Online Computer Science Programs Best of 2022

A computer science degree provides training for one of the nation's best-paying and fastest-growing fields. Our ranking makes it easier to choose the right program for you.
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Skilled computer science professionals are in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer and information technology jobs are projected to increase by 13% between 2020 and 2030. Earning an online computer science degree can help set you up for lifelong success in this field.

After taking a look at our list of the top 10 online computer science degree programs, read on to learn more about common curriculum components, admission requirements, and career paths. Throughout this article, you will find additional links to financial aid and college planning resources.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Technology professionals are needed in just about every job market, and earning a bachelor's degree in computer science can provide you with the fundamental knowledge and skills required to pursue a variety of careers.

Popular employment options for graduates can be found in the areas of database administration and software development. Entry-level opportunities in these fields often pay well. As of May 2020, the median annual incomes for these positions were $98,860 and $110,140, respectively, according to the BLS.

Online Computer Science Degree Overview

An undergraduate computer science program explores various fundamental concepts through practical and theoretical approaches. Common subjects covered in a computer science curriculum include operating systems, algorithms, software, programming languages, and legal and ethical issues. Advanced mathematics courses, such as discrete mathematics, linear algebra, and calculus, provide vital complementary skills.

The overarching goal of a computer science degree is to graduate knowledgeable and skilled computer professionals. Alongside enhancing technical abilities, faculty strive to develop well-rounded individuals with a professional code of ethics, excellent communication skills, and a commitment to lifelong learning.

Graduates can apply their newfound knowledge to careers in web development, software development, information systems, database administration, and network engineering. Many bachelor's degree-holders in the field find work without needing to pursue a graduate degree. Read on to learn more about completing an online bachelor's program in computer science.

Popular Online Computer Science Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

2022 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Programs

Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1 Online Computer Science Programs Best of 2022

Oregon State University

  • Corvallis, OR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

OSU's bachelor's in computer science program emphasizes applied learning. The 180-credit program covers topics such as software engineering and programming fundamentals. An applied computer science option teaches students how to design intrusion-resistant systems.

Enrollees can choose a minor or a certificate in a specialization such as cybersecurity. Students complete a design project as the degree's capstone. Online learners pay the same tuition regardless of residency. Admission requires a high school or GED diploma. 

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $386
Out of State | $386

Credits to Graduate
180

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,846
Out-of-state
$29,445
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
31,719
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
#2 Online Computer Science Programs Best of 2022

Simmons University

  • Boston, MA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Simmons offers a 128-credit bachelor's in computer science degree for students with prior college credits. The program uses live face-to-face online classes. The major provides training in areas such as data structures and algorithms. 

Enrollees blend theoretical learning with hands-on experience. For instance, students may write software or design next-gen apps or systems. Learners can transfer up to 96 credits into the online bachelor's in computer science. Admission requires a high school or GED diploma.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $500
Out of State | $500

Credits to Graduate
128

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | Yes 
Program Accreditation | N/A

Average Tuition
In-state
$40,850
Out-of-state
$40,850
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
6,535
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
#3 Online Computer Science Programs Best of 2022

Lewis University

  • Romeoville, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Lewis offers accelerated bachelor's in computer science programs. Students complete 128 credits entirely online. The BA offers both traditional and accelerated formats. The BS only enrolls students with prior college credits. All enrollees complete core courses such as operating systems and object-oriented programming. The BS offers six concentrations, including artificial intelligence. 

Enrollees culminate the BA with a software systems or computer infrastructure capstone project. Eight-week sessions accommodate working students. Admission to the BS requires at least 30 semester hours and a minimum 2.0 GPA.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $610-$1,025
Out of State | $610-$1,025

Credits to Graduate
128

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

Average Tuition
In-state
$33,270
Out-of-state
$33,270
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
64%
Students Enrolled
6,359
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#4 Online Computer Science Programs Best of 2022

Colorado State University-Global Campus

  • Aurora, CO
  • 4 years
  • Online

CSU-Global's bachelor's in computer science program enrolls students with and without prior tech experience. The program aligns with certification requirements such as C++ certified associate programmer. Enrollees complete 120 credits that include general education coursework.

Students learn Java programming skills. They examine how to design and deploy information systems. Other training includes software engineering and database management. Learners can transfer up to 90 credits. Admission requires a high school or GED diploma. Transfer students submit all college transcripts.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $350
Out of State | $350

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,400
Out-of-state
$8,400
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
99%
Students Enrolled
12,670
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#5 Online Computer Science Programs Best of 2022

University of Illinois at Springfield

  • Springfield, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

UIS' bachelor's in computer science (CS) program provides a strong CS foundation and specialization options. The online program enrolls students with programming experience. Core courses cover topics such as software engineering and data structures.

Students choose a concentration in software engineering or systems security and information assurance. Each concentration requires a capstone project. Admission requires prerequisite coursework and a minimum 2.0 GPA. Applicants also need two semesters of Java programming experience.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $313
Out of State | $631

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,520
Out-of-state
$15,948
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
4,275
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

#6 Online Computer Science Programs Best of 2022

Regis University

  • Denver, CO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students can complete Regis' bachelor's in computer science in an accelerated time frame. The ABET-accredited program offers a fully online curriculum. Learners receive an introduction to programming. They learn software engineering, artificial intelligence, and distributed systems.

Enrollees can use elective credits to train in areas such as machine learning. Eight-week sessions accelerate degree completion. Students can transfer up to 66 credits. Admission requires a high school or GED diploma and all school transcripts. 

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $555
Out of State | $555

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | Yes 
Program Accreditation | Computing Accreditation Commission of Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET)

Average Tuition
In-state
$37,830
Out-of-state
$37,830
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
71%
Students Enrolled
6,908
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#7 Online Computer Science Programs Best of 2022

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Manchester, NH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

One of the nation's largest virtual colleges, SNHU offers a bachelor's in computer science. All students complete general education courses. Enrollees develop programming skills. They learn full-stack development and how to use software development and testing tools. 

Learners choose one of four concentrations. Options include data analysis and project management. Enrollees pay the same tuition regardless of residency. Transfer students need a minimum 2.0 GPA.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $320
Out of State | $320

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | N/A
Program Accreditation | N/A

Average Tuition
In-state
$30,756
Out-of-state
$30,756
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
113,514
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
#8 Online Computer Science Programs Best of 2022

Charleston Southern University

  • Charleston, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Charleston Southern offers a rigorous faith-based education. The school's bachelor's in computer science blends theoretical learning and hands-on experience. Students complete a liberal arts core that includes math and science courses. The major explores subjects such as data structure analysis and database management. 

All enrollees learn the various aspects of computer architecture. They engage in extracurricular activity with organizations such as the cybersecurity club. Students culminate the degree with a major project. Admission requires a high school or GED diploma.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $515
Out of State | $515

Credits to Graduate
125-129

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Computing Accreditation Commission of Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET)

Average Tuition
In-state
$26,000
Out-of-state
$26,000
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
50%
Students Enrolled
3,477
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#9 Online Computer Science Programs Best of 2022

City University of Seattle

  • Seattle, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

CityU offers a bachelor's in applied computing for working students. This degree provides significant hands-on experience. Learners receive preparation for certifications such as Cisco certified network associate.

The 180-credit bachelor's in computer science covers topics such as human-computer interaction and systems analysis and design. A course provides cybersecurity training. Enrollees can use up to 30 credits for specialized study. Students can complete the degree entirely online or in a hybrid format. Admission requires a high school or GED diploma.

100% Online or Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $390-$489
Out of State | $390-$489

Credits to Graduate
180

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,120
Out-of-state
$13,120
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,960
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
#10 Online Computer Science Programs Best of 2022

Western Governors University

  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • 4 years
  • Online

WGU specializes in virtual learning and competency-based education. Students can complete the bachelor's in computer science in just 23 months. Enrollees study web development and data management. Learners can pursue industry certifications at no extra cost.

Students move through courses based on competency and not seat time. They demonstrate competencies through tests, projects, and other assessments. An associate degree can significantly reduce the course load. Admission requires a high school or GED diploma and all school transcripts.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $3,625 per six-month term
Out of State | $3,625 per six-month term

Credits to Graduate
35 courses

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,380
Out-of-state
$6,380
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
136,139
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Degree Programs.

Types of Courses in Online Computer Science Programs

Programming Languages

In this class, students learn the basics of computer programming and programming languages. This course also covers industry regulations and best practices for developing computer programs. Students gain firsthand experience in coding.

Software Security

Software security courses teach students to secure their code and create computer software that meets industry standards for security testing protocols. Students also learn how to apply encryption and communicate securely.

Full-Stack Development

In this course, students can learn how to implement full-stack development, which refers to both front-end (client facing) and back-end (server side) development. This course uses programming language frameworks to create content in different formats.

Mobile Architecture

In this course, students develop user-friendly mobile applications. Learners then conduct multiple tests on their applications for functionality, security, and compatibility. Once students have tested their apps, they'll learn how to launch them.

Project Management

In project management classes, students learn basic management skills and business principles in a STEM environment. Instructors of these courses often assign team projects to help students build essential skills in communication, leadership, and collaboration.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Degree?

Career Outlook

Computer science is one of the most popular college majors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects computer and information technology occupations will experience 13% growth between 2020 and 2030 — faster than the average across all occupations.

The median annual salary for all computer and information technology careers was $91,250 in May 2020. This rate is much higher than the median annual wage of $41,950 for all occupations during the same period. A computer science degree allows graduates to find careers in many industries, including tech, healthcare, and business.

Readers should note that career and salary potential may differ depending on the location, experience, and education. Salary may also change depending on what industry graduates join.

See where a bachelor's degree in computer science can take you. Learn more about computer science careers.

Graduate Programs

In general, a bachelor's degree in computer science is required to pursue a graduate-level degree. A bachelor's degree program can give students the essential knowledge and skills necessary to move on to a graduate or doctoral program.

Many computer science careers only require a bachelor's degree. However, many professionals in this field still pursue a master's degree or higher. A graduate-level degree can open doors for greater career and salary opportunities than a bachelor's degree.

Graduates with an online bachelor's in computer science can pursue a master's degree in the same field or a similar field such as software engineering and cybersecurity.

Job Growth and Salary Outlook for Computer Science Graduates

Software Developer

Software developers create software programs, often working closely with customers to meet client specifications and needs. These professionals work through every step of the development process, including design and testing. Software developers also create updates for programs and inform customers when a program needs maintenance.

Median Annual Salary (May 2020): $110,140

Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts — also known as systems architects — examine existing computer systems and design methods of improving them. These professionals often work as part of a team. They consult with other members of an IT department to determine clients' needs and the best improvements for the computer systems.

Median Annual Salary (May 2020): $93,730

Web Developer and Digital Designer

Web developers and digital designers create websites. These professionals oversee all technical aspects of website design and may also create some content for the website, depending on the project. Web developers create code for the website, test its functionality, and ensure that website remains user-friendly.

Median Annual Salary (May 2020): $77,200

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Computer and information systems analysts — also known as IT managers — oversee all IT and computer-related activities within a company. These professionals often work as part of a team to meet the IT needs of a company on time and on budget. IT managers often work with both IT specialists and upper management.

Median Annual Salary (May 2020): $151,150

Computer Programmer

Computer programmers write and test code for computer programs and software. After a software developer creates a program, computer programmers turn those designs into instructions for the computer to follow. These professionals need a thorough knowledge of multiple computer programming languages. Computer programmers also update and expand existing programs.

Median Annual Salary (May 2020): $89,190

Computer Science Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Program?

Cost

According to EducationData.org, the average cost of one year at an in-state, four-year public institution was about $25,620 in 2021. In-state tuition cost roughly $9,580, and out-of-state tuition cost $27,440. Private university tuition cost $53,950 on average. When choosing a degree program, readers should also consider the cost of an online program versus the cost of an on-campus program.

Program Format

Online programs either run synchronously — at specific times and dates — or asynchronously, allowing students to customize their own schedules. Readers should also consider whether they wish to enroll full time or part time, which may allow them to work while in school. Accelerated programs require full-time attendance, but allow students to finish their degree faster.

Location

Enrolling in an online bachelor's in computer science allows students to attend a school out of state while remaining in their current location. However, students may want to consider attending an in-state college, particularly if the school offers in-state tuition to online students. Double check if there are any on-campus requirements for the programs you're applying to.

Accreditation

Accreditation proves that a college meets independent academic and professional standards. Regional accreditation is the most prestigious, followed by national accreditation. Readers can discover if a school and/or program has accreditation by searching the college's official website or contacting the admissions department. Applicants should strongly consider applying to an accredited school.

Student Support

Most online programs offer student services, including tutoring, career counseling, and mentoring opportunities. Some schools offer specific services for remote learners. Students may also find resources to help them obtain internships during the school year and the summer. Internships can help students find jobs after graduation.

Admission Requirements

The admissions process for online programs typically works the same way as for on-campus courses of study. Students usually submit application materials through an online portal — including an application form, standardized test scores, and letters of recommendation.

In addition to the application materials listed below, some programs may ask for resumes with any previous work experience.

Application

Many bachelor's in computer science programs require students to fill out an online application. College applications typically ask for personal information, including financial information that students must submit to determine the amount of financial aid they may receive. Colleges may provide a unique application or allow students to apply through an application portal like the Common App.

Test Scores

Some colleges require students to submit standardized test scores. In some instances, students may choose whether they submit SAT or ACT scores; sometimes, schools accept only one exam. Applicants should carefully examine each school's admission requirements, or contact the admissions department, to determine which standardized test scores they need.

Letters of Recommendation

Colleges typically ask for 1-3 letters of recommendation. These letters give schools insight into applicants' lives and abilities from people who know them well. Students typically ask teachers, coaches, and college counselors to write letters of recommendation for them. Students should avoid asking family members for recommendations.

Essays

Personal essays allow applicants to describe themselves and their goals. College admission essays are typically short. Students should include stories of personal growth or accomplishments. Admissions departments typically enjoy essays that show creativity and bring something original to the table.

Official Transcripts

Most schools require students to submit official transcripts. First-year applicants must submit their high school transcripts. Transfer students will need to submit all previous college transcripts. Transfer credit policies differ depending on the university, but most colleges accept some transfer credits as long as they meet the program requirements.

Explore BestColleges' Diversity in STEM resources

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Computer Science Programs

Is a bachelor's in computer science worth it?

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Yes, an online bachelor's in computer science is worth it for readers interested in pursuing tech jobs. Many jobs in IT, including entry-level positions, require applicants to possess at least a bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree program can provide students with foundational and practical knowledge needed for a full-time position, such as mastery of coding languages and software design.

Readers should always research the educational requirements of specific careers, as needs may vary depending on the job title and location of a company. In general, professionals with a bachelor's degree earn more than their counterparts with an associate degree or coding certificate.

What can I do with a bachelor's in computer science?

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A bachelor's in computer science can open the door to many careers in fields like IT, business, healthcare, and government. Almost every industry requires computer science professionals to create and maintain computer systems and websites. Graduates can find careers as software developers and computer and information systems analysts.

A bachelor's degree can also enable graduates to pursue independent ventures as consultants and app developers. Depending on the career, professionals in this field may work alone or as part of a team -- whichever they prefer. Some IT professionals may even have a choice to work from home or in a more traditional office setting.

Are computer science majors in demand?

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The BLS projects that computer and information technology professions will grow by 13% between 2020 and 2030. This increase is faster than the average growth rate for all occupations over the same period. This means that computer science careers will be in demand throughout the next decade, as organizations seek to expand their digital footprint and create more efficient computer systems.

Readers should note that career availability can vary based on location. Aspiring computer science professionals should research their chosen career carefully, making sure to check availability by area. In some cases, readers may want to consider relocating to increase their chances of landing a position they want.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in computer science?

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The BLS found that the median annual salary for computer and information technology careers was $91,250 in May 2020. During the same period, the median annual wage for all careers reached $41,950. In many cases, IT professionals earn a higher annual wage than professionals in other fields.

Readers should note that salary potential varies depending on the specific career and the location of the job. Other factors may also affect salary, such as the professional's level of education and their level of experience. For example, an employee with a bachelor's degree will likely earn more than their counterpart with an associate degree.

What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in computer science?

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According to the BLS, computer network architects earned a median annual salary of $116,780 in May 2020. Software developers earned $110,140 during the same timeframe. Information security analysts, database administrators, and computer systems analysts also earn high wages.

No level of compensation is ever guaranteed. Readers may find different salary offers depending on the company and location. In general, places where IT work is more competitive offer higher salary rates.

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BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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