Best Online Software Engineering Degrees 2022

by TBS Staff Writers, Maura Deering
reviewed by TBS Rankings Team
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Online Software Engineering Degree

Software engineering degrees can lead to many professional opportunities working with technology. Nearly all businesses and industries use computers in some way, and they all need software developers and computer programmers to help ensure efficiency and security.

Students who earn a degree for software engineering enjoy strong job prospects. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects software developer positions to increase 22% between 2019-2029. These developers earn a median annual salary of over $107,510.

This guide ranks the top online bachelor's in software engineering degrees in the country. It also covers important information for prospective students, including common courses and potential careers and salaries for graduates.

Featured Online Software Engineering Programs

What Is an Online Bachelor's in Software Engineering Degree?

Bachelor's degrees in software engineering train students in programming languages, computer networks, coding, security, and software design. The curriculum builds the technical skills necessary to find and implement solutions to technological problems. Degree-seekers also learn to consider aesthetic factors, usability, and purpose when designing project-specific software and programs.

Bachelor's degrees in software engineering train students in programming languages, computer networks, coding, security, and software design.

Students with problem-solving, communication, and analytical thinking skills thrive in software engineering programs. They also need a love of learning, since the development of new technologies makes software engineering a constantly changing field.

Choosing an Online Software Engineering Program

When researching prospective online bachelor's in software engineering degrees, students should consider factors like cost, concentration options, and course delivery formats. For instance, some programs offer synchronous courses, which require set meeting times, while others use an asynchronous format, which allows students to access course material at any time. Learners who work full time may prefer the flexibility of asynchronous courses.

What Else Can I Expect From a Bachelor's in Software Engineering Program?

Courses vary by program, but bachelor's in software engineering students typically study network security, computer architecture, and software. They may also complete projects related to programming or software development. In addition to major coursework, students complete general education and elective courses.

Software Engineering Curriculum

Software Engineering Careers

Graduates with a bachelor's in software engineering degree can pursue careers in any field that uses software or computer systems. Software engineering programs also build problem-solving, data management, and communication skills applicable to non-technical roles, like human resource manager, executive, or marketing specialist. Students should note, though, that these careers may require additional credentials, such as advanced degrees, certifications, or professional experience.

Software Developers

Software developers create software and build network systems for companies. They may write software, suggest improvements for current technologies, and perform maintenance operations to keep programs running smoothly. These professionals need a bachelor's degree in software engineering or a related area and strong problem-solving and communication skills.

Median Annual Salary

$107,510

Projected Growth Rate

22%

Computer Hardware Engineers

These engineers create hardware like routers, circuit boards, and processors. They must test these projects for efficiency and make changes when necessary. They also consult software developers and adjust organizational technology choices as new software surfaces. Professionals typically need at least a bachelor's degree and strong critical thinking, programming, and communication skills.

Median Annual Salary

$117,220

Projected Growth Rate

2%

Computer Programmers

Computer programmers write computer code using programming languages like Java and C++. They test programs and correct codes if problems surface. They may also perform software development tasks. These professionals typically need a bachelor's degree in software engineering or a related field. Companies may also look for work experience and certifications in programming languages or products. Programmers need strong problem-solving and troubleshooting skills.

Median Annual Salary

$86,550

Projected Growth Rate

-9%

Featured Online Bachelor's Programs

The Best Online Bachelor's in Software Engineering Programs

#1 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

Concentrations Available: C#; Java

Accredited By: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Salt Lake City-based WGU lists a bachelor of science in software development with Java and C# tracks for online learners. The program emphasizes application development, computer programming, and web development through asynchronous, competency-based coursework. Enrollees prepare for CompTIA certifications, with costs for these credentials included in tuition. 

WGU recommends the C# track for students interested in working in big tech cities for large companies that use Microsoft infrastructure. The Java track focuses on devices, including computers, phones, smart appliances, and vehicles. Both tracks require learners to complete capstone projects.

Each applicant needs a high school diploma plus 300-level IT coursework, an associate degree, two years of IT experience, or IT certifications.

Available Scholarships: GrandMasters Scholarship Fund

#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: Software Engineering

Accredited By: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

SNHU, located in Manchester, features a bachelor of science in computer science with an online software engineering degree concentration. Asynchronous courses explore emerging systems architectures and technologies, secure coding, software reverse engineering, and user interface and user experience (UI/UX) design and development. Students graduate with portfolios that highlight their skills. 

The program includes general education courses in applied statistics, precalculus, and quantitative analysis, along with core computer science courses. 

A rolling admission process accepts applications for six terms. An enrollee can transfer up to 90 credits toward the degree's 120-credit total. Remote learners receive access to academic support and advising, bookstore and library resources, and technology help.

Available Scholarships: Online and Continuing Education Scholarships

#3 Online College in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania State University-World Campus

School Information
Location University Park, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 76%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Accredited By: ABET; Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

The bachelor of science in software engineering at Penn State World Campus features collaborative and interactive online learning with flexibility for working students. The program, headquartered in University Park, Pennsylvania, combines asynchronous instruction, design projects, and software development experience, including an industry-sponsored group capstone.

Courses cover computer networks and programming; discrete mathematics; probability and statistics; and software design, security, validation, and verification.  

Admission requires a high school diploma or equivalent, a 2.7 GPA, official transcripts, and completion of calculus with analytical geometry, calculus-based physics, and college-level chemistry coursework. 

Available Scholarships: World Campus Scholarship

#4 Online College in Arizona

Arizona State University-Skysong

School Information
Location Scottsdale, Arizona
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 4%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 98% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Accredited By: ABET; Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? In-state students, yes; out-of-state students, no

ASU, located in Phoenix, offers almost 300 online degree programs, including an online bachelor of science in software engineering. The 120-credit, project-based curriculum emphasizes creative problem-solving, along with coding and modeling proficiency. 

Courses include calculus for engineers, computer and operating system management, database management, and programming fundamentals. Graduation requires a capstone project during the final two semesters of study.

Admission requires a high school diploma with coursework in math, English, lab sciences, and social sciences. Each candidate must also have completed classes in a second language and fine arts or career and technical education. First-year program applicants need a 1210 SAT score, a 24 ACT score, a 3.0 GPA, or a top 25% class ranking.

Available Scholarships: DataNumen Scholarship

#5 Online College in Minnesota

Saint Cloud State University

School Information
Location Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Admission Rate 90%
Graduation Rate 48%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Accredited By: ABET; Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? In-state students, yes; out-of-state students, no

SCSU's project-driven online software engineering degree builds skills in communication, critical thinking, professionalism, and teamwork. The St. Cloud, Minnesota-based program focuses on big data analytics, game design, software cybersecurity, and mobile and web applications development to prepare graduates for the workforce or advanced study.

Each enrollee completes 100 credits, including general education, electives, and major courses. Learners demonstrate their understanding of the engineering lifecycle through individual and team projects developing and delivering software.

Guaranteed admission requires a 3.0 high school GPA, or a 2.75 GPA and top-50% class ranking, 21 ACT score, or 1060 SAT score. 

Available Scholarships: F. Glen Hamilton Scholarship; Monte Johnson Computer Science Scholarship Endowment

Best Online Programs

Online Bachelor's in Software Engineering Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Questions Students Asked About Software Engineering

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Bachelor's in Software Engineering Program?

Most bachelor's in software engineering programs take four years of full-time study to complete, though some programs offer accelerated timelines.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Software Engineering?

Graduates can pursue roles as software developers, computer programmers, computer systems analysts, and video game designers.

How Much Do You Make in Software Engineering?

Salaries vary by location, experience, and industry, but the BLS reports that software developers and computer hardware engineers both make median salaries of over $100,000 per year.

What Is Software Engineering?

Software engineering involves creating and altering computer software to perform specific actions or fulfill specific purposes, such as database management or communication. These professionals must ensure their final products are user-friendly and secure.

What Is a Bachelor's in Software Engineering?

A bachelor's in software engineering is a four-year degree that teaches students how to create and test software and computer programs across different industries. Students gain technological, problem-solving, and mathematical skills.

Featured Online Bachelor's Programs

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