A bachelor’s in computer science is one of the most valuable degrees you can earn in college. Studying in a quality program can prepare you for a variety of careers in the field, in everything from web development to programming to security systems analysis. All large organizations depend on computer scientists and administrators to some degree, giving graduates the freedom to work in any industry they desire once out of school.
Computer science (CS) degrees are also ideally suited for an online learning format. Unlike some disciplines, all of the work you’ll ever need to do is on a computer, which means you’ll never have to complete homework assignments or labs on campus. Additionally, most CS instructors are willing to host exams online, meaning you’ll never have an in-person obligation throughout your time in school. Additionally, earning your degree online allows you to dedicate sufficient time to your studies without disrupting your other responsibilities and obligations.
Students pursuing their computer science online degree will be entering an increasingly large field after graduation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), programming positions are expected to grow by 8% through 2022. With an average salary exceeding $70,000, it’s also one of the more lucrative fields for recent grads to enter.
Below, you’ll find our list of the top ten computer science departments offering online bachelor’s degrees. Each of these schools has a dedicated faculty of experienced online educators and programs that cover several programming languages and operating systems in great detail. No matter what branch of CS interests you, you’ll find an appealing program in one of these premier schools.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
University of Illinois at Springfield
|Springfield||One University Plaza|
Springfield, IL 62703-5407
Students in UIS's CS program can pursue concentrations in software engineering or information systems security. Those interested in coding and software should pursue the software engineering concentration, while distance learners who want to work with networks and security administration should follow the information systems curriculum. In the program, students completing a computer science online degree have an opportunity to take several unique courses. Examples include:
UIS requires online computer science degree students to complete 120 credits to graduate, at least 30 of which must be taken at UIS. To be accepted to the program, students must pass prerequisite math and computer science classes and have two semesters of Java programming experience.
UIS uses Blackboard to host all online lectures and course materials. The school provides online best practice recommendations and offers a tutorial to help students acclimate to the online format. Classes become available at 12:01 AM on the first day of the semester. Some exams must be monitored by a proctor; instructors will provide students with directions regarding remote assessments.
|Denver||3333 Regis Blvd|
Denver, CO 80221-1099
Regis offers their online bachelors degree in computer science in an accelerated format. Students can take asynchronous classes at their own pace, and they're also allowed to a pursue a combined bachelor's and master's degree; the master's program requires students to complete an additional 24 credits on top of the 128 needed for their undergraduate degree. Distance learners may also earn certificates in information system security and e-security.
The curriculum incorporates Jesuit values, teaching students to use their technical and software skills in an ethical manner. Courses are taught in a semester format. Students take classes in eight-week blocks, with two blocks per semester. Part-time students take one course at a time, while full-time students can sign up for more. Students may begin taking classes during any eight week block. Regis uses WorldClass and Angel to facilitate their online program: here students can view lectures and access distance materials and discussion forums.
Oregon State University
|Corvallis||1500 S.W. Jefferson|
Corvallis, OR 97331
Part of OSU's renowned engineering department, the post-baccalaureate CS program helps professionals with a bachelor's degree add another dimension to their resume. In the program, students take 60 credits of CS classes, and can graduate in anywhere from one to four years. No CS experience is required; the only prerequisites are college algebra and a 2.25 undergraduate GPA. The program is only open to students holding a bachelor's degree.
The curriculum provides training in all aspects of CS. There are 13 mandatory courses in the program, which can be broken into five categories of learning:
Courses for the online computer science degree are taught asynchronously through Blackboard and Canvas, platforms that can be accessed through students' My EECS portal. Distance learners are provided with several online resources, including academic advisors, career services and digital library materials.
|La Jolla||11255 North Torrey Pines Road|
La Jolla, CA 92037-1011
National provides CS students with a detailed curriculum encompassing all aspects of the field. Distance learners take courses in:
The school's renowned faculty emphasizes both technical and design skills, helping prepare well-rounded graduates for the field. As part of the program, students must complete 17 major courses, including two project-based offerings. Distance learners must complete the degree within four years and are not permitted to take a break lasting longer than 12 months.
All courses to obtain a computer science degree online are hosted on Blackboard. Students can use Blackboard to access discussion forums, their grades, distance learning materials and web resource tools.
Southern University and A&M College
|Baton Rouge||3rd Floor, J.S. Clark Adm. Building, P.O. Box 9374|
Baton Rouge, LA 70813
Southern's online bachelors degree in computer science program appeals to students from all backgrounds, and the university welcomes adult learners, recent high school graduates and transfer students alike. Distance learners are taught the fundamentals of the discipline, and build their knowledge from the ground up. Core concepts include:
Students can pursue degrees with an information systems option or a scientific option. The school also offers concentrations in robotics, video game programming and web development, e-business and supply chain management. Distance learners must pass two introductory CS classes and two math courses before they can be admitted into the department. The school uses Blackboard to host all course content and web materials.
|Columbus||201 S Grant Ave|
Columbus, OH 43215-5399
Industry leaders and experienced online faculty members design Franklin's robust CS course offerings, which introduce students to core concepts throughout the discipline. The curriculum covers object-oriented design, computer architecture, web application development, database management and quality assurance. Classes emphasize practical skills, and feature hands-on homework assignments that allow students to develop skills matching their academic and professional interests. Students learn Java, C, Scheme and Prolog, along with several client/server development technologies. As part of the curriculum, computer science online degree students have the opportunity to design their very own web app and to complete a capstone project.
To graduate, online computer science degree students must complete all general requirements, along with 20 credits of upper division courses, with a minimum GPA of 2.25. Students may transfer credit from other schools, but they must complete at least 40 credits at Franklin. The school uses Blackboard to host all online course information; students may also access the platform on their phones through the school's Blackboard app.
Central Methodist University - College of Graduate and Extended Studies
|Fayette||411 Central Methodist Square|
Fayette, MO 65248-1198
CMU offers their CS major as a degree completion program. Students take classes in eight-week terms; full-time students typically sign up for two or three courses, though distance learners can sign up for fewer classes if they desire. As part of the curriculum, CMU offers several innovative courses, including:
Students must complete 124 total credits to graduate. They must also produce a senior thesis and finish a capstone project.
Distance learners can access all online lectures and auxiliary course materials through their myCMU page. Here, they'll find financial aid information, course registration and other digital resources. They can also apply for a CMU email address.
Baker College of Flint
|Flint||1050 West Bristol Road|
Flint, MI 48507-5508
Baker's CS program trains the next generation of computer applications engineers, systems engineers, computer analysts and database administrators. The well-rounded program requires students to complete seven math courses and 20 discipline-specific classes. As part of the curriculum, students must take an internship or complete a work experience project through the school. Graduates will leave Baker with a detailed understanding of software development, internet communications and database administration.
Baker uses Blackboard to host all online courses and their attendant materials. Students also have their own MyBaker portal where they can access additional online resources. These include a digital campus bookstore, registration software and tech support. Blackboard tutorials are available through the school's My Help web app.
City University of Seattle
|Seattle||521 Wall Street, Suite 100|
Seattle, WA 98121
Students pursuing an online bachelors degree in computer science from City University are exposed to several programming languages, including C++ and C#. As part of the curriculum, students are required to emphasize in a subfield of CS, and complete a capstone project highlighting skills they develop in their emphasis. Options include:
Distance learners can complete a computer science degree online in as little as two years. Prerequisites include three math and four laboratory science classes. To be eligible for the program, students must have at least a high school diploma. The school uses the Blackboard learning management system to host all online course content. Students can access their online course materials two days prior to the start of each term.
Stevens-Henager College - Murray
|Murray||383 W Vine St|
Murray, UT 84123-5671
Stevens-Henager offers students two computer science degree online programs, each of which takes approximately 36 months for students to graduate. The CS degree with a networking and systems administration security emphasis prepares distance learners for careers as data administrators and security analysts. Core classes feature material in server administration, security concepts and network communications.
The other option is a CS degree with an emphasis in web and mobile application development. Here, students train to become programmers, software developers and web developers. Students focus on learning programming languages and how to incorporate functionality and aesthetics in app development.
Graduates with a bachelor’s in computer science are ready to enter a growing industry in a number of different positions. Whether you want to develop websites, build mobile applications or oversee networks and security systems, you’ll have the training to immediately jump into the field. For candidates with a particular professional interest, some programs can help students specialize in a subfield, giving them additional preparation in their chosen field.
Depending on your position, you could be in line to earn a six-figure salary very quickly. Computer scientists earn more than graduates in just about any other field, and regardless of your professional interest, you’ll be able to earn a good living with your degree. Currently, the BLS lists eight subfields in computer science with an average salary exceeding $70,000 per year. These include:
|Position||Median Salary||Projected Growth Rate|
|Computer and information research science||$102,190||15%|
|Computer network architecture||$91,000||15%|
|Network and computer systems administration||$72,560||12%|
To succeed in a CS program, online students should collaborate and communicate with their classmates. While plagiarism is never appropriate, it’s perfectly acceptable for peers to run ideas and problem solving suggestions by each other. To build connections quickly, participate in group functions and communal web forums. Over time, you’ll become familiar with your classmates and work directly with them on coding and other homework assignments. Developing online friends early in the program will also make it easier for you to complete group projects and assignments down the line: this is important, because you’ll mostly be doing communal work as a professional, and many professors will assign team projects.
Ultimately, CS is one of the more practical disciplines you’ll find offered as a fully online degree. Programs directly prepare graduates for positions in the field, and the assignments and projects you complete in class resemble the type of work you’ll do when on the job. To prepare for the career you’ve always wanted without moving back to campus, consider earning an online bachelor’s in computer science.