Best 20 Colleges & Universities for a PhD in Computer Science in 2021 - Best Value Schools

Best 20 Colleges & Universities for a PhD in Computer Science in 2021

February 16, 2021 | Staff Writers

Degree Finder
BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Achieving a doctorate in Computer Science can open some incredible job opportunities. You can prove that you’re knowledgeable in a particular subject. Many top colleges and universities offer a PhD in computer science, enabling you to get a quality education.

When you decide that you want to major in Computer Science, you’ll be welcomed to a number of digital concepts. Depending on the school, you may have access to various concentrations. This can shape your education and help you to work in a particular industry.

Top concentrations to choose from in Computer Science include:

  • Big data
  • Game development
  • Machine learning
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cybersecurity
  • Computer systems

As you explore different schools, find out about the courses available to you.

Career Options with a PhD in Computer Science

You will have the opportunity to work as a professor, a research scientist, and much more once you obtain a PhD in Computer Science. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a Computer and Information Research Scientist will earn a median salary of $122,840. The job outlook is also growing considerably in comparison to other fields, leading to countless opportunities in the future.

Attending a school for a PhD in Computer Science can be done immediately upon earning your degree at an undergraduate computer science school. You may also decide to get it at a later date to help you excel within your career. Top schools across the country offer a PhD program, allowing you to enhance your education and focus on a particular subject of interest to you.

Best 20 Colleges & Universities for a PhD in Computer Science

1. Northern Arizona University

At Northern Arizona University, Computer Science students can earn a PhD through the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems. Students can choose to take courses on the campus and online. There are several programs to focus on, including Bioengineering Informatics, Cyber and Software Systems, Health and Bioinformatics, and Ecological and Environmental Informatics. Students will also have access to cutting-edge computer labs.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $11,121
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 19:1

2. University of New Mexico

The University of New Mexico offers an array of degree programs in Computer Science. The research-intensive PhD program allows students to focus on three core areas: Empirical Methods, Computer Systems, and Theoretical Foundations. Students will have to provide a dissertation proposal and defense, go through four semesters of colloquium, and spend a semester teaching. Students can entire the PhD program of Computer Science from other majors, too.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $6456
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 14:1

3. University of California at Berkeley

Various degrees can be earned at the University of California Berkeley in Computer Science. There’s an MS, MS/PhD, and a PhD program available. The PhD program provides students with coursework and research in some of the finest computer science facilities in the country. Whether students are preparing to enter industry or academia, they’ll receive the education needed to be successful. A large alumni network can show prospering students what the potential is when attending UC Berkeley.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $20,172
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 19:1

4. Atlantic International University

A Doctor of Computer Science (D.Sc) is offered at Atlantic International University. The School of Science and Engineering offers a custom-made program so that students can choose the key areas they want to focus on. There are courses available on the campus, located in Honolulu, Hawaii. There is also a distance learning program. Students can take courses in artificial intelligence, computer vision and image processing, software engineering, organization theory, and more.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $14,000
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 10:1

5. University of Vermont

The College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Vermont offers a PhD program for Computer Science. Students will have an extensive requirement to graduate, including completing certain 200 or above level courses. There will also be a comprehensive oral exam, a written exam, a thesis proposal, and a dissertation with oral thesis defense on some level of original research conducted at the university.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $18,000
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 9:1

6. Mississippi State University

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Mississippi State University offers a PhD in Computer Science. Most of the courses are offered at the Starkville campus. Students will need to demonstrate mastery of their knowledge with a qualifying exam, a dissertation and defense, and more. Many of the students that graduate from MS State go on to work for some of the top companies in the country as well as various government agencies.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $8910
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 17:1

7. University of Georgia

Obtaining a Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science at the University of Georgia is done by going through the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Students will take courses from three groups: Theory, Software Design, and System Design. Advanced coursework and research will be conducted. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to get involved in assistantships and internships on and off the campus throughout the degree program.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $10,460
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 17:1

8. Stanford University

Stanford University offers a PhD in Computer Science with a variety of academic requirements. Students can choose to complete both their undergraduate and graduate coursework at Stanford or transfer some credits in. At least 45 credits must be obtained at Stanford. Students can explore fellowships, research assistantships, and more. A certificate of Distinction in Teaching is also available if specific conditions are met.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $36,210
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 5:1

9. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Various doctoral degrees are available from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Students can focus on a number of specific programs, including Computational and Systems Biology, Computational Science and Engineering, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and more. The Computer Science program works closely with engineering to offer unique degree programs. Students will have access to faculty with real-world experience as well as some of the most comprehensive computer labs in the world.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $53,450
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 3:1

10. Columbia University

Columbia University offers a PhD program through their Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. The faculty at the university conduct scholarly research in all aspects of computer science. Students will be expected to participate in laboratory and departmental activities. PhD students will complete all of their work full-time and on-campus. 10 distinct courses are part of the graduation requirements, and a B+ is the minimum acceptable grade for students.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $49,024
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 6:1

11. Toyota Technological Institute

The Toyota Technological Institute in Chicago offers a graduate program for students seeking a PhD in Computer Science. Students will have the opportunity to focus on such areas as robotics, machine learning, computer vision, algorithms & complexity, speech and language technologies, and more. Many students who graduate from the PhD program pursue careers in academics or research.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $30,000
  • Student to Teacher Ratio:

12. Pennsylvania State University

Graduate students at Pennsylvania State University will be able to obtain a PhD in Computer Science from the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). With these two topics combined, it prepares students for a number of teaching, industry, and research careers. Students will have the ability to participate in leading-edge research in such areas as computer vision, bioinformatics, infrastructure management, numerical analysis, and much more.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $23,928
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 15:1

13. New Jersey Institute of Technology

The New Jersey Institute of Technology offers a PhD in Computer Science. Pursue advanced study will have access to a number of active research projects. Some of the areas of research include artificial intelligence and machine learning, algorithms and applications, cybersecurity, data science, health computing, and mobile and pervasive computing. In order to graduate, students will need to meet course requirements while also making a doctoral dissertation and defense.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $23,828
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 16:1

14. Carnegie Mellon University

The School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University offers over 15 degree programs as well as several interdisciplinary tracks. Students will need to place an emphasis on research and work closely with a research advisor. Robotics, and more. Most of the courses will be offered directly on the University’s campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $42,000
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 13:1

15. University of Texas at Arlington

There are plenty of options at the University of Texas at Arlington. Students can participate in the Computer Science Doctoral Degree program that focuses on such areas of study as Systems and Architecture, Intelligence Systems and Robotics, Software Engineering, and Networking and Security. Students who obtain their BS at UT Arlington can choose to take the BS to PhD track that can help with fast-tracking toward earning the doctoral degree.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $21,028
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 24:1

16. University of North Texas

It is possible to earn an MS or a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of North Texas. Students will have access to a 300-acre facility that is serviced by a free shuttle. Comprehensive research areas for graduate students include software, intelligent systems, computer security, algorithms and computational science, databases and data mining, and more.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $22,568
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 24:1

17. University of Southern California

Students can involve themselves with a significant amount of research at the University of Southern California. The USC Computer Science PhD program admits students who have a four-year degree – there’s no need to earn a master’s degree first. In order to graduate, at least 60 credits must be earned. There’s also a requirement for teaching and a thesis proposal. Students will also have access to a wide array of elective courses in and out of computer science.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $59,260
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 8:1

18. Syracuse University

The College of Engineering & Computer Science at Syracuse University offers a PhD program. Students can engage in classrooms and research labs, they can play with innovative technologies, and they can interact with a global community of faculty. There are opportunities to engage with other schools and obtain industry experiences, ensuring that real-world knowledge is applied throughout the program.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $52,711
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 15:1

19. George Washington University

The PhD program in Computer Science at George Washington University encompasses various areas of research. Students can choose between software engineering and systems, computer security and information assurance, machine intelligence, bioinformatics, and more. Students can choose to transfer in from another school or obtain a BS and MS at GWU first before moving onto the PhD program.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $58,950
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 13:1

20. Baylor University

Students at Baylor University can obtain a Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science. Students should have a BS in computer science or another field that is closely related. There are various topics of interest offered, including computer systems, programming, software engineering, and fundamental theory. Most students will complete a doctoral program in less than five years, and many will receive a stipend assistantship by working as a developer or research assistant.

  • Tuition Cost per Year: $55,680
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 15:1

Our Ranking Methodology

Ranking the schools is done by giving each school a score. We first give a score based on tuition. The costs are established based on the cost of one year of graduate school (two semesters) without room & board or books. If applicable, we use in-state tuition rates instead of out-of-state rates. Schools that have more affordable tuition rates get a higher score.

Then, we give a score based on enrollment. High population schools often have more activities and more learning opportunities, so they get a higher score. We, then, add the two scores together to list the rank of the top 20 schools that offer a PhD in Computer Science.

Notice an Error?

If you for one of the schools and find an error in any of the statistics we’ve used to rank the schools, please let us know. We’ll make the changes so that we can have the most updated information available to potential students.

Have you thought about getting a PhD in Computer Science? Let us help to find online PhD degree programs for you.

Scroll to Top