It might not seem surprising that a four-year college degree is needed to become a software engineer, nor is it easy to get one. A four-year or greater degree in computer science is required to really even be looked at, and good luck getting an internship without being in school. When it comes down to it though, this field is widely based on experience in the field. It is possible to not have a degree in this field and still get a job, but you better have years of experience to back you up.
On top of that, the industry is constantly changing. New technological breakthroughs occur nearly all of the time, and it's going to require alot of self-teaching to keep up with the competition. If you aren't someone who likes change, nor likes to teach themself, this may not be the field for you. With that being said, let's continue on.
There are many schools that specialize in computer science. Being that I live in California though, I am mainly going to cover those schools. The First school is the University of California Irvine (UCI)
UCI is the school that many of the software engineers that I've talked to came from. Many say that they have a great program and that it's a great school to go to for computer science.
Even though it isn't required to go to this school, for any programmers in the area, this would be a good choice.