The 20 Best Computer Science / Information Science / Computer Engineering Graduate Schools

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Updated: February 21, 2024, Reading time: 30 minutes

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With a median annual wage of $136,620 (May 2022) for computer and information research scientists and $132,360 for computer engineers, it’s no wonder that doctorates in these areas are popular! Take note, too, that these wages are for bachelor’s degree holders, meaning doctorate holders can expect significantly higher wages.

The job employment outlook for these technology professionals is as high as 5%, too, between 2022 and 2032. Who can better produce the best experts than the leading Computer Science / Information Science / Computer Engineering Graduate Schools?

The financial benefits and employment opportunities that come with a doctorate in computer science, information science, or computer engineering aren’t the only reasons for their popularity! You have the opportunity to make the world a better place through your profession’s impact on a wide range of industry types, from corporate businesses to disaster preparedness. You will also find a broad variety of specializations and, thus, find personal and professional fulfillment. 

Best Doctor of Computer Science Info Science Grad Schools - fact

Computer Science, Information Science, and Computer Engineering are disciplines that focus on the study and development of computer systems, and their applications in the world. They provide students with a deep understanding of the fundamentals of computing, and how to leverage technology to solve complex, real-world problems.

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Computer-related positions are plentiful… Do your research to see which option is best for you!


Many, if not most, of the programs featured have valid accreditation from the ABET or Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. All of the colleges and universities, furthermore, have valid accreditation from a regional accreditation agency recognized by the US Department of Education. 

We also considered other equally important factors, including: 

Grad School Center 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.


computer science

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

PhD in Computer Science

CMU adopts quality measures that ensure graduates of its PhD in Computer Science program possess the breadth and depth of understanding of advanced computer science. Graduates have also promoted their body of knowledge through scholarly research work, as well as possess relevant research skills. 

Standout Features: Learners work with their faculty advisors as early as their second month! 

CMU has a strong Scottish tradition, evidenced by its Band Without Pants, the kilt-clad student marching band. 

Stanford University

Stanford University

Stanford, California

PhD in Computer Science 

Stanford is also known for its numerous significant contributions to computer science and, thus, its PhD in Computer Science program is among the best! Students gain more depth and breadth of knowledge than in many other Ph.D. programs partly because of the emphasis on original research. 

Standout Features: Stanford has two monitoring tools for tracking student progress – first, annual meetings and, second, annual reviews. 

The year-round tradition of fountain hopping shows the fun side of Stanford! (And it’s a requirement for graduation – just kidding!) 

University of California Berkeley

University of California Berkeley

Berkeley, California

PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences

Many alumni of UC Berkeley’s PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences have made their mark in the academe and industry. Current students are also expected to distinguish themselves in the EECS field, starting with their original research, as demonstrated in their dissertation. 

Standout Features: UC Berkeley has one of the most comprehensive research areas, from artificial intelligence to signal to process. There are also several labs like BAIR, BASiCS, and BeBop where graduate students can research. 

Students guard the Big C the night before a coast championship or a Stanford game!

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Urbana, Illinois

PhD in Computer Science 

Designed for aspiring educators and researchers in computer science, Illinois’ Ph.D. in Computer Science program allows students the flexibility to customize their degree. However, students must still meet the graduation requirements and the program’s expectations of performance. 

Standout Features: Students with only a bachelor’s degree can be considered for admission into the Ph.D. program. In their case, they must earn 96 credit hours in the program to earn the doctorate. 

Students take their photos in front of the Alma Mater statue through their years at Illinois, a tradition that allows them to compare their progress – at least, in appearance.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

MIT has made significant contributions to the world of computing, and learners in its PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science program are expected to do their share, too! Students report that, indeed, it’s fairly easy to do so because of the above-par support provided by MIT through fellowships and assistantships. 

Standout Features: Students get exceptional support services from the EECS Graduate Office, including academic, personal and professional support. 

The Brass Rat is MIT’s class ring, but it doesn’t depict an actual rat but a beaver, the school mascot.

Cornell University

Ithaca, New York

PhD in Computer Science 

With an emphasis on world-class research on computer science combined with an excellent faculty, Cornell’s Ph.D. in Computer Science program attracts the best and brightest. Students also benefit from the interdisciplinary approach in computer science, with faculty members from Applied Math, Architecture, and Computational Biology pitching in during research. 

Standout Features: Students must complete a minor outside of computer science. Choices include music, theater and finance, and related fields like electrical engineering. 

Cornell celebrates Dragon Day with first-year architecture students building a spectacular dragon, parading it around the campus, and conducting a ceremonial dragon slaying.

University of Washington

University of Washington

Seattle, Washington

PhD in Computer Science and Engineering

Offered at the world-renowned Paul G. Allen School, the Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering program provides students with competitive academics and research opportunities. But its 300+ full-time students also receive full support from their faculty advisors, state-of-the-art facilities, and a collegial learning environment. 

Standout Features: Interdisciplinary research, inclusive learning environment, and robust academic and extracurricular schedule make the Ph.D. program among the best. 

The Quad is alive with cherry blossoms during the spring, and it’s like being in Japan!

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, Georgia

PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Georgia Tech’s Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering program trains the next generation of leaders in the vital field. Students become advocates for advancing knowledge in digital signal processing, microsystems, and telecommunications, among others. 

Standout Features: Students report that it’s a highly individualized Ph.D. program that places great emphasis on the quality and impact of independent research. MSECE students may also shift to the Ph.D. program by following a rigorous process, including a minimum 3.5 GPA and passing the coursework qualifier. 

The Whistle was originally intended to signal the start of shop classes in the late 1890s. Today, it’s used to signify the end of classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and after Georgia Tech touchdowns.

California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, California

PhD in Computer Science

CalTech’s Ph.D. in Computer Science program provides its students with exceptional knowledge of the breadth and depth of computer science topics. Students also gain specialized knowledge in their chosen concentration through independent research projects.

Furthermore, it’s an integrated MS-to-PhD program where students who complete the first two-year phase receive a master’s degree and then proceed to the Ph.D. phase. 

Standout Features: Students and faculty work together to develop new theories, find novel applications and nurture interdisciplinary collaborations.  

Every house has its parties and customs, such as the pumpkin drop by the Dabney House and the firing of cannons by the Flems.

Columbia University

Columbia University

New York, New York

PhD in Computer Science

Impactful research is at the heart of Columbia’s Ph.D. in Computer Science program and, thus, students start their Ph.D. candidacy as apprentices. They become junior colleagues working alongside faculty members in their scholarly research projects as they progress through the program. The comprehensive range of research projects means that every candidate has a specialty to choose from, too. 

Standout Features: Students must complete the fieldwork requirements, including submitting a final written report. 

Students engage in a free-for-all snowball fight in front of the Alma Mater during the first snowfall!

University of Michigan Ann Arbor

University of Michigan—Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, Michigan

PhD in Computer Science and Engineering

Professionals with plans of pursuing a career in post-secondary education and in the research industry will find UMich’s Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering perfect! Advanced topics are in the curriculum, but there’s a stronger focus on research, particularly on contributing new ideas and innovations to the field. 

Standout Features: Applicants will be considered based on their exceptional research aptitude and prior research experience. Thus, students entering the Ph.D. program with a master’s degree are well-advised to submit a master’s thesis. 

The rock at UMich’s campus has been painted and repainted so many times since the mid-1950s that its original color has become quite a mystery!

University of California Los Angeles

University of California

Los Angeles, California

PhD in Computer Science 

UCLA computer scientists created the Internet’s foundation, and it’s a legacy of innovation that students in its Ph.D. in Computer Science program strive to continue. Students choose from several sub-disciplines that expand the depth and breadth of their knowledge, a requisite for careers in the academe and research. Their choices include artificial intelligence, software systems, and computer system architecture. 

Standout Features: The Ph.D. program encourages its candidates to learn more about the field of computer science beyond what’s known today. Candidates are instrumental in shaping the questions, blazing new paths, and contributing to the body of knowledge that defines computer science. 

The Bruin Bear statue at the Westwood Plaza is covered in a heavy tarp before the big game against the Trojans and it’s to protect it from vandalism.

University of Texas Austin

The University of Texas at Austin

Austin, Texas

PhD in Software Engineering and Systems

UT Austin’s Ph.D. in Software Engineering and Systems is one of eight academic tracks offered as specializations in computer science. Students focus on the advanced theories and applications of engineering software systems, as well as their study and research. The skills gained cover the design, architecture, building and testing, and evaluation and evolution of software systems.  

Standout Features: Students will find the specialization exciting considering its fast evolution and, thus, obsolescence. The emphasis is on keeping up with the fast changes in the industry or risk being an obsolete professional, too. 

New students gather for the Gone To Texas celebration that welcomes them to UT Austin and marks the unofficial start of their status as Longhorns.

Harvard University

Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

PhD in Computer Science 

At the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the Ph.D. in Computer Science program combines applied sciences, technology, and engineering. Students learn the advanced fundamentals of computational interactions, develop algorithm-related skills, and even create new theories and systems. 

Standout Features: Students are provided with abundant opportunities to participate in faculty-led research on a wide range of topics. These include artificial intelligence, computational and data science, and machine learning. 

Getting down and dirty but emerging clean as a whistle is what the Mather Lather is all about!

George Washington University

George Washington University

Washington, DC

PhD in Computer Engineering

The specialized coursework in GWU’s Ph.D. in Computer Engineering program prepares practicing professionals for successful careers as researchers and educators. Integrated circuit design, network computing, and photonic computing are among the areas discussed in depth in the courses. 

Standout Features: Students complete seminar and colloquium requirements to earn the degree aside from the minimum number of credits and dissertation requirements. At least one seminar and five colloquia must be completed. 

The annual Vern Harvest is held every year during the Colonials Weekend, and it’s a fun event with arts and crafts, music, and pumpkin carving.

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester, New York

PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering

RIT’s worldwide reputation for academic excellence in computing, engineering, and technology is evident in its Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering program. Students can use the school’s tools and techniques to explore the current issues in ECE and, thus, become leaders and trailblazers in the industry. 

Standout Features: Students work closely with faculty in discovering new solutions and introducing innovations in a wide range of computer engineering areas. Among these areas are machine learning and artificial intelligence, architectures, and devices for computing, and cyber-physical and embedded systems. 

Behind Grace Watson Hall lies grass fields that become the site of the annual Mud Tug, a tug-of-war competition in mud pits.

Northeastern University

Northeastern University 

Boston, Massachusetts

PhD in Computer Engineering 

Northeastern’s Ph.D. in Computer Engineering program provides its students with the resources to pursue innovative research in several areas. Parallel computing, computer architecture, VLSI, machine vision, and embedded systems are a few examples. Note that Northeastern graduate students are instrumental, too, in its reputation as a research powerhouse in Massachusetts. 

Standout Features: Many courses are available in in-class and streaming formats. Students can also pursue the Gordon Engineering Leadership certificate. 

The Husky Hunt is a Northeastern tradition that involves a 24-hour scavenger hunt all over the greater Boston area.

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

PhD in Information and Library Science

Innovation in information and library science is the core of UNC-Chapel Hills’ Ph.D. program, with students provided with the best facilities, technologies, and environment. Students develop their graduate-level skill sets through a combination of research, leadership, and teaching experiences. Graduates have the desire and skills to promote the field in the education, research, and business sectors. 

Standout Features: Full-time and part-time enrollment are allowed, but students are advised to be in residence either during the entirety of their stay or during the dissertation phase. 

Rameses XXII, or Otis, is a horned Dorset ram that serves as UNC’s live animal mascot.

Princeton University

Princeton University

Princeton, New Jersey

PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering 

The Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, among the largest programs at Princeton, offers students outstanding faculty guidance, personal attention, and extensive support services. 

Standout Features: Full financial support for the entirety of your stay is possible but maintaining satisfactory progress is a must. 

Dink-wearing first-year students are tasked to build the bonfire on Cannon Green.

University at Buffalo

State University of New York at Buffalo

Buffalo, New York

PhD in Information Science 

UB’s online Ph.D. in Information Science program is one of only two of its kind in North America! But don’t dismiss its online format as graduates are known for their exceptional research skills. 

Standout Features: There’s a one-week residency requirement to be completed every academic year. 

The Oozefest is a series of mud volleyball tournaments celebrated every spring. 

 What can you expect from a Doctorate in a Computer Science program? 


What can you expect from a Doctorate in a Computer Science program?

Most doctorates in computer science programs are Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs and, thus, its learners aspire for career advancement in the academe and research industry. The minimum requirements are a master’s degree, GRE scores and letters of recommendation, and doctorate-level skills in STEM topics. 

Due to the diverse topics in computer science, there’s typically no specific field of study required among applicants. But be sure to check the specific admission requirements as your program of choice may prefer specific areas of study. 

Learners spend between four and five years meeting the academic and dissertation requirements and earning 72-90 credits, depending on the program. Many programs offer specializations that expand the depth and breadth of knowledge among learners, too.

Examples include human-computer interaction, computational biology, robotics, and machine learning. An approved dissertation is the culmination of Ph.D. in computer science programs, and their topics can range from software development to self-driving vehicles. 

Graduates have numerous career opportunities with their terminal degree, either within their current field or as part of a career change. These opportunities are in computer networking systems, database systems and architecture, and advanced business intelligence. 

What are the possible student experiences in a Computer Engineering Doctorate program?

Computer engineering is a technical field that integrates diverse electrical engineering and electronics to computer hardware and software development. Learners must then be prepared for academic rigor in these fields and advanced research methodologies during their dissertation phase. Many programs also provide intensive instruction in pedagogy in preparation for teaching in post-secondary institutions. 

Credit requirements vary, but most programs require completion of at least 48 credits for both didactic and dissertation components. Many programs require their learners to submit publication-worthy dissertations that contribute to the existing body of knowledge in the profession. The dissertation topic typically covers a specific aspect of computer engineering, such as forensics, networking, or computer security. 

What is a typical Doctorate in an Information Science program like?

Learners gain the knowledge and skills vital in tech-driven careers in information science through a combination of didactic coursework and dissertations. Many programs are designed to expand the breadth of understanding of the broad range of interdisciplinary research and the depth of expertise in finding solutions for cutting-edge issues. Graduates can then engage in advanced and applied research in information science. 

The curriculum covers data and information science, human-centered computing, and research methods, including statistics. The dissertation demonstrates the learner’s competence in a chosen specialization and the applicable research methods while also adding to the body of knowledge. 

Most programs are designed for completion between four and five years, but it can be longer depending on the dissertation’s progress. Note that there’s a cap or a limit on the number of years a learner can complete the dissertation requirements, usually seven years. 

What’s the best choice for a Doctorate for me?

Like all professional decisions, this one’s on you! However, there are several questions that you can ask when choosing between a doctorate in computer science, information science, or computer engineering. 

You may, for example, want to pursue a doctorate in computer engineering because of your keen interest in hardware development and its evolution. Your interest in the impact of information science on human activity may also be a deciding factor in your final decision. 

There are also doctorate programs that combine electrical engineering and computer science, so, in a way, you’re hitting two birds with one stone. Note that computer engineering is still seen as a combination of electrical engineering and computer science, but there has been significant differentiation in recent years. 

How will earning a Doctoral degree in a computer-related field help me advance in my career?

Earning a doctoral degree in a computer-related field can help you advance your career by giving you expertise in both the technical and theoretical aspects of the field. With a doctoral degree, you can become an expert in the field, allowing you to understand new approaches to problem-solving and design better solutions.

Furthermore, this degree can give you a competitive edge in the job market by increasing your qualifications and value as a technology professional. With your higher level of expertise, you can access more senior positions or advance into management roles.

Additionally, many employers prefer to hire applicants with a doctoral degree, as it indicates a dedication to the industry and a commitment to pursuing excellence.

We’re certain of one thing—your search for more information on picking the best graduate degree or school landed you here. Let our experts help guide your through the decision making process with thoughtful content written by experts.