Best universities for computer science degrees 2019

Find the best universities for computer science using Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings data

November 29 2018
Computer programming

Studying computer science is a smart bet in today’s world, as the career opportunities for tech-savvy graduates are expanding every year.

There’s also an extensive choice of universities when it comes to deciding where to study computer science.

Some 684 schools feature in the ranking for computer science by Times Higher Education this year.

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Nearly a sixth of the featured universities are American colleges and almost a third are based in Europe. Nearly 200 of the universities are based in Asia.

Computer science degrees vary in their focus and specialisms. Some courses are more theoretical and some are more focused on programming.

The ranking uses the same methodology as the World University Rankings, but with slightly higher weighting given to the innovation metric and lower weighting for citations. The full methodology can be found here.

Scroll down to find out what you can do with a computer science degree.

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Top 5 universities for computer science

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, maths and computer science, and computer science and philosophy.

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

2. 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 formed 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. It was created as a centre for scientific knowledge and innovation and remains a top institution for a range of subjects.

3. Stanford University

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

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. 

What can you do with a computer science degree?

4. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge computer science department offers undergraduate students the Computer Science Tripos course, a three- or four-year computer science course. 

The university also offers an MPhil in computer science as a general master’s degree, which helps prepare students for a PhD in computer science. 

There are many research groups based in the computer science department looking at artificial intelligence, security, graphics and interaction, and computer architecture. 

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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

Many of its alumni feature on lists of influential entrepreneurs who are making changes 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.

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Best universities for computer science 2019

Click each institution to view its World University Ranking 2019 profile

Computer Science Rank 2019 Computer Science Rank 2018 University Country/Region
 1  3 University of Oxford United Kingdom
 2  4 ETH Zurich Switzerland
 3  1 Stanford University United States
 4  5 University of Cambridge United Kingdom
 5  2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States
 6  =6 Carnegie Mellon University United States
 7  8 Georgia Institute of Technology United States
 8  12 Princeton University United States
 9  11 Harvard University United States
 10  =6 California Institute of Technology United States
 11  9 Imperial College London United Kingdom
 12  NR University of California, Los Angeles United States
 13  10 École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Switzerland
 14  15 Cornell University United States
 15  13 National University of Singapore Singapore
 16  NR Yale University United States
 17  14 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom
 =18  26 University of Texas at Austin United States
 =18  22 University of Toronto Canada
 =20  20 Tsinghua University China
 =20  19 Columbia University United States
 22  17 University of Washington United States
 23  18 UCL United Kingdom
 24  NR New York University United States
 25  21 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign United States
 26  16 Technical University of Munich Germany
 27  NR University of Michigan United States
 28  =28 Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Hong Kong
 29  31 Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Singapore
 30  24 University of California, San Diego United States
 31  NR Johns Hopkins University United States
 32  25 Peking University China
 33  23 University of Pennsylvania United States
 34  56 University of Montreal Canada
 35  =28 University of British Columbia Canada
 36  30 University of Southern California United States
 37  38 Chinese University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
 38  77 Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris France
 39  27 University of Wisconsin-Madison United States
 40  35 The University of Tokyo Japan
 41  33 University of Waterloo Canada
 42  36 Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Germany
 43  34 University of Chicago United States
 44  32 University of Maryland, College Park United States
 45  =45 Zhejiang University China
 46  55 University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
 47  37 RWTH Aachen University Germany
 48  47 LMU Munich Germany
 49  =68 Shanghai Jiao Tong University China
 50  40 Seoul National University South Korea
 51  44 University of California, Santa Barbara United States
 52  39 University of Melbourne Australia
 53  41 Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) South Korea
 54  54 KTH Royal Institute of Technology Sweden
 55  49 University of California, Irvine United States
 56  =42 Delft University of Technology Netherlands
 =57  71 University of Science and Technology of China China
 =57  52 Rice University United States
 59  48 Brown University United States
 60  53 National Taiwan University Taiwan
 61  70 École Polytechnique France
 62  51 Kyoto University Japan
 63  63 University of Manchester United Kingdom
 64  57 Technion Israel Institute of Technology Israel
 65  =45 University of Massachusetts United States
 66  50 KU Leuven Belgium
 67  =72 Technical University of Darmstadt Germany
 68  =58 Nanjing University China
 69  =58 University of Freiburg Germany
 70  =42 Technical University of Berlin Germany
 71  76 ITMO University Russian Federation
 72  NR Duke University United States
 73  66 University of Amsterdam Netherlands
 74  =88 Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hong Kong
 =74  64 Eindhoven University of Technology Netherlands
 =74  =83 University of Technology Sydney Australia
 =76  =61 King’s College London United Kingdom
 =76  =61 Vienna University of Technology Austria
 78  60 Lomonosov Moscow State University Russian Federation
 79  =95 McGill University Canada
 =81  NR Sorbonne University France
 =81  =88 Tel Aviv University Israel
 83  NR Michigan State University United States
 84  =83 Australian National University Australia
 85  =74 University of Twente Netherlands
 86  101–125 University of Bologna Italy
 87  101–125 Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) South Korea
 =88  90 Aalto University Finland
 =88  NR University of Zurich Switzerland
 90  78 University of Luxembourg Luxembourg
 =91  NR Boston University United States
 =91  101–125 University of Trento Italy
 =93  =74 City University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
 =93  =95 Polytechnic University of Milan Italy
 95  101–125 University of Queensland Australia
 96  97 University of Minnesota Twin Cities United States
 97  =68 Pennsylvania State University United States
 98  101–125 University of Alberta Canada
 99  =72 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill United States
 100  101–125 Queen Mary University of London United Kingdom
 101–125  126–150 University of Adelaide Australia
 101–125  79 Arizona State University United States
 101–125  101–125 University of Bristol United Kingdom
 101–125  126–150 University at Buffalo United States
 101–125  126–150 University of California, Riverside United States
 101–125  101–125 University of California, Santa Cruz United States
 101–125  101–125 Chalmers University of Technology Sweden
 101–125  126–150 University of Colorado Boulder United States
 101–125  101–125 University of Erlangen-Nuremberg Germany
 101–125  151–175 Fudan University China
 101–125  101–125 Hebrew University of Jerusalem Israel
 101–125  65 Heidelberg University Germany
 101–125  126–150 Lancaster University United Kingdom
 101–125  126–150 University of Malaya Malaysia
 101–125  67 Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology Russian Federation
 101–125  126–150 National Tsing Hua University Taiwan
 101–125  =98 Newcastle University United Kingdom
 101–125  126–150 Northeastern University United States
 101–125  =98 Queensland University of Technology Australia
 101–125  91 Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey United States
 101–125  85 University of Southampton United Kingdom
 101–125  94 Stony Brook University United States
 101–125  101–125 University of Sydney Australia
 101–125  151–175 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Netherlands
 101–125  101–125 University of Warwick United Kingdom
 126–150  151–175 University of Birmingham United Kingdom
 126–150  92 Dartmouth College United States
 126–150  126–150 Durham University United Kingdom
 126–150  101–125 École Normale Supérieure de Lyon France
 126–150  176–200 Free University of Bozen-Bolzano Italy
 126–150  =86 University of Geneva Switzerland
 126–150  101–125 University of Groningen Netherlands
 126–150  NR Harbin Institute of Technology China
 126–150  93 University of Helsinki Finland
 126–150  151–175 King Abdulaziz University Saudi Arabia
 126–150  126–150 Université Catholique de Louvain Belgium
 126–150  151–175 University of Mannheim Germany
 126–150  126–150 McMaster University Canada
 126–150  101–125 University of New South Wales Australia
 126–150  126–150 Ohio State University United States
 126–150  101–125 Osaka University Japan
 126–150  =86 University of Pittsburgh United States
 126–150  101–125 Polytechnic University of Catalonia Spain
 126–150  151–175 Queen’s University Belfast United Kingdom
 126–150  151–175 Sapienza University of Rome Italy
 126–150  126–150 Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna Italy
 126–150  176–200 University of South Australia Australia
 126–150  151–175 Stockholm University Sweden
 126–150  176–200 University of Surrey United Kingdom
 126–150  151–175 Technical University of Denmark Denmark
 126–150  201–250 University of Tübingen Germany
 126–150  126–150 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University United States
 151–175  101–125 Aalborg University Denmark
 151–175  NR University of Exeter United Kingdom
 151–175  101–125 University of Glasgow United Kingdom
 151–175  251–300 Griffith University Australia
 151–175  126–150 Korea University South Korea
 151–175  151–175 National Chiao Tung University Taiwan
 151–175  126–150 North Carolina State University United States
 151–175  126–150 University of Nottingham United Kingdom
 151–175  201–250 Paris-Sud University France
 151–175  151–175 University of Passau Germany
 151–175  176–200 University of Pisa Italy
 151–175  126–150 University of Potsdam Germany
 151–175  176–200 Radboud University Nijmegen Netherlands
 151–175  NR University of Rochester United States
 151–175  126–150 Royal Holloway, University of London United Kingdom
 151–175  126–150 Ruhr University Bochum Germany
 151–175  =81 University of Stuttgart Germany
 151–175  151–175 Texas A&M University United States
 151–175  151–175 TU Dresden Germany
 151–175  151–175 Uppsala University Sweden
 151–175  101–125 University of Utah United States
 151–175  151–175 Victoria University Australia
 151–175  126–150 University of Virginia United States
 151–175  100 Washington University in St Louis United States
 176–200  176–200 University of Arizona United States
 176–200  151–175 Bar-Ilan University Israel
 176–200  201–250 University of Essex United Kingdom
 176–200  151–175 University of Florida United States
 176–200  151–175 Free University of Berlin Germany
 176–200  176–200 University of Göttingen Germany
 176–200  176–200 University of Granada Spain
 176–200  176–200 Graz University of Technology Austria
 176–200  201–250 Hong Kong Baptist University Hong Kong
 176–200  176–200 University of Illinois at Chicago United States
 176–200  101–125 Indiana University United States
 176–200  101–125 Indian Institute of Science India
 176–200  126–150 Indian Institute of Technology Bombay India
 176–200  151–175 University of Innsbruck Austria
 176–200  201–250 University of Leicester United Kingdom
 176–200  176–200 Linköping University Sweden
 176–200  176–200 University of Macau Macao
 176–200  251–300 Middlesex University United Kingdom
 176–200  176–200 Simon Fraser University Canada
 176–200  176–200 Temple University United States
 176–200  151–175 Ulm University Germany
 176–200  201–250 University of Warsaw Poland
 176–200  201–250 Washington State University United States
 176–200  176–200 University of Western Australia Australia
 176–200  NR West Virginia University United States
 176–200  126–150 Xi’an Jiaotong University China

Click here to view the top 648 universities for computer science

Read more: The most detailed subject guide you will ever see to help you pick your degree

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