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2021 Best Computer Science Schools in California

221 Schools Ranked
$40,821 Average Earnings
$29,946 Avg Student Debt

When it comes to higher education, there are a lot of options for computer science students. Along with traditional schools that require in-person attendence, you can attend one of many reputable online schools. Some programs even offer a hybrid experience. Also, there are a number of trade schools and bootcamp with offerings that you might find attractive.

To assist you in seeing some of the education options that are available to you, Computer Science Degree Search has created its Best Computer Science Schools in California ranking. Our analysis looked at 221 schools in California to see which programs offered the best educational experiences for computer science students.

View our full ranking methodology.

Top Computer Science Schools in California

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, California
587 Total Awards
$153,300 Average Earnings

Our 2021 rankings named California Institute of Technology the best school in California for computer science students working on their degree. Caltech is located in Pasadena, California and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 587 degrees to qualified students.

During the early years of their career, Caltech graduates make an average of $153,300 annually.

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#2

Stanford University

Stanford, California
5,325 Total Awards
$85,348 Average Earnings
$35,712 Avg Student Debt

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Stanford University. It ranked #2 on our 2021 Best Computer Science Schools in California list. Stanford University is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in Stanford, California that handed out 5,325 degrees in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $35,712 in student loans. If you borrow this amount, expect your monthly student loan payment to be around $338, assuming you are on a 10-year repayment plan.After graduating from Stanford, students go on to jobs where they make an average of $85,348 during the early years of their career.

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#3

University of California - Berkeley

Berkeley, California
14,344 Total Awards
$56,060 Average Earnings
$29,054 Avg Student Debt

Out of the 28 schools in California that were part of this year’s ranking, University of California - Berkeley landed the # 3 spot on the list. UC Berkeley is located in Berkeley, California and has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 14,344 degrees to qualified students.

By the time they get their degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $29,054 in student loans. Those who take out this much in loans have to make a monthly payment of about $284 if they are on a 10-year repayment plan. During the early years of their career, UC Berkeley graduates make an average of $56,060 annually.

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#4

Asher College

Sacramento, California
233 Total Awards
$29,033 Average Earnings
$10,823 Avg Student Debt

A rank of #4 on this year’s list means Asher College is a great place for computer science students. Asher College is a private for-profit institution located in Sacramento, California. The school has a very small population, and it awarded 233 degrees in 2018-2019.

On average, students take out $10,823 in loans while pursuing their degree. For those students on a 10-year repayment plan, the average payment due each month is around $110. Once they receive their degree, Asher College graduates enter the workforce, making an average salary of $29,033 during the early year of their career.

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#5

University of California - San Diego

La Jolla, California
10,713 Total Awards
$45,575 Average Earnings
$25,478 Avg Student Debt

Out of the 28 schools in California that were part of this year’s ranking, University of California - San Diego landed the # 5 spot on the list. Located in La Jolla, California, the large public school awarded 10,713 diplomas to qualifed students in 2018-2019.

Degree recipients from UCSD accumulate an average of $25,478 in student debt by the time they complete their degree. For those students on a 10-year repayment plan, the average payment due each month is around $257. Once they receive their degree, UCSD graduates enter the workforce, making an average salary of $45,575 during the early year of their career.

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#6

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California
17,922 Total Awards
$61,420 Average Earnings
$61,429 Avg Student Debt

University of Southern California ranked #6 on this year’s Best Computer Science Schools in California list. USC is a large private not-for-profit school situated in Los Angeles, California. It awarded 17,922 degrees in 2018-2019.

On average, students take out $61,429 in loans while pursuing their degree. Those who take out this much in loans have to make a monthly payment of about $697 if they are on a 10-year repayment plan.After graduating from USC, students go on to jobs where they make an average of $61,420 during the early years of their career.

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#7

California Technical Academy

Riverside, California
427 Total Awards
$35,600 Average Earnings
$6,827 Avg Student Debt

California Technical Academy landed the #7 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best computer science programs. California Technical Academy is a very small private for-profit school situated in Riverside, California. It awarded 427 degrees in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $6,827 in student loans. Those who take out this much in loans have to make a monthly payment of about $79 if they are on a 10-year repayment plan.After graduating from California Technical Academy, students go on to jobs where they make an average of $35,600 during the early years of their career.

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#8

University of California - Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California
7,269 Total Awards
$39,189 Average Earnings
$19,900 Avg Student Debt

University of California - Santa Barbara did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for computer science students. It came in at #8 on the list. Santa Barbara, California is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out degrees to 7,269 students in 2018-2019.

Degree recipients from UCSB accumulate an average of $19,900 in student debt by the time they complete their degree. If you borrow this amount, expect your monthly student loan payment to be around $206, assuming you are on a 10-year repayment plan.After graduating from UCSB, students go on to jobs where they make an average of $39,189 during the early years of their career.

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#9

Trident University International

Cypress, California
2,066 Total Awards
$55,100 Average Earnings
$20,892 Avg Student Debt

Trident University International did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for computer science students. It came in at #9 on the list. Located in Cypress, California, the medium-sized private for-profit school handed out 2,066 degrees in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $20,892 in student loans. For those students on a 10-year repayment plan, the average payment due each month is around $265. Once they receive their degree, TUI graduates enter the workforce, making an average salary of $55,100 during the early year of their career.

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#10

University of California - Irvine

Irvine, California
10,794 Total Awards
$46,962 Average Earnings
$27,669 Avg Student Debt

With a ranking of #10, University of California - Irvine did quite well on this year’s best schools for computer science students working. Irvine, California is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out degrees to 10,794 students in 2018-2019.

On average, students take out $27,669 in loans while pursuing their degree. Those who take out this much in loans have to make a monthly payment of about $304 if they are on a 10-year repayment plan. During the early years of their career, UC Irvine graduates make an average of $46,962 annually.

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#11

DeVry University - California

Pomona, California
822 Total Awards
$47,131 Average Earnings
$41,392 Avg Student Debt

DeVry University - California landed the #11 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best computer science programs. DeVry University - California is a small private for-profit school located in Pomona, California that handed out 822 degrees in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $41,392 in student loans. If you borrow this amount, expect your monthly student loan payment to be around $437, assuming you are on a 10-year repayment plan. During the early years of their career, DeVry University - California graduates make an average of $47,131 annually.

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#12

National University

La Jolla, California
5,452 Total Awards
$53,717 Average Earnings
$33,636 Avg Student Debt

National University ranked #12 on this year’s Best Computer Science Schools in California list. National University is a private not-for-profit institution located in La Jolla, California. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 5,452 degrees in 2018-2019.

Degree recipients from National University accumulate an average of $33,636 in student debt by the time they complete their degree. If you borrow this amount, expect your monthly student loan payment to be around $380, assuming you are on a 10-year repayment plan. During the early years of their career, National University graduates make an average of $53,717 annually.

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#13

Academy of Art University

San Francisco, California
2,373 Total Awards
$34,859 Average Earnings
$59,640 Avg Student Debt

Academy of Art University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for computer science students. It came in at #13 on the list. Academy of Art University is a medium-sized private for-profit school situated in San Francisco, California. It awarded 2,373 degrees in 2018-2019.

Degree recipients from Academy of Art University accumulate an average of $59,640 in student debt by the time they complete their degree. For those students on a 10-year repayment plan, the average payment due each month is around $638. Once they receive their degree, Academy of Art University graduates enter the workforce, making an average salary of $34,859 during the early year of their career.

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#14

University of California - Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, California
5,345 Total Awards
$34,988 Average Earnings
$20,158 Avg Student Debt

University of California - Santa Cruz ranked #14 on this year’s Best Computer Science Schools in California list. Santa Cruz, California is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out degrees to 5,345 students in 2018-2019.

Degree recipients from UC Santa Cruz accumulate an average of $20,158 in student debt by the time they complete their degree. For those students on a 10-year repayment plan, the average payment due each month is around $212. Once they receive their degree, UC Santa Cruz graduates enter the workforce, making an average salary of $34,988 during the early year of their career.

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4,693 Total Awards
$38,604 Average Earnings
$19,542 Avg Student Debt

California State University - Chico came in at #15 in this year’s edition of the Best Computer Science Schools in California ranking. Chico State is a fairly large public school situated in Chico, California. It awarded 4,693 degrees in 2018-2019.

On average, students take out $19,542 in loans while pursuing their degree. If you borrow this amount, expect your monthly student loan payment to be around $191, assuming you are on a 10-year repayment plan. Once they receive their degree, Chico State graduates enter the workforce, making an average salary of $38,604 during the early year of their career.

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#16

MTI College

Sacramento, California
371 Total Awards
$28,267 Average Earnings
$9,634 Avg Student Debt

MTI College landed the #16 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best computer science programs. Located in Sacramento, California, the very small private for-profit school awarded 371 diplomas to qualifed students in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $9,634 in student loans. Those who take out this much in loans have to make a monthly payment of about $103 if they are on a 10-year repayment plan.After graduating from MTI College, students go on to jobs where they make an average of $28,267 during the early years of their career.

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#17

California Lutheran University

Thousand Oaks, California
1,388 Total Awards
$43,907 Average Earnings
$34,215 Avg Student Debt

California Lutheran University landed the #17 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best computer science programs. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Thousand Oaks, California, and it awarded 1,388 degrees in 2018-2019.

Degree recipients from CLU accumulate an average of $34,215 in student debt by the time they complete their degree. If you borrow this amount, expect your monthly student loan payment to be around $355, assuming you are on a 10-year repayment plan. During the early years of their career, CLU graduates make an average of $43,907 annually.

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#18

California State University - San Marcos

San Marcos, California
4,094 Total Awards
$42,221 Average Earnings
$23,860 Avg Student Debt

With a ranking of #18, California State University - San Marcos did quite well on this year’s best schools for computer science students working. San Marcos, California is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out degrees to 4,094 students in 2018-2019.

Degree recipients from Cal State San Marcos accumulate an average of $23,860 in student debt by the time they complete their degree. Those who take out this much in loans have to make a monthly payment of about $232 if they are on a 10-year repayment plan. During the early years of their career, Cal State San Marcos graduates make an average of $42,221 annually.

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#19

California State University - Northridge

Northridge, California
10,934 Total Awards
$42,211 Average Earnings
$21,934 Avg Student Debt

With a ranking of #19, California State University - Northridge did quite well on this year’s best schools for computer science students working. This large public school is located in Northridge, California, and it awarded 10,934 degrees in 2018-2019.

Degree recipients from California State University - Northridge accumulate an average of $21,934 in student debt by the time they complete their degree. For those students on a 10-year repayment plan, the average payment due each month is around $217. Once they receive their degree, California State University - Northridge graduates enter the workforce, making an average salary of $42,211 during the early year of their career.

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#20

University of Phoenix - California

Costa Mesa, California
2,911 Total Awards
$46,307 Average Earnings
$33,769 Avg Student Debt

With a ranking of #20, University of Phoenix - California did quite well on this year’s best schools for computer science students working. Located in Costa Mesa, California, the small private for-profit school handed out 2,911 degrees in 2018-2019.

On average, students take out $33,769 in loans while pursuing their degree. Those who take out this much in loans have to make a monthly payment of about $361 if they are on a 10-year repayment plan.After graduating from UOPX - California, students go on to jobs where they make an average of $46,307 during the early years of their career.

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#21

California State University - Fullerton

Fullerton, California
12,070 Total Awards
$47,034 Average Earnings
$24,629 Avg Student Debt

California State University - Fullerton came in at #21 in this year’s edition of the Best Computer Science Schools in California ranking. This large public school is located in Fullerton, California, and it awarded 12,070 degrees in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $24,629 in student loans. Those who take out this much in loans have to make a monthly payment of about $249 if they are on a 10-year repayment plan.After graduating from Cal State Fullerton, students go on to jobs where they make an average of $47,034 during the early years of their career.

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#22

California State University - San Bernardino

San Bernardino, California
5,257 Total Awards
$36,981 Average Earnings
$22,457 Avg Student Debt

California State University - San Bernardino landed the #22 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best computer science programs. Cal State San Bernardino is located in San Bernardino, California and has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 5,257 degrees to qualified students.

On average, students take out $22,457 in loans while pursuing their degree. Those who take out this much in loans have to make a monthly payment of about $213 if they are on a 10-year repayment plan. During the early years of their career, Cal State San Bernardino graduates make an average of $36,981 annually.

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4,348 Total Awards
$49,785 Average Earnings
$23,874 Avg Student Debt

California State University - East Bay came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Best Computer Science Schools in California ranking. Located in Hayward, California, the fairly large public school awarded 4,348 diplomas to qualifed students in 2018-2019.

Degree recipients from California State University - East Bay accumulate an average of $23,874 in student debt by the time they complete their degree. If you borrow this amount, expect your monthly student loan payment to be around $235, assuming you are on a 10-year repayment plan.After graduating from California State University - East Bay, students go on to jobs where they make an average of $49,785 during the early years of their career.

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2,097 Total Awards
$39,406 Average Earnings
$19,866 Avg Student Debt

California State University - Channel Islands landed the #24 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best computer science programs. CSUCI is located in Camarillo, California and has a medium-sized student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 2,097 degrees to qualified students.

By the time they get their degree, students from this school have racked up an average of $19,866 in student loans. For those students on a 10-year repayment plan, the average payment due each month is around $196. Once they receive their degree, CSUCI graduates enter the workforce, making an average salary of $39,406 during the early year of their career.

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#25

California State University - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California
7,192 Total Awards
$42,522 Average Earnings
$22,111 Avg Student Debt

With a ranking of #25, California State University - Los Angeles did quite well on this year’s best schools for computer science students working. California State University - Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles, California and has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 7,192 degrees to qualified students.

Degree recipients from California State University - Los Angeles accumulate an average of $22,111 in student debt by the time they complete their degree. If you borrow this amount, expect your monthly student loan payment to be around $190, assuming you are on a 10-year repayment plan.After graduating from California State University - Los Angeles, students go on to jobs where they make an average of $42,522 during the early years of their career.

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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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