Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Science Programs

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Computer science covers the mathematical and technological principles behind computing machinery. The field is neatly split into two subdivisions: theoretical computer science, which explores the theories behind concepts like coding and language programming, and applied computer science, which covers technical dimensions in the field, like engineering, cryptography, and network architecture.

In college, computer science students learn the fundamentals of computing hardware, software, and networks. Undergraduate programs typically require students to compile a portfolio of their best work and complete a capstone project prior to graduation, and many schools provide optional internship opportunities for interested students. Today, many students interested in computer science are choosing to earn their bachelor’s degree online. Web-based programs follow the same rigorous curriculum as classroom-based curriculums, and the asynchronous format used by most schools is ideal for students who must balance school with other commitments, like childcare or a part-time job.

Read on to learn more about what you’ll learn in a computer science program, and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to in the field upon graduation.

ARE ONLINE COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREES WORTH IT?

The BLS projects the computer and information technology industry to grow between 2014 and 2024, resulting in many new roles. A bachelor’s degree in computer science can also help professionals obtain a higher salary. Read more here.

HOW TO GET A COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE ONLINE?

Students must first be admitted, which usually requires them to submit SAT or ACT scores and meet a minimum GPA requirement. These programs usually require students to maintain a minimum GPA throughout all coursework and complete a capstone, among other requirements. For more accurate information, learners should check with their prospective school. Read more here.

CAN I GET A COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE ONLINE?

Computer science is a popular program, and many schools offer completely online computer science degrees. Read more here.

ARE ONLINE DEGREES IN COMPUTER SCIENCE USEFUL?

Professionals who hold a bachelor’s in computer science have a low unemployment rate and obtain higher earnings than those who hold an associate degree. Read more here.

HOW MANY CREDIT HOURS ARE IN ONLINE COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREES?

Most bachelor’s program require 120 credits of coursework, though this varies by program. For more accurate information, check with your prospective program. Read more here.

WILL AN ONLINE COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?

Computer science bachelor’s degree students develop a wealth of relevant skills and knowledge while they’re in school. They learn how to manage databases, use object-oriented programming and design techniques, write code sequences, and maintain different computing systems. Many students also become fluent in at least one major programming language, such as Java or C++. Many online programs also allow students to earn degree concentrations in computer science subfields, like programming and software engineering. Distance learners can also develop valuable industry experience by participating in an internship during their undergraduate studies.

WILL AN ONLINE COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE PROGRAM WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?

Online bachelor’s in computer science programs offer a flexible alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar education. Students can access lectures and other course materials, submit assignments, take exams, and communicate with faculty members on their own schedule. Current technology also allows them to study away from their home computer using a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or other device with Wi-Fi capabilities. For additional convenience, many of these programs are offered in an accelerated format, enabling students to graduate just two or three years.

WHAT JOBS CAN I GET WITH MY BACHELOR’S IN COMPUTER SCIENCE?

A bachelor’s degree is sufficient for entry-level positions in most branches of computer science. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some of the most popular positions in computer science include computer programmers, computer systems analysts, database administrators, and software and web developers.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE PROGRAMS?

Choosing a program is a very personal decision, and only you can properly evaluate whether a target school’s strengths match your educational needs and professional goals. Nonetheless, the following ranked list of schools should serve as a helpful starting point in your search for the best online bachelor’s in computer science programs in the United States. If you want to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and you value the flexibility inherent in distance education, be sure to take a look at these top colleges.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 University of Florida RANKING SCORE 87.16 COST GRADUATION RATE 87% LOCATION Gainesville, FL

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UF Online offers a 120-credit online BS in computer science program that blends liberal arts and the theoretical foundations of IT with their real-world applications. This program is the perfect choice for students who want to become highly-skilled computer scientists and have the option to work in their choice of several industries, including healthcare, finance, or security.

The online computer science degree at UF Online includes general education requirements in social and behavioral sciences and the humanities. The major core includes coursework on topics like computer organization, software engineering, programming, data structures and algorithms, and digital computer architecture. The program can be completed entirely online through Canvas and does not include residency requirements. Online courses are delivered asynchronously, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. Students are enroll in the program on either a full- or part-time basis.

Transfer students can transfer up to 60 credits towards their computer science online degree, as long as all courses were earned with a "C" grade or better. They must also have taken prerequisite coursework in geometry and calculus to be considered. Graduates are prepared to pursue a variety of high-paying careers, such as business intelligence analyst, computer programmer, and database administrator. UF Online is a Military Friendly school and offers active duty students tuition assistance, prior learning credits from military experiences, and other resources. This program has application deadlines in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. UF Online is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Department: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Program Name: Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $129/credit (in-state), $553/credit (out-of-state)

Delivery
Format: Online

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120

Program Length
Program start dates: Spring - January 8th ; summer - May 14 ; fall - August 22

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Spring - Oct 2nd ; summer - March 5 ; fall - June 11
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Department phone: (855) 99GATOR
Department email: [email protected]
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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2 Florida State University RANKING SCORE 68.41 COST GRADUATION RATE 80% LOCATION Tallahassee, FL

FSU offers a large selection of online undergraduate programs, including two online computer science programs: a bachelor's of arts and a bachelor's of science. Both degrees cover fundamentals of the field, including the structure of information networks and coding languages.

Each degree requires 120 credits and includes core classes such as computer organization, object-oriented programming, and theory and structures of databases. While students in each program customize their degree with electives, the BA allows a greater level of personalization and is ideal for students who want to study another field along with computer science. The comprehensive BS requires students to minor in mathematics or the physical sciences. FSU’s BS in computer science prepares students for graduate studies or entry-level careers in the field.

All requirements for these online computer science degrees can be completed remotely, and courses are mostly asynchronous. Students can access course materials anytime, but instructors may schedule quizzes, exams, and discussions. Online coursework is delivered through the Canvas learning management system.

Full-time students with no college experience typically complete FSU's computer science programs in four years. Florida residents receive discounted tuition rates. Online students have access to financial assistance, including Florida-based scholarships and private and institutional awards.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Tuition: $180.49/credit in-state; $686.04/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

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

Contact
Phone: (850) 644-4635
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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3 Oregon State University RANKING SCORE 67.05 COST GRADUATION RATE 63% LOCATION Corvallis, OR

OSU's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science offers an online BS in computer science postbaccalaureate program that immerses students in programming fundamentals, computer systems and networking, software engineering, mobile and web development, and other areas of expertise. This 60-credit program prepares students for careers such as programmers, software engineers, and computer analysts. The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, including software engineering, operating systems, data structures, web development, and software projects.

The program is offered entirely online with four tracks of varying length between one and four years. The one-year track is an intensive program and is intended for full-time students, while part-time students can enroll in either the two-, three, or four-year track. Many OSU students use this degree as a pathway into a graduate program. All courses in the program are developed and taught by OSU staff who are experts in their field.

All online students at OSU pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. Applicants to this online bachelor's in computer science must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.25 to be considered. They must also have completed prerequisite courses in algebra or calculus and statistics. Students can enter the program in the fall, winter, spring, or summer terms. Distance learners have access to a variety of support resources, including online tutoring and career and disability services. OSU has Military Friendly designation and offers a number of services such as military tuition assistance via the OSU Ecampus. The school is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


Program Overview
Department: School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Program Name: Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science
Accrediting body: NWCCU
Tuition: $470/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 60

Program Length
Program options: 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-year track options
Program length: 1-4 years
Program start dates: Fall - September ; winter - January ; spring - March, April ; summer - June

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - August 1 ; winter - November 1 ; spring - February 1 ; summer - May 1
GPA: Minimum 2.25

Contact
Department phone: (800) 667-1465
Department email: [email protected]
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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4 Regis University RANKING SCORE 66.70 COST GRADUATION RATE 68% LOCATION Denver, CO

Regis University is a private Jesuit institution that was founded in 1877 in Denver, Colorado. The school offers a 128- to 133-credit BS in computer science that teaches students how to become well-versed in computational solutions that can address complex socio-political, environmental, scientific, and business problems with an emphasis on social justice. The curriculum includes coursework on a variety of topics, such as computational foundations, data structures, computer technology, ethical leadership in computer science, artificial intelligence, and mobile computing. Students can choose from one of four concentrations: computer science, computer engineering, computer information systems, and IT.

Regis also offers a 152-credit combined bachelor's and master's degree through the College of Computer and Information Sciences that allows students to earn both degrees at the same time and at an accelerated pace. Students can also earn certificates in information system security or e-security. Applicants into this accredited online computer science degree must have a high school diploma, work experience, and transferrable credits from another accredited institution to be considered. Students can also earn prior learning credits for military experience, professional licenses, previous work experience, and more.

Online degree programs at Regis are offered using WorldClass, the university's learning management system. Through WorldClass, students can access courses, participate in discussion forums, take quizzes, and upload their assignments. Financing this online bachelor's in computer science at Regis is easy due to the school's reduced tuition rates for teachers and paraprofessionals. Regis also offers financial aid in the forms of military benefits and federal and private student loans. All online students at Regis pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. Regis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.


Program Overview
Department: College of Computer & Information Systems
Program Name: Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science
Available concentrations: Computer science, computer engineering, computer information systems, information technology
Accrediting body: ABET
Tuition: $490/credit

Delivery
Format: Online

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 128-133

Program Length
Program start dates: Fall - August 28 ; spring - January 15 ; summer - May 7

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Department phone: (800) 944-7667
Department email: [email protected]
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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5 University of Illinois at Springfield RANKING SCORE 65.80 COST GRADUATION RATE 50% LOCATION Springfield, IL

UIS emphasizes computer science and is the school's top undergraduate and graduate major in terms of enrollment. Distance learning is also important at UIS, with 50% of all students enrolling in at least one online class each term. The Computer Science Department at UIS offers a 120-credit BS in computer science as a degree completion program. The department has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.

The curriculum includes classes in computer science as well as the liberal arts, including oral communication and rhetoric. Coursework in the 36-credit major includes programming languages, computer organization, software engineering, discrete structures, and data structures and algorithms. There is also a software engineering capstone project that tasks students with studying the design and implementation of software with an emphasis on teamwork and technical communication skills. All major coursework must be completed at UIS. There are a number of prerequisite courses for admission into this online computer science degree including two semesters of Java programming, and one semester each of business calculus or calculus and statistics. Students can begin this online bachelor's in computer science in the fall and spring semesters.

UIS boasts a strong alumni network with members employed in state agencies, businesses, and government organizations. The school maintains a 15-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, which allows all students to receive individual attention from instructors. The UIS campus is home to Abraham Lincoln's Home National Historic Site. Applicants must have at least 30 semester hours of college-level transfer credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be considered. UIS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Department: Computer Science
Program Name: Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science
Accrediting body: CNSS
Tuition: $314/credit (in-state), $631/credit (out-of-state)

Delivery
Format: Online

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: 2 semesters of Java programming, 1 semester each of business calculus or calculus, discrete structures or discrete mathematics or finite mathematics, statistics
Credit requirements: 120

Program Length
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Fall - August 28 ; spring - January 16 ; summer - June 4

Admission Requirements
GPA: Minimum 2.0

Contact
Department phone: (217) 206-6770
Department email: [email protected]
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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6 Johns Hopkins University RANKING SCORE 65.74 COST GRADUATION RATE 92% LOCATION Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins offers intensive online computer science programs: a bachelor's of arts and a bachelor's of science. Johns Hopkins' programs combine theoretical knowledge with hands-on applications to prepare students for leadership positions in fields such as information security, software analytics, and computer-integrated surgery. Both programs are offered fully online and in a hybrid format, which integrates distance education with weeknight and weekend classes at the campus in Baltimore, Maryland.

The BA curriculum consists of 120 credits, and the BS comprises 126 credits. Each program track covers fundamental computer science topics, cutting-edge skills, and best practices. Unlike other computer science online degree programs, Johns Hopkins' programs offer numerous concentration areas. The 10 available subfields include computational biology, big data, video game design, and entrepreneurship and business computing. Online courses are delivered asynchronously, and most students earn their degree in four years.

Applicants must submit official transcripts and SAT and ACT scores. Though Johns Hopkins does not specify GPA requirements, the university is competitive and most undergraduate applicants hold a GPA of 3.9 or better. All online students pay the same per-credit tuition rate and have access to a personal academic coach to assist with course planning and registration.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Available concentrations: General Computer Science; Robotics; Natural Language Processing; Systems & Networking; Fundamentals of Computing; Informational Security; Computational Biology; Big Data; Software Engineering; Business Computing; Video Games
Tuition: $2,700/course
Credit requirements: 120 credits for BA; 126 credits for BS
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online and hybrid (with weeknights and weekend classes)
Instruction style: Asynchronous; asynchronous and synchronous for those pursuing the hybrid option

Admission Requirements
GPA: The average GPA of undergraduate applicants is 3.9
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (410) 516-8775
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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7 Thomas Edison State University RANKING SCORE 64.20 COST GRADUATION RATE 45% LOCATION Trenton, NJ

Established in 1972, TESU is one of the country's oldest higher education institutions created specifically for adult learners. The average age of TESU's student body is 35, and the school provides academic programming that caters to busy work and personal schedules. TESU's flexible online bachelor's of arts in computer science provides a broad liberal arts education while building computer science skills. Students develop skills in communication and cooperative work practices, which prepare them to advance their careers.

Students earning their computer science degree online complete all coursework asynchronously. The curriculum comprises 120 credits and covers topics such as data structures, operating systems, and computer architecture. Students complete 18 credits of guided electives, which they can use to pursue a specific course of study within the major. The program culminates in a capstone experience, during which students can pursue individual research and professional experience.

TESU welcomes working professionals and allows students to transfer up to 80 credits from community colleges and 117 credits from four-year institutions. Some transfer students earn their computer science degree in less than one year. Additionally, students can earn college credit for professional training, military experience, and testing. Applicants do not need to submit SAT or ACT scores, and TESU offers 12 start dates per year.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science
Tuition: $396/credit in-state and $499/credit out-of-state; $7,320 in-state and $9,820 for a comprehensive plan of up to 36 credits in 12 months
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: Not required

Contact
Phone: (609) 777-5680
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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8 Fort Hays State University RANKING SCORE 58.69 COST GRADUATION RATE 37% LOCATION Hays, KS

FHSU is a public university that was founded in 1902 in Hays, Kansas. Today, the school serves more than 6,000 students each year through the Virtual College, which offers more than 50 degrees. The school offers a 120-credit online degree in computer science that prepares students for IT roles such as software engineers, network administrators, and computer support specialists. The curriculum includes 39 credits of major coursework on subjects such as systems architecture, Java programming, systems engineering, and interactive systems design. Students can choose from two different tracks: a business track that includes courses on accounting, managerial finance, and marketing or a networking track with courses on internetworking, advanced LAN switching, and advanced routing.

Classes are delivered via Blackboard, CD-ROM, and DVD. Most online classes are offered asynchronously, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. There are also some synchronous courses that are delivered via internet protocol television. The school offers a virtual college online orientation for prospective students interesting in learning more about distance learning at FHSU. Distance learners have access to several support services, including tutoring personal advising, and tech support.

Applicants must provide transcripts from all previous institutions and freshman under 21 must submit ACT or SAT scores to be considered. Tuition for this computer science online degree is incredibly affordable and is among the lowest in the country. All online students at FHSU pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. FHSU has earned Military-Friendly designation five years in a row and offers a variety of resources for active duty personnel, including scholarships, academic advising, and career services. FHSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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Program Overview
Department: Virtual College
Program Name: Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science
Available concentrations: Business, networking
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $213/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous or synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120

Program Length
Program start dates: Fall - August 21 ; spring - January 16 ; summer - June 4

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - August 9 ; spring - December 1 ; summer - May 24
GPA: Minimum 2.0 (in-state), minimum 2.5 (out-of-state)
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Department phone: (785) 628-5811
Department email: [email protected] (Hongbiao Zeng, Professor)
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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9 National University RANKING SCORE 58.07 COST GRADUATION RATE 38% LOCATION La Jolla, CA

Located in San Diego, California, NU was founded as a school for veterans and has offered distance education classes for more than 20 years. The university offers a large number of online programs, including a BS in computer science that prepares students for entry-level work, career advancement, and graduate school. The curriculum develops both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Most students complete the degree in four years. NU offers graduates with a GPA of at least 3.0 admission to the accelerated master's in computer science program.

All online coursework is offered asynchronously. The degree requires 180 quarter units in classes including digital logic design, programming languages, and computer communication networks. Students complete a capstone experience comprising two research projects, during which students create their own program and examine the software development life cycle. The capstone involves group work, testing and documentation, and the presentation of results.

NU has no enrollment deadline; students can apply to the online computer science degree program and begin taking classes anytime. Applicants must hold a minimum 2.0 GPA and are not required to submit standardized test scores. All distance learners pay the same affordable tuition rate, and scholarships are available for transfer, military, and veteran students. Online students also can participate in on-campus organizations and initiatives.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Tuition: $362/quarter unit
Credit requirements: 180 quarter units
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (858) 309-3438
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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10 Concordia University-Saint Paul RANKING SCORE 57.78 COST GRADUATION RATE 52% LOCATION St. Paul, MN

CSP offers career-focused academic programs, including an online bachelor's in computer science. The comprehensive curriculum prepares students for careers and further education in the field by developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Coursework covers areas such as software design and user experience enhancement. More than 95% CSP computer science graduates receive job offers within one year of graduation.

During the 120-credit computer science online degree program, students learn and apply fundamental skills and theories of computer science. Coursework covers topics such as distributed system architecture, object-oriented programming, and computer architecture. Free electives allow students to pursue other interests or advanced classes in computer science. During a capstone project, students work with mentors to create an application and demonstrate their mastery of key techniques. Students present their work to an audience of peers, faculty, and industry professionals.

Transfer students who hold credits from one of CSP's partner schools receive priority admission and an automatic scholarship. Applicants must submit all official transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and a 300-word personal statement and must have at least a 2.0 GPA. Distance learners have access to library resources, academic advising, and career development.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Tuition: $420/credit
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

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

Contact
Phone: (1-888) 859-0641
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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11 Central Methodist University RANKING SCORE 57.27 COST GRADUATION RATE 45% LOCATION Fayette, MO

CMU has provided flexible baccalaureate programs since 1989. The university offers two online computer science programs: a bachelor's of arts and a bachelor's of science. The programs provide a comprehensive overview of the field and teach students to identify problems quickly, communicate persuasively, and enact solutions effectively. Graduates secure entry-level positions and pursue master’s degrees in computer science and related fields.

Both degrees require 124 credits in areas such as mobile application development, concepts of MIS, and computer architecture and operating systems. Students complete a capstone seminar and a senior thesis, during which they create their own application with the guidance of a faculty advisor. BA students are required to pursue a foreign language, while BS students must take two classes that develop analytical skills, such as research methods and computer applications in business.

Applicants must have at least a 2.5 GPA and a 1500 SAT score or 21 ACT score. Transfer applicants must have completed at least 60 credits with a 2.0 GPA. All online students pay the same per-credit tuition rate, regardless of residency. CMU awards nearly $12 million in scholarships each year, including stackable awards and transfer scholarships.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Tuition: $250/credit
Credit requirements: 124 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT (1500 minimum) or ACT (21 minimum)

Contact
Phone: (573) 777-5885
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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12 Florida Institute of Technology RANKING SCORE 57.16 COST GRADUATION RATE 45% LOCATION Melbourne, FL

Florida Tech was founded in 1958 to educate working professionals. Today, the university offers a myriad of online programs, including a bachelor's of science in computer information systems. Graduates pursue master's degrees and employment as database administrators and software developers.

A standout among online computer science programs, Florida Tech's degree requires 124 credits and focuses on programming languages. Students complete introductory coursework in areas such as accounting and network theory and design and upper-level classes in Java, C++, and advanced visual basics. The program includes an integrated business learning component; through guided electives and career development opportunities, students gain skills necessary to become business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Florida Tech does not require standardized test scores or a minimum GPA, and the university accepts transfer credits from all accredited U.S. institutions and certain schools abroad. The fully online courses are delivered asynchronously in eight-week sessions. All online students pay the same affordable tuition rate, regardless of residency. Distance learners have access to the same services and resources as on-campus students, including individual advising, online tutoring, and career services. Florida Tech's business partnerships create networking, internship, and professional opportunities for students.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems
Tuition: $510/credit
Credit requirements: 124 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: Not required

Contact
Phone: (855) 300-1469
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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13 California Baptist University RANKING SCORE 56.70 COST GRADUATION RATE 60% LOCATION Riverside, CA

Located in Riverside, CBU offers more than 40 online majors and concentrations, including a flexible and comprehensive bachelor's of science in computer information technology. The 120-credit program trains students in the key administrative and developmental skills needed to manage network infrastructures, databases, and cyber security apparatuses. Most students complete the program in four years. However, the accelerated degree completion option allows transfer students to earn the degree in as few as 16 months.

Online coursework is delivered asynchronously through Blackboard. Upper-division classes cover topics such as project management, web application development, and legal and ethical IT practices. Because required courses emphasize hands-on learning through cooperative work and projects, CBU does not require a capstone. Students use free electives to earn a minor or to pursue research and creative enterprises.

With three semesters per year and start dates every eight weeks, students can begin the online bachelor's in computer science program at their convenience. Online classes are taught by the same skilled instructors who teach on-campus courses, and professors hold dedicated online office hours. Each student is partnered with a career success coach to assist with skills development and the cultivation of a professional presence. Applicants must submit official transcripts and SAT or ACT scores and must have a 2.0 GPA. Though CBU welcomes all students, preference is given to transfer applicants with at least 24 previous credits.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Technology
Tuition: $566/credit
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years (or 16 months for degree completion candidates)

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT
Transfer credits: The program prefers that degree students transfer in a minimum of 24 credits from a previous college or university.

Contact
Phone: (951) 343-3900
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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14 California State University-Monterey Bay RANKING SCORE 56.36 COST GRADUATION RATE 55% LOCATION Seaside, CA

Cal State Monterey Bay enrolls approximately 8,000 students each year, many of whom are first-generation learners. The university provides flexible, affordable programs both at its campus and online. Among Cal State Monterey Bay's online undergraduate programs is a BS in computer science degree completion program. Designed with input from industry professionals, the curriculum is grounded in the application of theoretical knowledge to solve real-world challenges in the field.

Cal State Monterey Bay students completing their computer science degree online must have earned 60 of the 120 required credits from another institution. At least half of the transferred credits must have been earned with a C- or better. Major coursework covers topics such as graphics, multimedia programming, and the design and analysis of algorithms. As part of their senior experience, students complete a capstone project during which groups of five students design and implement a solution to an industry problem. The capstone is an opportunity to demonstrate skills and cooperate with peers.

All major courses are available online in an asynchronous format. Students set the pace for their learning, but most courses include weekly quizzes and assignments. Students can begin the program in the spring or fall and take a single eight-week class at a time. Students progress through the program in cohorts of no more than 35 and have opportunities to build relationships with instructors and peers.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science - Degree Completion
Tuition: $525/unit
Credit requirements: 120 units
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Transfer credits: 60 minimum credits

Contact
Phone: (831) 582-3000
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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15 University of Maryland-University College RANKING SCORE 55.68 COST GRADUATION RATE 10% LOCATION Adelphi, MD

UMUC offers a 120-credit BS in computer science degree that emphasizes programming, algorithm optimization, and the math and science in computing. The curriculum includes coursework on a variety of subjects, including data structures and analysis, operating systems, computer graphics, and programming languages such as Java, C++, and MATLAB. Past classroom projects include the development of a "virtual" stringed musical instrument with data fields to input notes and boolean fields for testing of the instrument’s performance and realistic 3D worlds that are populated with animated characters and special effects. This computer science degree online can help prepare students for the following certifications: Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert and Oracle Certified Java Programmer. This computer science online degree is also available as a hybrid program, which allows students to take some classes online and some at UMUC’s hybrid locations in Maryland or at a number of military bases across the nation.

Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be considered and ACT or SAT scores are not required. Prospective students who have at least 24 transferable credits from a regionally accredited institution can waive do not need to have a GED or high school diploma. Transfer students can apply up to 70 credits towards their degree. Online courses at UMUC are offered asynchronously, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace as long as they adhere to weekly deadlines. The school offers affordable tuition, and graduates from a Maryland community college can reduce their per-credit in-state tuition by $100 via the Completion Scholarship program. There are also more than 100 other scholarships and a full suite of financial aid options, including interest-free payment plans for qualifying students. UMUC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science
Accrediting body: MSCHE
Tuition: $289/credit (in-state), $499/credit (out-of-state)

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120

Program Length
Program start dates: Summer - May 22, June 5, June 19 ; fall - August 21, September 11, October 2, October 23 ; spring - January 9, January 30, February 20, March 13

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Summer - May 21, May 31, June 14 ; fall - August 16, September 6, September 27, October 18 ; spring - January 4, January 25, February 15, March 8

Contact
Department phone: (855) 655-UMUC
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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16 Troy University RANKING SCORE 53.69 COST GRADUATION RATE 37% LOCATION Troy, AL

Chartered in 1887 to train Alabama teachers, Troy is one of the oldest and most respected institutions in the state. The university's distance education programs include an online bachelor's in applied computer science. The program provides comprehensive knowledge and career-focused skills training to prepare students for careers as administrators, designers, and entrepreneurs.

The 120-credit degree includes major coursework in topics such as artificial intelligence, operating systems, and web-based software development. As a senior capstone experience, students take an advanced special topics course that focuses on a challenge facing the computer science industry. The program is available completely online or in a hybrid format, giving students the flexibility to pursue the degree on their schedule. Students work individually and on group projects, and distance learners can join the on-campus group for computer science majors and participate in discussions, seminars, and networking events.

Applicants to Troy’s online computer science degree program must submit transcripts and must have at least a 2.0 GPA and a 1030 SAT score or a 20 ACT score. Transfer students with at least 24 previous credits do not need to submit high school transcripts or test scores. All distance learners pay the same affordable per-credit tuition rate, regardless of state residency. Active military members and veterans receive discounted tuition and can earn credits for their training and experience.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science
Tuition: $338/credit
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous; asynchronous and synchronous for those pursuing the hybrid option

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT (1030 minimum) or ACT (20 minimum); students 25 or older exempt

Contact
Phone: (1-800) 414-5756
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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17 Old Dominion University RANKING SCORE 53.41 COST GRADUATION RATE 51% LOCATION Norfolk, VA

ODU is a public research university that was founded in 1930 in Norfolk, Virginia. The school offers a variety of distance learning programs through the ODU Online platform. ODU Online is one of the nation's largest providers of distance learning courses. The 120-credit BS in computer science incorporates theoretic and lab components to help students develop the skills necessary to excel in the field by solving common technological challenges faced by employers. This online computer science bachelor's degree is delivered through ODU Online's Department of Computer Science and covers a variety of topics, including programming languages, object-oriented programming and design, theoretic computer science, computation methods and software, and operating systems.

Students must enroll in professional workforce development courses, which have students engage in experimentation and design to increase creativity and productivity and prepare them to address the application needs of businesses. Distance learners must earn a minimum GPA of 2.0 in all computer science courses to graduate. The program prepares students for careers in software engineering, database administration, application programming, and more.

ODU has a strong military affiliation and provides active duty students with a number of resources, including scholarships, a peer educator program, and more. Online classes are ODU are offered in both asynchronous and synchronous formats, depending on the course. All ODU Online programs are taught by the same professors and confer the same diploma as on-campus programs. Applicants to this computer science degree online must have a high school diploma or GED to be considered. ODU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Department: Department of Computer Science
Program Name: Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $335/credit (in-state), $369/credit (out-of-state)

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous or synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2-4 years
Program start dates: Fall - August 26 ; spring - January 6 ; summer - May 15, June 26

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - December 1 ; spring - October 1 ; summer - March 15
GPA: Minimum 2.0
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Department phone: (800) 968-2638
Department email: [email protected] (Daphne Bell and Liza King, Enrollment Coordinators)
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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18 Dakota State University RANKING SCORE 53.18 COST GRADUATION RATE 39% LOCATION Madison, SD

DSU is a public nonprofit university that was founded in 1881 in Madison, South Dakota, as a teacher education college. Today, the school is one of the most technologically advanced colleges in the Midwest. DSU offers a 120-credit BS in computer science that prepares students for careers in the next frontier in the internet — the Internet of Things — as software engineers, penetration testers, programmers, and more. This online computer science degree includes areas of study such as networking, algorithms and optimizations, programming, and data structures.

Students have the option to enroll in the 4+1 program, where they can begin earning credit toward the school's MS in applied computer science while earning their bachelor's degree. This four-year BS in computer information systems is ideal for those who want to start a career as a web developer, application developer, or IT engineer. The 48-credit major includes courses on a variety of IT topics, including organization and management, data and virtual communications, and info security fundamentals. Students may be eligible to enroll in a fast-track option with approval from the college dean.

DSU also offers a Center of Excellence in Computer Information Systems, an honors program in which students are prepared to become leaders in development, application, and IT in all facets of business and industry. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and submit ACT or SAT scores to be considered as freshman. Transfer students must have more than 24 credits of college coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.0. The school recommends that students check the ensure that this program is available in their state before applying. DSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $335/credit (in-state), $461/credit (out-of-state)

Delivery
Format: Online

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120

Program Length
Program options: Full-time
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Spring - January 9 ; summer - May 15 ; fall - August 21

Admission Requirements
GPA: Minimum 2.6
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Department phone: (888) DSU-9988
Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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19 Saint Leo University RANKING SCORE 52.95 COST GRADUATION RATE 40% LOCATION Saint Leo, FL

Saint Leo is a private, nonprofit, Christian university that was founded in 1889 in Florida. The school has more than 40 education centers and serves primarily adult learners and military personnel. The School of Business offers two online computer science bachelor's degrees: a 120-credit BS in computer information systems and a 120-credit BS in computer science with an information assurance specialization. This computer science online degree emphasizes specialized skills in programming, network administration, system analysis and design, IT project management, and web design and programming. The curriculum includes courses on a variety of computer science topics, including Java and Visual Basic, database programming, network theory and design, and project management.

The computer science degree with an information assurance specialization teaches students how to develop, support, and manage software, hardware, and systems integration. Students are immersed in a classroom environment in which they work with state-of-the-art techniques and tools. This computer science degree online includes classes on a variety of IT subjects, including computer systems, computer forensics, network security, and database concepts and programming. Students are taught by faculty who have worked in high-level positions at companies such as IBM, Texas Instruments, and the U.S. Air Force. Students have gone on to internships with Verizon and Tech Data Corporation, as well as a variety of local companies.

Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be considered. Saint Leo accepts credits from programs from programs such as Advanced Placement, College-Level Examination Program, and DANTES. Students with an associate of arts degree may transfer up to 64 credits into a bachelor's program at Saint Leo. Other associate degrees and credits can also be transferred on a case-by-case basis. Saint Leo is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and this computer information systems program is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor's of Science in Computer Information Systems, Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science - Information Assurance
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $360/credit

Delivery
Format: Online

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120

Program Length
Program start dates: Summer - May 1, June 26 ; fall - August 21, October 16 ; spring - January 8, March 5

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Summer - May 7, July 2 ; fall - August 27, October 22 ; spring - January 14, March 11

Contact
Department phone: (800) 334-5532 Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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20 DePaul University RANKING SCORE 52.39 COST GRADUATION RATE 73% LOCATION Chicago, IL

Located in Chicago, Illinois, DePaul enrolls 23,000 students annually in more than 300 degree programs. DePaul's online bachelor's of science in computer science blends coursework in mathematics, engineering, and science to prepare students to create and maintain networks and informational structures. Offered as a degree completion program, students must transfer in at least 30 credits from another institution. Most students take three years to complete the intensive program.

Classes are entirely online and asynchronous. Unlike other online computer science programs, DePaul's program offers concentrations in game systems and software development. In addition to core courses, such as data structures and concepts of programming languages, students take advanced classes such as object-oriented game development and automata theory and formal grammars. Students examine the effects of human-computer interactions and complete a capstone project in their concentration, during which they work together to create a video game or large-scale application.

Applicants must have completed a semester of Java or C++ and must hold at least a 2.0 GPA. Applicants do not need to submit SAT or ACT scores. All online students pay the same affordable tuition rate. DePaul's resources and partnerships include scholarships, subject-based tutoring, and internship opportunities.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science - Degree Completion
Available concentrations: Game Systems and Software Development
Tuition: $615/credit
Credit requirements: 192 credit hours
Program length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Transfer credits: 45 quarter or 30 semester credits minimum

Contact
Phone: (312) 362-8381
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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21 Auburn University RANKING SCORE 51.99 COST GRADUATION RATE 75% LOCATION Auburn, AL

Auburn offers an online bachelor's of computer science degree completion program. Courses are taught by an experienced and respected team of instructors. Students learn to analyze problems in a theoretical framework, and they apply knowledge during skills-based lessons and projects. Graduates pursue further education and careers as software developers, system administrators, and business leaders.

Required courses are delivered entirely online and asynchronously. Students take two classes at a time, each lasting seven and a half weeks. Auburn offers five terms per year, and nearly all online students earn their bachelor’s in less than two years. The 120-credit curriculum includes coursework in areas such as computer ethics, discrete structures, and assembly language programming. Because the program’s courses follow a hands-on learning philosophy, no capstone project is required. Students use free and major electives to specialize their computer science studies or complete a minor.

Applicants to Auburn's computer science online degree program do not need to submit SAT or ACT scores. However, they must have completed 60 prerequisite credits with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Distance learners have access to the same resources and services as on-campus students, including financial aid, tutoring, and a personal success coordinator to help them navigate their academic and professional careers.


Program Overview
Program name: Online Bachelor of Computer Science Degree Completer Program
Tuition: $486/credit
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Transfer credits: 60 minimum credits

Contact
Phone: (334) 521-1465
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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22 University of the People RANKING SCORE 51.59 COST GRADUATION RATE 4% LOCATION Pasadena, CA

Located in Pasadena, California, UoPeople is a one-of-a-kind institution that offers academic programs with no tuition costs. Based on the philosophy that education should be accessible to all, regardless of social or economic background, UoPeople students pay very little for high-quality educations. UoPeople offers select online degrees, including a BS in computer science that teaches fundamental theories and skills, such as program design and development and testing distribution in a global market.

The 120-credit degree includes coursework in information retrieval, analysis of algorithms, and data mining and machine learning. Free and guided electives allow students to customize their education. The fully online program is delivered asynchronously. Graduates pursue careers as business intelligence administrators and software application developers.

UoPeople students pay no tuition, and the nominal service fees and extraneous charges can be erased with scholarships, which are available to all online students. UoPeople’s dedication to affordability and access makes its program one of the best online computer science degree programs in the U.S. in terms of cost. The program is taught by knowledgeable instructors and is recognized by some of world's largest organizations and corporations. Online resources include personal advising, library access, and an industry mentorship program that connects students with professionals in the field.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Tuition: “Tuition-free” (Students pay nominal charges, totalling $4,060 for a bachelor’s degree.)
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: Not required

Contact
Phone: (626) 264-8880
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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23 Eastern New Mexico University RANKING SCORE 51.36 COST GRADUATION RATE 35% LOCATION Portales, NM

ENMU offers a bachelor's in computer science available in fully online and hybrid formats. Online coursework is delivered sychronously and asynchronously through Mediasite and Blackboard, and hybrid students supplement online classes with flexible campus-based lessons. Assignments have fixed due dates, and tests must be officially proctored. Online students have access to resources and services provided by the library, financial aid and enrollment, and campus bookstore, including: academic advising, IT support from 8 am to 8 pm, an online writing lab, and counseling to support mental and physical health.

ENMU students earning their computer science degree online complete 120 credits in areas such as software engineering, programming language concepts, and database design. Students can use their free electives to complete a minor. Students planning to pursue a master’s degree in computer science often use electives to pursue internships, original research, and independent projects. ENMU holds an annual student research conference and job fair during which students demonstrate their expertise and form professional connections. Computer science graduates pursue careers in settings such as government agencies, academic institutions, and business firms.

Applicants must submit transcripts and SAT or ACT scores and must have at least an ACT score of 17, SAT score of 1230, or a 2.5 high school GPA. ENMU offers a generous transfer policy, especially for students from the university’s partner community colleges. Tuition is charged per credit, and scholarships are available for out-of-state and military students.


Program Overview
Program name: Online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Tuition: $1,830.48/semester in-state; $4,717.92/semester out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous; asynchronous and synchronous for those pursuing the hybrid option

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum OR
Standardized tests: Minimum SAT score of 1230 or ACT score of 17

Contact
Phone: (575) 562-2309
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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24 Southern New Hampshire University RANKING SCORE 50.97 COST GRADUATION RATE 58% LOCATION Manchester, NH

Over 90,000 students are currently pursuing an online degree through SNHU, in addition to the 3,000 students at the Manchester campus. The school offers more than 100 bachelor’s degrees through eight-week terms. The BS in computer science is a 121-credit program that teaches students a variety of computer languages, operating environments, and software development platforms. Concentrations are available in information security, which explores secure programming and cybersecurity, and software engineering, which focuses on developing code, mobile software development, and emerging technologies. Courses are delivered asynchronously and include computer science’s role in industry and software testing, automation, and quality assurance. Students also complete a computer science capstone.

SNHU offers rolling admission, and students can begin the program during any of the six terms. To apply, students must complete the online application, and SNHU retrieves the appropriate transcripts. Students with previously earned college credit can transfer up to 90 credits. Learners who obtain a certain score on a free math assessment can earn up to six math credits. All online students are charged the same per-credit tuition rate regardless of residency, and financial aid is available. Online resources include a writing center, 24/7 tutoring, and technical assistance. All students are assigned an academic adviser, their first point of contact for any questions, but they can also seek help from online library support and the career development team. Career services include individual career counseling, online resources, and access to an online employment database. Distance learners can connect with one another, as well as staff and faculty, through an online student union.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Available concentrations: Information security; software engineering
Tuition: $320/credit
Credit requirements: 121 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (888) 387-0861
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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25 Lewis University RANKING SCORE 49.49 COST GRADUATION RATE 62% LOCATION Romeoville, IL

Lewis University, located in Romeoville, Illinois, is a Catholic and Lasallian school. The university offers liberal arts and professional education to about 6,500 students.

Lewis' computer science degree is an accelerated program that offers eight-week courses. Learners can earn a BA or BS in computer science; both degrees consist of 128 credits and are accelerated. The BS requires students to earn 53 major credits and includes a 31-credit elective requirement. The BA requires 46 major credits and has a 12-credit elective requirement. Both degrees also have a capstone and professional writing requirement. The BS offers concentration in cyber security, game and simulation, pervasive computing, computational theory, data science, and networking.

Students learn about programming languages, networking, data analyzation, and more. The school offers credit for some prior learning experiences. The program does not have any on-campus requirements; students complete hands-on exercises through the school's computer science cloud. Courses include discrete mathematics, introduction to computer science, operating systems, and programming fundamentals.

Lewis also offers a computer science minor and a BS to MS fast-track program. The fast-track program allows students to earn their MS in computer science in one year instead of 18 months to two years. Internship opportunities are available.

Tutoring appointments are available through the phone and in person. Learners also receive access to the online writing lab, which offers reference guides, information on the writing process, and resume and cover letter assistance.


Program overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science
Tuition: $600/credit hour
Credit requirements: 128

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (800) 897-9000
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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Computer science is a broad field that can lead to numerous career paths depending on the school and online programs offered. Computer science focuses on the mathematical and theoretical basis of using calculations, such as algorithms, to process information. Therefore, students pursuing an online computer science degree should be comfortable with advanced math concepts. Computer science students are exposed to all aspects of the computing pipeline from hardware and software applications to the network configurations that connect those elements together.

CONCENTRATIONS OFFERED FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN COMPUTER SCIENCE

Concentration Description Careers This Concentration Prepares For
Software Engineering Courses in a software engineering specialization are heavy focused on programming and design. Students enroll in electives such as game design and artificial intelligence. Software engineers work in a wide variety of fields and design, test, and deploy software. They create the apps that people use on their cell phones and the systems that help launch rockets into space.
Network and Security The network and security concentration in many online computer science programs focuses on the technology that keeps computer systems operating smoothly and safe from hackers, viruses, and other threats. Students learn the fundamentals of network architecture, theory, and protocols. Network and security experts can pursue roles at almost any type of business. They are particularly in demand at organizations that need to protect sensitive data, such as financial and research institutions.
Game Development One of the more creative specializations available in some online computer science degree programs is game development. This concentration covers the algorithms and technologies needed to create video games, as well as the research, marketing, and business models behind creating a successful gaming product. Careers for game developers can be found in the entertainment industry, as well as in the education, military, and consumer product fields.

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE

Most computer science online degree programs offer a liberal arts education that provides students with an overview of the field with a wide range of courses, while others stress the mathematical side and require classes in probability theory, statistics, and linear algebra and calculus. While no two schools will have the same curriculum for an online bachelor’s in computer science, the following are common courses that can be found in any program:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI courses provide an overview of how machines can interact with people, solve problems, and reason similar to humans. AI is an important aspect of careers in the robotics and gaming industries as well as in search engine design and medical diagnostics.
  • Cryptography: Cryptography classes cover the techniques used to keep data secure, such as encryption, digital signatures, authentication, and zero-knowledge protocols. Experts in cryptography often work in IT departments and in industries that manage sensitive information, such as government, retail, and banking.
  • Data Mining: Data mining courses teach methods used for accessing both clearly defined and unstructured data, such as pattern recognition, clustering, and text mining. Data scientists use data mining to gather information that can be translated into actionable ideas for better performance, such as analyzing the online viewing habits of consumers to improve the design of a website. The healthcare, hospitality, technology, and consumer industries all use data scientists to improve their services.
  • Health Informatics: Health informatics classes teach students how computing applies to all aspects of healthcare delivery, including the design, implementation, and evaluation of clinical information systems. Courses often involve applying learned knowledge to a real-world clinical challenge. Students specializing in health informatics typically find careers in the medical and healthcare fields, as well as the insurance industry.
  • Machine Learning: Machine learning courses delve into the statistics, linear algebra, and other methods used to teach a computer how to identify patterns in data and then adapt its behavior without being reprogrammed. Machine learning is an important skill used by statistical analysts, software engineers, and architects in a variety of fields from aerospace to entertainment.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE COMPUTER SCIENCE BACHELOR’S DEGREE?

Computer science online programs typically require students to complete 120 credit hours of work to earn a bachelor’s degree. Some online computer science bachelor degree programs may require more credit hours, and students who do not have a strong background in math could find they need to take extra time to get up to speed in linear algebra and calculus. In general, most programs will take four years to complete for freshman applicants with no prior college experience. Full-time students who have earned an associate degree can often complete programs in two years, with some schools even offering accelerated one-year programs to students who have already earned a BA or BS in another subject.

When choosing the best online schools for computer science, it is important to consider each school’s accreditation status. Accreditation shows that the institution and the program have met rigorous standards set by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Both the DOE and CHEA are agencies that establish and implement educational policies and standards so that all schools meet the same criteria for excellence. Both of these agencies hold educational institutions accountable and advocate for quality education, ensuring that your degree is worth the time and money you’ve invested in it.

Schools can be either regionally or nationally accredited. Programs with national accreditation are often considerably less expensive and will accept transfer units from a wider selection of schools. However, the majority of U.S. colleges are regionally accredited, which tends to have stricter qualifying standards, making it the preferred type of accreditation by many licensing boards. Graduate programs often only recognize undergraduate degrees from regionally accredited schools, which is something to keep in mind if an advanced degree is a part of your plan.

When searching for the right computer science online degree programs, look for accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and its four commissions, particularly the Computing Accreditation Commission. Institutional accreditation should be from an agency recognized by the DOE or CHEA. A list of recognized agencies and all accredited schools can be found on both the DOE and CHEA websites.

The job outlook is strong for college graduates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, particularly those with relevant work experience. A 2014 survey by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce found that experienced college graduates have a 4.0% unemployment rate ― a full percentage point below the national unemployment rate across all industries. Below, you can see the unemployment prospects for computer science majors measured against experienced graduates with degrees in other computer-related fields.

Job Placement

Undergraduate Degree Field Unemployment Rate for Experienced Bachelor’s Degree-Holders
Computer Science 4.0%
Computer and Information Systems 4.3%
Information Sciences 4.3%
Computer Engineering 3.7%
Miscellaneous Computer 6.0%

Source: From Hard Times to Better Times’ by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

The BLS also notes that the computer and information technology industry is projected to grow by nearly 500,000 jobs between 2014 and 2024. This rapid growth ensures that skilled computer science degree-holders will have a wealth of job opportunities available to them in the years to come.

Earning a Living

College graduates with a degree in computer science enjoy much higher earning potential than colleagues with less education. The following table highlights the median salaries for associate and bachelor’s degree-holding computer scientists during two key career stages.

Degree Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (10+ Years)
Associate Degree in Computer Science $40,400 $67,300
Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science $65,300 $107,000

Source: 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report

According to the data, bachelor’s holders outearned those with an associate degree by 61.6% at the entry-level mark and 59.0% at mid-career. It’s also important to note that the entry-level annual earnings for bachelor’s graduates is only $2,000 lower than the mid-career salary for associate degree-holders.

Naturally, the exact salary for a given position in the field will vary based on a number of factors, including specific job title, employer size, and location. Using data from PayScale, the next table examines the overall salary growth for five of the most popular career pathways for computer science professionals.

Occupation Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (10+ Years) Median Annual Salary for Experienced Employees (10-20 Years) Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ Years)
Computer Programmer $51,422 $65,169 $72,883 $76,986
Software Developer $62,448 $76,168 $86,399 $90,105
Network Architect $86,246 $100,535 $117,277 $120,178
Information Systems (IS) Manager $61,379 $70,545 $83,945 $89,078
Network Administrator $49,466 $56,158 $61,904 $65,313

Source: PayScale

Career and Further Education Opportunities

Students who graduate from college with a bachelor’s in computer science will be qualified for dozens of entry-level positions, as well as select supervisory roles that are normally reserved for well-educated candidates. Below, we’ve profiled four of the most common career pathways for professionals with a computer science degree.

Computer Systems Specialists

Systems analysts develop computing systems based on the needs of their organization. They must carefully research their client’s organizational structure in order to create efficient, user-friendly systems that optimize productivity.

Median Annual Salary – $85,800
Projected Growth Rate – 21%

Software Developers

Software developers create, test, and evaluate applications, games, and other software-based programs, along with the systems and controls that enable these programs to function properly. They may also design models, diagrams, and flowcharts that instruct programmers how to write proper code sequences.

Median Annual Salary – $100,690
Projected Growth Rate – 17%

Computer Network Architects

Computer Network Architects: Network architects design and develop different types of telecommunication networks. Most of their work is concentrated on local area networks, usually designed for a small number of users in a single location, or wide area networks, which can include many users in multiple locations. Additionally, they are often called upon to perform hardware and software upgrades.

Median Annual Salary – $100,240<
Projected Growth Rate – 9%

Computer and Information Systems (CIS) Managers

Also known as IT managers, CIS managers are responsible for the tech-based operations at large companies and organizations. Day-to-day duties usually entail a combination of programming, software development, data analysis, and business administration. They may also be tasked with completing a variety of maintenance and administrative tasks, like recruiting, interviewing, screening and hiring new employees, and answering technical questions from non-CIS employees.

Median Annual Salary – $131,600
Projected Growth Rate – 15%

Professional Organizations

Making professional connections is crucial to your career development, and professional organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you’ll find three of the country’s most prominent organizations established for computer science professionals. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates.

Despite the relative affordability of online programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.

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 COLLEGE STUDENTS

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

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WOMEN

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We’ve curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.

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 Computer Science Degrees of 2017
Rank School Location
1 University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
2 Colorado State University-Global Campus Greenwood Village, CO
3 Northeastern University Global Network Boston, MA
4 University of Massachusetts-Lowell Lowell, MA
5 University of Florida-Online Gainesville, FL
6 Brigham Young University-Idaho Rexburg, ID
7 University of Illinois at Springfield Springfield, IL
8 Pennsylvania State University-World Campus University Park, PA
9 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
10 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
11 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT
12 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA
13 LeTourneau University Longview, TX
14 Champlain College Burlington, VT
15 Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA
16 University of Maryland-University College Adelphi, MD
17 Excelsior College Albany, NY
18 Bellevue University Bellevue, NE
19 Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA
20 Regis University Denver, CO
21 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
22 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL
23 Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, KY
24 Dakota State University Madison, SD
25 City University of Seattle Seattle, WA

Best Online Computer Science Degrees of 2016
Rank School Location
1 University of Illinois at Springfield Springfield, IL
2 Regis University Denver, CO
3 Troy University Troy, AL
4 Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA
5 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
6 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
7 Mercy College Dobbs Ferry, NY
8 National University La Jolla, CA
9 Southern University and A&M College Baton Rouge, LA
10 Franklin University Columbus, OH