25 Best Online Computer Science Degree Programs [2020 Guide]

Home » 25 Best Online Computer Science Degree Programs [2020 Guide]

An online computer science degree can offer flexibility and convenience if you are looking to advance in the career world of technology.

Online studies require you to be a motivated and dedicated learner while giving you the freedom to study at times that work best for you.

Online Computer Science Degree Programs

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupations that fall under the computer science field of study should rise by twelve percent in the next eight years. With the growth of technology, computer science has become a necessity in most business designs.

Professionals in this area must be well versed in the ever-changing needs that arise from the hardware, software, programming, and the web-based aspects of the technology industry.

Best Online Computer Science Degrees

There is more than one route you can follow when you choose to major in an online computer science bachelor’s degree.

Many who are looking into this degree path also consider majoring in or minoring in computer science, software engineering, or computer programming.

Each of these paths has similar class requirements and career options, but they are still very different.

Computer Science

team of software developers working in an office

A degree in computer science is a very diverse degree that can lead to a job in almost any industry. This degree program teaches students software infrastructure, technology developments, and computer programming. You should also learn critical thinking skills, problem-solving, and how to be logical and analytical in your decisions.


If you are considering a degree in computer science, you have a better chance of succeeding if you enjoy working with technology, are creative, and are mathematically oriented. The degree creates an opportunity for you to learn new skills in:

  • Technology Development
  • Network Development
  • Hardware Components
  • Software Engineering

The variety of skills taught allows graduates to be ready in many areas of the workforce.

Software Engineering

software engineers working together on a project

In addition to computer science, you can also earn your degree online in computer engineering or software engineering.

Some computer science degrees even offer this as a specialization. Software engineering can help you understand all aspects of building and designing computer systems and applications software. This software includes programs such as:

  • Computing Utilities
  • Operations Systems
  • User-Focused Applications
  • Database Program
  • Web Browsers

This degree area focuses on many other aspects of the technology world and helps graduates prepare to work in a variety of different technical roles.

A career in the software engineering field is very competitive. You must have strong leadership skills, excellent organizational abilities, and be able to problem-solve on aggressive timelines. You also need to detail-oriented and a big picture mindset.

Computer Programming

computer programmer working on his computer

An online computer programming degree will teach you to write computer code in languages such as:

  • C++
  • Python
  • Java
  • HTML

These languages, as well as several others, give instructions to operating systems, applications, and other programs that that them what to do and how to do it. They will write computer code and help to enhance existing codes, find errors to repair, and assist developers with designs.


In a computer programming course of study you will learn the basics of programming logic, problem-solving and algorithmic design.

If you are a problem-solver with excellent communication skills, then computer programming might fit your personality. You should also be able to adapt to change quickly.

Curriculum for an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science

Curriculum for an Online Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science

The courses required for a bachelor’s degree in computer science can be rigorous. It is helpful if you are a self-motivated student who enjoys a challenge. Here are ten examples of courses you might master before you get your degree:

  • Algorithms: In this course, you will learn how to use many types of algorithms with data structures to solve corporate problems. Upon completion of this course, you should be able to combine the algorithms and data structure to design systems at scale.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Artificial intelligence courses teach you problem-solving skills using a combination of algorithms and data structures to build codes that learn. Students learn sophisticated issues related to using A.I. to solve real-life complications.
  • Calculus: Calculus is more than mathematics; it teaches a solid foundation of the applications involved for using mathematics in science, engineering, and commerce. You also are exposed to the preliminary methodology of tangents and limits and a derivative.
  • Computer Architecture: This course exposes you to the hardware of the computer as well as different programming languages. Understanding how a computer stores, uses, and functions of the various memory capacities of the computer systems is another critical aspect of this course.
  • Data Structure: Data structure courses discuss how algorithms need to be used to store data quickly, capably move data, and better access it.
  • Design Physics: Design physics shows students the relationship between science, math, and engineering. This course design shows you how to design, build, and use structures and machines by using the technical applications of physics.
  • Electronic Design: This is a course that helps you understand the complex issues related to electrical engineering and how it correlates with the design, function, and utilization of computer systems.
  • Machine Language: Machine language teaches you how to write the programs that give the computer instructions for the main memory. It allows students to learn how the processor works and how computers execute the instructions quickly and efficiently.
  • Operating Systems: An operating system is one of the most important aspects to understand if you work in technology. A course in operating systems teaches you more about this fact, as well as showing you what you need to know about caching, concurrency, memory management, and operating system protections.
  • Programming Languages: Programming language teaches the background need for you to understand how to use programming language concepts used together to design programs that can work efficiently. Programming languages shows you how to think outside the box to understand better the syntax of each programming language.

As you can see by the courses described, computer science is a demanding degree program that entails varies aspects of technology features. The program requires a tremendous effort, but the payoff is a lucrative career in a growing industry.

Computer Science Concentrations and Specialties

Computer Science Concentrations and Specialties

When choosing to get your bachelor’s degree in computer science, you may consider obtaining an educational specialty to help you focus on one major aspect of the computer science field. Some of the specialty areas you may want to consider are listed below:

  • Data mining

Data mining is made up of three major aspects of computer science:

  • Statistics
  • Machine Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence

The three areas work together to assist in finding relevant data to predict outcomes more quickly by using better-informed decisions.

  • Mobile computing

Mobile computing teaches how to use hardware, software, and communication to maneuver data without having to be connected to a physical machine. This specialization will show you all aspects of working with wireless communication.

network security officer checking data center

  • Network security

This specialty teaches you how to protect companies, websites, and other vital databases by using basic cryptography and crypto API. You should also learn how to hack applications, passwords, and firewalls to fix security problems or build programs to secure private information.

  • Software engineering

Software engineering is a specialty area of computer science that can help you learn all aspects of building and designing computer systems and applications software. You should be able to gain experience in networking, programming, computer mechanics, software, and more.

After you do your research and get some experience in your degree program, consider if one of these specialty areas are right for you or if there is another area you are more interested in pursuing. Keep in mind that you are not required to have a specialty area to get your degree in computer science.

Computer Science Careers & Salaries

Computer Science Careers & Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are a number of high-paying computer science careers available to you once you obtain your bachelor’s degree.

Here are some of the computer science jobs and salaries in this field:

Careers Annual Average Salary
Computer and Information Research Scientists $122,840
Software Developers, Systems Software $111,780
Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers $111,620
Software Developers $107,510
Information Security Analysts $99,730
Computer Support Specialists $54,760

The demand for computer and technology experts is high and there are many different types of jobs out there. Finding one that matches your needs, wants and skills may prove easier than you expect in the flourishing computer science sector.

Accreditation

Accreditation for Computer Science Degree

Colleges and universities can participate in voluntary accreditation programs to help make sure their school provides the best in computer science education that can ensure students can compete in a global industry. The Department of Education has six major regional accrediting agencies. These accreditation organizations include:

These facilities can provide accreditation for online programs in computer science as well.

Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, or the ABET, is another organization which endorses post-secondary education programs in science, computer, engineering, and technology. This accreditation helps to ensure that schools meet the high standards needed to produce highly effective global courses and learners.

Computer Science Licenses and Certifications

computer engineer receiving a certificate

Computer Science Licenses and Certifications are an essential aspect of job seekers in the computer science field. Your degree may get your foot in the door, but you may be competing with many others who have similar education and experience.

Having a license or certification can help you to stand out from the rest by showing a potential employer, you have the hands-on experience and knowledge in your skillset.

The following licenses and certifications can help you achieve your career goals:

  • Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) – To become an MCSE, you must prove you can design, install, administer and troubleshoot desktop and networking infrastructure based on Microsoft server platforms. There are five exams you must pass to get this title.
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) – This is a certification that shows organizations you can keep up in the ever-growing field of technology. You must pass an exam to get his certification.
  • Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) – This certification shows you can to plan, implement, verify, and troubleshoot local and wide-area initiative networks. After passing the exam for certification, employers can see you can work in any aspect of wireless communications.
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) – This certification shows you can protect organizations from cyber-attacks. After passing your certification exam, you have the validation needed to demonstrate your ability to create and put into practice your security programs.
  • CompTIA A+ – Those who achieve their certification in this area can show employers they are problem-solvers who can think quickly to solve real-life problems when needed. You will have to pass two difficult exams on a wide variety of skillsets to get certified in this field.
  • CompTIA Network+ – This is a certification that shows you have the skills needed to work in wired and wireless technology to troubleshooting, configuring, and managing networks. After passing an exam, you will be eligible to prove your technology potential better.

Having one or more of these certifications can build a better resume, promote higher salaries, and assist in getting the job you have been seeking.

Financial Aid

Financial aid for computer science degree students

The total cost for a bachelor’s degree in computer science varies on the school you chose. Public universities are often cheaper than private universities. Most colleges and universities will offer financial aid packages to help with the cost of your education, but the total cost of your program will depend on factors such as:

  • your household income
  • grants or scholarships offered by your school
  • additional financial awards and scholarships for which you apply

Many students also take advantage of low-interest federal student loans. Students loans can be applied for through the FAFSA application and can help you get the education you need at a price you can afford. Payments on most federal student loans do not begin until up to six months after you graduate your degree program.

computer science degree student filling up FAFSA form

You should start with filling out a free application for Federal Student Financial Aid, otherwise known as FAFSA. You can find all the necessary information, such as deadlines, forms, and directions on their website.

Some companies offer tuition reimbursement opportunities for those who are seeking to move up in their organization or who are looking to fill an open needed area in their field. You should check with your company or the company in which you are planning to apply to see if they have any programs that help to pay for employee higher education.

Computer Science Scholarships

computer science students looking for scholarships online

Aside from the loans, grants, and scholarships available from your college, business, or federal aid, you should consider looking into other avenues to help finance your education. There are many scholarships that assist students who are interested in pursuing a career in the computer science field. Some of these opportunities include:

  • ISA Educational Foundation Scholarship – This scholarship helps to those who have demonstrated strong leadership abilities and solid educational achievement. You must be enrolled full-time in a program related to the fields of automation and control.
  • APIASF NASA Scholarship – The Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund helps students of low-income families that are the first in their family to go to college and have strong leadership and academic achievements. This scholarship help Asian and Pacific Islander Americans go to college and become mentors in their communities.
  • WID Horizons Scholarship – This scholarship encourages women to pursue occupations that supporting U.S. national security, with a focus on defense or foreign policy. Scholarships are awarded based on financial need, work experience, and field of study.
  • AFCEA STEM Majors Scholarships for Undergraduates – This organization provides scholarship opportunities for those who are interested in going into a STEM field of study that relates to information technology, cybersecurity, telecommunications and electronics, homeland security, and intelligence areas.
  • IEEE President’s Scholarship – Students interested in receiving this scholarship must compete in the Intel ISEF competitions, beginning at the state/local level and advance onto the international competition, and pursue a degree path in electronics engineering in computer science.

There are thousands of other scholarship opportunities for a variety of learners. Take the time to search the web to find other scholarship opportunities that find your educational needs.

computer science student studying at home

Can You Get Computer Science Degree Online?

Many schools offer an online computer science degree from an accredited program. An online program provides a flexible and convenient way to get your education without the hindrance of a brick and mortar school.

You can get the same quality of education with the use of online discussions, project learning, and professors who are available in a variety of ways to help with your education process.

Is an Online Computer Science Degree Worth It?

An online computer science degree can help you gain the education and experience to gain employment in a variety of technology-related fields. You will not only boost your ability to work in a fast-paced, challenging career, but you will also increase your long-term earning potential.

Most industries need computer science graduates to fill many technology positions, so getting a degree in this field is worth the time and expense that you will put into this degree path.

Is Computer Science Hard?

Computer science is a problematic degree path that requires students to become experts in the areas of math, programming, networks, and online security.

what is computer science

Those who enjoy this path most have excellent problem-solving skills, can think analytically, and apply logic when faced with a challenge. It is a hard path for some, but others will find it a challenging field that they enjoy.

What Is Computer Science?

Computer science is a degree path that teaches you essential skills in:

  • technology development
  • network development
  • hardware components
  • software engineering.

The variety of skills taught allows graduates to be ready in many areas of the workforce. This degree will open many doors for you in the technology world.

What Can You Do With a Computer Science Degree?

Many who are looking into this degree path find work in the areas of computer technology, software engineering, network security, or computer programming.

computer hardware engineer fixing cables in data center

The degree opens up many doors in the IT world and gives you an opportunity to apply for higher-paying jobs in many areas of most organizations.

Is Computer Science a BS or a BA?

You can obtain a Bs or a B.A. in computer science. It is essential to know the difference between these two-degree paths. A BA in computer science is a humanity degree, and the major accrediting organizations for the computer science field does not accredit these programs. It may not help you achieve the career goals you are seeking.

A BS in computer science is a science degree, and schools can seek accreditation from the appropriate computer science organizations. Graduates with a B.S. in computer science should have the necessary skills to find a career in this field.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Computer Science Degree Online?

Most online computer science degrees take about four years to complete. Some schools will offer accelerated degree paths that move at a much quicker pace.

These accelerated programs could cut your time for degree completion by up to half, but you must be a dedicated student who can work well under stress to meet deadlines to be successful in this path.

What Are The Different Degree Levels For a Computer Science Degree?

There are four computer science degree levels that you can earn depending on your education and career goals.

  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree
  • Master Degree
  • Doctorate Degree

The degrees are listed in order based on the duration and difficulty to complete, with computer science associate degree programs being the least challenging, and the doctorate degree programs being the most challenging.

Universities Offering Online Computer Science Bachelor’s Degree

Each of the universities included below are regionally accredited and offer computer science bachelor’s degree online.

#1  Charleston Southern University

Charleston Southern University

Charleston Southern University has been offering a private Southern Baptist education since 1964. Accepting students of all denominations, Charleston Southern University works with students across the globe to assist them in earning an undergraduate or graduate degree. Degrees at CSU can be accessed through online or in-person platforms.

  • BA in Computer and Information Sciences
  • BT in Computer Science

Charleston Southern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#2  Concordia University – St Paul

Concordia University St Paul

Operated by the Lutheran Church, Concordia University – St Paul opened in 1893 as a private academic instruction for higher learning. CUSP serves more than 5,000 students through its energetic classroom and online settings.

More than thirty majors, minors, and certificate programs are offered at Concordia University- St. Paul that allows students to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree.

  • BS in Computer Science

Concordia University – Saint Paul is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#3  Dakota State University

Dakota State University

1881 marks the beginning of Dakota State universities long history of academic success. Offering students access to a public education that leads to an associate, undergraduate, or doctoral degree, DSU has a variety of program majors to meet all students’ needs. Popular programs at DSU include homeland security, computer science, and education.

  • BS in Computer Science

Dakota State is an institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#4  Davenport University

Davenport University

Davenport University was established in 1866 as a private school for adult learners. Serving thousands of students every year by offering undergraduate and graduate degrees, Davenport University has an array of majors and minors that helps students have access to competitive industries around the world.

DU also allows students to participate in accelerated learning options.

  • BS in Computer Science

Davenport University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#5  Eastern New Mexico University

Eastern New Mexico University

Providing a public education since 1927, Eastern New Mexico University strives to bring higher learning at an affordable tuition rate. Offering a variety of associate, undergraduate, and graduate degrees, Eastern New Mexico University reaches students around the globe through its dynamic online learning format and its many campus locations.

  • BS in Computer Science

Eastern New Mexico University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#6  Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University

Established in 1961, Florida Atlantic University is an esteemed research educational institution. Blending hands-on academics with rigorous content courses helps students at Florida Atlantic University become leaders in their field.

This public school has a wide array of undergraduate and graduate degrees that can be accessed online and in a traditional classroom setting.

  • BS in Computer Science

FAU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#7  Florida International University

Florida International University

Leading the way in public education, Florida International University opened in 1965. Today, it has hundreds of undergraduate and graduate degrees that are available to students throughout the world.

Students at Florida International University also have access to a degree in law or medicine. Samples of other majors offered include computer science, education, and technology.

  • BA in Computer Science

Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#8  Florida State University

Florida State University

Opening in 1851 as a space and sea-grant public university, Florida State University leads the way in research and innovations.

Serving more than 40,000 students across the globe, Florida State University has hundreds of programs that allow students to acquire an undergraduate or graduate degree using an online program or through one of their campus-based options.

  • BA in Computer Science
  • BS in Computer Science

Florida State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#9  Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University started offering higher education in 1902 as a public, academic institution that works not only to educate the community but also to provide vital outreach programs to help students better connect with the surrounding area.

Degrees offered at FHSU include bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs and can be accessed through online and on-campus learning options.

  • BS in Computer Science

FHSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#10  Lamar University

Lamar University

Lamar University opened in 1923 and is known worldwide for its innovations in research and technology. This public educational facility joined The Texas University system in 1995. It has more than 100 academic majors and minors that leads students to one of their many associates, undergraduate, or graduate degrees.

  • BS in Computer Science

Lamar University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#11  Lewis University

Lewis University campus

Commenced in 1932, Lewis University offers private education based on the traditions of the Roman Catholic religion. This all-inclusive school serves 6,000 students via online and in-class platforms.

Lewis University has more than eighty undergrad options and over twenty graduate programs for students to choose from. Some learning plans are available through an accelerated learning option.

  • BA in Computer Science

Lewis University is accredited by, and a member of, the Higher Learning Commission.

#12  Limestone College

Limestone College

Limestone college commenced in 1945 and has been providing private Christian-based education to students ever since. Once known as a school for women, Limestone College is now a co-educational institution that helps students discover themselves while pursuing higher learning.

LC has numerous and graduate and graduate programs in a variety of different field majors.

  • BS in Computer Science

Limestone College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#13  Mercy College

Mercy College

Reaching students across the United States and in many other countries across the globe, Mercy College allows students a private, affordable higher learning option. Mercy college is associated with the Roman Catholic Church but accepts students of all faiths and religions.

Opening in 1950, MU has a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs to guide students toward their chosen career.

  • BS in Computer Science

Mercy College is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#14  Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University

Commenced in 1930, Old Dominion University is located in Norfolk, Virginia, and is a public school for higher learning. Serving thousands of students every year, Old Dominion University has over one-hundred academic fields that allow students to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree.

Some programs offered at ODU include computer science, education, and health.

  • BS in Computer Science

Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#15  Oregon State University

Oregon State University

Oregon State University was founded in 1868 as a school that provides public education. Known worldwide for its ongoing research innovations, Oregon State University has hundreds of degrees that range from an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs.

OSU allows students to work hand in hand with leaders in top industries around the world.

  • BS in Computer Science

Oregon State University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

#16  Regent University

Regent University

Sitting in the heart of beautiful for Virginia, Regent University is a private Christian academic facility that started in 1977. Students worldwide have access to Regent university’s dynamic educational programs through the use of online and campus-based learning centers.

Regent University gives students access to an array of associate, undergraduate, and graduate degree programs.

  • BS in Computer Science

Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#17  Regis University

Regis University

Providing a private, spiritually based education for almost 142 years, Regis University opened in 1877. Its diverse student body encompasses students of all faiths in reaches across the globe. Students at Regis University have access to various undergraduate and graduate degree programs in an assortment of academic majors.

  • BS in Computer Science

Regis University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#18  Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University is a highly rated private school that is based in Florida. Providing a faith-based curriculum to students from around the globe, Saint Leo University has an assortment of undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

Teaching students the importance of being environmentally and socially conscious, SLU strives to give each student the personal attention needed to meet their goals.

  • BS in Computer Science

Saint Leo University is accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#19  Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

1932 marks the beginning of Southern New Hampshire university’s dynamic academic existence. SNHU provides affordable public education for students seeking higher learning degrees on every level.

With more than 200 academic majors and minors, Southern New Hampshire University seeks to help every student meet their educational and personal goals.

  • BS in Computer Science

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, Inc.

#20  Thomas Edison State University

Thomas Edison State University

Allowing students nontraditional options to obtain a wide assortment of degree programs that include undergraduate and graduate degrees, Thomas Edison State University has been offering public, academic studies since opening in 1972.

Most programs at TESU can be completed online, but TESU also provides course credits based on personal and military experiences.

  • BA in Computer Science

Thomas Edison State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#21  Trident at American InterContinental University

Trident at American InterContinental University

Trident University is a private online college based in Cypress, California. Helping more than 6,800 students yearly to obtain an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, Trident University has a variety of academic program majors and certification programs.

Some programs offered at Trident University include computer science, business, and education.

  • BS in Computer Science

Trident at American InterContinental University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#22  Troy University

Troy University

Providing public education since 1887, Troy University is based in Alabama and offers world-renowned degree programs. TU has hundreds of academic majors and minors that are available through its many associate, undergraduate, and graduate programs.

Many students at Troy University participate through online learning platforms, and all students are encouraged to seek personal development while attending TU.

  • BS in Applied Computer Science

Troy University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#23  University of Florida

University of Florida

The University of Florida works with thousands of students through traditional and nontraditional programs to provide an array of program majors that lead to an undergraduate or graduate degree. The University of Florida began offering public education in 1853 in has grown to include students from across the globe.

  • BS in Computer Science

The University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#24  University of Illinois – Springfield

University of Illinois - Springfield

The University of Illinois’s -Springfield opened in 1969 and has been providing a world-class education ever since. With more than fifty program majors that are grounded with a liberal arts foundation, students can acquire an undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degree.

Students attending UIS can participate via traditional classroom learning or through their dynamic distance learning program.

  • BS in Computer Science

The University of Illinois Springfield is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#25  University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland Global Campus

The University of Maryland Global Campus is a public postsecondary school that has been educating students since 1947. Students across the globe are able to take part in UMGC’s dynamic undergraduate and graduate degree programs by enrolling in one of their distance learning, hybrid, or on-campus academic plans.

  • BS in Computer Science

UMGC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Getting Your Computer Science Degree Online

web developers collaborating on a project

An online degree in computer science can help you achieve your career goals in the technology field. It can help you boost your long-term expect income and move up in the business world. This degree is worth the time and effort you put into it.

Research the schools you are interested in, make sure they have an accredited program in computer science, and apply today to help find the job you have been seeking.

Zoey Scott
WRITTEN BY
Zoey Scott