The best computer-science and engineering schools on the west coast

Stanford engineeringFacebook/Stanford School of EngineeringThe Stanford University Engineering quad, located in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Sunshine, beaches, perfect weather — and engineering?

In a recent survey we conducted for our ranking of the best computer science and engineering schools, over 400 Business Insider readers rated dozens of computer science and engineering programs around the country. Even more, the No. 2 and No. 3 spots are both held by schools in California.

We recently released our list of the 50 best computer-science and engineering schools in America. We surveyed over 400 Business Insider readers to find the best schools, and cross-referenced the results with the average SAT scores of the students at each school from College Board.

Here’s the list of schools on the west coast with the best undergraduate programs for computer science and engineering.

13. DigiPen Institute of Technology

DigiPen Institute of Technology/Facebook

Redmond, Washington

With degree programs ranging from game design to digital art and animation, DigiPen turns students into experts on all things computers and programming. DigiPen's Washington location also puts the school close to several top gaming and technology companies, including Nintendo Software Technology, Microsoft, Valve, and Boeing.

12. Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, California

The undergraduate program at Santa Clara's School of Engineering is ranked No. 10 in the country by US News. SCU's Silicon Valley location makes it the second-best location for STEM grads to be after college based on job availability and salary.

11. University of California at Santa Barbara


Santa Barbara, California

Many UC Santa Barbara students join professional engineering organisations such as the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Association of Computing Machinery, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Students can graduate with a bachelor's in four years, or a dual bachelor's-master's in five.

10. University of Washington,_Spring_2007.jpg

Seattle, Washington

The University of Washington is committed to diversity, with nearly a quarter of its undergraduate engineering majors being women and another 45% comprising Asian Americans, underrepresented minorities, and foreign nationals. Many students secure jobs before graduation, and many others create their own job opportunities -- UW is ranked No. 3 in the country for the number of startups launched each year.

9. University of California at Davis

UC Davis College of Engineering

Davis, California

UC Davis is ranked No. 17 among top US public universities for the best undergraduate engineering programs by US News. The school puts on a company day, where potential employers can come recruit UC Davis students, and other career events. It even has a separate recruiting event for Apple engineers.

8. California Polytechnic State University


San Luis Obispo, California

Cal Poly statistics from the class of 2011-2012 report that 81% of undergrads had found full-time employment within a year of graduating, and earned a median starting salary of $US64,000. Top employers for Cal Poly grads include Abbott Laboratories, Covidien, Apple, Microsoft, and SpaceX.

7. University of Southern California


Los Angeles, California

The Viterbi School of Engineering at USC ranks 12th on US News' list of the best global universities for computer science. The school is known for its strong video game programming specialisation; its video games program was ranked No. 1 by The Princeton Review for the sixth year in a row.

5. University of California at Los Angeles

UCLA Engineering/Facebook

Los Angeles, California

A starting point for over 33,000 working engineers, UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science is also considered the birthplace of the internet: The first transmission from what would become the web was sent from campus. Bioengineering and biomedical research are two popular fields of study here.

4. Harvey Mudd College

Wikimedia Commons

Claremont, California

The core philosophy at Harvey Mudd is that professionalism is 'best addressed through practice.' Students follow through on this philosophy through the clinic program, in which teams of juniors and seniors work with professors and professionals to solve real-world problems for external clients.

3. University of California at Berkeley

Berkeley Engineering/Facebook

Berkeley, California

Cal is ranked first in the nation for environmental engineering, second for chemical engineering, and third for civil, industrial, and materials, according to US News. The programs pay off too: Graduates from the class of 2014 reported an average starting salary of $US82,000.

1. California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, California

At Caltech, students take a practical approach to learning to 'expand human knowledge and benefit society.' There are seven areas of study to choose from, ranging from aerospace to medical engineering. The school's engineering department is also pretty diverse -- over a third of students are women. The average starting salary for 2013 Caltech grads was $US82,000.

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