Northwestern University


Computer Science Degrees at Northwestern University

Northwestern University appears in our ranking of the Top 50 Master’s in Computer Science Degree Programs.

Students who wish to study computer science at Northwestern University can pursue their degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The undergraduate degrees are the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and the Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science. Each degree requires different numbers and types of electives as part of its curriculum. Students may also select Computer Science as a minor.

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science requires students to take classes like Introductory Programming Sequence, Discrete Math, and Artificial Intelligence. The program involves 120 credits, which are broken up into core, major, and elective classes. Students earning this degree must also complete two projects at some time during any year they are at Northwestern University.

Graduate students have a wide selection of degree foci from which to choose. Many of these are joint degrees that involve one or more departments. One such degree is the Ph.D. in Technology and Social Behavior. The two departments who run this program jointly are Computer Science and Communication. The degree covers the intense study of the relationship between computers and human beings and how they interact with one another. Students must complete a dissertation as they would with any other Ph.D.

Master’s degree candidates can choose degrees in computer engineering and philosophy, artificial intelligence, and robotics. They can go on to study the same things, alone or in combination, at the doctoral level.

When it comes to online degrees, most are graduate degrees, although some undergraduate courses are offered either online or as hybrids of online and brick-and-mortar classes. Students should check the website to see which classes would be available online or to choose their graduate degree.

About Northwestern University

Nine guys got together in the spring of 1850 to plan to build a university that would serve what was known then as the Northwest Territory. It took five years of glad-handing, arm twisting, and innumerable backroom deals for these men, none of whom had any substantive education or money, to realize their dream. The first building was finished in 1855, and the first classes began mere weeks later.

Ever since, Northwestern University has placed a premium on hard work and individualism. Despite this, the university also fosters collaborative research and study as it has changed with the times. That hard work and intelligent perspective have together brought Northwestern University to the No. 10 rank in the country among National Universities as noted by U.S. News and World Report. Similarly, the university ranks No. 15 as a “Best Value School” and No. 14 in the listing of “Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs,” of which computer engineering is a part.

The university has about 8,000 undergraduate students enrolled, and the campus, at more than 300 acres, provides them ample space to “expand their minds.” Because of its academic excellence, the location right on the shore of Lake Michigan, and its worldwide reputation, Northwestern University receives thousands of applications each year. It is among the most selective schools in the country, however, and only accepts one in 11 students who apply.

Northwestern University Accreditation Details

The Higher Learning Commission bestowed regional accreditation on Northwestern University. Some of the university’s many departments and schools have achieved separate academic accreditation on their own. The organizations bestowing such accreditation include the:

  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • American Bar Association
  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • National Association of Schools of Theatre
  • Council on Education for Public Health
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology Inc.
  • Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications

Northwestern University Application Requirements

Incoming freshmen must complete the application and provide letters of recommendation from both a high-school counselor and teacher. They must also take either the SAT or the ACT and have the appropriate testing company forward the results. Self-sent test results are not accepted. Music students must audition. Home-schooled students must also take three separate subject SATs in addition to the main test.

Graduate students should check the website for their program’s requirements. They differ from department to department.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate tuition at Northwestern University is $54,120 annually. The cost for room and board totals $16,626. Fees and expenses come to about another $5,000, which makes the annual cost, in total, roughly $76,000.

Graduate tuition is charged by the quarter, and that rate is $18,040. If students need health insurance, that cost is $3,950 per year. Counting all associated fees, that makes the annual cost for graduate students about $77,000.

More than 60 percent of students at Northwestern University receive some form of financial aid, which is usually a combination of scholarships, grants, including work-study, and loans. To find out how much aid to which a student is entitled, that student should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The school and the government will then use the FAFSA to determine who much aid is applicable, and the decisions are need-based.

Of course, students can apply for as much private financial aid as they wish. Any private awards count as assets on the FAFSA, so private financial aid will reduce need-based aid. It is not usually a dollar-for-dollar tradeoff, and the financial aid office can work out the details for you.

International students who apply and want to participate in work-study programs must first settle all immigration paperwork, including work visas, before applying. This will save both time and hassle.

All students should be keenly aware of any restrictions or other requirements regarding any monetary awards they receive. Failure to meet academic standards, or other standards that vary from award to award, risks loss of the award.

Northwestern University leads the way among Illinois colleges and is proud of its Top-10 national ranking.

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