Most Diverse Computer Science Programs for 2022

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Updated September 16, 2022

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Our annual ranking of the most diverse computer science programs takes into account gender, racial, LGBTQ, and ability diversity among students. Explore our top schools for 2022 and why they ranked.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

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Diversity in computer science refers to the inclusion of people from various backgrounds in the field. This includes representation of people of different races, genders, sexual orientations, and abilities.

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that more white males earned STEM degrees than females and people of color in 2019. White men also dominate the computer science industry, while women, Hispanic people, and Black people remain underrepresented, according to data from the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.

For data collection purposes, many organizations, including the U.S. Census Bureau, use the term "Hispanic." Because of this, we use the term Hispanic throughout this guide.

The computer science industry increasingly recognizes the need for more diversity and inclusion in the field. A more diverse workforce can lead to innovation and new ways of approaching problems. It also reflects a society where more people can access the job opportunities that they want.

Welcoming employees of diverse backgrounds can also help address potential labor shortages in this in-demand field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 22% growth rate (much faster than average) for computer and information research scientists between 2020 and 2030.

This roundup of computer science programs that reflect student diversity can be a great starting place for researching schools.

What Does Diversity in Computer Science Look Like?

Although the tech field reflects more diversity than in the past, computer science continues to lack proportionate representation of women, Hispanic people, Black people, Indigenous American people, people of various abilities and disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Many organizations care about increasing diversity in their computer science programs and fostering a more inclusive industry. Diversity in computer science efforts include scholarships for women and students of color, internship and mentorship programs, and initiatives by professional and student organizations.

Explore our guide to diversity and inclusion in the broader STEM field below.

Gender Diversity

Gender diversity in computer science refers to the equitable inclusion of people of all genders. Men outnumber women in both academic and professional computer science fields.

Although more women today pursue STEM careers in general, the number of women majoring in computer science has fallen since the 1980s. Even though women account for nearly half of all workers, they make up only 24% of the computing workforce.

Data on nonbinary people in computer science is difficult to find. However, a 2017 survey found that compared to men and women, nonbinary computing students feel less supported by their peers in computing.

Nonbinary people and women in computer science may face challenges like lower average compensation compared to men, subtle or overt discrimination, and fewer opportunities to advance to leadership positions.

Racial Diversity

Racial diversity in computer science refers to the equitable inclusion of people from various racial and ethnic backgrounds in the field. White men dominate both the academic and professional computer science fields. Although schools now offer more diverse computer science programs, Hispanic, Black, and Indigenous American students remain underrepresented.

Hispanic computer science majors increased 6% between 1992 and 2016. However, the percentage of Black computer science majors was flat between 1992 and 2016. People of color in computer science face challenges like racism, discrimination, and less exposure to the field, according to data from Gallup. White students report greater access to computers than their Black and Hispanic counterparts.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that American Indians and Alaska Natives are underrepresented in STEM jobs. Created in 2016, the Tribal Colleges and Universities Computer Science Initiative seeks to increase the number of Indigenous American students seeking computer science degrees.

Asian Americans workers are not underrepresented in computer science. Asian Americans make up about 7% of the U.S. population, but they hold 20% of computing jobs.

LGBTQ+ Diversity

LGBTQ+ diversity in computer science refers to the representation of people of various sexual orientations, genders, and identities in the field. LGBTQ+ people can find more support and resources for pursuing computer science degrees or careers.

However, LGBTQ+ workers in computer science and other STEM fields still face challenges like discrimination and harassment. Some employers offer LGBTQ+-inclusive workplaces, while others do not. A 2018 Human Rights Campaign survey found that 46% of LGBTQ+ workers are closeted at work.

Ability Diversity

Ability diversity in computer science refers to the inclusion of people of various abilities and disabilities.

People with disabilities can face difficulty in accessing the education and training necessary for computer science careers. Other potential challenges include lack of access to adaptive technology or equipment and discrimination from employers and coworkers.

However, some large tech employers, including Microsoft and Google, have initiatives for inclusive hiring practices for people with disabilities.

Getting Involved

Computer science students and professionals can get involved in school and workplace diversity efforts. Student associations, professional organizations, and employee resource groups provide opportunities to foster diversity. Computer science professionals and students can join outreach programs, volunteer, mentor students, and support diversity efforts in the workplace.


Student Associations

Student associations can help improve diversity in computer science programs by becoming more inclusive to people of all backgrounds. Student groups can launch their own diversity initiatives to attract more computer science majors from underrepresented groups, invite speakers of various backgrounds and experiences, and advocate for more affirming computer science programs.


Professional Organizations

Professional organizations may offer resources that encourage diversity in computer science programs and the field. Students can find diversity scholarships, mentorship programs, internships, and other resources in support of diversity in computer science. Women and other underrepresented groups in the field can also find various professional groups that align with their identities.


Employee Resource Groups

These voluntary, employee-led groups advocate for diverse and inclusive workplaces. They can help people from underrepresented groups feel welcome and included in the computer science industry. For example, employees of Facebook can find employee resource groups for members of the LGBTQ+ community, women, people with disabilities, and people of color.


Outreach Programs

Many nonprofit organizations, academic programs, and companies coordinate outreach programs that foster diversity in computer science. Outreach efforts can include diversity-focused summer programs at universities, in K-12 settings, workshops, and scholarships.


Volunteering

Computer science students and professionals can support diversity efforts by volunteering for outreach events, conferences, professional organizations, and employee resource groups. Volunteering is also a good way to meet other people concerned about making the industry a more welcoming place for historically excluded groups.


Mentorship

Women and other underrepresented computer science majors can look for mentorship programs. These programs allow students and new professionals to learn from an experienced mentor. Mentorships can lead to internships and jobs, academic and emotional support, and other types of professional opportunities. Some computer science programs match current students with alumni.


Nonprofit Organizations

Many nonprofit organizations advocate for diversity and inclusion in computer science and tech. Explore groups like Code.org, Black Girls Code, LGBT Tech, and Opportunity Hub. Students and professionals can find networking events, scholarships, volunteer opportunities, and training that support diversity initiatives.

Frequently Asked Questions About Diversity


What groups are underrepresented in computer science?

Women and Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous American people are underrepresented in computer science. People with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ+ community may also face barriers to computer science careers, but limited career data exists for these groups.

Why is diversity important in computer science?

Improved diversity in computer science can lead to new perspectives and ideas. It also offers high-paying career opportunities in an in-demand field to members of traditionally excluded groups like women and Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous American people.

How can I make the computer science field more diverse?

Individuals can advocate for diversity by encouraging people from underrepresented groups to pursue computer science degrees. Consider joining groups and professional organizations that support diversity and participating in mentorship and volunteer programs.

What role does diversity play in computer science education?

Computer science education plays a large role in improving diversity in computer science. To prepare for computer science careers, more women and Black, Hipsanic, and Indigenous American people need to earn computer science degrees. Computer science schools can conduct outreach programs to appeal to students from these historically underrepresented groups.

2022's Top Five Most Diverse Computer Science Programs

To create this year's list of the most diverse computer science programs, we first pooled the best programs using our school ranking methodology. We took into account academic, affordability, and program availability data.

To qualify for this ranking, schools could not be on Campus Pride's index of the worst colleges for LGBTQ students. From there, we pulled diversity data on full-time undergraduate students and full-time faculty from National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator. We focused on gender and race markers along with students with disability data.

1

Amherst College

Amherst is a private nonprofit institution established in 1821. The school has a 7-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and serves approximately 1,849 undergraduates. Admission to the school is competitive with a 12% acceptance rate.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

The Amherst student population is diverse, composed of 40% white, 15% Asian, 14% Hispanic/Latino, and 10% Black or African American students. The student body is also 52% female and 48% male.

Amherst's bachelor of science in computer science requires nine major courses and four electives in addition to undergraduate general education classes. Core major classes include data structures, algorithms, systems, and introduction to computer science. Students must also pass an oral comprehensive exam in their senior year.

Amherst computer science majors can take for-credit classes abroad. The school places computer science students in schools such as King's College London and the University of Hong Kong.

Applying to Amherst

Applicants use the Common Application to submit three letters of recommendation, transcripts, an application fee, and a writing sample. Submitting ACT or SAT scores is optional.

Program at a Glance

    • Accreditation: NECHE
    • Tuition: $30,350/semester
    • Delivery Format: On campus
    • Percentage Awarded Loans: 16%
2

Pomona College

Pomona is a private nonprofit school with approximately 1,475 undergraduate students. The school's mascot is Cecil the Sagehen. Located in Claremont, California, Pomona offers one of the most diverse computer science programs.

Major in Computer Science

Approximately 14% of Pomona students have registered for disability services. About 54% and 46% of the student body identifies as female or male. The diverse population at Pomona is composed of 30% white, 18% Asian, 18% Hispanic/Latino, and 11% Black or African-American students.

Computer science majors at Pomona complete introductory and advanced coursework in computer science and explore topics in artificial intelligence. Students must complete a senior seminar or final thesis for graduation.

Pomona also offers an undergraduate research program to help computer science majors develop projects with faculty members. Recent summer programs focused on topics like autonomous drones, socially relevant computer science, and virtual reality.

Applying to Pomona

Pomona accepts the Common Application, Coalition for College Application, or the QuestBridge application. Applicants must include official high school transcripts, an application fee, a mid-year report, and three letters of recommendation.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: WSCUC
  • Tuition: $56,284/year
  • Delivery Format: On campus
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 13%
3

Wesleyan University

Located in Middletown, Connecticut, Wesleyan is a private nonprofit institution. The school features an 8-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and admits only 21% of applicants. The school's mascot is Wes Squirrel.

Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science

Students who wish to declare the computer science major must first complete three computer science and mathematics classes with a C- or higher. Computer science major requirements at Wesleyan include two introductory courses, core classes such as algorithms and programming languages, a math foundations course, and two electives. Students who write a senior thesis graduate with honors.

Students interested in a diverse computer science program should apply to Wesleyan. The student body is composed of 12% Hispanic/Latino, 55% white, 8% Asian, 6% Black or African-American students. About 58% of students identify as female.

Applying to Wesleyan

Prospective students apply using the Common Application or Coalition Application. Applications must include a secondary school report, official high school transcripts, counselor recommendation, a mid-year grade report, and two teacher evaluations.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: NECHE
  • Tuition: $61,449/year
  • Delivery Format: On-campus
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 24%
4

Franklin and Marshall College

F&M is a private nonprofit institution in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The four-year school serves approximately 2,250 students and boasts a 9-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. F&M's mascots are Ben and John the Diplomats.

Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science

This computer science major focuses on problem-solving, algorithm analysis, and computer organization. Its interdisciplinary curriculum combines studies from natural and physical sciences, psychology, mathematics, and language arts.

F&M students complete 11 computer science and three mathematics classes for this major. Required major courses include algorithms, discrete mathematics, computer organization, and theoretical foundations. Students who complete a senior project under the guidance of a faculty member graduate with honors.

F&M offers diversity among computer science programs. About 57% of the student body identifies as female. The population is also composed of 11% Hispanic/Latino, 7% Black or African American, 56% white, and 4% Asian students.

Applying to F&M

Prospective F&M students apply with the Coalition Application or Common Application. Applications must include official transcripts, letters of recommendation from a counselor and high school teacher, and an application fee.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Tuition: $31,608/semester
  • Delivery Format: On campus
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 44%
5

Carleton College

Located in Northfield, Minnesota, Carleton is a nonprofit private school with approximately 1,950 students. Carleton is a competitive program with a 21% admission rate. The school offers one of the best and most diverse computer science programs.

Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science

The computer science major at Carleton features theoretical study and practical application in computer design and software construction. Students must take an introductory computer science course and pass a placement exam before declaring the computer science major.

Students choose from flexible electives in areas including cognitive science, visualization and interfaces, and computational biology. All students complete a comprehensive project and pass an oral examination for graduation

Carleton students enjoy access to a diverse student community. About 13% of students registered with the office of disability services. The student body is composed of 10% Asian, 9% Hispanic/Latino, 6% Black or African American, 56% white, and 8% identifying as two or more races.

Applying to Carleton

Students apply to Carleton using the Coalition, Common, or QuestBridge Applications. Required application materials include official transcripts and letters of recommendation from two teachers and a counselor.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Tuition: $59,850/year
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Delivery Format: On campus
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 43%

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Portrait of Angelique Geehan

Angelique Geehan

Angelique Geehan works to support and repair the connections people have with themselves and their families, communities, and cultural practices. A queer, Asian, gender binary-nonconforming parent, Geehan founded Interchange, a consulting group that offers anti-oppression support. She organizes as part of several groups, including the National Perinatal Association's Health Equity Workgroup, the Health and Healing Justice Committee of the National Queer and Trans Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance, QTPOC+ Family Circle, and Batalá Houston.
Angelique Geehan is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education freelance review network.

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