Which Computer Science Schools Are in the Chicago, IL Area?

Learn about computer science schools in the Chicago, IL area. Research degree and specialization options, and explore program requirements and courses at four schools. Schools offering Computer Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

A wide array of degree levels and concentrations are available in computer science in and around Chicago. Regardless of what subjects within the field you're most interested in, you'll have plenty of options to further your learning.

What You Need to Know

Chicago-area students are able to earn bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees related to computer science. Computer science programs in the area are offered by four-year schools, most of which are publicly funded. Students must earn a bachelor's degree in a related field - if not computer science - in order to be considered for admission into a graduate-level program. Bachelor's degrees take four years to earn, while earning a master's degree can take up to two years, and a doctorate degree in computer science will likely demand the completion of four to six years of study.

Computer Science Bachelor's Programs in Chicago

Chicago State University

Chicago State University is a public school with a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio and around 5,700 undergraduate students. Its bachelor's program in computer science covers C++ programming, Unix, assembly language, data structures, networking and databases; you can also take classes in natural science and advanced mathematics. While the database and software engineering specialization offers courses in data processing, systems analysis and object-oriented programming, the communications and networks specialization has courses in network security, network administration and TCP/IP internetworking. If you want to gain work experience during the program, you can pursue a computer science internship for elective credit.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • Specialization Areas: Database and software engineering, communications and networks
  • Program Length: 4 years (full-time)
  • Tuition and Fees: $9,994 per year in-state, $16,954 per year out-of-state (for 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED, completion of two C++ courses with a 2.0 or higher GPA
  • Requirements: Subject placement tests, SAT or ACT
  • School Type: 4-year, public; approximately 5,200 students (just under 4,000 undergraduates)

Northeastern Illinois University

You can choose from four different concentrations in Northeastern Illinois University's computer science bachelor's program. If you'd like to eventually pursue a graduate degree, consider the computer science specialization; the other concentrations can prepare you for employment in programming, security, web development or networking roles. All students take courses in programming, operating systems, data structures and software engineering to meet core requirements. You may complete an internship and independent study project for elective credit.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • Specialization Areas: Computer science, technical programming, computer security, information technology
  • Program Length: 4 years (full-time)
  • Tuition and Fees: $9,351 per year in-state, $17,079 per year out-of-state (for 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
  • Requirements: SAT or ACT for students under 21
  • School Type: 4-year, public; just over 10,000 students (8,400 undergraduates)

Northwestern University

Northwestern University in Evanston offers two programs in computer science designed to prepare you for a career in software and computers. While the BS program gives you an engineering background with several high-level math and science courses, the BA program provides a background in liberal arts courses. You can expect to take core classes in data structures, programming, computer systems and discrete mathematics; specializations are available in systems, theory, interfaces, artificial intelligence and security. Before you graduate, there is a project requirement that includes two quarters of special courses or independent study projects.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science
  • Program Length: 4 years (full-time)
  • Tuition and Fees: $49,047 (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
  • Requirements: ACT or SAT, letters of recommendation
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 9,000 undergraduates

Computer Science Master's Programs in Chicago

Northeastern Illinois University

Similar to its undergraduate computer science program, Northeastern Illinois University's master's program offers specializations designed for those who plan to pursue future graduate study or seek employment. The management information systems concentration covers project management, informatics, web application development and databases, and it prepares you for a role in business.

If you want to pursue a doctorate or want a career in systems programming, you can choose the computer science concentration, which includes courses in networking, computational theory, operating systems, software engineering and systems programming. You can either write a thesis or complete a software project to meet the program's project requirement for graduation.

  • Program Name: Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Specialization Areas: Management information systems, computer science
  • Program Length: 2 years (full-time)
  • Tuition: $5,904 per year in-state, $11,808 per year out-of-state (for 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree with at least a 2.75 GPA, prerequisite computer science courses for those without a computer science background
  • Requirements: GRE or GMAT, letters of recommendation, statement of goals and objectives
  • School Type: 4-year, public; approximately 1,600 graduate students

University of Illinois at Chicago

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) master's program in computer science is intended for those with a computer science background. Common courses include artificial intelligence, software engineering, networking, databases and security. In addition to taking computer science classes, you can also earn credits in another field of interest. Although you won't have to take a comprehensive exam, you do need to complete a thesis or project to graduate.

  • Program Name: Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Program Length: 3-6 semesters (full-time)
  • Tuition: $13,447 per year in-state, $22,306 per year out-of-state (for 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree in computer science or computer engineering with a 3.5 GPA from the last 60 semester hours of the program
  • Requirements: GRE, letters of recommendation, personal statement
  • School Type: 4-year, public; approximately 11,000 graduate students

Computer Science Doctoral Programs in Chicago

University of Illinois at Chicago

The doctoral program at UIC includes computer science coursework similar to that of the master's program. The number of courses you need depends on whether you hold a master's or bachelor's degree in the field. Doctoral programs typically focus on research and culminate in a dissertation. Additional graduation requirements include an oral preliminary examination and a written qualifying exam. You may be able to get a paid assistantship in which you perform research or teach classes; the assistantship covers tuition and fees, too.

  • Program Name: Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science
  • Program Length: 4-6 years (full-time)
  • Tuition: $13,447 per year in-state, $22,306 per year out-of-state (for 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Previous degree in computer science or computer engineering (bachelor's degree must be in computer science) with a 3.5 GPA
  • Requirements: GRE, letters of recommendation, statement of goals and objectives
  • School Type: 4-year, public; approximately 11,000 graduate students

Whether you're aiming for undergraduate or graduate-level expertise in the field of computer science, you'll be sure to find an option that works for you in the Chicago area.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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