As a computer scientist, you'll utilize both theoretical and practical approaches to design and use computers and computational systems. Professionals in this field are trained in a combination of research, experimentation, and engineering, which blend to form the basis of so much of our technology-driven society. Computer science careers are among the fastest-growing occupations in the nation, providing even entry-level job-seekers with a wealth of opportunities. Professionals with computer jobs earn an average of $82,860 a year and can expect to see 12% growth in employment by the year 2024. Pursuing an online computer science associate degree is the first step toward beginning your career in this diverse and exciting field.

What Are The Best Online Associate in Computer Science Programs?

Rank School Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Thomas Edison State University

Trenton, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 45%

Founded in 1972 in Trenton, New Jersey, TESU is a public institution with students from all 50 states and more than 60 countries around the world. The school offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in over 100 areas of study, including an associate in science in natural sciences and mathematics degree in computer science.

Associate graduates at TESU can transfer their credits directly into the school's bachelor of arts in computer science program. The 60-credit associate curriculum caters to students who want a robust liberal arts education that also provides a foundation in computer science. The online degree includes 44 credits of general education requirements and 16 credits of computer science elective courses. Coursework covers topics such as quantitative literacy, ethics, knowledge of human cultures, and diversity.

Applicants to the university must hold a high school diploma or GED and meet the minimum age requirement (21 years), unless they belong to the United States military, in which case they must be at least 18 years old. Applicants between the ages of 18 and 20 years who do not meet the military admissions criteria can gain special consideration for admission if they hold at least 24 credits earned from a regionally accredited university or college with a minimum 2.0 GPA.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Natural Sciences and Mathematics in Computer Science
Tuition: $7,519/year in-state; $9,967/year out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (609) 777-5680
Email: admissions@tesu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

South Texas College

McAllen, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 15%

South Texas College is a public community college located in the Rio Grande Valley region of southern Texas. The college holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and features a student body of around 31,000 individuals spread across six campuses. Learners can also pursue numerous online degrees, including an online computer science associate degree.

The school's online associate in computer science degree is designed for students planning to eventually pursue a bachelor's at South Texas College (or another four-year school) in computer science or computer software engineering. However, the program also prepares graduates for some entry-level positions in the computer science field.

The 62-credit curriculum focuses on general education studies and computer programming courses. Students should note that graduating from this program does not guarantee admission into a bachelor's program; depending on the school, some courses may not be transferable to a four-year degree plan. Learners should work with their advisers to ensure the transferability of courses.

Graduates of the program can pursue careers as software engineers, computer programmers, information security analysts, and computer operators. The curriculum focuses on foundational and specialized courses, covering topics such as computer organization, computer programming, programming fundamentals, and precalculus.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Computer Science
Tuition: $80/credit in-state; $200/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 62 credits
Program Length: 5 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (956) 872-8323
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

Wallace State Community College

Hanceville, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 40%

Wallace State was founded in Hanceville, Alabama, in 1966. Currently, the college enrolls around 6,000 students and offers more than 50 programs in technical, health, and other academic fields. The college maintains a partnership with Athens State University, allowing students to complete junior- and senior-level courses and earn a bachelor's degree. Boasting accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the college also features diverse online learning opportunities, including an associate in computer science that students can complete online.

The school's computer science program prepares graduates for employment in the field, emphasizing the small business computer environment. With four specialization to choose from, computer science students can tailor their program to match their career goals and personal interests. Specialization options include internet/networking technology, software support, cyber security/computer forensic technology, and programming.

The curriculum teaches students to coordinate, plan, and implement information security for organizations. After earning their degree, graduates can educate users about computer and internet security, monitor networks for security breaches, install security software, gather evidence and data for the prosecution of cybercrime, and respond to cyberattacks. The computer science program is offered entirely online and prepares graduates to work as computer programmers, computer security specialists, computer support specialists, and network administrators.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science
Available Concentrations: Cybersecurity/computer forensic technology; programming; software support; internet/networking technology
Tuition: $129/credit
Credit Requirements: 67 credits
Program Length: 5 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (256) 352-8104
Email: terry.ayers@wallacestate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

Ocean County College

Toms River, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 35%

A public community college located in Ocean County, New Jersey, OCC is spread across a main campus in Toms River, an education center in Manahawkin, and more than 20 off-campus sites throughout the county. Established in 1969, the two-year college offers numerous online programs, including a computer science associate degree.

This online associate of science in computer science program prepares learners to transfer to a four-year college to earn a bachelor of science in computer science or computer information systems. Following models provided by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society, the Association of Computing Machinery, and the Association for Information Systems, the curriculum ensures students can transfer nearly all of their associate-level credits to a four-year institution. After finishing this two-year degree, students can transfer to a college or university with junior status.

The curriculum trains students to effectively solve problems, develop applications of communications and computer technology, and write software by coordinating and composing different pieces of a program. Participants also learn to create algorithms to solve problems with the appropriate documentation. Applicants must hold a high school diploma (or GED equivalent) earned with a 2.0 minimum GPA and rank in the top half of their high school graduating class.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Computer Science
Credit Requirements: 64 credits
Program Length: 4 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (732) 255-0400
Email: gcohen@ocean.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

Weber State University

Ogden, UT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 33%

A public school in Ogden, Utah, WSU offers liberal arts, professional, and technical certificates, as well as associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the university features more than 250 programs in humanities, applied science and technology, science, visual arts, performing arts, education, business and economics, social and behavioral sciences, and health. Among its diverse program options, the university boasts several online degrees, including an online computer science associate degree.

The curriculum includes 40 credits of computer science courses, and 21-24 credit of support courses. Computer science courses cover topics such as fundamentals of programming, computational structures, and client-side web development. Meanwhile, supporting courses include physics for scientists and engineers, probability and statistics, and calculus.

The online associate of applied science in computer science at WSU holds programmatic accreditation from the Computing Commission of ABET. Students must earn a "C" or higher in all of their computer science courses in order to graduate. Additionally, students must earn a "C-" or higher in all of their required support courses and earn an overall GPA of 2.7 or higher. Learners must complete specific assessments as part of their overall requirements. Computer science students also meet with their departmental adviser regularly to stay on track.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science
Tuition: $4,892/year in-state; $14,679/year out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 63 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (801) 626-6000
Email: admissions@weber.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

Bucks County Community College

Newtown, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 17%

A two-year community college located just north of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Bucks was established in 1964. The college's main campus is located in Newtown, with additional sites in Perkasie, Bristol, and several satellite facilities around the county. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the college offers a variety of distance education programs, including an associate in computer science online.

Online computer science students at Bucks enjoy flexible coursework, and graduates are prepared to transfer into a four-year college or university and join a bachelor's program in computer science. The school's transfer services office can help learners determine which courses they can transfer to their target college, as well as what admissions criteria they must meet.

The program prepares learners for upper-division coursework in a bachelor's-level computer science program, paralleling the first two years of study at four-year colleges and universities. Graduates display proficiency in mathematics at a calculus level. They can also analyze problems within businesses and develop data management systems. Additionally, graduates can successfully engage in algorithm development, debugging and documentation, testing, program analysis, and coding.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Computer Science
Credit Requirements: 62 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (215) 968-8000
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

Central Texas College

Killeen, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 16%

Founded in 1965, CTC is a community college based in Killeen, Texas. Students can pursue a variety of associate programs, as well as more than 40 certificate options. The college also offers several online learning opportunities to students who require a more flexible program format, including an online computer science associate degree.

Online computer science students at CTC can pursue a general track or pathways in information technology or network systems; each options consists of 60 credits. Learners in the general track learn about topics like computer organization, programming fundamentals, psychology of adjustment, and fine arts appreciation. The information technology specialization features courses such as computer systems maintenance, interpersonal communication, and information technology security. Finally, individuals who opt for the network systems specialization cover topics like project management software, network directory infrastructure, network administration, and firewalls and network security.

With an open admissions policy, CTC encourages any student who graduated from an accredited high school or holds a GED to apply for admission. Adults, military personnel, and veterans older than 18 years of age who have not completed high school may gain admission if they can prove they are prepared for higher education instruction.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science
Available Concentrations: Information technology and network systems administrator
Tuition: $113/credit in-state; $235/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (254) 526-1696
Email: eaglesoncall@ctcd.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

St Charles Community College

Cottleville, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 19%

A public, two-year college in St. Charles County, Missouri, SCC was founded in 1986. Today, the college offers associate degrees and certificate programs in business, science, arts, and career and technical fields. SCC also provides community-based professional and personal development and workforce training. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, SCC offers a variety of online programs, including an online computer science associate degree.

The online associate of arts in computer science program at SCC prepares learners to transfer to a four-year institution and earn a bachelor's degree. The 64-credit curriculum can be completed in two years and features a suggested schedule to help students stay on track. During their first semester, participants complete 14-15 credits in courses such as English composition, calculus, and analytic geometry. The second semester adds another 14-15 credits, while the third semester features 16 credits in courses like oral communications and linear algebra. In their final semester, students complete 17-19 credits of coursework in more advanced courses.

Learners may also consider taking foreign language coursework. Many bachelor of arts degrees require students to complete at least two semesters of the same foreign language, although bachelor of science programs do not typically have foreign language requirements.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Arts in Computer Science Transfer Program
Tuition: $174/credit in-state; $231/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 64 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (636) 922-8594
Email: michelle_williams@stchas.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

Northwest Iowa Community College

Sheldon, IA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 65%

A public community college in Sheldon, Iowa, NCC was founded in 1966 and holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Featuring a 269-acre campus, NCC offers students arts and science transfer courses, vocational technical programs, and several online degree opportunities, such as an online computer science associate degree.

Online computer science graduates are prepared for entry-level careers in the computer science industry. Learners can also tailor the program to their specific areas of interest and career goals by pursuing a speciality in networking, web development/programming, or programming. Instruction combines hands-on project development with course lectures. Computer science courses develop skills to help graduates enter the internet technology and computer industry, while core courses ensure that students can continue their studies at four-year colleges or universities.

Students in the programming track learn about linear algorithms and object orientation; programming methods and technology; database use, structure, and programming; data structures and abstract data types; and networking essentials. In the networking track, students explore the fundamentals of information technology, such as vital networking concepts, network security, and the configuration and administration of major network and user operating systems. The web development option provides a comprehensive understanding of database use, structure, and programming; networking essentials; and scripting languages for creating highly interactive websites.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Computer Science
Available Concentrations: Programming; networking; web development/programming
Tuition: $184/credit
Credit Requirements: 67 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (712) 301-2573
Email: admissions@nwicc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

Bristol Community College

Fall River, MA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 21%

BCC is a two-year community college with a 65-acre suburban campus in Fall River, Massachusetts. Founded in 1985, the college offers more than 150 associate degrees and certificates. It also holds a partnership with Eastern Nazarene College, where students can transfer to earn a bachelor's degree. The school offers numerous online degree opportunities, including an associate in science in computer information systems, which prepares learners to transfer to a four-year school.

This online associate in computer science program requires students to complete 64-72 credits of coursework. Learners can individualize their program to meet the requirements of different four-year colleges and universities. Additionally, BCC offers many technical courses that are often unavailable at four-year institutions.

Students take an introductory computer science course as their first class, unless they hold prior computer experience or have completed computer courses in high school. Learners also take general coursework in topics like college writing and principles of accounting; elective courses such as ethical dimensions and global awareness; and quantitative/symbolic reasoning courses like fundamental business statistics or calculus with applications.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Computer Information Systems Transfer
Available Concentrations: Information systems
Tuition: $24/credit in-state; $230/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 64-72 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (508) 678-2811
Email: Priscilla.grocer@bristolcc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

Montgomery College

Rockville, MD Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 23%

With campuses in Rockville, Takoma Park/Silver Spring, and Germantown, Maryland, MC is a public community college that serves residents throughout the central region of the state. The college also features off-campus sites, such as a business training center located in Gaithersburg that is operated by the college's workforce development and continuing education division. Established in 1946, the school boasts an enrollment of nearly 60,000 students and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The college offers several online options for students who require flexible programming, including an AA in computer science and technologies.

Students can select from two transfer degree tracks, as well as a certificate option to prepare for careers in the information science and computer science fields. Learners who pursue the computer science concentration receive training in computer software development for technical and scientific applications. Coursework covers theoretical concepts related to computer science, as well as the fundamentals of structured development and design techniques in computer programming. Before entering the program, students must demonstrate college-level skills in mathematics, English, and elementary programming.

The transfer program prepares graduates to transfer into a four-year degree track in computer science; however, enrolling in the transfer program does not guarantee admission into a bachelor's program. Learners should work closely with an adviser to ensure they meet all of the necessary requirements.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Computer Science and Technologies
Tuition: $261/credit in-state; $362/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (240) 567-5000
Email: response@montgomerycollege.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

Anne Arundel Community College

Arnold, MD Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 20%

Established in 1961 in Arnold, Maryland, AACC was the first college in the state to earn a rating from the Association for the Advancement of Stability in Higher Education. The college offers courses for students of all ages, including a variety of gifted and talented, continuing education, jump start, kids in college, home school, weekend, and online courses. Among its many online opportunities, the college offers an online associate of science in computer science and software development.

AACC's online computer science program provides learners with a foundation in mathematics and computer science and keeps them up-to-date about advancements related to software development technologies and languages. AACC students use popular software development languages, learning how to make computers perform different tasks. Learners complete hands-on experiences and prepare to immediately enter the workforce after graduation, transfer to a four-year program, or pursue technical certification.

The computer science department offers an associate of science in computer science transfer degree option, which helps graduates transfer more easily to a four-year institution. Students in transfer programs work closely with advisers to ensure they meet admissions requirements and satisfy all requirements for their program of choice.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Computer Science Transfer
Available Concentrations: Computer science; information systems
Tuition: $8,320
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (410) 777-2761
Email: kbhall@aacc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

Allan Hancock College

Santa Maria, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 31%

Located in Santa Maria, California, AHC was founded in 1920 as a public community college. Featuring a diverse catalogue of almost 50 majors, students can earn degrees in subjects like wildland fire technology and accounting. Many programs also include sub-categories, each offering its own certificate or degree. The school's transfer center provides students with important information about many four-year colleges and universities, including admission requirements. Among the college's online opportunities is an online computer science associate degree.

Computer science students can take advantage of the school's transfer program, which prepares participants to transfer to a four-year college or university after they earn their associate degree. Students explore theoretical foundations of computation and information, as well as their application and implementation in computer systems. Coursework covers data structures, programming fundamentals, specific programming languages, computer architecture, and discrete mathematics.

Graduates of the program can produce elementary programming projects across a variety of languages. They also possess the ability to follow specific instructions; identify and correct errors in programming; and recall significant computer science vocabulary, theories, and concepts. Students must complete 19 units of coursework related to their major.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Computer Science
Tuition: $216/credit
Credit Requirements: 19 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (805) 922-6966
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Cowley County Community College

Arkansas City, KS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 37%

Located in Arkansas City, Kansas, Cowley County Community College also operates nearby locations in Wichita, Winfield, Wellington, and Mulvane. Earning accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, the school offers a variety of programs both on campus and online, including an online computer science associate degree. The online college features 30 degrees and certificates students can earn completely online. Coursework is delivered through an asynchronous delivery, allowing online students to complete coursework with greater flexibility than some traditional programs. The college features more than 600 different accredited online courses in a variety of major and degree areas. Featuring competitive tuition rates, Cowley offers financial assistance options and works with students to determine their budget.

The computer science program is a two-year transfer program, allowing students who complete the program to hold the equivalent of the first two years of study at a four-year university or college. The transfer option enables students to transfer introductory computer science course credits. Students must complete 65 credit hours of coursework, encompassing 56 credit hours of general education requirements focusing on basic skills, computer literacy, humanities, social sciences, science and math, and health and physical education. The remaining 15 credit hours comprise elective courses such as visual basic programming, Python programming, and Java programming. Applicants to the program must submit a completed admissions application and high school transcripts. The college does not require a minimum GPA or test scores for admission.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Computer Science
Tuition: $216/credit
Credit Requirements: 19 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (805) 922-6966
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

Lone Star College System

The Woodlands, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 12%

A public community college system serving the northern Houston, Texas area, the Lone Star College System is the biggest higher learning institution in the Houston area, with the fastest-growing college system in the country. Lone Star College System features headquarters in The Woodlands and Montgomery County. Established in 1973, the college offers a variety of programs to students including several online options such as an online computer science associate degree.

Students enrolled in the computer science associate program at Lone Star enjoy the benefits of the transfer structure. The program satisfies lower-division requirements for bachelor's degrees at four-year colleges in Texas. This academic transfer degree directly leads students to a bachelor of science degree in computer science. Taking two years to complete, students experience maximum flexibility in an entirely online format. During their first year of study, students complete 33 credits of coursework, covering foundational topics such as programming fundamentals, calculus, and general chemistry. In their second year, students complete an additional 27 credits of coursework, focusing on topics including computer organization, linear algebra, and federal government.

Students holding credits earned at Lone Star College can transfer to any public university or college in the state of Texas. Typically, students complete the two-year program first and then transfer to another institution to finish the remaining two years required to obtain a bachelor's degree. Students should meet with an academic adviser to choose the appropriate degree plan for their goals.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Computer Science
Tuition: $800/semester
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (832) 813-6500
Social Mmedia Sccounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

Troy University

Troy, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 39%

A comprehensive public university located in Troy, Alabama, Troy University was founded in 1887. Today, the university functions as the flagship university of the Troy University System. Boasting regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Troy University can award associate, bachelor's, master's, education specialist, and doctoral degrees. Recognizing the need for flexibility within education, Troy offers a variety of online opportunities including an online associate in computer science.

Students pursuing an associate degree from Troy University must complete 60 semester hours of coursework. Students must complete at least half of the program with traditional academic credits, excluding challenge exams and credit by correspondence. Students cannot earn more than 25% of a degree from portfolio-based credit. At least 25% of student credits must be completed in residence with Troy. Additionally, students must complete nine credits of residence at Troy in their major area of concentration.

Boasting an entirely online format, computer science students enjoy flexibility within their program. First-time freshman must hold a 2.0 minimum GPA and score 20 or higher on the ACT or 1030 or higher on the SAT. Conditional admission is granted to students holding a 2.5 minimum GPA and a 17-19 on the ACT or 910 on the SAT. Applicants 25 or older do not need to provide ACT or SAT scores for admission.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in General Education-Computer Science
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (800) 414-5756
Email: ask@troy.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

Lincoln Land Community College

Springfield, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 31%

A community college in Springfield, Illinois, Lincoln Land Community College boasts extended campuses in Jacksonville, Litchfield, Taylorville, and Beardstown. Less than a half mile from the University of Illinois at Springfield, the main campus features a variety of on-campus resources. LLCC is a comprehensive community college, dedicated to serving students of all ages and backgrounds. Serving 15 counties across 4,115 square miles, LLCC is the largest community college in Illinois by land mass. The college boasts a widespread variety of degrees and majors with several online opportunities such as a computer science associate degree online.

Distance education degrees at LLCC combine online courses with hybrid requirements such as lab sciences and public speaking. The online associate in applied science in computer systems require students to complete 60-62 credit hours of coursework. Students develop computer skills and knowledge, engaging in a curriculum that allows them to prepare for careers involving the use of computers as they identify and implement application packages for managerial functions and business. Students typically complete program requirements within two years, completing courses such as systems analysis; introduction to database; and introduction to ethics, security, and networking.

During their final semester, students must complete a networking internship or programming internship. Internship requirements allow students to gain valuable field experience they can include on their resume after graduation, often setting them apart from other candidates with comparable education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Computer Systems; AA in Computer Information Systems
Available Concentrations: Programming; CISCO; networking; security; computer science
Tuition: $259/credit in-state; $389/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60-62 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (217) 786-2200
Email: info@llcc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

Hazard Community and Technical College

Hazard, KY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 30%

Founded in 1968 and functioning as one of only 16 two-year open-admission community colleges within the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, HCTC has campuses in Jackson and Knott County. Boasting accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, HCTC offers a variety of associate and certificate programs. Students interested in pursuing careers or continued education in the computer science field can enroll in the college's online computer science associate degree.

HCTC's computer information technology program features a solid foundation of core courses, focusing on communication and problem-solving for professionals involved in computer network environments. Students enjoy the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to adapt technology to their individual needs. Students may tailor their degree to personal interests or career goals by pursuing a track in one of the following areas: computer science, information security, programming, Internet technologies, or network administration. Regardless of the track they choose, all students complete the same core courses, including a general education and technical courses. Technical coursework explores a variety of useful topics including program development, computer applications, networking, and system maintenance.

Graduates can pursue careers in numerous areas including information security, computer support, and informatics programming. Additionally, students can seek certification in areas such as digital forensics, Cisco networking, Microsoft network administration, social media, and web programming.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Computer and Information Technologies
Available Concentrations: Computer science; information security; programming; internet technologies; network administration
Tuition: $169/credit in-state; $592/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 64-68 credits
Program Length: 16 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (270) 487-3412
Email: David.frazier@kctcs.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19

Hawaii Pacific University

Honolulu, HI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

A nonsectarian, private university in Honolulu and Kaneohe, Hawaii Pacific University functions as the largest private university in the central Pacific. The university boasts a diverse student body of nearly 5,000 students from about 65 different countries. Founded in 1965, HPU features military campus programs, operating full-service campuses on O'ahu's US military bases: Camp H. M. Smith, Pearl Harbor, Tripler Army Medical Center, Hickam Air Force Base, Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and Schofield Barracks. Additionally, the university boasts online opportunities for students who require flexibility as they earn their degree, including a prestigious online computer science associate degree.

Hawaii Pacific University's online associate of science degree in computer science leads directly into the bachelor of science in computer science program. Students must complete 60 credit hours of coursework to graduate successfully.

Through military campus programs, students can earn a computer science degree entirely online. Students learn to apply key concepts of relations, functions, counting strategies, and sets in problem-solving. Students must complete foundational courses, general education common core courses, and overlapping general education and lower-division courses, covering topics such as digital literacy in a global society, foundations of programming, and discrete mathematics for computer science.

During the application process, admissions teams consider applicants' GPA, SAT or ACT scores, extracurricular activities, and academic interests. Along with their complete admissions application, students must also submit their resume or a personal statement/essay.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Computer Science
Tuition: $855/credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (808) 544-0200
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20

Montgomery County Community College

Blue Bell, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 21%

A public community college in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, Montgomery County Community College boasts two satellite campuses: one in Pottstown and the Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale. MCCC holds accreditation from the Commission of Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Featuring a variety of degree options, students at MCCC enjoy the opportunity to explore online programs such as the online computer science associate degree.

Students planning to transfer to a four-year institution majoring in computer science can pursue the computer science associate program, gaining a solid foundation through hands-on instruction, allowing students to develop skills and knowledge in state-of-the-art computer labs. The program allows students to easily transfer to other schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Throughout their rigorous curriculum, students create solutions to quantitative problems by applying algorithm design, showcase the ability to communicate effectively in a technical, professional environment, and derive program solutions from using different testing techniques and data structures.

The 61-credit curriculum features an entirely online format, covering topics including computer information systems, computer architecture and organization, and database management systems. MCCC awards more than 500 scholarships each year to students.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Computer Science
Tuition: $288/credit
Credit Requirements: 61 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (215) 641-6551
Email: admissions@mc3.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21

Thomas Nelson Community College

Hampton, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 19%

A two-year college in Virginia, Thomas Nelson Community College features two campuses: one in James City County and another in Hampton. TNCC boasts education centers in Newport News and Williamsburg. Functioning as one of the 23 colleges within the Virginia Community College System, TNCC predominantly serves students living on the peninsula region of Hampton roads, but also welcomes students from other areas into its diverse online programs, including the college's associate in computer science online program.

Designed for students interested in gaining the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in entry-level technical science positions, this program also allows students to transfer into a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor's degree in a science-related field. During the two-year program, students must complete two two-semester science laboratory courses and additional courses of their choosing to explore science, computer science, or mathematics courses. The curriculum features a required guided independent research course that allows students to work one-on-one with professors to design a research project on a chosen topic.

The computer science program features foundational courses designed to prepare students for further studies in the field. Throughout their coursework, students learn to code and design software, study data structures and algorithms, and learn about computer architecture. The program features additional specializations in education and math education. Students can explore a variety of internship opportunities equipping them with valuable field experience.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Science With a Specialization in Computer Science
Tuition: $156/credit in-state; $333/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60-61 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (757) 825-2800
Email: admissions@tncc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22

Ivy Tech Community College

Indianapolis, IN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 16%

Encompassing more than 40 locations, Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's community college system. Ivy Tech serves approximately 200,000 students each year. Holding accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, the college features various online programs, allowing students interested in computers and science to pursue an online associate degree in computer science.

Ivy Tech's online program allows students to explore widespread topics including understanding and implementing properties of algorithms, discussing the social content of computing, the evolution and history of machines, and the code of ethics. Graduates can transfer to a four-year institution with ease through the Transfer as a Junior program, enabling students to enter their four-year program holding junior status. Students do need to gain admission to the four-year institution they intend on transferring to and should keep in mind that enrolling in the Transfer as a Junior program does not guarantee them admission to a bachelor's program.

Ivy Tech boasts a variety of four-year transfer partnerships and students can work with transfer advocates to learn more information about the transfer opportunities available to them. The 60-credit curriculum consists of four semesters of coursework, typically taking students two years to complete. Throughout the program, students enjoy the opportunity to follow a suggested course sequence, keeping them on track to finish the program at the standard two-year timeframe.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Computer Science
Tuition: $141/credit in-state; $165/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.6 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT, PSAT, or ACT

Contact
Phone: (812) 372-9925
Email: Columbus-eec@ivytech.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23

Park University

Parkville, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 23%

Founded in 1875, Park University is a private college located in Parkville, Missouri. Park University's graduate school in Kansas City offers a variety of master's degrees across its 41 campuses in 22 states (including three in the Kansas City area). Most satellite campuses for the university are near or on U.S. military bases, sharing quarters with other organizations and businesses. Currently, the 800-acre main campus is home to nearly 2,000 students from all 50 states and 106 countries. At Park University, students enjoy flexible options with a variety of online programs including an online computer science associate degree.

Park University's online information and computer science program prepares students to pursue a range of careers after graduation, including database analysts, applications programmers, web programmers, and software engineers. Associate degree students enjoy an entirely online format with 29-30 credit hours of coursework. The curriculum comprises 24 credit hours of core courses, including computer networking, managing information systems, and basic concepts of statistics. Students also must complete 5-6 credits of elective coursework. The associate program acts as a viable track to pursue a bachelor's degree in computer science after completing the program requirements. The curriculum focuses on post-graduation career skills, allowing students to study the practical applications of information systems and networks. In an effort to keep students on pace with the constantly changing field, the program is updated regularly, always allowing students to learn about the most current web-based technologies and programming languages.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Information and Computer Science
Tuition: $399/credit
Credit Requirements: 29-30 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (888) 319-9522
Email: onlineadmissions@park.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24

Georgia Military College

Martinez, GA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 25%

A military-focused higher learning institution, Georgia Military College is based in Milledgeville, Georgia. GMC is divided into a military junior college program, a junior college, a high school, and a middle school. Originally known as Middle Georgia Military and Agricultural College, the school adopted its current name in 1900. The main facility at GMC rests within the restored Georgia capitol that functioned as the seat of government for Georgia from 1807 until 1868. Featuring seven campuses, five extension campuses, and an online campus, the college serves about 14,000 students across the state as one of only four military junior colleges participating in the U.S. Army's Early Commissioning Program. Students who graduate from the military-oriented, two-year curriculum earn officer's commission in the U.S. Army. Among the online opportunities at GMC, students can pursue an online computer science associate degree.

The associate of science in computer science program educates students with a basic command of programming and web design knowledge and skills, allowing them to make decisions of the marketplace to contribute to the communities, organizations, and professions they belong to. Graduates of the program can develop and design an object-oriented program using the Java Swing framework as a graphical user interface. They can also understand other frameworks like Java and Python. Graduates can pursue employment or pursue a bachelor's degree in computer science. Boasting affordable tuition, computer science associate students typically pay around $14,112 for their total program cost.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Computer Science
Tuition: $14,112
Credit Requirements: 90-94 credits

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (478) 387-4900
Email: csimonavice@gmc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

25

Northwest Florida State College

Niceville, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 39%

A public college located in Niceville, Florida, Northwest Florida State College belongs to the Florida College System. Founded in 1963, the college was temporarily situated in Valparaiso, and the permanent Niceville campus began serving students in 1969. In 2000, the college opened a charter school called the Collegiate High School at Northwest Florida State College. Today, students can pursue a variety of online opportunities at NWFSC including an online computer science associate degree.

The associate of science in computer science and information technology degree provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to immediately enter the job market after graduation. Students learn to maintain and set up inventory and customer databases for companies and provide technical assistance, including computer repair and software installation. They also learn to design web pages, manage websites, and handle microcomputer applications.

Students can explore five areas of emphasis within their program and can tailor their program to fit personal interests and career goals. Students specialize their degree in network systems technology, computer programming and analysis, or cybersecurity. The two-year program comprises 60 credits, which cover topics like data mining, database security, routing protocols and concepts, and computer basics. Students also enjoy the opportunity to pursue computer engineering internships, gaining field experience to include on their resume after graduation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Arts in Computer and Information Science
Available Concentrations: Computer programming and analysis; cybersecurity; network systems technology
Tuition: $1,662/semester in-state; $5,817/semester out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (850) 729-5369
Email: online@nwfsc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

What Will I Learn in an Online Computer Science Program?

Each school that offers an associate degree in computer science has its own curriculum, although associate-level coursework typically covers broad topics that are designed to prepare graduates for entry-level employment or to pursue a bachelor's degree. Generally, computer science associate degree courses provide an introduction to programming languages, tech applications, and other multimedia tools. Below are a few of the most common courses that students take while pursuing an online computer science associate degree.

  • Introduction to Computer Applications: In this course, students learn the basics of folder and file navigation and manipulation. They also gain a broad overview of office productivity, word-processing, and presentation skills.
  • Computer Networks: Computer networks courses are designed to introduce students to common types of networking technologies, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), protocols, topologies, transmission media, security, and the internet protocol suite (TCP-IP).
  • Programming Essentials: This course emphasizes programming fundamentals and problem-solving/logical reasoning skills by introducing students to structure logic, data, and diagramming and charting methods.

What Can I Do With an Associate Degree in Computer Science?

Earning an online computer science associate degree can prepare students for numerous entry-level jobs in the fields of computers and information technology. While some employers prefer a bachelor's degree, candidates with an associate degree in computer science typically meet minimum requirements for many web development, support, and programming careers. The industry also offers hundreds of other employment opportunities for candidates with advanced education and experience. In addition to possessing core computer science knowledge, job-seekers should also be creative, detail-oriented, and have excellent customer service skills. Below are some of the most common careers available to students who have earned their associate degree in computer science online.

Web Developer

Web developers have specialized skills in programming languages and multimedia publishing tools including HTML, JavaScript, and Flash. Some employers may prefer candidates with additional graphic design experience and/or field-specific certifications.

Computer Support Specialist

Support specialists are responsible for helping individuals and organizations resolve computer issues and use computer software and equipment. They may serve fellow IT professionals or assist non-IT employees within their organization.

Computer Programmer

The role of a computer programmer is to write and test code to ensure proper functionality of applications and software. They translate programs written by software developers and engineers into a language that computers understand.

EDUCATIONAL PATHS

While many employers in computer and information technology fields accept an associate degree as the minimum requirement for entry-level positions, transferring into a bachelor's program can be highly lucrative if you're interested in earning a higher salary and/or advancing your career into a senior position or more specialized industry. The highest possible average salary for a computer or network security services professional with an associate degree is relatively limited; however, graduates holding a bachelor's degree in computer science or technology can earn between $20,000 and $40,000 more per year.

Below, we've listed some of the bachelor's programs a student holding an associate degree in computer science is prepared to pursue.

  • Computer Science: A school may offer a bachelor's in computer science through its technology, business, or liberal arts department. Core coursework generally emphasizes advanced math skills in geometry, calculus, and physics, and graduates are prepared for tech careers in IT, healthcare, finance, and more.
  • Information Systems: A typical bachelor's program in information systems merges computer science and business fundamentals. Coursework incorporates data processing and hosting with computer system design and software publishing. Graduates are qualified for jobs as IT coordinators, managers, and IT personnel managers.
  • Computer Engineering: Computer engineering programs train students to create new hardware and software systems, providing advanced coursework in computer systems architecture and networking. Graduates are prepared to apply their skills in a variety of settings, including network management or design, robotics, and communications.

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Computer science is a high-profile field that continues to expand into new sectors of technology, offering many networking and career-building opportunities to its workforce through professional organizations. While some students overlook the opportunity to join professional associations, membership is typically affordable and can provide invaluable networking, leadership, and teambuilding benefits. Perks of computer science and technology professional organizations tend to include free webinars and subscriptions to member publications, reduced registration fees for conventions and seminars, and even job placement services. Some of the most prominent national organizations for computer science professionals are listed below.

Salary Outlook for Associate in Computer Science Graduates

The earnings of an individual working in the field of computer science are affected by a number of variables, from education to professional experience to additional certifications. For many graduates with an associate degree in computer science, how they begin their career and how much they earn depends on job availability and resources in their area. Like most fields, online computer science associate degrees prepare students for entry-level employment; individuals who gain additional education and experience have a better opportunity to advance in their careers and earn a more lucrative income. The following table outlines expected salaries for computer systems analysts, system administrators, and computer support specialists at various stages of their careers.

Computer Science Careers by Experience

Job Title Overall Median Salary Entry-Level Employees Mid-Career Employees Late-Career Employees
Computer Systems Analyst $66,118 $54,000 $69,000 $81,000
System Administrator, Computer/Network $59,443 $50,000 $58,000 $69,000
Computer Support Specialist $38,500 $37,000 $43,000 $52,000

Source: Payscale

Financing Your Online Associate in Computer Science Program

When it comes to financing your online computer science associate degree, the process begins with filling out the FAFSA form. This form is a requirement for most applications and is used to determine your eligibility for government-funded programs. Most schools and even some private lenders also look at your FAFSA in order to determine your eligibility for additional funding. With a variety of scholarships, loans, grants, and work-study awards available to students from nearly every demographic and cultural group, computer science students can find numerous opportunities for educational and career program funding that is specific to their field of study.

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 you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE 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, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

Rankings Archive

Best Online Associate in Computer Science of 2018
Ranking School Location
1 Bucks County Community College Newtown, PA
2 Lord Fairfax Community College Middletown, VA
3 Lone Star College System The Woodlands, TX
4 South Texas College McAllen, TX
5 Park University Parkville, MO
6 Northwest Iowa Community College Sheldon, IA
7 Ocean County College Toms River, NJ
8 Weber State University Ogden, UT
9 Trinity Valley Community College Athens, TX
10 Hawaii Pacific University Honolulu, HI
11 Central Texas College Killeen, TX
12 Montgomery County Community College Blue Bell, PA
13 Panola College Carthage, TX
14 Northern Essex Community College Haverhill, MA
15 Jamestown Community College Jamestown, NY
16 Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis, IN
17 Bristol Community College Fall River, MA
18 Tompkins Cortland Community College Dryden, NY
19 Jefferson State Community College Birmingham, AL
20 Rogers State University Claremore, OK
21 Iowa Western Community College Council Bluffs, IA
22 Ulster County Community College Stone Ridge, NY
23 Finger Lakes Community College Canandaigua, NY
24 Georgia Military College Milledgeville, GA
25 Franklin University Columbus, OH
Best Online Associate in Computer Science of 2017
Rank School Location
1 Bucks County Community College Newtown, PA
2 Lord Fairfax Community College Middletown, VA
3 Lone Star College System The Woodlands, TX
4 South Texas College McAllen, TX
5 Park University Parkville, MO
6 Northwest Iowa Community College Sheldon, IA
7 Ocean County College Toms River, NJ
8 Weber State University Ogden, UT
9 Trinity Valley Community College Athens, TX
10 Hawaii Pacific University Honolulu, HI
11 Central Texas College Killeen, TX
12 Montgomery County Community College Blue Bell, PA
13 Panola College Carthage, TX
14 Northern Essex Community College Haverhill, MA
15 Jamestown Community College Jamestown, NY
16 Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis, IN
17 Bristol Community College Fall River, MA
18 Tompkins Cortland Community College Dryden, NY
19 Jefferson State Community College Birmingham, AL
20 Rogers State University Claremore, OK
21 Iowa Western Community College Council Bluffs, IA
22 Ulster County Community College Stone Ridge, NY
23 Finger Lakes Community College Canandaigua, NY
24 Georgia Military College Milledgeville, GA
25 Franklin University Columbus, OH