Best Online Computer Science Degree Programs of 2021

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September 30, 2021

Edited by Andrew H. Rice
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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% from 2020-2030. 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.

What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:

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#1 Florida International University Miami, FL
#2 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
#3 University of Illinois at Springfield Springfield, IL
#4 Colorado State University Aurora, CO
#5 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
#6 Regis University Denver, CO
#7 DePaul University Chicago, IL
#8 Central Methodist University Fayette, MO
#9 Lewis University Romeoville, IL
#10 Davenport University Grand Rapids, MI
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Similar Computer Science Programs That Might Interest You

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

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.

2021 Best Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Programs

Florida International University View School Profile Miami, FL

A public university in Miami, FIU offers an online bachelor of arts in computer science. Less math and science heavy than a comparable bachelor of science degree, this program offers students the ability to combine their computer science knowledge with another discipline, such as digital media or economics. Students must take nine credits outside of the School of Computing and Information Sciences that apply to a minor or certificate in another field.

Prerequisites for the program include pre-calculus and statistics for business and economics. Core courses cover topics like fundamentals of computer systems, software engineering, and operating systems principles.

FIU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $289 per credit (in-state); $346 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Oregon State University View School Profile Corvallis, OR

Based in Corvallis, Oregon State offers an online bachelor's in computer science. Students obtain an advanced set of skills enabling them to thrive in any market and adapt to the evolving needs of businesses around the world. The program features an option in applied computer science, which allows students to build their own custom curriculum in the field of security.

The program consists of 180 quarter credits. Students must complete a three-term capstone sequence, which provides experience in engineering design and project management. For those looking to complete their degree as transfer students, the school requires students to complete at least 45 of their last 75 credits at Oregon State.

Oregon State is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $371 per quarter credit
  • Credit Requirements: 180 quarter credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 or higher preferred
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT scores optional

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

University of Illinois at Springfield View School Profile Springfield, IL

A public university founded in 1969, UIS offers an online bachelor's in computer science. The program provides a firm understanding of important skills and theories in the rapidly changing field of computing. Students may choose an emphasis in software engineering or systems security and information assurance. Courses include computer organization, programming languages, and introduction to networks.

To qualify for full admission into the program, students must complete two semesters of Java programming and one semester each of calculus, discrete or finite math, and statistics. Students may complete prerequisites at UIS, if needed.

UIS is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $362 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum 2.0
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT scores optional

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Colorado State University View School Profile Aurora, CO

A public university based in Greenwood Village, CSU Global offers an online bachelor's in computer science. The program prepares graduates for careers as software engineers, computational scientists, or systems analysts. Participants learn to solve complex organizational problems, design computer-based systems, and construct complex software systems.

The school allows students to transfer in up to 90 credits toward their degree. The 120-credit program consists of 31 credits of general education courses, 63 credits of core degree courses, and additional electives. Students may choose to customize their degree by specializing in a specific area, such as organizational leadership, project management, or marketing.

CSU Global is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $350 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online
  • Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.8 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: SAT (980 or higher) or ACT (18 or higher)

Contact the School

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Liberty University View School Profile Lynchburg, VA

A Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty offers an online bachelor of science in computational mathematics - computer science. Students can complete the program in about 3.5 years. Participants learn about computer structures, equations and algorithms, and using computer science in scientific research and technological development. Featured courses include advanced programming, studies in information security, and algorithms and data structures.

Transfer students may bring in up to 75% of their total credits from other institutions. Current and former military members and their spouses pay discounted tuition rates.

Liberty is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computational Mathematics - Computer Science
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $390 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 3.5 years
  • Format: Online
  • Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.0 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Regis University View School Profile Denver, CO

A Catholic university based in Denver, Colorado, Regis offers an accelerated online bachelor's in computer science, allowing students to complete a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in less time. Students study theory and practice, and emerge as skilled software developers. Courses include principles of programming languages, software engineering, and artificial intelligence.

The program's classes follow an eight-week format. Students may enter the program several times throughout the year in January, March, May, July, August, and October. Learners may transfer up to 66 credits towards the completion of their computer science degree.

Regis is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, this computer science program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $555 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

DePaul University View School Profile Chicago, IL

A Catholic research university in Chicago, Illinois, DePaul offers an online bachelor's in computer science for transfer students seeking to complete their degree. Learners must possess at least 45 quarter credits that are eligible for transfer, and they need to complete one semester of Java or C++ prior to admission. Students must also show a minimum GPA of 2.0 and remain in good standing with their previous school.

Courses include concepts of programming, distributed systems, and software testing. Program participants receive essential training in computing, information processing, and data storage. Online students may choose an emphasis in game systems or software development.

Depaul is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $655 per quarter credit
  • Credit Requirements: 192 quarter credits
  • Degree Completion Program: Yes
  • Program Length: 3 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.0 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Central Methodist University View School Profile Fayette, MO

Based in Fayette, Missouri, CMU offers an online BA or BS in computer science. Students build analytical and problem-solving skills as they learn how computer systems operate. Classes cover database technologies, programming languages, and hardware and software. Specifically, students work with SQL, Microsoft Access, HTML-CSS, C++, Java, Visual Basic, and other technologies.

Applicants should possess strong computer skills, along with analytical, communication, and problem-solving abilities. The major offers opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience through internships.

CMU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $25,000 per semester
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Lewis University View School Profile Romeoville, IL

A Catholic university in Romeoville, Illinois, Lewis offers an online bachelor of arts in computer science. Students learn skills in programming languages, networking, and data collection. Participants gain experience in building mobile apps, simulations, and artificial intelligence applications.

Core courses include discrete mathematics, object-orientated programming, and operating systems. The curriculum also culminates in a capstone sequence, which includes the option of carrying out a computer science internship. Students with previous coding and programming experience may qualify for a prior learning assessment that applies credit toward their degree, allowing them to graduate early.

Lewis is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $600 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 128 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Davenport University View School Profile Grand Rapids, MI

Located in Michigan, Davenport offers an online bachelor's in computer science. Online concentration options include artificial intelligence and computer theory and algorithms. Major courses cover topics like software engineering, operating systems, and biometric fundamentals.

Students can earn credit towards their degree if they possess CompTIA, Cisco, or Microsoft computer science certifications. The degree program also prepares students for C# certification. Applicants who qualify may apply for a full-tuition scholarship via the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service Program or the Cyber Scholarship Program.

Davenport is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $815 per credit (in-state); $544 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Point Park University View School Profile Pittsburgh, PA

A private university located in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Point Park offers an online bachelor of science in applied computer science. The program covers topics such as web development, data collection, and security. Concentrations include software development, big data and analytics, and networking and security.

Students may earn credits towards their degree based on a prior learning assessment or advanced standing/experiential learning credit programs. To graduate with a degree from Point Park, students must complete at least 30 credits at the university, though students may transfer up to 90 credits from other accredited schools.

Point Park is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $499 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 121 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.0 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Southern New Hampshire University View School Profile Manchester, NH

Based in Manchester, SNHU offers an online bachelor's in computer science. The program trains students to solve real-world problems in the realm of computer software design and development. Students in the program build a portfolio demonstrating their mastery of user experience principles and secure coding practices. Students learn Python, Java, and C++.

The program offers multiple concentration options, including data analysis, project management for STEM, information security, and software engineering. Degree-specific courses include full-stack development, software security, and mobile architecture and programming. Continuing education students may transfer up to 90 credits towards their degree. Students may also earn credit for IT certifications from Cisco, Oracle, and other professional organizations.

SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $320 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online
  • Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Baker College View School Profile Owosso, MI

Located in Michigan, Baker offers an online bachelor's in computer science with a concentration in computer programming. Students study programming languages, algorithms, artificial intelligence, and many other critical concepts. During their senior year, students complete a year-long project requiring 150 hours of work experience where they work to solve a real-world computing problem.

The computer science program consists of 120 credits, including courses such as computer operating systems and maintenance, computer architecture, and net-centric computing. Additional concentration courses include big data analytics and artificial intelligence.

Baker is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science With a Concentration in Computer Programming
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $415 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Saint Leo University View School Profile Saint Leo, FL

A Catholic university based in Florida, Saint Leo offers an online bachelor's in computer science. Students study real-life computing problems related to design, development, and support. Courses include computer systems, system administration, and artificial intelligence.

The computer science program prepares students for such careers as software engineer, computer programmer, and database administrator. Saint Leo is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $620 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Charleston Southern University View School Profile Charleston, SC

Located in Charleston, South Carolina, CSU offers an online bachelor of technology in computer science. This program combines a liberal arts education with professional courses to prepare graduates for advanced careers in computing.

Individuals entering this program must have an associate degree in an approved technical field, such as engineering technology, telecommunications management, or engineering technology. Applicants must also have completed at least one in-person programming course and a college-level algebra course prior to being admitted.

CSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $515 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 125 credits total
  • Degree Completion Program: Yes
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Format: Online
  • Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

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

An undergraduate computer science program explores various fundamental concepts through practical and theoretical approaches. Common subjects considered 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 uncover more information about completing an online bachelor's program in computer science.

Common Computer Science Degree Courses

Introduction to Computer Science

This course provides an overview of fundamental concepts in the field. Topics may include computer architecture, networking, program development, data organization, and object-oriented programming. Students gain familiarity with each concept in order to begin advanced study.

Discrete Mathematics

Often required as a prerequisite for more advanced classes, this course introduces students to basic logic, relations, functions, sets and set operations, and methods of proof. By completing coursework, students gain the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the rest of their program.

Algorithms and Data Structures

The study of algorithms and data structures may be separated into two courses or combined in a single class. Coursework covers the design and analysis of computer algorithms and complex data structures used within algorithms. Students learn to design and implement searching, sorting, and graphing algorithms.

Operating Systems

This survey course explores concepts and characteristics of contemporary operating systems. Topics may include memory management, process and inter-process communication, security, and multi-threading. Students gain a fundamental understanding of operating systems and learn to design and construct various components.

Software Engineering

An undergraduate-level software engineering course introduces students to the methods, strategies, and tools used in software development. Commonly covered concepts include requirements analysis and specifications, software security, validation, and maintenance. Some schools offer two separate courses focusing on front-end and back-end lifecycle processes.

Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Admission Requirements

Prior to beginning a bachelor's degree program, prospective students must have completed a high school-level education. Schools often have specific curriculum requirements for traditional high school students, homeschooled students, and students who have earned a GED certificate or finished a high school completion program.

Many college admission policies list a minimum high school GPA for prospective students. This may be a firm requirement or a preferred qualification, depending on the school. Minimum GPA requirements typically fall between 2.0 and 3.0. Prospective students with a GPA below the minimum requirement may receive conditional acceptance.

Many prospective undergraduates must supply ACT or SAT scores as part of their application packet. These standardized tests attempt to measure college readiness and the likelihood of a student's future success. Schools may or may not require specific minimum scores for unconditional admission.

While relatively uncommon, some online undergraduate computer science programs require certain prerequisites. The most common courses needed for admission include calculus, finite math, and/or statistics. Applicants who do not meet prerequisite requirements can typically enroll in corresponding courses at their prospective school.

Like prerequisite courses, work experience is an uncommon admission requirement for most undergraduate programs. However, certain schools do prefer applicants who can demonstrate evidence of relevant work or volunteer experience. This experience may allow students to earn prior-learning credits that can be applied to their degree plan.


Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Career Paths

An online computer science degree provides the technical and theoretical knowledge required to succeed in many technology careers. Two of the most in-demand positions pursued by graduates are software developer and information security analyst. Between 2020 and 2030, these positions are projected to grow by 22% and 33%, respectively, according to the BLS.

A bachelor's degree is sufficient for entry-level opportunities in these fields, with advancement opportunities available after a worker has gained experience. A graduate-level education is not necessarily required to secure upward mobility in the computer technology industry. Additionally, if desired, professionals can pursue various professional certifications related to topics like information security or cloud computing.


Related Careers

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Frequently Asked Questions About Online Computer Science Programs

What can you do with a computer science degree?

Earning an online bachelor's in computer science prepares graduates for many employment opportunities. Potential careers include computer and information systems manager, computer network architect, software developer, and information security analyst. The government, healthcare, insurance, and financial services industries are major employers of these graduates.

Is a computer science degree a BS or a BA?

Depending on the school, computer science students may be awarded a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree. Both pathways should provide adequate training for computer and IT careers, but general curriculum requirements vary. Namely, BS degrees tend to require more mathematics and science classes, while BA degrees require more writing and language classes.

How much is a degree in computer science?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average annual cost of in-state tuition and fees at four-year public universities was $9,349 during the 2019-20 academic year. The same cost at four-year private universities was more than $32,000. However, expenses may vary significantly from one institution to another. Scholarship and grant opportunities can help reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

How long does it take to get a degree in computer science?

Traditionally, completing a bachelor's degree requires four years of full-time study. Specific time commitments vary, however. Students can earn their degree faster by taking a larger course load, enrolling in summer classes, and/or joining an accelerated program. Alternatively, students can earn their degree over a longer period of time by finding a program with part-time scheduling options.

How much can you make with a degree in computer science?

The future income potential of a graduate with a bachelor's in computer science depends on their chosen career path, employer, years of work experience, and the cost of living in their geographic location. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for all computer and information science jobs in the United States was $91,250 (as of May 2020).

Learn how to maximize financial aid for online students with our scholarship guide. Find the best scholarships and grants to pay for your online degree. STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, and math, promises innovation, high salaries, long-term employment, and a competitive economy. Computer science is a highly lucrative and in-demand field. With a computer science degree, you can earn good money as an expert in computing and technology.

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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