Software engineers and developers create information-technology-based solutions to address business needs. Working in multidisciplinary teams, software engineers scope, develop, test, and deliver programs for computers, network devices, and other hardware, such as printers. The growth of global trade and telecommunications fuels occupational growth in this industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that software development positions will increase by 21% from 2018 to 2028, adding approximately 284,100 jobs to the U.S. economy.

What are the best Software Engineering programs of 2020? Here are our top 10:

Rank School Location
1 Arizona State University Scottsdale, AZ
2 Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA
3 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT
4 Washington State University - Everett Pullman, WA
5 Saint Cloud State University Saint Cloud, MN
6 Champlain College Burlington, VT
7 University of Maryland - Global Campus Adelphi, MD
8 Bellevue University Bellevue, NE
9 The College of St. Scholastica Duluth, MN
10 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH

Although an associate degree can qualify you for some entry-level IT positions, you generally need at least a bachelor's to work as a software engineer or developer. Bachelor's programs in computer science typically take 2-4 years to complete and provide comprehensive training in areas like engineering logistics and game development. Degree candidates also gain career-relevant skills by completing internships and capstone projects.

Many software developers go on to earn their master's degree in computer science or software engineering. Graduate programs emphasize research and leadership, preparing online software engineering degree candidates for expanded career opportunities and better pay. BLS data reveals that, regardless of profession, professionals with a master's degree earn $12,000 more in average annual salary than individuals with baccalaureate credentials.

2019's Best Accredited Online Software Engineering Programs

Each year, more students enroll in online academic programs to take advantage of their flexible schedules and affordable tuition rates. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 30% of U.S. college students pursue some form of distance education. Approximately 20% of students attending private and public institutions enroll in fully online programs.

If you want to attend a software engineering school online, your options abound -- that may make finding the right program difficult. Distance learners need to consider cost, degree focus, and program outcomes. They should also seek programs that offer dedicated academic resources and career services.

The following list ranks the best software engineering online programs. These profiles will help you pick the school that supports your academic and professional goals. You can examine tuition rates, course offerings, graduation timelines, and application requirements. Students who want to learn more about certain colleges and universities on the list should contact institutions' admissions departments.

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Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Arizona State University

Scottsdale, AZ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

ASU is a public institution in Phoenix, Arizona. Remote students can choose from over 200 remote degrees, including an online bachelor of science in software engineering. Several sources have recognized ASU's program as one of the best online bachelor's in software engineering programs in the nation.

Degree-seekers complete 120 credit hours for graduation. Courses follow a 7.5-week schedule and cover a variety of foundational topics in the field, including engineering, project leadership, computing, and software construction.

Prospective students must possess at least a 1210 on the SAT or a 24 on the ACT. Alternatively, competitive applicants may possess a 3.0 or higher GPA or rank in the top 25% of their graduating high school class. ASU boasts that 87% of its graduates from all majors receive job offers within 90 days of graduating.


Program Overview

Program Name: Online Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
School Status: Public
Tuition: $530/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (866) 277-6589
Email: asuonline@asu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 29%

Located in University Park, Penn State is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school offers an online bachelor of science in software engineering. This degree requires 126 credits for graduation and features a combination of software developer experience, student-designed software projects, and virtual classroom study.

One of the best online bachelor's in software engineering degrees, Penn State's program helps students explore a variety of topics, including probability, statistics, mathematics, and computer science. Required courses include operating systems, communication networks, intermediate programming, matrices, and basic management concepts.

Competitive applicants possess a 2.7 or higher GPA. The school also expects transfer applicants to possess a course history in calculus with analytic geometry, calculus-based physics, and college-level chemistry with laboratory work.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
School Status: Public
Tuition: $576/credit
Credit Requirements: 126 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.7 minimum

Contact

Phone: (814) 865-5403
Email: pennstateonline@psu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, UT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 29%

WGU is a private nonprofit university located in Salt Lake City, Utah. With regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the school offers one of the best bachelor's in software engineering for remote learners.

WGU's bachelor of science in software development program features a competency-based curriculum that focuses on web development techniques, computer programming, and application development. Additionally, the program features industry-recognized certifications as part of the curriculum, namely CompTIA and CIW.

Students choose between concentrations in Java or C#. In either case, learners enter the competitive job market with career-ready programming skills. Incoming students may transfer up to 31 credits towards a bachelor's degree. At WGU, 67% of students graduate within 30 months.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Software Development
School Status: Private
Available Concentrations: Java; C#
Tuition: $269/credit
Program Length: 24-30 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (866) 225-5948
Email: admissions@wgu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

Washington State University - Everett

Pullman, WA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Part of the Washington State University system, WSU Everett is a public institution with regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and University. Undergraduates at WSU can choose from more than 95 majors, including an online bachelor's degree in software engineering.

This 2.5-year degree completion program helps undergraduates develop the necessary programming, critical thinking, and communication skills to pursue today's date competitive software engineering positions. Students may choose a hybrid option that features in-person classes and interactive video courses. Alternatively, students can complete the program entirely online.

WSU expects applicants to possess several college-level prerequisites in mathematics, physics, and chemistry (with a "C" or higher) before they apply. Additionally, interested software engineering students must possess a 2.5 or higher GPA in all previously completed college coursework.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering (Degree Completion)
School Status: Public
Tuition: $5,240/semester in-state; $12,529/semester out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 121 credits
Program Length: 2.5 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact

Phone: (425) 405-1731
Email: engineering.everett@wsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

Saint Cloud State University

Saint Cloud, MN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

Located in St. Cloud, Minnesota, SCSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Founded in 1869, the school offers one of the best online bachelor's in software engineering programs.

This entirely online degree completion program best serves working professionals who already possess a two-year degree in information technology fields, adults with a four-year degree looking to change fields, or current information technology professionals who wish to bolster their credentials.

Software engineering students need 122 credits and a 2.5 or higher GPA in required courses for graduation. SCSU expects incoming students to possess approximately two years of college coursework. Incoming students can also take test-out exams or receive credit for previous work experience. Depending on their number of eligible transfer credits, online students typically need two years to complete the program.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
School Status: Public
Tuition: $360/credit in-state; $1,161/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 122 credits
Program Length: 2-4 years, depending on transfer credit

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Contact

Phone: (320) 308-0121
Email: csit@stcloudstate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

Champlain College

Burlington, VT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 64%

Located in Burlington, Vermont, Champlain offers one of the best online bachelor's in software engineering programs. The school holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education and educates approximately 2,200 on-campus students.

Remote learners can complete the curriculum entirely online with no on-campus obligations. Courses last seven or 15 weeks each. Classes cover professional training, general education topics, and software development skills in C++, Java, and visual C#. Students with applicable transfer credits can complete this program in as few as one year.

Prospective students need to submit their high school transcripts, a current resume, and answers to short essay questions in the online application. Competitive students possess a 2.5 or higher GPA. Active duty military, National Guard, and Reserve members receive a tuition discount.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Software Development
School Status: Public
Tuition: $318/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 1-4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact

Phone: (888) 545-3459
Email: champlainonline@champlain.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

University of Maryland - Global Campus

Adelphi, MD Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 15%

Located in Largo, Maryland, UMGC is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Remote students develop essential knowledge of programming languages and software development in the school's online bachelor's in software engineering.

Online software engineering students need 120 credits for graduation, including courses in database security, secure software engineering, and secure programming in the cloud. Learners must learn a "C" or better grade in required courses and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA to remain in good standing. At least 30 credits must come from classes completed at UMGC.

Undergraduate students enjoy access to remote academic advising, tutoring, and writing assistance. UMGC also offers full-text library access and career services resources for remote students.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
School Status: Public
Tuition: $300/credit in-state; $499/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (855) 655-8682
Email: undergrad.advisor@umuc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

Bellevue University

Bellevue, NE Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 15%

Remote software engineering bachelor's students at BU need 127 credit hours for graduation, including general education requirements, major courses, and electives. BU students engage with a diverse curriculum to gain critical skills in information security, software development, project management, business telecommunications, and applications testing.

Prospective students need to possess an associate degree, at least 60 credit hours, or one year of computer programming experience for consideration. Additionally, BU expects applicants to possess a "C-" or higher average in all courses for potential transfer credit.

With one of the best online bachelor's in software engineering programs, BU is a private nonprofit institution with regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Members of the U.S. Military, National Guard, Reserve, and Coast Guard (and their spouses) receive a tuition discount.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
School Status: Private
Tuition: $425/credit
Credit Requirements: 127 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (402) 293-2000
Email: BRUINSupportServices@bellevue.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

The College of St. Scholastica

Duluth, MN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 69%

Located in Duluth, Minnesota, CSS offers more than 75 undergraduate majors and minors, including one of the best online bachelor's in software engineering programs for remote learners. The fully online curriculum features concentrations in business analysis, cybersecurity, health informatics, and software development. CSS holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Required software development concentration courses include software design, mobile device programming, server-wide development, and artificial intelligence with robotics. Remote pupils must also complete a capstone project with a team.

Learners at CSS need at least 128 credits for graduation. Depending on their number of applicable transfer credits, bachelor's degree-seekers can finish this program in 2-3 years. Incoming students can also receive credit for prior life experience.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems
School Status: Private
Available Concentrations: Business analysis; cybersecurity; health informatics; software development.
Tuition: $395/credit
Credit Requirements: 128 credits
Program Length: 2-4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (800) 447-5444
Email: admissions@css.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, NH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

SNHU is a private nonprofit university in Hooksett, New Hampshire. With regional accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education, the school offers an 121-credit online bachelor's in software engineering.

This bachelor of science in computer science helps learners acquire useful programming skills in Python, MongoDB, C++, and Java. Additionally, faculty teach courses on the most commonly used software development tools such as Eclipse, Junit testing, Cucumber with Maven, and OpenGL.

Incoming students may transfer up to 90 credits toward the bachelor's degree. Upon graduation, degree-holders can obtain employment as applications developers, front-end developers, full stack developers, software engineers, and programmer analysts.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in Software Engineering
School Status: Private
Tuition: $320/credit
Credit Requirements: 121 credits
Program Length: 2-4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (888) 327-7648
Email: enroll@snhu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 85%

Established in 1855, Penn State is a public institution with accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The school offers more than 275 undergraduate degrees, including an online software engineering program.

Bachelor's degree-seekers need at least 126 credits for graduation. This collaborative learning format affords distance students the opportunity to work on projects and interact with professors online. In their final year, students work on a group capstone project that follows plans for a design sponsored by a real company in the industry.

Graduates from Penn State's online bachelor's in software engineering program become project managers, user interface designers, software testing engineers, video game designers, and computer systems analysts. Members of any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces receive a tuition discount.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
School Status: Public
Tuition: $576/credit
Credit Requirements: 126 credits
Program Length: 3-4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.7 minimum

Contact

Phone: (800) 252-3592
Email: pennstateonline@psu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

Upper Iowa University

Fayette, IA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 43%

Located in Fayette, Iowa, UIU is a private nonprofit institution with regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The school serves more than 3,000 distance students and features an online software engineering major for undergraduate learners.

Each year, the school offers five eight-week class sessions and a six-week accelerated summer session. Undergraduate degree-seekers need 120 credits for graduation, which takes most learners 3-4 years to complete. Required classes for UIU online software engineering majors include big data processing, applications of visualization, advanced programming, and operating systems.

Online students at UIU enjoy access to academic resources such as writing and tutoring services and academic coaching. Additionally, UIU provides counseling and wellness services for its online learners.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
School Status: Private
Tuition: $330/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 3-4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (800) 553-4150
Email: info@uiu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

Middle Georgia State University

Macon, GA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 18%

Established in 1884, MGA is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The public institution serves approximately 7,600 students and offers an online bachelor of science in information technology with a concentration in software engineering.

Learners need 120 credits to finish this online bachelor's in software engineering. Pupils complete seven-week courses in fields such as application development, web development, introduction to computer programming, and project management. Undergraduate degree-seekers also complete a senior capstone project.

Prospective students must submit their ACT or SAT scores and high school transcripts for consideration. Incoming students may earn up to 40 credit hours through CLEP or DSST exams. Finally, students can earn credit for prior learning experiences.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
Available Concentrations: Software engineering
School Status: Public
Tuition: $130/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (478) 471-2725
Email: admissions@mga.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Hodges University

Naples, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 22%

Hodges is a private institution in Naples, Florida. The school offers an online bachelor of science in software development degree and holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Software development students complete 120 credits for graduation. Required courses in the computer information technology core include mobile application development, web development, web design, and e-commerce. Online learners also take programming courses in C++ and Java.

Hodges students in the online bachelor's in software engineering program can add industry certifications to further hone their education experience and diversify their career options. Popular certifications include A+, Network+, Linux+, Security+, and Cisco Certified Network Associate. Hodges also boasts a 93% institutional job placement rate.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Software Development
School Status: Private
Tuition: $575/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Contact

Phone: (239) 482-0019
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

University of Maine at Augusta

Augusta, ME Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 18%

UMA is a public institution established in 1965. The school boasts 5,500 students and holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education. The university offers an online computer information systems program that fosters technical, analytical, communication, and organization skills.

This fully online bachelor's in software engineering program requires a minimum of 121 credit hours for graduation. At least 30 credits must come from classes completed at UMA. Required classes for the major include programming fundamentals, introduction to data science, operating systems, and network concepts. Courses in the software development concentration include applied linear algebra, java programming, C++ programming, and software quality assurance.

Prospective students need to submit their high school transcripts and an online application for consideration. UMA accepts the CommonApp and does not charge an application fee.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in software development
School Status: Public
Tuition: $239/credit in-state; $299/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 121 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (207) 621-3465
Email: umaadm@maine.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter