Fastest Online Computer Science Programs of 2022

An online bachelor's in computer science doesn't take years to finish. Students can graduate from flexible accelerated programs in under two years.

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by Doug Wintemute

Published July 7, 2022

Edited by Amelia Buckley
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Accelerated degree programs make it possible for students to complete their studies in less time than standard programs. Students may complete accelerated bachelor's programs in about 2-3 years.

While degree-completion programs offer similarly reduced completion times, accelerated degrees differ in that they do not require transfer credits. Accelerated programs also tend to cost the same as standard programs, charging an average of $9,349 in public schools and $32,769 in private schools in 2019-20, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

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Ready to start your journey?

This page highlights accelerated degrees in computer science, including what prospective students can expect from the program and possible careers. You can also find a ranking of the fastest online computer science degree from the top online schools.

How Fast Can I Get an Online Bachelor's in Computer Science?

While accelerated bachelor's in computer science programs vary, students will find many programs with 2-3 year completion times. Just like standard programs, these accelerated programs feature 120 credits or about 40 three-credit courses.

Rather than running courses in 14 to 16-week sessions, accelerated programs feature condensed sessions of about 7-8 weeks. Because of this, accelerated degree students need to commit about twice the amount of time to their studies as traditional students.

While standard programs require about nine hours of classes and studies per three-credit course each week, accelerated programs can double that requirement.

What Can I Expect From an Accelerated Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Program?

Many students pursue computer science degrees, including analytical, logical, and highly technical learners. Students interested in developing technical solutions and working with emerging technologies may be drawn to the field. But, an accelerated degree in computer science appeals specifically to students who can manage heavy workloads and want to get into the workforce quickly.

Learners should weigh the pros and cons of accelerated degrees and understand the academic and scheduling demands. Schools may offer accelerated computer science degrees as a BA or a BS. These degree types differ in their electives and focus with BA programs providing more interdisciplinary studies and BS programs more technical training.

An online bachelor's degree in computer science typically includes applied training, including project-based assignments and lab work. Many programs feature several concentrations, giving students the chance to focus their studies in a certain area. These tracks might include cybersecurity, data science, or software development.

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Popular Online Computer Science Programs

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

What Courses Will I Take in an Accelerated Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Program?

Operating Systems

In this course, students learn about the different types of operating systems, including their functions and interfaces. Learners study system design and development and computing resource management.

Introduction to Programming

Students in this course learn about the major programming languages, including how to write code, execute programs, and solve coding problems. Depending on the course, students may look at Java, Python, C#, and other popular languages.

Networks and Security

This course examines security for computer networks and systems. Students study the types and functions of firewalls, wireless network security programs, and virtual private networks. They also learn the major standards and protocols in security.

Machine Learning

In this course, students look at the foundations of machine learning and statistical pattern recognition. They may work with various models and neural networks and study the leading applications in robotics, data processing, and speech recognition.

Data Analytics

Students in this course learn how to collect and analyze data for various purposes and applications. Computer science students study advanced data structures and the methods for manipulating and applying these structures.

What Are Admission Requirements for an Accelerated Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Program?

The typical admission requirements for a bachelor's in computer science include a high school diploma or a GED certificate. Competitive or challenging programs, such as an accelerated program, may require a GPA minimum and computer science prerequisites.

An online bachelor's in computer science usually has the same admission and tech requirements as on-campus programs.

Application

Undergraduate applications have many components, including the most common items listed below. Prospective students can upload their information and materials to their school's online portal or submit their applications to several schools at once using a college application system.

Test Scores

When applying to schools without test waivers, prospective students need to submit scores from college entrance exams, such as the SAT or ACT. These results provide schools with additional information about the applicant's academic capabilities. Competitive schools and programs may require applicants to meet score minimums for entry.

Letters of Recommendation

According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling survey, admissions officers ranked letters of recommendation as one of the most useful college application components. These letters usually come from teachers, employers, and school counselors, discussing the student's college readiness and what makes them prepared for the degree.

Essays

Depending on the prompt or instructions, application essays might provide schools with personal information about prospective students, including academic and career interests or writing and critical-thinking abilities. Schools may post their own questions and prompts or allow applicants to choose their own.

Official Transcripts

Prospective students need to submit transcripts to schools as proof of their high school completion and GPA. Transcripts provide details on the courses taken, which can be helpful when programs have mandatory prerequisites as part of the admission requirements. Transcripts also help schools assign credits to transfer students.

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

Career Outlook

An accelerated degree in computer science can help graduates pursue many career opportunities in the computer and information technology sector. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 13% growth for computer and information technology occupations between 2020 and 2030, working out to more than 650,000 new jobs. This is much higher than the average 8% growth for all other occupations.

Computer science professionals also enjoy considerably high wages. They earned median annual wages of $97,430 in May 2021, more than twice the median annual wage for all occupations. In addition to the considerable growth and earning potential, graduates from this popular college major can pursue various technology careers.

Find out possible job opportunities with a bachelor's in computer science. Learn more about computer science careers

Career Paths

Information Security Analysts

Information security analysts help organizations secure their systems and networks, looking for vulnerabilities. They update firewalls and encrypt data, monitor for suspicious activity, and investigate any attacks or threats. Security analysts also provide reports on their assessments and suggestions for improvements and backups.

Median Annual Salary: $102,600

Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts examine organizations' computer systems and operations to improve them and make them more efficient. These professionals may work with management to understand their goals and needs, review finances and budgets, and design new processes and functions to meet organizational demands.

Median Annual Salary: $99,270

Computer Programmers

Computer programmers write the code so computer applications and programs function as designed. Programmers collaborate with other programmers and developers to create functional code and solve problems. These professionals may specialize in one or more programming languages.

Median Annual Salary: $93,000

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

These administrators manage the daily operations of an organization's systems and networks, ensuring they function smoothly and are secure. Administrators also provide support and training to help people use the systems and networks to their full potential. Tasks may include upgrading the systems, installing new programs and applications, and troubleshooting and maintenance.

Median Annual Salary: $80,600

Web Developers and Digital Designers

Web developers and designers create websites and applications based on traffic needs and goals. They may take care of the technical aspects, integrate content, and ensure the interface and functionality appeals to users. Developers and designers handle programming, troubleshooting, and upgrades when necessary.

Median Annual Salary: $77,200

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

Continuing Education

While graduates with a bachelor's in computer science typically enter the workforce after graduation, they can continue their education in various ways. The most direct path is to pursue a master's in computer science or a master's in information technology. These degrees might lead to more management opportunities.

Graduates can also pursue a master's degree in a specialized field, such as a master's in computer forensics or a master's in web development. The information technology field also offers many graduate certificates and industry certifications — credentials that professionals can use to specialize or advance their careers.

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

Cost

When evaluating school and program costs, prospective students may need to look at several factors, such as comparing online and on-campus costs. They might also compare private and public school tuition and in-state vs. out-of-state rates. Accelerated programs may not have different tuition rates, but they can have an impact on a student's income since it may be harder for students to work while in school.

Program Format

Finding the ideal program format requires students to choose between synchronous and asynchronous studies and full-time and part-time course loads to see works for them. Accelerated bachelor's degrees tend to have more limited choices for students. For example, these programs may only offer full-time, intensive schedules.

Location

When deciding between online and on-campus programs, all students should consider location. Online learners may want to live within commuting distance to their school if the program has some on-campus requirements. The school's location might even affect the tuition rate.

Accreditation

Regardless of what school they choose or where, prospective students must ensure their online school is accredited. Attending an unaccredited school can negatively impact financial aid, future employment, and continuing education opportunities. Programmatic accreditation for computer science typically comes from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

Student Support

Student services accommodate all types of students. Prospective learners in an accelerated online bachelor's in computer science should find out what online student services their school offers. Some resources include career services, library support, internships and practicums, or mentorship programs.

2022 Fastest Accredited Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Programs

Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team

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How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

The school programs listed in this ranking were selected due to their accelerated formats — each program can be completed in less than 4 years. These programs were then ranked based on their overall academic quality, affordability, and online offerings. To learn more about our different rankings, read our ranking methodology.

#1

Franklin University

School Information
Location Columbus, Ohio
Graduation Rate 28%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $398
Out of State | $398

Credits to Graduate
124

Program Information
N/A

In Franklin's bachelor's program in computer science, students establish a solid foundation in object-oriented design, computer architecture, coding and testing, web application development, and database management. They also learn high-level technical skills. This online accelerated degree program in computer science includes hands-on coursework, all taught by professors with practical experience.

Franklin allows students to transfer up to 94 credits into the program, which can help some students finish their degrees in under four years.

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#2

Lewis University

School Information
Location Romeoville, Illinois
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 67%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $610
Out of State | $610

Credits to Graduate
128

Program Information
N/A

The online bachelor's in computer science program at Lewis teaches skills relevant to today's working environment. Students learn multiple coding languages and how to design secure networks and program artificial intelligence. To conclude the program, students can complete a capstone project in software systems or computer infrastructure.

Professors provide real-world instruction in small class settings. Courses are eight weeks long, providing flexibility. Workplace experience in coding and programming software may count as credit toward the degree.

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#3

City University of Seattle

School Information
Location Seattle, Washington
Graduation Rate 33%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online, Hybrid, or On-Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $495
Out of State | $495

Credits to Graduate
180

Program Information
N/A

CityU offers an accelerated online bachelor's in applied computer science program with a projected completion time of two and a half years. This program's curriculum is based on certificate programs for Cisco Certified Network Associate, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, and Certified Information Systems Security Professional. 

This degree program offers students the chance to gain practical experience through lab work. Faculty are all skilled professionals currently working in the field. CityU's program includes 30 credits of specialized study, and internships can replace coursework.

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#4

Oregon State University

School Information
Location Corvallis, Oregon
Admission Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 67%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $403
Out of State | $403

Credits to Graduate
180

Program Information
N/A

This accelerated degree in computer science from OSU offers a specialization option in applied computer science that focuses on security issues. OSU computer science faculty are known worldwide for their expertise, research, and innovation. The three-term capstone course sequence allows students to gain experience in project management and engineering design. 

Program applicants may transfer credits toward the program. However, 45 of a student's last 75 credits must be completed at the university. Students have free access to tutoring, success coaching, and career guidance. 

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#5

University of Illinois at Springfield

School Information
Location Springfield, Illinois
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 54%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $365.75
Out of State | $365.75

Credits to Graduate
36

Program Information
N/A

Applicants to the UIS online computer science bachelor's program must have at least 30 hours of transfer credit with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. Online students take the same courses as those on campus. Graduates gain the skills to pursue advanced degrees or seek research and application-oriented positions.

Students can access a parallel processing cluster, a hands-on network laboratory, and a virtual server farm, which online learners use to understand class materials better. 

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#6

Charleston Southern University

School Information
Location Charleston, South Carolina
Admission Rate 50%
Graduation Rate 41%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Online | Scheduled Classes 

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

Credits to Graduate
125

Program Information
N/A

Students who pursue a bachelor's degree in computer science from CSU can complete the program in as few as 17-24 months. The school designed the program for individuals with associate degrees in approved fields like computer technology, telecommunications management, and engineering technology. Each degree is customized for individuals based on their previous coursework and experience. 

Students in the program may study topics like computer programming, networking, app design, and technical program management. Learners must complete a project that provides real-world, hands-on experience before graduation.

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#7

Concordia University-Saint Paul

School Information
Location Saint Paul, Minnesota
Admission Rate 98%
Graduation Rate 51%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $420
Out of State | $420

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
N/A

The online computer science bachelor's program at CSP prepares graduates for master's-level study and jobs in technology after seven semesters. Students learn to code with Java and understand modern web design, database design, and server-side development; electives are available in app development. Learners also complete capstone projects using Agile to gain software development experience.

Industry experts teach small classes to help everyone learn. Students can transfer up to 90 hours from accredited universities toward their degrees. To help students build their careers, CSP provides resume help and advice.

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#8

Saint Leo University

School Information
Location Saint Leo, Florida
Admission Rate 72%
Graduation Rate 49%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 72% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $410
Out of State | $410

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
N/A

Saint Leo's accelerated bachelor's degree program in computer science is designed for individuals who want to begin careers as application software developers, computer scientists, embedded systems developers, support programmers for scientific research departments, and system software developers. Students learn from professors with experience in high-level roles at companies and organizations like Texas Instruments, IBM, and the U.S. Air Force. 

Past learners have interned with notable companies like Verizon and Tech Data Corporation. Graduates have gone on to work for Bisk Technologies, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Carnival Cruise Line.

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#9

Southern New Hampshire University

School Information
Location Manchester, New Hampshire
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 44%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online| Self-Paced Classes 

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

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
N/A

SNHU's online bachelor's in computer science program is flexible and features six eight-week sessions with no scheduled meeting times. Concentrations are available in data analysis, project management for STEM, information security, and software engineering. 

During the program, students become familiar with the popular software and coding languages employers use, including Python, Java, and C++. Throughout their studies, learners have access to software development tools like Eclipse, OpenGL, Cucumber with Maven, and JUnit. Graduates leave the program with portfolios showcasing their work for future employers.

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#10

Austin Peay State University

School Information
Location Clarksville, Tennessee
Admission Rate 95%
Graduation Rate 43%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes and Scheduled Classes

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

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
N/A

APSU's bachelor's degree program in computer science has several concentrations, and four are available 100% online: general information systems, information assurance and security, web and database, and networking. All offer training for careers in computer science, and students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to work with computer systems and applications.

Classes are held year-round and prepare students for careers as systems analysts,  IT security architects, data architects, computer and information systems managers, and more. Tests can be taken online or at a local testing center. 

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Frequently Asked Questions About Fastest Online Computer Science Programs

Can I get a bachelor's degree in one year?

Yes. You can get a bachelor's degree in one year if you have the necessary transfer credits to reduce a four-year program down to one year. Schools may offer degree completion programs that only accept students with two or three years worth of transfer credits. Other programs allow degree-seekers to transfer in 90 credits for a 120-credit program.

Are accelerated degree classes worth it?

Yes. An accelerated degree can be valuable to students. With these programs, students can earn a full degree in the shortest amount of time possible. Accelerated programs may suit students who need to enter the workforce quickly.

In most cases, students do not pay more for accelerated training. They just need to have the schedule to accommodate the demanding workload. This is where the value of an online degree comes in handy because online learning can be more flexible and accessible for students.

Are accelerated bachelor's degrees as valuable as traditional degrees?

Yes. An accelerated degree in computer science is as valuable as a traditional degree. The credentials usually cost the same, cover the same material, and lead to the same careers. One program is more condensed and, therefore, more challenging than the other. Due to the shorter completion times, certain students may find the accelerated programs more valuable than standard programs.

Is an accelerated bachelor degree in computer science right for me?

An accelerated online bachelor's in computer science has a lot to offer, but it takes a specific kind of student to succeed in this type of program. While the training can be completed in half the time of traditional programs, the workloads can double.

Learners must manage their intensive course load and accommodate the study schedule as well. Students in accelerated programs may not take summers off. They typically juggle more classes than traditional students.

Are accelerated degree programs affordable?

The price of an accelerated degree in computer science depends on each school. In most cases, these programs cost the same as standard programs. Students who work may need to consider how their course load will affect their income.

In many cases, students can also save money on room and board in an online accelerated program. However, it may be very difficult for students to work or maintain other commitments while in accelerated programs.

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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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