Best Online Computer Science Degrees

by Thomas Broderick, Janice Monti
reviewed by TBS Rankings Team
TheBestSchools.org

thebestschools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Best Online Computer Science Degrees

The computer science field features many well-paying positions with advancement opportunities. A degree can help professionals qualify for these jobs. Learners pursuing an online computer science degree typically need a high school diploma or GED. Applicants may need to submit standardized test scores and recommendation letters.

Career opportunities for graduates vary by specialization. Popular entry-level jobs include software developer, information security analyst, and web developer. This guide explores online computer science programs' typical cost and classes, along with salary potential for graduates.

View Our Rankings List Here

Frequently Asked Questions About Computer Science


What kind of jobs do you get with a computer science degree?

After earning an online computer science degree, graduates can become computer systems analysts, IT project managers, and database administrators.

What is the highest-paying job with a computer science degree?

Mid-career software development directors earn a median $163,000 salary, according to May 2022 Payscale data. Other well-paying jobs include principal software engineer and security architect. Individuals with advanced degrees and professional experience may qualify for higher salaries.

Can you earn a computer science degree online?

Students can earn a computer science degree online at many top schools. Online degree-seekers complete the same academic requirements as on-campus learners.

Why Get a Degree in Computer Science?

An online computer science degree prepares students for many in-demand roles. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for computer and information systems managers to increase 11% from 2020-2030. Academic and career advisors help students choose specializations aligned with financially rewarding jobs.

Online education features benefits for recent high school graduates and working professionals. Distance learners do not need to relocate to earn an online computer science degree. Other advantages often include asynchronous curricula, which allow students to view recorded lectures and complete assignments at convenient times.

How Much Does a Computer Science Degree Cost?

According to 2022 data from the Education Data Initiative, annual tuition at four-year, in-state schools costs an average of $9,349. Out-of-state tuition averages $27,023 per year. Some public institutions charge all online learners in-state tuition rates. Degree-seekers should also budget for fees and expenses.

Learners often pursuing online computer science degrees often save money on housing and transportation costs. Students with an associate in computer science can reduce costs by transferring credits into their bachelor's program. Degree-seekers can also apply for institutional and private scholarships.

Additional Online Student Fees

Online programs may require additional fees. Schools often charge a technology fee per semester, credit, or class. Other typical expenses include a one-time graduation fee and textbooks. Computer science majors should also budget for required software and a new computer. Many hardware and software companies offer student discounts.

Graduates often pursue professional certifications to improve their career prospects. Private organizations awarding these credentials typically charge certification and renewal fees.

How Much Do Computer Science Majors Make?

The BLS reports that computer and information systems managers earn a median $159,010 annual salary. Computer and information research scientists earn a median of $131,490 per year. Earning potential varies by employer. Computer managers working in the information, finance, and insurance fields earn the highest median salaries.

After earning a computer science degree online, graduates can increase their salary potential by pursuing a master's in computer science. Many schools offer fully online master's programs. Some students graduate in 18 months while maintaining employment.

Courses in Computer Science

An online computer science degree prepares students for entry-level careers. Coursework covers programming languages including HTML and C++. Undergraduate students take general education classes and electives. Many schools require degree-seekers to maintain a minimum GPA to remain in good academic standing.

Many online computer science programs require the following core classes. Available courses and specializations vary by program. Prospective students should compare curricula before selecting a school. Program websites and admissions advisors can help applicants ensure the program aligns with their career goals.

How to Become a Computer and Information Research Scientists

Most computer and information research scientists hold a master's degree. Master's degree-seekers learn to develop new programming languages, conduct experiments, and publish research articles. These scientists also analyze their employer's computing needs. Some professionals in this field specialize in robotics.

Computer and information research scientists can work in many fields. Top employers include the federal government, research institutions, and computer systems design companies. Research scientists can advance professionally by earning certifications.

Best Online Computer Science Degrees

#1 Online College in Colorado

Colorado State University-Global Campus

School Information
Location Aurora, Colorado
Admission Rate 99%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

CSU-Global, the online branch of the Colorado State University system, offers several fully online undergraduate and graduate degrees. The online bachelor's degree in computer science admits students with and without technological experience, who are 23 years old or older and/or have been out of school for at least five years. The program requires 120 credits in computer science, business, and general education courses.

The curriculum meets certification criteria for the Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer and the C++ Certified Associate Programmer from the C++ Institute. Students may customize their degree with a 15-credit optional specialization in a field, such as organizational leadership, project management, human resources and organizational development, and healthcare management.

Available Scholarships: Career Enhancement Scholarship

#2 Online College in New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire University

School Information
Location Manchester, New Hampshire
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 44%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Data analysis; project management for STEM; information security; software engineering

Accredited By: New England Commission on Higher Education

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Since its start in 1932 as an accounting and secretarial school, SNHU has transformed into a comprehensive university, serving the needs of traditional and nontraditional students in over 200 programs. The fully online bachelor of science in computer science provides students with training in the most widely used programming languages and in full-stack development and cloud integration using JavaScript, NoSQL, and Amazon Web Services.

SNHU boasts one of the lowest online tuition rates in the United States. This degree in computer science offers six eight-week start terms per year, and accepts up to 90 transfer credits. 

Available Scholarships: Online and Continuing Education Scholarship 

#3 Online College in Utah

Western Governors University

School Information
Location Salt Lake City, Utah
Graduation Rate 21%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Accredited By: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

WGU, a private, online university established in 1997, specializes in affordable, competency-based education. Distance learners move through courses by demonstrating competencies through tests, projects and other assessments. 

Students can complete the bachelor of science online computer science degree in 23 months, earning industry certifications while they complete their degree. The curriculum includes courses in network and security, project management, scripting and programming, and data management.

Applicants must hold a high school or GED diploma and demonstrate completion of a pre-calculus, calculus, or higher-than-calculus math course from an accredited college or university. 

Available Scholarships: Online Access Scholarship

#4 Online College in Arizona

University of Arizona

School Information
Location Tucson, Arizona
Admission Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 65%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Software development; information management; network operations; applied artificial intelligence; cloud computing; development and operations

Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Founded in 1885, 27 years before Arizona gained statehood, the University of Arizona has an enrollment of close to 47,000. The College of Applied Science and Technology administers an undergraduate online computer science degree. The 120-credit degree features flexible start dates and accelerated 7.5-week course formats. Designed for transfer students, the program accepts approximately 60 transfer credits from regionally accredited institutions.

The curriculum builds skills in core areas, including network architectures, computational thinking, project management, and statistical analysis. Distance learners receive support throughout their degree from academic advisors, tutors, coaches and alumni mentors. Applicants must have a 2.5% GPA and submit a resume and goal statement. 

Available Scholarships: Bridge Scholarship for Transfer Students

#5 Online College in Missouri

Central Methodist University-College of Graduate and Extended Studies

School Information
Location Fayette, Missouri
Admission Rate 100%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Central Methodist University offers online computer science degrees through its College of Graduate and Extended Studies at sites across Missouri and the neighboring region. Degree-seekers have the option of pursuing either a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science program in computer science. Classes, delivered asynchronously, run in eight- or 16-week terms. 

The 120-credit curriculum emphasizes a broad understanding of computer languages, networking, application programming, databases, computing systems, and software packages. Applicants to this selective program must have completed a college preparatory high school program with at least a 2.5 GPA and an ACT score of 21 or above, or an SAT score of 1050. 

Available Scholarships: Gulstad Achievement Scholarship

#6 Online College in Oregon

Oregon State University

School Information
Location Corvallis, Oregon
Admission Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 67%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Accredited By: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

OSU's ECampus delivers over 90 degrees in fully online and hybrid formats. The online bachelor of science in computer science, based on a quarter system with four starting dates, requires 180 credits. OSU's holistic admissions process takes into account several variables, including academic rigor, class rank, and a preferred GPA of 3.0 overall. 

The curriculum features a three-term capstone in engineering design and project management and an option in applied computer science in security. Degree-seekers are encouraged to add a minor or a certificate to their plan of study. Distance learners receive considerable academic and technological support, including personalized assistance from a team of success coaches.

Available Scholarships: Financial Hardship Grant

#7 Online College in Illinois

University of Illinois at Springfield

School Information
Location Springfield, Illinois
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 54%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

The 120-credit bachelor's in computer science degree, is one of over 52 flexible and affordable online programs offered by UIS. The program comprises general education requirements and nine core courses. Coursework includes a capstone that integrates technological skills, design, documentation, implementation within team projects, and assessments in the first and last term of study. 

The program allows distance learners to choose options in systems security and information assurance or software engineering. Although most classes run asynchronously, some classes rely on synchronous sessions.

Application requirements include a minimum 2.0 GPA, a statement of purpose, two semesters of Java programming experience, and one semester each of calculus, discrete or finite math, and statistics. 

Available Scholarships: Lincoln AIM High Merit Scholarships

#8 Online College in Massachusetts

Simmons University

School Information
Location Boston, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 81%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Accredited By: New England Commission on Higher Education

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Established in 1899 as a women's college in Boston, Massachusetts, Simmons continues this tradition with online undergraduate programs for women and co-educational online graduate degrees. The online bachelor's in computer science features live face-to-face courses in key areas, such as database management systems, discrete mathematics, algorithms, and structure and organization of programming languages. All students must complete a capstone course in software engineering during their final semester. 

Applicants must have a high school or GED diploma and submit transcripts, one letter of recommendation, and a personal statement. Simmons accepts up to 96 transfer credits from regionally accredited institutions and credit for life experience.

Available Scholarships: Transfer Scholarships

#9 Online College in Virginia

Regent University

School Information
Location Virginia Beach, Virginia
Admission Rate 86%
Graduation Rate 57%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Established in 1978, Virginia-based Regent University serves over 11,000 students in more than 150 areas of study through on-campus and online programs. The bachelor of science in computer science emphasizes the application of a Christian worldview to explore ethical and social challenges connected to technology careers.

The fully online computer science degree requires a minimum of 120 credits, including up to 34 general education credits. Courses in the computer science major cover key areas, such as programming, computer architecture, mobile and smart computing, and software engineering. Distance learners take classes in convenient eight-week sessions and have access to technological support, academic advisors, and faculty mentors.

Available Scholarships: Luther J. Stallings Jr. Scholarship

#10 Online College in Minnesota

Concordia University-Saint Paul

School Information
Location Saint Paul, Minnesota
Admission Rate 98%
Graduation Rate 51%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Concordia University-Saint Paul, affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, has developed several affordable and career-focused online degrees, including the 120-credit bachelor's in computer science. The program accepts a maximum of 90 transfer credits from an accredited institution and offers a tuition discount for online learners.

The curriculum covers web design, user experience, object-oriented programming, security, and core web technologies, culminating in a capstone that provides hands-on experience in software development using Agile. Students may choose between an elective course in mobile app development or advanced web application development.

Applicants must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA and submit transcripts and a 500-word essay. 

Available Scholarships: Freshman and Transfer Academic Scholarships

Popular with our students.

Highly informative resources to keep your education journey on track.

Take the next step toward your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

woman in an office