Top 12 Best Colleges for Computer Science in California

If you are looking for top computer science universities in USA, you need to concentrate your search on California.

Because the best colleges for computer science in California are among the top-ranked computer science schools in the country, therefore, this post is strategically put together to help you make the right choice.

For example, Stanford, Caltech, USC San Diego & Berkeley, and many colleges in California ranks among the top 20 best colleges in the country. Another reason to choose colleges in California is their proximity to Silicon Valley and easy access to big tech companies.

The scope of this post centered on the best computer science colleges in California, their rankings, acceptance rate, and accreditation. So if you are at a crossroads, not knowing which schools to enroll in – do not worry much. This post got you covered.

Here are the top 12 best colleges for computer science in California based on school reviews and program ranking according to CS Rankings.

Table for best colleges for computer science in California, rankings and acceptance rate:

CS Colleges in CaliforniaComp. Science RankingsAcceptance Rates
University of California – Berkeley418%
Stanford University65%
University of California – San Diego1137%
University of California – Los Angeles1814%
University of Southern California2111%
California Institute of Technology217%
University of California – Santa Barbara2137%
University of California – Irvine2430%
University of California – Riverside3266%
University of California – Santa Cruz3765%
University of California – Davis4746%
University of California – Merced6085%

Requirements to Study Computer Science in Most Colleges in California

Here are a few requirements needed before applying for computer science in California.

  • To study computer science in a Californian college, you must have completed high school or equivalent, met the basic entry requirements of the chosen college, and completed any prerequisite courses.
  • A GPA of 3.0 and above is required as computer science is very competitive in California.
  • You must score high on your SAT or ACTs and IELTS or TOEFL for international students.
  • Graduate applicants should prepare essays, letters of recommendation, a purpose statement, and a resume or CV.

How to Apply to Colleges in California for Computer Science

Applying to colleges can be daunting, but AnanUniversity is here to help. If you’re interested in studying computer science in California, here are a few things you should keep in mind.

  1. Research the schools that interest you and ensure they have the program you’re looking for.
  2. Next, narrow down your list by considering things like location, Comp_Sci. Ranking and cost. Once you have some schools in mind, start filling out applications.
  3. Applications are submitted online, where you will complete a form with the necessary information, upload the required documents, and pay the application fee.

What Are the Best Colleges for Computer Science in California?

When considering the best colleges for computer science in California, it is essential to consider other factors besides academics – tuition, Campus life, the quality of computer science programs, and location.

If you’re interested in computer science and plan on attending college in California, check out my list of best colleges for computer science in California below!

1) University of California – Berkeley

UC – Berkeley was formed in 1868 as a public institution. The college has an undergraduate enrollment of 30,980 in the fall of 2020. The university is large and sits on 1,232 acres. The acceptance rate at the University of California, Berkeley is 18% and has very selective admission.

To get into UC Berkeley’s computer science department, bear in mind the competition is extremely stiff. The department only accepts a small percentage of applicants yearly.

Getting a computer science degree from UC Berkeley is either through the college of letter and science or EESC. The L&SC gives you a bachelor of Arts degree after graduation, and EESC awards you a bachelor of science degree.

The University of California – Berkeley is known to be one of the best colleges for computer science in California.

The school has an excellent reputation, and its computer science program is consistently ranked highly by various publications.

The computer science at the University of California, Berkeley ranks #4 among the best CS colleges in the nation according to CS Rankings. Also UC- Berkeley is the #22 best national university for 2022, according to US News & World Report.

The cost of in-state tuition and fees is $14,361; out-of-state costs are $44,115. It uses the semester-based academic calendar.

If you’re looking for a top-notch education in computer science, Berkeley is worth considering.

The Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET accredits the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley.

2) Stanford University

Stanford Institution is a prestigious private university in Stanford, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The school enrolled 5,752 undergraduate students in the fall of 2021 and used a semester-based calendar.

Stanford’s acceptance rate is 5%, making admission very difficult. However, the tuition and fees are $55,473 per year, and it ranks the #6 best college for computer science in the country according to CS Rankings.

Students at Stanford University have access to some of the world’s biggest IT companies because the school is located in the heart of Silicon Valley. Students at Stanford’s computer science department get the chance to collaborate with some of the field’s top minds, making it one of the most competitive in the nation.

In addition to coursework, students can also get involved with research projects and internships, which can help them land a job after graduation. Stanford is unarguably one of the best colleges for computer science in California.

Stanford alumni earn a starting income of $70,400, with graduation rates of 95%. In addition, the College of Engineering at Stanford is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.

3) University of California-San Diego

UCSD is a public research institution founded in 1980. The school has about 435 Graduates from the computer science program. Unfortunately, UC San Diego’s acceptance rate is 37%, making admission relatively hard.

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has outstanding educational programs. And it is among the best colleges for computer science in California.

Students can take computer science courses through UCSD’s highly ranked Jacobs School of Engineering program. The Jacobs School of Engineering boasts a variety of degree paths related to computer science, including engineering and more.

The computer science program is ranked #11 by the U.S. News & World Report. In addition, many unique opportunities await students while they are enrolled at the university. For example, hundreds of research projects are available to undergraduates at UCSD, including stipends that pay up to $6,000 per semester.

ABET has not accredited UCSD’s computer science program. But, it has produced graduates who have gone work at companies like Google, Apple, and NASA.

Its in-state tuition fees are $14,733 and tuition fees out-of-state are $44,487.

4) University of California-Los Angeles

UCLA, for me, is one of the best colleges for computer science in California. The University of California is a public university in Los Angeles and began operating in 1919.

The University of California-Los Angeles is arguably one of the best computer science schools in the world and among the best computer science schools on the west coast.

The UCLA Henry Samuel School of Engineering and Applied Science consistently ranks as one of America’s top engineering schools. The school has a proven track record for producing excellence in engineering fields, including aerospace, electrical, computer science, and mechanical engineering.

UCLA also has a robust research program, with many faculty members working on cutting-edge projects. The computer science program here is ranked #18 among the best computer science program in the country by CS Rankings.

Over 70% of undergraduate students graduate with honors. In addition to classroom instruction, undergraduates can take advantage of hands-on learning opportunities through internships and study abroad programs.

Its in-state tuitions are $13,268; out-of-state tuition fees are $43,022. ABET accredits the Computer Science degree and Computer Science and Engineering degree.

5) University of Southern California

 University of Southern California-best colleges for computer science in California

The University of Southern California is one of the best colleges for computer science in California. It is a private institution formed in 1880 and has become one of the most sought-after institutions for a top-tier education.

Employers value the university’s strong reputation in the field of computer science. In addition, the university’s computer science programs have also produced successful professionals in a variety of fields.

U.S. News and World Report ranked the computer science program as one of the top universities in the country. Also, CS Rankings ranked USC’s computer science program as #21.

In addition, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has accredited USC’s computer science curriculum.

For students interested in pursuing a career in computers, the University of Southern California is a great option.

Its tuition and fees are $60,275, making it one of the most expensive institutions in California and America. The acceptance rate stands at 11%.

6) California Institute of Technology

The California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, often known as Caltech, was called Throop University when it opened in 1891. Caltech has always been considered one of the best colleges for computer science in California.

Caltech offers three degrees in computer science: the BS, MS, and Ph.D. Unfortunately, it is a selective college with an acceptance rate of just 7%.

There are undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer science and a Master of Applied Science program. The computer science program is one of Caltech Division of Engineering and Applied Science majors.

California Institute of Technology’s computer science program ranked as the #4 best private college for computer science by Niche. Also, it ranked #21 best computer science program in National Universities by CS Rankings.

Students can access the world’s best research facilities, such as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA’s Deep Space Network Antenna Array Operations Control Center, and more.

Its tuition and fees are $58,680. On the 1st of October 1963, Caltech got accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

7) University of California (Group of Schools)

The University of California’s educational system has many great universities, and these schools are good and have top-notch computer science programs. They made my list of best colleges for computer science in California.

They have great in-state and out-of-state tuition, which is much more affordable than other public universities in other states. The beauty of it is that ABET accredits them.

See their position according to CS Rankings:

  • University of California – Santa Barbara – 21st
  • University of California – Irvine – 24th
  • University of California – Riverside – 32nd
  • University of California-Santa Cruz – 37th
  • University of California – Davis – 47th
  • University of California – Merced – 60th

Honorable Mention

  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Pomona College
  • California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) – San Luis Obispo
  • Occidental College

The Best California State University for Computer Science

California has a public university system called the California State University (CSU). Four hundred eighty-five thousand five hundred fifty students are enrolled at the twenty-three campuses and eight off-campus around the state of California and have 55,909 faculty and staff members.

Here are some of the best CSUs for computer science:

  • California Polytechnic State University – Humboldt
  • California Polytechnic State University–San Luis Obispo
  • California State Polytechnic University—Pomona
  • California State University—Bakersfield
  • California State University–Channel Islands
  • California State University—Chico, etc.

Conclusion – Best Colleges for Computer Science in California

Let me repeat this, the best colleges for computer science in California is the one that fits your individual needs. Consider what you want from your education, and make sure the school you choose can provide that.

Also, don’t forget to look at the cost of attendance, available financial aid, and extracurricular activities. With all of that in mind, you should be able to find the perfect computer science program for you!

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