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?
Top Online Computer Science Accelerated Programs
These rankings include
#1 Best Accelerated Online Computer Science Programs
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
A leader in online education, Lewis University connects distance learners across eight bachelor's degree programs. The school supports distance learners across various fields.
Students can choose from several subject areas, such as computer science. Learners in the top-ranked bachelor's in computer science program pursue study alongside classmates and faculty in a virtual classroom environment. Students complete foundational and advanced coursework, gaining industry-relevant knowledge throughout their studies. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to customize their coursework to suit their career goals.
While enrolled, students benefit from institutional support through career services, academic advising, and other offices. These resources contribute to the institution's 67% graduation rate. Students can explore funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships, and they can determine their eligibility by meeting with the financial aid office. Of all enrollees, 100% benefit from some form of aid.
#2 Best Accelerated Online Computer Science Programs
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Students seeking a flexible computer science bachelor’s degree should consider Auburn University.
Students seeking a career in computer science will find the bachelor's in computer science to be a wise option. The program facilitates interactive learning through a virtual classroom environment, where students can work and collaborate with colleagues and faculty. The program curriculum consists of foundational and advanced coursework, covering topics relevant to the computer science field. Outside of the classroom, students can pursue experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and externships, as they prepare for a career in the field. Throughout their degree program, students can access institutional resources such as career services and academic advising.
The college reports that 72% of all enrollees receive some form of financial aid. Students interested in learning more about funding and eligibility requirements can meet with the financial aid office.
#3 Best Accelerated Online Computer Science Programs
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
From its main campus in Denver, Colorado, Regis University supports online degree programs reaching 4,116 distance learners.
The accelerated bachelor's in computer science is a wise choice for working professionals and busy students hoping to advance in the computer science field. Students can choose to pursue computer science-relevant coursework either full time or part time. The program curriculum equips students with industry-specific skills and knowledge, preparing them for the demands of a computer science career. While completing coursework, students can pursue experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, to further their knowledge of the computer science field.
Students benefit from academic advising, as well as other institutional resources, throughout their program. The college reports a 64% graduate rate. Students can explore funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships, and determine their eligibility by meeting with the financial aid office. According to the institution, 99% of all students are awarded aid.
#4 Best Accelerated Online Computer Science Programs
MidAmerica Nazarene University
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Looking for a premier computer science bachelor's degree program that suits your schedule? Consider MidAmerica Nazarene University. The college provides in-person and online educational programs to students across 49 bachelor's degree programs. The online modality enables learners from across the world to benefit from competitive, flexible study.
The bachelor's in computer science is an attractive option for individuals seeking flexible study relevant to the computer science field. Students in the program collaborate with classmates and faculty members through a virtual classroom environment. Degree-seekers benefit from a rigorous course curriculum, consisting of foundational and advanced coursework. Students interested in furthering their industry knowledge can pursue research, internships, and externships. Students can access personal and professional guidance through career services, academic advising, and other institutional offices throughout their education.
The college boasts numerous internal and external funding opportunities available to eligible students, reporting that 99% of all enrollees receive aid. Prospective students can meet with the Office of Financial Aid to explore funding opportunities and determine their eligibility.
Explore Featured Computer Science Programs
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.
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 annual salary of $97,430 in 2021, according to the BLS.
Jobs such as web developer and software developer are projected to grow by 30% and 26%, respectively, from 2021-2031.
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.
|Job||Median Annual Salary (May 2021)||Job Growth Rate (2021-2031)|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$159,010||16%|
|Computer Network Architects||$120,520||4%|
|Computer Systems Analysts||$99,270||9%|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrators||$80,600||3%|
Frequently Asked Questions About Accelerated Computer Science Degrees
How 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.
Can 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.
Is 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.
Is 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.