UC Irvine’s computer science department ranks 23rd in the nation, ahead of even Stanford University, according to Best Computer Science Degrees site’s April 2016 release entitled “50 Most Advanced University Computer Science Departments 2016.”
Founded in 2011, the Best Computer Science Degrees site annually ranks computer science departments and degree programs, and provides facts, tips and advice for planning a career in the field.
The site’s release ranks university computer science departments according to graduate degree opportunities, awards and recognition as well as other features a department offers, such as research, internships, scholarships and study abroad opportunities, as well as affiliated centers and organizations on campus.
According to this criteria, UCI’s computer science department ranks higher than the computer science departments of prestigious private universities like the University of Chicago (#37), University of Southern California (#36), Cornell University (#34) and Stanford University (#30).
Five of the nine University of California campuses were on the top 50 list. Among the UCs, UCI ranks 3rd, ahead of UC Berkeley (#26) and UC Santa Barbara (#25), but behind UC Los Angeles (#10) and UC San Diego (#2).
At approximately $12,072 per year, UCI’s computer science program has the cheapest net cost among the UCs, and one of the lowest costs on the entire national list. UC Berkeley’s net cost is the most expensive among the UCs at $16,665 per year.
The site commends UCI’s computer science department for its interdisciplinary programs. UCI is also recognized on the site for being the only “computing-focused school in the University of California” system.
UCI Computer Science and Informatics Professor David Kay adds that UCI is the only campus in the UC system with an entire School of Information and Computer Sciences, with departments of Computer Science, Statistics and Informatics.
“Together the work of these three departments cover a much broader range of topics related to information technology than most computer science departments,” said Kay.
The site’s ranking also highlights UCI for its “unique degrees and courses that benefit both students and potential employers.”
“Our courses range from data analytics (for dealing with the ‘big data’ so prevalent today), with its roots in Statistics, to use of electronic gaming, teenagers’ computer use, and ways of making software more reliable, economical, and convenient, all in Informatics with some overlap into computer science,” said Kay. “The computer science department itself has many strengths, including machine learning, computational biology, and database systems.”
UCI is among the newest universities on the list. When Kay first came to UCI from UCLA in 1990, UCI’s ICS department had fewer than 25 faculty members. Today, the department has over 70.
In addition to continuous growth in the number of ICS students and faculty, in the future, Kay says that UCI anticipates an expansion in its computer game science program.
“Besides electronic entertainment, which is an industry with greater revenues than Hollywood movies, techniques for designing games are used for ‘serious’ purposes of training, simulation and persuasion,” said Kay.
Best Computer Science Degrees is not the only site to have recently recognized UCI’s computer science program. UCI’s computer science department is ranked #29 by U.S. News and World Report and #24 by Computer Science Degree Hub.