Best California Colleges for Students Majoring in Computer Science

Computer Science graduates are the most sought-after professionals in the job market today. Qualified candidates are desperately needed to deliver solutions in web design, programming, information security, and related tasks.

A computer science degree is versatile, and it can lead to well-paid positions in a broad variety of fields including:

  • Information research
  • Software development
  • Computer programming
  • Database administration
  • Web development
  • Computer support
  • Network administration

A bachelor’s degree in computer science is a four-year program that introduces and grounds students in theory and exposes them to the practical applications of computers.

The following California colleges and universities offer reputable degrees in computer science.

Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd’s computer science program provides depth and breadth in the area of computer science. The program aims to combine experimentation, theory, and design. Computer Science programs at Harvey Mudd are comprised of five major components:

  • Four foundation courses
  • Four kernel courses
  • Three electives
  • Clinic
  • Colloquium

Harvey Mudd also offers a joint major in computer science and mathematics, which is cooperatively, administered by the computer science and mathematics departments. The joint major is designed to meet the needs of students who have an interest in the interdisciplinary connections of mathematics and computer sciences.

While about 16% of undergraduate computer science majors nationally are women, at Harvey Mudd, that figure is 55%.

Harvey Mudd College deliberately set out to remove obstacles that typically bar women, including at the faculty level. The school overhauled the computer science curriculum and redesigned its introductory course and is now required for all first year students. The course emphasizes practical uses for programming and team-based projects as well as utilizes python programming language that closely mimics the way humans communicate, as opposed to Java.

California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology is world renowned for its science and engineering research. The college features the impressive Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA and the Seismological Laboratory that are major centers of learning. The faculty of computer science boasts 34 Nobel Prize winners, seven Crawford laureates and 58 National medals of science recipients.

Fun facts:

  • The student-faculty ratio at California Institute of Technology stands at 3:1
  • The computer science program is the most popular major for women at California Institute of Technology, and 95% of undergraduates take at least one course in computer science.

The faculty of computer science at Cal Tech is famed for developing the first asynchronous microprocessor and also for building the Touchstone Delta, a supercomputer with Intel.

Fun fact: The average starting salary for Caltech graduates stands at $85,000 Wow!

Stanford University

An undergraduate degree in computer science offers broad and rigorous training for students at Stanford University.  The program provides students with a solid foundation of core courses as well as allows them to choose a track. The track, or area of concentration area allows for greater depth in a particular area of computing. Areas of concentration include:

  • Bio Computing
  • Graphics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Engineering
  • Information Systems

Stanford University ranks number 3 in computer according to U.S News College Compass.  As a result of it’s consistently high ranking,

the average starting salary for a computer science is $90, 000

Stanford University graduates can earn much more when hired by Silicon Valley companies, such as Facebook, Google, and Linked.  These prestigious tech companies regularly pay new hires from Stanford University between $100,000 and $150,000 as well as a signing bonus of up to $25,000.

California Polytechnic State University, Pomona

A Bachelor of Science in computing science program at California Polytechnic State University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) is accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology. Cal Poly Pomona also features a Master of Science in computer science.

The program includes courses in:

  • Computer architecture
  • Operating systems
  • Computer organization
  • Data structures and algorithms
  • Discrete structures
  • Software engineering
  • Assembly programming

Fun fact: The school was awarded a five-year grant to fund the training of qualified students with interest in careers in cyber security. The grant was given by the National Science Foundation cyber cops scholarships for service program.

Santa Clara University

Ranked in the top 10 by US News, the computer science program at Santa Clara University is offered in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. Santa Clara University views mathematics and computer science are complementary methods for engaging with the modern world. While mathematics teaches students the vocabulary of reasons within all sciences, computer science gives the students the keys to unleashing the power of modern technologies.

The students enrolled in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Santa Clara University are exposed to a balanced core program. The students explore the engineering aspects of software as well as the mathematical foundations of computing.

As you research colleges to study computer science, look out for programs that will provide you with independent hands-on technical experience as well as a firm grasp of theory. California College Bound has many programs and tours to help point you in the right direction.

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