Computers have a language all their own. Master it with one of the best computer programming degrees.
What is a Computer Programming Degree Online?
The best option for those wanting to become computer programmers is to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Computer Programming degree.
The BS in Computer Programming degree will also expose you to:
- Website development
- Building a computer network
- Database design
- How to debug programs
- Software applications
- Computer project management
Additionally, your online courses will teach you the mathematics and scientific principles needed to understand how computers operate.
With a degree in this field, you can pursue many different career paths. You might become an app developer or game developer. A background in computer programming might lead to employment as a Data Analyst or a Cybersecurity Specialist. With so many different specialties available, you can tailor your education to help meet your specific career goals.
How Much Can You Earn With a Computer Programming Degree?
PayScale reports a Computer Programmer salary in 2022 as $65,960 annually. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the median compensation as $93,000. However, there is a wide range of possible income levels in this field.
For example, the BLS reports that the lowest-paid computer programmers earn less than $47,560 per year. Yet, the highest-paid computer programmers earn far more – in excess of $155,240 per year.
There are many factors that impact a computer programmer’s salary, the primary of which is level of experience. If you’ve been in the computer programming industry for twenty years and have a demonstrated expertise, you can command a higher salary than a recent college graduate.
Another primary factor that influences pay is the level of education. All else being equal, a computer programmer with a master’s degree will learn more than a computer programmer with an associate’s degree.
The place of employment impacts income as well. For example, if you work for a large corporation, the chances are that you’ll earn more money than someone in a similar position at a very small computer company. Even the geographic location in which you work can influence your yearly income. Computer programmers that live in urban areas tend to have higher incomes than those in rural areas.
But, as with any career, the major determinants of your salary are your education and experience. Pursuing a degree in computer programming is a great step in the right direction.
What is the Job Outlook for Computer Programmers?
Employment in this field is expected to drop by 10 percent in the United States between 2020 and 2030. The primary reason for this is that some computer programming jobs are being outsourced to countries where wages are lower.
However, having a bachelor’s degree in programming enhances your job prospects. With an undergraduate education, you’ll get training in a broader range of coding languages. With an expanded toolkit of programming skills, you can enhance your resume and will be more attractive to potential employers.
What Do Computer Programming Schools Require for Graduation?
Programming degrees are often concentrations in school’s Computer Science or Technology departments. These degrees provide fundamental education in computer hardware, software, and networking systems. Additionally, computer programming students learn about cybersecurity, computer systems development, and the computer programming languages listed earlier. Frequently, courses you take in this major will allow you to sit for professional certification such as Microsoft’s MCSD and/or C/C++ certifications.
You might have to take classes in math and calculus. Courses on specific coding principles are also required. Some programs require capstone projects or internships, too. These hands-on summative experiences give you an opportunity to put your classroom learning into practice.
For example, in a bachelor’s degree program in computer programming, you might be required to complete a capstone coding project in the final semester of the program. This would be a semester-length project that culminates in a presentation to a faculty committee. This process is similar to a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. You’ll have to explain what you did, answer questions, and defend the outcomes under scrutiny from the faculty committee.
As with other bachelor’s degrees, a BS in Computer Programming requires around 120 or more credit hours for completion. If you attend school full-time, you’ll need about four years to complete a degree like this. If you take an extra course here and there, you might be able to finish in 3.5 years and accelerate your degree. You may also find that programs allow you to count prior training or job experience as course credit, which will accelerate your computer programmer degree online even further.
See also: Best Online Master’s in Computer Science
What are the Admissions Requirements for an Undergraduate Computer Programming Degrees Online?
The admissions requirements for a typical computer programming degree online include some basic criteria. For example, you will need to submit high school transcripts or GED paperwork. Additionally, you might need to submit SAT or ACT scores.
This is just the beginning of the list of admissions requirements, though.
You’ll need to complete an application for each school in which you’re interested. Often, application fees apply for each school. These fees vary widely, but are usually less than $100. Some schools might require that you submit documentation like letters of recommendation or a personal statement. If you’ve taken college courses before, you’ll need to have transcripts from each college or university you’ve attended sent to your new school. Similarly, if you took AP or IB courses in high school, that information will need to be shared with the schools to which you’re applying.
Computer programming departments might have further requirements for admission. For example, it’s common for prospective computer programming students to have completed certain prerequisite courses before beginning their major studies. You might need to complete classes like Data Structures and Intermediate Programming before you’re officially admitted to the computer science program.
Admissions requirements vary from one school and one program to the next. Visit the websites for each of the programming schools online you’re considering to ensure you know exactly what criteria must be met.
How Much is a Computer Programming Degree?
The cost of a computer programming or coding degree online depends on a wide range of factors:
- The school you attend
- How many credits are required for graduation
- Do you study on campus or online?
- What financial aid package do you have?
Let’s take a look at these factors in more detail.
The School You Attend
Tuition and fees range broadly from one school to the next. In-state tuition, for example, is far less than out-of-state tuition. Public, non-profit universities are less expensive than private, non-profit universities. Some schools charge more fees or higher fees, too.
But, online computer schools tend to have reduced fees. Many also don’t charge out-of-state tuition.
How Many Credits are Required for Graduation from Online Schools for Computer Programming?
As noted earlier, most undergraduate computer programming degrees require completion of 120 semester credit hours. This is the most common number, but some programs require more. If you program is 124 credits, that’s four more credits for which you have to pay tuition, fees, and other expenses.
Another component of this is how many credits you have already completed. Many high school learners take basic college courses for dual credit. If you fall into that category, the credits you’ve already earned are like money in the bank, assuming the credits are accepted by your school.
In some cases, high school students graduate with a full year or two of college credits already completed. Needless to say, this significantly reduces the number of required credit that are left. This, in turn, greatly reduces the time you need to finish your degree (and reduces your expenses, too).
Do You Study On Campus or Online?
There can be significant differences in the cost of your higher education degree based on how you pursue the program. On-campus students usually have to pay added fees, like for parking, support services, and student activities. But online students usually don’t have to pay these fees since they aren’t on campus.
Furthermore, many colleges and universities charge a flat rate for online degrees. That is, there’s no distinction between in-state and out-of-state students. So, if you live in California but want to get your online computer programming degree from a school in Florida, the chances are good that you won’t have to pay an out-of-state rate when studying online.
Again, all schools and programs are different, so be sure you’re familiar with the expenses of a program before you enroll.
What Financial Aid Package Do You Have?
If you’ve been awarded scholarships or grants, the expense of getting a bachelor’s degree in computer programming will be diminished. Obviously, the more financial aid you get, the less your degree will cost.
Remember that scholarships and grants do not have to be paid back. Loans, however, must be paid back with interest. If you’re considering loans as a means of paying for your degree in computer programming, be sure to talk to a financial aid advisor so you fully understand the advantages and disadvantages of taking out student loans.
What is the Best Computer Programming Degree Program?
OSR uses six data points to evaluate online colleges for computer programming: three school-wide and three program-specific.
For school-wide criteria, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific criteria, OSR checks the:
- Median debt of graduates from that program
- How many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department
- What percentage of students at that school graduated from that department
The six statistics are displayed by each school in the rankings below. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education.
A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.
Let’s get to the list of the best online computer programming degree programs!
Bellevue University20-Year ROI$1,077,529
- Tuition: $7,152(in state) / $7,152(out of state)
- Ranked in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
- Offered online or in-class
- 120 credit hours
School WideStudent Satisfaction72%Programs offered online51
Program LevelMedian Debt$20,711Programs in Department7Popularity at School13.01%100%OSR Score
Bellevue University has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems. After completing general education coursework, you’ll study core courses Information Security, Applied Statistics, and Management. A course in Design of Database Systems is also required. You can choose electives with an emphasis in:
- Application Development
- Business Intelligence
Networking is an available specialization as well.
Western Governors University
- Tuition: $5,780(in state) / $5,780(out of state)
- 74% of students complete program in 6-36 months
- Flat tuition rate of $3,225 per term
- Scholarships available
School WideStudent Satisfaction65%Programs offered online29
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department6Popularity at School13.25%95%OSR Score
This BS in Computer Science degree allows you to earn certification as you complete coursework with no additional fees. Western Governors University-Tennessee offers competency based education for experienced IT professionals, allowing you to “test out” by passing an assessment. U.S. News and World Report ranks WGU in the top 10 of its Most Innovative Schools ranking.
University of Phoenix-Arizona20-Year ROI$941,927
- Tuition: $11,330(in state) / $11,330(out of state)
- Faculty of IT professionals
- Credit for industry experience
- Choose from three IT specializations
School WideStudent Satisfaction75%Programs offered online36
Program LevelMedian Debt$39,207Programs in Department10Popularity at School13.16%95%OSR Score
The University of Phoenix-Arizona offers a BS in Information Technology that takes four years to complete. Following general education courses, you’ll be able to choose a concentration in Cybersecurity, Networking or Software Development. You may be able to opt out of certain courses based on previous training or work experience.
University of Advancing Technology20-Year ROI$922,869
- Tuition: $20,189(in state) / $20,189(out of state)
- Monthly enrollment
- 100% online
- Structured course-load
School WideStudent Satisfaction79%Admission Rate85%Programs offered online5
Program LevelMedian Debt$34,605Programs in Department4Popularity at School94.12%93%OSR Score
The University of Advancing Technology in Phoenix, Arizona has a BS in Computer Science which requires 100 credit hours for completion. For this major, courses include foundational and synthesis core classes, with topics in Java, C#, and C++ programming. The degree also requires an internship.
Limestone College20-Year ROI$735,849
- Tuition: $24,900(in state) / $24,900(out of state)
- Ranked by U.S. News and World Report Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
- Military friendly
- Partner Corporations participant
School WideStudent Satisfaction75%Admission Rate50%Programs offered online14
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department5Popularity at School8.3%83%OSR Score
Limestone College has an online BS in Computer Science with three concentrations. The Programming concentration includes courses in C# programming, advanced algorithms, information systems design and analysis. This program has open enrollment, allowing you to enroll anytime.
Hodges University20-Year ROI$734,055
- Tuition: $13,440(in state) / $13,440(out of state)
- 120 credits
- Military friendly
- Financial Aid available for qualifying students
School WideStudent Satisfaction81%Admission Rate58%Programs offered online14
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department5Popularity at School9.07%82%OSR Score
Hodges University is based in Naples, Florida and has an online BS in Software Development. Coursework covers Java programming, web design and applications, software engineering, etc. Graduates are eligible to pursue certification in A+, MOS, and ICCP C++ programming.
American Business and Technology University
- Tuition: not reported(in state) / not reported(out of state)
- Complete program in 41-60 months
- Live courses online (evenings and weekends)
- Military friendly
School WideStudent SatisfactionNot ReportedPrograms offered onlineNot Reported
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department2Popularity at School42.67%82%OSR Score
This is a Bachelor of Applied Science degree with a major in Information Technology. You need to have an Associate in Applied Science degree from an accredited school for admission. You’ll take courses in software, programming, and operating systems. Classes in networking and security are also required. These classes prepare you to sit for certification exams.
Champlain College20-Year ROI$884,738
- Tuition: $39,718(in state) / $39,718(out of state)
- A U.S. News and World Report Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
- 100% online
- Interactive discussions with faculty and classmates
School WideStudent Satisfaction73%Admission Rate75%Programs offered online22
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department5Popularity at School21.05%80%OSR Score
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems as Champlain College can be completed in 120 credit hours. This degree is designed for you to earn certification in any of 11 of specializations, such as C++, Linux Administration, and Visual C#. The program allows for up to 90 transfer credit hours.
Herzing University-Kenosha20-Year ROI$742,379
- Tuition: $14,200(in state) / $14,200(out of state)
- Graduate in as few 36 months
- Dual BS/MBA option available
- One of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
School WideStudent Satisfaction75%Admission Rate37%Programs offered online11
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department2Popularity at School3.74%79%OSR Score
The curriculum for Herzing University’s BS in Computer Programming includes studies in web-scripting, software engineering and testing, and mobile application development. You’ll take courses in data warehousing, too. The degree requires a capstone project. It also offers an internship elective. Herzing University accepts transfer hours, test out exams, standardized testing, and professional portfolio assessment toward the degree.
Davenport University20-Year ROI$606,885
- Tuition: $16,728(in state) / $16,728(out of state)
- Davenport has Michigan’s first online degree programs
- 95% of students receive financial aid
- 95% of graduates would recommend Davenport University
School WideStudent Satisfaction69%Admission Rate82%Programs offered online23
Program LevelMedian Debt$28,291Programs in Department6Popularity at School10.58%78%OSR Score
This BS in Computer Science from Davenport University requires 120 credit hours. You’ll choose a focus in Artificial Intelligence, Gaming and Simulation, or Computer Architecture or Algorithms. Many of the courses you’ll take will prepare you to sit for professional certification exams.
Baker College20-Year ROI$539,587
- Tuition: $9,360(in state) / $9,360(out of state)
- A U.S. News and World Report Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
- Military tuition discount
- Ranks in the top 100 of U.S. News and World Report’s Most Innovative Schools
School WideStudent Satisfaction70%Programs offered online17
Program LevelMedian Debt$39,260Programs in Department5Popularity at School8.78%76%OSR Score
Baker College offers a computer programming concentration in its BS Computer Science degree. As part of the 121 credit hours curriculum. You’ll take 76 hours in programming specific classes. Major courses will cover JAVA, C++, C#. You’ll learn about Data Structures and Algorithms, too.
ECPI University20-Year ROI$683,123
- Tuition: $14,996(in state) / $14,996(out of state)
- Named in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
- Ranked #1 for veterans by Military Times
- Scholarships and financial aid available
School WideStudent Satisfaction82%Admission Rate71%Programs offered online16
Program LevelMedian Debt$33,856Programs in Department3Popularity at School19.75%75%OSR Score
Here’s an online BS in Computer and Information Science with a Software Development Data Analytics concentration. The degree requires 135 credit hours. There’s coursework in software development and data analytics. Courses range from software engineering to computer configuration.
Fort Hays State University
- Tuition: $3,900(in state) / $13,723(out of state)
- Listed in top 50 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report
- Offers nearly 200 online degree and certificate programs
- Financial Aid eligible
School WideStudent Satisfaction71%Admission Rate89%Programs offered online22
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department2Popularity at School3.94%71%OSR Score
Fort Hays State University’s BS in Computer Science will provide you a solid education. You’ll take classes including programming, software engineering, and operations systems. This program requires 120 hours for completion. This may be accelerated based on transfer credits. Fort Hays State University will consider prior, qualifying work experience towards your degree as well.
Florida Technical College20-Year ROI$479,642
- 180 quarter credits
- Offers multiple CompTIA certifications
- 36 months
School WideStudent Satisfaction82%Programs offered online7
Program LevelMedian Debt$43,852Programs in Department2Popularity at School5.88%67%OSR Score
The full title of this program is a Bachelor’s in Information Technology Networking, Web Design, and Programming. So, it covers a breadth of options! The degree prepares you for each of these careers, with an eye toward training IT professionals. Classes include Computer System Modeling and SQL Programing Security Fundamentals Routing and Switching.