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20 Best Online Schools for Computer Science

Online Schools Computer Science

In this article, we highlight the 20 best online schools for computer science bachelor’s degrees.

We live in a technology-driven world where some of the highest-paying careers are in computers. But, not everyone can secure a job in this fast-growing field, especially without adequate education. Earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science, or a closely related discipline, is often the first step to job placement. Thankfully, some of the best schools in the country offer undergraduate computer science programs.

There is no need to quit your current job or forego your family responsibilities in order to return to school. You can complete an online computer science degree that offers flexibility without diminishing quality. Accredited institutions with rankings from major publications offer online computer science bachelor’s degrees.

20 Best Online Schools for Computer Science

Methodology

We looked at 82 accredited colleges and universities that offer online bachelor’s in computer science or related degree programs as per NCES College Navigator. To determine our final list of schools, we examined the percentage of applicants admitted (selectivity rate), graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratios, and undergraduate tuition rates.  We then synthesized the collected information to develop our list of the 20 best online schools for computer science. In the case of a tie, schools were given a higher ranking if their tuition was lower.

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The methodology we used to determine our list of the 20 best online schools for computer science is below.

Methodology:

Student to Faculty Ratio
15:1 and under- 3 Points
16:1 to 20:1- 2 Points
More than 20:1- 1 Point

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees
Less than $10,000/year- 3 Points
$10,001-$20,000/year- 2 Points
More than $20,000/year- 1 Point

Applicants Admitted
Less than 50%- 1 Point
More than 50%- 3 Points

Graduation Rate
50% or Greater- 3 Points
25%-49%- 2 Points
Less than 25%- 1 Point

Best Online Computer Science Schools

Best Schools for an Online Degree in Computer Science

SchoolTuition Student/Faculty RatioPercent AdmittedPercent GraduatedTotal Points
Colorado Technical University$12,573  31:1  100%  23%  7
Florida State University$5,656  21:1  32%  84%  8
Liberty University$21,587  17:1  50%  54%  9
National University$13,320  16:1  89% 47%  9
Old Dominion University$10,800  17:1  95%  43%  9
Baker College$10,160  8:1  54%  19%  9
University of Maryland$7,560  17:1  100%  18%  9
University of Florida$6,381  17:1  31%  89%  9
Regis University$38,558  11:1  78%  67%  10
Lewis University$34,478  14:1  66%  70%  10
Regent University$18,720 19:1  50%  61%  10
University of Illinois$11,911  20:1  77%  55%  10
Oregon State University$11,858  18:1  82%  69%  10
Dakota State University$9,536  18:1  84%  49%  10
Thomas Edison State University$7,182  15:1  100%  Unavailable  10
Fort Hays State University$5,430  19:1  91%  46%  10
Brigham Young University$4,300  21:1  97%  56%  10
Pennsylvania State University$18,450  14:1  78%  73%  11
Oregon Institute of Technology$11,269  15:1  95%  51%  11
Franklin University$9,577  12:1  100%  42%  11

20. Colorado Technical University

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $12,573

Points: 7

Colorado Technical University’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program allows students to take Fast Track™ exams to test their knowledge of critical concepts, letting them earn credit for previous knowledge. If you’re in a hurry to get your online degree in computer science, this program is worth checking out since it may allow you to complete your studies up to 30 percent faster. That also means you will pay 30 percent less tuition. 

The program consists of 183 credit hours, which includes 51 credit hours of general education, 88 credit hours of computer science courses, and 44 credit hours that you can either apply to computer science electives or one of the following concentrations: 

  • Cybersecurity Engineering
  • Data Science
  • Software Engineering

Classes may include computer architecture, data structures, intermediate python programming, software engineering methods, software processes, and more. The program is designed to prepare students for careers as applications engineers, software developers, or web developers. 

19. Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $5,656

Points: 8

Florida State University is one of our top online computer science schools due to its affordable undergraduate tuition and high graduation rate. The school offers an online computer science bachelor’s degree program that is designed for working students. Those with a degree may complete the program within just two years, although four-year options are available. 

All classes are delivered online and taught by the same professors who teach on campus. Classes include computer organization, ethical issues in computer science, introduction to UNIX, programming languages, software engineering, and more. 

One of the unique features of the remote learning program is that FSU provides each student with an assigned Mentor. Your Mentor serves as a guide to learning who will help to facilitate your success. Throughout the program, you will interact with your monitor, fellow students, and instructors via phone, email, and web-based discussion pages. Florida State has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top national university and even received a #34 ranking for the best online bachelor’s program.

18. Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $21,587

Points: 9

Liberty University’s unique bachelor’s in information systems degree is one of our favorite computer science degrees online. This program is designed to increase your professional value in the market, and you can customize the content to meet your specific goals. Liberty has five available specializations, including:

  • General
  • Accounting Information Systems
  • Data Networking
  • Database
  • Information Assurance

The curriculum will provide students with foundational business knowledge in addition to specialized training, and students will gain hands-on experience in the latest business technologies. In addition, you can transfer up to 75 percent of previously earned credits toward your degree. The courses are offered in 8-week increments, and the average student can complete the program in three and a half years. 

All classes are taken online and taught by the same professors who teach on the Lynchburg campus. The degree is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Liberty is one of only three percent of business schools in the world to earn this designation. 

17. National University

La Jolla, California

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $13,320

Points: 9

National University offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program that balances real-world programming with solid academics. All classes are delivered online in four-week increments, and students can expect to take courses such as:

  • Object-oriented Programming
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Operating Systems
  • Computer Communication Networks
  • Software Engineering
  • Computer Architecture

Students will also complete two 400-level technical electives in computer science or computer information systems to satisfy the school’s graduation requirements. Additionally, students who want to further their computer science studies can easily move on to their master’s program by participating in the B.S. Computer Science/Master of Science in Computer Science Transition Program.

According to major publications like U.S. News and World Report, the university’s online bachelor’s programs have ranked #114 out of more than 1,200. The program’s objective is to fully prepare students for successful careers in the field within a few years following graduation. 

16. Old Dominion University

Norfolk, Virginia

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $10,800

Points: 9

ODU’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program is listed as one of the best online programs in computer science due to the low tuition rates and high acceptance rates. This is an excellent one to check out for those who are worried about getting into a computer science program. Students will earn an online computer science bachelor’s degree with courses taught by the same instructors who teach on campus. 

This 120-credit program is comprehensive, delivered entirely online, and includes courses like:

  • Problem Solving and Programming 
  • Computer Architecture
  • Introduction to UNIX for Programmers
  • Computers in Society
  • Object-Oriented Programming and Design
  • Introduction to Software Engineering
  • Principles of Programming Languages
  • Data Structures & Algorithms
  • Computational Methods & Software
  • Operating Systems

Old Dominion has been ranked by major publications like Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. Graduates of the program can be found working at IBM, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Anthem, Huntington Ingalls, and the college itself. 

15. Baker College

Owosso, Michigan

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $10,160

Points: 9

Baker College has one of the top online computer science programs thanks to its affordability and an excellent student-to-faculty ratio of 8 to1. Students may earn a bachelor’s in computer science degree with a concentration in computer programming entirely online by taking classes taught by the school’s expert professors. A few of the required courses include:

  • Computer Operating Systems and Maintenance
  • Database Management and Design
  • Systems Development Methods
  • Computer Architecture
  • Introduction to Programming
  • Net-centric Computing
  • C++ Programming
  • Java Programming
  • Data Structures and Algorithms I
  • Application Security Practices
  • Unit Testing and Interfaces

The program takes about four years total, and a full 86 percent of students who attend receive financial aid, grants, or scholarships. All students finish up by completing a year-long senior project where they will gain 150-hours of work experience with a company and apply their skills and knowledge in solving a real-world computing problem. Baker College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is an Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) participant. 

14. University of Maryland 

Adelphi, Maryland

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $7,560

Points: 9

One of the best online computer science schools on our list is the University of Maryland’s Global Campus. The school offers a highly affordable online Bachelor of Science in computer science program designed for working and busy adult students who require a flexible class schedule. All classes are delivered online and include:

  • Introductory and Intermediate Programming 
  • Building Secure Python Applications
  • Computer Systems and Architecture
  • Advanced Programming Languages
  • Object-Oriented and Concurrent Programming
  • Relational Database Concepts and Applications
  • Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms
  • Software Engineering Principles and Techniques
  • Data Structures and Analysis
  • Compiler Theory and Design 
  • Current Trends and Projects in Computer Science

Several computer science-related minors are also available, including cybersecurity, digital media, information systems, and small business management. 

The curriculum for the degree program was designed with the help of scholars, industry experts, and employers. Although students will learn theory, the goal is to teach them practical skills that will have real-world applications so they can begin working in their chosen field right away. The program accepts up to 90 transfer credits, and The university has earned national rankings from U.S. News and World Report as a best national university.

13. University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $6,381

Points: 9

The University of Florida is one of our top picks for the best online schools for computer science due to affordable undergraduate tuition, high graduation rate, and selectivity. The school also has a moderately low student-to-faculty ratio compared to some other state universities, so students can expect to interact frequently with their instructors.

The school’s online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree is offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and provides students the freedom to tailor their classes to their interests and career goals. All classes are administered online and include applications of discrete structures, digital logic and computer systems, information and database systems, introduction to software engineering, programming fundamentals, operating systems, and much more.

The university has been ranked as a top national university by U.S. News and World Report. And its online bachelor’s programs have rated #11 out of more than 1,200 similar programs. The institution has also been ranked as having the highest R.O.I. of any computer science program in the country.

As you might expect from a school with these rankings, getting accepted for the online computer science program at UF is challenging, and only 31 percent of applicants are admitted. However, if you do get in, your chances of success are above average, as almost 90 percent of students graduate. 

12. Regis University

Denver, Colorado

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $38,558

Points: 10

While Regis University is costly, the school offers a very low student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1, which will ensure you will get all the support you need from your instructors. Regis’ College of Computer and Information Sciences offers an accelerated B.S. in computer science degree program that may be completed entirely online. The program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, a prestigious and nonprofit accrediting body. 

All classes are delivered online and taught by university professors with years of experience in the computer industry. Required courses include advanced programming and algorithms, computational foundations, introduction to programming, mobile and enterprise computing, web and database applications, and more.

The program is flexible, with six start times each year, and courses run in eight-week terms. Students can transfer up to 66 credits toward this 120-credit hour program. The school also offers a FastForward program that allows you to simultaneously earn your bachelor’s and master’s degrees, enabling you to get a dual degree more affordably. 

Regis is a regionally ranked institution that has taken 92nd place by U.S. News and World Report out of more than 1,200 schools. 

11. Lewis University

Romeoville, Illinois

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $34,478

Points: 10

Lewis University offers an accelerated bachelor’s degree in computer science that may be completed entirely online. Eight-week courses are designed to accommodate working professionals and busy students in need of balancing work, family, and educational responsibilities. Students have access to course materials 24/7 and can work at their own pace.

If you already have some education under your belt, you might qualify for the school’s PLA credit program (Prior Learning Assessment) and apply previously earned credits toward your degree, which would enable you to save money and graduate sooner. Courses may include:

  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Object-Oriented Programming
  • Programming Fundamentals
  • Introduction to Networks
  • Computer Organization
  • Algorithms and Data Structures
  • Operating Systems
  • Programming Languages
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Computing

The computer science program at Lewis has an excellent reputation. For example, in 2013, every student who successfully completed the program had a job within two months of graduating. Plus, because the school has such a strong alumni network, students have access to networking for internships and job opportunities. 

10. Regent University

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $18,720

Points: 10

Regent University offers a flexible, yet somewhat structured Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program with eight-week classes. The school was ranked among the top national universities for 2019 and 2020 by U.S. News & World Report, and its online bachelor’s programs have ranked as the top in Virginia for eight straight years. 

The program requires 49 general education credits, 54 computer science credits, and 17 elective credits. The computer science portion of the program is incredibly well-rounded and includes the following courses:

  • Introduction to Programming 
  • Network and Telecommunication Concepts 
  • Information Systems Security 
  • Introduction to Computer Science 
  • Computer Architecture 
  • Operating Systems 
  • Ethics for Computer Science 
  • Programming 
  • Data Structures and Algorithms 
  • Database Fundamentals 
  • Parallel and Distributed Programming 
  • Mobile and Smart Computing 
  • Software Engineering 

Regent is a Christian University, and coursework is taught from a Christian worldview, although students from all backgrounds are welcome to apply. With the school’s online program, you’ll receive the same expert instruction from the professors who teach on campus, and you’ll connect with a diverse community of learners from all backgrounds and cultures. 

9. University of Illinois

Springfield, Illinois

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $11,911

Points: 10

The University of Illinois offers students an online bachelor’s in computer science degree through the Department of Computer Science. The program is for students who want to take computer science on campus as well as those who wish to pursue a degree without having to attend traditional classes. The online degree is designed for working students who require flexible scheduling to balance work and life obligations. 

If you plan on pursuing a master’s degree in computer science, this program is highly recommended since it serves as excellent preparation for graduate studies in computer science or associated fields. 

Students are admitted in the fall and spring semesters and must meet specific requirements, including maintaining a GPA of at least 2.0 and submitting a Statement of Purpose Form. Students will also need at least two semesters of Java Programming Experience and one semester of statistics, calculus, and discrete or finite math. 

All classes are delivered online and include applied statistics, computer programming concepts, discrete structures, programming languages, software engineering, and more.

8. Oregon State University

Corvallis, Oregon

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $11,858

Points: 10

For students looking for the shortest path to a computer science degree, Oregon State University has an excellent online post-baccalaureate program designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree. With four start terms each year, this online B.S. in Computer Science program is one of our top online computer science schools.

The program is just 60 credits long and is designed to put you on a fast track to a computer science career. What’s great about it is you don’t need to have a previous degree in computer science. So no matter what field your current degree is in, you can switch career paths and apply to this program. Highly flexible, all classes are delivered online and may include:

  • Databases
  • Programming fundamentals
  • Software engineering
  • Computer systems and networking
  • Network security
  • Theory of computation
  • Social and ethical issues in computer science
  • Cryptography
  • Mobile and web development
  • Operating systems
  • Computer forensics

U.S. News and World Report has ranked the school’s online bachelor’s programs #7 in the country, another great reason to consider this exciting online computer science program.

7. Dakota State University

Madison, South Dakota

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $9,536

Points: 10

Thanks to the affordable undergraduate tuition and high acceptance rate, Dakota State University is one of our top online computer science schools. The school offers an online bachelor’s in computer science program with a dynamic curriculum taught by DSU’s excellent professors. Students will have access to all the latest software programs, plus the data server room, laptops, Information Assurance Lab, and even 3D printers in this program. 

Upon completing the program, students will be able to solve real-world computer science problems and demonstrate mastery of:

  • Algorithms
  • Data Structures
  • Programming Languages and Compilers
  • Software Engineering and Development
  • Computer Hardware and Architecture

There is even a 4+1 program that allows students to accelerate their studies toward a graduate degree. Nine credits can be applied toward the bachelor’s and master’s in computer science with this program, and students can complete both degrees together in about five years. 

6. Thomas Edison State University

Trenton, New Jersey

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $7,182

Points: 10

The online Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program in Computer Science at Thomas Edison State University is one of the best programs on our list, thanks to the very affordable tuition rates and low student-to-faculty ratio. In addition, the program is designed with the working student in mind and blends a solid liberal arts foundation with a solid computer science background through its online classes. 

Required courses include data structures, operations research, problem analysis and solution, programming languages, and the usual curriculum. However, the choice of electives is unique. If you’re looking to get into a specific area of computer science, this may be the place to start. You can choose from:

  • Computer Organization
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Compiler Construction
  • Problem Analysis and Solution
  • Data Mining and Data Analytics
  • Switching Theory and Automata
  • Programming Languages
  • UNIX
  • Assembly Language
  • Web Design and Development
  • Computer Arithmetic Algorithms
  • Operations Research
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Software Engineering
  • Database Systems and Design
  • Computer Statistical Techniques
  • Mobile App Development
  • Comparative Programming Languages
  • Computer Simulation

If you’re interested in exploring online learning to see if it’s for you, the school even offers prospective students the chance to test drive an online course at no charge. 

5. Fort Hays State University

Hays, Kansas

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $5,430

Points: 10

Fort Hays State University’s Department of Computer Science is a fairly new department offering on-campus and remote degrees. The online Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science is a 120-credit hour program that requires 55 credit hours of general education requirements and 65 credit hours for the major requirements. Students can transfer with up to 44 hours of core requirements, allowing them to complete the program in less time.

Students will be assigned an academic advisor who will work with them toward their goals as they move through the program. Courses are taught by the school’s expert computer science faculty and are designed to give students a thorough overview of computer science. Some of the courses include:

  • Front-End Web Development 
  • Database Design and Programming
  • Back-End Web Development 
  • Object-Oriented Programming 
  • Foundations of Computing 
  • Data Structures
  • Assembly Language 
  • Operating Systems 
  • Programming Languages 
  • Computer Graphics 
  • Software Engineering 

Fort Hays is regionally ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Also, the online bachelor’s programs, including the online computer science degree, were ranked #24 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

4. Brigham Young University

Rexburg, Idaho

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $4,300

Points: 10

Brigham Young University offers students a blended B.S. in Computer Science program. While the program is not entirely remote, the school offers a significant portion of its computer science courses online through Canvas. Students will also use online web conferencing tools to connect with their instructors, and testing takes place through an exam proctoring service.

The program is perfect for those interested in the best of both worlds who want the campus experience but don’t always have the time to attend traditional classes. Some of the online course offerings for this program include:

  • Introduction to Computer Programming
  • Web Programming
  • Advanced Programming Concepts
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Software Engineering Labs

The computer science curriculum at BYU changes each year slightly, so you will want to carefully check the current course offerings to make sure you’ll be learning the material that matches your professional goals. Currently, the school offers four concentrations within the B.S. in Computer Science program:

  • Animation Emphasis
  • Bioinformatics Emphasis
  • Data Science Emphasis
  • Software Engineering Emphasis

A senior project and internship are also required. BYU has been ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as one of the best regional colleges in the West. In addition, the affordable tuition and high graduation rate earn it a top spot on our own list of the best computer science schools online.

3. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, Pennsylvania

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $18,450

Points: 11

Pennsylvania State University’s online school, Penn State World Campus, is among the best online computer science schools on our list. They offer an online bachelor’s degree in information sciences and technology that students can customize with two options: Integration and Application option (ITINT) or a Design and Development option (ISDEV).

This academically rigorous program is taught by the same respected faculty members who teach at Penn State’s on-campus programs. In addition, online students have full access to all the resources and perks of the university. 

The program is 125 credits and focuses on critical theoretical foundations, plus the essential skills students will need to incorporate information technology into real-world systems. In addition, there is plenty of opportunity for application-oriented experiences. 

Students enrolled in the major will need a C or better on the related courses, some of which include:

  • Introduction to Programming
  • Introduction to Application Development
  • Information, People, and Technology
  • Organization of Data
  • Networking and Telecommunications
  • Language, Logic, and Discrete Mathematics
  • I.T. Project Management
  • Fundamentals of Systems and Enterprise Integration
  • Intermediate and Object-Oriented Application Development
  • Introduction to Computer Languages

2. Oregon Institute of Technology

Klamath Falls, Oregon

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $11,269

Points: 11

Oregon Institute of Technology is one of the best online computer science schools for those interested in I.T. careers. The school offers an online B.S. in Information Technology that has been nationally ranked and recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. But it also earns a spot on our list of best online schools due to its affordable tuition price, low student-to-faculty ratio, and high admissions rate.

All classes are delivered online and taught by university professors with significant I.T. experience, so you’ll be learning from those who have been hands-on in the computer science field. The practical courses in the program include things like:

  • Cybersecurity Fundamentals
  • Managing Risk in Information Systems
  • Operations Management
  • Project Management
  • Spreadsheet Software Lab
  • Intro to Programming in C#
  • Introduction to P.C. Hardware/Software
  • Introduction to Relational Databases
  • Systems Administration

OIT is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education. The school has also received exclusive accreditation for its business programs through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).

1. Franklin University

Columbus, Ohio

Website

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees: $9,577

Points: 11

Finally, Franklin University earns the top spot on our list of the best online computer science schools. With very reasonable undergraduate tuition costs, a low student-to-faculty ratio, and an open admissions policy, the school makes it easy for those who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

Out of more than 1200 programs in a recent publication of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges, Franklin University earned a ranking of #106. Plus, they are affiliated with the International Institute for Innovative Instruction, which uses proven methodologies to create the school’s outstanding computer science curriculum.

This program is designed for working students who require flexible class schedules and 24/7-access to course content. The objective is to teach students a wide range of in-demand skills, including:

  • Object-Oriented Design
  • Computer Architecture
  • Coding & Testing
  • Web Application Development
  • Database Management
  • Quality Assurance

Students can complete the online bachelor’s degree in computer science in just under four years. However, thanks to a generous transfer policy, motivated students may be able to finish up even faster. 

online computer science degree

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