By Kelley Jacobs
If you’re looking to get into the world of computer programming, you’ll want to find a good school with excellent resources to kickstart your career. Fortunately, you can obtain a high-level computer science degree from just about anywhere thanks to remote learning options.
Interest in computer science is an intelligent career path as the demand for developers, programmers, and other related fields is expected to increase over the next decade. The average salary for a computer scientist is also expected to rise. The current national average, according to indeed.com, is around $90,000.
This push for existing computer science professionals to earn their degree and the promise of job security and above average wages is causing an increase in demand for quality online programs. These online programs can often be completed around work and family obligations which allow the adult learner or those ready for a career change to earn their degree. Finding a reputable program which meets a students’ unique needs is essential.
In this article, we’ll cover the 30 best schools for an online computer science degree. We’ll look at several important details such as tuition, acceptance rate, graduation rate, and more.
We created this list using data obtained from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). To rank each school, we’re looking at their acceptance rate, graduation rate, and overall cost for their computer science program.
We took a look at over 50 different schools and narrowed our list down to the top 30. Our list is in descending order so that the best school will be at the bottom.
Here’s a breakdown of how we rank each school:
50% or Greater – 3 Points
25%-49% – 2 Points
Less than 25% – 1 Point
Less than 25% – 1 Point
25% to 50% – 2 Points
More than 50% – 3 Points
Less than $10,000/year – 3 Points
$10,001-$20,000/year – 2 Points
More than $20,000/year – 1 Point
|School||Tuition||Admission Percentage||Graduation Percentage||Points|
|Western Governors University||$8,624||100%||29%||6|
|South Texas College||$1,320||100%||24.9%||6|
|Arkansas Tech University||$13,236||94.7%||36.4%||7|
|Pennsylvania State University World Campus||$22,017||54.3%||37.7%||7|
|University of Wisconsin||$13,940||54.4%||84.8%||7|
|Georgia Southern University||$16,032||54.5%||46.5%||7|
|Arizona State University||$12,191||86.5%||67.1%||7|
|California State University||$8,121||47.8%||75.5%||7|
|University of Maine||$9,136||90.2%||58.1%||7|
|St. Petersburg College||$7,499||100%||16%||7|
|Indian River State College||$1,807||100%||42.6%||7|
|George Mason University||$17,347||86.7%||69.4%||8|
|University of Massachussetts Lowell||$15,965||73.3%||55.5%||8|
|Central Washington University||$14,199||84.9%||65.4%||8|
|Northwestern State University of Louisiana||$9,488||82%||40.4%||8|
|Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology||$8,381||29%||30.8%||8|
|Daytona State College||$9,302||100%||37%||8|
|Siena Heights University||$8,298||73.4%||73.7%||9|
|University of West Florida||$10,759||31%||64.7%||9|
|University of Illinois||$9,049||59%||85.2%||9|
|University of Minnesota||$15,589||56.7%||78.4%||10|
Ranking the Top 30 Colleges for an Online Computer Science Degree
#30 Western Governors University
Salt Lake City, Utah
Western Governors University’s online computer science degree is an action-oriented program geared towards getting students ready for real-world scenarios. Students can move through the course relatively quickly, and some can even obtain an Associates’ degree in one year.
WGU has extensive information technology programs that help prepare students who want to work for big tech firms like Microsoft. Mentors are available who can work closely or one-on-one with students, offering a more personalized education.
The university offers four excellent online computer science programs:
- Information Technology
- Information Technology Management
- Software Development
- Health Informatics
#29 South Texas College
South Texas College offers students a wide range of programs focusing heavily on Information Technologies and General Computer Science. The university is completely set up for remote learning. Students can access all of their courses, professors, advising, and career counseling right from the comfort of their home.
STC not only teaches students the technicalities of computer science, but they also educate students on work ethic, job markets, and other aspects to help them land their dream job. The university also does a fantastic job keeping up with current industry trends, making their coursework extremely relevant.
South Texas College currently only offers Computer and Information Technologies, but they may expand their program options in the future.
#28 DePaul University
All of DePaul University’s top-rated computer science programs are completely remote-accessible. One aspect that makes this university stand out is that students are on a fixed schedule for their coursework. Some might say this is better because it brings more structure to the program.
Students that need extra help can receive online assistance from mentors who can guide them through the coursework. University members can also get career advice and other forms of counseling to help them with future planning.
DePaul University offers two computer science programs:
- General Computer Science
- Information Technology
#27 Arkansas Tech University
Anyone looking to pursue an online computer science degree from a reputable school at a reasonable price should consider Arkansas Tech University (especially if you’re an Arkansas resident). The school has an extremely high acceptance rate, good online learning infrastructure, and high-quality coursework.
ATU offers a wide range of computer science programs that help prepare students for programming and engineering careers. Students learn how to develop software, create complex computations, manage data structures, etc.
Arkansas Tech University offers five top online computer science programs:
- General Computer Science
- Computer Science for Teacher Licensure
- Information Systems
- Information Technology
#26 Pennsylvania State University World Campus
University Park, Pennsylvania
Getting a computer science degree from Penn State opens up numerous career paths in both the programming and Information Technology industry. Students work on projects throughout the course to use in their portfolios when searching for jobs after graduation.
One reason Penn State’s computer science program is beneficial is that they encourage group work. Students are placed in a group environment and need to work together to solve complex computing problems, build software, debugging, etc.
The college’s online infrastructure is exceptionally high-end and easy to work around. Students have plenty of flexibility with their courses, but the school also does an excellent job making sure students stay on track with their coursework.
Penn State’s computer science program is based around Information Sciences and Technology.
#25 Brandman University
Brandman University is one of the top computer science schools in California. The university offers students a broad range of available courses that prepare them for careers in software development, information technology, etc. Students can join the computer science programs all year round, each course lasting 8-weeks.
Brandman University is known throughout the United States as having one of the most intuitive online bachelor’s degree programs. Their online infrastructure and student life are incredibly streamlined, making it easy for students to get their degrees as quickly as possible.
The university offers two extensive computer science programs you can take online:
- Computer Technology
- Information Technology
#24 University of Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin offers exclusive computer science programs using the Flex Option. The school measures success with competency rather than how many hours the students spend in the class. The University of Wisconsin is the only school in the state with this approach.
The University of Wisconsin focuses heavily on information systems, but students also learn a vast array of other computer science-related subjects. Students can choose to work one-on-one with a coach to help ensure their success.
The University of Wisconsin offers an Information Science and Technology program along with other related electives.
#23 Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University is another school that’s geared more towards IT career placement. The computer science program at GSU is designed for students who already complete their general computer science courses, so this may not be the right school if you’re just starting out. That said, those looking to get into the IT industry can benefit significantly from their courses.
One reason Georgia Southern University is a leading school for computer science is its extensive network. Students can mingle with CS majors, work on group projects, and get direct access to leading professors.
GSU caters to working professionals, parents, or other adults who perhaps didn’t have the time to finish their studies while at university.
Georgia Southern University offers extensive Information Technology programs.
#22 Arizona State University
Arizona State is an excellent school for beginners looking to get their start in computer science. The University offers a wide range of remote entry-level and advanced programs, making it one of the best schools to obtain your online computer science degree. Students can choose to study information technology, cybersecurity, administration, video games development, web development, and more.
The school’s computer science program is career-driven and prepares students for real-life work scenarios. Arizona State University’s faculty does an outstanding job making sure online students stay up-to-date on all their assignments.
ASU offers three computer science programs:
- Online Information Technology
- Online Internet and Web Development
- Online Software Engineering
#21 California State University
At California State University in Seaside, students can get their entire computer science degree without ever stepping foot in a classroom. All of their computer science courses are remote-compatible, making it an excellent school to get your degree.
The university’s programs go far beyond general computer science. The courses also consist of computer mathematics and advanced programming. California State University is a leading destination for online computer education because the coursework involves rigorous hands-on and technical courses.
While the coursework is a bit challenging, it shapes students into competent programmers. California State University offers only a computer science program, but it’s quite extensive compared to other schools.
#20 University of Maine
Students looking to pursue a career in IT or cybersecurity should consider the computer science programs at the University of Maine. The university has modern virtual learning technology that allows students to complete their entire degree from anywhere in the country.
Students can choose to study either full or part-time, depending on their availability. The University of Maine has both beginner and advanced computer science programs.
The two main programs are:
- Computer Information Systems
#19 St. Petersburg College
When people think of the best online computer science schools, Florida isn’t typically on top of their list. However, St. Petersburg college has a vast array of programs that can help students and high-level tech jobs upon graduating. The college’s programs are each 8-weeks long and cover a wide range of subject matter.
Students also have access to an academic advisor who can help them choose courses that best fit their career goals. You can choose from four major specializations, including project management, software development, data analysis, and information security assurances.
St. Petersburg college only has a single Technology Development and Management program, but it’s one of the state’s best management-based computer science programs.
#18 Indian River State College
Fort Pierce, Florida
Indian River State College is an excellent school for students looking to get into IT, computer technology management, or cybersecurity. The only caveat is you have to already hold an AA or AS degree to participate in their programs.
The course material for Indian River State College is extremely career-based and teaches students how to work and act in a real-life job scenario. One of the biggest advantages of this online bachelor’s degree is that it’s highly affordable.
Indian River State College offers two programs:
- Information Technology Management
#17 Northwood University
Northwood University has one of the best remote computer science degree programs for busy adults who don’t have time to attend full-time classes. The school’s online infrastructure is extremely user-friendly, so completing your online computer science degree at Northwood is simple.
Northwood focuses more on project-based learning. Professors often assign students individual or group projects and assess their capabilities based on their results. Northwood may not be the most affordable option on this list, but their network of alumni and course material makes up for it.
Northwood University offers a Computer Information Management degree.
#16 George Mason University
The top-rated online computer science program at George Mason University focuses primarily on IT. With the school’s virtual learning technology, students can complete the program entirely remotely. George Mason University’s courses prepare students for career post-graduation or further advanced study programs.
GMU offers an Information Technology degree.
#15 University of Massachusetts Lowell
The University of Massachusetts Lowell is widely known for its highly experienced and engaging faculty. The staff works directly with both online and in-house students to help enhance their chances of success.
The computer science programs are semi self-paced, but students still need to complete at least 120 credit hours to finish each program. The University’s coursework is extremely flexible, making it an excellent choice for those with a tight schedule.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell offers an online Information Technology degree.
#14 Central Washington University
Central Washington University offers a wide range of programs where students can take on as many courses as they like. All of the courses are self-paced, so students can work on certain parts of coursework for however long they need.
Faculty is still available to help students who may be struggling, but this school’s computer science programs rely a lot on independent learning. All of the bachelor’s computer science programs are open to students who already have a 2-year degree.
Central Washington University offers degrees in Information Technology and Administrative Management.
#13 Old Dominion University
Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, has a highly intuitive online computer science program that is considered one of the best in the country. Students can obtain a bachelor’s in computer science 100 percent online, but they still have access to a vast array of resources. The faculty typically hosts regular online meetings where students can engage with professors and classmates about various subjects.
At Old Dominion, online students can speak with career counselors who can help point them in the right direction while choosing courses. The university has over three decades of distance learning experience, making it a top choice for online education.
#12 Medaille College
Buffalo, New York
If you’re looking for a university that will set you up with a promising career after graduation, Medaille is one highly worth considering. The college has an extensive network of alumni, professors, and partners that encourage students to participate in programs that enhance their employment capabilities.
Students can learn a wide range of programming languages in the coursework and obtain several certificates. The university focuses heavily on personalized education, so students get direct access to the faculty whenever they need guidance.
Medaille College offers one of the best online Informations Systems degrees available.
#11 Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Northwestern State University of Louisiana provides students with the hands-on experience they need to work for large tech corporations like Cisco, Microsoft, IBM, and more. Some of the major areas of study are cloud computing, IT, cybersecurity, and management.
At NSU, students work directly with faculty on their projects to ensure success. It’s one of the best remote computer science schools to attend to if you want a career in networking and systems management, web development, or app development.
NSU offers a Computer Information Systems degree.
#10 Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology
At Oklahoma State, students can take courses on networking, hardware, software development, and information systems management. Students work in small groups, allowing them to interact closely with professors.
The school’s online infrastructure is up-to-date, so students can complete the coursework remotely. Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology offers an Information Technology degree.
#9 Daytona State College
Daytona Beach, Florida
At Daytona State College, the coursework consists of not only a top-tier online computer science program but also mathematics and engineering. The school teaches its students how to apply their knowledge of IT solutions, software, and other computing capabilities in real-world scenarios.
Students that graduate from Daytona State College with a computer science degree typically work in IT, cybersecurity, or networking.
DSC offers an online Information Technology degree.
#8 Milligan College
Milligan College offers students flexible online class schedules, especially those who are already employed full-time or have children. The school sends out the coursework in podcast form with occasionally live online meetings.
The computer science courses at Milligan College typically focus on IT, but students can choose from a wide range of electives.
Milligan College offers an Information Systems Degree.
#7 Siena Heights University
Students looking for challenging coursework that will put them ahead of the competition should check out the outstanding computer science programs at Siena Heights University. All of the courses are a bit more comprehensive than average computer science classes, shaping more competent students.
With a degree from SHU, you can work in software development, database management, or become a systems analyst. SHU offers a Business Administration degree with a focus on Computer Information Systems.
#6 University of West Florida
Students at the University of West Florida can obtain a bachelor’s in Information Technology that focuses heavily on Network and Communications. The coursework is full of material that prepares students to work in fast-paced environments, handling databases and other forms of computer technology.
You can complete your entire program 100 percent online. UWF can also set you up with internships so you can get hands-on knowledge and apply what you’ve learned in a real business scenario. The University of West Florida offers an Information Technology degree with a strong focus on Networking and Telecommunications.
#5 King University
Kings University offers a wide range of some of the best online computer science programs, including Information Technology, Network Systems, Cybersecurity, and more. Students must put in at least 124 credit hours to complete each program. However, most people finish within a year.
At King University, students can work right along with large enterprise employees (sometimes the school has guest appearances), highly-skilled professors, and their classmates to complete projects.
King University offers an online Information Technology degree.
#4 Park University
Park University is an excellent school for students looking for advanced computer science classes. All of the computer science faculty at Park University are well-renowned in the industry and offer students knowledge and experience. The coursework is quite rigorous, but the school has one of the best online computer science programs for teaching students precisely what they need to succeed in the real-world.
Park University offers degrees in Information and Computer Science, Computer Networking, and Computer Information Systems.
#3 University Of Illinois
The computer science programs at the University of Illinois are 100 percent online. Students who finish the programs are ready to join the tech workforce since they offer practical action-oriented assignments. The University of Illinois has consistently ranked as one of the best schools for online learning, and the computer science department is no exception.
Students can study to get jobs in major tech corporations, government agencies, and various other industries that rely on computer software and cybersecurity.
#2 University of Minnesota
Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Ranking second on our list is the University of Minnesota. The school’s online computer science program is one of the best in the country. Right from the get-go, students get placed in realistic working environments with complete guidance from professors to solve complex problems.
The University of Minnesota also has a great student support system where students can speak with a counselor, career advisors, and more.
#1 Pierce College
Without a doubt, Pierce College is one of the best schools in the country to pursue an online computer science degree. The school offers a wide range of subject matter, such as IT, information systems, networking systems, cybersecurity, software development, and more.
Students that attend Pierce college typically work high-level positions at big tech firms or government agencies. Pierce College offers degrees in online Information Technology and Technology Management.
Top Career Choices With a Computer Science Degree
Average salary: $122,305
A data scientist is extremely valuable in almost any industry. Data scientists turn complex data into legible insights for a business. As a data scientist, you can tell companies how well they’re performing, where they could use improvement and any future opportunities.
Data scientists typically work with machine learning tools and create automation so that companies can track their analytics quickly and accurately. If you want to become a data scientist, you have to be comfortable with statistical analysis.
Average salary: $75,783
How many websites did you visit today? Each website needed a team of web developers to build it and make sure it functions properly. You can see how this is a valuable skill that almost every business needs. Web developers can work for marketing agencies, large firms, or even start their own freelance business.
Web developers need to understand the importance of design and user-experience when creating sites. You may need to master a few programming languages before you can participate in this career.
Average salary: $108,381
Full-stack developers are skilled and comfortable working on both the back and front end of coding. They typically work within databases or directly with clients depending on the role. TO become a full-stack developer, you need proficiency in numerous programming languages and be overall comfortable coding.
Average salary: $111,421
A software engineer is responsible for researching, brainstorming, and creating new software either for clients or for their employer. Businesses always need new software, so becoming a software engineer makes you highly employable.
Computer Science Professor
Average salary: $92,211
If you love computer science but don’t want to settle down with one field, you can always consider becoming a computer science professor. You can teach students about the craft you love and help them land the job of their dreams. Some computer science professors also become well-recognized in the industry.
|Career||Average Yearly Earnings|
|Computer Science Professor||$92,211|
There’s our list of the 30 best schools for an online computer science degree. We hope you now have a better understanding of each school and what you’re getting yourself into. In this new digital age, online learning is constantly evolving, and most universities are keeping up-to-date.
Remember, find a school within your budget with the programs that are right for your career path. If you’re unsure about which courses to take, consider speaking to a career advisor. They can give you a breakdown of what employers in your desired industry expect from applicants.