Computer Science

Computer Science is the study of theory, design, and applications of digital computers. You will also learn software design and informational processing techniques across a broad range of topics ranging from virtual reality, to social computing and data science. Previous exposure to programming is not required. If you’re creative, logical, and a good problem solver, this major may be for you. HackIllinois, Reflections | Projections, and ChicTech are just a few of the exciting student-run projects and events where you can meet interesting people and find your passion.Our innovative students and alumni have transformed society by founding companies like BlackLine,, Malwarebytes,, Optimizely, YouTube, PayPal, and Yelp. You could be next! Career options include application design, consulting, data analysis, research, software development, and studio tool development.

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  • Our computer science program is ranked #5 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • 95% of students reported having an internship or co-op during their degree program.
  • 98% of students reported securing their first choice destination upon graduation.
  • The average starting salary for a computer science graduate is $131,427 with a median signing bonus of $23,000.
  • In Fall 2021, nearly 40% of first-year CS students in The Grainger College of Engineering were women, almost 20% better than the national average.

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Your path to Grainger Engineering starts with connecting your passion and interests with the opportunities available in one of our 15 top-ranked major programs. Explore your options and gather the information you need to take the next step and apply.

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What You'll Study

Illinois Computer Science (CS) offers more than a dozen undergraduate degree programs based on the same set of core CS courses, but with a second field of interest tailored to fit your passion—whether that’s more computer science or the fundamentals of another discipline through CS + X or X + Data Science. CS students in The Grainger College of Engineering will gain a broad and deep knowledge of the theory, design, and application of computer systems, with an emphasis on software systems.

Undergraduate students in the CS program may apply to complete one of our Fifth Year Master's Programs. Otherwise, the differences in requirements between the degree programs generally reflect the differences in their focus, with students in The Grainger College of Engineering taking a Physics sequence and science electives, while Mathematics & CS and Statistics & CS students take additional mathematics and statistics courses. CS + X students pursue a program of study incorporating a strong grounding in computer science with technical or professional training in the arts and sciences. Learn about the differences between CS degree programs in our FAQ.

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Post-Graduation Success

The computer science major allows you to perform world-changing research, lead educational innovation, and prepares you to be among the most sought after graduates in the field.  About twenty percent of our computer science graduates continue their education in graduate school, and about seventy-nine percent take positions in industry.

As a computer science graduate, your career ventures can include working in application design, consulting, data analysis, research, software development and studio tools developer. The average salary for computer science grads was reported as $131,427 with a median signing bonus of $23,000.

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employed or continuing education*

employed after graduation

attending graduate school

average starting annual income*

Sample employer destinations: Google, Microsoft, Amazon View All

Sample grad school destinations: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University View All

*Post-graduate data was collected through the Illini Success initiative, which primarily relies on self-reported survey data sources. Statistics reported are from 2022-2023. Please note that total compensation may be greater than annual salary as other forms of compensation (e.g., signing bonus, commission, benefits) are not included. For more information on Illini Success data and methods, please visit the Illini Success website.

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Applying to The Grainger College of Engineering opens the door to your future as a successful engineer. Get started by scheduling a visit, requesting information, or submitting your application.