Top Computer Science Programs for Women

Despite massive growth in computer science employment opportunities over the past decade, women are still highly underrepresented. In fact, according to a report from Fortune, the number of female computing professionals has fallen by 35% since 1990. In 2013, women represented only 26% of all computer science professionals. 

In an effort to turn this male-dominated field into a more gender-balanced industry, many changes have started to take place. To start, there’s been a push from organizations such as  Girls Who Code and Girls, Inc. to encourage female students to become interested and involved in technology at an earlier age. And at the college level, universities have begun to tailor their computer science programs to be more inclusive. These efforts seem to be making a difference with the percentage of female students completing a computer science degree increasing by 76% over the past five years

We took a look at the top-ranked U.S. universities for computer science that are also offering an inclusive environment for female students looking to enter into the industry. 

Methodology

For this ranking, we analyzed data from the National Center for Education StatisticsU.S. News & World Report, StartClass, and PayScale to rank the top computer science programs for women in the U.S. Here they are:

Top 20 Programs 

Click on a school’s name to view information specific to that university and its computer science program.

Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd has been a leader in creating a more inclusive environment for computer science students. The program’s professors worked to completely revamp the department, including creating a more collaborative curriculum. They’re also helping other programs drive change, partnering with more than a dozen universities to increase diversity within STEM programs.

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College has taken strides in recent years to increase the visibility of women in STEM majors, including computer science. The college founded the Women in Science Project, which provides resources to women seeking a STEM career. The program offers support through mentorship, internship opportunities, and research experience.

Harvard University

Harvard University is home to one of the most active women in technology organizations: Harvard Women in Computer Science (WiCS). The organization hosts WECode, the largest student-run computer science conference. It’s also extended its reach to younger students, supporting middle schoolers in local Girls Who Code chapters.

Rice University

Rice University’s CSters club has been actively advocating for greater gender equality in computer science since 2002. The organization hosts a mentorship program to connect incoming students with older students as well as networking events with professionals. In 2016, CSters sponsored 30 female students to attend the prestigious Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.

Pennsylvania State

Penn State’s Association of Women in Computing (AWC) is working to recruit more females into the school’s Computer Science, Computer Programming, and Electrical Engineering majors. The organization hosts regular talks to keep members up-to-date on the industry and to educate new members about opportunities within the computer science field.  

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Women’s Technology Program in EECS (WTP-EECS) at MIT is a four-week program for female high school students. Each year, 40 chosen participants attend classes taught by female MIT students, gaining hands-on experience in electrical engineering, discrete mathematics, and computer science.

College of William and Mary

William and Mary’s Women’s Network supports female faculty and students across all majors. The organization has been very active in making on-campus changes related to family leave, child care, salary equity, sexual harassment, and more.

University of Southern California

Since 2000, USC’s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) has been advocating on behalf of female faculty in STEM positions. In fact, the organization has successfully tripled the number of female tenured faculty members since its founding. WiSE also regularly hosts several grant programs, supporting both female students and faculty members.

Emory University

Emory University is an affiliate partner to the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), an organization that has been advocating on behalf of women in STEM fields since 1971. The chapter’s goal is to help women within the Emory community advance their careers in STEM fields.

Princeton University

Since 2010, Princeton has been home to the Women in Computer Science (PWiCS). What started out as a small organization meant to help connect female STEM students to one another is now a growing community promoting a large mentorship program and outreach program to connect with younger students.

Georgetown University

Georgetown broke major ground at its graduation ceremony in May 2017. All three computer science students that graduated with a GPA of 3.9 or above were women. Moreover, the university is home to several organizations dedicated to increasing the visibility of women in STEM fields, including GU Women Who Code.

Columbia University

Columbia University has seen a recent increase in women majoring in computer science, in part thanks to the tremendous effort the university has put into making the program more inclusive. For instance, in 2015, the university began teaching a new course, Computing in Context. The popular course covers computer science basics as well as how the concepts integrate with other liberal arts areas, including humanities and social sciences.

North Carolina State University

North Carolina State’s WiCS chapter is dedicated to creating a more inclusive computer science program at the undergraduate, graduate, and even faculty levels. The active organization hosts networking events, coding events, and an annual hackathon.

University of Notre Dame

In order to combat low enrollment by women in the school’s engineering departments, Notre Dame founded the Women in Engineering Program. Today, the organization works to remove barriers that cause female students to turn away from STEM programs. The organization has also partnered with Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame to provide further opportunities for female students.

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon’s Women@SCS meets at least twice a month to encourage and support women in the computer science program. Activities hosted by the organization include a Big/Little Sister program to help spark interest in younger students, professional development workshops, and programs aimed at middle school students.

Cornell University

Cornell’s Women in Computing seeks to not only support current computer science students but women already in the professional field as well. The organization hosts a variety of programs including tech talks, networking events, community discussions, live panels, and more.

University of North Carolina - Charlotte

UNCC Women in Computing Initiative’s goal is to increase the number of Computer Science undergraduate majors to 450 female students within the next five years, while proportionally increasing the number of female graduates. The university has also begun including new curriculum that aims to address the gender imbalance in STEM, including FemmeTech, a course focused on issues related to gender and technology.

University of California - Berkeley

UC Berkeley is home to WICSE, an organization of female graduate computer science students looking to build a more inclusive environment in the industry. In addition to outreach programs for younger students, the organization partners with research institutions and corporate partners to host workshops and network events.

University of Pennsylvania

The UPenn WiCS chapter prides itself on fostering an ongoing conversation of how to create a more welcoming environment for women working in STEM. Each month, the chapter hosts new events including tech talks, expert panels, and more.

California Institute of Technology

With computer science as its number one major, CalTech has been taking an active role in promoting gender equality within the field. For instance, the university hosts mentorship programs, discussion groups, and networking events meant to specifically provide support to its female student body and faculty.

Top 45 Programs

Scroll to the right to view all data points included in the table. Information can be sorted by column. 

School NameLocationAverage Starting SalaryAcceptance RateIn-State Tuition Out-of-State Tuition Percentage Female CS StudentsGraduation Rate
Harvey Mudd CollegeClaremont, California$78,50013.0%$50,649$50,64938.6%86%
Dartmouth CollegeHanover, New Hampshire$60,80011.0%$49,506$49,50635.4%87%
Harvard UniversityCambridge, Massachusetts$65,2005.6%$45,278$45,27834.1%87%
Rice UniversityHouston, Texas$62,30016.0%$42,253$42,25333.0%79%
Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity Park, Pennsylvania$54,30051.3%$17,514$31,34632.5%65%
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge, Massachusetts$78,3008.3%$46,704$46,70431.6%84%
College of William and MaryWilliamsburg, Virginia$49,10034.5%$19,372$41,07226.7%83%
University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, California$56,10017.7%$50,277$50,27726.3%78%
Emory UniversityAtlanta, Georgia$53,80023.7%$46,314$46,31426.1%84%
Princeton UniversityPrinceton, New Jersey$65,7007.1%$43,450$43,45025.7%88%
Georgetown UniversityWashington D.C. $55,40017.2%$48,611$48,61125.0%88%
Columbia UniversityNew York City, New York$64,0006.6%$53,000$53,00024.2%87%
North Carolina State UniversityRaleigh, North Carolina$52,40050.4%$8,581$24,93223.7%41%
University of Notre DameNotre Dame, Indiana$61,20019.8%$47,929$47,92923.7%90%
Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburgh, Pennsylvania$69,40023.7%$50,665$50,66523.0%74%
Cornell UniversityIthaca, New York$63,20015.1%$49,116$49,11622.7%87%
University of North Carolina - CharlotteCharlotte, North Carolina$48,00063.3%$6,532$19,70322.3%54%
University of California - BerkeleyBerkeley, California$60,50016.9%$13,431$38,13922.2%72%
University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania$62,20010.2%$49,536$49,53622.0%88%
California Institute of TechnologyPasadena, California$58,1938.8%$45,390$45,39022.0%82%
Northwestern UniversityEvanston, Illinois$56,80013.0%$49,047$49,04721.8%86%
University of California - Los AngelesLos Angeles, California$53,10017.3%$12,763$37,47121.3%69%
Brown UniversityProvidence, Rhode Island$58,6009.5%$49,346$49,34620.9%84%
Stanford UniversityStanford, California$70,8005.0%$46,320$46,32020.7%76%
Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimore, Maryland$61,50014.1%$48,710$48,71019.8%87%
Clemson UniversityClemson, South Carolina$54,10051.3%$14,272$33,19019.5%59%
University of ChicagoChicago, Illinois$53,0008.4%$51,351$51,35119.4%88%
University of California - San DiegoSan Diego, California$54,40033.7%$13,530$38,23818.2%56%
Rutgers University New Brunswick, New Jersey$51,30058.5%$14,131$29,52118.0%57%
University of California - DavisDavis, California$51,80038.0%$13,951$38,65917.9%51%
University at BuffaloBuffalo, New York$47,60060.0%$9,381$24,46117.1%52%
Duke UniversityDurham, North Carolina$61,30011.4%$49,241$49,24116.9%87%
The University of Texas at AustinAustin, Texas$53,40039.2%$9,806$34,67616.4%51%
Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlanta, Georgia$65,30032.2%$12,204$32,39616.0%41%
Texas A&M UniversityCollege Station, Texas$54,40066.6%$10,176$28,76815.9%49%
University of FloridaGainesville, Florida$49,50047.5%$6,381$28,65915.8%65%
Case Western Reserve CollegeCleveland, Ohio$58,60036.3%$44,560$44,56015.5%65%
University of MinnesotaMinneapolis, Minnesota$51,70044.6%$13,790$22,21015.4%54%
University of MichiganAnn Arbor, Michigan$60,60026.3%$13,856$43,47615.1%76%
Michigan State UniversityEast Lansing, Michigan$49,80066.3%$13,560$36,36014.8%50%
University of MarylandCollege Park, Maryland$55,20044.9%$9,996$31,14414.5%66%
Vanderbilt UniversityNashville, Tennessee$57,90011.7%$44,712$44,71214.3%87%
University of WisconsinMadison, Wisconsin$50,80057.6%$10,415$29,66513.7%55%
University of California - IrvineIrvine, California$51,90038.7%$13,252$37,96012.8%68%
University of IllinoisChampaign, Illinois$58,10065.6%$15,054$30,21412.5%68%

Scholarship Opportunities for Women in Computer Science

In an effort to continue increasing the number of women in computer science, both universities and outside organizations alike are raising scholarship funds geared specifically towards helping female STEM students. These include: 

Women Techmakers Scholars Program

Sponsored by Google, the Women Techmakers Scholars program looks to create further gender equality within the computer science field. The scholarship program is divided into three regions: 

  • North America
  • Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
  • Asia Pacific 

In addition to the scholarship award, the program consists of a retreat and online community as opportunities to connect with fellow women in the field. 

Scholarship Site

Society of Women Engineers Golden Gate High School Scholarship Program

The Society of Women Engineers Golden Gate Section (SWE-GGS) offers several scholarship awards to female high school graduates in the Bay Area who are moving on to pursue degrees in Engineering and Computer Science. Last year alone, the organization awarded more than $18,000 in scholarship funds.

Scholarship Site  

Women in Defense HORIZONS Scholarship 

The goal of the Women in Defense HORIZONS Scholarship is to encourage women to pursue careers in national security and defense. The award amount varies each year. Aside from computer science, applicants can choose to pursue a further education and career in engineering, cyber security, international relations, political science, economics, security studies, military history, government relations, physics, math, business or law. 

Scholarship Site

Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation

The Michigan Council of Women in Technology’s mission is to inspire women to enter the technology space within the state of Michigan. The scholarship is awarded to members of the Girls Exploring Together: Information Technology organization. Other than its annual scholarship, the organization has created a robust community of fellow women in the industry to act as mentors and supporters. 

Scholarship Site

StudySoup Women in Technology Scholarship

As a company driven to help students succeed, we know that college is an important step along with many career paths, but it can be expensive. Students can upload notes to StudySoup to lighten their financial burden. However, we still felt like we could do more to give back to the future leaders of the world. We also believe that it is our responsibility to foster innovation in the field of technology and help underrepresented students break down barriers. Therefore, we are offering a $2,000 Women in Technology Scholarship to an outstanding female student who is planning a career in the field of computer science and/or computer programming.

Scholarship Site

AWC Scholarship Fund for Women in Computing

Sponsored by the Ann Arbor chapter of the Association for Women in Computing, this scholarship is open to female students pursuing a degree in computer science or a technology-related field. The goal of the organization is to increase the visibility of women working in tech-heavy fields. Stay tuned for the application! It will be available the first week of January with a deadline of mid-March. 

Scholarship Site

Microsoft Research Women’s Fellowship Program

The Microsoft Women’s Fellowship Program was founded to provide opportunities to women working in research and technology. The award is given to a female graduate student enrolled in computer science, electrical engineering, mathematics, or bioinformatics. 

Scholarship Site

Palantir Women in Technology Scholarship

Palantir’ scholarship is available to full-time undergraduate female computer science students. The organization awards up to $10,000 in scholarships to recipients each year. Additionally, scholarship winners are given the opportunity to visit the Palantir headquarters in Palo Alto for a full-day workshop alongside the company’s top female employees. Select winners are also eligible to participate in an internship program.

Scholarship Site

Adobe Research Women in Technology Scholarship

In order to create even more innovative technologies, Adobe is working to bring more gender diversity to the technology industry. It’s $10,000 Women in Technology Scholarship is available to female undergraduate computer science students all over the world. The program also offers a free one-year subscription to Creative Cloud, access to an Adobe Research mentor, and an opportunity to interview for an internship within the company. 

Scholarship Site

Buildium Women in Technology Scholarship

Buildium is offering a $2,500 scholarship each semester to women earning a STEM degree in a U.S. or Canadian university. The application requires applicants include a brief essay explaining which female tech leader most inspires them and why. Applicants must also be in good standing with their university. 

Scholarship Site

 

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4 Responses

  1. Since 2014 Rochester Institute of Technology, Women in Computing has helped grow female enrollment in the College of Computing 10% through community outreach with groups like Girl Scouts and events such as our all women hackathon WiCHacks.

  1. July 17, 2017

    […] StudySoup.com took a look at the top-ranked U.S. universities for computer science that are also offering an inclusive environment for female students looking to enter into the industry. […]

  2. August 9, 2017

    […] For more, click here. […]

  3. August 16, 2017

    […] The complete rankings may be viewed here. […]

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