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12 Best Computer Science Schools in Virginia

Best Computer Science Schools in Virginia

Computer science is a growing field with a wide range of career opportunities. If you’re considering studying computer science in Virginia, you’re in luck as the state is home to some of the best computer science schools in the country.

Ranked as one of the best jobs in America by U.S. News and World Report, the field of Computer Science is definitely the right path for you if you enjoy working with computers and are interested in solving complex problems. Additionally, if you have strong analytical and logical thinking skills, you may find success in computer science.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook Handbook, the overall employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow by 15% from 2021 to 2031 with this increase guaranteeing 682,800 new jobs over the decade. The Occupational Outlook Handbook also reports a median annual wage of $97,430 for all Computer Science and Information Technology related occupations.

Our list of top-ranked institutions offering computer science programs in the state that will help you find the right fit for you and begin your path to a successful career in the field. Read on as we’ll highlight the top-ranked institutions offering computer science programs in Virginia. These are the best computer science schools in Virginia with some accredited by ABET to offer computer science degree programs in the state of Virginia.

1. George Mason University

George Mason University
George Mason University
  • Location: Fairfax, Virginia
  • Program: Computer Science
  • Degree Level: Bachelor, Master & PhD

George Mason University is a public research university located in Fairfax, Virginia. It was founded in 1972 and is named after George Mason, a Virginia statesman who is best known for being the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which served as a model for the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

The university’s strong focus on research is one of the reasons it’s ranked as an R-1 university. Ranked 36th in Computer Science by CSRankings, George Mason University School of Computing offers an undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. program in Computer Science.

George Mason University Computer Science Department faculty includes 78 experts in a wide range of fields, including cybersecurity, cryptography, systems and networks, machine learning and data mining, artificial intelligence, robotics, computer vision, natural language processing, theory, databases, bioinformatics, computer graphics, HCI, and software engineering.

George Mason University currently has over 2200 undergraduate students, 950 Master’s students, and 185 Ph.D. students. With opportunities for undergraduate research, internships, and accelerated Master’s degrees, George Mason University is no doubt one of the best universities in Virginia and perfect for you looking to study computer science.

2. University of Virginia

University of Virginia
  • Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Program: Computer Science
  • Degree Level: Bachelor, Master & PhD

The University of Virginia (UVA) is a public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, and it is the flagship institution of the University of Virginia System. UVA is known for its rigorous academic programs and its commitment to research, as well as its historic grounds, which were designed by Jefferson himself.

The university is composed of twelve schools in Charlottesville, as well as the College at Wise in Southwest Virginia, and it offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. The university is also home to a number of notable institutes, including the school of data science and the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

UVA School of Engineering and Applied Science offers an undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. program in Computer science providing students with opportunities for computer science research, undergraduate research, and internships.

UVA Department of Computer Science ranked 47th in Computer Science by CSRankings is a nationally recognized leader in computer science research and education. University of Virginia’s proud history as a renowned research university makes it one of the top universities to study Computer Science.

3. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

Virginia Tech
  • Location: Blacksburg, Virginia
  • Program: Computer Science
  • Degree Level: Bachelor, Master & PhD

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, commonly known as Virginia Tech, is a public research university located in Blacksburg, Virginia. It was founded in 1872 as the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College, and it became a comprehensive university in the 1970s.

With a student body of over 37,000 students and a notable Corporate Research Center, Virginia Tech is ranked 48th in university research and is considered one of the top research universities in the United States.

Virginia Tech College of Engineering offers undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. providing students with opportunities for research, internship, accelerated undergraduate/graduate degree programs, tech talent pipeline partnership programs, New horizon graduate scholars peer mentoring, and so on.

Known for its strong programs in engineering and sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) ranks 51st in Computer Science by CSRankings making it one of the best computer science schools in Virginia.

4. Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia
  • Program: Computer Science
  • Degree Level: Bachelor, Master & PhD

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is a public research university located in Richmond, Virginia. It was founded in 1838 as the Medical College of Virginia and became VCU in 1968 after merging with the Richmond Professional Institute.

VCU is one of Virginia’s largest universities, with over 28,000 students enrolled in more than 200 academic programs across 19 college and schools. The university is known for its programs in the arts, sciences, and health sciences, and offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

VCU is a top-ranked research institution with a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary research and collaboration. Ranked 114th in Computer Science by CSRankings, Virginia Commonwealth University College of Engineering offers an undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. program in Computer Science.

5. Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University
  • Location: Norfolk, Virginia
  • Program: Computer Science
  • Degree Level: Bachelor, Master & PhD

Old Dominion University (ODU) is a public research university located in the City of Norfolk in the metropolitan Hampton Roads region of coastal Virginia. It was founded in 1930 as the Norfolk Division of the College of William & Mary and became an independent institution in 1962.

ODU offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs through its nine colleges and schools, and has a student enrollment of over 24,000. The university is known for its programs in the arts, sciences, engineering, and business, and has a strong emphasis on research and innovation hence it’s recognition as an R-1 research institution by Carnegie.

Ranked 130th in Computer Science by CSRankings, Old Dominion University College of Sciences offers an undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. program in Computer Science.

6. Hampton University

Hampton University
Hampton University
  • Location: Hampton, Virginia
  • Program: Computer Science
  • Degree Level: Bachelor & Master

Hampton University is a private historically black university in Hampton, Virginia. Founded on April 1, 1868, as Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, it is one of the oldest historically black universities in the United States. The prestigious private college in Virginia is known for it’s stellar academics, beautiful student body, strong athletics program and it’s programs in engineering, sciences, and technology.

Hampton University through it’s School of Science – Computer science department offers an undergraduate Computer Science degree in Computer Information Systems, Cyber Security & Computer Science Track. For graduate study, the university offers a Master of Science program in Computer Science and a Master of Science in Cyber Security (Previously MS in Information Assurance)

These programs are designed to not only teach students but also engage them in research programs and internships opportunity to better prepare them for the workforce. According to Hampton University Department of Computer Science, graduating seniors have a 98% placement rate (full-time employment and/or graduate school acceptance).

7. The University of Virginia’s College at Wise

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise
  • Location: Wise, Virginia
  • Program: Computer Science
  • Degree Level: Bachelor

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, also known as UVa-Wise, is a public liberal arts college located in Wise, Virginia. It was founded in 1954 as Clinch Valley College of the University of Virginia, and it became a separate institution in 1964.

UVa-Wise offers a range of undergraduate programs in fields such as business, education, and science, as well as a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies. The college is known for its small class sizes and close-knit community, and it is committed to providing students with a high-quality education.

Accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET and offered by the Department of Mathematics and Computer science, UVA Wise’s computer science program allows students to gain experience while working through a plethora of paid internships. Many UVA-Wise students participate in the Lovelace Society, which honors the first programmer, Ava Lovelace.

8. Liberty University

Liberty University
Liberty University
  • Location: Lynchburg, Virginia
  • Program: Computer Science
  • Degree Level: Bachelor

Liberty University is a private, non-profit Christian university located in Lynchburg, Virginia. It was founded in 1971 by Baptist pastor Jerry Falwell and has a strong focus on religious teachings and principles. It is one of the largest universities in the United States, with an enrollment of over 130,000 students and it’s ranked #331-440 out of 443 National Universities by 2022/2023 US News and World Report.

Located in Central Virginia, Liberty is a liberal arts institution with 15 colleges and schools and offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in fields such as business, education, counseling, religion, nursing, law, aviation, cinematic arts, and more.

Through it’s School of Business, Liberty University offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with four cognates to choose from. The four Computer Science tracks are General, Cybersecurity, Software Engineering and Web & Mobile Programming.

Liberty University also provides Computer Science students with various opportunities such as undergraduate research programs, the School of Business Internship Program, 3 Plus 1 Accelerated Business Sequence, and so on.

9. Norfolk State University

Norfolk State University
  • Location: Norfolk, Virginia
  • Program: Computer Science
  • Degree Level: Bachelor

Norfolk State University is a public historically black university in Norfolk, Virginia. It was founded in 1935 as the Norfolk Unit of Virginia Union University and became an independent institution in 1942.

The university offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in fields such as business, education, engineering, and liberal arts through it’s five academic colleges & schools. Norfolk State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctorate degrees.

Norfolk University through it’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology offer a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree in five different track – Computer Engineering Track, Cybersecurity Track, Software Engineering Track, Standard Track and IA Track.

With a total undergraduate enrollment of 5,016 students (fall 2021), the university ranked #63 in the 2022-2023 edition of US News & World Report’s – Best Colleges is Regional Universities South.

10. Radford University

Radford University
  • Location: Radford, Virginia
  • Program: Computer Science and Technology – Computer Science Concentration
  • Degree Level: Bachelor

Radford University is a public university located in Radford, Virginia. It was founded in 1910 as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Radford, and it became a coeducational institution in 1972. Radford University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Radford University through one of it’s eight schools and colleges – Artis College of Science and Technology offers a Bachelor of Science degree program in Computer Science and Technology with a Concentration on Computer Science.

The ABET-accredited Computer Science concentration includes a broad foundation in the core areas of computer science, a theoretical foundation in computing and/or practical and hands-on experience providing students with the opportunity to gain experience in the field of study.

11. Virginia State University

Virginia State University
  • Location: Petersburg, Virginia
  • Program: Computer Science
  • Degree Level: Bachelor & Master

Virginia State University is a public university located in Petersburg, Virginia. It was founded in 1882 as the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute. Virginia State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctorate degrees.

VSU offers 36 undergraduate programs, 16 graduate programs, two doctoral programs, and eight certificate programs through six colleges namely: College of Agriculture, Reginald F. Lewis College of Business, College of Education, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Natural and Health Sciences and College of Engineering and Technology.

Virginia State University through it’s College of Engineering and Technology – Department of Computer Science offers an accredited Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Computer Science with the option of a concentration in Information Security.

With a current student population of approximately 4,000, the University sits atop a rolling landscape overlooking the Appomattox River with expansive views of Petersburg. Virginia State University’s diverse student body and it’s strong commitment to research and public service put the school as one of the top universities in Virginia.

12. College of William and Mary

William and Mary
  • Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Program: Computer Science
  • Degree Level: Bachelor, Master & PhD

The College of William & Mary is a public research university located in Williamsburg, Virginia. Founded in 1693, it is the second oldest institution of higher education in the United States and the oldest in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The college is known for its strong liberal arts program and has a reputation for academic excellence and is also home to a number of distinguished research centers and institutes, including the Institute for Integrative Science and Health, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and the National Institute of Aerospace.

Home to approximately 9,500 undergraduate and graduate students, the university’s computer science department is ranked 73rd by CS Rankings.

College of William and Mary Computer science students get to partake in the multidisciplinary research opportunity in Computational Science and Computational Operations Research. Some faculty and students also participate in joint research activities with two nearby national research facilities: the NASA Langley Research Center (NASA LaRC) and the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab).

Conclusion

Based on the research and analysis presented in this article, Virginia is no doubt home to several top-tier computer science schools in the United States.

From large research universities to small liberal arts colleges, these schools offer a wide range of programs and resources for students interested in pursuing a degree in computer science.

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