Best Accelerated Computer Science Degree Programs

Aaron PerkowitzTBS Rankings Team
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Updated January 4, 2024
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Accelerated computer science degrees teach technology skills in a condensed time frame. Discover the benefits of these programs and related careers.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Over the last several decades, computer science has evolved to interact with almost every industry, corporation, and individual. For example, Statista estimates over 15 billion devices are connected to the internet as of 2023.

As computer science has grown, so have career opportunities in the industry. Accelerated computer science programs allow students to learn necessary skills and earn a degree faster than the traditional four-year timeline.

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This guide explores popular computer science courses, programs, and careers.

Benefits of an Accelerated Bachelor’s in Computer Science

An accelerated bachelor’s program helps learners complete a degree in a condensed time frame. Highlights of these programs include:

  • checkRelevant Skills: Accelerated computer science degree programs teach essential programming and data structuring skills that graduates can use in an array of careers.
  • checkProduct Creation: Graduates of computer science programs can pursue jobs where they contribute to the product creation process, helping develop tangible tools for other people to use.
  • checkRemote Work Potential: Because computer science jobs are so entwined with technology, professionals in this field can often work partially or fully from home, saving money on relocation and transit.
  • checkAccelerated Learning: Attendees of accelerated programs can graduate and enter the workforce more quickly than their counterparts in traditional programs, meaning they can begin earning salaries faster than other students.
  • checkJob Outlook: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects many computer science jobs will grow in the coming years. For example, the BLS projects software developer careers will grow 25% between 2022 and 2032 — much faster than the average career growth rate.

Jobs for Computer Science Program Graduates

Computer science covers a variety of subsections and careers. Below, you’ll find some of the most popular career paths and their annual median pay as of 2022, according to the BLS.

Accelerated Computer Science Degree Concentrations

Some schools offer general computer science degrees, while other institutions offer specializations to prepare students for careers in particular subfields. Acquiring expertise in a computer science niche can help graduates qualify for specific jobs, some of which pay higher-than-average salaries. However, earning a specialized degree may also reduce career path options.

Below, we explore common concentrations for computer science degrees, including:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computing Systems
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Analytics
  • Game Design
  • High-Performance Computing
  • Mobile App Development
  • Project Management
  • Software Engineering
  • Web Development

Artificial Intelligence

Enrollees in computer science bachelor’s degrees with an artificial intelligence concentration study machine learning techniques and design innovative solutions to real-world issues. Specialization courses may include logic for programming and introduction to computer vision. According to Payscale, professionals with artificial intelligence skills earn an average salary of $133,000 as of October 2023.

Technology enthusiasts who believe in the future of artificial intelligence and machine learning may thrive in this concentration.

Computing Systems

Computing systems refer to devices or components that can process or store data. Individuals pursuing this specialization learn to create complex computing systems and organize the accompanying data. Graduates can pursue careers like computer systems analyst, which earns an average salary of $78,270 as of October 2023, according to Payscale.

Featured Bachelor’s in Computer Software Programs

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This concentration covers software and hardware principles, ideal for enrollees who want to acquire a broad array of skills and knowledge.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity concentrations teach students online security principles, including designing security software, developing security policies, and understanding computer network systems. Enrollees take cybersecurity-focused courses like forensics, computer networks, and network security. Graduates can pursue roles such as cybersecurity analyst, which October 2023 Payscale data reveals earns an average salary of $80,540.

Individuals with a passion for safeguarding data may thrive in this specialization.

Data Analytics

The data analytics concentration focuses on using computer science to organize and gain insights from data. Attendees take classes about data visualization, database design, and data mining. The BLS classifies data analysts within their broader data scientist career category. Data from the BLS reveals professionals in this group earned a median salary of $103,500 in 2022.

Featured Bachelor’s in Data Analytics Programs

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People that enjoy logical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving with data may enjoy a data analytics program.

Game Design

Game design concentrations focus on the development and design of video games. Courses teach students about animation, game programming, and digital signal processing. Professionals in game design can pursue multiple career paths, including video game designer, a job with an average salary of $68,690 as of September 2023, according to Payscale.

Featured Bachelor’s in Game Design Programs

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Video game enthusiasts may thrive in game design programs and careers in the field.

High-Performance Computing

High-performance computing uses supercomputers to solve computing-heavy problems. Learners pursuing this concentration study advanced multiprocessor computing in classes like computer architecture and compiler design. Graduates can pursue multiple careers, though some jobs — including computer and information research scientist — often require further education. According to the BLS, these professionals earned a median salary of $136,620 in 2022.

Featured Bachelor’s in Software Development Programs

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Students that enjoy math, logic, and computing may thrive in this subfield. Fortune 500 companies, including Shell and TSMC, utilize high-performance computing in their research and development.

Mobile App Development

Mobile app development programs teach students the front- and back-end skills to develop mobile applications. App development enrollees take classes about topics like database design, web architecture, and computer networks. Mobile app developers earn an average salary of $81,870 as of October 2023, according to Payscale.

Featured Bachelor’s in Mobile Development Programs

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Specializations in mobile app development may best suit students who enjoy combining programming language knowledge with user experience concepts.

Project Management

Accelerated computer science degrees with an emphasis in project management help enrollees pursue technology-driven project manager roles. Project managers earned a median salary of $95,370 in 2022, according to the BLS.

Featured Bachelor’s in Project Management Programs

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Multiple industries, from healthcare to manufacturing, require project managers. Graduates with a background in computer science and project management qualify for IT management jobs.

Software Engineering

Software engineering deals with the design, creation, and debugging of software applications. Students in this concentration learn programming languages through classes like advanced Java programming and systems development. Graduates can pursue careers like software developer, a job which BLS data reveals earned a median salary of $124,200 in 2022.

Featured Bachelor’s in Software Engineering Programs

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Companies continuously create and update software, which may be one contributing factor to the 25% BLS projection growth for software engineering and related careers from 2022 to 2032.

Web Development

Web development includes the creation of static websites as well as complex web applications. Enrollees in this specialization learn to build websites and apps by taking classes such as web scripting and dynamic web applications. According to the BLS, web developers earned a median wage of $80,730 in 2022.

Featured Bachelor’s in Web Development Programs

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As companies increase their web presence, the demand for web developers continues to grow: The BLS projects web developer roles will grow 16% between 2022 and 2032.

Popular Accelerated Computer Science Degree Courses

Computer science programs can cover a variety of topics, which means no two schools offer identical classes. Below, we explore common computer science courses.

  • Java Fundamentals: Introductory Java classes explore object-oriented programming. Enrollees learn basic software principles and how to use them to meet businesses’ needs.
  • Data Structures: Data structures courses introduce common data structures, including lists, trees, and graphs. These classes discuss efficient storage structures and best practices for sorting data.
  • Computer Systems: Computer systems classes examine computer designs and how they impact performance. Enrollees learn about data representation, memory architecture, and central processing unit architecture.
  • Fundamentals of Networking: Fundamentals of networking courses teach learners about local and wireless networks. Students learn to identify network types and when to use them.
  • Software Engineering: Software engineering classes discuss the software development process, including development, testing, and maintenance. Enrollees learn to solve technological problems through programming.
  • Concurrent and Distributed Programming: Courses about concurrent and distributed programming focus on modern parallel programming models. Attendees learn about high performance computing and distributed memory systems.
  • Probability and Statistics: Learners may take a statistics course to study the relationship between probability theories and computer science. These classes cover probability spaces, random variables, and hypothesis testing.
  • Introduction to Algorithms: Introductory algorithm courses describe the use cases and design of algorithms. Topics include algorithm strategies, proof of correctness, and algorithm performance.

Applying for an Accelerated Computer Science Program

Each accelerated computer science program’s admission requirements vary, though most schools require at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. Individuals that meet this stipulation can submit an online application, send official transcripts, and pay application fees.

Some schools may require official SAT/ACT scores, while others consider these tests optional. Other common application materials include a personal statement or essay, letters of recommendation, and extracurricular resumes.

Paying for an Accelerated Computer Science Degree

Tuition for accelerated computer science degrees often ranges from $5,000 to $60,000 per year. Factors like a school’s public or private status and student state residency can impact this cost. Enrollees should also consider cost of living expenses — including housing, food, and transportation — when calculating their budget.

Students can apply for financial aid to assist with the costs of attending school. We explore these options below:

  • Financial Aid: Financial aid refers to any type of monetary aid for schooling.
  • Scholarships: Scholarships can include need- and merit-based awards. These sources of aid do not require repayment.
  • Grants: Government entities usually provide grants based on predetermined criteria. Grants do not require repayment.
  • Loans: Loans can come from public and private sources. Learners must repay student loans with interest after graduation.

Popular Online Programs

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Top Bachelor’s in Computer Science Degree Programs

Some of the best schools for earning a bachelor’s in computer science are listed below. To narrow the list down, we’ve only included schools with a student population size below 50,000 and a minimum graduation rate of at least 35%, per the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). These schools may also offer evening and weekend classes as well as class credit for life experience.

Top Bachelor’s in Computer Science Degree Programs
SchoolStudent PopulationBachelor’s in Computer Science ProgramGraduation RateAverage Net Price: 2021-22
Ohio University24,145Bachelor of Science in Computer Science65%$20,207
University of Utah34,734Bachelor of Science in Computer Science65%$12,399
Virginia Commonwealth University28,082Bachelor of Science in Computer Science65%$21,294
Marshall University10,691Bachelor of Science in Computer Science50%$8,756
Northern Kentucky University15,801Bachelor of Science in Computer Science50%$7,259
Eastern Michigan University14,018Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science45%$15,826
Miami Dade College47,245Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity45%$5,478
College of Staten Island CUNY10,248Bachelor of Science in Computer Science35%$7,217
University of Central Oklahoma12,250Bachelor of Science in Computer Science35%$18,055
Louisiana State University 37,348Bachelor of Science in Computer Science70%$21,296
Source: NCES

Accreditation for Computer Science Degree Programs

Applicants should ensure their prospective schools or programs have received accreditation from an accreditation agency. Holding institutional accreditation verifies that a school meets standards of academic excellence. Graduates who want to pursue a master’s degree usually need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.

In addition to institutional accreditation, which applies to an entire school, individual computer science programs can hold programmatic accreditation from agencies like ABET. This form of accreditation is optional but affirms that a department’s coursework helps prepare learners for careers in their field.

Popular Online Programs

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FAQ About Accelerated Computer Science Degrees

How fast can I get a computer science degree?

Typical bachelor’s in computer science degrees take four years of full-time study, while learners can finish accelerated computer science degrees within three or fewer years. Accelerated program attendees often take more courses simultaneously or work through summers to complete the degree in fewer than four years.

Are accelerated computer science degree programs accredited?

Yes, accredited accelerated computer science degree programs exist. During the application process, check each school on your list to ensure it holds institutional accreditation from an authorized accrediting agency. Most school websites display their accreditation status, but applicants can also use free search tools to verify this information.

Should I get an accelerated computer science degree?

Individuals who want to learn about computer science and graduate on a faster timeline can enroll in accelerated computer science programs. Accelerated computer science degrees teach the same principles as traditional computer science bachelor’s programs.


Page last reviewed October 4, 2023. All rankings and school descriptions on this page were created and reviewed independently by the TBS Rankings Team. The review of this content by Monali Mirel Chuatico., does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of the aforementioned programs.

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