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|
|1||University of Massachusetts - Lowell||Lowell||$$$$$||1 University Ave|
Lowell, MA 01854-5104
UMass Lowell is the second-largest public institution in Massachusetts, serving more than 17,000 students. The college offers over 100 undergraduate majors, including an online bachelor's degree in computer science. Students learn to design and use computer applications, with an emphasis on both hardware and software computing. Courses also cover the math and science topics that form the foundation of the discipline. The program offers concentrations in bio-cheminformatics and data science. The bio-cheminformatics track focuses on designing and implementing computer applications related to biology and chemistry, while the data science track focuses on analyzing and using large data streams to extract useful patterns. UMass Lowell also offers a combination BS/MS degree that allows students to earn both degrees within five years.
|2||University of North Carolina at Greensboro||Greensboro||$$$$$||1400 Spring Garden St|
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
A public liberal arts and research university, UNCG was founded in 1891 and currently serves nearly 20,000 students. The school offers a bachelor’s of computer science degree online, and the program helps students develop their skills in programming languages, computer platforms, data analysis, math, and more. The program also covers computer ethics and professional competencies, both of which prepare students for the working world. UNCG also helps computer science students locate part time jobs in the field, which helps them build a resume and make professional connections. The school offers an accelerated BS-MS program, which allows students to apply certain undergraduate credits towards a master’s degree.
|3||University of Illinois at Springfield||Springfield||$$$$$||One University Plaza|
Springfield, IL 62703-5407
UIS’s campus is about 200 miles southwest of Chicago and 100 miles northeast of St. Louis. The school is one of the only public liberal arts colleges in the state and one of the newest members of the University of Illinois system, joining in 1995. Students in the school’s online computer science bachelor's degree program are taught to apply problem solving skills to computer systems. Courses cover programming, software testing, computer architecture, operating systems, and more. The degree concludes with a software engineering project that requires distance learners to engage in all stages of the software development process. UIS offers a range of advanced computing resources to students, including a network configuration laboratory and a Sun fileserver. Students can also earn credit through industry work opportunities.
|4||Oregon State University||Corvallis||$$$$$||1500 S.W. Jefferson|
Corvallis, OR 97331
OSU has an enrollment of over 30,000 students, and more than half of them are enrolled in at least one online course. OSU is highly respected for its distance education programs, and U.S. News & World Report ranks the school’s online bachelor’s programs among the top 10 in the nation. The college offers a post-baccalaureate degree that allows students to combine their online bachelor's in computer science with a previous bachelor’s degree, allowing them to build a versatile skill set. The program offers one-year, two-year, three-year, and four-year tracks, depending on how quickly students want to graduate. OSU offers flexible start dates throughout the year; students only take required courses for computer science, and do not need to satisfy other requirements. The degree is applicable to a range of industries, including entertainment, medicine, and business.
|5||George Mason University||Fairfax||$$$$$||4400 University Dr|
Fairfax, VA 22030-4444
With an enrollment of over 33,000 students, George Mason is the largest public university in Virginia. Students in the school’s online bachelor's in computer science program gain a foundational understanding of computer science concepts along with professional preparation for employment in the field. Core topics include theories of computation, data storage and management, network communication, and software design. The school offers a double major in computer science and computer engineering, along with several accelerated BS-MS pathways.
|6||University of Florida - Online||Gainesville||$$$$$||341 Tigert Hall 300 SW 13th St|
Gainesville, FL 32611
UF is a senior member of the state university system and is a respected public college. The university serves more than 29,000 students through 16 academic colleges, and also features a substantial distance education program. UF’s online computer science bachelor's degree features a liberal arts foundation, and the program requires students to pass courses in the humanities, social sciences, and foreign languages. Core classes cover computer organization, software engineering, programming languages, and database systems, along with foundational coursework in math, science, and statistics. Most applicants have already completed an associate degree; students with some college experience should already have taken classes in analytic geometry and physics. Applicants are also required to have earned a 2.50 GPA in their previous classes.
|7||Kennesaw State University||Kennesaw||$$$$$|
KSU operates two campuses in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Students in KSU’s online computer science bachelor's degree are taught the fundamentals of the field, along with information technology applications, including software development, computer systems architecture, and data communications. Classes also cover operating systems, database systems, software engineering, and mathematics in a computer science context. Students can earn a certification in mathematical foundations of computing along with their degree, which adds to their professional marketability upon graduation. Graduates of the program leave school prepared for positions as information technology specialists, network administrators, programmer analysts, software engineers, and more.
|8||George Washington University||Washington||$$$$$||2121 I Street, NW|
Washington, DC 20052
The largest higher education institution in the District of Columbia, GWU serves more than 26,000 students. The school’s online bachelor's of computer science provides general education in mathematics and science, communication, and computer science fundamentals. In the program, students can choose from either a technical specialization — such as artificial intelligence, data science, or software engineering — or a non-technical specialization, like technology and law, business, or project management. Regardless of your concentration, the program culminates in an eight-credit design project that mimics standard commercial software development practices. Students can also earn both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a five-year program. GWU reports that 87% of program graduates are employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.
|9||Liberty University||Lynchburg||$$$$$||1971 University Blvd|
Lynchburg, VA 24515
The largest private, nonprofit university in the United States, Liberty educates over 100,000 people per year. Liberty’s online bachelor's in computer science program allows students to pursue either a general track or one of four specialized concentrations, including offerings in cyber security, information security, software engineering, and web and mobile programming. Students in all tracks gain the skills needed to develop and maintain computer networks, applications, and systems, while learning to address technical and ethical challenges from a Christian perspective. Liberty offers a range of internships to help computer science students apply their learning in a professional environment at a major technology company. The school arranges internships with prominent organizations throughout the world.
|10||The University of West Florida||Pensacola||$$$$$||11000 University Parkway|
Pensacola, FL 32514-5750
Founded in 1963 in Pensacola, UWF serves more than 13,000 students. Dedicated to progressive education, the school’s values include collaboration, distinctiveness, and innovation. UWF’s computer science program is nationally renowned, and the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have designated the school as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. Students earning their computer science bachelor's degree online can take classes along one of five tracks, including computer information systems, computer science, cybersecurity, software engineering, and information technology. All programs include core studies in programming languages, data structures, software engineering, and other fundamental competencies.
|11||Saint Leo University||Saint Leo||$$$$$||33701 State Road 52|
Saint Leo, FL 33574-6665
A private, Catholic university, Saint Leo was established in 1889 by the Order of Saint Benedict of Florida. Students in Saint Leo’s online computer science program learn how to design, develop, and manage computer systems, including hardware, software, and systems integration services. The program also covers artificial intelligence, internet applications, computer forensics, and information security. Distance learners can pursue a specialization in information assurance, which emphasizes the importance of network security and forensics. Enrolled students can participate in a range of internship programs, where they’ll gain practical experience and prepare for professionals careers as software engineers, web developers, systems analysts, and network administrators.
|12||University of Maryland - College Park||College Park||$$$$$|| |
College Park, MD 20742
UMD is the flagship school of the University of Maryland System, and is home to more than 37,000 students who study in more than 100 undergraduate programs. Maryland’s online computer science program emphasizes the theory, development, design, and application of computer programs and software systems. Graduates leave school prepared to devise solutions to common computing problems in a range of professional positions. Courses cover network security, numerical analysis, bioinformatics, and computing theory, along with programming languages and software engineering. In addition to its online bachelor’s degree in computer science, UMD offers a combined BS/MS program, which allows students to earn their undergraduate and graduate degrees in just five years.
|13||Regis University||Denver||$$$$$||3333 Regis Blvd|
Denver, CO 80221-1099
Regis is a nationally renowned Jesuit college located in Denver. The school’s computer science program is widely considered one of the top programs of its kind throughout the country, and the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security have ranked the college as a National Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Education since 2007. Grounded in theoretical study, the program teaches students to model and create efficient solutions to modern computing problems. Students are taught to work in an ethical and socially responsible manner. Software development is an important facet of the curriculum, and students learn how to use multiple programming languages and platforms.
|14||Florida Institute of Technology||Melbourne||$$$$$||150 West University Blvd|
Melbourne, FL 32901
FIT promotes undergraduate research, and about 10% of students receive funding through school research grants. Students earning their computer science bachelor's degree online at FIT develop fundamental skills in algorithmic thinking, and are taught to design, develop, and test computer software and information systems. Students can choose from several subfield specializations, including operating systems, human-computer interaction, graphics, computer architecture, and artificial intelligence. FIT also allows students to participate in its ProTrack program, a five-year bachelor’s degree that incorporates online courses and computer science job training, which gives graduates the equivalent of one full year of professional work experience — experience that students can put on their resume as they enter the job market.
|15||Fort Hays State University||Hays||$$$$$||600 Park St|
Hays, KS 67601-4099
FHSU is a top Midwestern university that has emphasized accessible education since its founding in 1902. The school is home to more than 13,000 students, and more than 8,000 of them take classes online. FHSU offers online courses through its Virtual College, a distance education platform that is intended specifically for adult learners. The school’s online bachelor's in computer science is one of the best and most affordable programs of its kind in the region, and is a recent addition to Fort Hays’s online offerings. Foundational courses cover programing languages, operating systems, software engineering, and systems architecture. Graduates leave school prepared to work in a variety of professional environments, and have a detailed understanding of how to develop, improve, and troubleshoot software programs.
|16||University of Maryland - University College||Adelphi||$$$$$||3501 University Blvd East|
Adelphi, MD 20783-8010
UMUC operates one of the largest distance education programs in the world, serving more than 90,000 students. UMUC’s computer science program covers a variety of major topics in the field, including programming, algorithm optimization, and relevant math and science concepts. Students learn to effectively design and use software applications, computer architecture, data, and systems, preparing them for a range of careers in the industry. Distance learners must also take classes that review current trends in the field, and a course in object-oriented and concurrent programming. For students interested in further professional development, the degree also prepares students for industry standard certifications, including the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert and Oracle Certified Java Programmer. To graduate, students must complete 38 credits of computer science courses, along with general education requirements and 41 credits of elective coursework.
|17||University of North Texas||Denton||$$$$$||1501 W.Chestnut Ave.|
Denton, TX 76203-1277
With an enrollment of more than 36,000 students, UNT is one of the largest universities in Texas and in the entire country. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science online at UNT take a variety courses. They will be introduced to basic and advanced computer science principles, along with material that covers data structures, algorithms, systems programming, and assembly languages. Additional courses are also available in specialized topics like graphics, game programming, networking, and artificial intelligence. The program emphasizes communication, collaboration, and ethical awareness, all of which prepares graduates for work in a diverse field. Students must earn a 2.75 GPA on all advanced computer science courses in order to graduate.
|18||Towson University||Towson||$$$$$||8000 York Rd|
Towson, MD 21252-0001
Based on a suburban campus about eight miles north of Baltimore, Towson is the second-largest school in the University System of Maryland. The school offers a computer science degree, along with related programs in information systems and information technology. Distance learners can take courses across several tracks and pursue a variety specializations to suit their professional interests. The degree allows students to specialize in security or double major in mathematics, while the information systems degree allows students to specialize in business, e-government, interface design, or systems. Towson offers small classes and personal attention from its renowned faculty members, and local students will enjoy graduating into Baltimore’s metropolitan job market.
|19||University of Nebraska at Omaha||Omaha||$$$$$||6001 Dodge St|
Omaha, NE 68182-0225
The largest urban university in the state of Nebraska, UNO has an enrollment of more than 15,000 students. Serving as an access point for higher education for more than a century, UNO ranks as one of the most affordable colleges in Nebraska, and the school has also earned praise for its friendliness to veterans. Students pursuing their computer science bachelor's degree online through UNO learn to design and implement computing and programming systems to meet a range of organizational needs. The program includes general courses in theory and application along with a few concentration options, including information systems, networking, telecommunications, mainframe computing, data engineering, and software development. Students can also take upper level courses in specialized subjects, such as video game design, security administration, cryptography, and multimedia systems.
|20||University of Wisconsin - Stout||Menomonie||$$$$$||712 S. Broadway St.|
Menomonie, WI 54751
Part of the University of Wisconsin System, UW-Stout is specially designated as the state’s polytechnic institute, offering training programs in technology and industry. UW-Stout offers a degree in applied mathematics and computer science, with six available concentrations, including actuarial science, business management, information assurance and cybersecurity, mathematics education, software development, and an interdisciplinary program. All six tracks include foundational courses in computer science along with a curriculum that helps students develop strong analytical skills and collaborative abilities. Students can access a range of academic services online, including library resources for mathematics, computer science, and statistics.
|21||Georgia Southern University||Statesboro||$$$$$||Brannen Hall, Room 2015, 2670 Southern Drive|
Statesboro, GA 30460-8126
GSU is home to over 20,000 students, and offers comprehensive education through more than 120 degree programs. The school’s online computer science program provides distance learners with a nuanced understanding of the programming, data structural, and mathematical skills necessary to solve complex computing problems. The program includes relevant computer science courses along with general classes in communications, social sciences, the humanities, and global engagement. Students can also choose from relevant electives in a variety of areas, including animation, optical networks, game programming, and broadband networks.
|22||Old Dominion University||Norfolk||$$$$$||5115 Hampton Blvd|
Norfolk, VA 23529
ODU is also one of the top online colleges in Virginia, and 96% of students are satisfied with the school’s online education platform. Its online computer science degree is particularly strong, and offers students several options to tailor the curriculum to suit their interests. Distance learners can take classes in one of six concentrations, including databases, cybersecurity, game programming, networking, systems programming, and web programming. Students will get significant laboratory experience and learn the fundamentals of the field. Additionally, lab work exposes students to both the experimental and design aspects of computer science, emphasizing the creativity and productivity they’ll need as professionals.
|23||LeTourneau University||Longview||$$$$$||2100 S Mobberly Ave|
Longview, TX 75607-7001
Established in 1946 as a technical college, LeTourneau has become a small, four-year nondenominational Christian university. LeTourneau’s online computer science program emphasizes software development, allowing students to concentrate in one of two tracks: game development or network security. The game development track helps students build the programming skills and software necessary to create video games, giving distance learners an overview of graphics, modeling, design, programming, and engineering practices. Students can also participate in game-related internship programs. The network security concentration teaches students to create and manage secure digital networks, protecting organizations from cybercrime and unauthorized intrusion. The program includes courses in networking, information security, and database management.
|24||DePaul University||Chicago||$$$$$||1 E Jackson Blvd|
Chicago, IL 60604
With over 23,000 students, DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States. DePaul’s School of Computing makes use of the latest developments in emerging technologies, from artificial intelligence and visual computing to multimedia networking. Combining elements of math, science, and engineering, the computer science program teaches students to structure, repair, and modify complex computer systems, helping distance learners build a fundamental knowledge of algorithms, programming, and data systems. The computer science offering at DePaul is a transfer program, with admission open only to students who have already earned 45 quarter or 30 semester hours of transferable credits from another school. Transfer students must also have at least one previous semester of training, in either Java or C++. Online students can typically graduate within three years.
|25||Dakota State University||Madison||$$$$$||820 N Washington Ave|
Madison, SD 57042-1799
DSU maintains a strong academic focus on technology programs. The college emphasizes the integration of technology in all aspects of education, and it offers a variety of robust online degrees. The online computer science program at DSU equips students with the tools they need to build computer systems and applications, devising solutions for several fields, including networking and security. Courses cover fundamental topics like algorithms, database management, and mathematics, along with more specialized topics in parallel computing, assembly languages, and language processing. Interested students can get a jump on graduate education through the school’s accelerated 4+1 program, which allows undergraduates to earn credit toward an MS in applied computer science or other related degree. DSU emphasizes professional preparedness, and 94% of graduates are able to find a job soon after they leave school.
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.