Computer Science Degrees in Massachusetts

computer science in massachusetts

With some of the finest learning institutions in the world located within its borders, students come from across the world seeking computer science degrees in Massachusetts. As the third-most densely populated state, Massachusetts boasts more than six million inhabitants living in an area that is the seventh smallest in the United States. With a gross domestic yield of more than 400 billion dollars annually, the state is a powerhouse of innovation in the finance, electronics and biotechnology sectors.  Here is a look at some of the schools that offer a computer science degree.

Boston University

Boston University boasts more than 30,000 students and nearly four thousand faculty members. Its two campuses are located in the bustling heart of Boston. The university provides numerous jobs for the local economy and a wealth of research in the medical and technological fields. Boston University had its founding in a small country college in upstate Vermont in 1839. The college moved in 1847 and formally received its present name in 1869. Boston University numbers among its alumni winners of the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Oscar Award and Emmy, with famous graduates such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Elie Wiesel.

Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Boston University’s computer science degrees encourage creativity and innovation throughout every aspect of study. Computer science demands mastery of a wealth of skills ranging from problem solving to mathematics to computational languages. Students at Boston University are expected to have a sophisticated familiarity with calculus going into the degree and complete a program of 15 courses centering in their chosen area of focus. Classes include introductions to computer systems, studies in programming languages, geometric algorithms, software engineering and combinatoric structures.

There’s also an integrated Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science program for qualifying students. Adding one semester to a four-year degree, the program allows students to finish a master’s degree with four less credits than completing the two courses of study separately.

Master of Science in Computer Science

A master’s degree in computer science gives students the advanced understanding of complex systems they require to successfully enter fields of research, innovation and creation of applications. Courses center study in the ares of computer network and cyber security, advanced cryptography, computer graphics, theory of computation, artificial intelligence and programming languages. Students can also focus their studies to prepare for a career in computer science research with specially designed courses. Boston University’s graduate program is ranked 48th in the country by U.S. News and World Report. Students are required to complete eight credits and choose between either a master’s thesis or a project.


The PhD program is the cornerstone of Computer Science at Boston University.  Students that pursuing the PhD degree become an expert in a technical sub field of Computer Science.  Students who complete the Computer Science degree program will be able to pursue a career in research, teaching and/or advising students, or work an industrial laboratory.

Contact Information111 Cummington Mall
Boston MA 02215
(617) 353-8919

Brandeis University

A private university founded in the wake of World War II, Brandeis is located just ten miles outside of Boston. The school names among its founders Albert Einstein and proudly carries on a definitive tradition of scientific and technological excellence. Originally conceived as a medical school, Brandeis places its focus on research and the liberal arts. Its technological focus is well supported by the existence of powerhouse companies such as Google and Microsoft, which have opened offices in the Boston area. Such proximity allows Brandeis to offer students ample opportunities for internship and mentoring programs.

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Computer Science,/h4>

The undergraduate computer science degrees at Brandeis hone students to both enter the workforce or continue on for a higher degree. The Bachelor of Arts program centers around five key disciplines, including programming, mastery of both C and Java computer languages, data structures, and systems and organization. The degree also includes four elective courses. Students can opt for an alternate five-year course of study that will fast track them for a master’s degree one year after their senior year. Qualified students will have distinguished themselves in their studies and may incorporate independent study as part of their master’s degree credits.

The Bachelor of Science centers on a slightly more rigorous course of study and is ideal for those students intent on pursuing a doctorate in computer science. Courses of study include theories of computation, programming languages, calculus and statistics, and discrete structures. Students can pick five elective courses.

Master of Arts in Computer Science, Master of Arts in Computer Science and IT Entrepreneurship and Master of Arts in Computational Linguistics

With its focus on innovation and technological advancement, Brandeis offers students in the master’s degree program the opportunity for hands-on research into a variety of appropriate computer science disciplines, including cryptography, automated text analysis, information retrieval, machine translation and computer security. Students are required to complete nine courses over a three-semester course of study.

The computational linguistics course of study incorporates a focus on language and how it functions in the medium of computer science. Qualified students will have completed an undergraduate degree that included focus on the study of linguistics and language. Students may opt to complete a master’s thesis or engage in computational linguistics work on the professional level.

Technology entrepreneurship students complete a further course of study that results in their engaging in producing a business plan for an IT startup.

The computer science graduate program at Brandeis is ranked at number 82 in the United States by U.S. News and World Report.

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science

Students pursuing their doctorate are required to engage in research work directly related to their course of study, working closely with faculty advisers. Alternatively, students can engage in an industrial internship that closely relates to their chosen pursuit or continue working on their dissertation.

Students are also required to serve in a teaching capacity for one course per year. Duties may include lecturing, grading, course design and drawing up assignments. Working closely with academic advisers, students will propose an appropriate thesis to be defended publicly upon completion of their course of study. Students are required to be in residency for three years.

Students can opt to further enhance their doctorate by adding a quantitative biology specialization.

Contact Information

MS 018
Brandeis University
Waltham MA 02454
(781) 736-2700

Harvard University

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Founded in 1636 as a university to rival the finest in Europe, Harvard quickly rose to prominence as America’s first institution of higher learning. Located in Massachusetts’s capital city of Boston, Harvard draws some of the finest minds in both its student body and staff In 2007, Harvard formally changed its computer science learning program designation from “division” to “school.” Prior to this, it was regarded as only a part of the wider science education curriculum. With technology greats such as Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer counted among alumni, Harvard continues to provide a environment that richly nurtures innovations in technology.

Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science

Harvard’s Computer Science program specializes in disciplines such as artificial intelligence, algorithms, networks, mathematics, software and graphics study. Students will attain a mastery of computer languages such as Java, Lisp and OCaml as they focus on problem solving skills and hands-on training. Beyond the basic courses offered to familiarize students with a strong foundation in computer science, the university offers the opportunity to focus in the junior and senior years on specialties such as speech recognition, data science, economics computation, visualization, and parallel and distributed systems.

Harvard also allows computer science students research opportunities with comprehensive teaching labs over the summer months or as extra-curricular study throughout the year. Students in the undergraduate program may also further qualify for Honors and High Honors programs with appropriate GPA results and the completion of a thesis.

Master of Engineering or Master of Science in Computer Science

Acceptance to the Computer Science master’s program is extremely exclusive and the number of students is small. Qualified students must complete eight courses that are full, semester-length classes; while some courses may be completed at other universities, the majority of courses must be attended at Harvard. Five of these courses must be at the 200 level and focus directly on computer science topics. Both theory and systems courses must be covered to qualify for the degree. Students who can make a compelling case for suspension of these requirements may petition the Committee of Higher Degrees for suspension of general rules.

Courses can include, among others, a focus of study on technology and privacy, computing hardware, network design, circuitry, cryptography, database systems and research on special topics. Harvard’s computer science graduate program is ranked at number 18 in the United States by U.S. News and World Report.

Computer Science Ph.D.

Harvard Computer science degree is an applied science, with connections to many fields. It is first suggested that each student learn about connecting computer science to other fields as a key part of advancing their education in computer science. These connections may introduce relevant background, or they may provide an outlet for developing new applications.

Contact Information

29 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-5829

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In 1861, the university of MIT was founded with the aim to create a comprehensive polytechnic institution to match the rise of industry. Classes could not properly get underway until the end of the Civil War The school centers on pursuits in the fields of research, engineering, technology, economics and biology. No less than 81 Nobel Laureates are counted among its affiliates and if the innovations discovered by its members were counted together, it would be the 11th largest economy in the world. This heritage leaves students with a rich resource for both study and mentorship.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering, Computer Science and Molecular Biology, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Students receive a well-rounded course of study that involves many disciplines, including programming, circuitry, artificial intelligence and algorithmic thinking, with special focus on innovation, creativity, application and software design. MIT sets over-arching goals for students to attain skills in leadership, gain a nuanced understanding of ethics and maintain a versatility that allows them to adapt to changing technologies.

A focus on computer science and molecular biology prepare students for new fields such as biomedical engineering, computational molecular biology and bioinformatics. Students work in tandem with the Biology department to complete their degree. Electrical engineering and computer science prepares students for working with both software and hardware systems. A computer science and engineering degree focuses on computer systems, artificial intelligence, algorithms and computation structures.

Master of Engineer in Computer Science

A master’s degree at MIT is attained following a course of study that includes eight courses and completion of a master’s thesis. Qualifying students must present a sound thesis that meets the standards set by the computer science department.

Realizing that in a rapidly changing field such as computer science, the best program of study is hands-on research into the frontier disciplines leading computer technology today. Graduate research is conducted in one of many labs that specialize in subjects such as artificial intelligence, electronics, microsystems and technology, and information systems. MIT’s graduate program in computer science is ranked at number one by U.S. News and World Report.

Contact Information

77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 253-4600

Northeastern University

College of Computer and Information Science

The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education gives Northeastern University high marks for its research facilities and pursuits. This Boston-based university draws students with its focus on cutting edge technology and impressive academic standards. Founded in 1898, Northeastern grew slowly, adding colleges of focused study along the way and allowing female students for the first time following the end of World War II. Today the university supports a number of innovative research centers in fields of study as widely varying as nanotechnology, subsurface sensing and imaging, pharmaceuticals and marine science. The university’s Center for Experiential Education encourages undergraduates to explore the frontiers of research.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Sporting a brand new facility that takes advantage of the latest technology, the undergraduate computer science program at Northeastern University seeks to instill both theory and application learning in its students. Degree programs focus on foundational principles of the discipline, with specializations in fields such as cyber operations and information science. Students are encouraged to take part in research offered to undergraduates by the university, as well as engage in internships and programs that will amplify the learning achieved in their designated course of study.

The school also offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science, a pursuit that allows students to take foreign language credits as well as choose among a wider array of elective courses. Honors courses are available for students who qualify.

Master of Science in Computer Science and Master of Science in Information Assurance

Both private industry and Federal sources provide the means for the university to conduct cutting edge research into a variety of computer science topics. Master’s degree students can specialize in one of many fields of study that include programming languages, networking, theory, database management, robotics and human-computer interaction. Co-op programs allow students to engage in real-world application of information learned within the university as they pursue their degree. Some of these companies include Nokia, IBM Corporation, Verizon Communications and Fidelity Investments.

The newly developed Information Assurance program supports students in their pursuit of managing computer security systems, as well as integrating current laws and knowledge of the social sciences for an understanding of how best to secure workplace environments from the security risks posed by the free flow of information on the Internet. Northeastern University’s graduate computer science program is ranked 60th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report

Ph.D. in Computer Science

Northeastern University’s Ph.D. program is designed “to equip its graduates to conduct state-of-the-art research in computer science, either in academia or in industry”. The curriculum includes the fundamentals of computer science, advanced courses in the dissertation area, and research education for culminating in the writing of a dissertation.

Contact Information

440 Huntington Avenue
202 West Village H
Boston, Massachusetts 02115
(617) 373-2462

Tufts University

School of Engineering

Located in the town of Medford, just outside of Boston, Tufts University began in 1852 as a small liberal arts college. P. T. Barnum numbered among the original benefactors, although the museum housing curiosities that he helped to endow was destroyed by fire some years later. Over time the university has expanded to include a range of pursuits in the technology and engineering sectors. Consistently ranking among the best schools in the United States, Tufts is known for its medical research, commitment to innovation and excellence in education. Tufts is known as the oldest institution devoted to educating students in the art of diplomatic relations.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

The Department of Computer Science grooms students for careers in computer based technologies or to continue their studies with a higher degree. The School of Engineering aims its program at empowering students in the disciplines of computer theory, programming languages, problem solving, mathematics, current laws governing online privacy and many more.

Tufts also offers an undergraduate computer science major through the School of Arts and Sciences. Pursuing a degree in this fashion allows students more opportunity to integrate interdisciplinary fields of study into the existing course framework.

Master of Science in Computer Science

Industry connections and a commitment to the latest technological advances characterize the degree program offered to master’s students at Tufts. Students can follow a range of research pursuits to fashion a unique thesis and personalize their chosen field of study. Partnerships exist with industry giants such as Yahoo, Google and Microsoft, offering ample opportunity for real-world experience. Students can hone their skills in computational biology, computer graphics, web programming, human-robot interactions and data structures, among others. Tufts University’s graduate program is ranked 70th by U.S. News and World Report

Doctor of Computer Science

Students of the Ph.D program have a wealth of research opportunities, from cognitive science to robotics to computational systems biology. Doctoral candidates must adhere to traditional degree requirements, such as residency at the university, involvement in teaching and development of lesson plans, grading of papers and lecturing, as well as all facets of preparation for a doctoral dissertation.

Contact Information

61 College Avenue
Medford, MA 02155
(617) 627-2225

University of Massachusetts at Amherst

School of Computer Science

Located in the western part of Massachusetts and about an hour from Boston, UMass Amherst is the largest public university in New England. The university was founded in 1863 as an agricultural and military arts college. The school grew in prominence, adding degree programs and allowing the first full-time female students in 1892. Today the university has a student body numbering more than 27,000 and supplements its State funding with generous grants and donations. The school numbers among faculty and alumni a winner of the Nobel Prize, several astronauts, the poet Ted Hughes and Pulitzer Prize winner James Tate. Its focus on technology and innovation provides students with a rich setting for learning.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science

UMass Amherst is ranked 25th in the nation in computer science by U.S. News and World Report. This excellence translates into a program of study that encourages students to constantly challenge themselves as they work to attain their degree. Students have the latitude to choose among a wide range of disciplines within the broader computer science context. Focuses of study include robotics, networking, data mining, software engineering and artificial intelligence. The school offers students 10 different subplans as guidance for pursuing their degree.

The Bachelor of Arts degree differs in its broad range of electives to satisfy the degree, as well as its stress on an interdisciplinary approach to learning.

Master of Computer Science

This degree is held under the auspices of the College of Natural Sciences. Students must have a firm foundation in computer science disciplines and complete 30 credits that display a mastery of disciplines such as artificial intelligence, theory and systems. Advanced use of algorithms, computation theory, database design, machine learning, programming languages and advanced computer networking are all integral to the program.

A six-credit project is also required for completion of the degree. Students who wish to pursue a doctorate degree can combine the two programs into a total of five years.

Contact Information

140 Governors Drive
Amherst, MA 01003-9264
(413) 545-2744

With its centuries-old focus on learning, access to powerhouses of the computer industry, leading innovation and faculty talent, Massachusetts leads most states in computer science education. While its rich history contributes to both culture and art, its technological advances continue to both inspire students and change the world. Even as it leads in technology, Massachusetts must continue to recruit new students to fuel the next generation of innovation and discovery. With all the state has to offer, students truly have a wealth of choice when it comes to pursuing computer science degrees in Massachusetts.

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