Best Accelerated Online Computer Science Programs

ASO Staff WritersASO Rankings Team
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Updated April 15, 2024
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An interdisciplinary field, computer science focuses on the theories, math, and applications that underlie computing. In a computer science program, you’ll develop in-demand skills in computer hardware, programming, and software engineering.

An accelerated computer science degree can help you start your tech career sooner than a traditional bachelor’s degree. Learn more about the benefits of an online accelerated computer science degree and discover our picks for the best accelerated programs.

How Does an Accelerated Computer Science Degree Work?

A computer science accelerated program typically features intensive courses lasting 7-8 weeks. These classes cover the same content as those in a traditional 15-week semester.

With two terms per semester, usually including the summer, accelerated programs can offer up to six short terms per year.

Online accelerated computer science degree programs normally cater to working students. Depending on whether you opt for a part- or full-time course load, you can expect to earn your computer science degree online in 2-4 years.

Did You Know?


  • chevron-rightThe Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an average of about 377,500 openings each year for computer and IT jobs between 2022 and 2032.
  • chevron-rightComputer and IT professionals earn more than twice the annual mean salary of all jobs, according to the BLS.
  • chevron-rightThere are about 37,600 job openings for computer systems analysts projected each year.

Top Online Computer Science Accelerated Programs

Read About Our Methodology Herearrow-circle-right

#1 Best Accelerated Online Computer Science Programs

Lewis University

  • Location-markerRomeoville, IL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$35,262
  • Out-of-state$35,262
  • Retention Rate75%
  • Acceptance Rate71%
  • Students Enrolled6,183
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment77%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Best Accelerated Online Computer Science Programs

Regis University

  • Location-markerDenver, CO
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$39,260
  • Out-of-state$39,260
  • Retention Rate79%
  • Acceptance Rate81%
  • Students Enrolled5,566
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment64%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Best Accelerated Online Computer Science Programs

Western Governors University

  • Location-markerSalt Lake City, UT
  • 4 year
  • Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$7,162
  • Out-of-state$7,162
  • Retention Rate63%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled150,116
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment0%
  • AccreditationYes

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Does Accreditation Matter for Accelerated Computer Science Degrees?

When researching online computer science degrees, be sure to check whether the schools are accredited. Accreditation is essentially a formal stamp of approval for schools and academic programs, indicating that they’ve met certain quality standards.

When a school is accredited, you can rest assured it offers quality academics, financial aid resources, and effective student services.

Programmatic accreditation can help you verify whether an accelerated computer science degree is worth it. That said, computer science programs aren’t as likely to hold programmatic accreditation as, say, engineering or nursing.

Still, many top accelerated computer science programs hold accreditation from ABET.

What Courses Do You Take for an Online Computer Science Degree?

Online computer science programs usually entail 48-60 credits of major coursework, which you earn through core courses, specialization courses or electives, and capstone projects or internships.

Core coursework introduces you to the computer science discipline, teaching you to hone technical skills and examine digital technology ethics.

Capstone projects or internships help you build skills in research and analysis. They also let you apply your technical knowledge to real-world settings. You may graduate with a portfolio to share with potential employers.

To fulfill electives or concentration requirements, you’ll take specialized courses in a field such as data science, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, or software engineering.

Here are some common courses in an online computer science degree program:

  • Data structures and algorithms
  • Digital technology ethics
  • Introduction to computer science
  • Machine learning
  • Software engineering

What Can You Do With an Online Computer Science Degree?

Online computer science degree-holders benefit from the ongoing technology boom. Computer and information technology professionals earned a median salary of $104,200 in 2023, according to the BLS.

Jobs such as web developer and software developer are projected to grow by 16% and 25%, respectively, from 2022-2032.

You can qualify for several high-paying, in-demand roles with a bachelor’s in computer science. The table below shows some of the most popular jobs for computer science graduates.

Popular Jobs for Computer Science Degree-Holders
JobMedian Annual Salary (May 2023)Job Growth Rate (2022-2032)
Computer and Information Systems Managers$169,51015%
Software Developers$132,27025%
Computer Network Architects$129,8404%
Computer Systems Analysts$103,80010%
Computer Programmers$99,700-11%
Network and Computer Systems Administrators$95,360 2%
Web Developers$84,96016%

Source: BLS

Frequently Asked Questions About Accelerated Computer Science Degrees

question-mark-circleHow fast can I get a computer science degree?

Full-time students with relevant job experience and/or coursework can usually earn an accelerated computer science degree in about two years. If you take courses on a part-time basis, expect your accelerated program to take longer — up to four years.

question-mark-circleCan I finish a computer science degree in three years?

Yes. Many online computer science students in accelerated programs graduate in three or less years. Graduation timelines can vary among schools, though, so be sure to reach out to prospective programs regarding completion times before you apply.

question-mark-circleIs computer science a hard degree?

While the difficulty level of a computer science degree can vary among students, computer science is often regarded as one of the more challenging college majors you can pursue.

Throughout an online computer science degree, you’ll take theoretical and practical classes in subjects like programming languages, software security, and project management. Many computer science courses require an advanced knowledge of math and a high level of computer literacy.

question-mark-circleIs computer science math-heavy?

Math, as well as problem-solving and critical thinking, plays a major role in computer science. You’ll likely take classes in calculus, algebra, and statistics. That said, computer science is not as math-heavy as other STEM majors like physics and engineering.


All rankings and school descriptions on this page were created and reviewed independently by the ASO Rankings Team.


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