The New York City area offers a number of choices for students planning to study computer science at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These include an Ivy League school, a technical institute associated with a large private university and a senior-level college in the city university system. Read about the program options at the three schools, and use the accompanying table to compare their acceptance rates and costs of attendance. After the table, you'll also find a paragraph about other school options for aspiring computer scientists.
- Polytechnic Institute of New York University is the second-oldest private engineering school in the country and offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in computer science. The school is located a little less than two miles from downtown New York City.
- CUNY Hunter College, which is the largest school in the City University of New York (CUNY) system, offers an undergraduate degree and a minor in computer science. This Midtown Manhattan college is located about five miles from the downtown.
- Students may pursue a bachelor's or master's degree at Columbia University's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. One of eight schools in the Ivy League, the university is located just over nine miles from downtown New York City.
Polytechnic Institute of New York University
Polytechnic Institute of New York University, which was founded in 1854, is affiliated with New York University. The school offers coursework in applied science, technology, engineering and computer science.
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
The bachelor's degree program in computer science at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University is designed to provide students with a background in computer architecture, operating systems and programming. Areas of specialization include computer hardware and networking, cybersecurity, digital game design and web engineering. Students can also specialize in artificial intelligence, computer graphics, data management and management information systems. Courses in the four-year program include topics in computer science and engineering, data structures and algorithms, advanced mathematics and ethics.
Master of Science in Computer Science
The master's degree program in computer science requires a minimum of 30 credits to complete. Once enrolled, students take two courses each in three core areas, including computer systems, theory and programming. They also take four general electives, which may include a master's thesis for six credits.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer Science
The requirements for the PhD in Computer Science include a minimum of 75 credits beyond a bachelor's degree. Students may transfer 30 credits from a master's degree program in computer science to satisfy the requirements. In addition to courses, PhD candidates must take qualifying and research exams and submit an original dissertation.
CUNY Hunter College
Hunter College's computer science department was created in 1981 and offers a bachelor's degree and minor in computer science. The department also provides students with the opportunity to work with the faculty on computer science research projects.
Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science
The bachelor's degree program in computer science at Hunter College requires courses in discrete structures, computer architecture and theory, software analysis, operating systems and advanced applications. Students must also complete courses in advanced mathematics, such as calculus with analytic geometry. Computer science majors may select a concentration in bioinformatics.
Minor in Computer Science
The minor in computer science at Hunter College requires 13-14 credits of coursework. Topics include programming, introductory computer science, relational databases and SQL programming. Students must also select one elective course, such as discrete structures, software analysis, microprocessors or computer architecture.
Columbia University's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in computer science. The computer science department provides opportunities for work on faculty research projects.
The bachelor's degree program in computer science at Columbia University is based upon a core curriculum that includes coursework in programming, data structures, discrete mathematics and computer science theory, as well as a fundamental study of computer systems. In the second year of the program, students can pursue a specialized track in digital or software systems, computer science, artificial intelligence and applications. A track in vision and graphics is also available.
The master's degree program in computer science begins with 12 credits of core courses in programming languages, operating systems, analysis of algorithms and artificial intelligence; graduate students also learn about advanced software engineering and computer architecture. Additional requirements include 18 credits in an area of concentration, such as computer security, computational biology, machine learning and the foundations of computer science. Graduate students can also pursue a specialization in network systems, natural language processing, vision and graphics or software systems.
Comparison of Schools
Along with tuition and fees, this table includes information about school size, graduation statistics and retention rates for full-time and part-time students. Note the high acceptance rate and percentage of first-time students receiving financial aid at the Polytechnic Institute, as well as the high graduation and retention figures at Columbia University.
|Polytechnic Institute of New York University
|CUNY Hunter College
|Four-year; private, non-profit
|Total Enrollment (2011)
|Tuition and Fees (2011)
|$5, 529, in-state; $11, 439, out-of-state*
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2010)
|Retention Rate (2010)
|84% for full-time students*
|85% for full-time students and 60% for part-time students*
|96% for full-time students and 79% for part-time students*
|Graduation Rate (2005)
|46% (33% transfer-out rate)*