The 20 Best Graduate Programs in Computer Science—And How to Apply to Them

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8. The University of Texas at Austin

Dell Computers founder Michael Dell may have dropped out of the University of Texas at Austin, but his contributions to technology and his financial contributions to the University of Texas Computer Science (UTCS) department will forever live on.

Just one of many notable alumni, UTCS has 45 faculty members who collectively garnered over 150 national and international awards, including two Turing awards.

Recently, NPR did a radio segment on one such UTCS professor, Peter Stone, and his work in creating a robot that plays soccer.

The Master’s of Science program includes major and minor coursework in areas such as computer architecture, multimedia systems, and artificial intelligence. Students may opt to finish the program with or without a thesis. The Ph.D. program offers foundational requirements as well as breadth; however, most of the program is research-based in areas such as formal methods, model-driven engineering, bioinformatics, and graphics and visualization, to name a few.

9. Harvard University

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, is unquestionably one of the most technologically famous individuals to attend Harvard University (he did not graduate). The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation underwrote one of the main research facilities at Harvard, which houses students from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and all of its groundbreaking activities.

The SEAS Computer Science department, which offers both Master’s and Ph.D. programs, continues to lead the world in advances in areas such as imaging, security, artificial intelligence, linguistics, and computational theory.

The Master’s program requires two components to graduate: the general requirements of SEAS and additional work specific to the Computer Science degree. Doctoral students are required to take a minimum of 10 courses, along with a plan of study which includes research.

All graduate students are required to choose a path in one of five areas: Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics, Computational Science and Engineering, Computer Science, or Engineering Sciences.

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