13 Best Colleges in California for Computer Science

This is a blog post on the best colleges in California for computer science to help you choose the right school to pursue a degree program in computer science thereby facilitating your admission.

Computer science is the study of computers and computing and the theoretical and practical applications applying the principles of mathematics, engineering, and logic to a plethora of functions including algorithm formulation, software, and hardware development, and artificial intelligence. It is a field that encompasses all others and requires its applications to survive in this digital age.

Graduates of computer science are highly sought-after, it is a profession that is in high demand and it doesn’t matter if you graduated from a two or four-year college with a diploma, certificate, or bachelor’s degree qualification, there are companies ready to employ you. Every industry/company makes use of computers and other computing devices and requires skilled people to handle the operations.

Computer science graduates can get a job in every niche, industry, field, or company ranging from medicine and tech companies to finance, education, and engineering fields. Computer science itself is a field that encompasses all other disciplines and businesses that do not follow the trend have died out long ago.

The principal areas of study within computer science include architecture and logic design of computers, artificial intelligence, computer systems and networks, security, database systems, human-computer interactions, operating systems, vision and graphics, numerical analysis, compilers, programming languages, and software engineering. These principal areas are applied to, at least, one thing around you and it is the job of computer scientists that make it possible.

The computer science field is still growing, there are still a lot of advancements to be made and even any other field that wants to grow needs the help of computer scientists and computers to achieve its full potential. So, if you are thinking of not embarking on the journey of being a computer professional, you may want to think that twice because this is just the beginning.

Typically, to become a computer scientist you need to attend a university or college that offers the program, apply for the computer science program, and start the journey towards earning your degree. In the course of looking for a school, you must choose a school that is suitable for you.

That is, the learning environment is perfect for you, the teaching system fits your learning style, and there is low theory and more hands-on practice and research. You should also take a tour of the computer science facilities and ensure it is loaded with latest gadgets and equipment to make your learning as modern as possible.

For those in California or outside the state who want to pursue a computer science program, you no longer have to go through the hassle of choosing a school that is right for you. In this post, we have compiled the best colleges in California for computer science for you to choose from. These schools hold both national and international recognition in offering programs in computer science.

California houses some of the best universities and colleges in the United States and in the world some of which offer computer science programs at undergraduate and graduate levels of study. These institutions are highly competitive and have low acceptance rates ranging from just 6 to 10% so you need to have an outstanding result to stand a chance of getting accepted.

Now that you’ve known about the competitive rates of the school, you need to meet up with the requirements to study computer science in Californian colleges and if you don’t know it, they are outlined below.

Requirements to study computer science in Californian colleges

The requirements are:

  1. Whether it is the bachelor, master’s, or doctoral program you are going for, you must meet up with the GPA requirement. Studying computer science in Californian colleges is highly competitive, you may want to hold a GPA of 3.0 and above.
  2. You will need to take SAT or ACT and international students will satisfy the IELTS or TOEFL scores requirement.
  3. All academic transcripts must be submitted during the application
  4. Graduate applicants should prepare documents such as essays, letters of recommendation, the purpose of the statement, and a resume or CV.
  5. Undergraduate applicants must have completed and earned a high school diploma or in their final years in high school while applying.

How to apply to colleges in California for computer science

Applying to colleges in California for computer science is easy. Applications are done online where you will fill a form with the appropriate information, upload the necessary documents, and pay the application fee. The application fee usually varies by college and it is non-refundable.

Best Colleges in California for Computer Science

The best colleges in California for computer science have been compiled and further discussed below:

  • Stanford University
  • The University of California, Davis
  • The University of California, Los Angeles
  • California Institute of Technology
  • The University of California, Berkeley
  • The University of Southern California
  • San Jose State University
  • The University of California, San Diego
  • California Polytechnic State University
  • The University of California, Riverside
  • The University of California, Irvine
  • The University of California, Santa Barbara

1.      Stanford University

The Department of Computer Science at Stanford University is a world-leading school for computer science programs. It was established in 1965 in Silicon Valley, this location makes it unique among computer science programs. The department is consistently ranked among the best colleges in California for computer science and even in world rankings.

The department is part of Stanford’s School of Engineering and offers programs leading to Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy. It also participates in undergraduate interdisciplinary programs which include Computer Systems Engineering, Symbolic Systems, and Mathematical and Computational Sciences. The strong research focus is in areas of artificial intelligence, robotics, foundations of computer science, scientific computing, and systems.

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2.      The University of California, Davis

UC Davis is an institution dedicated to learning and teaching, committed to serving the needs of society. The Department of Computer Science is one of the colleges in California for computer science, offering top-notch degree programs that lead to bachelor, master’s, and doctoral degrees. These undergraduate and postgraduate programs are tailored to meet the needs of students who want to solve issues using their skills in computer science.

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3.      The University of California, Los Angeles

The Samueli Computer Science is the department that offers computer science programs at UCLA, and it is one of the best colleges in California for computer science. It provides education at the undergraduate and graduate levels necessary to understand, design, implement, and use the software and hardware of digital computers and digital systems.

The college has 31 research labs and centers which are cutting-edge computer facilities where students get involved in training, hands-on practice, and research with some of the world’s renowned professors.

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4.      California Institute of Technology

Caltech is a renowned institute in the areas of pure and applied sciences and has a strong research focus in these areas which makes it a world-leading institution. Its Department of Computing + Mathematical Sciences is responsible for offering undergraduate and graduate degree computer science programs.

The academic programs are Applied + Computational Mathematics, Computer Science, Computing + Mathematics, and Control+ Dynamical Systems all of which you can pursue as a bachelor, master, or doctoral program.

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5.      The University of California, Berkeley

UC Berkeley is a research-intensive post-secondary institution with a strong focus on science and engineering programs. It has a Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences that offers computer programs that leads to undergraduate and graduate degrees. This department is a world leader in offering computer and computing programs and consistently ranked among the best colleges in California for computer science.

The graduate degree options in computer science at UC Berkeley’s EECS is an industry-oriented degree program that leads to a Master of Engineering (MEng) and a five-year Master of Science (5th Yr M.S.). There are also three research-oriented degree programs, the Master of Science (M.S.), the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), and the combined M.S./Ph.D.

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6.      The University of Southern California

USC offers world-leading computer degree programs through the Viterbi School of Engineering which houses the Department of Computer Science. The department, which was established in1968, is committed to extending the frontiers of knowledge, developing technology for good, and advancing education with real-world impact.

The USC Department of Computer Science is one of the best colleges in California for computer science you may want to choose to apply to, it offers an undergraduate degree with four majors in Computer Science, Computer Engineering & Computer Science, Computer Science Games, and Computer Science & Business Administration.

It also offers a Master of Science in Computer Science in nine specializations which include Intelligent Robotics, Computer Security, Game Development, Multimedia and Creative Technologies, etc.

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7.      San Jose State University

SJSU has a Computer Science Department that provides high-quality education in computer science at the undergraduate and graduate levels and is also ranked among the best colleges in California for computer science. The academic programs are;

  • Sc in Computer Science
  • S. in Computer Science
  • S. in Bioinformatics
  • Master in Data Science
  • Cyber Security Certificates
  • Computer Science Minor
  • Sc in Software Engineering

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8.      The University of California, San Diego

UCSD is a leading institution in the United States with a strong research focus on pure and applied sciences. It offers computer programs through its Department of Computer & Engineering which is under the Jacobs School of Engineering and ranked among the best colleges in California for computer science.

CSE offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs of study that provide abroad and rigorous curriculum and are designed to provide students with strong academic education and technical training necessary for placement in the competitive high-tech job market or to advance to graduate school.

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9.      California Polytechnic State University

Cal Poly, as it is commonly referred to, houses a Department of Computer Science & Software Engineering that is consistently ranked among the best colleges in California for computer science. The Department is under the College of Engineering and offers academic programs leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The department educates students in the disciplines of computer science and software engineering and teaches them to apply their education to solve practical problems in a socially responsible way.

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10. The University of California, Riverside

UC Riverside has one of the best colleges in California for computer science, offering a wide range of academic programs leading to bachelor, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The computer science program is offered through the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering and aims to educate students who will create computing solutions for a modern world.

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11. The University of California, Irvine

UCI offers computer science through the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, an academic unit or division of UCI dedicated to offering computer science programs. It is one of the best colleges in California for computer science, established in 1968 and has three departments: Computer Science, Informatics, and Statistics.

The division offers 8 undergraduate programs, 11 masters, and 7 doctoral degrees with some degree programs cooperating with affiliated institutions.

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12. The University of California, Santa Barbara

UCSB has one of the best colleges in California for computer science, although not a college but a department, the Computer Science Department at UCSB prepares undergraduate and graduate students for productive careers in industry, academia, and government.

The Department offers innovative research and teaching programs leading to Bachelor of Science (BS), Master of Science (MS), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) as well as a five-year joint program that leads to a BS/MS degree.

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These are the 12 best colleges in California for computer science which you can easily pick from. Links to each of the schools were provided to help you learn more about the application process, deadlines, and tour dates.

FAQ to Best Colleges in California for Computer Science

Is UCLA a good school for computer science?

UCLA is consistently ranked among the best schools in the United States and the world, especially for its science and engineering programs. This makes it a good school for computer science.

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