Best Online Computer Science Degree Programs
In today’s world of rapid communication and continuous globalized connection, computers dominate nearly every aspect of our economy. Because of this, there is a consistently high demand in the job market for college graduates with computer science degrees. If you want to seize on the rapid growth in this particular job market, getting into the right program is essential. Careers in this field are highly competitive, so earning the right degree from the right institution could be the determining factor in whether or not you find success.
Depending on the emphasis you choose, earning this degree could potentially include training and courses in software design, hardware assessment, programming languages, information technology, network communications, cybersecurity, and more. Computer scientists, network engineers, information security analysts, programmers, and IT project managers are just a few of the career options available from a long list.
A degree in computer science is the perfect qualification to earn online because the study is all conveniently computer-based, anyway. Online formats prioritize convenience and cost-cutting benefits, making the virtual postsecondary education path highly practical, and choosing the computer technology career path opens the gate to all sectors. The possibilities of where your computer science degree could take you are endless.
The Best Online Computer Science Degree Programs ranking is based on four main data points in four categories:
- Affordability (average net price)
- Student Satisfaction (retention rate)
- Academic Quality (4-year graduation rate)
- Student Outcome (20-year return on investment per Payscale.com)
Each data point is ranked with equal weight. Schools received a weighted overall ranking score for each individual point mentioned above–100 being the highest score possible.
In the case of a tie in scoring, the average net price was the determining factor for which school received the higher rank–the lower the net price, the higher the ranking.
Best Online Computer Science Degree Programs
1. University of Florida
Average Net Price: $12,345
Retention Rate: 96%
Graduation Rate: 88%
The University of Florida is a public land grant institution in Gainesville, Florida. It ranks within the top 20 public universities in the nation and is also one of the most affordable. UF boasts one of the best online programs in the country, offering dozens of degrees that can be completed from anywhere. The online UF programs stand equivalent to on-campus courses, complete with a fully comprehensive curriculum and academic enrichment activities. The University of Florida operates the #5 online bachelor’s program in the country.
Among UF’s 25 different online programs is a bachelor of science in computer science degree that rivals any in the country. This program is widely renowned, known for its low pricing and educational merit. The curriculum is designed to encompass all aspects of computer science, equipping students with skills necessary to pursue a career in this highly competitive and continuously evolving field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020, occupational demand in the field of computer technology is expected to rise by 22%. Graduates of UF’s computer science program go on to pursue careers as business intelligence analysts, computer programmers, and web developers. According to our analysis, the University of Florida has the best online computer science degree program in the nation.
2. Brigham Young University – Idaho
Average Net Price: $7,977
Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 58%
The Brigham Young religious university system is one of the largest in the country, and with the BYU-Pathway Worldwide system, students have the option of earning their degree exclusively online and from anywhere in the country. Although the BYU-Pathway Worldwide system provides students with services and support, BYU-Idaho grants substantive degrees, equal in status to any other BYU program degree.
The benefit of a BYU-Idaho online degree is that, at half the cost of a traditional university, students gain access to nearly forty different degree program options. Notably, the school’s online computer technology courses contribute to both an associate’s and a bachelor’s in applied technology. With this degree and their newly acquired skills in web and software development, information technology, programming, and computer support, students can pursue any number of careers within this highly competitive field. Graduates of this program go on to become software developers, network and security configurators, or even automotive system diagnosticians. According to our analysis, BYU-Idaho offers the second-best online computer science degree program in the nation.
3. Florida State University, Office of Distance Learning
Average Net Price: $14,582
Retention Rate: 93%
Graduation Rate: 80%
The Office of Distance Learning at Florida State University combines the quality of an FSU education with the lower cost and greater convenience of online learning. Not only does FSU rank #18 among public universities, but online students earn the same degree as on-campus students. FSU is the public university with the highest four-year graduation rate in Florida, placing its institutional emphasis on student needs and success.
The featured Distance Learning programs include nursing practice, public administration, law, and one of the best online computer science degree programs in the country. This program‘s curriculum centralizes on design, distributed systems and networks, and systems configuration while emphasizing the core computer skills of programming, organization, and operating systems. Students who earn FSU’s computer science degree also minor in mathematics by default. With a strong foundation in math, graduates have the advantage over other candidates moving forward—whether they intend to pursue a career in computing or continue toward a graduate program in computer science.
4. George Mason University
Average Net Price: $19,779
Retention Rate: 88%
Graduation Rate: 70%
George Mason University stands as the largest public research university in Virginia, spending nearly $150 million annually on research and academic inquiry. The school’s curriculum focuses on preparing students to become successful citizens in the complicated world beyond college. George Mason believes in honoring freedom of thought and expression, respecting the multiplicity of viewpoints from a diverse and intellectually gifted student body.
The Office of Digital Learning at George Mason offers over fifty online or hybrid programs that provide students with accessibility and flexibility. Mason Online’s computer engineering and information technology bachelor’s and master’s degrees, certificates, and minors are all offered online for students who live far away or study abroad. Online courses are organized either on a set schedule–through which students attend instruction virtually and at set times–or on an individual calendar where students complete course materials at their own pace. Mason’s online undergraduate program options include a BAS in applied science, technology, and innovation concentration or a BS in information technology. Many online graduates go on to pursue master’s degrees in data analytics engineering, systems engineering, or applied information technology with a cybersecurity concentration.
5. California State University – Monterey Bay
Average Net Price: $11,167
Retention Rate: 80%
Graduation Rate: 58%
The Monterey Bay branch of the California State University system operates as a relatively small institution, hosting a population of just 7,500 and maintaining a strong, close-knit community of faculty and students. CSU-Monterey Bay aims to serve the low-income community in particular, providing high-quality education at significantly affordable rates.
CSUMB also ranks among the top ten online degree programs, offering one of the best online computer science degrees in the nation, as well as online master’s degrees in business administration and instructional technology. The program takes two years to complete, and the curriculum blends computer science theory with hands-on application. Students are prepared for jobs in software engineering, app development, and tech project management. The program involves regular, collaborative video conferences with classmates and faculty, ensuring the strong interpersonal connections and student support that make CSU-Monterey Bay such a rewarding educational experience.
6. Pennsylvania State University-Worldwide
Average Net Price: $30,373
Retention Rate: 93%
Graduation Rate: 85%
Pennsylvania State University is among the top one percent of universities in the world. For students who can’t attend physically, the online school offers the same degree as those awarded physically in Pennsylvania. There are over 150 degrees and certificates at all levels, from associates to doctorate degrees and certificates.
Penn State’s distance learning program is well over a century old, having been established in 1892. Today, the worldwide degree programs rank #5 among the best online bachelor’s programs. There are bachelor’s degrees offered in many different fields, but the computer science program is one of the most comprehensive. Its curriculum centers on digital design, informational sciences and technology, and software engineering. The software engineering aspect blends software, design, and mathematics taught by respected Penn State faculty to prepare graduates for both field jobs and future degrees. Penn’s online information technology degree also opens new doors to students looking for careers in an ever-expanding field.
7. Regis University
Average Net Price: $23,672
Retention Rate: 80%
Graduation Rate: 70%
Regis University is a private religious institution based in Denver, Colorado, that believes in tradition and shaping students into critically thinking individuals with a global perspective. As the third best online college in America, Regis offers around a hundred different online bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and certificates. It is committed to providing opportunities for students who require the convenience and flexibility of education that they can pursue in the midst of other responsibilities.
In particular, the online computer science degree program offered at Regis is the only virtual computer science degree in the country that is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. Additionally, it can be earned as a consolidated bachelor’s and master’s degree for an accelerated and more affordable course of study, enabling students to earn an even higher degree. The curriculum incorporates multiple programming languages and platforms, teaching students how to discover creative design solutions. Online, students can earn their bachelor’s of computer science or computer information systems, and even obtain a master’s of enterprise systems engineering. These opportunities equip students with the tools necessary to succeed in their future careers.
8. Oregon State University
Average Net Price: $20,493
Retention Rate: 84%
Graduation Rate: 64%
Oregon State University is the largest university in the state, boasting not only the most extensive research funding of any institution in the state but also a top-tier online system with over 70 programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Over 1,300 courses in over 110 different subjects are available online, catering to more than 24,000 virtual students. Even with these considerable numbers, however, Oregon State is committed to building a strong sense of community among its students.
Oregon State offers one of the best online computer science degree programs in the nation, notable for its comprehensive coursework and hyper-focused curriculum. The track runs as a postbaccalaureate program, designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree and a prior interest in mathematics. The courses are taught by campus instructors, allowing virtual students to collaborate and participate in cooperative discussions with professionals. Students are only required to fulfill 60 credit hours of fundamental coursework to qualify for the online degree.
9. Old Dominion University
Average Net Price: $15,368
Retention Rate: 79%
Graduation Rate: 53%
Old Dominion University was instituted as a branch of the College of William and Mary in the early 20th century, and since separating, it has become a well-respected university in its own right, with over 24,000 students and over thirty years of experience in distance learning. The school boasts a 96% satisfaction rate, and it maintains over 100 different online programs, more than any college in Virginia.
Their online computer science degree system is founded on the theoretical frameworks of computer science, like programming and engineering methodology. ODU’s online system awards bachelor’s degrees in computer engineering and technology, computer science, cybersecurity, and information systems, as well as master’s in computer science, cybersecurity, and electrical and computer engineering. It also supports certificates and minors in related fields like cybersecurity and computer science. In 2020, ODU’s system ranked #6 on Intelligent.com’s list of best online computer science degree programs.
10. Northern Kentucky University
Average Net Price: $9,131
Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 39%
Northern Kentucky University offers a high-quality education at a relatively low price. Although the student population is growing fast, the student-to-faculty ratio remains small, ensuring that each student receives the one-on-one collaborative experiences and professional instructor mentorship they deserve. The university is dedicated to removing any barriers to students achieving their goals, making sure that their students graduate prepared for their future careers and ready to become actively engaged members of their communities.
Many NKU degrees are also offered online, for an innovative and flexible way to achieve the same degree as on-campus students. The online information systems minor requires students to take courses in business programming, web coding, and application development, among others. NKU’s virtual cybersecurity certificate also prepares students well for their future careers, requiring courses in networking, databases, and information security. Its bachelor of science in business information systems incorporates principles of information technology and database management, skills that are necessary to become successful in the rapidly expanding field of computer science. According to our analysis, Northern Kentucky University offers a top online computer science degree program.
11. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Average Net Price: $16,650
Retention Rate: 73%
Graduation Rate: 41%
The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee is one of the top research universities in America, and it works in affiliation with important companies to provide its students with a fully comprehensive, real-world education that will benefit them in their future careers. Research opportunities are available to all students, providing them with actual field experience in disciplines of their own choosing.
UWM offers Wisconsin’s largest and best online education program, with more than 40 virtual degrees and certificate options, amounting to over 850 courses in total. The university operates the top online computer science degree program in the state. Its bachelor of science in applied computing curriculum centers on real-world applications, cutting-edge developments, and the incorporation of technology with business. Ultimately, the program’s purpose is to cultivate a more versatile skillset within UWM degree-holders and enable them to pursue a successful career in the field of computer science and information technology.
12. Regent University
Average Net Price: $17,842
Retention Rate: 78%
Graduation Rate: 47%
Regent University is a large Christian school that blends knowledge and faith into an education. The university aims to prepare students for the workforce by equipping them with a diverse set of skills, strong leadership potential, and both personal and professional integrity. Regent’s 130 virtual programs allow for flexibility and customization for each student. Regent offers online tutoring services, peer-mentorship, chapel service, and a vast digital library to accommodate remote students.
The school’s online computer science degree program comprises fully online bachelor’s degrees in computer engineering or computer science, as well as master’s degrees in business information technology or cybersecurity. Online students have the option of earning their bachelor of science in computer engineering, cyber & digital forensics, IT tech, and more. All of these programs focus on cultivating an understanding of technological queries from a Christian perspective.
13. Lewis University
Average Net Price: $19,793
Retention Rate: 80%
Graduation Rate: 64%
As a fairly small and private Roman Catholic institution, Lewis University offers a comprehensive education to students of all faiths and backgrounds. Their 6,400 undergraduate and graduate students make them the seventh-largest nonprofit university in Illinois. Lewis’ commitment to a great education extends to their online courses, as well. Each curriculum involves rigorous and comprehensive coursework that is available to be completed at each student’s individual pace. Discussion boards and consistent access to support materials ensure that online students get the same benefits of interaction and community that campus students do.
Lewis’ online computer science program is a monolithic academic program, complete with accelerated tracks, computer science degrees combined with history, music, political science, and theology, as well as other credentials in computer engineering, data science, and information security. The program allows for remote, hands-on exercises through 24/7 access to Lewis’ virtual devices. Undergraduate degrees range from electrical engineering to data science, and master’s programs introduce pathways into computer science and IT. These courses equip students with the skills necessary to succeed in the rapidly expanding field of computer science.
14. Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Average Net Price: $11,295
Retention Rate: 73%
Graduation Rate: 37%
At Northwestern State University, the top priority is being responsive and flexible enough to serve students in a rapidly-changing world, being at the forefront of cutting-edge technologies, global development, and world improvement. Students have access to opportunities and transformational learning experiences that prepare them to face future challenges.
Northwestern State’s online establishment, eNSU, is the first and largest electronic campuses of any school in Louisiana. It offers 40 different online degree programs without any out-of-state fees, keeping the rates affordable. The eNSU system allows students to earn both their bachelor’s and master’s of science in computer information systems. Students acquire skills in app development, networking and systems, web development, and cybersecurity. The school is nationally recognized for this program, and several major corporations pay close attention to NSU graduates to find new recruits, creating instant career opportunities for NSU degree-holders.
15. Saint Leo University
Average Net Price: $18,456
Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 44%
With a low student-to-faculty ratio, Saint Leo University upholds its century-long tradition of a student-centered learning environment. The school’s Catholic roots serve to inspire their commitment to integrity and tradition, cultivating mental and spiritual growth within the student community and welcoming followers of all faiths. Ultimately, the university aims to provide its students with useful skills that will benefit them on their roads to both spiritual and material success.
Saint Leo’s online programs are taught by the same qualified faculty that teaches on campus. With over 75 different online degree programs, Saint Leo online is designed to give students a rigorous learning experience that involves connection and interaction. In particular, the online computer science degree program is one of the finest in the country, offering associates, bachelors, and masters degrees in fields like computer information systems, IT, information assurance, cybersecurity, software engineering, data analytics, and more. SLU’s online graduates become experts in their fields and go on to achieve major career success.
16. Fort Hays State University
Average Net Price: $12,376
Retention Rate: 71%
Graduation Rate: 41%
Fort Hays State University is the third-largest state university in Kansas. It serves over 15,000 students in total, nearly half of whom study online. There are a variety of programs available, including majors, minors, certificate programs, and pre-professional programs that are made to help students toward more specialized credentials. Nearly 200 programs are offered online at all levels from associate’s all the way through doctoral degrees.
FHSU online supports bachelor’s programs in computer science, health informatics, networking and telecommunications, cybersecurity, and web/mobile app development, as well as master’s degree programs in all of these fields. The online option at FSHU provides students around the world with an immersive and accessible education, opening up a vast world of opportunities for success in the workforce. Ultimately, the school aims to provide students with a clear path toward their individual career goals.
17. Lamar University
Average Net Price: $12,941
Retention Rate: 64%
Graduation Rate: 31%
Lamar University operates in affiliation with the Texas State University system and is one of the fastest-growing universities in Texas. The school offers high-quality degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels, and all are obtained with an emphasis on research. The school promotes hands-on experience to prepare students for their future careers. Lamar holds a commitment to providing the structural support that students need to succeed, a commitment that extends to their online programs, as well.
Not only does Lamar University Online provide a top-of-the-line education, but it is also convenient and affordable. The multiple start dates and efficiently designed courses help you complete your degree at your own pace, letting you study at your own convenience—and this also allows you to move more quickly than in traditional classrooms if you so choose. The school’s master’s of education in educational technology leadership online provides students with a basic understanding of IT, graphic design, and computer systems as they relate to educational environments. This degree enables students to obtain lasting careers in the field of educative computer science.
18. Troy University
Average Net Price: $13,349
Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 38%
Troy University is well known throughout the nation for having one of the best undergraduate programs, not only in the Southeast but in the whole United States. The school grants associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, with a heavy emphasis on their online options. Troy has a long history of distance learning, and they have always held their online courses to a rigorously high standard.
Not only are there 71 different degrees available completely online, but they all come with the same quality of student support services and academic resources to ensure that all students get the highest quality education Troy offers. Online courses are designed on an accelerated track and only take 9 weeks instead of the usual 16. The school’s online applied computer science degree opens up opportunities for students who want to go into careers in computer systems analytics, business intelligence analytics, web/software development, and many more.
19. University of Houston-Victoria
Average Net Price: $10,615
Retention Rate: 59%
Graduation Rate: 18%
Ranked as the eighteenth most affordable bachelor’s degree in the nation, the University of Houston in Victoria is committed to providing high-quality education for students from all walks of life. With a low 18-1 student to faculty ratio, students can receive highly-personalized instruction at a fraction of the cost. The school’s online programs rank as the most affordable online bachelor’s degree in Texas.
The school’s bachelor’s degree programs maintain a flat per-credit-hour tuition rate, ensuring low cost and convenience for their virtual students. The multiple term start dates allow students to complete their degrees at their own pace and from the comfort of their own homes. All online courses are highly interactive and are taught by supportive faculty with real-world experience in their fields. The online educational technology courses incorporate digital programming, business information systems, and program planning/design. These skills often come in handy to computer science professionals and students looking to cultivate a colorful set of skills for their future success.
20. Bellevue University
Average Net Price: $11,938
Retention Rate: 61%
Graduation Rate: 24%
Bellevue uses a Real Mastery approach that focuses on going beyond simple learning, ensuring that students truly master the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in the workforce. Bellevue’s commitment to the value of every student is why they provide the same quality of education online as in person—so that students in all situations still have equal access to an education that will help them reach their goals. Over 75 bachelor’s and graduate degree programs are available online.
The online format supports a variety of associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs. In terms of computer science degrees, Bellevue offers bachelors in cybersecurity, computer information systems, IT operations management, web development, and many more. The school also grants master’s degrees in cybersecurity, data science, and computer information systems. Ultimately, Bellevue aims to provide opportunities for students from all walks of life by providing a comprehensive and convenient online format that equips students with the skills necessary to find future success in the field of computer science.
21. Mercy College
Average Net Price: $16,685
Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 41%
Since 1950, Mercy College has provided education to both traditional and underprivileged students living within the greater New York City region, equipping them with a transformative educational experience that contributes significantly to their futures. Since 2019, the institution has also provided postsecondary education for students of the former College of New Rochelle, providing them opportunities and contributing support for students to get the most out of their higher education experience. Ultimately, Mercy aims to foster real-world connections and student engagement.
Mercy Online makes this education accessible to learners anywhere. Their distance learning system includes over 30 degree and certificate programs entirely online, built out of over 200 classes taught by Mercy professors. The online format supports a bachelor’s in computer science, cybersecurity, or computer information technology degree, as well as a master of science in cybersecurity. These programs afford students careers in the fields of web programming and analytics, software engineering, game programming, and web administration. With a curriculum designed to accommodate any student’s schedule and situation, Mercy Online aims to equip every student with skills necessary to succeed in the ever-expanding field of computer science.
22. Dakota State University
Average Net Price: $16,940
Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 38%
At Dakota State University, dedication and commitment are the most prioritized academic values. Since its 1881 founding, the university has developed alongside the world’s rapidly-evolving technological innovation. Today, it focuses on further advancing the digital world. DSU prides itself on taking= technology on another level—to gain the skills you need for whatever career you choose.
This commitment to technology makes DSU’s online option one of the best in the nation. DSU’s online computer science program gains students access to the latest software and advanced technological learning materials. Students can earn degrees in cyber-leadership, computer science, and cyber operations, as well as doctorate degrees in cyber operations and information systems. Even programs that don’t focus on computer science make unique use of technology, such as digital humanities, ethical hacking, cybersecurity, and data analytics certificates. DCU makes it a priority to ensure all students have the ability to find success in their chosen academic field, and the school equips them with the skills necessary to find success in those areas.
23. National University
Average Net Price: $25,827
Retention Rate: 69%
Graduation Rate: 40%
National University is the largest private nonprofit university in San Diego. The school believes in accessible education, offering four-week classes organized so students only have to take one course at a time. This format allows students one concentrated month of study at a time, preventing them from becoming overwhelmed in the way a more conventional system would. This format supports accessibility, affordability, and flexibility.
NU’s computer science bachelor’s degree is available entirely online, helping students to develop technical and design skills to contribute to the rapidly-developing world of computer science. The program emphasizes a strong academic foundation in real-world programming and software engineering. In addition to this degree, NU offers degrees in cybersecurity, electrical and computer engineering, and even digital media design. These courses prepare students to become successful in their careers within the sphere of computer technology.
24. Austin Peay State University
Average Net Price: $12,619
Retention Rate: 67%
Graduation Rate: 38%
Although Austin Peay is continuously growing, their class size remains small at an average of 24 students per class. Each student receives a highly-personalized and is given the opportunity to complete a fully-comprehensive academic track. Each scholar is supported on their journey to success. With over 35 degrees and certificates available entirely online, APSU equips students with the skills necessary to succeed in their fields from the convenience of their own homes.
In the field of computer science, APSU offers online undergraduate degrees with four different concentrations: systems development, cybersecurity, internet/web technology, and database administration. Each focus is geared toward a particular subset of post-graduation career pathways. These tracks enable students to carry out digital interactive discussions, complete coursework year-round and gain access to free university software. APSU also grants minors in web technology and mobile software technology/security alongside the computer science degree; and for students at the graduate level, two master’s degrees in computer science are also available in the online format. Ultimately, Austin Peay University is dedicated to the success and advancement of its students, regardless of the distance.
25. University of Maryland Global Campus (formerly UM University College)
Average Net Price: $14,861
Retention Rate: 40%
Graduation Rate: 10%
In 2019, the University of Maryland’s University College changed its name to the Global Campus, aiming to better represent their university-wide commitment to providing higher education for working adults everywhere. It remains the only online version of the University of Maryland’s top-tier education, providing the same levels of degrees earned on-site at the university.
UMGC was founded over 70 years ago, specifically to serve working adults with commitments outside of school. Today, it is the largest public online university in the country, offering over 90 virtual programs. The school’s computer science program, in particular, is one of the most well-established of any online schooling programs. Students can earn their bachelor’s degrees in computer networks and security, information systems management, software development and security, and many more. Graduate programs are also available in fields like data analytics, cybersecurity management, and eight different IT specialties. Ultimately, the online format is designed to equip students with the skills necessary to succeed in the rapidly-evolving field of computer science.
26. Liberty University
Average Net Price: $27,573
Retention Rate: 83%
Graduation Rate: 49%
Liberty University is a Christian evangelical institution located in Virginia. The school transforms students into sought-after employees, equipped with integrity, discipline, and the versatility and competence to make a lasting impact everywhere they go. Notably, Liberty’s online programs rank among the top five online colleges in terms of quality, accessibility, and cost. Over 130 bachelor’s degrees are offered online, running in convenient 8-week tracks designed to fit around students’ busy schedules.
Liberty’s online degrees span all subjects, including arts and science degrees, behavioral sciences, business, education, and information, among many others. Within the IT field, specifically, online degree specializations include computer science, cybersecurity, informatics, information systems, and even app and game design. Liberty’s online computer science degrees go up to the graduate level and afford shorter completion times than traditional schooling. All of Liberty’s computer science degrees integrate biblical teachings into the curriculum, imbedding principles that aid students in their journeys toward careers and lifelong success.
27. Davenport University
Average Net Price: $16,972
Retention Rate: 70%
Graduation Rate: 43%
Davenport University aims to develop a strong work ethic and a sense of academic excellence within its students. The school prepares students to understand the economy and its effects on the job market, ensuring that, as graduates, they go on to become the best employees in their chosen fields. Within six months of graduating, 91% of Davenport students find jobs on their chosen career paths.
The university’s online courses can be completed in as little as seven weeks, making them easily conformable to any schedule. Davenport’s interest in the market and understanding of which jobs are in demand means that they pay close attention to the computer science sphere, which seems to be one of the fastest-growing fields in the job market. Students can earn associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in computer information systems (AAS), digital forensics (BA), or technology management (MS), among many others. The Davenport mission is to provide a comprehensive and convenient education to their students, equipping them with the tools necessary to build lifelong success.
28. Park University
Average Net Price: $17,920
Retention Rate: 49%
Graduation Rate: 32%
Park University holds a commitment to diversity and faith, striving to create a liberal education that is applicable to each student individually. Even online students have access to one-on-one support. They can Facetime with classmates and instructors and maintain a relationship where every professor knows the names of their students. Park believes that this type of personalized education will benefit students as they move into the career world and become professionals in their own right.
Over 60 different degree programs are offered online, featuring accounting, criminal justice, social work, business, and communications, in particular. The school’s online computer science program prepares students for a variety of different computer science and information technology careers, equipping them with skills in advanced math, programming, and practical applications of networks and other systems. Students can earn a bachelor’s in computer information management, a certificate in computer networking, or even an associate’s in information and computer science. All of these degrees prepare students to enter the rapidly-expanding field of computer science and establish lasting success within that field.
29. Georgia Southwestern State University
Average Net Price: $12,780
Retention Rate: 67%
Graduation Rate: 29%
Georgia Southwestern State University is ranked as one of the best value colleges in the nation, serving its 3,000 students and maintaining 40 different bachelor’s and postgraduate degree programs. GSW emphasizes collaboration and fosters the student-faculty interaction to create a highly-personalized and fully-comprehensive educational experience for students from all walks of life.
GSW’s distance learning program makes entire degree programs accessible entirely online, opening up their student demographic to adult learners who have busy schedules and commitments outside of school. Most of GSW’s online degrees are in the computer science field. Online master’s of science degrees are available in computer information systems, business, and computing, and the system even awards a graduate certificate in CIS. These programs enable students to enter the workforce equipped with the technological skills necessary to establish a successful career in the field of computer science.
30. Baker College
Average Net Price: $12,871
Retention Rate: 47%
Graduation Rate: 14%
Baker College is the largest independent nonprofit college in Michigan. As a postsecondary educational institution, it is dedicated to equipping students with the tools needed for success. At Baker, students know that they can be proud of the degree that they earn, whether it’s their primary focus or one responsibility among many. The online format enables distant students to earn the same degrees as those available on-campus so that students can be “Baker Proud” from anywhere in the world.
The school’s online courses run on set schedules, ensuring that distance students stay on track alongside on-site students. The programs offer a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and one graduate certificate, as well as an MBA, all specializing in information technology. Bachelor’s specializations include computer science, game software development, and information systems management, and the master’s degree contains concentrations in cloud security risk management and information systems. These courses all prepare students to become full-time professionals in the rapidly-expanding field of computer science.
31. Wilmington University
Average Net Price: $14,600
Retention Rate: 62%
Graduation Rate: 29%
Wilmington University is committed to making excellent education accessible and convenient for all students, regardless of financial circumstances. For part-time students and those with additional commitments, weekend modular courses and accelerated 7-week courses are also available. Some programs are offered as online and in-person hybrid coalitions. Over 125 programs are completely online.
Wilmington’s online format uses the latest technology to make sure their education is the highest quality, even from a distance. Online computer science programs include a certificate in e-learning design and a bachelor of science in computer and network security, which was ranked the best in the country. The computer science degree focuses on information technology, specializing in web design, computer architecture, and information systems management. This degree is customizable, allowing students to focus on the concentration that best suits their future careers.
32. Southern New Hampshire University
Average Net Price: $40,617
Retention Rate: 55%
Graduation Rate: 53%
Southern New Hampshire University prides itself on its unchanging tuition, which has remained the same since 2012. Alongside courses taught by expert instructors with real-world experience, the school provides career advisors and ample internship opportunities to ensure that graduates are fully prepared to enter the workforce.
Over 200 online degree programs feature courses in computer science that have concentrations in data analytics, graphic design, and information technologies. There are also master’s degrees available through the online system, including specializations in cybersecurity, information technologies, and even database design. The system does not require any prescheduled times for students to be online, making them ideal for those with busy schedules. Ultimately, Southern New Hampshire University aims to equip students with a varied skill set that will enable them to enter the workforce as competent and competitive professionals.
33. Franklin University
Average Net Price: $24,692
Retention Rate: 33%
Graduation Rate: 10%
As one of the largest private postsecondary institutions in Ohio, Franklin University is recognized widely for its accessibility and affordability, as well as the excellent academic achievements of its students and alumni. The school is organized to accommodate adult learners who want to finish their degrees on an accelerated track. Franklin offers 60 online and on-site degree programs in total.
Franklin offers six online bachelor’s degrees in the field of technology and computer sciences. These programs focus on skills such as cybersecurity, information systems, information technology, media design, and web development–all of which feed into high-demand job markets with competitive salaries. The university’s computer science degree teaches students fundamental programming languages and development skills that will never become obsolete, even as technology evolves. Franklin also offers IT master’s degrees in computer science, informatics, analytics, and instructional design. With a practical and hands-on curriculum, taught by field professionals with high-level industry experience, Franklin University is one of the best places to receive an education in the field of computer science.
34. Hodges University
Average Net Price: $19,906
Retention Rate: 36%
Graduation Rate: 26%
Hodges University is devoted to providing a convenient and accessible education for students from all walks of life. Returning and working students, as well as those for whom English is a second language, find the school’s online format highly beneficial. Hodges virtual programs have ranked among the best in the country.
The school’s online courses are taught by professors with professional experience in their fields who are reachable through the online platforms that allow for highly personalized education. The school offers a wide variety of degrees, but its computer science program is one of the most notable in the country. Online students can earn both their associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in computer information technology. The bachelor’s degree encompasses cybersecurity, networking, software development, and IT. Ultimately, the school offers an affordable and easily-accessible pathway to a successful career in the continually evolving field of computer science.
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science: Overview
Given the demand for computer science experts, earning your degree in computer science is a great way to increase your career options and earnings. Computer science programs will teach you about the design and building of computer programs and networks, as well as their application in many fields and industries. There are numerous concentrations within the major, each leading to a different professional career path. Earning your degree online has the added benefits of being convenient, accessible, and often much more affordable than traditional, in-person programs on campus.
Some of the introductory courses that you can expect to take in an online CS degree program include Introduction to Programming, in which you will learn about object-oriented programming with Java, and Intermediate Programming, in which you will design and debug Java programs. You will also study the theoretical underpinnings of the field in courses such as Introductory Discrete Structures, on the fundamentals of mathematics behind computer science, and Introductory Computer Systems, on the essential aspects of computer architecture and performance.
More advanced courses explore different specialized topics depending on your concentration. For example, if your path leads towards coding and programming, you will take courses such as Advanced Programming Languages, or Object-Oriented and Concurrent Programming. If your interest lies in analytical fields, you may take a course such as Data Structures and Analysis, which combines program development with the study of data structures and design. There are also more broadly applicable advanced courses, such as Software Engineering Principles and Practices, in which you design, build, and test an original software concept.
When comparing programs that offer the computer science degree online, make sure that the schools you are considering are accredited, provide evidence of successful job placement, and have a reputation in the field. It’s also advisable to avoid for-profit schools since these are often unreliable and present a greater financial risk.
According to thebestschools.org, the five best online computer science degree programs are at the University of Florida, Florida State University, the University of Colorado Boulder, Auburn University, and Oregon State University. Explore your options beyond these, though, as other schools might have more specialized programs or courses that better align with your particular interests, or they might offer more competitive financial aid packages.
Financial Benefits of a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science
An online computer science degree provides one of the best educational returns on investment. According to Forbes Magazine, computer science majors were some of the highest-paid recent college graduates, with average starting salaries around $105,000.
In addition, market demand for technology majors has increased exponentially over the past eight years, rising by almost 27% since 2012. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2028, jobs in computer sciences will continue to grow by up to 21%.
One of the clearest indications of the financial benefits of earning an online computer science degree is seen by comparing it with those who earn only an associate degree. On average, those who hold a bachelor’s degree earn 35% more. For example, an entry-level database administrator makes around $28,000 with an associate degree but $43,000 with a bachelor’s degree.
Scholarships for Computer Science Bachelor’s Degree Students
College is not cheap, though the return on investment offered by getting your computer science degree online makes it worthwhile. To help cover costs associated with attending a computer science program, you can apply to the numerous funding opportunities that exist for undergraduate students in the field. Some of the more popular scholarships for computer science students are:
ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Scholarship. This scholarship aims to support women and minority students who intend to enter careers in computer and video game arts.
Gates Millennium Scholars Program. Each year, 1,000 students are selected to receive a scholarship at any college or university.
Regeneron Science Talent Search. Funded by the Society for Science and the Public to recognize outstanding work by high school seniors in computer science.
Microsoft Scholarship Programs. Microsoft provides general scholarships, scholarships for women, minority scholarships, and scholarships for students with disabilities.
SMART Scholarship for Service. Funded by the National Defense Education Program, this scholarship pays full tuition for students who will go on to seek employment with the Department of Defense.
William E. Weisel Scholarship. This merit-based annual scholarship is for students considering pursuing careers in robotics or automation.
There are also local and regional scholarships for computer science majors. Some of these are tied to particular schools or programs, such as the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service for students in the Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering’s Information Networking Institute. Others are restricted to particular states, such as the Alaska Space Grant Program Fellowships, which provide stipends to STEM students at universities in Alaska. Some scholarships are tied to particular communities, such as the AWC Scholarship Fund for Women in Computing, which is run by the Ann Arbor chapter of the Association for Women Computing, or the AFCEA San Diego County Scholarship program, for residents of San Diego County majoring in STEM fields at four-year universities. Finally, there are other regional scholarships that span multiple states, such as the TELACU College Success Program, which provides funding for students in California, Illinois, New York, and Texas.
Transitioning from undergraduate studies to a career in computer science is made easier by internship opportunities. These give students the chance to gain valuable on-the-job experience while getting up to speed with the latest fields in the industry. Some internships are compensated with money, but others are “paid” only in training, so be sure to understand the details of any opportunity before signing up. Some of the leading internships and co-ops are available from computing and telecommunication corporations such as IBM, Intel, Unisys Corp, Verizon, as well as from other industry leaders, such as Delphi, Diebold, the Lord Corporation, Lumension Security, and the Mitre Corporation.