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What are the best colleges for undergrad in computer science and engineering?

What are the Best Colleges for Computer Science and Engineering?

Some of the best colleges for computer science and engineering collectively embody the most sought-after field in today’s college education. We are seeing unique offerings, from UIUC’s CS+X program to UC Berkeley’s coveted Management, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (MET) program. 

When it comes to finding the top and best colleges for computer science and engineering, it all comes down to:

  1. Hands-on computer science and engineering curriculum
  2. Specializations available in the best computer science colleges
  3. Location near job opportunities for computer science and engineering majors

Will my Computer Science major degree get me into Amazon or Google?

First of all, a hands-on engineering curriculum refers to a practical and experiential learning experience where students aren’t just learning theory. It means working on real-life projects, case challenges, and collaborating with others to solve complex problems. It also means, being able to apply concepts in ways that build one’s resume. There are many best computer science and engineering programs that are based on theory. However, in today’s competitive job market, it’s all about how you can get the job done. After all, most students aren’t going into CS or Engineering to go into research. No, they’re looking to build cool stuff and work for Amazon or Google, or create the next multi-billion dollar startup.

Can I choose bioengineering or biotechnology as an engineering major?

Second, it’s important for students to focus learning on specific niche areas of interest. Areas like AI and machine learning, data science, and even Bioengineering or Biotechnology are all attractive career paths as majors in college. So, it’s a huge value proposition if a college offers specialized pathways of study.

Where should I study computer science or engineering major?

Third, location matters – a lot. If you go to a computer science or engineering college that’s nowhere near business jobs, then it doesn’t matter how high of a ranking that program is. In today’s job market, if you don’t have experience, then you’re not getting hired – period. A critical part of undergraduate years for computer science and engineering majors is developing work experience on your resume. So, choosing a college that’s reputable for employing students nearby is a massive point to consider. Therefore, here are our top seven favorite universities for undergraduate engineering programs, taking into account the above three criteria:

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

    How much does MIT care about experiential learning? It has an entire website dedicated to Experiential Learning Opportunities (ELO), to ensure its students get real-world experience from maker spaces to startups to research labs. Its vast array of Engineering specializations complements the hands-on, offering such pathways as Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical and Ocean Engineering. See here for MIT’s catalog of degree charts. Lastly, MIT’s central location is in the heart of Boston. It is near all the major employers in the East Coast, be it New York or DC. Of course, an MIT undergraduate with solid work experience would have no problem getting hired anywhere in the nation.

  2. University of California, Berkeley

    There’s only one Silicon Valley in the world, home to UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering which is world-renowned. Located between the technology hubs of San Francisco and San Jose, Berkeley Engineers learn with the sole intention of doing, be it finding breakthrough innovations or readying themselves for a competitive job market. Hands-on learning opportunities are abundant, ranging from rocketry to entrepreneurial endeavors. And UC Berkeley’s specializations are incredibly relevant to today’s job market, with the school offering everything from Bioengineering to Energy Engineering. It is no wonder why so many of the world’s top thinkers and innovators find their journeys start here.

  3. Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)

    When you have a student-led electric racing team that wins, wins, wins, it’s hard to deny a top spot in our list of undergrad engineering programs. Georgia Tech offers one of the most inspiring programs available anywhere in the world, and much of it starts with its hands-on learning. Students have access to an Invention Studio and Aero Maker Space to put their learning to the test of real life. Specializations like Biomedical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering also make for a customizable experience. Lastly, being in Atlanta and situated nearby growing tech hubs in Virginia and the Carolinas, Georgia Tech students have no problem finding jobs in the area.

  4. University of Southern California

    Student led design teams: check. The opportunity to work with professors directly from freshman year: check. Half of all engineering classes involving hands-on projects: check. USC has a lot going for it, and its undergrad engineering program is one reason why. In addition to an incredibly hands-on experience, it provides students with the freedom and flexibility to specialize in Astronautical or Biomedical Engineering. They can also explore disciplines outside of engineering. Take all that and add it to the bustling job market of Los Angeles, and you have a winner.

  5. Purdue

    Some schools just have the right balance. When asking our 12th graders which kind of schools come to mind when they hear the word “balance”, Purdue is a common answer. From its Division 1 sports teams to its reputable programs in business, biology, and engineering, Purdue is a prime destination for undergrads. However, what sets its engineering program apart from most others is its innovativeness and hands-on learning aspects. Featured in this US News article, Purdue ditches the lecture halls for collaborative project-based learning environments. The emphasis is on entrepreneurial thought and creative problem solving. Specializations include Integrated Business and Engineering, along with Aeronautics and Biomedical Engineering. Though located in West Lafayette, Purdue shares close proximity with Chicago, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati, where employment opportunities are plenty.

  6. University of Washington, Seattle

    Location, location, location. Seattle is where it’s at, especially as Amazon’s home base and not far from Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, it offers the best colleges in engineering and computers science. Needless to say, the University of Washington is a prime destination for undergrads looking for a fast-track into the tech sector. UW’s curriculum pairs well for that. Collaborative, diverse, and experiential learning is the name of the game, be it in class or through a community, competition, or club. As for specializations, it’s one of the only colleges that offers a degree in Human Centered Design and Engineering. A testament to its forward thinking and relevance in today’s job market, in addition to its standard offerings in Bioengineering and Computer Engineering. If you don’t mind the rain and nice people, UW Seattle is a destination surely worth considering.

  7. University of California, San Diego 

    UC San Diego, and San Diego in general, is arguably the best kept secret for colleges with engineering majors. Both startup activity and corporate presence has thrived for over a decade, and housing prices have been on a tear to reflect the abundance of opportunity. While UC San Diego has historically been known for its biomedical sciences, it is now one of the top places to go to the best Computer Science and Engineering colleges. Its Intro to Electrical Engineering class is literally subtitled “Making, Breaking, and Hacking Stuff”. Coursework like Rapid Prototyping or The Art of Product Engineering clearly demonstrate a cutting edge curriculum bent on providing students with a real-world edge. Lastly, the curriculum really comes to life when viewing UC San Diego’s specializations, which include amongst others Bioinformatics and Nano Engineering.

In conclusion, every university that offers computer science and engineering majors have something specialized. It is up to the students to choose the best program they wish to pursue.

As always, mentors and counselors at ReadyEdgeGo always offer “Free College Consultation.” Take your chance on us today!

You can access blogs about our “Biological Sciences” and “Pathway to Medicine” here.

Dan Zhou

Liz Robles

Arts and Digital Arts Major Advisor

Q: How many total years of experience do you have in your current role, including but not limited to ReadyEdgeGo?

A: 2

Q: What about working with students do you most enjoy?

A: I love to motivate students to find their true passion. It’s so rewarding to see students succeed in a field they enjoy.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I enjoy arts and crafts, doing outdoorsy things such as hiking or picnics and the nightlife with friends.

Q: What is your one piece of advice for high schoolers?

A: Time management is key. Have a healthy balance between your work/school and social life.

Pranshul Goel

Biological Sciences Major Advisor

Q: How many total years of experience do you have in your current role, including but not limited to ReadyEdgeGo?

A: 1

Q: What about working with students do you most enjoy?

A: The ability to help students find their passion for their lifelong careers.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I am an avid hiker/backpacker, musician, and love to learn about medical breakthroughs

Q: What is your one piece of advice for high schoolers?

A: Take time for yourself and enjoy life, so that when you are in school, it does not feel like a chore.

Xenia Bremseth

Essay Editor

Q:How many total years of experience do you have in your current role, including but not limited to ReadyEdgeGo?

A: 14

Q: What about working with students do you most enjoy?

A: When they have the lightbulb moment and everything clicks into place for them.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: Travel, yoga, run, hike, eat lots of good food

Q: What is your one piece of advice for high schoolers?

A: Enjoy life as it today; don’t be in such a rush to be an adult because most of life is being an adult.

Bridgette Well

Essay Editor

Q:How many total years of experience do you have in your current role, including but not limited to ReadyEdgeGo?

A: In writing, editing, tutoring, and college support, I have a combined 9.5 years of experience

Q: What about working with students do you most enjoy?

A: I like getting to know students as individuals, holding space to help them connect more deeply with themselves, witnessing “green light” moments when new ideas or perspectives create a positive shift, and learning what feels important to them.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I enjoy spending time with friends, meditation and yoga, listening to music, being in nature, making/consuming art (painting, singing, poetry, performance), and learning about the world and universe we live in.

Q: What is your one piece of advice for high schoolers?

A: Be kind to yourself.

Ariana Lee

College Admission & Applications Advisor

Q:How many total years of experience do you have in your current role, including but not limited to ReadyEdgeGo?

A: 12

Q: What about working with students do you most enjoy?

A: I love hearing their stories. There's so much to discover about a person. It's very rewarding when my students get comfortable and know that I'm there for them.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: Swim, read, write, sing, enjoy nature, and play with my two crazy boys.

Q: What is your one piece of advice for high schoolers?

A: Do what you love, and everything else will fall into place.

Tam Minton

College Consultant

Q:How many total years of experience do you have in your current role, including but not limited to ReadyEdgeGo?

A: 16

Q: What about working with students do you most enjoy?

A: I love getting to know them and helping them know themselves!

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: Scuba dive, write, travel.

Q: What is your one piece of advice for high schoolers?

A: Don't worry about everyone else's opinion, be your authentic self!

Julian Hoffman

College Admissions & Scholarship Coaching

Q:How many total years of experience do you have in your current role, including but not limited to ReadyEdgeGo?

A: 5

Q: What about working with students do you most enjoy?

A: Hearing each student's unique stories, guiding them in discovering their passions, and helping find their voice!

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I am a figure skater, world traveler, dessert aficionado, and devotee of the Pioneer Woman, the Barefoot Contessa, and Maneet Chauhan!

Q: What is your one piece of advice for high schoolers?

A: Work hard now -- procrastinate later!

Aaron Togelang

Engineering and Computer Science Major Advisor

Q: How many total years of experience do you have in your current role, including but not limited to ReadyEdgeGo?

A: 2

Q: What about working with students do you most enjoy?

A: It's amazing getting to know the unique and diverse passions that drive each student

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: Sleep, but also video games, climb, scuba dive, and ride my motorcycle

Q: What is your one piece of advice for high schoolers?

A: Do things. Just get out there and try as many cool new things you can! You never know what you'll love until you give it a shot.

Tylar Pendgraft

Essay Editor

Q: How many total years of experience do you have in your current role, including but not limited to ReadyEdgeGo?

A: 9

Q: What about working with students do you most enjoy?

A: I love how open students are to learning and trying new things. As mentors, we get to see so much growth simply because our students are so open to new experiences and are looking forward to applying their learning and other skills.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: In my free time I like to read and write. I also spend a lot of time just watching--my dogs, birds, trees. I also enjoy baking and cooking (even though I'm terrible at baking).

Q: What is your one piece of advice for high schoolers?

A: It's never too early or late to start practicing self-care. Build moments of joy and celebration into your week. Give yourself a treat for working hard. It's important to have things to look forward to. If you can get into the habit now, you'll have a much more balanced college experience.

Miguel Barranco

Biological Sciences Major Advisor

Q: How many total years of experience do you have in your current role, including but not limited to ReadyEdgeGo?

A: Three years

Q: What about working with students do you most enjoy?

A: I enjoy getting to know them on a personal level and helping them see that their life story/experiences are unique and matter.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I coach wrestling at the high school level. Enjoy spending time with my husky, Lucy, on runs or hikes. Dancing mainly bachata and salsa. Collecting retro video games and playing them from time to time.

Q: What is your one piece of advice for high schoolers?

A: Make time to do things you love outside of academics. Whether that is clubs, music, art, sports, etc.

Anika Sherma

Major Advisor

Q: How many total years of experience do you have in your current role, including but not limited to ReadyEdgeGo?

A: 16

Q: What about working with students do you most enjoy?

A: Inspiring a student towards self discovery, and wanting to learn about everything there is in the world. Reaching this moment can take time, but it's what makes it worth it every time.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: Outdoors hiking, photography, gardening, and reading.

Q: What is your one piece of advice for high schoolers?

A: Do the thing that moves you, or be moved by forces not your own. The choice is yours.

Tushar Singla

Chief Technology Officer

Q: How many total years of experience do you have in your current role, including but not limited to ReadyEdgeGo?

A: 4

Q: What about working with students do you most enjoy?

A: Watching them accomplish great things.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: Watch Formula 1, play ice hockey, and watch TV.

Q: What is your one piece of advice for high schoolers?

A: Spend time exploring different things -- you have a long time to become an expert.

Dan Zhou

Chief Executive Officer

Q: How many total years of experience do you have in your current role, including but not limited to ReadyEdgeGo?

A: 16

Q: What about working with students do you most enjoy?

A: Inspiring a student towards self discovery, and wanting to learn about everything there is in the world. Reaching this moment can take time, but it's what makes it worth it every time.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: Outdoors hiking, photography, gardening, and reading.

Q: What is your one piece of advice for high schoolers?

A: Do the thing that moves you, or be moved by forces not your own. The choice is yours.

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