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Computing guide by Cybernews Academy: United States


Cybernews Academy is taking you on an academic tour of some of the best universities in the world for computer science and information technologies. We have already visited Europe and Canada; now, our next stop is the United States of America. Unsurprisingly, the U.S. has some of the best institutions for computer science and information technology degrees. As always, we will take through the best universities in the QS world rankings by subject to see what the U.S. has to offer.

Studying in the U.S.

A total of 28 U.S. universities feature in the top 100 QS world rankings by subject for computer science and information technologies. These institutions range from world-renowned Ivy League institutions to lesser-known universities with equally brilliant tech courses. These universities span across the United States. You could have the opportunity to study in Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and New York, as these are just some of the locations within the top 100 list of best computer science and information technology institutions.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Carnegie Mellon University rank first and second place for computer science and information technology degrees. Other institutions like Stanford University, University of California Berkeley, Harvard University, Princeton University, Cornell University, and University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) rank in the top 20 best computer science and information technology institutions.

The United States of America has a wealth of history and culture influenced by forms of speech, literature, music, visual and performing arts, food, religion, law, and technology. The culture of the United States, otherwise known as American culture, has been shaped by the history of the country, its geography, and various internal and external factors. It is one of the third most populous countries in the world and is home to approximately 331 million people. American culture is all about freedom, individualism, and diversity. Although it was recorded as the first secular nation in history, much of the culture is influenced by Christianity and the social principles of freedom, liberty, and independence. Due to its long history of immigration, the U.S.A. is exceptionally diverse and comprises various ethnicities, cultures, and religions.

Choosing the right program

There are a few factors to consider when choosing the right program: location, specializations, and career prospects.

Location

While researching for our previous guides, we at Cybernews Academy have noted the importance of location when choosing a prospective university. You may decide on your university based on the safety of the town or area, or its beauty and architecture may be an essential factor in your decision-making. The American landscape ranges from deserts, tropical beaches, rolling hills, and redwood forests. The setting is diverse and will differ depending on which area of the U.S. you visit. The United States is highly diverse and offers a range of different experiences. If you head down South, you can visit Jazz bars in New Orleans. You may want to see the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, Los Angeles, or the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. There is much to explore.

Specializations

Computing specializations span all countries with computer science and information technologies courses. These specializations often help students better understand their studies while honing their craft and potentially securing a high-paying job post-graduation. In the U.S., you can study a major, like computer science, but you will also have the option to make up your credits with minors or concentrations. These specializations help you tailor your course to your interests and help to develop your understanding of your chosen subject. Some may include, but aren’t limited to, artificial intelligence, computer graphics and visualization, and natural language processing.

Career prospects

Previously, we highlighted lucrative destinations worldwide, and the United States of America features first on this list. In this article, Cybernews Academy journalists found that “the average salary for those in computer and mathematical occupations was $69,413 per annum.” However, if you are to work in the prolific Silicon Valley, you could expect to earn approximately $144,000 per year.

Many Global IT leaders have graduated from U.S. universities. For example, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and owner of X, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and completed a bachelor’s in physics and economics. Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon, graduated from Harvard University (Harvard Business School) with an MBA. Hock Tan, the CEO of Broadcom Inc., studied at MIT, where he completed a degree in mechanical engineering.

Tuition fees

Your tuition fees will vary depending on whether you attend a private or public university. QS states that private, non-profit university's “fees and living costs are likely to add up to around US$60,000 per year.” In 2023, you could expect to pay between $25,000 to $45,000 per year on tuition fees and living expenses for public universities.

Scholarships

Government, private, and university-specific scholarships are open to international students who wish to study in the U.S. Some scholarships are federal, which means the government funds them. Private individuals affiliating with certain universities often fund scholarships. Some scholarships you come across may be subject or university-specific. We have highlighted some of the most popular scholarships and some that are university-specific.

The Full Bright Student Program is one of the most popular government-funded scholarships for international students in the U.S. This scholarship allows international students to study in the U.S. for one year or more. The Full Bright Student program is open to graduate students and young professionals.

The Federal Pell Grant is the largest federal grant program offered to undergraduates and is designed to assist students from low-income households.

#YouAreWelcomeHere Scholarship is aimed at all overseas students studying any subject at any of the 57 eligible colleges or universities.

Civil Society Leadership Awards are open to students from eligible countries to study in the US at a master’s level. This scholarship is fully funded for individuals who demonstrate both academic and professional excellence and have the potential to become civil society leaders in their home communities.

MIT Scholarships are awarded based solely on financial need and come from endowments, gifts from MIT alumni and friends, and MIT general funds. About 58% of our undergraduates receive MIT Scholarships. The average MIT Scholarship was $53,997 for 2021–2022.

The Carnegie Mellon Undergraduate Grant is a grant awarded by Carnegie Mellon to incoming students with financial need.

Accommodation

Depending on your university, there will be a range of accommodations. The most common and popular form of accommodation is on-campus housing, such as dormitories (dorms) or residence halls, where you will share a room with another student. Other on-campus housing may include single rooms or a shared apartment with roommates (this consists of a kitchen, living room, and shared bathroom.) You can live off-campus in apartments or rental houses. This accommodation option is a great way to get acquainted with your new environment and allows you to experience the local community. However, most undergraduate and international students tend to live on campus, at least in the first year of their studies.

Campus

Most U.S. universities are campus universities, meaning that there are well-defined campuses with centralized academic buildings, residence halls, green spaces, and campus facilities. The size and layout of university campuses will vary depending on which university you attend. There is often a mix of academic buildings, dormitories, and recreational spaces on campus. Academic buildings house classrooms, lecture halls, laboratories, libraries, and faculty offices. Most campuses have security officers that ensure all students and faculty are safe and secure. University campuses in the U.S. are often diverse and attract many students from different backgrounds, adding to the rich and inclusive environment encompassing U.S. universities.

Top universities for computing in the U.S.

The U.S. has some of the best universities in the world for computer science and information technologies. We have listed a range of institutions that rank in the top 100 in the QS University Rankings by Subject.

Cybernews Academy Note: These rankings represent Computer Science and Information Technologies subjects.

#1: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

#2: Carnegie Mellon University

#3: Stanford University

#4: University of California Berkeley (UCB)

#8: Harvard University

#13: Princeton University

#14: University of Washington

#17: Cornell University

#18: University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

#23: Columbia University

#25: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

#26: New York University (NYU)

#28: Georgia Institute of Technology

#36: California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

#36: University of Texas Austin

#36: Yale University

#43: University of Pennsylvania

#44: University of California San Diego (UCSD)

#44: University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

#52: University of Chicago

#55: University of Southern California

#59: University of Maryland, College Park

#68: Purdue University

#72: Johns Hopkins University

#85: Duke University

#91: University of Wisconsin- Madison

#96: University of California, Irvine

#98: Boston University

28 universities are present within the top 100 QS world university rankings by subject. These universities span across many of the 55 states.

Types of computing programs

Different universities will offer various computing and information technologies courses. Our journalists at Cybernews Academy have suggested a few programs present within a range of U.S. universities. In the U.S., you can take majors and minors– your major studies may be in Computer Science, yet you could take a minor in Introduction to Computer Systems.

Computer Science

Traditional computer science courses cover various topics concerning the theoretical fundamentals of computation and information technologies. You may cover subjects such as algorithms, data structures, theory of analysis, and software engineering.

Computer Engineering

Computer engineering programs combine electrical engineering and computer science elements. You could study hardware design, digital systems, embedded systems, and integrating hardware and software components.

Computational Science and Engineering

Computational science and engineering is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on developing and applying computational methods, techniques, and tools to solve complex scientific and engineering problems.

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this program introduces computer science and programming for students with little or no programming experience. You will develop skills to program and use computational techniques to solve problems. Some topics include computation, Python simple, algorithms, and data structures.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI programs delve into the theory and application of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Students explore neural networks, natural language processing, robotics, and computer vision.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity programs focus on protecting digital systems, networks, and data from cyber threats and attacks. Students will focus on ethical hacking, cryptography, network security, and incident response.

Cybernews Academy Note: There are many computing programs at varying levels. We suggest checking different university websites to see what’s available.

Another stop on our worldwide academic tour is complete. We have focused on Europe, Canada, and the U.S. to help you gain a comprehensive overview of different universities worldwide—The U.S. is a profitable and prosperous country with a rich history and cultural diversity. This country is one of the top in the world for computer science and information technologies degrees, with fantastic institutions that create incredible opportunities.