Best universities for computer science degrees 2019

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

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