Best Master’s in Computer Science Degrees

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Today, computers and computer technology are everywhere. The industry affects each of us personally, whether in our homes or in our pockets.

Best Master's in Computer Science Badge

But computers also affect just about every area of public life: the economy, healthcare, transportation, entertainment, and more—the list continues to grow.

The technology in the field of computers and computer science is ever changing and advancing, and will undoubtedly become more advanced in the coming years. That’s why earning a Master’s in Computer Science degree now is a great bet on a lucrative and engaging career down the road. 

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Advertisement CollegeChoice.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

Accredited Online College Programs

Top 10 Best Master’s in Computer Science Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Yale University New Haven, CT
2 Harvard University Cambridge, MA
3 California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA
4 Dartmouth College Hanover, NH
5 Cornell University Ithaca, NY
6 Columbia University New York, NY
7 Stanford University Stanford, CA
8 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA
9 University of Chicago Chicago, IL
10 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA

What kind of Master’s in Computer Science degree should you get?

The institutions outlined below each have different strengths when it comes to their Master of Computer Science degree (abbreviated as “MSc in Computer Science” in other countries). Some of the first computer science programs began back in the 1960s while others weren’t founded until more recently.

Certain programs are more focused on research and the theoretical nature of the field, while others are geared toward professional applications. Many programs give students the option of picking either a research or a professional track. Sometimes the master’s degree in computer science is meant only if one plans on pursuing a PhD, but most of them are stand-alone (terminal) degrees.

Because of both the present and future manifestations of computers technology, graduate degrees in computer science are highly competitive and desirable degrees. And this is true for both residential and online master’s in computer science degrees.

What can you do with a Master’s in Computer Science

Earning an advanced degree in computer science brings you closer to the pulse of modern society. You will have the tools to update and revolutionize virtually any industry in which you find passion. Here are some of the roles you could take on:

  • Computer Network Architect
  • Computer Programmer
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Information Security Analyst

That’s just the tip of the iceberg! It is also not too drastic to say studying in the field of computer science may give individuals the opportunity to change the future of our world: possibly solving global problems or inventing new ways of interacting with one another and impacting international systems and processes.

How much money can you make with a Master’s in Computer Science?

Having a graduate degree in computer science will certainly give individuals the chance for better career opportunities. It also is a career that gives back tenfold in terms of annual salary. In general, the median annual salary for computer and information technology occupations is $84,580, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

However, that number is just the average. Many occupations bring in higher salaries, such as Software Developers ($103,560) and Computer Network Architects ($104,650). Even more better news, the outlook on employment looks to be great for computer occupations—it’s expected to increase by 13 percent between now and 2026.

What are the Best Master’s in Computer Science?

We have ranked the top 50 Best Master’s in Computer Science across the United States. Our methodology takes into consideration a range of metrics, but here are the core factors: the school’s academic reputation, cost of tuition, and average salary of recent graduates.

Our data comes from our own research of program websites and catalogs, the rankings at U.S. News and World Report, the National Center for Educational Statistics, and Payscale.com. Ready to code your way to your future? 

Today, computers and computer technology are everywhere. The industry affects each of us personally, whether in our homes or in our pockets.

But computers also affect just about every area of public life: the economy, healthcare, transportation, entertainment, and more—the list continues to grow.

The technology in the field of computers and computer science is ever changing and advancing, and will undoubtedly become more advanced in the coming years. That’s why earning a Master’s in Computer Science degree now is a great bet on a lucrative and engaging career down the road. 

mini icon
Advertisement CollegeChoice.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

Accredited Online College Programs

What kind of Master’s in Computer Science degree should you get?

The institutions outlined below each have different strengths when it comes to their Master of Computer Science degree (abbreviated as “MSc in Computer Science” in other countries). Some of the first computer science programs began back in the 1960s while others weren’t founded until more recently.

Certain programs are more focused on research and the theoretical nature of the field, while others are geared toward professional applications. Many programs give students the option of picking either a research or a professional track. Sometimes the master’s degree in computer science is meant only if one plans on pursuing a PhD, but most of them are stand-alone (terminal) degrees.

Because of both the present and future manifestations of computers technology, graduate degrees in computer science are highly competitive and desirable degrees. And this is true for both residential and online master’s in computer science degrees.

Program Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Yale University
    Location

    New Haven, CT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Established in 1701, Yale University is located in New Haven, Connecticut and is a private Ivy League university accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Yale is consistently ranked as in the top three universities in the country, and in the top 15 universities in the world.

    Features

    A computer science degree has been offered at Yale since the departments founding in 1969 by Alan Perlis. He then served as a professor until his death in 1990. Yale hosts distinguished lecturers in the field of computer science who have spoken on topics that mimic its curriculum. Areas include the following:

    Notables

    Yales Master in Computer Science degree is a terminal graduate programas such, it is most oriented toward to students interested in beginning their professional career after graduation rather than pursuing their PhD. It is also an appropriate option for students who are interested in research, but may not be ready to commit to the thoroughness of a PhD.

  2. Harvard University
    Location

    Cambridge, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Harvard University is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Established in 1636, it is considered to be the oldest university in the United States, and ithas been accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges since 1929. Harvard consistently ranks among the best universities in the US and the world, notably topping theAcademic Ranking of World Universitiesevery year since 2003.

    Features

    Harvard offers two masters degrees within their graduate program that are a computer science degree: a Master of Science and a Master of Engineering Degree in Computational Science and Engineering (CSE). The graduate program in CSE program lasts one year and is best suited toward graduate students looking to further their knowledge in the industry and quickly move on to professional aspirations. Highlight coursework includes:

    Notables

    The Master of Engineering in CSE program lasts two years and requires a thesis in order to graduate. Typically, the majority of the second year is spent doing research, culminating in the completion and defense of a masters thesis. This program is best suited for students interested in research or planning further education toward a Ph.D.

  3. California Institute of Technology
    Location

    Pasadena, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Also known as Caltech, the California Institute of Technology is a private university founded in 1891. It is located in Pasadena, California and accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Caltech ranks as having one of the highest median starting salaries for its alumni. A notable alumnus is Donald Knuth, known as the father of algorithm analysis.

    Features

    Caltechs graduate degree in Computer Science is a non-terminal research-based computer science degree oriented toward a Ph.D. It has general and specialized coursework as well as a thesis component, and can normally be completed in two years. A sampling of coursework includes:

    Notables

    Students can expect to receive a strong grounding in the mathematical and algorithmic foundations of computing, as well as be introduced to cutting-edge research in a variety of subfields of computers. Upon graduating, students will be prepared to utilize their skills and learning to tackle difficult problems in the computer science industry and beyond.

  4. Dartmouth College
    Location

    Hanover, NH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overviewverview

    Dartmouth College is a private, Ivy League, university in Hanover, New Hampshire. Dartmouth College was established in 1769. It is one nine universities that were founded in the United States prior to the American Revolution.Dartmouth College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

    Features

    In the Master of Computer Science program at Dartmouth, students work with top-level faculty researchers in an intimate and collaborative setting. All of Dartmouths Master of Computer Science degree students are eligible to use the state-of-art facilities on campus and are given ample time to conduct research throughout their studies. Some of the stand-0ut courses include:

    Notables

    Students are exposed to research in a variety of fields, including engineering, mathematics, biology, medicine, and more. Dartmouths graduate program takes pride in its small class sizes and nationally recognized faculty.

  5. Cornell University
    Location

    Ithaca, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Cornell University is a private Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865, the university is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and is consistently ranked as one of the best universities in the nation.The Cornell University Library is the 11th largest academic library in the United States.

    Features

    The Computer Science degree program Cornell University was created in 1965, over 50 years ago. The graduate degree programis a small, highly selective, four-semester program. This graduate program favors driven, self-motivated students who take pleasure in both research and working alongside undergraduate students in introductory courses. Heres a look at a few electives:

    Notables

    Students admitted into the program must also work as full-time teaching assistants (TAs) during their time of enrollment. As part of the program, and in exchange for these services, however, masters degree students pay no tuition, and receive a stipend and health insurance.

  6. Columbia University
    Location

    New York, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Established in 1754, Columbia University is a private Ivy League university located in Upper Manhattan of New York City, New York. It has been at the forefront of research in the field of computers, engineering, technology and medicine, and is associated with the invention of Macromodel (a software for computational chemistry) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) which is used for audio, video, chat and instant messaging.

    Features

    Columbia offers two degree programs for professionals interested a computer science degree. The Master in Computer Science program is for those who are interested in software engineering, AI, natural language processing or other core areas in computers. Concentrations for the Master in Computer Science degree include:

    Notables

    Columbia also offers a graduate degree in Computer Engineering, which targets students more interested in computer architecture, parallel systems, or other similar specialties.

  7. Stanford University
    Location

    Stanford, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Established in 1885, Stanford University is a private university accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, located in Stanford, California. It is consistently ranked as having one of the best reputations in the world, and holds the rank as the most selective university in 2016.

    Features

    Graduate degree students who complete the coursework of the Master of Computer Science Degree at Stanford indicate to employers that their studies have consisted of both a broad grounding in the discipline of computer science, while also specializing in a particular area such as:

    Notables

    Stanfords faculty and graduates has the second highest Turing Award recipients (behind only University of California-Berkeley), an annual prize given by the Association for Computing Machinery to individuals who have made contributions to the computing community, and it is generally recognized as the highest distinction in computer science.

  8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Location

    Cambridge, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Commonly known as MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was founded in 1861 and is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It frequently ranks in the top 10 universities in the country, and as one of the most prestigious universities in the world. In 2014Moneymagazine ranked MIT as third in the U.S. for Best Colleges for Your Money.

    Features

    MITs Master of Computer Science degree is directed to students pursuing their Ph.D. and is not offered as a terminal degree. As such, students who are looking to earn their masters degree and quickly move toward professional pursuits would be better suited studying elsewhere. The masters program consists of 66 units (roughly equivalent to 22 credits at another institution) of coursework, plus a research thesis. Research areas include:

    Notables

    Graduates of MIT have gone on to work at places such as Ivy League (and other prestigious) schools, Facebook, Google, research and consulting firms, or MIT itself.MIT has been involved in computer experimentation since the early 1960s, and MIT faculty and researchers have made fundamental contributions in the field of computer science.

  9. University of Chicago
    Location

    Chicago, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Chicago is a private university in Chicago, IL. The university was established in 1890, and is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.The University of Chicagos Master in Computer Science degree most differentiates itself from competitive programs by specifically matching coursework to the career goals its students.

    Features

    The graduate program offers two programs of study: 1) The 9-Course masters degree in Computer Science, and 2) The 12-Course masters degree in Computer Science with Specialization Programs.Typically, students are able to complete the graduate program in 9 months and part-time students can complete the graduate program in as few as 15 months. Students choose from the following specializations:

    Notables

    The 9-course Master of Computer Science Program exposes students to both foundational concepts of computer science and advanced skills required for a prosperous career. The 12-course Masters in Computer Science Specialization Program is more suited to students looking to specialize and improve their skill set in a specific area of study. The 12-course graduate program also allows students to take part in an internship or research project by the completion of their studies.

  10. University of Pennsylvania
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Commonly referred to as Penn, University of Pennsylvania established in 1740 located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Penn is a private Ivy League, doctorate-granting university accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Penn is a prolific and active research institution and is associated with creating the first general purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) in 1946.

    Features

    University of Pennsylvania offers five different masters degrees in computer science all labeled as an Engineering graduate degree. Students with little or no prior experience in computers who desire to pursue a career in computing and technology are recommended to pursue the Master of Computer and Information Technology (MCIT) degree. Students may choose between pursuing degrees in:

    Notables

    Graduates have worked as a software development engineer at Microsoft, a Systems Engineer at Lockheed Martin, researchers at MIT and University of Pennsylvania, or doctoral students at a variety of top-tier schools.

  11. Georgia Institute of Technology
    Location

    Atlanta, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Commonly referred to as Georgia Tech, Georgia Institute of Technology was founded in 1885 initially offering degrees in mechanical engineering. It is a public research institution in Atlanta, Georgia that has an emphasis on science and technology and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Cooperative Education.

    Features

    The on-campus Master of Computer Science degree has three different programs to prepare students for highly productive careers in the industry of computers. Students may choose from the Course Option (30 hours of coursework, no project or thesis hours required); the Project Option (21 hours of coursework and a 9 hour project in conjunction with a faculty advisor); and the Thesis option (18 hours of coursework and a 12 hour thesis in conjunction with a faculty advisor). Students can specialize in the following:

    Notables

    Georgia Tech is known for its fully online graduate program, which was launched in 2014. Delivered through a Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) platform, this program allows students to earn their Master of Computer Science degree online at a greatly reduced cost compared to a traditional on-campus degree.

  12. Brown University
    Location

    Providence, RI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Brown University is a private, Ivy League university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764, Brown is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States.

    Features

    In attending Browns Master in Computer Science degree program, students are exposed to, and taught by, some of the brightest minds in the computers industry. Faculty recognize the association between education and their research, and as such, students are provided an education with a strong foundation in concepts as well as groundbreaking ideas in the industry of computers. Masters degree students may choose between a thesis track, project track, or coursework-only track for the completion of their Master in Computer Science degree. Some classes include:

    Notables

    Browns Computer Science department was created in 1979. Since then, alumni of the program have made tremendous contributions to the computers industry, with their work including the Macintosh OS, the Intel 80386 processor line, Windows 95, Apple Inc. and Pixar.

  13. University of California Los Angeles
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Informally known as UCLA, the University of California at Los Angeles is a public university accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and founded in 1919. It consistently is ranked as one of the top universities in the world in a variety of categories, offers 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and frequently receives more applicants than any other university in the United States.

    Features

    UCLAs Master in Computer Science degree teaches students the necessary technical skills for successful careers in the computers industry. As opposed to the more research-focused Ph.D. program, Master in Computer Science students typically focus on applicable skills that can translate to a variety of fields. Coursework includes:

    Notables

    Prospective students should be aware that it is not common for students in the Masters Degree program to be considered for the Ph.D. program. As such, the Master of Computer Science degree at UCLA is typically utilized as a terminal degree. Receiving a degree from UCLA is a mark of prestige since only 7% of applicants to the graduate program are enrolled.

  14. Vanderbilt University
    Location

    Nashville, TN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Vanderbilt University is a private university located in Nashville, Tennessee. It was founded in 1873 with an original $1 million endowment from shipping and rail magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, who hoped the university would help heal the sectional damaged caused by the Civil War. Vanderbilt University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    Features

    Students may choose between two graduate degrees: the M.Sc/.thesis option, which includes a thesis and final exam and lets students request admission into a Ph.D. program in computer science; or the M.Sc./non-thesis option, which doesnotinclude a thesis or final exam and should be considered a professional graduate degree. Both masters degrees require a total of 30 credit hours. Courses include:

    Notables

    Vanderbilt University offers a Master of Computer Science degree focused on networking systems, image processing, machine learning and artificial intelligence, and computer theory. The graduate program also offers a variety of interdisciplinary research opportunities, ranging across healthcare, security, energy and natural resources, and entertainment.

  15. Carnegie Mellon University
    Location

    Pittsburgh, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Established in 1900 as the Carnegie Technical Schools by Andrew Carnegie, a self-educated immigrant, Carnegie Mellon is a private university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the university consistently ranks in the top 25 in the country. It also has one of the first Computer Science Departments in the world: founded in 1965, over fifty years ago.

    Features

    Carnegie Mellons Master in Computer Science program is a self-directed course of study, allowing students to choose the concepts they are most interested in studying (under consultation with their advisor) in order to complete their degree. The program is entirely coursework based, with no research component required. Heres a glance at coursework:

    Notables

    The graduate degree program is completed by most students in three semesters. The school also offers two other master of computer science tracks: a fifth-year masters degree program for current undergraduates, and a combined program with the CMU Tepper School of Business as part of an MBA.

  16. Princeton University
    Location

    Princeton, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Princeton University is a private Ivy League university in Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton University was originally established in 1746 in Elizabeth, NJ before moving to its current location in 1756. It is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and is consistently ranked as one of the best universities in the worldranked as the #1 university in the United State in 2016 by the U.S. News World Report.

    Princeton Universitys Master in Computer Science degree typically requires two-years to complete, and is formally a Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E) graduate degree. By default, all admitted students are enrolled in the thesis-required track, but are later given the opportunity to switch to the Master of Engineering (m.Eng.) non-thesis track, if they desire. The graduate program is fairly self-directed, with students having the ability to choose a subarea of computer science on which they would like to focus their studies.

  17. Duke University
    Location

    Durham, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Duke University is a private university located in Durham, North Carolina. It was founded in 1838, and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

    The Computer Science Graduate Program at Duke University is internationally recognized as a top-level program regarding the quality of their research and quality of education provided. Some of the primary benefits of a computer science degree at a graduate level at Duke include the opportunity for collaboration with other departments, including biology, economics, business, and medicine. Dukes close proximity to Research Triangle Park also provides opportunity to work with high-tech companies and other major universities. The Master of Computer Science program at Duke University is small and selective, with an admission rate of only about 10-15%, and class sizes having note exceeded 8 students since 2013. These small class sizes also differentiate Duke from other programs in that it allows faculty to give students more personal guidance and attention. Students are given the choice between a course-only graduate degree or a thesis/project-based graduate degree.

  18. Northwestern University
    Location

    Evanston, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Northwestern University is a private university with campuses in Evanston, Illinois and Chicago, Illinois and accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. John Evans and eight other lawyers, businessmen, and Methodist leaders founded Northwestern in 1851. The school has the eighth largest university endowment in the United States, currently valued over $10 billion.

    Northwestern Universitys McCormick School of Engineering offers graduate degrees in computer science that students can tailor to their personal research interests and career goals. Since the program is associated with the engineering school, computer science students are taught through an interdisciplinary approach, better preparing them for careers in the working world upon graduating. Areas of study include: A.I, theoretical computer sciences, user interfaces, graphics, entertainment, and visualization. Employers in nearly every industry recruit employees with a master of computer science degree from Northwestern. Their program is equally appropriate for students looking to pursue professional careers as it is students planning on moving on to PhD studies.

  19. Johns Hopkins University
    Location

    Baltimore, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Founded in 1876, Johns Hopkins University is a private university named after an American entrepreneur, abolitionist and philanthropist. It is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is located in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1916 it founded the first school of public health in the United States.

    Features

    The research-centered computer science graduate degree at Johns Hopkins is designed to produce graduates who have both a depth of skill and the ability to be at the forefront on the industry. The computer science research laboratories at Hopkins that tackle a variety of topics such as:

    Notables

    Professors often instruct not from outdated textbooks, but research that they themselves are intimately involved in crafting. The graduate degree is flexible, allowing students to choose coursework based on their own interests.

  20. Rice University
    Location

    Houston, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    A private university in Houston, Texas, Rice University was founded in 1912 and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is generally considered one of the most selective universities in the state of Texas.

    Features

    Rice Universitys Master in Computer Science degree is a terminal degree intended for students who are focused on pursuing a career in the industry. Graduate program studies in computer science at Rice University is a mixture of both theory and practice, and a master in computer science degree will consist of recent research in the following fields:

    Notables

    Rice University has been at the forefront of computing technology as early as 1958 when work began on the Rice Institute Computer, a 54-bit tagged architecture digital computer. Students can expect to develop close working relationships with faculty as they engage in hands-on research by top computer scientists in the field.

  21. Washington University in St. Louis
    Location

    St. Louis, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Washington University in St. Louis is a private university founded in 1853 and named after George Washington. Twenty-five Nobel laureates have been affiliated with Washington University, including T.S. Eliot and Arthur H. Compton. Washington University in St. Louis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and it was officially incorporated as The Washington University.

    Features

    The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis prides itself on its small size, close-knit atmosphere of research groups, tradition of individual mentoring, active student organizations, and access to the faculty. The department offers $27 million in annual research awards, and prides itself on its research. Topics include:

    Notables

    Students in the Master of Computer Science degree program are given the option to present a thesis, complete a final project, or take courses exclusively in order to complete their master in computer science degree.

  22. University of Californiaberkeley
    Location

    Berkeley, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of California, Berkeley is a public university located in Berkeley, California. It is the flagship campus of the University of California public university system.The university has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission since 1949, and is one of only two University of California campuses that operate based on a semester calendar rather than a quarter calendar.

    Features

    The computer science division at UC Berkeley was created in 1973, over 40 years ago, and is part of the Electrical Engineering Computer Sciences department.The Master of Computer Science degree is typically pursued as groundwork for pursuing a PhD. The degree includes concentrations such as:

    Notables

    The computer science degree can be completed in a single academic year, but most students choose to take three to four semesters while they fill in undergraduate prerequisites, prepare for PhD preliminary exams, and/or becoming involved in a research group. Students who are more career-focused rather than research-focused are encouraged to enroll in the 1 year Master of Engineering (MEng) program.

  23. University of Southern California
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Southern California is a private, not-for-profit, and university in the city area of Los Angeles, California. Founded in 1880, it is Californias oldest private university. USC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

    Features

    The Department of Computer Science was established in 1968, and resides within the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Its engineering connection facilitates interdisciplinary research and study, which enables the program to provide a greater breadth of education to its students. In addition to the standard computer science degree at the masters level, USC also offers degrees with specializations including:

    Notables

    USC holds claim as the #1 ranked online computer science program, according toU.S. News World Report, and a top 10 Computer Science program worldwide according to Microsoft. Students in the masters degree program are given the option of completing a thesis in order to graduate.

  24. University of Virginia
    Location

    Charlottesville, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Virginia (UVA) is a public-private university. The university was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

    Features

    The Computer Science Department offers both Master of Science (MS) and Master of Computer Science (MCS) graduate degrees. The MS degree requires course work plus a formal thesis. The MCS degree is based primarily on coursework, but students are encouraged to complete a substantial project prior to graduation in order to get the most out of their degree.Research initiatives are active within:

    Notables

    The University of Virginias Computer Science graduate program strives to create well-versed graduates who are prepared to make outstanding improvements in computers and society as a whole.It prides itself on high achievement in research and education. The department boasts faculty active in research within the computer science and engineering fields and cooperative interdisciplinary work within other fields.

  25. University of Illinoisurbana-​Champaign
    Location

    Champaign, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Founded in 1867, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign is a public research-intensive university accredited by the North Central Association of American Schools. Located in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana, it consistently is ranked in the top 50 schools in the country, and has been identified as a Public Ivy School: a public university with the quality of an Ivy League institution.

    Features

    The schools Master of Computer Science degree program is a non-thesis, non-research professional degree that can be completed either online or on campus in two to three semesters. Those who are busy professionals have the option of working on the program online part-time. The online program consists of essentially identical courses to that of the full-time on-campus option. Coursework includes:

    Notables

    University of Illinois has been a leader in computer based education since the 1960s, including a project known as PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations) which was a precursor to the internet, and Mosaic, the first graphical web browser upon which Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer were based. Bill Gates has stated that Microsoft hires more graduates from University of Illinois than from any other university in the world.

  26. University of Californiasanta Barbara
    Location

    Santa Barbara, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) is a public university and one of the 10 campuses of the University of California system. The main campus is located near Goleta, California. It is the 3rd-oldest campus in the system. UCSB is one of Americas Public Ivy universities, which recognizes top public universities in the United States with the education quality of an Ivy League school.

    Features

    The Masters Degree program is designed to give students training in the foremost skills and methods within computer science in order to prepare them for successful careers or more advanced degrees. The Master of Computer Science degree is able to be completed with a thesis, a comprehensive exam, or a project depending on student interests. Classes include:

    Notables

    The Computer Science Department at UC Santa Barbara was founded in 1979, and is housed within the universitys College of Engineering. Alumni of the department have gone on to have successful careers in the computers industry and academia alike. Additionally, students and faculty have founded companies such as: Expertcity, AppFolio, Eucalyptus, and Lastline.

  27. University of Texasaustin
    Location

    Austin, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Texas at Austin, also known as Texas, is a public university and the flagship university of the University of Texas System. It was founded in 1881, and is located just a mile away from the Texas State Capitol building in Austin. Texas has earned recognition as one of the Public Ivies, a public university that provides quality of education comparable to that of an Ivy League school.

    Features

    The Computer Science graduate program at UT has shaped the industry from the start, having been established in 1966, and it consistently ranks as one of the top 10 computer science programs in the country. Texass computer science program prides itself on its strength in the following:

    Notables

    The Masters program at University of Texas is intended to be a terminal degree, and is designed to enhance students knowledge in the field and prepare them for prosperous careers in computing. Whether you have a bachelors degree in CS or degrees in other, unrelated fields, the Master in Computer Science Program at UT is a good fit.

  28. University of Californiairvine
    Location

    Irvine, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of California, Irvine is a public university located in Irvine, California. It is considered a Public Ivy (a public university that has educational quality similar to that of an Ivy League school), and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

    Features

    The University of California Irvine school of computer science was established in 2002, making it the first within the University of California school system. Today, it is housed within the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, a state-of-the-art 90,000 square foot facility. Topics covered in the computer science degree include various areas of computer science:

    Notables

    Having the computer science program within an independent school specifically focused on computer science and information technology allows faculty to dedicate more time specifically to the study and teaching of the latest computer science methods and techniques.

  29. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Location

    Troy, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Accredited by The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a private university founded in 1824 and located in Troy, New York with additional campuses in Hartford and Groton, Connecticut. It was founded by Stephen van Rensselaer and Amos Eaton and is described as the first dedicated school of science and civil engineering established in the country and one of the oldest technological universities.

    Features

    The Master of Computer Science degree at RPI is designed for accelerated professional advancement in the computing field. Students interested in continuing on to PhD work would be equally prepared through the program. The curriculum will cover subject areas such as:

    Notables

    Students are required to complete a Masters Thesis demonstrating their application of learned principles. Students interested in completing a PhD may pursue both degrees concurrently.Students looking to perform a career change should probably look elsewhere, as applicants must have a technical degree related to Computer Science, and must know how to program with at least three higher-level languages.

  30. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Established in 1853, the University of Florida is a public land, sea, and space-grant university located in Gainesville, Florida. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and is classified as an institution with Very High Research by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

    Features

    The Computer Science department at University of Florida is part of the College of Engineering, but is still involved in programs spanning the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as well. Primary areas of research include:

    Notables

    An online distance learning Masters Degree is offered here, which has the same requirements as the on-campus degree. Students pursuing a masters degree in computer science may choose between the thesis and the non-thesis options, each totaling 30 credits. Students interested in pursuing a PhD at the University of Florida may apply near the completion of their Master in Computer Science degree.

  31. Case Western Reserve University
    Location

    Cleveland, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    A private, doctorate granting university in Cleveland Ohio, Case Western Reserve University was created in 1967 and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Notable alumni include Paul Buchheit, the creator and lead developer of Gmail, and Craig Newmark, the founder craigslist.org.

    Features

    The School of Graduate Studies at Case Western Reserve has two options for students to pursue their Master of Computer Science degree. One is a thesis-based option, and the other is a project-based option. The project option is typically pursued by part-time students or students attaining their BS and MS degrees simultaneously. Students are assigned faculty advisors to guide them through their studies. Courses include:

    Notables

    Case Western Reserve University offers research positions within the computer science department, offering full tuition to those students who participate. Assistantships are also available to support students in their thesis research.Case Western Reserve has been on the cutting edge of computers technology since the late 1960s, and was one of the earliest universities connected to the ARPANET, a predecessor form of the Internet, as well as pioneering the early Free-net computer systems.

  32. University of Washington
    Location

    Seattle, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Known informally as U-Dub (UW), the University of Washington is a university in Seattle, Washington accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. It was founded in 1861 making it one of the oldest universities on the West Coast. It is consistently ranked as one of the top 35 universities in the world.

    Features

    The Computer Science degree graduate program at the University of Washington was started in 1996, and consists of three graduate degree options. First is a PhD program with a Masters degree integrated, second is a part-time evening program aimed at busy professionals looking to improve their skills and propel their careers to a higher level, and third is a joint BS/MS program. The part-time Masters degree program is typically completed in 2.5 years, and allows students to choose from a variety of courses such as:

    Notables

    According to theNew York Times, Seattle-area tech icons like Microsoft and Amazon rely on U-Dub as an incubator of talent and ideas, and Silicon-Valley based companies such as Facebook, Zynga and Google have offices in Seattle in order to entice graduates from University of Washington. About 35% of its computer science graduates end up working at Amazon, Google, or Microsoft in a typical year.

  33. University of Rochester
    Location

    Rochester, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Founded in 1850 as a Baptist-sponsored institution, the University of Rochester is a private, nonsectarian university. It is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and located in Rochester, New York.

    Features

    The Computer Science graduate program at the University of Rochester was established in 1974, and heavily emphasizes research objectives with other disciplines, such as cognitive sciences, lasers and radiation, vision research. The Master of Computer Science degree is coursework-based (not requiring a thesis) and is a terminal degree appropriate for students not planning to continue their studies toward a PhD. Coursework includes:

    Notables

    The Masters degree program offers students the choice of heavily focusing their studies on a single area of computers or to enrich their knowledge and skills across the entire discipline. The degree can be obtained either via full or part-time coursework. Graduate degree students are encouraged to apply from diverse undergraduate backgrounds as long as their work demonstrates strong technical skills. Students with an undergraduate degree in computer science typically finish the degree over three semesters.

  34. Pennsylvania State University-University Park
    Location

    University Park, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Pennsylvania State University is a public, flagship, research-intensive university. It was founded in 1855, and is considered one of the Public Ivies, a publicly funded university considered as providing a quality of education comparable to those of the Ivy League. It is accredited by the Middle States Association.

    Features

    Penn States Department of Computer Science and Engineering was created in 1993 when it merged the computer engineering program with the computer science department. As a result of the combination of these two programs,Penn State offers two Masters Degree options in Computer Science: a Master of Science in Computer Science and Engineering, and a Master of Engineering in Computer Science and Engineering. Both programs are one-year intensive masters degree programs, and include classes like:

    Notables

    Penn State ranked 8th nationally in research development expenditures for its computer science department in 2013. Applicants to the graduate program are expected to have a B.S. degree in computer science, computer engineering, computer science and engineering, or similar degree.

  35. New York University
    Location

    New York, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    New York University (NYU) was established in 1831 by Albert Gallatin (who was the Secretary of Treasury under Thomas Jefferson and James Madison), as a place of higher education for New Yorkers who could be accepted because of their skill not necessary their family tree. Located in New York City, New York, New York University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is a private university.

    Features

    The NYU Department of Computer Science offers two Masters-level graduate degree programs, one focused on computer science and one focused on information systems. The first program is intended to increase a students skills in programming, creating computer systems, and overall critical thinking while also keeping students apprised of current computing technologies. This course-based degree includes foundational classes such as:

    Notables

    The Masters in Information Systems combines computer science courses with business courses for students who anticipate needing skills in both the business and computer technology field. The aim of this degree is to help professionals reach management positions successfully because of their strong technical skills. Half of the courses are required to be in Business and half in Computer Science.

  36. New York University (School of Engineering)
    Location

    New York, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The New York University Tandon School of Engineering (Polytechnic Institute), is the second oldest private engineering school in the United States, dating back to 1854. Brooklyns MetroTech Center houses the schools main campus. The school officially merged with New York University in 2014.

    Features

    Their Master in Computer Science degree program is a flexible program that gives students the ability to cater their classes to their particular interests and long-term goals. In addition to fundamental courses in the theory of computers, this program offers a variety of electives, including:

    Notables

    Masters degree students must have an undergraduate degree in computer science, engineering, or a related degree, but students with different backgrounds are accepted in rare cases. Students of this graduate program are required to complete a capstone course or a Masters thesis in order to fulfill graduation requirements.

  37. Virginia Tech
    Location

    Blacksburg, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is a public, land-grant, university with a main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. Virginia Tech is the leading research institution in the State of Virginia, managing a research portfolio of $513 million. The school was founded in 1972 and is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

    Features

    Virginia Techs master in computer science degree puts graduate students with highly recognized professors who have shaped the industry. Primary research areas within the graduate program include:

    Notables

    Students can choose between a thesis option or a coursework option for their degree, both of which are typically completed within two years. A combined Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science degree in computer science is also offered, allowing students to complete both degrees in five years.

  38. University of North Carolinachapel Hill
    Location

    Chapel Hill, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) is a public university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The university was originally established in 1789 but didnt begin enrolling students until 1795. It is one of three schools able to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States. UNC is also one of the original eight Public Ivy schools, claimed to provide an Ivy League education at a public university price.

    Features

    The Department of Computer Science at at UNC was one of the first to be established in the U.S. in 1964.The Master in Computer Science degree educates students on theory and concepts that are relevant to their application in practice. Starting with these fundamentals allow students to better grasp how to put their learnings into action. Students will take classes like:

    Notables

    Most graduates go on to successful careers in the industry at companies ranging from new start-ups to expansive government operations and top-level international corporations. Most students complete the graduate program within two years.

  39. Northeastern University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Northeastern University is a private university accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It was established in 1898 as the Evening Institute for Younger Men, located at the YMCA. Northeastern University has been classified as having the Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

    Features

    For students without a background in computers, Northeastern University offers the ALIGN degree program in order to provide the opportunity for students without a bachelors degree in Computer Science, or people looking to change career paths.The Master in Computer Science degree combines fundamental knowledge in computer science with specific student-chosen concentrations, such as:

    Notables

    Northeasterns College of Computer Science began in 1982, making it the first College in the United States strictly devoted to computer science. It has since been renamed as the College of Computer and Information Science. Many of the faculty are well-known in the field, including Karl Lieberherr, who wrote the first book about adaptive programming.

  40. University of Marylandcollege Park
    Location

    College Park, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Maryland at College Park is a public university founded in 1856 and accredited by the Association of American Universities. Located in College Park, Maryland, it is approximately 4 miles from Washington, D.C., resulting in many research partnerships with the federal government from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, NASA, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

    Features

    The Computer Science Department at UMD was formed in 1979 and has an annual research budget of several million dollars. It consistently ranks among the best in the United States, and within the top 10 public universities. Research can be done in nearly every aspect of computers, including:

    Notables

    The Master of Computer Science degree usually takes 2 to 2.5 years and has both thesis and non-thesis options depending on the preference of students. A joint BS/MS degree program is also offered, allowing students to obtain both degrees within 5 years.

  41. University of Notre Dame
    Location

    Notre Dame, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located near South Bend, Indiana, The University of Notre Dame is a Catholic university and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The institution began in 1842 as an all-male school, and although it has long since become co-ed, there are still priests who continue to be employed by the university. It remains committed to Catholicism in part through the numerous Catholic ministries it funds, and its campus architecture.

    Features

    Notre Dames Master of Computer Science degree is a two-year, coursework-focused graduate degree designed to make students highly competent in advanced technical skills. Students in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering learn from highly-esteemed faculty, including four IEEE fellows, one IBM fellow, and numerous NSF CAREER and ONR Young Investigator awardees. Classes include:

    Notables

    Upon graduation, students have gone on to positions within other colleges and universities, international corporations, and research laboratories. The Masters Degree is typically completed in two yearsand includes a year-long student project or thesis.

  42. Boston University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Established in 1839 and associated with the United Methodist Church, Boston University is a private university located in Boston Massachusetts. It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The interest in the computer science program at the university has led to overall enrollment quadrupling over the past five years.Boston University alumni in the computer sciences include J Allard, whose team at Microsoft developed Internet Explorer.

    Features

    The general Master in Computer Science degree at Boston University has the option of two specializations: Cyber Security and Data-centric Computing. The Cyber Security specialization prepares students to deal with and prevent security breaches at top-level corporations or government agencies, while the Data-centric Computing specialization equips students to analyze large data sets and distill usable information and insights. Overlapping classes include:

    Notables

    Students in the Master of Computer Science program can expect small class sizes, allowing the experienced faculty to provide each student with enough individual attention to guide their research and studies throughout the program.

  43. University of Wiscons in Madison
    Location

    Madison, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of WisconsinMadison is a public university in Madison, Wisconsin. The university was founded when Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848, and was the first public university established in Wisconsin and remains the oldest and largest public university in the state. UW-Madison is one of Americas Public Ivy universities, which refers to top public universities in the United States capable of providing a collegiate experience comparable with the Ivy League.

    Features

    Wisconsin holds one of the nations oldest Computer Science departments, having celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014. Students with an entrepreneurial mindset can also take advantage of a class specifically focused on launching software startup companies. Wisconsins Computer Science graduate program now prides itself in its classes in the following areas:

    Notables

    What sets UW-Madisons program apart from many others is the on-campus competitions, such as start-up pitch competitions and programming competitions. There are also student-led computer science organizations which allow students to take their learning outside the classroom and grow within a community.

  44. Rutgers, the State University of New Jerseynew Brunswick
    Location

    New Brunswick, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey located in New Brunswick, New Jersey, is more commonly known as Rutgers University. It is the eighth-oldest college in the United States, established in 1766 before the American Revolution, and is the largest university in New Jersey. It is currently a public university accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

    Features

    The Master in Computer Science program at Rutgers is designed to develop students to be ready for professional pursuits, administration, teaching, and further academic study toward a PhD. Fundamental and advanced courses are offered in a variety of areas, including:

    Notables

    Working professionals who are able to be flexible with their work schedule may be able to complete the Masters program in computer science at Rutgers due to the typical scheduling of classes. Most courses begin in the mid-afternoon or later, with others not starting until the evening.

  45. University of Californiadavis
    Location

    Davis, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Founded in 1905, the University of California located in Davis, California is a public university. Itis accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges.UC Davis prides itself on having a reputation for solving problems related to food, health, the environment and society.

    Features

    Admission to the masters degree program of the computer science department at UC Davis is very selective, with only the top 15 percentile of over 600 applications being admitted annually. In addition to the general computer science degree, since 1998 there has also been a joint BS/MS program, allowing undergraduate students to dual enroll and complete both degrees simultaneously and at an accelerated rate compared to standalone MS students. Research groups within UC Davis include:

    Notables

    UC Davis boasts joint research with computer companies such as Intel, HP, Google, and more, providing ample opportunities for graduate students to gain real-world hands-on experience throughout the program.

  46. Syracuse University
    Location

    Syracuse, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    A private university located in Syracuse, New York, Syracuse University was founded in 1870 and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It maintains ties with The United Methodist Church due to its roots as a Seminary school. Syracuses College of Engineering founded the nations second oldest computer engineering and bioengineering programs.

    Features

    Syracuse University became the second institution in the country to offer computer engineering in 1971. Since then, it has grown into a leading research institution throughout the computer science industry. Research areas covered include:

    Notables

    Syracuse offers Masters Degrees in more than just Computer Science, including Computer Engineering, CyberSecurity, Electrical Engineering, and more. There is also an Online Master of Computer Science degree available for working professionals who do not have the time or ability to attend courses on-campus full time.

  47. Indiana Universitybloomington
    Location

    Bloomington, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    A public university founded in 1820, Indiana University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is located in Bloomington, Indiana.The School of Informatics and Computing was founded in 2000, adding the Computer Science department to the school in 2005, and the School of Information Science in 2013.

    Features

    The Master in Computer Science degree is a two-year program that covers topics across a variety of disciplines, supported by the broad range of courses offered within the school. Major areas of research include:

    Notables

    The school boasts claim to offering the first master in computer science degree in Cybersecurity. In addition to Computer Science, the school offers Masters Degrees in biological data, data science, information science, library science, and security. There are also accelerated Masters degree programs, allowing students to complete their BS/MS degrees in five years.

  48. University of Californiasan Diego
    Location

    La Jolla, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego or UCSD) is a public university located in San Diego, California. UCSD was established in 1960, and is the 7th oldest of the 10 University of California campuses.UC San Diego is one of Americas Public Ivy universities, recognized as providing an Ivy League education at the cost of a public university.

    Features

    The UCSD Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) offers a Master of Computer Science degree as well as a PhD in computer science and computer engineering.Faculty members are highly recognized, including several IEEE Fellows. Particular research strengths include:

    Notables

    Both of the computer science programs are able to be completed either full time or part time, depending on students schedule. There is also the option for current undergraduate students to dual enroll in the combined BS/MS program in order to accelerate their degrees.

  49. University of Pittsburgh
    Location

    Pittsburgh, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Commonly referred to as Pitt, the University of Pittsburgh is a state-related university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1787, it was a private university until 1966, and is accredited through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. One of its historically notable buildings is the 42-story Gothic revival centerpiece called the Cathedral of Learning.

    Features

    The Computer Science Department was created in 1966 by Dr. Orrin Taulbee after he left the Goodyear Aerospace Corporation to become the chairperson of the new department.University of Pittsburgh offers opportunities for research in many areas within the computer science field. Options include:

    Notables

    Students pursuing a Master in Computer Science graduate degree at Pitt will be required to complete a thesis or project in order to graduate. The graduate program allows students to take what they learn in their classes and apply it to their research, both supervised and independent, and is designed to prepare students for advanced jobs in various computers industry positions.

  50. University of Californiasanta Cruz
    Location

    Santa Cruz, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) is a public university. It was founded in 1965, and is considered a Public Ivy institution, one that provides an Ivy League level education despite being a public university. UCSC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

    Features

    The Department of Computer Science is housed within the Jack Baskin School of Engineering, and offers two types of Master in Computer Science degrees: project track and thesis track. Despite these programs requiring 40 and 43 credit-hours, respectively, these graduate degrees are usually completed in one year. Students begin with core courses in fundamental concepts before advancing to specialized topics. Areas of study include:

    Notables

    The Computer Science department works closely with other departments within the School of Engineering (e.g. Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Applied Mathematics). Faculty members in each department often do joint research projects, supervise students, and teach courses within each of these departments.

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