The Best Colleges
for Computer Engineering in 2021

Computer engineering is an excellent bet in a world run by computer technology. The list of what a computer engineer can do is long. Someone with a computer engineering degree can pursue a career in software development, business, or cybersecurity.

If you’re hoping to start a career in tech, a computer engineering degree is a great first step. The following article highlights the best schools for computer engineering, taking into account tuition costs and salary expectations.

Top 10 Computer Engineering Schools in 2021 at a Glance

There are many institutions offering engineering majors. However, it can be overwhelming to research everything on your own. For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of 10 of the best universities for computer engineering students.

The tuition figures in the table below refer to estimated annual costs, excluding fees and other expenses, unless otherwise noted. All the information comes from each school’s official website and is based on the most recent academic year for which information is available.

School and Degrees State Tuition Notes
Cornell University
Bachelor of Science in
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Master of Engineering in
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer
Engineering
(NY)

$60,286*

$29,500

Bachelor’s and master’s
programs
PhD program
Georgia Institute of Technology
Bachelor of Science in
Computer Engineering
Master of Science in Electrical
and Computer Engineering
(GA)

$10,258

$31,370

$16,476

$34,140

Bachelor’s program,
Georgia residents
Bachelor’s program,
non-Georgia residents
Master’s program,
Georgia residents
Master’s program,
non-Georgia residents
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Bachelor of Science in
Computer Science and Engineering
Master of Engineering in
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Master of Engineering in
Computer Science and Molecular Biology
Master of Engineering in
Computation and Cognition
Master of Science in Electrical
Engineering and Computer Science
Doctor of Philosophy in
Computational Science and Engineering
(MA) $55,510 Bachelor’s, master’s,
and PhD programs
Ohio Northern University
Bachelor of Science in
Computer Engineering
(OH) $39,390 All College of
Engineering students
The Ohio State University
Bachelor of Science in
Computer Science and Engineering
Bachelor of Arts in Computer
and Information Science
(OH)

$11,936*

$35,019*

$37,947*

Bachelor’s programs,
Ohio residents
Bachelor’s programs,
non-Ohio residents
Bachelor’s programs,
International students
San José State University
Bachelor of Science in
Computer Engineering
Master of Science in Computer
Engineering
(CA)

$7,852

$9,286

$396 per unit

Bachelor’s program,
California residents
Master’s program,
California residents
Additional fee for all
non-residents
Santa Clara University
Bachelor of Science in
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Master of Science in Electrical
and Computer Engineering
Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering
(CA)

$55,224

$1,088 per unit

Bachelor’s program
Master’s and PhD
programs
Stanford University
Bachelor of Science in
Electrical Engineering, Hardware and Software Systems Focus
Master of Science in Electrical
Engineering
PhD in Electrical Engineering
(CA) $55,473
$57,861
Bachelor’s program
Master’s and PhD
programs
University of California, Los Angeles
Bachelor of Science in
Computer Science and Engineering
Master of Science in Electrical
and Computer Engineering
Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer
Engineering
(CA)

$13,258*

$43,012*

$17,486*

$32,588*

Bachelor’s program,
California residents
Bachelor’s program,
non-California residents
Masters and Ph.D.
programs, California residents
Master’s and PhD
programs, non-California residents
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Bachelor of Science in
Computer Engineering
(IL)

$17,348

$34,798

$40,146

Bachelor’s program,
Illinois residents
Bachelor’s program,
non-Illinois residents
Bachelor’s program,
international students

Online vs In-Person Computer Engineering Degrees

Online and in-person degree programs have different benefits. On the one hand, online programs offer cheaper costs, flexibility, and convenience. They are often better suited for working students. On the other hand, in-person programs give you access to research facilities, libraries, and campus social life.

Traditional learning often makes it easier to forge connections with other students, although many online programs make an effort to get students to connect as well.

Choosing the Best School for You

To choose the right school for computer engineering, you should consider the quality of the program, the cost of attendance, and the research interests of faculty members.

Let’s explore each of these factors in more detail.

Quality of the Program

Make sure you understand the difference between computer science and computer engineering and only consider programs that cover computer engineering topics of interest to you. You should also look into the university’s reputation and its accreditation status. The latter is important because it confirms that a school’s learning standards are up to par.

Cost of Attendance

Online programs are often cheaper than their in-person counterparts. Regardless of which path you choose, most universities offer scholarships and financial aid to students. You should also apply for federal aid by filling out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Faculty Interests

Before selecting a program, you should look at which faculty members are leading the computer engineering research. As a rule of thumb, you should choose programs led by experienced professors. It’s especially helpful if professors have experience outside of academia, working in the industry they’re instructing you on.

The Best Computer Engineering Schools in 2021

The Best Computer Engineering Schools in 2021

We’ve compiled more details on each school from our list. This information includes learning approaches, the degree levels offered, and other key details.

Cornell University

Cornell University is a private institution with around 23,620 students. As an Ivy League institution, Cornell is one of the most prestigious universities in the United States.

Cornell offers both graduate and undergraduate programs for students interested in computer engineering. Both levels use a hands-on approach to get students working on different projects. The programs are designed to help students advance in the tech industry and become computer hardware engineers.

Cornell Computer Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Tech is a large public university, with a student population of approximately 40,000, one of the largest in the United States. The undergraduate computer engineering program offered by this school takes about five years to complete.

You should consider this institution because the curriculum focuses on building leaders and problem-solvers in computer engineering-related fields. Georgia Tech is a top 10 research university, meaning you’ll get access to high-quality education.

The school has one of the lowest tuition rates on our list and several options for student financial aid.

Georgia Tech Computer Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
  • Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is known for its seriousness towards academics and high-quality education. This means that a degree from MIT will give you a significant advantage when hunting for jobs. Not only that, but the school delivers its program through outstanding faculty who adopt a hands-on approach.

MIT Computer Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Master of Engineering in Computer Science and Molecular Biology
  • Master of Engineering in Computation and Cognition
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Computational Science and Engineering

Ohio Northern University

Ohio Northern University is a center of academic excellence with a rich tradition. According to the school’s official website, Ohio Northern University boasts a 95 percent job placement rate, making it a popular choice for many students. If you would like to get a job within six months of graduation, consider ONU’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering.

ONU Computer Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering

The Ohio State University

Ohio State University offers a wide range of computer science and engineering courses. These programs allow students to tailor their careers however they want. Some courses require students to have advanced knowledge in computing.

Ohio State has a professional faculty who offer a hands-on approach to learning. Not only that, but the school has several financial aid services that will help you save on tuition costs and other academic-related expenses. The President’s Affordability Grant provides up to $2,250 in aid to undergraduate students from middle- and lower-income households.

Ohio State Computer Engineering Programs

  • Bachelors of Science in Computer Science and Engineering
  • Bachelors of Arts in Computer and Information Science

San José State University

San José State University ranks highly when it comes to computer engineering programs in America. This school handed out more than 250 Bachelor’s Degrees in Computer Engineering, earning it a spot among the top three schools in the US.

According to the school’s official website, San José State has more graduates working in Silicon Valley than any other university in the US. You’ll also get a hands-on learning experience from the department faculty.

San José State Computer Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
  • Master of Science in Computer Engineering

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University is one of the top schools on the west coast. Its computer engineering graduate programs are held in especially high regard. To be eligible, you need to have a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Computer Engineering from an accredited institution. Among other things, you’ll learn data structures, logic design, and discrete math.

Santa Clara University Computer Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Stanford University

Stanford University is one of the top schools in the world. The school has a student population of over 6,300 undergraduate and 8,700 graduate students. Stanford is known for its high-quality education, making it a popular choice among top computer engineering students.

The Computer Systems Engineering program focuses on the design, analysis, and application of computers and other related computer-based systems. The school equips its students with the skills to become problem solvers in the real world.

Stanford Computer Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Hardware and Software Systems Focus
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
  • PhD in Electrical Engineering

University of California, Los Angeles

UCLA offers a few programs for students interested in computer engineering. The school is a popular choice for many students in the US as it has a student population of about 44,000, 31,000 of whom are enrolled in undergraduate degree programs.

The school has a lot to offer in financial aid, physical and mental health services, career counseling, and free legal services. Taken together, these factors make UCLA an excellent place to study computer engineering at any degree level.

UCLA Computer Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering
  • Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois is a popular choice among interested computer engineering students. Over 1,200 students graduate annually with computer engineering majors. Its tuition costs are low compared to most top schools, and you’ll get to participate in the school’s vibrant selection of student organizations.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Computer Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering

What Can You Do with a
Computer Engineering Degree?

A computer engineering degree can land you a career as a robotics specialist, software engineer, systems designer, video game programmer, hardware systems designer, or computer engineer.

There are numerous career paths and opportunities for electrical and computer engineering graduates. Better yet, these opportunities are growing as research in communication networks and computers continues to improve.

How Much Can I Expect to Earn with a Degree in Computer Engineering?

According to PayScale, you can expect to earn a salary of about $88,593 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, or about $101,711 with a Master of Science. This suggests that a graduate degree in computer engineering is good for a significant pay increase.

75774
Min salary
98860
Average salary
119560
Top salary

Top Computer Engineering Degree Careers

Profession Minimum Education Average Salary
Computer Hardware Engineer Bachelor’s degree $119,560
Software Developer Bachelor’s degree $110,140
Information Security Analyst Bachelor’s degree $103,590
Electrical and Electronics
Engineer
Bachelor’s degree $103,390
Database Administrator Bachelor’s degree $98,860
Computer Programmer Bachelor’s degree $89,190
Robotics Engineer Bachelor’s degree $84,999
Network and Computer
Systems Administrator
Bachelor’s degree $84,810
Database Developer Bachelor’s degree $75,774

Does It Matter What College I Go to for Computer Engineering?

It doesn’t matter where you attend college for computer engineering courses, as long as you get a degree from an accredited institution. However, top companies tend to pay more attention to the schools known for offering high-quality computer engineering programs, like Cornell, MIT, and Stanford.

Should You Pursue a Degree in Computer Engineering?

Yes. If you want to get a job shortly after graduating, you should get a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering. You could also consider a degree in software engineering, electrical engineering, or a related field. In addition, some jobs list a master’s degree as the minimum requirement.

If you are interested in computer systems and enjoy interacting with them, you should consider a degree in computer engineering. Most people with at least a BS in this field go on to have rewarding careers.

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