5 Best Bachelor of Arts Computer Science Colleges

5 Best Bachelor of Arts Computer Science Colleges

If you’re looking to major in computer science but also want a well-rounded liberal arts education, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Computer Science is a great option. But not all BA Computer Science programs are created equal.

To help you find the best fit, I’ve compiled this list of the top 5 colleges for BA Computer Science degrees based on factors like curriculum, career outcomes, strength of faculty, research opportunities, and more.

Whether you prefer small liberal arts colleges or larger research universities, you’ll find some of the top BA CS programs across the country on this list. Keep reading for the full details on each of my top picks for Bachelor of Arts Computer Science colleges.

1: Williams College

If small liberal arts colleges are what you have in mind, you can’t go wrong with Williams College located in Williamstown, MA. Williams has one of the oldest BA CS programs in the country, giving students access to foundational computer science curriculum within a close-knit intellectual community.

With a 6-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, you’ll work closely with top professors in computer science who are dedicated to undergraduate teaching. More than 80% of classes at Williams have fewer than 20 students, ensuring highly personalized mentorship.

The flexible curriculum enables double majoring or pairing CS with concentrations in fields like AI, digital arts, computational biology, cognitive science, and more. Over 75% of Williams CS majors double major across disciplines.

Outside academics, Williams empowers students to launch startups through Idea Lab, a College-funded incubator that’s birthed successful companies like Skipjet and Goodworld.

Notably, Williams CS grads have the highest mid-career salary amongst small liberal arts colleges in PayScale’s 2023-2024 College Salary Report. Recent alumni work at elite companies like Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Airbnb, Square, and more.

2: Vassar College

Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY is another small liberal arts school with an excellent BA Computer Science program steeped in cross-disciplinary education.

With an impressive 11-to-1 student-faculty ratio, Vassar CS students receive abundant personalized mentoring and research opportunities to drive intellectual growth. Class sizes almost never exceed 30 students.

The interdisciplinary CS curriculum gives students flexibility to tailor upper-level coursework alongside concentrations in cognitive science, robotics, studio art, linguistics, astronomy, environmental studies, and much more.

Additionally, Vassar’s Open Source Lab cultivates a tight-knit community around computing, offering peer mentorship plus skills training in areas like Linux, Python, Git, Bash, robotics, drones, VR, game development and more.

In PayScale’s 2023-2024 College Salary Report, Vassar CS grads ranked #17 for highest median mid-career salaries out of all liberal arts colleges in the US. Alumni work in software engineering, data science, design, entrepreneurship and other fields at Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, startups, and other major companies.

3: Boston College

Transitioning to mid-sized universities…Boston College near Chestnut Hill, MA combines personalized liberal arts instruction with expanded research opportunities you’d typically find at larger schools.

With nearly 80 faculty across three departments—Computer Science, Information Systems, and Digital Media—Boston College boasts one of the country’s leading computing programs. Students benefit from highly accomplished faculty driving breakthroughs in AI, machine learning, cybersecurity, HCI, graphics, robotics, and more.

Boston College empowers BA CS students to chart their own academic adventures across 120+ electives in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences. Popular pairings include double majoring or minoring in fields like physics, applied psychology & human development, philosophy, art history, economics, and languages like Chinese, Italian or Arabic.

Additionally, plenty of funded summer research positions exist around technology ethics, assistive robotics, social media analytics, data visualization, and other timely topics. About 25% of students participate in these intensive research programs yearly.

After graduation, around 37% of Boston College BA CS majors enter software engineering roles at leading tech companies both in Massachusetts and beyond. Other popular paths include UX design, business analysis, technical consulting, and more.

4: Northwestern University

Now moving southwest, Northwestern University just outside Chicago, IL offers a top-tier BA CS program within a highly ranked private research institution.

With Northwestern’s bountiful resources and R&D muscle, BA CS students gain access to world-changing research across specialized centers like CIERA (education technologies), the Ford Motor Company Center for Global Citizenship, and the Center for Connected Medicine.

Northwestern CS also partners with schools like Kellogg, Medill and McCormick to support popular BA CS combined majors in journalism, integrated marketing communications, design & technology, mathematical methods in the social sciences, and global health.

Within the applied CS track specifically designed for BA students, you’ll develop in-demand software engineering skills through project-based courses plus gain understanding of computational principles to apply across industries.

Post-graduation outcomes prove strong for Northwestern BA CS grads, with alumni landing technical roles involving software development, machine learning engineering, data analytics, and product management at Google, Facebook, Uber, Deloitte Consulting, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cars.com, Motorola and a variety of Chicago startups.

5: Dartmouth College

Lastly, Dartmouth College based in Hanover, NH provides a top-ranked liberal arts education fused with the resources of an Ivy League research institution.

Within Dartmouth’s intimate undergraduate focus, the BA CS program entails robust technical knowledge plus soft skills needed to apply computing to solve multifaceted global issues.

Students gain fascinating opportunities to engage with emerging fields like biometrics, computational linguistics, brain-computer interfaces, as well renewable energy systems through cross-disciplinary project teams.

Additionally, Dartmouth empowers students to tailor CS alongside a bevy of possible double majors—from Anthropology to Theater to Women & Gender Studies—or even design your own modified major.

Nearly 70% of Dartmouth CS majors double major demonstrating the program’s breadth. The department also houses pioneering research groups tackling problems in health informatics, AI safety, sustainability, and other critical domains.

Outcomes after graduation are bright for Dartmouth BA CS alumni—recent grads have joined Microsoft’s Azure data teams, Google Brain AI research group, development roles at Epic Systems, done data science at The Trade Desk, and pursued various startups.


I hope this breakdown gives you a clear picture of the top programs nationwide for pursuing a well-rounded Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science degree.

Though different in size, location and offerings, each of these colleges delivers thoughtful interdisciplinary curriculum fusing technological skills with critical thinking, creativity, ethics and communication ability valued across industries.

Graduates from these excellent BA CS programs readily launch careers involving software engineering, data analytics, design, entrepreneurship and beyond. So if you seek the personalized instruction of a liberal arts education alongside computing prowess, be sure to consider these prestigious picks.

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