Top U.S. colleges for computer science

Ranking is based on the median pay of computer science graduates

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Stanford University is the top computer science school in the U.S., according to a new salary-centric report from compensation specialist PayScale.

The research company ranked 171 colleges and universities with computer science programs based on the median pay of the schools' compsci alumni. By that measure, Stanford led the pack, with its graduates reporting a median mid-career salary of $168,000. (PayScale also ranked the highest-paying college majors.)

California colleges and universities made a strong showing in the ranking, securing 11 spots among the top 25. Close behind Stanford are three more Golden State schools: University of California, Santa Barbara, which came out on top in last year’s PayScale ranking; University of California, Berkeley; and San Jose State University.

Rounding out the top five is University of Delaware.

Here's the list of Payscale's top 25 computer science colleges (which includes 26 schools due to ties) based on data from its 2016-2017 College Salary Report.

1. Stanford University
Early career median pay: $99,500
Mid-career median pay: $168,000

2. University of California, Santa Barbara
Early career median pay: $72,800
Mid-career median pay: $144,000

3. University of California, Berkeley
Early career median pay: $93,200
Mid-career median pay: $142,000

4. San Jose State University
Early career median pay: $84,000
Mid-career median pay: $140,000

5. University of Delaware
Early career median pay: $66,000
Mid-career median pay: $139,000

6. Northwestern University
Early career median pay: $78,100
Mid-career median pay: $138,000

7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Early career median pay: $99,800
Mid-career median pay: $135,000

8. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (tie)
Early career median pay: $81,200
Mid-career median pay: $134,000

8. California State University, Chico (tie)
Early career median pay: $57,700
Mid-career median pay: $134,000

8. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (tie)
Early career median pay: $83,500
Mid-career median pay: $134,000

11. Columbia University (tie)
Early career median pay: $87,400
Mid-career median pay: $132,000

11. New York University (tie)
Early career median pay: $78,100
Mid-career median pay: $132,000

11. University of California, Davis (tie)
Early career median pay: $83,200
Mid-career median pay: $132,000

14. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Early career median pay: $67,100
Mid-career median pay: $129,000

15. California State University, East Bay (tie)
Early career median pay: $76,700
Mid-career median pay: $128,000

15. University of California, San Diego (tie)
Early career median pay: $81,300
Mid-career median pay: $128,000

17. Montana State University, Main Campus
Early career median pay: $61,400
Mid-career median pay: $127,000

18. Michigan Technological University
Early career median pay: $63,900
Mid-career median pay: $126,000

19. CUNY, Brooklyn College (tie)
Early career median pay: $61,200
Mid-career median pay: $125,000

19. Carnegie Mellon University (tie)
Early career median pay: $100,000
Mid-career median pay: $125,000

19. San Francisco State University (tie)
Early career median pay: $63,700
Mid-career median pay: $125,000

22. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Early career median pay: $84,300
Mid-career median pay: $124,000

23. University of California, Los Angeles
Early career median pay: $84,300
Mid-career median pay: $123,000

24. Bentley University (tie)
Early career median pay: $66,100
Mid-career median pay: $122,000

24. University of Washington, Main Campus (tie)
Early career median pay: $75,400
Mid-career median pay: $122,000

24. Washington University in St. Louis (tie)
Early career median pay: $68,700
Mid-career median pay: $122,000

The data used in PayScale's College Salary Report is from the company’s online compensation survey, which collects user-provided data about jobs, compensation, employer, demographics and educational background.

PayScale defines early-career employees as those with five years of experience or less, and mid-career employees as those with at least 10 years of experience.

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