Is Computer Science Grad School worth it?

As a computer science graduate, I know firsthand the importance of selecting the right graduate school to further your education. With so many options available, choosing the best program for your needs can be overwhelming. That’s why I’ve researched for you and compiled a list of the top computer science grad schools for 2023.

When considering a graduate program in computer science, it’s important to look for schools that balance theoretical and practical coursework. A strong program should also provide opportunities for research and internships and access to cutting-edge technology and faculty leaders in the field. With the right education and experience, graduates can pursue careers in various industries, from software development to artificial intelligence research.

In this article, I’ll provide an overview of the best computer science graduate schools for 2023, according to recent rankings and my own research. Whether you’re interested in pursuing a Master of Science in Computer Science, a Ph.D. in Computer Science, or a related degree, this guide will help you decide about your future education and career path.

What are Computer Science Grad Schools?

As someone in the computer science field, you may wonder what a computer science graduate school is. In short, a computer science graduate school is a higher education institution offering advanced computer science degrees.

These programs are designed for students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field and want to deepen their knowledge and expertise in the subject. Graduate programs in computer science typically offer master’s and doctoral degrees, and they can be found at universities and colleges worldwide.

One of the main benefits of attending a computer science graduate school is that it allows students to specialize in a particular area of computer science. For example, some graduate programs may focus on artificial intelligence, while others may focus on computer networks or software engineering.

Additionally, attending a computer science graduate school can help students build a strong professional network. They may have the opportunity to work with professors who are experts in their area of interest and collaborate with other students who share their passion for computer science.

Why Pursue a Computer Science Grad Degree?

As someone immersed in computer science for several years, I can attest to the value of pursuing a graduate degree. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Increased Earning Potential: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals with a master’s degree in computer science earn a median annual salary of $122,840, significantly higher than the median annual salary of $86,320 for those with a bachelor’s degree in the same field.
  • Expanded Career Opportunities: Pursuing a graduate degree in computer science can open up many career opportunities, including roles in software development, data analysis, cybersecurity, and more. Additionally, an advanced degree can make you a more competitive candidate for leadership positions.
  • Enhanced Technical Skills: Graduate programs in computer science are designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of advanced programming languages, algorithms, and other technical concepts. This knowledge can be invaluable in various professional settings, from research and development to software engineering.

Pursuing a computer science graduate degree can be a smart investment in your future. It can lead to higher earning potential and expanded career opportunities and provide you with the technical skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in a rapidly evolving field.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Computer Science Grad School

As someone considering attending a computer science graduate school, there are several factors to consider before making a decision. Here are some of the most important factors to keep in mind:


The location of the school is an important factor to consider. Do you prefer a big city or a smaller town? Do you want to be close to family or friends? Do you want to be in a specific region of the country? These are all important questions to ask yourself when considering the location.


The curriculum of the program is another important factor to consider. Look at the courses offered and make sure they align with your interests and career goals. Consider the program’s structure as well, whether it is project-based or research-based.


The faculty at the school should be a major consideration. Look at the faculty member’s research interests and ensure they align with yours. Consider the faculty-to-student ratio and the accessibility of the professors.

Research Opportunities

If you are interested in research, it is important to consider the research opportunities available at the school. Look at the research labs and centers associated with the program and ensure they align with your interests.


The cost of attending the program is a major consideration. Look at the tuition and fees and the cost of living in the area. Consider whether the program offers financial aid or scholarships.

Admission Requirements

Finally, it is important to consider the admission requirements for the program. Look at the GPA, test score requirements, and any prerequisite courses. Consider the application process and ensure you have enough time to complete it.

Top Computer Science Grad Schools

When choosing a computer science graduate school, many options exist. After extensive research, I have compiled a list of some of the top computer science grad schools in the United States. First on the list is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

MIT is known for its strong computer science program, offering master’s and doctoral degrees. The highly competitive program requires a strong mathematics and computer science background. Another top computer science grad school is Stanford University. Stanford’s computer science program is known for its focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The program offers master’s and doctoral degrees, and students can work with renowned faculty members on groundbreaking research projects. Carnegie Mellon University is also a top choice for computer science graduate students.

The program is known for its focus on computer systems and software engineering and offers both master’s and doctoral degrees. Students can work on cutting-edge research projects and collaborate with faculty members who are leaders in the field.

Other top computer science grad schools include the University of California-Berkeley, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Each school offers a rigorous and challenging computer science program that prepares students for successful careers.

In conclusion, many top computer science grad schools are in the United States. MIT, Stanford, and Carnegie Mellon are excellent options for students pursuing a graduate degree in computer science.

Tips for Applying to Computer Science Grad Schools

As someone who has applied to computer science grad schools, I have some tips that I believe will be useful for anyone considering this path.

1. Research programs thoroughly: Before applying, it’s important to research the programs thoroughly. Look at the faculty, the courses offered, and the research areas. Make sure that the program aligns with your interests and goals.

2. Start early: The application process can be time-consuming, so starting early is important. Give yourself enough time to research programs, prepare for standardized tests, and write your personal statements.

3. Get good grades: Good grades are important for grad school. Admissions committees will seek evidence that you can handle a graduate program’s coursework and research demands.

4. Prepare for standardized tests: Most graduate programs require standardized tests such as the GRE. Make sure you prepare adequately for these tests. Many resources are available to help you study, including test prep books and online courses.

5. Get research experience: Admissions committees highly value research experience. Try to get involved in research projects while you are still an undergraduate. This will demonstrate your ability to conduct research and your commitment to the field.

6. Get letters of recommendation: Letters of recommendation are an important part of the application process. Choose recommenders who know you well and can speak to your academic and research abilities.

7. Write a strong personal statement: Your personal statement is your chance to tell the admissions committee who you are and why you want to pursue a graduate degree in computer science. Make sure your statement is well-written, concise, and focused.

These tips can increase your chances of getting into a top computer science grad school. Remember, the application process can be daunting, but you can achieve your goals with hard work and dedication.


After researching the top Computer Science graduate schools in the US, I have found many excellent options for students looking to further their education in this field. There is something for every type of student, from the highly-ranked programs at universities like MIT and Stanford to the more specialized programs at schools like Carnegie Mellon and Georgia Tech.

When deciding on a graduate school, it is important to consider factors such as location, program focus, and available resources. Additionally, students should research the faculty and their areas of expertise to ensure their interests align with the program’s offerings.

While rankings can be a helpful tool in determining a program’s quality, other factors should be considered. Before deciding, it is important to visit the campus, speak with current students and faculty, and understand the overall culture.

Pursuing a graduate degree in Computer Science can lead to exciting career opportunities in a rapidly-growing field. With the right program and resources, students can gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in this dynamic industry.