Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Science Programs

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A bachelor’s in computer science is one of the most valuable degrees a college student can obtain. Graduates from CS programs generally find jobs quickly, earn above average salaries, and develop skills suitable to a range of careers. In class, computer scientists learn to code and work with hardware, software, and networks. They manage databases, use object-oriented programming and design, and implement and maintain computer systems and architecture.

Most online bachelor’s in computer science programs can be completed entirely online due to the independent nature of the work. While many programs require students to complete a portfolio of their work and a capstone project, most do not feature internships. Online degrees are often accelerated and can be completed in just two years.

Our list of the best online computer science degrees is meant to serve as a guide for potential students. For each college profiled below, we have included relevant tuition and student information statistics, and as part of our list, we also reviewed the academic highlights and program features at each school. If you’re interested in earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and value the flexibility inherent in online study, be sure to start your research with a look at these top schools.

2016 Online Education Trends Report: Learn how online programs are changing the face of higher education.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description

University of Illinois at Springfield

 2/548.68%Springfield, IL


The online bachelor's degree offered through the Department of Computer Science at UIS prepares students for careers in the ever-changing technology fields; they are also given the base knowledge needed to pursue higher degrees upon graduation. Upon acceptance into the program, students work closely with advisors to create a degree plan that will help them reach their goals. In their first term, students are required to take an entrance exam which assesses what they already know in regards to writing, reading, critical thinking and computer sciences. An exit exam is taken during the last semester to measure the knowledge students have gained over the course of study.

All online courses are delivered through the Blackboard learning management system. This LMS is used for most classes at UIS, online or on-campus, to enhance course materials with multimedia components and discussion boards. Once logged in to the system, students can access their grades, email and a number of tools to complete assignments and tests for their courses.

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Regis University

 5/559.05%Denver, CO


Regis University offers a Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science degree on campus or fully online; students who have already earned some college credits may enroll in the accelerated program to complete their degree. In order to graduate, students must complete between 128 and 133 credit hours of coursework, 65 of which are earned in the major. The BSCS program places an emphasis on mathematics and problem-solving, and students who complete this degree are prepared for jobs where they are required to analyze problems and keep pace with changing algorithms, theories and technology.

Online courses at Regis are delivered through WorldClass learning management system. Through this interface, students submit assignments using DropBox; communicate through emails and forums; and have online access to the library, bookstore, academic advisors and career services.

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Troy University

 2/534.98%Troy, AL


At Troy University, students can enroll in an online Bachelor of Science, Applied Computer Science degree. This program focuses on the practical application of programming, systems analysis, design and database management. The major requirements for the degree total 36 credit hours of coursework in addition to completing general education courses.

Courses offered through eTROY, the online campus of Troy University, are accessed through the Blackboard learning management system. Prospective students can explore Blackboard's interface prior to enrollment to familiarize themselves with how course materials are delivered; how to communicate with classmates and professors; and how to complete assignments, exams and assessments.

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Old Dominion University

 2/551.58%Norfolk, VA


The online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at ODU is a degree completion program designed for students who either hold an associates degree or have fulfilled all lower-division general education requirements. Students gain a firm understanding of the theory of computer science, and they are given opportunities to use the theoretical knowledge for practical applications. Students currently working in a computer science field, or those who take internships, may be able to use that experience to fulfill six credit hours.

Online courses at ODU are delivered through the Blackboard LMS. Prospective students have access to a guest preview that allows them to familiarize themselves with the system. From the My Blackboard landing page, students can view their course materials and access a number of resources, including tutoring, career services and IT help.

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Oregon State University

 1/563.07%Corvallis, OR


The post-baccalaureate program is designed for students who have an undergraduate degree in a field other than computer science, contributing to the school’s broader goal of opening up the field to those from a variety of academic backgrounds. Eligible students must have a bachelor's degree, but don’t need previous professional or academic experience in the field to earn an online bachelor’s in computer science from Oregon State. Distance learners can join the program in all four terms (OSU uses the quarter system.)

Students are not required to take general education courses, and can pursue one of several track plans, from one-year to four-year degree options. Classes are available through the Canvas learning system. Although flexible, this online computer science bachelor degree is rigorous and students need strong time management skills and self discipline to succeed. The program’s content is career-oriented and includes real-world projects, networking opportunities, and access to a database of videos from industry representatives with experience in the field. Twice a year, online students are also offered the opportunity to attend a career showcase and meet with industry recruiters.

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Florida State University

 2/579.13%Tallahassee, FL

Students who wish to pursue an online computer science degree at FSU may choose between a BA and a BS. Both bachelor's degrees require 120 credits to graduate, 30 of which must be taken at FSU in the terms before graduation. The bachelor's of arts is based in the humanities; students of this degree program are must select a minor concentration, which can come from any field. The BA requires fewer mathematics and science courses for graduation than the BS. The bachelor's of science degree requires students to minor in a physical science or math field.

FSU uses Blackboard to power its student portal. Upon login, students have access to all of their online courses and materials. Online students benefit from the same support services they would find online. The school offers many tools and resources designed to help students succeed including: test proctoring, tutoring and advising services and a virtual computer lab.

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Mercy College

 3/528.8%Dobbs Ferry, NY

The Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science degree at Mercy College prepares students to analyze the working components of computers and design programs to enhance performance and experience. This 120-credit program is completed online. BSCS students are required to complete 15 credits of their required major courses at level 200 or higher at Mercy; they cannot be transferred to the school.

Online students have 24/7 access to their online courses through Mercy Connect and Blackboard Learn. This LMS allows users to view class assignments, discussion boards and communicate with instructors and classmates. Students benefit from many online resources, tools and services including: tutoring, academic advising and career services. MC's technical support provides tutorials and tips for navigating the Blackboard interface.

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National University

 3/540%La Jolla, CA

Through their online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree, National University strives to prepare students for careers working with all aspects of computer science, including: operating systems, programming languages, computer architecture and software engineering. Courses in 180-quarter unit BSCS program are based in mathematics and can be completed within four years if taken full-time.

Online courses at National University are accessed through Blackboard and the student portal SOAR. With a single login, students and instructors can view assignments, assessments, course schedules and online resources.

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Southern University and A&M College

 2/532.11%Baton Rouge, LA

Southern University and A&M College offers an entirely online Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science to students from all educational backgrounds. Students pursuing this degree complete assignments, participate in group discussions and access their classes when it fits their schedules. Upon completing the BSCS, graduates are prepared to work with a number of information, management and operating systems in the private, public or government sectors.

All online courses are delivered through Blackboard. This learning management system gives students access to SafeAssign and Respondus, two tools that ensure academic honesty when submitting assignments and taking exams and quizzes. There are a number of tutorials available for students and instructors to familiarize themselves with the LMS interface and tools.

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Franklin University

 3/513.64%Columbus, OH

Franklin’s online computer science bachelor degree emphasizes software development, and is designed so that students can work together to learn core fundamentals in the discipline. Students pursuing a computer science degree online learn several coding languages and eventually build software through Java. In addition to software development, courses also cover object-oriented design, coding & testing, computer architecture, and more. Students also have the opportunity to network with professionals through Franklin’s chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

Online courses are asynchronous and delivered through the myFranklin portal. Coursework is project-oriented and hands-on, and classes are delivered in a planned sequence. Students work on practical projects, creating database-driven web applications with interactive AJAX components.

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Employment Outlook for Computer Science Graduates

Advances in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, coupled with quickly evolving computer software and systems, have stoked demand for computer scientists on the job market. In fact, the industry is growing so fast that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a gap in the number of computer science experts available in four years to fill demand for computing jobs. There’s no shortage of opportunity for those who’ve obtained an online bachelor’s in computer science.

Computer scientists build and maintain computer networks and systems, and develop, test and analyze software. Depending on their professional interests and technical skills, computer science graduates can find a job in nearly any industry. Whether you want to become a web developer for a professional sports team or manage assets on Wall Street, you’ll have the coding and computing expertise required in the field.

Below, you’ll find the median annual salaries and projected job growth in the field for some of the top careers for computer scientists. These are just a small handful of the opportunities that holders of online computer science degrees can pursue, but the salary and growth statistics are emblematic of the positions available for all CS graduates:

PositionMedian Annual SalaryProjected Growth Rate
Computer and Information Research Scientist$108,36011%
Computer Network Architect$98,4309%
Information Security Analyst$88,89018%
Computer Systems Analyst$82,71021%
Network and Computer Systems Administrator$75,7908%
Computer Support Specialist$50,38012%

Professional Organizations

International Association of Computer Science & Information Technology – IACSIT is an international association with a range of members, from students to professors to research center leaders. IACSIT holds multiple conferences and workshops every year.

IEEE Computer Society – Student members gain access to a variety of resources, including Computer Magazine, online training courses, and scholarship and award opportunities.

Computer Science Teachers Association – For those interested in teaching computer science at the K-12 level, CSTA provides an organization of professional and state chapters nationwide.

Association for Computing Machinery – ACM describes itself as the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society. Student members can access the same resources, conferences, and other benefits as professional members.

Computing Research Association (CRA) – The CRA’s slogan is “uniting industry, academia and government to advance computing research and change the world.” While membership is limited to organizations, students can take advantage of publicly available informational resources as well as a job board.

Financing Your Online Computer Science Degree

Despite the relative affordability of online programs, the need for financial aid is still a reality for most students. But rest assured, loans aren’t your only option. Explore our collection of financial aid resources or dig into one of the following guides to read more about financing your education.

An Overview of Financial Aid

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options savvy students can use to reduce the total costs of their education.

Understanding the FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first and most crucial step for any student seeking financial aid. Follow our step-by-step guide for answers to frequently asked questions.

Scholarships for Computer Science Majors

We’ve hand-curated a list of 40 scholarships for computer science students representing $500,000 in total award dollars. Students at all levels can find an opportunity to apply for free money to help offset the cost of tuition.

Financial Aid for Online College Students

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place and funding opportunities for online students.

Financial Aid for Veterans and Active Military

Millions in education benefits are available for veterans and active members of the military. Unfortunately, much of this goes unused. Find out if you’re entitled to help with college and start planning for your future.

Best Online Computer Science Programs of 2015
Rank Name Location
1 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
2 University of Illinois at Springfield Springfield, IL
3 Southern University and A&M College Baton Rouge, LA
4 Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA
5 Regis University Denver, CO
6 Troy University Troy, AL
7 Texas A&M University - Commerce Commerce, TX
8 Mercy College Dobbs Ferry, NY
9 National University La Jolla, CA