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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 Online Bachelor's in Software Engineering Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:

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Rank School Location
1 Florida International University Miami, FL
2 Pennsylvania State University-World Campus University Park, PA
3 University of Illinois at Springfield Springfield, IL
4 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
5 Arizona State University-Skysong Scottsdale, AZ
6 Davenport University Grand Rapids, MI
7 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
8 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL
9 Saint Cloud State University Saint Cloud, MN
10 Champlain College Burlington, VT

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.

How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students. Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2021 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in 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

Florida International University

Miami, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 58%

Located in Miami, FIU offers an online bachelor of science in computer engineering. Students gain a firm foundation in innovative digital design and learn to apply technology in any business sector. The flexible program features interactive learning modules, real-time instructor feedback, and collaboration with classmates.

Courses teach participants a variety of skills, including modifying existing software and adapting new designs. The program also features classes in hardware architecture, signal and image processing, and computer networking.

FIU's computer engineering program is designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency. The program is also fully accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
School Status: Public
Tuition: $230 per credit (in-state); $350 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 128 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.3 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

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2

Pennsylvania State University-World Campus

University Park, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 71%

Penn State offers a bachelor of science in software engineering through its online World Campus. This program prepares students to hold key roles in industries such communications and medicine.

To graduate, students complete 126 credits that combine virtual classroom learning, design projects, and industry experience. Students learn leadership skills, software development, and engineering fundamentals. Participants also complete a capstone course series in their final year, working in teams to plan, design, and implement a software system in a real-world setting.

Penn State's program goes beyond computer engineering to help students develop critical thinking skills and a deep understanding of mathematics and statistics. Some required courses include software validation and verification, computer networks, and software design. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
School Status: Public
Tuition: $580 per credit
Credit Requirements: 126 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.7 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT optional

Contact the School

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3

University of Illinois at Springfield

Springfield, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 51%

UIS offers a fully online bachelor of science in computer science. Students develop competencies in areas related to systems security and information assurance, programming languages, and data structures.

UIS prepares students to keep up with the fast-paced world of computer software, which features applications in sectors like business, transportation, and education. This flexible four-year program provides the skills students need to stay current as technology needs change.

Students participate in a software engineering or a systems security capstone project during the final year of the program. This provides real-world experience, teaching participants to identify a problem, develop a comprehensive solution, and create software to solve the issue. UIS is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
School Status: Public
Tuition: $360 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT optional

Contact the School

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4

Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 67%

Located in Corvallis, OSU offers a fully online bachelor of science in computer science. Known for their cutting-edge research and innovation, the computer science faculty at OSU help prepare students to fill roles in many industries, including business, medicine, and security. These industries need computer scientists to adapt programs and services in constantly changing markets.

OSU offers opportunities to network with professionals in the industry. Students also complete a three-term capstone project, developing important project management and engineering design skills. The program also provides an option to add a minor in business or complete an undergraduate certificate in cybersecurity.

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

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
School Status: Public
Tuition: $370 per quarter credit
Credit Requirements: 180 quarter credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT optional

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5

Arizona State University-Skysong

Scottsdale, AZ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 14%

A public university in Phoenix, ASU offers an online bachelor's in software engineering. The program provides project-based learning to help students get hands-on experience. Projects increase modeling and coding skills while allowing students to engage in creative problem-solving with their peers.

Students complete 120 credits over four years, taking classes like computer and operating system management, programming fundamentals, and calculus for engineers. ASU prioritizes learning by doing, creating project opportunities every semester. In the last two years of the program, students pick electives like embedded systems or mobile applications to specialize in their area of interest.

The program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, ensuring the highest level of quality.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
School Status: Public
Tuition: $540 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT minimum scores: 22 (Arizona residents) or 24 (nonresidents) or SAT minimum scores: 1120 (Arizona residents) or 1180 (nonresidents)

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6

Davenport University

Grand Rapids, MI Graduation Rate: 45%

Located in Grand Rapids and with campuses across Michigan, Davenport offers an online bachelor of science in computer information systems. The program gives students real-world skills and experiences, preparing graduates for careers in programming, cybersecurity, and systems analysis.

Students at Davenport choose from four areas of specialization, including a programming specialty. An internship program gives students additional experience working with real clients. In their final year, students complete a capstone project to develop creative thinking skills.

Davenport is designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency. The university is also regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems
School Status: Private
Tuition: $815 per credit (in-state); $544 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.15 average
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT optional

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7

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, NH Graduation Rate: 54%

A private university located in Hooksett, SNHU offers a fully online bachelor of science in software engineering. The program provides flexible start dates, allowing students to enroll within days of submitting all of the required admission materials. Incoming students can transfer up to 90 credits toward a bachelor's program at SNHU.

SNHU's software engineering program teaches a variety of skills, including fundamental concepts, UI/UX design, and systems architecture. This online degree develops problem-solving skills, teaches students how to build portfolios, and provides relevant experience to help students find work. Graduates can pursue careers in software engineering, architecture design, security software development, and full-stack development.

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

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science - Software Engineering Degree Concentration
School Status: Private
Tuition: $320 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT optional

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8

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, FL Graduation Rate: 45%

One of Florida's top-rated private schools, Saint Leo offers an online bachelor's in software engineering. The program prepares students for jobs in a variety of sectors — many fields rely on software engineers to develop smartphone apps, manage systems, and maintain cybersecurity.

The software engineering program at Saint Leo combines modern design techniques with software fundamentals to prepare students for the workforce. Small class sizes and experienced instructors help students learn in the online environment. Classes cover topics like programming logic and design, database concepts, and computer forensics.

Saint Leo is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Additionally, Saint Leo is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
School Status: Private
Tuition: $380 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.7 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT optional

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9

Saint Cloud State University

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

Located in St. Cloud, Minnesota, SCSU offers a fully online bachelor's in software engineering. Students complete large projects each semester to develop teamwork, communication skills, and critical thinking. Founded in 1869, the school continues to offer some of the best programs in the state.

Courses teach students about game design, big data analytics, and mobile and web application development. Students and instructors can meet virtually to facilitate online learning. SCSU welcomes transfer students with up to 60 credits. To earn their software engineering degree, students complete a total of 122 credits and must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA in software engineering classes.

SCSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
School Status: Public
Tuition: $290 per credit (in-state); $620 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 122 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT optional

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10

Champlain College

Burlington, VT Graduation Rate: 64%

Located in Burlington, Vermont, Champlain oversees an online bachelor of science in software development program. The program offers three semesters per year and two seven-week terms per semester, allowing students to set their own learning pace.

The software development program teaches programming languages, including Java, C++, and Python. Graduates can find work in a number of industries, such as finance, manufacturing, and software publishing.

Students can transfer in up to 90 credits towards a bachelor's degree. The college also offers significant tuition discounts to active-duty military, national guard, and reserve members. Champlain is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor's in Software Development
School Status: Private
Tuition: $320 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT optional

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11

Limestone College

Gaffney, SC Graduation Rate: 35%

Located in Gaffney, South Carolina, Limestone offers a fully online bachelor of science in computer science with a programming concentration. Founded in 1845, Limestone currently teaches over 3,000 students on campus and online. Instructors provide real-life examples and help students develop competencies in programming, cybersecurity, and communication.

Limestone prepares students to work as computer programmers in many industries, such as medical administration and manufacturing. The computer science program encourages students to think creatively to find unique and innovative solutions to problems. Through classes and projects, students develop skills in programming languages and database design.

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

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science With a Programming Concentration
School Status: Private
Tuition: $440 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.18 average
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT optional

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12

Husson University

Bangor, ME Graduation Rate: 55%

Located in Bangor, Maine, Husson offers a fast-paced online bachelor of science in integrated technology with a software development concentration. The program includes a hands-on curriculum to help students gain real-world skills. Students can transfer in up to 90 credits.

With a focus on software development, the program gives students the skills and tools needed to create, develop, and fix specialized computer software programs. The integrated technology program teaches students to identify software issues, collect and analyze data, and communicate effectively with clients.

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

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Integrated Technology - Software Development
School Status: Private
Tuition: $374 per credit
Credit Requirements: 121-122 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.2 average
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT optional

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13

Bellevue University

Bellevue, NE Graduation Rate: 0%

Located in eastern Nebraska, Bellevue offers a completely online bachelor of science in software development. This degree completion program prepares students to fill essential roles in many sectors, and applicants should have 60 college credits. Active-duty members of the military, national guard, reserve, and coast guard, along with their spouses, pay a reduced tuition rate.

Students gain skills in building and maintaining the software that keeps many industries running. This software development curriculum teaches several languages, including JavaScript, CSS, and PHP. Coursework also covers the fundamentals of object-oriented programming, database structures, and developmental processes.

Bellevue is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Software Development
School Status: Private
Tuition: $425 per credit
Credit Requirements: 127 credits
Degree Completion Program: Yes
Program Length: 4 years
Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.15 average
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT optional

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14

Hodges University

Naples, FL Graduation Rate: 22%

Located in Naples, Florida, Hodges offers an online bachelor of science in software development. This project-based program fosters creativity through engaging assignments and team projects. Students can develop a mobile app, create tile maps for games, or develop software programs using Java.

The flexible program prepares students for the workplace, developing communication skills and problem-solving skills. Students complete 120 credits to graduate, as well as several large projects.

The software development program provides foundational skills in coding and programming. Courses include instruction in HTML, Python, and C++. Students also gain an understanding of web-based development and design, game programming, and cybersecurity.

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

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Software Development
School Status: Private
Tuition: $575 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT optional

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15

Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, UT Graduation Rate: 29%

Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, WGU offers a flexible online bachelor of science in software development. The program focuses on giving students a solid understanding of computer software and programming, helping them prepare for entry-level careers in the industry.

The program offers two tracks: Java and C#. Students become fluent in the programming language of their choice, learn the fundamentals of other programming languages, and increase their industry knowledge.

This online university uses a competency-based structure, allowing participants to move on to the next course in their sequence once they can demonstrate knowledge by passing an assessment. WGU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Software Development
School Status: Private
Tuition: $212 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 2-4 years
Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.15 average
Standardized Tests: SAT and ACT optional

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