Top 10 Best Universities in USA For MS in Computer Science

Starlyon King
Starlyon King  - Author
23 Min Read
Top 10 Best Universities in USA For MS in Computer Science
Top 10 Best Universities in USA For MS in Computer Science

Pursuing an MS in Computer Science program in the US offers students more specialized information in the discipline. The US is known for having a large number of the top ranked universities having the highest technological and teaching capabilities. It is the shining centre for the IT education field and thus houses the most widespread and popular MS in Computer Science programs. Computer Science students are often provided with various courses related to such areas as information technology, artificial intelligence, programming, and hacking ethics, among others. In the United States, the top MS colleges for computer science attract students due to flexibility in the selection of courses, branch-wide specializations, a curriculum that focuses on new research, and international scholarships. In this article, we will be showing you the top 10 best universities in the USA for MS in Computer Science, among other relevant information.

About Pursuing MS in Computer Science in the US

In the United States, a degree in computer science combines the theories, experiments, and practical application of computing. A Master’s in Computer Science degree will help you to grasp the concepts of the scale of autonomous practical algorithms. This area provides vital knowledge about calculating and algorithmic processes that are essential components in information processing and storage. In addition, the MS in Computer Science is classified as a STEM program and thus would allow foreign nationals the possibility to participate in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) STEM extension program, which usually lasts for 24 months.

General Eligibility Criteria For MS Computer Science In The USA

Getting acceptance into highly reputable colleges and universities in the USA for a Master’s degree in Computer Science is a great desire for a lot of prospective students. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that a number of conditions have to be met in order to get accepted into these schools. As a matter of fact, colleges and universities mostly require that students who apply to an MS in Computer Science program in the United States should have some courses covered as prerequisites. Other requirements generally include academic transcripts, GRE(Graduate Record Examination) scores, proficiency in English, etc. Other requirements include an SOP (Statement of Purpose) and LOR (Letter of Recommendation). Thus, the following are the general requirements for an MS program in Computer Science in the US:

1. Academic Requirements

One requirement for admission into a Master’s degree program in the USA in computer science is getting a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer software, or a related field. Also, students must be equipped with a background in Mathematics and Statistics coupled with adequate work experience. Moreover, the candidate should have a minimum CGPA of 2.25 out of 4, with minimal or possibly no backlogs.

2. GRE (Graduate Record Examination) Scores.

The GRE scores are one major aspect used to assess the critical thinking, analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative skills of a student, which eventually become the deciding factor for admission to US universities for the MS in Computer Science program. A GRE score of about 290 is mostly regarded as a good one for admission to most top universities.

3. GRE Waiver Considerations

That said, you should be aware that GREs are generally not required in many universities that acknowledge that scores from standardized tests alone are sometimes not enough to determine a student’s academic qualifications. Instead of this, they evaluate the application as a whole, taking into account other factors aside from just the scores of the test.

4. Supporting Documents

Along with academic transcripts and GRE scores, applicants need to include other documents like a resume, SOP, and LORs in their application. SOP is a written essay that contains personal details of the applicant from which the applicant tries to explain his/her academic and professional achievement along with his/her motivations for pursuing a Master’s degree. LORs (Letters of Recommendation or Reference letters), usually three in number, are written either by supervisors or academic mentors to provide additional information on the applicant’s abilities and capabilities.

5. English Language Proficiency

The first obstacle for international students who are non-natives of English proficiency in the language. Universities require applicants to present proof of English proficiency through IELTS or TOEFL tests. The criteria for passing these exams differ from university to university and the program, and the applicant must have a minimum IELTS score of 6. 0 to 6. 5 over the total or a TOEFL minimum score range of approximately 79. Noteworthy, the prerequisites may vary depending on the particular program and the university you choose to apply to.

How do you Choose the Best Universities for MS in Computer Science in the USA?

It is important to discuss the key aspects to be considered when you are selecting your dream college before you go into the top computer science colleges in the USA. Due to the huge amount of resources you spend (time, energy, and money) in pursuit of computer sciences in the USA, you must conduct thorough research before fully committing to any institution. To aid in this process, you should consider the following criteria:

  1. QS Ranking: QS World University Rankings offer students and parents valuable information about the institutions’ programs, social atmosphere, success, and performance. These rankings, therefore, give you an overall idea of the quality of education that you might acquire in a particular university or college, as well as potential opportunities for you upon completion.
  2. Subjects: Your university selection is mostly dependent on the subject or discipline you hope to specialize in. Find out details regarding subjects/courses, including curriculum, research opportunities, placement assistance, and other pertinent factors, from university websites prior to enrolling.
  3. Tuition Fees: Computer science school fees in the USA may vary depending on the university you choose. Also, remember that this is not just a matter of course-related expenses only. You must take into account all the study-related costs as well. For international students, it is essential that you understand the expenses beforehand so that you can organize your finances better before even leaving your home country.
  4. Location: One main thing that makes studying abroad appealing is the possibility of residing in a country you enjoy. The geographical location of your university plays a crucial part in shaping the overall study-abroad experience. Hence, do extensive research on where the university is located and what surroundings there are. This will help you to ensure that there will be no mistakes or disappointments later.
Top 10 Best Universities in USA For MS in Computer Science
Top 10 Best Universities in the USA For MS in Computer Science

Top 10 Best Universities in the USA for MS in Computer Science

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Average Annual Fee: USD 59,750

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is globally known for offering one of the best computer science curricula. Computer Science and Electrical Engineering often attract a large number of students, and this is why they are regarded as the two largest departments on campus at MIT. The researchers of Computer Science at MIT are truly pioneers of some groundbreaking disciplines, including cybernetics, artificial intelligence, computer languages, machine learning, robotics, and cryptography. Also, the university catches much attention for its cutting-edge research in this field.

In 2022, MIT obtained the highest score on the ranking of university reputation in the labour market, which put it as the number one choice of computer science students and researchers from all over the world. This repetition, therefore, means that MIT has been recognised for having the best computer science program in the globe for the second time running. The highly regarded MIT faculty and researchers among top computer scientists keep making a remarkable impact in different areas of technology advancement. MIT’s reputation for academic excellence and its influence in reshaping the future of technology is even more strongly evidenced by its high score on the Employer Reputation Index.

Among MIT’s prominent halls of fame is the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), which is the largest research laboratory in the field. The role of CSAIL in MIT is not simply a tool for growth but a hub for keeping IT on a global scale, thereby strengthening the reputation of MIT as a technology leader. For those who want to make a real change in the world through technology, MIT is your dream destination. By enabling the best off-class education and research, MIT keeps on leading the current generation to the next round of innovators and leaders in the field of computer science.

Stanford University
Stanford University
  1. Stanford University

Average Annual Fee: USD 35,000 – USD 75,000

The Department of Computer Science at Stanford University dates back to the last decade of the 1960s, and it is situated within the School of Engineering. It is one of the chief centers of both research and studies in general educating undergraduates and postgraduate degree holders. An interdisciplinary approach is also emphasized by the department, where programs such as Computer Systems Engineering, Symbolic Systems, and Mathematical and Computational Sciences are offered. Amongst the top computer science departments in the United States, Stanford’s Computer Science Department has unique distinctions owing to the fact that it has a broadly based approach to the subject.

In the academic world and in the field of computer science, Stanford University sustains its reputation through its unbroken record in national rankings. Currently, in the year 2024, it is ranked as the third-best university in the field that has stood the test of time since its inception, being an embodiment of long-term excellence and achievements. The department focuses on providing a broad spectrum of course options designed to cater to students intending to pursue a computer science degree. These comprise programs at the undergraduate level leading to a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and others offering graduate level programs like Master’s and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in the same field.

Additionally, the Department of Computer Science of Stanford houses research labs that demonstrate their expertise in the trends and problems in computing. These areas comprise Artificial Intelligence, Biocomputation, Computer & Network Security, Information Management & Analytics, and Human-Computer Interaction. The department’s various programs and its high-tech research initiatives place it at the vanguard of innovations and academic success.

  1. Harvard University

Average Annual Fee: USD 40,000 – USD 59,000

Harvard University holds the status of being the best US institution of higher education in the computer science field. Under the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences oversees the PhD and Master’s degrees in Computer Science, with comprehensive research in diverse fields. These areas cover the following such as mathematical approaches to models and simulations of complex systems and software development.

At Harvard, the Computer Science Research and Society Center (CSRS) is a hub where scholars of the highest calibre working in distinct realms of computer science and societal arenas come together. They work together to deal with urgent technical issues that go far beyond their immediate effect on society. Their uniqueness lies in the fact that their investigations are primarily about the effect of computing technology on mankind.

Harvard University provides an environment where you can explore beyond academics through more than 400 approved student organizations. These platforms offer the students of Harvard amazing opportunities to participate in a diverse range of activities in and out of the classroom that are relevant to the experiences of students. These activities help the students to learn more, and therefore, they have a good educational experience.

Moreover, the technology giants of today, for example, Bill Gates, Microsoft Co-Founder, and Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Founder, began their careers a Harvard College. However, neither of them completed their study programs at Harvard, but for sure, their time at the university shaped their paths of the ways to success in the tech industry.

  1. Columbia University 

Average Annual Fee: USD 40,000 – USD 70,000

At Columbia University, the Master of Science program in Computer Science presents a wide variety of eight specialized areas, which are Computational Biology, Network Systems, Software Systems, Machine Learning, Computer Security, Vision, Graphics, Interaction and Robotics, Natural Language Processing and Foundations of Computer Science. Located in New York, Columbia University is 18th on the national ranking table and has the highest score in research citations per paper among its peers. Graduates from this college commonly follow a career path that takes them to the private sector or government in the discipline of computer science. On the other hand, others prefer to study medicine or commerce or pursue other academic disciplines based on their passion.

Columbia University stands out with the flexibility and wisdom to choose as a place to study computer science in the USA. Similarly, like other top-ranking institutions of the nation, it covers a broad spectrum of research areas and topics to work on, such as artificial intelligence, natural language processing, computational complexity, computer communications, combinatorial methods, and computer architecture. The range of course selections illustrates the reputation of Columbia for being one of the top computer science teaching schools in the US.

  1. Princeton University

Average Annual Fee: USD 62,400

As recorded in the QS World Rankings 2023, Princeton University earns 13th position worldwide in regards to computer science, and also takes the USA’s 6th position. The university shines exceptionally in the metric of citations per publication, as observed in the rankings. The Computer Science department in the University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science has a student body size of around 1,900 people. Successful graduates of the college include renowned scholars John von Neumann and Alan Turing, known as “The Father of Computer Science,” Alonzo Church, and business owner Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.

Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University
  1. Carnegie Mellon University

Average Annual Fee: USD 54,420

Carnegie Mellon University, the first ever university in the world to establish a Department of Machine Learning, is renowned for its groundbreaking research in Cyber Security and Robotics, giving it an enviable reputation. CMU students are trained to go beyond the role of a learner and become writers, public volunteers, and innovators. Some may think the campus dining options are not great, but there are still a lot of off-campus dining options to choose from for the students. Hence, it is without doubt that in the United States, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) enjoys national recognition for its leading computer science programs, as demonstrated by the program’s strong performance in the academic reputation ranking, which affirms its position as one of the top institutions in the country. Noteworthy, the program provides both thesis and non-thesis categories and also interdisciplinary courses that can be concluded within one or two semesters.

  1. University of Washington

Average Annual Fee: USD905/credit

The University of Washington has climbed the ladders to the 15th global place generally and the 7th top-ranking university in the US. In addition to this, the university is regarded to be number one as far as the citations per paper and H-index proofs are concerned. Hence, it is given the highest recognition in these areas. The College of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington is one of the oldest undergraduate programs and was established in 1967 as a general graduate program. The university has the largest number of undergraduate students taking part in research projects in the USA. Over the past decade, 33 students have received Computing Research Association Undergraduate Research Award. Interestingly, this figure is more than that of any other university in the United States.

  1. University of California

Average Annual Fee: USD33,238

UC Berkeley is among the top universities that are the go-to institutions for computer science education in the United States. Like MIT, it also has a school dedicated to computer science and electrical engineering. What’s more, eleven UCB alumni and ten faculty members were honoured with the Turing Award, the “Nobel Prize of Computing”. Amongst them are Douglas Engelbart, who introduced the computer mouse into our lives. We must also mention that the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) demonstrates its importance as well by claiming the 8th ranking position in the nation and 17th worldwide for computer science. UCLA displays quality throughout the different assessment metrics, especially in the H-index and the number of research citations per paper, which points to the best possible research output they can achieve.

Within UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, which is popularly known as the HSSSE, there exists a highly reputed computer science team of lecturers. Boelter Hall provides the site of the initial transmission that allowed for the Internet to be launched on the World Wide Web in 1969 and earned UCL as the “birthplace of the Internet.”

University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
  1. University of Pennsylvania

Average Annual Fee: USD33,238

The degree program of the University of Pennsylvania’s computational science is offered through the Department of Computer and Information Science which is situated within the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. In particular, the engineering school, which has always been the cradle of modern computers, can be cited as the birthplace of the unprecedented electronic, large-scale, and digital computer- the ENIAC, as it was built in 1946 at this university. The department offers two undergraduate degrees and six graduate levels programs such as MTS, MPhil, and PhD.

  1. Cornell University

Average Annual Fee: USD33,238

A well-known Ivy League member, Cornell University, takes the world position no. 19 in the computer sciences domain due to their cutting-edge technology, state-of-the-art facilities, etc. Founded in 1965, Cornell University operates Cornell Tech which is a graduate school in New York City that is mainly focused on technology.


Computer science has now gained huge popularity among students, and it is now on the list of the best-paid jobs in the world. It is no surprise that the US is on the top list of countries with good educational programs, especially in computer science, in terms of in-depth scientific research, state-of-the-art or cutting-edge technologies, and geostrategic developments. If you have been looking for the top colleges for a Master’s degree in computer science, then we hope this article has been of tremendous help to you.


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By Starlyon King Author
I'm Kingsley Neji, popularly known as Starlyon King, CEO of UnicrossBlog and SportPremi. Join me on a journey of knowledge and excellence in education and career.
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