Computer Science Department Ranked Among Nation’s Best

Thursday, November 19, 2020
Image shows student working on a laptop computer.

Qualities of the computer science program are its outstanding learning environment, a curriculum that provides a mastery of theory and practice, and an educational environment that creates students who are in demand by employers.

U.S. News & World Report has ranked Rose-Hulman’s growing undergraduate computer science program among the nation’s best for academic quality and training in areas of program languages, computer systems, theory, and data analysis and science.

For the first time, deans and senior faculty of computer science departments across the United States were asked to assess programs at ABET-accredited bachelor’s degree-granting colleges and universities for being outstanding (5 points) through marginal (1 point).

Rose-Hulman tied for 52nd nationally out of nearly 500 programs with a 3.5 average peer evaluation score. The institute tied with the University of Notre Dame for second among computer science programs in Indiana.

J.P. Mellor, head of the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, believes that distinguishing qualities of the institute’s program are its outstanding learning environment, a curriculum that provides a mastery of theory and practice, and, finally, an educational environment that makes a difference from the first day students are in the program.

“Learning is a collaborative endeavor where students supported by faculty and staff strive to learn as much as they can rather than competing with each other. Students routinely work together on team projects or assignments,” Mellor said. “Our students know how to fail gracefully and learn what they don't know. By the time they graduate, our students have completed numerous projects where success depends upon their ability to identify and learn new material on their own.”

These experiences, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Rick Stamper points out, enable Rose-Hulman computer science and software engineering graduates to orient themselves quickly in
new environments and rapidly make positive contributions.

“Our stakeholders frequently cite this as the most important skill possessed by our graduates in all academic majors,” Stamper said.

Computer science has become one of the fastest-growing major courses of study at Rose-Hulman, with an all-time high number of students entering the department this school year, nearly doubling the total from five years ago. Graduates have gone on to have roles in machine learning, software development and research, along with being founders, chief executive officers, chief operating officers, and chief technology officers for companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, OneCause, Scale Computing, and Sony Corporation.

Rose-Hulman’s computer science program placed 99 percent of all its 2020 graduates within six months, with an average starting salary of more than $90,000 and a high offer of $130,000.

In 2019, the school added data science as a secondary academic major in the program. The department also offers bachelor’s degrees in software engineering and international computer science.

Overall, U.S. News and World Report ranked Rose-Hulman first for the 22nd consecutive year among U.S. engineering colleges that are focused on bachelor and master’s-level education. The institute’s computer engineering program was judged first by engineering deans and senior engineering faculty, along with chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering. Biomedical engineering ranked second.