Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Best College/University to earn a Sofware Engineering Degree ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Best College/University to earn a Sofware Engineering Degree
Category: Reference, Education and News > Education
Asked by: toorich_thang-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 31 Oct 2005 05:21 PST
Expires: 30 Nov 2005 05:21 PST
Question ID: 586987
I would like to know the best school to bag a degree to become a
software developer/engineer.
I will like  you to provide me with details and comparisons as well.
Thank you.
Subject: Re: Best College/University to earn a Sofware Engineering Degree
Answered By: politicalguru-ga on 31 Oct 2005 07:57 PST
Dear Toorich Thang, 

There are several aspects in choosing a school - what is good for one
person might not be good for the other.

Several things should be thought of, when choosing a school. Among them: 
(1) Tuition and additional costs
(2) Support of students (if you're an "international" student, even more so)
(3) Language considerations
(4) Distance from family, and/or supporting community
(5) Personal preferences regarding weather, campus life, etc. 

Some of these things are totally individualised, and have nothing to
do with the reputation of the school, or with the actual level of
teaching and job placement.

"Software Engineering"/Development is hardly a discipline on its own,
academically speaking. It is part of computer science and the serious
universities (see below) teach it as part of their computer
engineering or computer science degrees and teach a more specialised
course only at the graduate or postgraduate level. If you have a look
at the College Board site (<>),
you'll easily find out that while many insitutions title their degrees
"software engineering", they are not ranked at the top national
universities (in the United States), and some may title their
programme as "software engineering" programme in order to market it

US News and World Report composes each year a list of the top schools
for computer engineering in the United States. In those top schools,
you can consider yourself a software engineer when you graduate, and
even may get education superior to those who have learnt only software
development. It lists as its top schools:

(1) MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers "Bachelor of
Science in Computer Science and Engineering" programme
(2) Stanford University (California). Stanford offers the "Computer
Systems Engineering (CSE) major", which "has a blend of CS and
electrical engineering (EE) classes, and emphasizes hardware and
systems programming over theory. Students can specialize in digital
systems, networking, or robotics and mechatronics." (SOURCE: So you
want to major in Computer Science or CSE?
See more: 
Stanford University Computer Science

(3) University of California - Berkeley offers a B.Sc in "Electrical
and Computer Engineering, with specialisation in "Computer Systems
(Option III) - For students interested in machine architecture and
logic design, operating systems, database systems, programming systems
and languages, or digital devices and circuits." (SOURCE: Degree
Programs, <>).
See more at: 

(4) Carnegie Mellon University (PA) stresses much of its degree on
software development. See here:
 Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon also boasts that "In a five-year study of the top
scholars and institutions in the Systems and Software Engineering
field published in 2004, The Journal of Systems and Software ranks
Carnegie Mellon and its Software Engineering Institute as the number
one institution in the field due to its quantity of papers published
in leading software engineering journals." (SOURCE: "Did You Know...",

(5) University of Illinois?Urbana-Champaign offers a degree in
computer science, as well as a certificate programme in software
engineering (for their computer science students).
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (B.S.)
Software Engineering Certificate 
Read more: 
Department of Computer Science
(6) University of Michigan?Ann Arbor offers several programmes in the
realm of computer science and engineering. See:
University of Michigan?Ann Arbor

(7) University of Texas?Austin offers a bachelor in electrical and
computer engineering, with specialisation in (among others) software

(8) Cornell University (NY) offer a bachelor in computer sciences

(9) University of Washington offers both a computer science programme
and a computer engineering programme

(10) Princeton University (NJ) offers a programme in computer science

Of those, Berkeley and Stanford are located close to industry centres
(not that the others are not, but these are located close to the
Silicon Valley), which might make them more attractive in the sense of
job placement during and immidiately after school.

Engineering Schools Ranking 
- offers ranking in the US.

Other universities might include the University of Maryland, which
claims on its site that in 2001:
"Maryland ranked No. 5 in the world in the field of systems and
software engineering.
Maryland ranked No. 1 among public universities in the field of
systems and software engineering."
(SOURCE: Facts and Figures <>). 

UK ranking could be found at the Guardian University guide. However,
just like the national US ranking offered by the US News and World
Report, top departments offer a degree in "computing" or "computer
engineering", which incorporates software, but do not offer it

When one checks the ranking provided by the Journal of Systems and
Software, several international universities are also visible. Please
note, that the Journal of Systems and Software ranking is based on
research (and specifically, on publication on top journals), not on
teaching quality:

(1) Carnegie Mellon (mentioned before)

(2) Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology 
offers a degree in computer science (in Korean)

(3) National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan) 
<> (in Chinese)

(4) Fraunhofer IESE (Germany) - which is a research only, not a
teaching institute (though one could be an intern there, do a project,

(5) Bell Labs/Lucent (like no. 4). 

(6) Seoul National University, Korea 
<> - programme is in Korean

(7) City University of Hong Kong 
in computer science
in computer engineering

(8) Iowa State University see their programme in computer engineering here: 

(9) Microsoft (like no. 4) 

(10) National University of Singapore offers several computer engineering degrees: 

(See: Robert L. Glass and, T.Y. Chen, "An assessment of systems and
software engineering scholars and institutions", The Journal of
Systems and Software 76 (2005),

In conclusion, you have to decide for yourself, and telling you what
others think is the "best" school might not help you. I would
recommend, though, that you'll consider the top US institutions, and
especially Carnegie Mellon, Berkeley, Stanford, U. of Illinois and

I hope this answers your question. Please contact me if you need any
clarification on this answer before you rate it. My search strategy:
[university's name + "software engineering OR development"]
"college OR university or school" "software engineering OR
development", schools "software engineering OR development", best
schools "software engineering OR development", university ranking
"software engineering OR development", university ranking software
engineering,  "Journal of Systems and Software" ranking schools,
Subject: Re: Best College/University to earn a Sofware Engineering Degree
From: heromaeda-ga on 21 Feb 2006 23:10 PST
Harvey Mudd, Bucknell University, Coopter Union, and Rose-Hulman are
great undergraduate universities to study as well!

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy