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2021 Best Computer Science Doctor's Degree Schools

181 Schools Ranked
$99,654 Avg Student Debt

With all the computer science programs available today, it can be tough to choose which one is the best for you. As online education oppotunities continue to grow, you're not restricted to just schools in your local area anymore. Even some of the 'big name' schools are offering online courses. On top of that, there are a considerable number of trade schools and bootcamp that offer fast-track entry to many fields.

To help you arm yourself with the information you need to make your decision, Computer Science Degree Search has developed this Best Computer Science Doctor's Degree Schools ranking. This report analyzed 181 schools in the United States to see which ones offered the best doctor's degree programs for computer science students. The factors used to develop this ranking include those related to how in-demand the school us, the overall quality of the school, and post-graduation wages, and more.

View our full ranking methodology.

Top Computer Science Doctor's Degree Schools in the United States

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, California
207 Total Awards
$54,537 Average Tuition & Fees

Our analysis found California Institute of Technology to be the best school for computer science students who want to pursue a doctor’s degree in the United States. Caltech is a private not-for-profit institution located in Pasadena, California. The school has a small population, and it awarded 207 doctor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

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#2

Rice University

Houston, Texas
233 Total Awards
$49,403 Average Tuition & Fees

Out of the 156 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Rice University landed the # 2 spot on the list. Rice is a private not-for-profit institution located in Houston, Texas. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 233 doctor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Rice does offer online graduate classes for certain degree levels. In 2017-2018 about 1% of the graduate students at the school chose to take one or more online courses.

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#3

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland
683 Total Awards
$57,556 Average Tuition & Fees
$66,845 Avg Student Debt

A rank of #3 on this year’s list means Johns Hopkins University is a great place for computer science students working on their doctor’s degree. Located in Baltimore, Maryland, the large private not-for-profit school awarded 683 diplomas to qualifed doctor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

On average, doctor’s degree students take out $66,845 in loans while pursuing their degree.

Online graduate courses are available at Johns Hopkins, but you will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your field of interest. During the 2017-2018 year, about 54% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

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#4

Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut
735 Total Awards
$43,300 Average Tuition & Fees
$94,074 Avg Student Debt

Out of the 156 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Yale University landed the # 4 spot on the list. Located in New Haven, Connecticut, the fairly large private not-for-profit school handed out 735 doctor’s degree awards in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their doctor’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $94,074 in student loans.

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#5

Stanford University

Stanford, California
1,040 Total Awards
$53,151 Average Tuition & Fees
$70,501 Avg Student Debt

A rank of #5 on this year’s list means Stanford University is a great place for computer science students working on their doctor’s degree. Located in Stanford, California, the fairly large private not-for-profit school handed out 1,040 doctor’s degree awards in 2018-2019.

On average, doctor’s degree students take out $70,501 in loans while pursuing their degree.

If you are interested in distance education, be sure to check with the school since Stanford does offer online graduate classes for certain majors. Of all the graduate students enrolled at the school during the 2017-2018 academic year, around 9% took at least some of their classes online.

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#6

Brown University

Providence, Rhode Island
353 Total Awards
$58,180 Average Tuition & Fees
$138,363 Avg Student Debt

Brown University came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Best Computer Science Doctor’s Degree Schools ranking. Brown is located in Providence, Rhode Island and has a fairly large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 353 doctor’s degrees to qualified students.

Doctor’s Degree recipients from Brown accumulate an average of $138,363 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

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#7

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts
687 Total Awards
$57,059 Average Tuition & Fees

Massachusetts Institute of Technology ranked #7 on this year’s Best Computer Science Doctor’s Degree Schools list. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in Cambridge, Massachusetts that handed out 687 doctor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Some students may be able to take online graduate classes at MIT. To give an idea of how popular online courses are at the school, 1% of graduates took at least one course online in 2017-2018.

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#8

Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts
1,573 Total Awards
$49,214 Average Tuition & Fees
$67,728 Avg Student Debt

Harvard University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for computer science students to get a doctor’s degree. It came in at #8 on the list. Cambridge, Massachusetts is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out doctor’s degrees to 1,573 students in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their doctor’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $67,728 in student loans.

Depending on your major, you may be able to take online graduate classes at Harvard. In 2017-2018 about 20% of the graduate students at the school chose to take one or more online courses.

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#9

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1,216 Total Awards
$40,182 Average Tuition & Fees
$130,127 Avg Student Debt

University of Pennsylvania landed the #9 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best doctor’s degree computer science programs. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out doctor’s degrees to 1,216 students in 2018-2019.

On average, doctor’s degree students take out $130,127 in loans while pursuing their degree.

UPenn does have options available for those who want to take online graduate classes. You will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your specific major. During the 2017-2018 year, about 3% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

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#10

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
322 Total Awards
$45,909 Average Tuition & Fees

Carnegie Mellon University ranked #10 on this year’s Best Computer Science Doctor’s Degree Schools list. Carnegie Mellon is a fairly large private not-for-profit school situated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It awarded 322 doctor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Carnegie Mellon does have options available for those who want to take online graduate classes. You will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your specific major. During the 2017-2018 year, about 11% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

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#11

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, Virginia
629 Total Awards
$15,972 Average Tuition & Fees
$97,364 Avg Student Debt

Virginia Tech did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for computer science students to get a doctor’s degree. It came in at #11 on the list. This large public school is located in Blacksburg, Virginia, and it awarded 629 doctor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On average, doctor’s degree students take out $97,364 in loans while pursuing their degree.

Virginia Tech does have options available for those who want to take online graduate classes. You will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your specific major. To give an idea of how popular online courses are at the school, 26% of graduates took at least one course online in 2017-2018.

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#12

Duke University

Durham, North Carolina
918 Total Awards
$56,888 Average Tuition & Fees
$117,114 Avg Student Debt

Duke University ranked #12 on this year’s Best Computer Science Doctor’s Degree Schools list. Durham, North Carolina is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out doctor’s degrees to 918 students in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their doctor’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $117,114 in student loans.

Duke does offer online graduate classes for certain degree levels. In fact, around 10% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

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#13

Cornell University

Ithaca, New York
822 Total Awards
$30,022 Average Tuition & Fees
$135,111 Avg Student Debt

Cornell University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for computer science students to get a doctor’s degree. It came in at #13 on the list. Cornell University is a large private not-for-profit school located in Ithaca, New York that handed out 822 doctor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On average, doctor’s degree students take out $135,111 in loans while pursuing their degree.

One thing to take note of is that Cornell does offer online graduate classes in some areas. During the 2017-2018 year, about 4% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

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#14

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, Virginia
774 Total Awards
$19,528 Average Tuition & Fees
$98,272 Avg Student Debt

University of Virginia - Main Campus came in at #14 in this year’s edition of the Best Computer Science Doctor’s Degree Schools ranking. University of Virginia - Main Campus is a large public school located in Charlottesville, Virginia that handed out 774 doctor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Doctor’s Degree recipients from University of Virginia accumulate an average of $98,272 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

Depending on your major, you may be able to take online graduate classes at University of Virginia. In fact, around 11% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

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#15

Syracuse University

Syracuse, New York
351 Total Awards
$40,188 Average Tuition & Fees
$115,846 Avg Student Debt

Syracuse University came in at #15 in this year’s edition of the Best Computer Science Doctor’s Degree Schools ranking. This large private not-for-profit school is located in Syracuse, New York, and it awarded 351 doctor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Doctor’s Degree recipients from Syracuse accumulate an average of $115,846 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

Depending on your major, you may be able to take online graduate classes at Syracuse. Of all the graduate students enrolled at the school during the 2017-2018 academic year, around 31% took at least some of their classes online.

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526 Total Awards
$16,088 Average Tuition & Fees

Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus landed the #16 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best doctor’s degree computer science programs. This large public school is located in Atlanta, Georgia, and it awarded 526 doctor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

One thing to take note of is that Georgia Tech does offer online graduate classes in some areas. In 2017-2018 about 57% of the graduate students at the school chose to take one or more online courses.

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#17

Dartmouth College

Hanover, New Hampshire
200 Total Awards
$55,947 Average Tuition & Fees
$122,926 Avg Student Debt

With a ranking of #17, Dartmouth College did quite well on this year’s best schools for computer science students working on their doctor’s degree. Dartmouth is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school situated in Hanover, New Hampshire. It awarded 200 doctor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their doctor’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $122,926 in student loans.

One thing to take note of is that Dartmouth does offer online graduate classes in some areas. To give an idea of how popular online courses are at the school, 6% of graduates took at least one course online in 2017-2018.

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1,356 Total Awards
$49,968 Average Tuition & Fees
$149,857 Avg Student Debt

Columbia University in the City of New York landed the #18 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best doctor’s degree computer science programs. Columbia University in the City of New York is a large private not-for-profit school located in New York, New York that handed out 1,356 doctor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their doctor’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $149,857 in student loans.

You may have the opportunity to take online graduate classes at Columbia. In fact, around 8% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

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#19

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, Tennessee
714 Total Awards
$49,124 Average Tuition & Fees
$102,888 Avg Student Debt

Vanderbilt University landed the #19 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best doctor’s degree computer science programs. Vanderbilt is a fairly large private not-for-profit school situated in Nashville, Tennessee. It awarded 714 doctor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On average, doctor’s degree students take out $102,888 in loans while pursuing their degree.

Vanderbilt does have options available for those who want to take online graduate classes. You will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your specific major. During the 2017-2018 year, about 14% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

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#20

University of California - Berkeley

Berkeley, California
1,276 Total Awards
$14,187 Average Tuition & Fees
$71,454 Avg Student Debt

University of California - Berkeley ranked #20 on this year’s Best Computer Science Doctor’s Degree Schools list. University of California - Berkeley is a large public school located in Berkeley, California that handed out 1,276 doctor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their doctor’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $71,454 in student loans.

UC Berkeley does have options available for those who want to take online graduate classes. You will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your specific major. Of all the graduate students enrolled at the school during the 2017-2018 academic year, around 9% took at least some of their classes online.

Full University of California - Berkeley Report

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#21

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois
1,062 Total Awards
$56,567 Average Tuition & Fees
$128,077 Avg Student Debt

Northwestern University ranked #21 on this year’s Best Computer Science Doctor’s Degree Schools list. Evanston, Illinois is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out doctor’s degrees to 1,062 students in 2018-2019.

On average, doctor’s degree students take out $128,077 in loans while pursuing their degree.

Northwestern U does have options available for those who want to take online graduate classes. You will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your specific major. In 2017-2018 about 5% of the graduate students at the school chose to take one or more online courses.

Full Northwestern University Report

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#22

Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, Missouri
786 Total Awards
$54,750 Average Tuition & Fees
$86,335 Avg Student Debt

Washington University in St Louis ranked #22 on this year’s Best Computer Science Doctor’s Degree Schools list. Located in Saint Louis, Missouri, the fairly large private not-for-profit school handed out 786 doctor’s degree awards in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their doctor’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $86,335 in student loans.

If you are interested in distance education, be sure to check with the school since WUSTL does offer online graduate classes for certain majors. In fact, around 5% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

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#23

Northeastern University

Boston, Massachusetts
644 Total Awards
$25,085 Average Tuition & Fees
$61,730 Avg Student Debt

Northeastern University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for computer science students to get a doctor’s degree. It came in at #23 on the list. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, the large private not-for-profit school handed out 644 doctor’s degree awards in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their doctor’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $61,730 in student loans.

Northeastern does offer online graduate classes for certain degree levels. To give an idea of how popular online courses are at the school, 10% of graduates took at least one course online in 2017-2018.

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#24

New York University

New York, New York
1,518 Total Awards
$35,562 Average Tuition & Fees
$202,556 Avg Student Debt

New York University landed the #24 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best doctor’s degree computer science programs. NYU is located in New York, New York and has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 1,518 doctor’s degrees to qualified students.

By the time they get their doctor’s degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $202,556 in student loans.

NYU does offer online graduate classes for certain degree levels. During the 2017-2018 year, about 12% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

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#25

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, Wisconsin
1,546 Total Awards
$12,180 Average Tuition & Fees
$63,028 Avg Student Debt

University of Wisconsin - Madison did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for computer science students to get a doctor’s degree. It came in at #25 on the list. Wisconsin is a large public school situated in Madison, Wisconsin. It awarded 1,546 doctor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Doctor’s Degree recipients from Wisconsin accumulate an average of $63,028 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

Wisconsin does offer online graduate classes for certain degree levels. Of all the graduate students enrolled at the school during the 2017-2018 academic year, around 9% took at least some of their classes online.

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Honorable Mentions

These schools also performed well in our best computer science schools ranking:

Rank School Location
26 University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle, WA
27 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
28 University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, NE
29 University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign Champaign, IL
30 Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester, MA
31 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY
32 Bowie State University Bowie, MD

Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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