Best undergraduate computer science schools in California

Last Updated on June 2, 2022

Computer science is the study of computers and computing, including their theoretical and algorithmic foundations, hardware and software, and their uses for processing information. The discipline of computer science includes the study of algorithms and data structures, computer and network design, modeling data and information processes, and artificial intelligence.

Computer science draws some of its foundations from mathematics and engineering and therefore incorporates techniques from areas such as queueing theory, probability and statistics, and electronic circuit design. Computer science also makes heavy use of hypothesis testing and experimentation during the conceptualization, design, measurement, and refinement of new algorithms, information structures, and computer architectures.

Right here on infolearners, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on best undergraduate computer science schools in california, top computer science schools in the world, top computer science universities in usa, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

Best computer science colleges in california

Best Computer Engineering Schools in California - College Learners

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

It’s difficult to beat Stanford University if you want to pursue a degree in computer science. Stanford is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the suburb of Stanford. A Best Schools rank of #3 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Stanford is a great university overall.

There were about 645 computer science students who graduated with this degree at Stanford in the most recent data year.

Harvey Mudd College

Claremont, CA

Every student pursuing a degree in computer science has to look into Harvey Mudd College. Harvey Mudd College is a fairly small private not-for-profit college located in the large suburb of Claremont. A Best Schools rank of #1 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Harvey Mudd College is a great college overall.

There were about 47 computer science students who graduated with this degree at Harvey Mudd College in the most recent year we have data available. Computer Science degree recipients from Harvey Mudd College earn a boost of around $53,706 over the average earnings of computer science majors.

Pomona College

Claremont, CA

It is hard to beat Pomona College if you want to pursue a degree in computer science. Located in the suburb of Claremont, Pomona is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. A Best Schools rank of #11 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Pomona is a great college overall.

There were approximately 34 computer science students who graduated with this degree at Pomona in the most recent data year.

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA

Every student who is interested in computer science needs to take a look at California Institute of Technology. Caltech is a small private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Pasadena. A Best Schools rank of #17 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Caltech is a great school overall.

There were approximately 73 computer science students who graduated with this degree at Caltech in the most recent data year.

University of California – Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

UC Berkeley is a very large public university located in the medium-sized city of Berkeley. A Best Schools rank of #26 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means UC Berkeley is a great university overall.

There were approximately 897 computer science students who graduated with this degree at UC Berkeley in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the computer science major at University of California – Berkeley earn $44,006 above the standard college grad with the same degree shortly after graduation.

Best Undergraduate Computer Science Schools In California

California State University – Fullerton

  • Fullerton, California

California State University (CSU Fullerton) is located in Southern California and operates as a recognized Hispanic-serving institution. CSU Fullerton’s urban campus is recognized to contribute more than $2 billion to the Californian economy. The Computer Science Department within the Engineering & Computer Science College is considered among the top computer science schools in California and offers several ABET-accredited computer science degree programs.


Tuition Fees: $ 2,871 (U Resident); $ 3,588 (G Resident)Program Options: Bachelor’s & Master’s & Accelerated MSStudent Enrollment: 40,445Accreditation: WASC

California Polytechnic State University

  • San Luis Obispo, California

California Polytechnic State University is a public polytechnic higher learning institution that was established in 1901. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a space-grant university with one of the largest campuses across the United States – more than 9,000 acres. The School of Computer Science and Software offers computer science degree programs at the baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate degrees.


Tuition Fees: $ 5,035 (U Resident); $5,752 (G Resident)Program Options: Bachelor’s & Master’sStudent Enrollment: 21,426Accreditation: WASC

The University of California – Berkeley

  • Berkeley, California

Located in Berkeley, California, this campus of the University of California is a land-grant school that has a student enrollment of approximately 43,150 students. UC Berkeley is regularly ranked among the globe’s most elite institutions of higher education, home to a variety of cutting-edge research labs and institutes. UC Berkeley’s Division of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences (EECS) is recognized as one of the top computer science schools in California offers students both undergraduate and graduate degree options.


Tuition Fees: $5,721 (U & G Resident)Program Options: Bachelor’s & Master’s/ Ph.D.’sStudent Enrollment: 43,185Accreditation: WASC

The University of California – Irvine

  • Irvine, California

The Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences at the University of California (UC Irvine), located within the greater LA metro area, is a research member school of the state’s university system, offering more than 190 undergraduate & graduate degree programs. UCI’s alumni include Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners. For schools less than fifty years old, UC Irvine has been ranked among the top five consistently.


Tuition Fees: $5,721 (U Resident); $19,272 (G – Resident) – (runs on trimester, shown per semester)Program Options: Bachelor’s & Master’s & Ph.D.’sStudent Enrollment: 36,908Accreditation: WASC

The University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA)

  • Los Angeles, California

The Computer Science Department at UCLA is part of the Samueli School of Engineering, which was established in 1945. Known as the birthplace of the internet, the school strives for excellence in creating, applying, and imparting knowledge in computer science and engineering through comprehensive educational programs and research collaborations with industry and government. UCLA Samueli offers various computer science academic programs accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.


Tuition Fees: $6,620 (U Resident); $8,783 (G – Resident)Program Options: Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D.Student Enrollment: 48,321Accreditation: WASC & ABET – ETAC

Top computer science universities in usa

1. Stanford University

The Computer Science programs at Stanford University come in the forms of Bachelors, Masters, Minor programs, Joint major programs and finally, Doctoral programs. There are various courses listed under each of these programs.

The main objectives of these programs revolve around applying the principles of Science, Mathematics and Engineering methods to analyze data, solve engineering issues, or design hardware or software components.

Some of the specialization areas include analytics, artificial intelligence, network security, mobile computing, and the likes.

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Computer Science is offered as the EECS program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology or the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science program. At the undergraduate level, this is the most popular and the biggest program.

The program curriculum focuses on practical experience in solving analytical problems, along with modeling practices. Students passing out from MIT with a Bachelor’s degree in EECS are known to draw salaries well above $100,000. The students here are basically encouraged to try their hands at experiencing the thrill of discovery through engineering methods.

3. Princeton University

Princeton University takes pride in its Computer Science department since it has housed residents like Alan Turing, Alonzo Church, and John von Neumann. This is all thanks to the 47 tenure-track and 12 teaching faculty with a strong focus on network security, graphics, programming languages, machine learning techniques, and computational biology.

In fact, in the entire university, this is the only department that gives the students the chance to get either an A.B degree or a B.S.E degree. Additionally, since the university believes in taking up practical work, every student works through at least one design project or research project to gain hands-on experience.

Once a Graduate program has been completed, the students can directly get admitted for their Ph.D. program without having to go via a Master’s degree.

4. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University is popular mainly for their Computer Science department. There are a total of seven departments offering undergraduate degrees in Computer Science in this university.

The graduate admissions are taken by the university’s school of computer science seven degree-granting departments on a case by case basis.

In addition, there are regular seminars and events held in the department that encourage student engagement in the fields of study. These include events like CyLab Student Seminar, Computer Science Thesis Proposal, and the likes.

5. University of California–Berkley

Very similar to MIT, the University of California- Berkley offers its Computer Science education in the form of EECS or Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. When it comes to instructional computer Science programs or research programs, there is hardly any other name that can compete with the University of California- Berkley.

The Undergraduate program offers two courses- Bachelor of Arts in CS and the Bachelor of Science in EECS. While the former deals with Computer Science theory, hardware and software designs and information management, the latter works with Computer Science engineering applications.

For the graduate programs, one could either choose the industry-oriented degree programs or the research-oriented degree programs. Once again, the former groom the students for a career in the industry while the latter focusses on R&D and academic lines.

Top computer science schools in the world

1. University of Oxford

Although computer science is a relatively modern discipline, the University of Oxford has one of the oldest departments in the country, formerly known as the Oxford University Computing Laboratory.

Since its beginnings, the department has provided lectures for undergraduates and trained research students at postgraduate level.

In addition to core computer science topics, students can take courses in computational biology, quantum computing, information systems, software verification, software engineering and computational linguistics.

The department offers three undergraduate degrees: single honours computer science, mathematics and computer science, and computer science and philosophy.

Like other students, computer science students – whether undergraduate or postgraduate – belong to one of Oxford’s colleges, where they live, eat, socialise and study.

2. Stanford University

The Stanford University computer science department was established in 1965. The department offers bachelor’s of science, master’s of science and doctor of philosophy degrees.

The department undertakes research in many areas, including artificial intelligence, robotics, foundations of computer science, scientific computing and programming systems. There is also a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary research across chemistry, genetics, linguistics, construction and medicine, among others.

The home of the computer science department is the Gates Computer Science Building, named after Bill Gates, who donated $6 million to the project.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The department of electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology confidently declares: “Our students change the world”.

Many of its alumni feature on lists of influential entrepreneurs making an impact at home and abroad.

Students are encouraged to develop start-ups, and research projects have explored problems such as calculating the financial risks of renewable energy and developing faster parallel computing.

Undergraduates are enrolled on a flexible curriculum that allows them to focus on both abstract theory and practical problems in computer science. Students can major in computer science or in both computer science and molecular biology.

Graduates go on to design video games, work on supercomputers, research robotics and often join big companies such as Google and Microsoft.

4. University of Cambridge

The undergraduate computer science course at the University of Cambridge teaches a core selection of modules that provide students with the foundations of the subject in the first year. In the second and third years, students are able to specialise in their own choice of modules. All aspects of modern computer science are covered, along with the underlying theory and foundations in economics, law and business.

Students will also develop practical skills, such as programming in various languages including OCaml, Java, C/C++ and Prolog.

There are more than 1,000 specialist computing and advanced technology companies in the area where students are often able to gain work experience. 

5. ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich has a history of developing software and designing computer systems. Eventually, these projects called for a dedicated computer science department, which was created in 1981.

The department covers many areas of computer science, including computational intelligence, networks and distributed systems, algorithms and theory, and information security. Different programming languages are also taught on software engineering courses.

There are close relationships with other departments within the university and with partners in business and industry, such as IBM, Microsoft, Google, SAP and Disney, with which the university collaborates on research projects.

ETH Zurich dates back to 1855, just a few years after the formation of the federal state of Switzerland. Created as a centre for scientific knowledge and innovation, it remains a top institution for a range of subjects.

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