Software Engineering is the structured utilization of engineering theories and approaches toward computer hardware and software development. Part of a software engineer’s job includes designing, developing, maintaining, testing, and evaluating computer software. The field involves the theoretical and practical aspects of the discipline. The main goal of the study is to use information technology to solve real-world problems.

Many educational institutions have focused on the study of software engineering over the years. Some software engineering universities have risen above others in creating the best software engineers and putting forth the study of computer science. These are some of the best software engineering schools in the world as of date.

How Fast Can I Become a Software Engineer?

Becoming a Software Engineer takes anywhere between 6 months and 4 years. How long it takes hinges upon your background and experience. If you already know the basics of coding and algorithms, it might take you less time than someone starting from scratch without previous experience in the field. Another factor that might affect the pace at which your training progresses is whether you are enrolled in an institution or learning independently. You could make a lot of progress alone, especially if you are a fast learner. If, however, you can only learn in formal academic settings, that is also an option that could take a little longer because universities approach learning in a more structured and comprehensive manner.

Top Software Engineering Schools in the World

1. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is an English institution for higher education, autonomously operating at Oxford, England. The university was established during the 12th century, having academic studies in theology, law, medicine, and the liberal arts.

The University of Oxford currently offers a wide array of educational and research fields, including software engineering. The software engineering program started in the 1980s in the Computing Laboratory, now the Department of Computer Science.

The DCS focused on the merger of theory and practice, further improving the study. The software engineering discipline in the department has continued to improve as the years go on. The department’s drive has kept the University of Oxford among the top software engineering schools in the world.

2. Stanford University

Stanford University was founded in the US in 1885 and officially opened its gates in 1891. The university intended to create a non-sectarian, co-educational, and affordable academic institution.

Stanford consistently encouraged the study and research of various fields and disciplines such as software engineering. The Stanford School of Engineering established itself in 1925 and, over the years, has pushed forth technological innovations that improved the industry in the country.

The School of Engineering has consistently put Stanford on the global rankings by acquiring numerous awards and honors spanning nine decades. Stanford University remains at the top bracket of software engineering universities worldwide.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology officially incorporated and established itself in 1861. “Mens et manus” (“mind and hand”) is the private university’s motto as a reminder of MIT’s focus on combining academic theories and practical applicability.

As one of the best software engineering schools, MIT is fully committed to making the world better through education, research, and innovation. The Department of Electric Engineering was formed in the fall of 1902 then renamed the Department of Electric Engineering and Computer Science in 1975. MIT

The DEECS made vital, lasting contributions to software engineering that placed MIT at the top of global rankings. Its graduates remained some of the best software engineering professionals in the field.

Check out: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Acceptance Rate

4. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge established itself in 1209 in Cambridge, England. As decades went by, developments in the creation of new colleges specializing in ground-breaking studies and the rise of notable scholars from obscurity have allowed the recognition of the university as one of the premier educational institutions in the country.

The Department of Computer Science and Technology was founded in 1937. The department continued to train world-class computer science experts and further improved its facilities to elevate its research – making it one of the best software engineering schools.

DCST includes software engineering in its plethora of research disciplines. The department gave considerable contributions to the field throughout its years of existence. The efforts of its students and faculty have put Cambridge in the yearly worldwide rankings and international awards.

5. ETH Zürich

ETH Zürich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich), or the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, has remained at the forefront of modern technological studies in Switzerland. The national university focuses its efforts on training its faculty and students to advance Swiss industrialization further.

The year 1984 marks the start of the establishment of the Department of Computer Science. The DCC continued to improve the discipline by producing better software engineers and teachers and adding innovations to the field. Such efforts have allowed the consistent presence of ETH Zürich in worldwide awardees and top brackets of global university rankings.

6. Carnegie Mellon University

Hailing from humble beginnings, American self-made steel magnate Andrew Carnegie founded Carnegie Mellon University in 1900. Initially named the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Carnegie Tech educated the working-class men and women of Pittsburgh.

Carnegie Tech later merged with Mellon Institute, which further improved the studies of the sciences in the institution. Carnegie’s Computer Science Department is one of the best software engineering schools and has consistently led in software engineering and produced top-notch graduates since its establishment in 1956.

The Computer Science Department’s track record shows numerous grants and awards for its contributions to the advancement of the discipline. Evidence of the efforts of its students, faculty, and researchers, Carnegie has remained at the uppermost part of university rankings for software engineering institutions.

See Also: 7 Best Countries to Study Software Engineering Abroad

7. Harvard University

Harvard University established itself in 1636 and was given its current name in 1638 in honor of its benefactor, John Harvard. Due to its extensive history, numerous notable alumni and societal contributions trace back to its more than four decades of knowledge production and application.

Software Engineering is under the umbrella of the Computer Science Department at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Its areas of research and education include theoretical computer science, artificial intelligence, privacy and security, data management systems, intelligent interfaces, and operating systems, to name a few. The department excelled in all areas, as validated by its numerous awards and honors globally. Graduates and researchers of this excellent software engineering institution continually contributed to the field, putting Harvard in the worldwide rankings yearly.

8. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is one of the best engineering schools to date. Since its founding in 1867, the institution has built its reputation as having the best College of Engineering in the country. It also has a reputable ranking in Information Sciences and the Department of Psychology.

The university’s Grainer College of Engineering is led by world-class faculty. Its 15 top-ranked engineering majors give students an unrivaled academic experience that makes them the best in the field. It’s one of the best software engineering schools on the globe.

The school’s reputation as a world-class leader in research and teaching aligns with its mission to pioneer innovative research and create transformative learning experiences. They aspire to produce alumni that will make a significant impact on society.

9. Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology or Georgia Tech ranks 4th among the best undergraduate engineering programs and belongs to the top 10 graduate engineering programs. This prestigious university’s engineering and computing colleges are considered the largest and highest-ranked in the nation. In 2020, the university attracted more than $1 billion to fund research in engineering, computing, design, business, and the sciences.

Georgia Tech aims to build leaders that can advance technology to improve the quality of life. Its vision is to make a positive impact on people around the globe. With this, its Software Engineering course works on performance optimizations, systems correctness, and the development of new techniques for modern software systems. This can help create a powerful foundation, give tools to programmers that can save millions of dollars, and solve security vulnerabilities.

Discover more: 5 Free Software Engineering Schools with No Tuition

10. University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley is the state’s first land-grant university and the first campus of the University of California system. Since being established in 1868, it has worked its way up to becoming the #1 public university worldwide with a strong global ranking for its computer science and engineering degrees.

The school has research areas that focus on computer architecture, AI human-computer interaction, computational biology, and programming languages, to name a few. The students and alumni of this institution pioneer the frontiers of information science and technology to bring a broad impact on society. While it builds programs to further the modernizations and innovations for the world, the university still holds a strong tradition of collaboration and a supportive culture for its community and industry.

11. University of California, Irvine

Opening its doors in 1965, the University of California Irvine (UCI) is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. Despite being a young campus, it has managed to rank among the nation’s top 10 public universities and has produced 5 Nobel laureates.

During the 2020 academic year, UCI has handed out 288 bachelor’s degrees in computer engineering which has paved its path into the top 4 most popular colleges offering this degree. UCI’s Software Engineering program gives its students a strong foundation in the field; the course leads to a deeper understanding of processes, tools, and techniques needed to create innovative, dependable, and large-scale software systems and applications with the potential to bring social change.

12. University of Washington, Seattle

The University of Washington, Seattle (UW) is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast. This flagship institution, founded in 1861 in Washington state, is known for its engineering, medical, and scientific research.

UW is among the best universities in the world for the studies of computer science and engineering. The institution’s Computer Science & Engineering department aims to produce students who will become leaders in the design and implementation of computing systems that can touch every aspect of modern society. UW is also known for top-ranked programs in law, medicine, nursing, business, and social work.

Learn more about: 5 Cheap Universities in Seattle

13. Eindhoven University of Technology

Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is a public research technical university in the Netherlands that specializes in engineering science and technology. With its campus placed in the breeding ground for innovation and a world-class technology region, TU/e has subsequently marked its reputation in this field.

Eindhoven University educates its students in the advancement of knowledge in science and technology for the benefit of society. The institution strives to advance scientific curiosity with a hands-on mentality in its various programs. Some of the courses you can take in this school include data science and artificial intelligence, human-technology interaction innovation sciences, engineering systems, and more. TU/e stands out as it collaborates with advanced industries thanks to its access to the thriving innovation ecosystem in Brainport.

14. University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is the oldest private research university in California, founded in 1880. Its CS program continues to be in the top rankings for seven years, and its engineering program also belongs to the top 5 according to U.S. News & World Report.

Formerly known as the USC School of Engineering, USC Viterbi School is ranked as the best program in Computer Science and tied for second in overall Engineering. The institution offers four bachelor’s degree programs in computer science, two computer software engineering programs at the graduate level, and a doctoral program in computer science. The school continues to mold students who will be future leaders in the software engineering field.

15. Vienna University of Technology

One of the major universities in Austria, Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), has built its reputation as one of the esteemed partners of innovation-oriented enterprises. It has domestic and international recognition in both teaching and research.

Vienna University of Technology houses some of the best faculty to teach and demonstrate innovative and high-complexity systems. They boast of their diverse, creative, and passionate group of lecturers and researchers. Additionally, they focused on engineering, computer science, and natural sciences.

The computer science department of the university has a consistent position in international rankings, that’s why it’s no why it’s considered one of the best software engineering schools globally. Its Software Engineering and Technology program researches software engineering with a strong focus on theory, methods, and tools for building and maintaining models and codes. The department also specializes in research on software migration, re-engineering, and reuse.

16. California Polytechnic State University

One of the top 25 public and private universities in the West, California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) leads with its STEM-based degrees. The institution is home to more than 20,000 students, and one of its most popular programs is computer engineering.

Being a polytechnic institution that specializes in STEM education, students at Cal Poly are trained in practical, technology-based skills. Aside from its core software engineering classes, the institution also offers learners the chance to tailor the curriculum to focus on areas like computer networks, operating systems, and artificial intelligence. It is the perfect institute for students who flourish best with experiential learning.

Explore: 7 Cheap Universities in California for International Students

17. California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a private research institution in Pasadena, California. The university is a world-renowned science and engineering institute home to the brightest minds and most innovative tools to address societal challenges, answer fundamental scientific questions, and take digital transformation initiatives.

Caltech is in the top 1% of the country for a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Its in-depth software engineering program helps prepare students who aspire to become future-thinking technologists and citizen developers. The institution offers a variety of coding courses and brings cutting-edge professional certificate programs to make individuals become better coders, hackers, systems engineers, and software developers.

18. Cornell University

An institution that has always been at the cutting edge of technology, Cornell University is a good choice for those who want to take software engineering. As one of the earliest college campuses to use electricity, beginning in 1883 with the use of a dynamo, a water-powered electrical generator, students can surely expect an excellent quality of education from the pioneer of modern tech.

Cornell’s Engineering program is one of the top ten universities in the country, and among the leading Software Engineering programs in the world. Among the Ivy League universities, Cornell has the biggest and highest-ranked engineering program. Learners can get the best instruction, research, and experience in this school. Additionally, Cornell offers complementary/dual degree and concurrent degree programs that can benefit its graduates.

19. Stevens Institute of Technology

Stevens Institute of Technology is a ground for making the impossible possible. Belonging to the top STEM colleges by Forbes, Stevens continues to boast its blend of technological programs and a variety of applied learning opportunities. Their approach to education has paved the way in securing their students a solid career path after graduation.

Stevens is known for its School of Systems and Enterprises (SSE), a department that offers programs not just for technical systems science and engineering but also for leading systems education and research on a global scale. SSE also has a university-affiliated research office of the U.S. Department of Defense, the Systems Engineering Research Center. It also houses an interdisciplinary research hub that deals with artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning applications, and systems in aerospace and defense, healthcare, and transportation.

20. Michigan Technological University

Founded in 1885, Michigan Technological University has since become one of the top software engineering schools in the world. It has kept its top-ranking position in securing its graduates get jobs within six months of graduation. Even better, it belongs to the highest early-career salary ranking in the nation.

This public research university has seven colleges and schools with more than 140 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The entirety of this institution works toward the development, application, and communication in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. They foster an environment where students can design, code, invent, and compete with the aim of making humans healthier and technology smarter. With these great programs and well-rounded disciplines, Michigan Tech is a wise choice for dedicated students.

21. Milwaukee’s School of Engineering

Milwaukee’s School of Engineering (MSOE) belongs among the top schools in the U.S., providing quality education for its learners. With the vision of setting the standard in solving diverse technical challenges of the 21st century and a mission of building a community of experiential learners who can solve complex challenges, MSOE continuously evolves and refines its programs.

Since its founding in 1903, MSOE has made an excellent community not just within its school grounds but also with leaders of businesses and various industries working in the real world. They have established their Career Connections Center which gives their students access to potential employers and vice versa. MSOE has allowed almost a hundred percent of its graduates to get into the job of their choice.

22. The University of Texas at Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) is recognized as a Tier 1 university for having high-quality academics, research, faculty, and alumni network. UT Dallas also places among the best universities for computer science and software engineering programs in national and international rankings, which makes it one of the top Software Engineering schools in the world.

The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science of UT Dallas has internationally recognized faculty and innovative research centers. Its campus is also strategically located in the second most high-tech economy in America, the Telecom Corridor. With these, the school is able to operate one of the largest internship and cooperative education programs that give its learners opportunities to be placed at Dallas-area high-tech companies like Samsung Electronics, AT&T, Cisco, Intel, and Fujitsu Laboratories of America to name a few.

Find out more: 7 Cheap Universities in Texas

23. Drexel University

Drexel University boasts of its reputation as one of the largest tech talent providers in Pennsylvania. This world-comprehensive R1 research institution also belongs to the top private universities in the U.S. Aiming to be a global leader in experiential education, the school is known to excel in its software engineering program.

Drexel’s software engineering students are exposed not just to the technical aspect of the field but also the design and communication aspect of the work to deliver the best to their future clients and companies. Students also have a variety of available minors to choose from which can help diversify their knowledge and skills. Data Science, Human-Computer Interaction, Information Systems and Security Technology, and Computing Technology are among the hundreds of minor studies you can get at this notable university.

24. Iowa State University

A public land-grant university in Ames, Iowa State University (ISU) is known worldwide for its excellence in science and technology. It has a student-centered culture with a dedicated faculty and staff working hard for each student’s success.

ISU’s software engineering program is one of the best Software Engineering programs in the world according to academic communities and esteemed organizations. This program has become an interdisciplinary program of the school belonging to the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the College of Engineering. This has allowed students of the program to interact with a diverse faculty and to have the best educational preparation for them to become in-demand technology experts.

25. San José State University

Established in 1857, San José State University (SJSU) is one of the oldest public universities on the West Coast. The institution is also the founding campus of the California State University system, and from its long history, SJSU has placed itself among the top universities in the U.S.

SJSU has a diverse, close-knit community within its grounds and outside, contributing to the cultural, social, and economic development of Silicon Valley and California. With the campus located at the center of Silicon Valley, home to many start-up technology companies and prominent ones like Apple, Facebook, and Google, students and faculty have more opportunities for doing collaborative projects and making ties with various tech industries. It has placed SJSU as one of the best universities for software engineering.

26. Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is a private research university in Rochester, New York, known for its engineering, computing, and technology programs. It belongs to the highest rank of all colleges in this field and has also become a top choice in New York for its software engineering program. For these reasons, RIT is also among the leading Software Engineering institutes in the world.

RIT’s Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences has world-class faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and strong industry partnerships. The department also covers various research areas, including artificial intelligence (AI), bioinformatics, health informatics, and security and privacy.

RIT is also known for its National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), a leading deaf-education institution that provides opportunities to deaf and hard-of-hearing students. NTID allows students to participate in around 200 educational programs available through RIT and its degree programs include majors in business, science, engineering, and visual communications.

27. Princeton University

Another Ivy League on the list, Princeton University is one of the oldest private research universities in the United States. Founded in 1746, this prestigious educational institution has a longstanding commitment to being in service to humanity. While doing so, it offers students an excellent quality of academic experience that can be fully enjoyed within its beautiful campus.

The most popular majors at Princeton University include social sciences, biological and biomedical sciences, history, linguistics, engineering, computer and information sciences, and more. Aside from offering academic degrees, Princeton has a Research Software Engineering Group that works on redefining collaborative possibilities between software engineers and researchers. Its mission is to provide leadership in the design and construction of complex customized software systems and to become an integral part of traditional academic research groups. This way, students can create efficient and sustainable research codes that may change the game in pursuing new scientific advances.

These are some of the best universities to study Software Engineering. If you get the opportunity to enroll in one of these reputed universities, it’s paramount that you take full advantage of your experience. Keep in mind that the reputation of the university does not determine the quality of your Software Engineering program, so make sure you do your own research about each university’s curriculum before deciding to enroll. If you want to explore more options, check out our curated list of 7 Best Countries to Study Software Engineering Abroad.

I hope this article on the world’s best software engineering schools was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.

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