The Most Affordable Online Computer Programming Degrees

Do you enjoy working with technology and hope to broaden your job prospects? Earning a bachelor’s in computer programming online will open doors to a variety of technical careers in areas like networking, project development, and network security, all while affording you the flexibility to keep working while pursuing your education. During your degree, you’ll build a foundation within the field and dive deep into fundamental topics such as programming languages, operating systems, and data structures and algorithms. Additionally, you’ll find that many bachelor’s programs offer courses in specialized computer programming topics that cater to your interests and future goals.

As you search for the right online program, there are two factors to keep in mind: flexibility and affordability. Pursuing your bachelor’s remotely allows you more flexibility than an on-campus program: most classes are taught asynchronously, which allows you to work during the day or take care of family obligations without disrupting your studying. There are also a number of affordable online computer programming degree programs to help you stay within budget. However, there’s a difference between cheap and affordable: a cheap program just offers low tuition; an affordable one offers reasonable tuition and a quality academic experience on top of a history of high graduation rates and low student loan default rates.

We’ve compiled a list of the most affordable online computer programming degrees below. Our College Affordability Score takes into account a variety of metrics, vetting the schools for you and taking out the guesswork. If you’re interested in pursuing a computer programming degree online, explore these top schools and find an affordable, value-driven program that fits your needs.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Western Governors University 72.00 3/5 27% Salt Lake City, UT

Western Governors is renowned for its teacher licensure and business programs. The school’s bachelor’s in software development program is one of the best online computer science degree programs in the nation. Students typically graduate with several industry-recognized certificates in areas like advanced HTML5 and CSS. The program is intended for working professionals. In order to apply, students must have prior experience in information technology, whether from the classroom or the field.

WGU’s BS in software development program usually takes between two and three years to complete; students have the option to progress at a faster rate. All of WGU’s programs center around Competency Units (CUs) instead of credit hours. Instead of having to spend a required amount of time in a classroom, students gain CUs by completing self-scheduled assessments. Tuition is charged as a flat rate every six-months. The BS in software development program requires a total of 122 CUs. Transfer credits are reviewed individually. The program includes general education courses (English, critical thinking), key subject areas (IT fundamentals), and ends with a capstone project.

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2 Fort Hays State University 69.75 3/5 41% Hays, KS

Located in the college town of Hays in northwest Kansas, Fort Hays State’s BS in computer science program is a staple among the country’s best online computer science degrees. Students must complete 120 credits in three areas: general education, major courses, and emphasis track. Learners can choose between a business emphasis or a networking emphasis.

FHSU’s online courses use Blackboard and provide synchronous and asynchronous options through CDs, DVDs, and the Internet. Courses also make use of discussion boards, articles, videos, and online tests. These tests occasionally require the student to find a proctor, who must be approved through an official form. Students in FHSU’s Virtual College must apply and gain acceptance to FHSU. Distance learners must submit prior transcripts and submit an SAT or ACT score, unless they’re over 21. Tuition for FHSU’s Virtual College costs slightly more than in-state tuition, but less than non-resident tuition.

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3 Bellevue University 67.75 3/5 31% Bellevue, NE

BU, founded in 1966 as a college for working adults in Bellevue, Nebraska, is now one of the largest private universities in the state. Bellevue’s software development program provides a normal and accelerated curriculum for working computer programmers who need an online computer programming degree to advance their careers. Students must complete a total of 127 credits, divided into four categories: general education (36), elective (46), major (36), and the Kirkpatrick Signature Series (9). The Kirkpatrick Series is a Bellevue core program that focuses on active citizenship and successful American institutions.

BU’s software development degree is offered online and on-campus. Tuition is the same for both, at $410 per credit hour. Bellevue’s accelerated cohort program places students with fellow computer programmers, and they can earn 49 credits in 79 weeks. In order to gain acceptance to the cohort program, students must have an associate degree of 60 credit hours with a passing grade (at least a C-) from an accredited institution of higher learning.

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4 Champlain College 65.25 5/5 64% Burlington, VT

Champlain, located in Burlington, Vermont, offers a completely online BS in software development that focuses on providing a transfer-friendly online computer programming degree. Transfer students are allowed to apply up to 90 credits towards the program. Students can earn certificates in C++, Java, software development, and Visual C#.

Courses are taught asynchronously, with 24/7 access to the course materials, assignments, and instruction. Students must complete 120 credit hours, which cost $641 each in tuition. There are three semesters per year, each consisting of two, seven-week terms. Required credits are divided into two categories: professional and general education. Students take 63 credits of professional courses which are directly related to the software development major and and 57 credits of general education courses. Due to Champlain’s transfer policy, completion times vary, as many students come in with a lot of credits. There are six different entry points for students each year, and all applicants must have at least a 2.5 GPA.

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5 Southwestern College 57.50 4/5 51% Winfield, KS

Southwestern is located in Wichita, Kansas. Admittance to the BS in computer programming program requires students to have earned a minimum GPA of 2.0 while completing at least 6 college credits after high school. Learners must maintain a 2.0 GPA and complete at least 124 credit hours (at least 60 must come from the bachelor’s program). Students complete courses in three categories: foundations (general education courses), disciplinary perspective (distribution requirements), and core major. In computer programming core major classes, Southwestern offers six-week courses in languages like Java and HTML and database training with Microsoft Access. Southwestern teaches students through hands-on training, making it one of the best online computer science degree. Students must complete a capstone project and complete a project where they design their own web application. Courses include SQL fundamentals, programming essentials, and professional communication.

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6 Davenport University 55.75 3/5 40% Grand Rapids, MI

Davenport’s BS in database systems and programming prepares students for careers in corporate IT and data management. The school is located in downtown Grand Rapids and across the state of Michigan. Davenport’s database systems and programming courses can be taken on-campus during the evenings or online.

Students are provided with a recommended sequence of courses, and 120 credits are required to graduate. Full-time students at Davenport who enter as freshmen often take four years to finish. Davenport offer a flexible transfer policy that accepts college, community college, and some high school courses. Student learn Java, C++, and C# languages and must complete 42 credits in the major. Major courses include data mining, data warehousing, artificial intelligence, and inferential statistics. Eighteen credits must be completed in Foundations of Database Systems and programming, where students learn to design databases. The remaining required credits are in general education. In addition to earning a computer programming degree online, students can also obtain a number of CompTIA and Cisco professional certificates.

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7 Husson University 49.50 3/5 41% Bangor, ME

With a central campus in Bangor and satellite campuses in Presque Isle and Westbrook, Husson’s influence reaches across the state of Maine. The school’s online bachelor’s in software development program is offered as an online degree in computer programming to the entire country.

Husson’s BS in software development takes between 12 and 24 months to complete, comprising a total of 121-122 credit hours. The program divides those credit hours into four categories: general education (49-50 hours); software and business (36 hours); software, business-related, and open electives (30 hours); and skill-based courses such as logic, problem solving, probability, and statistics (6 hours). The program focuses on business and programming, requiring students to take courses in microeconomics and project management. In order to apply, students must submit all transcripts from previous institutions in addition to SAT/ACT scores. Transfer students are allowed to apply up to 90 credits toward their bachelor’s degree program.

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8 Hodges University 47.00 3/5 18% Naples, FL

Based in Naples, Florida, Hodges’ school of technology offers a BS in software development that can be completed on-campus or completely online. Courses in the program are taught asynchronously and are structured as competency-based through Hodges’ UPOWER system, meaning students can move through the curriculum completely self-paced. Students can earn industry recognized certificates, such as A+, MOS, and ICCP C++.

In an optimum sequence, students take 12 credit hours (3 courses) per term, which allows them to complete this online degree in computer programming in about four years. Learners must complete courses in three core areas: computer information technology (20 hours), software development (40 hours), and business (12 hours). This includes liberal arts, electives, and software specialty area courses. Classes are delivered through Blackboard, and proctored final exams are required, often through ProctorU. Tuition for the program is $550 per credit hour.

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9 Limestone College 44.00 4/5 42% Gaffney, SC

Limestone, located in Gaffney, South Carolina, has an online BS in computer science degree, which includes a concentration in programming. Students must complete 123 credit hours to earn their bachelor’s degree, and most complete about 36 credit hours a year. Learners take two courses every eight-weeks and pay $420 per credit hour. Students may test out of up to 25% of required credits by completing national or Limestone-developed exams. Transfer students can apply up to 66 credits from two-year colleges and up to 92 credits from four-year colleges. Courses in the program are taught asynchronously. All students must complete a capstone project in programming at the end of their studies. Courses in this online computer programming degree include imperative programming, internet programming, project management, and introduction to computer science. Students are required to take one math course in algebra or mathematics for business and economics.

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10 Baker College 33.75 3/5 10% Flint, MI

Baker, located in Flint, Michigan, offers an online bachelor of computer science program. Credit hours are often measured in quarters (10-12 week classes) instead of semesters (15-16 weeks). The major requires the completion of 195 quarter hours, spread out across general education (64 hours) and major courses (127 hours) in mathematics, information systems, and computer science. Students must also complete a course in group dynamics or professional speaking. A real-world work experience in a computer science field or a work experience project is required.

At the beginning of the program, all students must complete College Success Online, a three-week, online orientation course that acclimatizes students to Baker’s online classroom. Tuition for the program is cheap, at $250 per credit hour, a relatively accessible price for an online degree in computer programming. Baker handles transfer credits on a case-by-case basis, determining each course’s’ relevance to the student’s new major and the student’s grade-point-average.

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