Best Online Master’s in Computer Science

Best Online Masters Computer ScienceDo you enjoy solving complex problems and working with technology? Computer science students that have a master’s degree can pick from several exciting jobs in information technology (IT). These jobs can lead to a very successful career in the IT field.

An IT career typically starts with an undergraduate degree in math or technology. Adding a master’s degree in computer science can open doors to more influential jobs, like managerial roles. A master’s degree can also come with higher pay, so continue reading to see if this degree path is the right fit for you. 

What Is an Online Master’s in Computer Science?

Earning a master’s degree in computer science offers students a high amount of work opportunities in the digital marketplace. People with this degree can expect job opportunities from any of the top tech giants like Oracle, Apple, Facebook, and Cisco Systems. This advanced degree offers salary increases plus leadership and management opportunities. It’s also important to note that you need this degree in order to become a computer research scientist or a professor in the academic environment. If you want to pursue government work as a research scientist, you’ll also be required to hold a master’s degree.

How Much Can You Earn With an Online Master’s Degree in Computer Science?

People that get a master’s degree in computer science can increase their annual earnings. This is because the degree comes with higher-level career opportunities. Some of those jobs include:

  • network and computer systems administrators
  • computer and information research scientists
  • information security analysts

According to the 2020 US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, information security analysts earned about $103,590 each year. Those with a bachelor’s degree earned about $93,730. Computer and information research scientists with master’s degrees made about $136, 830.

It was also reported that managers in the computer science field were able to earn about $151,150 in 2020.

What Is Required For an Online Master’s Degree in Computer Science?

If your goal is to earn a master’s in computer science, you will have to start with a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Consider majoring in something like information systems, engineering, or computer science. Maintaining a high GPA within your chosen major will be key to successful admission into a master’s program. Also, if you can get work-related experience, this will help you stand out from other applicants. Finally, you should expect one or more internships to be a hands-on part of your degree work. You should know that courses in artificial intelligence and programming will be the center of your academic study. So, you will need a real appreciation for technology, problem-solving, and even computer languages to thrive.

What Are the Best Online Master’s Degrees in Computer Science?

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 degrees, 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How important is computer programming when it comes to earning a master’s in computer science? 

There is a huge demand for computer programmers, designers, researchers, and scientists in nearly every commercial or private business. This field often attracts students looking for an easy opportunity to enter a high-paying industry. However, some students may not be necessarily the best fit for the field.

This type of work is best for someone who is analytical, loves to problem-solve, and is fascinated with technology. In other words, you should enjoy programming if you want to pursue this degree program. Since computer specialists are needed in most fields, you can take your actual interests and specialize in the computer science concentration that you find most exciting

What are the benefits of going beyond a bachelor’s degree? 

A bachelor’s degree in computer science is not only a popular choice but it’s foundational for an extended education in the field. So, if you can get a job in the computer industry with just a bachelor’s degree, why pursue the extra hours of schooling to earn a master’s degree?

When you decide to go back to school to earn a master’s degree, you are opening yourself up to even more job opportunities and giving yourself a chance to specialize. Also, if you ever want to have a management or leadership role or become a professor, a master’s degree is essential.

A master’s degree in computer science will expand your skillset and paycheck opportunities in the fast-moving field of IT. The employment opportunities are continuing to grow including: 

  • Cybersecurity in both the public and government-industry
  • The designing and building of computer systems for corporations
  • Teaching and research work in academia

Choose the specific industry that you want to immerse yourself in and then consult one of the universities above.

  1. Capitol Technology University

    Capital Technical University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $10,800(in state) / $10,800(out of state)
    • Total of 30 credit hours required
    • Completion in one year
    • Project-based research paper required

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction72.80%
    Admission Rate75%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median Debt$26,000
    Programs in Department5
    Popularity at School40.00%
    100%
    OSR Score

    Earn a master’s degree in computer science online from Capitol Technology University. You’ll study courses in algorithms, artificial intelligence, database systems, as well as predictive analytics. This degree will lead to employment opportunities as a:

    • data scientist
    • network engineer
    • IT manager
    • software systems architect
  2. Dakota State University

    Dakota State University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $5,665(in state) / $10,575(out of state)
    • Total of 30 credit hours for completion
    • GRE not required with a US bachelor’s degree
    • Minimum 3.0 GPA in bachelor’s program

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction70.40%
    Admission Rate84%
    Programs offered online11

    Program Level

    Median Debt$24,447
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at School37.39%
    95%
    OSR Score

    You will learn important skills that will make you stand out in the industry with a master’s degree from Dakota State University. This program stretches beyond technological theories into real-world, market-based applications like cybersecurity. Graduates can work in government or the public or private sectors.

  3. New Jersey Institute of Technology

    NJIT

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $19,720(in state) / $29,166(out of state)
    • Total of 30 credit hours for completion 
    • Letter of recommendation required
    • GRE scores required

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction71.20%
    Admission Rate61%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median Debt$23,261
    Programs in Department5
    Popularity at School19.15%
    88%
    OSR Score

    The master’s degree from New Jersey Institute of Technology combines algorithms and logical reasoning to modern-day business problems. 

    Graduates will choose from the following specializations for their degree track:

    • software engineering
    • database and data mining
    • bioinformatics
    • image processing & pattern recognition
    • and computer networking & security
  4. Colorado Technical University-Colorado Springs

    Colorado Technical

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $13,393(in state) / $13,393(out of state)
    • Computer science degree required for admission
    • Total of 48 credits required
    • Transfer credits accepted

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction77.20%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online18

    Program Level

    Median Debt$37,504
    Programs in Department4
    Popularity at School13.07%
    88%
    OSR Score

    The master’s degree in computer science from Colorado Technical University prepares students for career success. The course schedule will advance your core computer skills and open areas of degree concentration that include cybersecurity engineering, data science, and software engineering.

  5. DePaul University

    DePaul University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $19,344(in state) / $19,344(out of state)
    • Total of 52 credit hours for completion 
    • Minimum overall GPA of 2.5
    • Transfer students welcome

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75.00%
    Admission Rate72%
    Programs offered online3

    Program Level

    Median Debt$23,257
    Programs in Department7
    Popularity at School7.80%
    87%
    OSR Score

    DePaul University’s online computer science degree is less research driven and more practical work-place driven. Students will embrace their theoretical knowledge by mixing in the practical uses of technology in an ever-changing business environment. Choose from conducting a master’s thesis, research project, or internship to complete your degree study.

  6. Johns Hopkins University

    Johns Hopkins

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $52,170(in state) / $52,170(out of state)
    • Complete within five years 
    • Total of 10 concentrations available 
    • Proficiency exam available to opt out of prerequisites

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73.40%
    Admission Rate13%
    Programs offered online6

    Program Level

    Median Debt$13,500
    Programs in Department4
    Popularity at School2.49%
    86%
    OSR Score

    You can earn a master’s degree in computer science from Johns Hopkins University while continuing as a working professional. You’ll learn how to:

    • determine the accuracy of deterministic and non-deterministic algorithms
    • understand data structures
    • and analyze computer algorithm efficiencies
  7. National University

    National University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $14,976(in state) / $14,976(out of state)
    • Class length of four weeks
    • A total of 13 courses
    • Specializations available

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction70.80%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online46

    Program Level

    Median Debt$28,451
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at School4.58%
    85%
    OSR Score

    The master’s in computer science from the National University can be completed online while offering students hands-on training. There are three separate project classes that take three months each to complete. The project work incorporates working for a real-world client and providing solutions for their problems.

  8. Franklin University

    Franklin University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $15,816(in state) / $15,816(out of state)
    • Total of 36 credit hours 
    • Complete in 20 months
    • Three focus areas available

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73.00%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online32

    Program Level

    Median Debt$23,668
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School7.49%
    84%
    OSR Score

    Franklin University’s computer science master’s program prepares students to help industry-leading companies meet their software and systems needs. Graduates will be able to:

    • design software solutions
    • increase system security efficiencies
    • and reduce turnaround time
  9. Stanford University

    Stanford University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $48,987(in state) / $48,987(out of state)
    • Total of 45 credit hours for graduation
    • Complete in three to five years
    • Only one admissions cycle per year

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction79.40%
    Admission Rate5%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median Debt$27,400
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School14.83%
    83%
    OSR Score

    The master’s in computer science from Stanford University is built to customize students’ academic path and meet their unique personal career needs. Fundamental courses can be used to introduce inexperienced students while professionals in the industry seeking career expansion can take more advanced courses.

  10. University of Illinois at Springfield

    University of Illinois- Springfield

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $8,772(in state) / $15,857(out of state)
    • Total of eight courses 
    • GPA of 3.0 required
    • Research seminar required

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73.00%
    Admission Rate52%
    Programs offered online11

    Program Level

    Median Debt$29,031
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School16.28%
    81%
    OSR Score

    The University of Illinois at Springfield offers a master’s in computer science that teaches students an in-depth understanding of software programming design, implementation, and analysis. Utilizing a research seminar, students will experience current industry problem-analysis.

  11. Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,737(in state) / $9,737(out of state)
    • Total of 38 credit hours required 
    • Courses are eight weeks long
    • Transfer up to 12 credits

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction69.20%
    Admission Rate67%
    Programs offered online37

    Program Level

    Median Debt$18,750
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at SchoolNot Reported
    80%
    OSR Score

    If you’re seeking a reputable online university, you can earn your master’s of computer science from Grand Canyon University. The program specifically focuses on applying the theoretical concepts, principles, and methods of computer science to modern-day industry-related applications. Students should already have a talent for computer programming as well as an understanding of abstract thinking and numerical reasoning.

  12. Davenport University

    Davenport University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $13,590(in state) / $13,590(out of state)
    • Total of 30 credit hours
    • Master’s project or research thesis required
    • Four concentrations available

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction68.80%
    Admission Rate82%
    Programs offered online23

    Program Level

    Median Debt$26,914
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School10.58%
    80%
    OSR Score

    The online master’s in computer science from Davenport University offers students advanced courses that include real-world problems and scenarios. With this degree, you can seek employment in:

    • computer forensics
    • computer network architecture
    • machine learning
    • computer programming
    • and information systems analysis
  13. University of Southern California

    USC

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $43,200(in state) / $43,200(out of state)
    • Requirement of 28 credit hours 
    • Complete in three years
    • Minimum 3.0 GPA

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75.80%
    Admission Rate16%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median Debt$34,808
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at School3.74%
    77%
    OSR Score

    The University of Southern California offers a master’s degree in computer science that prepares students through a collaboration of fundamental computer training and current computer science industry issues. Students can specialize for immediate corporate employment or prepare for additional technical degrees.

  14. Lewis University

    Lewis University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $14,310(in state) / $14,310(out of state)
    • Minimum of 33 credit hours for completion 
    • Two-page statement of purpose required
    • Two letters of recommendation required

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76.00%
    Admission Rate54%
    Programs offered online8

    Program Level

    Median Debt$23,935
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at School3.64%
    77%
    OSR Score

    Earn a master’s in computer science online from Lewis University and graduate with the ability to confront the real-world problems of today’s IT jobs. Choose from one of six concentrations offered and complete a thesis for graduation.

  15. Stevens Institute of Technology

    Stevens Institute of Technology

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $34,494(in state) / $34,494(out of state)
    • Total of 30 credit hours for completion 
    • Choose from 10 focus areas
    • Competitive GRE or GMAT score

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction71.20%
    Admission Rate44%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median Debt$19,843
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at School4.51%
    76%
    OSR Score

    The online computer science degree from Stevens Institute of Technology is a master’s of education. This provides an opportunity for students with a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field to increase their knowledge of IT. Students can expect to study:

    • information systems
    • Engineering
    • computer science
    • systems management
  16. Rice University

    Rice University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $37,833(in state) / $37,833(out of state)
    • Total of 30 credit hours 
    • No thesis required
    • Minimum GPA of 2.67

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction77.00%
    Admission Rate16%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median Debt$11,200
    Programs in DepartmentNot Reported
    Popularity at School6.29%
    75%
    OSR Score

    The master’s in computer science from Rice University can be completed online. It offers students an in-depth learning experience that consists of:

    • designing and implementation instruction
    • client and user communication training
    • and exposure to advanced computer science problems

    The core courses are made up of computer systems work, data classes, and principles of algorithms and software.

  17. Boston University

    Boston University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $50,980(in state) / $50,980(out of state)
    • Total of 40 credit hours required
    • Complete in 24 months
    • Choose from seven concentrations

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74.60%
    Admission Rate25%
    Programs offered online2

    Program Level

    Median Debt$25,625
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School< 1%
    75%
    OSR Score

    Boston University offers a master’s degree in computer information systems. The online coursework includes: 

    • health informatics
    • security
    • computer networks
    • data analytics 
    • and web application development 

    The program is designed to combine managerial and organizational training with modern information technology skills.

  18. East Carolina University

    East Carolina University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $4,749(in state) / $17,898(out of state)
    • Total of 30 semester hours 
    • MAT or GRE scores required
    • GPA of 3.0 required

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75.40%
    Admission Rate79%
    Programs offered online19

    Program Level

    Median Debt$24,442
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School1.57%
    75%
    OSR Score

    East Carolina University offers an online master’s in computer science that can be completed entirely online. The program will include courses involving:

    • modern programming languages
    • operating systems
    • hardware design
    • software construction
    • and database environments
  19. Tufts University

    Tufts University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $49,892(in state) / $49,892(out of state)
    • Total of 33 credit hours required
    • Complete in under two years
    • Capstone project required

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76.20%
    Admission Rate15%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median Debt$17,500
    Programs in DepartmentNot Reported
    Popularity at School7.21%
    75%
    OSR Score

    Consider Tufts University for completing your master’s degree in computer science online. This degree matches up interdisciplinary learning with research collaboration. It also teaches the foundational theory of computing and programming practice. You will:

    • build applications
    • learn the newest technology
    • and develop large-scale software systems 
  20. City University of Seattle

    CITY UNIVERSITY OF SEATTLE LOGO

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $15,264(in state) / $15,264(out of state)
    • Minimum of 39 credit hours for completion 
    • Military tuition discounts
    • Capstone project required

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction68.60%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online17

    Program Level

    Median Debt$23,769
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School4.27%
    75%
    OSR Score

    The master’s in computer science from the City University of Seattle is built for students who desire opportunities in today’s modern field of IT. The program offers a combination of business IT knowledge with the theories and fundamentals of computing. Internship opportunities are also available.

  21. The University of West Florida

    The University of West Florida

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $7,088(in state) / $22,166(out of state)
    • Total of 30 credit hours required
    • Complete in 36 months
    • Transfer up to six credits

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74.60%
    Admission Rate50%
    Programs offered online8

    Program Level

    Median Debt$17,750
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School4.19%
    74%
    OSR Score

    The master’s in computer science from The University of West Florida can be concentrated in data analytics or software engineering. This degree is designed to help students explore topics like:

    • artificial intelligence
    • algorithmic programming
    • systems and networks
    • parallel computing
    • and data analysis
  22. George Washington University

    George Washington University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $29,790(in state) / $29,790(out of state)
    • Total of 10 courses
    • GPA of 3.0 from bachelor’s degree required
    • Current CV for application

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73.80%
    Admission Rate41%
    Programs offered online8

    Program Level

    Median Debt$25,000
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School2.09%
    74%
    OSR Score

    George Washington University offers a master’s in computer science that teaches students computer education. This program is geared to meet the high demands of current business models. An advanced capstone course is required for graduation.

  23. North American University

    North American University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $5,277(in state) / $5,277(out of state)
    • Total of 30 credit hours
    • Four concentrations available 
    • Two letters of recommendation and a letter of intent required

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76.60%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median Debt$50,802
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School19.72%
    74%
    OSR Score

    The master’s in computer science from North American University is targeted to help graduates advance their current IT career into management, academia, or research. Coursework includes:

    • advanced network administration
    • machine learning
    • cyber-crime investigation
    • data analysis and machine learning
  24. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

    University of Minnesota

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $16,728(in state) / $25,884(out of state)
    • Total of 31 credit hours for completion
    • GPA of 3.25 for admission
    • Three degree tracks available

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73.80%
    Admission Rate50%
    Programs offered online6

    Program Level

    Median Debt$20,000
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School5.29%
    71%
    OSR Score

    The computer science master’s degree from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities is designed for students that are interested in expanding their marketable computer skills. Classes you’ll take will include wireless and sensor networks, animation, and game planning. 

  25. North Carolina State University at Raleigh

    NC State

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $8,492(in state) / $23,967(out of state)
    • Total of 31 credit hours for completion 
    • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
    • GRE scores required for admissions

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73.60%
    Admission Rate51%
    Programs offered online1

    Program Level

    Median Debt$20,714
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School3.34%
    72%
    OSR Score

    North Carolina State University offers a master’s degree in computer science that prepares students for a lot of different career opportunities. Designed for working professionals, there is no thesis or comprehensive examination required.

  26. Columbia University in the City of New York

    Columbia University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $44,864(in state) / $44,864(out of state)
    • Total of 30 credit hours for completion 
    • Undergraduate GPA of 3.3 required
    • GRE scores required

    School Wide

    Student SatisfactionNot Reported
    Admission Rate7%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median Debt$44,501
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School6.21%
    72%
    OSR Score

    The online master’s of computer science from Columbia University in the City of New York balances student instruction. The focus is on theoretical computer science and mathematics along with training in experimental computer technology. There are eight concentration tracks to choose from and no capstone project is required for graduation.

  27. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $15,186(in state) / $28,773(out of state)
    • Total of 32 credit hours for completion 
    • Minimum 3.2 undergraduate GPA
    • “B-” or better required for most coursework

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73.80%
    Admission Rate62%
    Programs offered online1

    Program Level

    Median Debt$20,127
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School4.19%
    71%
    OSR Score

    The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides a master’s degree in computer science that is structured to give students a wide range of technology training. Course work includes:

    • graphics/HCI
    • artificial intelligence
    • parallel computing
    • and database and information systems
  28. Old Dominion University

    Old Dominion University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,168(in state) / $26,820(out of state)
    • Minimum of 31 credit hours for completion
    • Master’s project required
    • Master’s thesis track optional

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75.20%
    Admission Rate86%
    Programs offered online19

    Program Level

    Median Debt$23,750
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School1.47%
    70%
    OSR Score

    The master’s of computer science from Old Dominion University is for students with a strong background in computer science or demonstrated professional experience in the field. Final examinations and projects are required after academic seminars for both.

  29. Concordia University-Wisconsin

    Concordia University-Wisconsin

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $10,422(in state) / $10,422(out of state)
    • Total of 30 credit hours required
    • Eight-week class format
    • Complete in 18 months

    School Wide

    Student SatisfactionNot Reported
    Admission Rate63%
    Programs offered online14

    Program Level

    Median Debt$25,000
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School2.14%
    70%
    OSR Score

    The master’s in computer science from Concordia University-Wisconsin is a great next step for IT professionals. If you’re looking to increase your earnings and open up more career opportunities, this is the degree program for you.

  30. Nova Southeastern University

    Quick Facts

    • Total of 30 credit hours for completion 
    • Eight-week class format
    • Six concentrations available

    School Wide

    Student SatisfactionNot Reported
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median Debt$25,000
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School1.41%
    70%
    OSR Score

    Nova Southeastern University lets students expand their careers to open opportunities in nearly any area of the world. Graduates with this degree will be skilled in operating systems, software engineering, algorithms, and advanced programming languages.