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The 2022-23 U.S. News & World Report list of “Best Colleges” ranks UCI eighth among the nation’s public universities and 34th overall. Additionally, moving up a spot from 2021, UCI is 24th for undergraduate Computer Science Programs — a category added to the rankings just last year.

“We continue to climb and place among the best in the nation,” says Tony Givargis, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science. “As one of the largest CS undergraduate programs in the U.S., and one of the premier research universities, our program offers unparalleled flexibility and a multitude of specialization tracks for our undergraduates.” In addition to general computer science, students can specialize in algorithms; architecture and embedded systems; bioinformatics; information, intelligent or networked systems; systems and software; or visual computing.

Furthermore, UCI’s computer science program is unique in that it is housed in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS), which is comprised of three departments: Computer Science, Informatics, and Statistics.

“I think that some of the program’s strengths lie in how diverse the school is,” says senior computer science major Nicole Pham, co-president of the ICS Student Council. “I had never really been exposed to informatics before attending UCI, and I think it’s really cool that I’ve been able to take classes that aren’t simply coding while pursuing my degree in CS.” Pham is set to graduate in June 2023 and is currently a software engineering intern at Meta.

ICS also has some of the nation’s most prestigious computer science scholars — 38, according to the Guide2Research rankings. At the top of this list is Distinguished Professor Gene Tsudik, for his work in computer networks and applied cryptography, and Distinguished Professor Pierre Baldi, for his work in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and genetics and protein secondary structure.

“It is exciting,” stresses Givargis, “to be part of a department that is dedicated to exceptional research and high-quality education in a profoundly impactful academic discipline.”

— Shani Murray