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

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10. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Caltech’s Computing and Mathematical Sciences department is home to some of the most innovative research in the world. For example, faculty member Professor Erik Winfrees’s breakthrough research in molecular programming aims to put this technology in the hands of users in biology, chemistry, and physics.

Facebook, the social media giant, has hired Caltech graduates in research positions to improve long-term web performance and user latency optimization.

The Doctorate in Computer Science program aim towards a Ph.D. and include courses in areas such as information theory, robotics, and operating systems. The core coursework and thesis necessary for the M.S. degree do not lead to a terminal degree, but are a required part of the Ph.D. program.

The doctoral program consists of research, breadth requirement, a thesis, and a final examination.

11. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Many alumni of the University of Illinois’s Computer Science department (CS @ Illinois) are true pioneers and leaders in the technology industry.

Alumnus Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s chief software architect, develops the company’s next-generation software services platform. Alumnus Max Levchin is the CEO of Slide, the largest social entertainment company in the world. Alumnus Jawed Karim is the co-founder of the video-sharing website YouTube.

CS @ Illinois graduate students continue to conduct ground-breaking research in areas of computer science and technology.

The Computer Science program offers both Master’s of Science and Ph.D. degrees. Master’s students need coursework, thesis research, and breadth requirements to complete the program.

The doctoral program includes thesis research, coursework, a teaching assistantship, and exams or dissertation defense.

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