Technological University 1.2 5
116 ► Northern Arizona University 1.2 6
116 ► Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 1.2 7
116 ► Tulan University 1.2 3
116 ► University of Alabama - Birmingham 1.2 5
116 ► University of Cincinnati 1.2 6
116 ► University of Louisiana - Lafayette 1.2 7
116 ► University of New Hampshire 1.2 6
116 ► University of North Texas 1.2 8
116 ► Virginia Commonwealth University 1.2 7
116 ► West Virginia University 1.2 7
135 ► Auburn University 1.1 5
135 ► Cleveland State University 1.1 3
135 ► DePaul University 1.1 7
135 ► Drexel University 1.1 6
135 ► Florida Atlantic University 1.1 3
135 ► Naval Postgraduate School 1.1 6
135 ► New Mexico State University 1.1 6
135 ► Ohio University 1.1 4
135 ► Oklahoma State University 1.1 4
135 ► Old Dominion University 1.1 4
135 ► Texas Tech University 1.1 3
135 ► The University of Alabama 1.1 5
135 ► University at Albany - SUNY 1.1 3
135 ► University of Arkansas 1.1 8
135 ► University of Hawaii at Manoa 1.1 7
135 ► University of Massachusetts Boston 1.1 4
135 ► University of Memphis 1.1 4
135 ► Universit of Miami 1.1 2
135 ► University of Michigan-Dearborn 1.1 5
135 ► University of Missouri 1.1 4
135 ► University of Nebraska - Omaha 1.1 2
135 ► University of Oklahoma 1.1 3
135 ► University of Southern Mississippi 1.1 2
135 ► University of Tulsa 1.1 3
135 ► University of Vermont 1.1 4
135 ► University of Wyoming 1.1 3
135 ► Utah State University 1.1 3
135 ► Western Michigan University 1.1 2
163 ► Air Force Institute of Technology 1.0 1
163 ► Florida Institute of Technology 1.0 2
163 ► Mississippi State University 1.0 3
163 ► Missouri University of Technology 1.0 2
163 ► Montana State University 1.0 1
163 ► New Mexico Tech 1.0 1
163 ► Nova Southeastern University 1.0 1
163 ► OHSU 1.0 2
163 ► Southern Methodist University 1.0 1
163 ► University of Alabama - Huntsville 1.0 1
163 ► University of Colorado - Denver 1.0 1
163 ► University of Missouri - Kansas City 1.0 1
163 ► University of New Orleans 1.0 1
163 ► University of Texas - El Paso 1.0 3

This is a list that we have looked at in our family. For anyone interested in sorting by specific area of CS, you can sort schools that way too.

@OliveLewis Thanks for posting this. It’s another good resource.

It’s almost useless as it’s based on faculty publications, and it isn’t even scaled based on the size of the school. As a result, the ranking is primarily a function of the size of the school’s CS department.

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I don’t think that’s a useful list at all. I’d be looking at where students are recruited from based on what you want to do. I’d also look at where the program is located ( based on what you think you’d likely do). And finally what is the starting salary.
And think big picture. Do you think you’re likely to want to be a programmer your entire career or go into management/start a biz? IF you plan to start a company your trajectory and choices will be different than if you want to be a programmer.

I don’t think he has any idea what sub-field he is going to be interested in until he is exposed to it. He’s definitely a “techie-type,” not an entrepreneurial or business type (think introvert)

comp sci school rankings

how about this list?

Both rankings are based on research output. They are great for grad school rankings. They’re not quite as useful for making decisions for college admissions, but they’re a good place to start.

Not all schools have direct admissions to the CS major. Some schools have the CS major in the engineering school. Some schools focus on preparing students for an academic career and some are more career prep focused. You’ll need to dive in to each school to find the right one(s).

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That’s somewhat surprising, as I posted a composite ranking from 7 different sources, posting down to the top 50 ( of 150+ total). It included both CSRanking and QS mentioned above, as well as four other sources. Only one of which had fewer than 30 schools ranked.

(As usual, you’ll find the “if it’s not perfect it’s useless, and it’s only perfect if it’s exactly what I want” responses. They are data points to be used appropriately. )

Maybe it’s because I’m not even looking at the top 50. If you look at the schools listed in the second half of 50-100, he’s borderline for a small number of them. In this list, the quality of the school does not seem to match the quality of the computer science program (like your point about Princeton). I guess it makes sense that just because a school has a great overall reputation doesn’t mean it has a strong comp sci program, but I, honestly don’t have any idea. I don’t totally understand what you are explaining here:

I really love orange cats too >^…^<

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I like that my alma mater, Houston, is ranked higher than Cal Tech, Case Western and Mines. :slight_smile:

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Lists that favor large schools really bother me.

Work backwards from who works at the top employers within each geography. It is worth the legwork and some companies that have a formal college recruiting program will willingly share their list.

csrankings.org is junk. Especially for undergrads.

It ranks one factor that might be relevant to graduate students… how many research papers per professor per year.

How about ranking them by building square footage? That is just as relevant.

It’s based on the total output of the college’s entire CS department (not even normalized by the number of faculty in that department). Other shortcomings include that it only counts publications in CS conferences, but not those in professional journals and that CS faculty these days also publish in applied math conferences/journals for their more math-oriented researches, which obviously aren’t included.

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Thank you for sharing! This is a good list for students interested in research work. I would then look at population of CS program to develop a ratio of papers:students vs. average paper per faculty. And to consider the graduate population as most research is probably done by the graduate students, leaving limited opportunities for undergrads? Most of the schools have the research projects listed with the faculty bio. We have included interest in a school’s research on decision matrix but food is ranking higher!! :slight_smile:

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There’s no such thing as an objective ranking.

I fear you are correct

Perhaps rankings based on average pay might be a way to go:

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Using IPEDS follows only a small subset of graduates, and it also suffers from low sample sizes and highly self selected ones. So they had Brown as having the highest paid CS graduates, but they really had data from maybe a dozen graduates, and only one had a really high paying job, which skewed the average.

Payscale is based on surveys that they send out which also is a high biased method and thus unreliable. Furthermore, their datasets for salary for subfield for a college is not big. Even a 30,000 sample size from a university over 30 majors and more than 120 subfields, three degrees, and over a long time period, during which salaries fluctuate also become unreliable. I am not even talking about the difficulty in comparing two schools, if they have very different sized data sets.

Unless there is a large random sample from each school, or a sample that includes, say, 70% of all graduates for a specific year, there is absolutely no way that this data is at all meaningful.

It is a meaningless model created by people who know that it’s meaningless, but are trying to sell it anyways.

As an aside - in CS today, the majority of publications are conference publications. Things move so fast that the year to two years between submissions and publication is often too long. About 70% of my wife’s publications are conference publications. Many journals have sped things up now, but more are still moving along at mid-20th century speeds.

Of course, that isn’t all that relevant to undergraduate education either, but it is for prospective grad students, and for faculty who are applying for jobs (who are the real target for this list, I think).

Yes, most publications in CS these days are conference publications. I agree that the process for journal publications is too slow, but one of the contributing factors is that journal publications still have to meet a higher standard. Journals have to be more selective than conference proceedings.

I’m not sure that individual major-level rankings are useful or necessary on the undergraduate level.

First of all, undergrad don’t spend all their time in the department like grad students do. Only a subset of their classes are in the department, and there are a lot of other things that contribute to an undergrad’s happiness and success coming out of college.

Secondly, it’s not really how employers think. I work at a large tech company and I’m not sure that we have a numerical ranking or even any concept of that for CS schools; we sort of just have some mental buckets ("____ is a great school.") Some of them probably aren’t the ones that most people think of; for example, we recruit a lot of students from the University of Washington, Michigan, Georgia Tech, UIUC and Waterloo. (Actually, when I think off the top of my head where most of the engineers I know here went, they’re mostly large public universities! We have a boatload of Michigan grads and I know not one Stanford grad, although we’re located a lot closer to Palo Alto than Ann Arbor.)