Rankings put Penn at No. 15 for computer science

A new college ranking has declared the University of Pennsylvania one of the top places in the United States to study computer science.

The rankings by College Choice put Penn at No. 15 out of 50 schools nationwide for undergraduate degrees in computer science.

Penn scored 88.35 on a scale of 0 to 100.

The report lauded the university's Center for Human Modeling and Simulation - which animates human movement for medical research - as a top selling point, and said that students who graduate from Penn's program typically get entry-level jobs starting at $60,000.

"Penn has a very deep research oriented department, but we've been very nimble about creating new programs that change with technological advances," said Sampath Kannan, chair of the computer science department at Penn. "The principles of computer science don't change, but it's important to stay current with evolving technology."

Points were assigned to schools based on former rankings from the U.S. News and World Report, the National Center for Educational Statistics, and Payscale.com.

University of California-Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and California Institute of Technology ranked at the top of the list. Penn came in one spot behind Duke University, and one spot ahead of the University of Florida.

"From cell phone to video games to healthcare technology, [computer science] graduates are in high demand," said Stanley Talbert, associate editor of College Choice's rankings.

The number of undergraduates enrolling in computer science degrees jumped 60 percent between 2011 and 2014, according to a report by the Computing Research Association, and an estimated 25 million technology jobs will open over the next 20 years.

In his 2016 State of the Union speech, President Obama called for more computer science education in all schools.

jjaafari@philly.com

215-854-2928 @JosephJaafari