You are less than 4 years away from a stable and lucrative career if you earn an online computer science degree. Ready to learn how?
Python. C++. Java. What do these three words have in common? Code! Programming languages are at the heart of computer science. Spanish and French are great, but computer code is what pays the big bucks.
If you’re looking for a career that is both future-forward and mentally stimulating, an online Bachelor’s in Computer Science is just the ticket.
What is an online computer science degree?
Welcome to the future. Computer science is a field that knows no limits. Its goal is optimization, ingenuity, and progress. We have computer science to thank for essentially all modern-day technologies.
By earning an online Bachelor’s in Computer Science, you will tackle a challenging but fascinating field. Your curriculum will bring together a crazy combination of language, math, and theory.
Students who pursue this degree end up working lots of different areas—gaming, robotics, network security, artificial intelligence. That’s just to name a few! Whereas Information Technology is more concerned with network setup and configuration, Computer Science reels back a few steps further and deals with code, algorithms, and programming.
Some of the schools on this list offer career-based tracks for students to apply their degree in a specific way. A few of those include Database Technology, Systems Security, and Artificial Intelligence, and Computer Programming.
How much can you earn with an online bachelor’s degree in computer science?
One of the best things about the field of Computer Science is that you don’t necessarily need an advanced degree to make some serious money right out of the gate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, folks in computer science make on average upwards of $100k per year. Here’s a closer look at some annual salaries:
- Computer Information Scientists: $118k
- Computer Network Architects; $109k
- Computer Programmers: $84k
- Information Security Analysts: $98k
That’s not even the best news! The entire field is projected to increase by 13% between now and 2026. That means the field is looking to add 557,100 new jobs in the next 7 years. Add yourself to that figure!
If a low cost degree with a potentially high return on investment is your top priority, OSR has also ranked the Most Affordable Online Computer Science Degrees.
What is required for an online bachelor’s program in computer science?
One thing is decidedly not required for all of these programs—on-campus attendance! Each of these Bachelor’s in Computer Science programs are online. This gives you total freedom to earn your degree at your own pace, on your own terms.
The admissions process for these programs are fairly straight-forward. You’re expected to provide high school transcripts or proof of the GED. You have to meet a minimum GPA of around 2 or 2.5 out of 4. You have to fill out an application and pay an application fee. And then, voilà, you’re good to go!
A number of programs on this list are extremely transfer-friendly. So if you already have an associate’s degree or a handful of college credits, keep an eye out for schools that honor your previous credits.
What are the best online computer science degrees?
OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program specific, OSR checks the Median Debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.
The six statistics are displayed by each school. 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.
University of Maryland Global Campus
- Tuition: $6936(in state) / $11,976(out of state)
- Up to 90 transfer credits accepted
- Flexible curriculum that is open to a minor/electives
- Numerous student clubs available to get involved
School WideStudent Satisfaction73%Programs offered online31
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department3Popularity at School21.74%100%OSR Score
A transfer-friendly program the University of Maryland-University College has an online BS in Computer Science that accepts a high amount of transfer credits. This curriculum focuses heavily on programming languages like Java, MATLAB, and C++. The program leaves room for up to 43 credits of electives or an additional minor. It is recommended that students have experience in the field. This school has higher out-of-state tuition rates. There is also a $75 application fee required. Some of your major courses will include Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms, Object-Oriented and Concurrent Programming, and Current Trends and Projects in Computer Science.
Dakota State University
- Tuition: $7,191(in state) / $10,121(out of state)
- $30 application fee ($50 for international students)
- Out-of-state students have higher GPA requirement (2.5)
- Non-residents pay higher tuition for on-campus courses
School WideStudent Satisfaction70%Admission Rate84%Programs offered online11
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department4Popularity at School37.39%97%OSR Score
A tech leader in the region, Dakota State University delivers an online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science that can’t be overlooked. Completable in 8 terms, this program integrates programming languages with statistics and math. You’ll have access to top faculty and industry-leading technologies. This school has a higher tuition rate for non-resident online students. If you are an out-of-state student, then you must verify state authorization. This program is not completely online as in-person proctors required for exams. Some courses you may take in this program include Structured Systems Analysis and Design, Algorithms and Optimization, or Information Security Management.
Colorado Technical University-Colorado Springs20-Year ROI$841,408
- Tuition: $11,315(in state) / $11,315(out of state)
- Fast Track options available
- 3 different career-based concentration areas
- Flat-rate per credit tuition regardless of residence
School WideStudent Satisfaction77%Programs offered online18
Program LevelMedian Debt$30,103Programs in Department5Popularity at School13.07%93%OSR Score
CTU gives students lots of options when it comes to the online BS in Computer Science degree. First, students can specialize in three different options: Cybersecurity Engineering, Data Science, or Software Engineering. Even more, students can utilize the CTU Fast Track program to test out of material they already know. There is a $220 technology fee applied per term. The entire program is 183 total credits, which is more than most schools. If you transfer into CTU then you have to complete 25% of courses at CTU. Some elective/concentration courses you may take at this university are Fundamentals of Software Requirements, Introduction to Website Development, or Principles of User Interface Design.
Limestone College20-Year ROI$735,849
- Tuition: $24,900(in state) / $24,900(out of state)
- Programming concentration for focused study
- Generous and seamless transfer program
- Reduced tuition rates and scholarships for military students
School WideStudent Satisfaction75%Admission Rate50%Programs offered online14
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department5Popularity at School8.3%90%OSR Score
Programming is the focus for Limestone College’s online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. The Programming concentration allows students to have a career end-goal in mind. Courses in this curriculum include C# Programming, Object-Oriented Programming, and more. You will be required to submit SAT/ACT scores until you’re over the age of 21. There are 123 credits required for graduation, which is more than most programs. The elective courses in this program are not specific to Programming. You will be required to complete a capstone project for this program. You will have to research and plan a large scale project as well as provide weekly written status reports, write formal papers, and complete comprehensive exams.
University of Illinois at Springfield
- Tuition: $9,515(in state) / $16,117(out of state)
- Concentration areas available within major
- Guaranteed fixed tuition rate for all 4 years
- Almost 70% of students receive financial aid
School WideStudent Satisfaction73%Admission Rate52%Programs offered online11
Program LevelMedian Debt$20,603Programs in Department3Popularity at School16.28%90%OSR Score
Students in the online BS in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Springfield need to have significant experience in areas like Java programming, calculus, and finite math. But once admitted, students will experience a wide-ranging and rewarding curriculum. Concentration areas include Software Engineering or Systems Security & Information Assurance. In order to be admitted, you will need two semesters of Java. There is a non-refundable application fee required. This program only offers 2 admission dates per year. You will be required to take one semester of each of the following classes: Discrete or Finite Math, Calculus, and Statistics.
Davenport University20-Year ROI$606,885
- Tuition: $16,728(in state) / $16,728(out of state)
- Three career-driven concentration areas available
- 95% of online students at DU receive financial aid
- Strong military tuition assistance and support benefits
School WideStudent Satisfaction69%Admission Rate82%Programs offered online23
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department6Popularity at School10.58%87%OSR Score
Unique to Davenport University, the online BS in Computer Science comes with three concentration options: Artificial Intelligence, Gaming and Simulation, and Computer Architecture & Algorithms. These focus areas are great guides to future careers. There is also the option to minor in Mathematics. You will be required to take on field experience or an internship which will not be offered online. There is no accelerated program offered to full-time students. This school has a higher tuition rate per credit than other programs ($777/credit). This school gives you the option of completing a mathematics minor, which can give you a competitive advantage in the job market.
Baker College20-Year ROI$539,587
- Tuition: $9,360(in state) / $9,360(out of state)
- Most of the total credits are major-based
- Over 76% of first-year students receive financial aid
- Seamless transfer process (especially from MI colleges)
School WideStudent Satisfaction70%Programs offered online17
Program LevelMedian Debt$30,686Programs in Department5Popularity at School8.78%87%OSR Score
Students are presented with two concentration options with Baker Colleges’ online BS in Computer Science: Database Technology or Computer Programming. Both require 121 total credits, with 76 devoted specifically to the major and 18 devoted to the concentration. This program is transfer-student friendly. There is a $100 technology fee applied per term. You’ll also be required to pay a $30 non-refundable application fee. Some courses you will take in this program are Data Management and Design, Legal and Ethical Issues in Information Technology, and Introduction to Discrete Mathematics. You will also be required to have work experience classes.
Regis University20-Year ROI$1,120,155
- Tuition: $35,260(in state) / $35,260(out of state)
- Only program that is ABET-accredited and online
- Three different concentration areas available
- Application fee waived for Regis graduates
School WideStudent Satisfaction74%Admission Rate60%Programs offered online25
Program LevelMedian Debt$28,781Programs in Department4Popularity at School6.57%85%OSR Score
Embedded within the Regis University BS in Computer Science program are three core concentrations: Computer Science, Computer Information Systems, and Information Technology. This is a 128-credit online program. Students have the option, however, of extending it into a combined BS/MS degree for 152 credits. There is a non-refundable $50 application fee required. This school has higher tuition rates during the fall semester. This program has more credit hours required than other programs. Some foundation courses you may take in this program are Introduction to Programming, Principles of Programming Languages, or Mobile and Enterprise Computing.
National University20-Year ROI$1,183,483
- Tuition: $13,032(in state) / $13,032(out of state)
- BS/MS in Computer Science transition program available
- 4-week courses; students take 1 course at a time
- Applications are accepted year-round
School WideStudent Satisfaction71%Programs offered online46
Program LevelMedian Debt$37,961Programs in Department2Popularity at School4.58%80%OSR Score
Delivered through accelerated, 4-week courses, National University offers an online BS in Computer Science that rivals the rest. This program is popular with military students and veterans since it caters to adult learning. Students take one course at a time. Although it is popular, this school is not officially affiliated with the U.S. Military. This program has only 2 electives built into the curriculum. If you’re an international student, there is a $60 student fee. Some courses you will take in this program are Scientific Problem Solving, Linear Algebra and Matrix Comp, and Data Structures and Algorithms.
California State University-Monterey Bay
- Tuition: $5,742(in state) / $17,622(out of state)
- Possible to graduate in just 24 months
- Small cohorts of 25-30 students
- Tuition rates are the same regardless of residency
School WideStudent Satisfaction74%Admission Rate53%Programs offered online2
Program LevelMedian Debt$13,844Programs in Department2Popularity at School5.61%80%OSR Score
If you’re a transfer student with existing credits, California State University-Monterey Bay has an online degree completion program that is perfect for you. You’ll graduate with a BS in Computer Science but it will only take you around 24 months to complete. Students move through the program with a cohort. This program is only available as a degree completion program, meaning you cannot enter as a freshman. There are prerequisites still required for students with a BS. You will be required to pay a $55 non-refundable application fee. Some courses you will take in this program are Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Multimedia Design and Programming, and Introduction to Database Systems.
Saint Leo University20-Year ROI$869,248
- Tuition: $21,600(in state) / $21,600(out of state)
- Students have landed top-notch internships
- Option to join Upsilon Pi Epsilon chapter
- Generous elective options within curriculum
School WideStudent Satisfaction74%Admission Rate58%Programs offered online22
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department2Popularity at School5.12%78%OSR Score
Saint Leo University changes things up with an online BS in Computer Information Systems. This 120-credit program dives into Network Theory, Database Programming, and Information Security. Students will devote 30 credits to major courses, with ample room for additional electives. The tuition rates at this school are not fixed, meaning they can increase every year. There is a non-refundable $45 application fee. There is also a $25 technology fee applied per course. Graduates of this program have gone on to work in many different careers including the Hillsborough County Government, University of South Florida, and Carnival Cruise Lines.
Concordia University-Saint Paul20-Year ROI$979,788
- Tuition: $21,750(in state) / $21,750(out of state)
- Free software provided for online courses
- No online application fee required
- Fixed tuition rate regardless of residency
School WideStudent SatisfactionNot ReportedAdmission Rate55%Programs offered online17
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department1Popularity at School9.49%76%OSR Score
Fully deliverable online, students at Concordia University-Saint Paul will earn a BS in Computer Science. The major itself covers 55 credits (within the 120 credit requirement). Highlight topics that are covered include User Experience, Web Design, Object-Oriented Programming, and more. There is only 1 elective course included in the curriculum. The transfer policy at this school is somewhat limited to area schools. The curriculum is pre-set so there is not much room for customizing your degree. This school has a good reputation as 95% of CSP grads receive job offers within one year of graduation.
Lewis University20-Year ROI$971,409
- Tuition: $31,100(in state) / $31,100(out of state)
- Field Experience or Internship required (not online)
- No accelerated program offered to full-time students
- Higher tuition rate per credit than other programs ($777/credit)
School WideStudent Satisfaction76%Admission Rate54%Programs offered online8
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department2Popularity at School3.64%76%OSR Score
Lewis University delivers an accelerated online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science that covers 128 credits. This program is specifically for transfer students with at least 30 credits. The program includes numerous focus areas, including Game/Simulation Programming, Cyber Security Operations, Data Science, and more. There is a prior Learning Assessment fee applied for transfers. This school requires more credit hours than others. You will be required to complete a capstone project for this program. Some of the core classes you will take in this program include Algorithms and Data Structures, Introduction to Networks, and Programming Fundamentals.
Mercy College20-Year ROI$790,262
- Tuition: $18,084(in state) / $18,084(out of state)
- Up to 90 transfer credit hours accepted
- Tuition rates are lowest among private schools in NY
- Curriculum leans heavily on programming skills
School WideStudent Satisfaction77%Admission Rate79%Programs offered online15
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department3Popularity at School2.2%73%OSR Score
The 120-credit-hour BS in Computer Science at Mercy College takes students 4 years to complete. Students can attend either online or in person. The major courses in the curriculum, which covers 47 credits, includes classes like Artificial Intelligence, Software Engineering, and Computer Architecture. This school does not have an accelerated option available. There is a $40 non-refundable application fee. The registration fees per term are very steep at $166-$330. The tuition rates at this school are lowest among private schools in NY. This program follows the most recent guidelines of the Report of the ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Curriculum Task Force.
Fort Hays State University
- Tuition: $3,900(in state) / $13,723(out of state)
- No additional fees beyond application fee
- Hugely affordable per credit tuition rate ($218/credit)
- Generous transfer student policy
School WideStudent Satisfaction71%Admission Rate89%Programs offered online22
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department2Popularity at School3.94%71%OSR Score
Students can choose to attend Fort Hays State University online or on-campus. Either way, the BS in Computer Science requires 120 credit hours, with 65 of those devoted to the major. Courses range from Operating Systems to Object-Oriented Programming to Data Structures. There is a $30 application fee for US students and a $50 application fee for international students. Out-of-state students have a higher GPA requirement, they must have a 2.5. Graduates of the Department of Computer Science have gone on to work in multiple industries including Fortune 500 corporations, government agencies, and research organizations.