Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Science

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Exploring Programs and Degree Milestones for Computer Science Students

Those interested in pursuing careers in fields like information technology, programming or web design should consider earning a bachelor’s in computer science degree online. These programs not only allow for flexible schedules, but may also help deepen student’s understanding of computer science as they rely on technology to facilitate instruction and interaction with classmates and professors. Discover top-notch computer science degree programs with this best-of list and explore typical computer science course work, scholarship opportunities and career paths for graduates with a bachelor’s in computer science below.

Top 10 Exploring Programs and Degree Milestones for Computer Science Students

Rank School Location
1 Champlain College Burlington, VT
2 DePaul University Chicago, IL
3 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
4 Pace University New York City, NY
5 LeTourneau University Longview, TX
6 Dakota State University Madison, SD
7 Lawrence Technological University Southfield, MI
8 Davenport University Grand Rapids, MI
9 Ohio University Athens, OH
10 Park University Parkville, MO
Advertisement AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Science

  • Methodology


    To be considered for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria:

    Accredited at the institutional level
    Private nonprofit or public school
    Minimum of 1 bachelor’s or master’s degree in subject area for 4-year schools
    Minimum of 1 associate degree or certificate program in subject area for 2-year schools

    Schools were then scored on factors such as:

    Cost & Financial Aid
    Number and variety of program offerings
    Student-teacher ratios
    Graduation rates (4-year schools only)
    Placement and support services offered
    Academic/Career counseling services
    Employment services
    Loan default rates

    These factors were assembled for each school and rated using a peer-based-value (PBV) calculation. PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score and cost. PBV denotes the overall value or “bang for your buck” of a college or degree program.

As they begin the search for a program, prospective computer science students will need to evaluate their options for an online bachelor’s degree. This best-of list ranks programs based on factors like graduation rates and tuition cost, and is a way for students to compare some of the top-rated options available.

4 – Year Colleges

  1. Champlain College
    Location

    Burlington, VT

    Champlain College offers a four-year Computer Science and Innovation program, in which a student chooses a concentration, such as mobile application development or software engineering, or a complementary minor to earn a BS degree. The curriculum is considered an upside-down curriculum in which major specific courses are taken beginning in the first year, allowing students the opportunity for internships and employment sooner than in a traditionally structured curriculum. Core courses are spread throughout the four-year program, with the fourth year made up primarily of specialization and capstone courses. Through Champlains Career Collaborative, students can participate in a variety of hands-on, experience-based learning and networking opportunities.

  2. DePaul University
    Location

    Chicago, IL

    DePaul Universitys College of Computing and Digital Media has a large selection of both undergraduate and graduate degrees, including a BS and a MS degree in computer science (CS). The BS is a four-year program, with concentrations in software development, game systems and software engineering. The curriculum contains two research and collaborative capstone projects, which are completed during sophomore and senior year. Other options include double majors, combined degrees, and an online BS program, which is geared towards transfer students, and typically takes three years to complete. The BS in CS degree prepares students to work in a variety of settings, in a rapidly changing field.

  3. Drexel University
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    For students planning to pursue a bachelors degree in Computer Science (CS) at Drexel University, the College of Computing and Informatics has a wide variety of computer-related bachelors degree study tracks, including computer graphics, architecture, game development, artificial intelligence, network security and game development. Students can earn either a BA degree, which provides a broader education, mixing liberal arts with the technical aspect, or a BS degree, which places more emphasis on math and science. Both are four-year degrees that prepare students for employment or additional schooling. For those planning on graduate school, Drexel also offers an accelerated BS/MS program.

  4. Pace University
    Location

    New York City, NY

    Pace University has several undergraduate degrees available in computer-related majors, including computer science, information systems, information technology and telecommunication systems and networks, offered through the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. In addition, those interested in graduate school can earn a masters degree in computer science or a doctoral degree of professional studies in computing. The BA and BS degree programs have the same core courses, but BA students must choose a minor in business, information systems or liberal arts. Graduates with either a BA or BS degree typically work in areas such as software development, coding or cybersecurity.

  5. LeTourneau University
    Location

    Longview, TX

    A computer science degree from LeTourneau University focuses on the practical experience and theoretical foundations that students need to grow a career in the field. Students learn about digital electronics, computer architecture and data structures and can concentrate on game development or network security. LeTourneau is a Christian school that aims to integrate faith with work and graduate citizens who are ready to serve the local and global community. It was established in 1946 and currently serves almost 3,000 students from across the globe.

  6. Dakota State University
    Location

    Madison, SD

    Computer science students at Dakota State University learn about everything from the system foundations to the most state-of-the-art tools and applications. The programs are taught by industry leaders who hold the terminal degree in their field and an honors program helps to prepare students to become leaders in their fields. In addition to a bachelors degree, a 4+1 masters program allows students to transition quickly to earn a master of science in applied computer science. Both of these degrees as well as many others are available online for the convenience of the student.

  7. Lawrence Technological University
    Location

    Southfield, MI

    The computer science programs at Lawrence Technological University are designed for both new college students and working adults, with specializations in areas like game development, cloud computing, scientific computing and software engineering. Programs utilize outside-the-box instructional philosophies and state-of-the-art technology to help students gain the knowledge they need to be successful in their careers. Students may take some of their coursework online, giving them added flexibility to complete their degrees. Online programs have been available to LTU students since 2006 and are of the same rigor as their on-campus counterparts.

  8. Davenport University
    Location

    Grand Rapids, MI

    Davenport University is an excellent choice for any student hoping to earn a baccalaureate degree in computer science. This and many other programs offered at Davenport may be completed either on-campus or online, allowing for an optimized and personalized academic schedule. Students feeling pressured by the costs of earning a degree may be eligible for certain scholarships and grants, given they meet the eligibility requirements. More than 30 athletic programs are offered at Davenport as well, giving students the opportunity to participate in physical extracurricular activities during their college experience. Alumni of Davenport are provided with career services necessary to achieve their career goals.

  9. Ohio University
    Location

    Athens, OH

    Ohio University offers more than 250 programs of study, one of which is a degree in computer science. In this undergraduate program, students learn to write computer programs, maintain and develop software, develop algorithms and interfaces to meet the needs of software users and work in small groups to develop components for the software. New students at Ohio go through a freshman experience to get to know fellow students and professors. The school, which boasts a low student to faculty ratio was Ohios first university in 1804.

  10. Park University
    Location

    Parkville, MO

    A degree in information and computer science prepares students to take on a broad range of technologically challenging careers. At Park University, the degree teaches students to be critical thinkers and problem solvers so they can go on to a career in web programming, project management, database analysis and others. The CISCO Networking Academy is part of the computer science curriculum, teaching students how to design and build secure computer networks. Students can also opt to earn their degree online in a more flexible environment.

Discover Online Computer Science Options

Timeline for an Online Computer Science Bachelor’s Program

Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science online can help give students more background and experience with digital systems. Because these programs typically examine emerging trends and technological advances, students often will help develop solutions for computer systems and infrastructure and analyze various programming languages. These online degrees can typically be completed in four years and often help prepare students for future careers in the field. Below are some general requirements in a sample four-year timeline to give students an idea of what they can expect during their education.


  • Application Process

    The application process may look different for each online program, but schools will often have similar base guidelines for prospective bachelor’s level computer science students. These guidelines typically include GPA requirements, providing transcripts and submitting a standard application. Having completed some relevant courses can also helpful. Read on to get a better sense of what may be required and considered when applying to an online bachelor’s program for computer science.

    Academic Requirements

    Some schools may require computer science students to have maintained a minimum GPA in previous studies, and may also have a minimum SAT or ACT score requirement. Students should review each online computer science program’s guidelines when considering applying.

    Transcripts

    oWhether entering a computer science program directly following high school or transferring from another higher education institution, online students will typically need to provide academic transcripts just as traditional students would.

    Relevant Coursework

    oIn addition to meeting the minimum GPA requirements, having completed relevant courses can also be beneficial to applicants. If possible, enrolling in computer science classes in high school to can help a prospective student stand out from other applicants.

    Application

    Many schools will have a standard application for prospective students to complete. Students should also note there may be application fees and supplemental material required, with additional costs that may also specific to the computer science program.

    Apply for Financial Aid

    Determining how to pay tuition is a crucial step when applying for and enrolling in any online degree program. Computer science students should be prepared to meet financial aid application deadlines, explore degree specific aid options and provide any required documentation by the university before enrolling in classes.


  • Year One Milestones

    The focus of the first year in a bachelor’s level computer science program will often be to map out online classes and complete the core credits required by the university. First-year students may have the opportunity to take some introductory computer science classes, depending on their academic experience and school’s requirements.

    Complete Core Classes

    During the first year of study, bachelor’s level computer science students will typically be required to take core classes like English and math along with required electives while maintaining a minimum GPA.

    Complete Lower Division Computer Science Classes

    Bachelor’s level online students will typically need to complete introductory computer science classes that serve as prerequisites for upper division classes. Students should be sure to understand the minimum GPA requirements for these classes as they may differ from the university’s overall academic standards.

    Determine the Course Schedule

    Computer science students should meet with an academic advisor to determine the coursework and anticipated class schedule needed to earn their online bachelor’s degree within a desired timeline. If an academic advisor is not available, the university may have other resources available for students to stay on track.


  • Year Two Milestones

    The second year in an online bachelor’s program in computer science is often a great time to start thinking about career goals following graduation and to begin taking the necessary steps to reach those goals. This may include gaining work experience and fine-tuning coursework.

    Apply for an Internship

    Internships are generally a great way for students to gain work experience, build their résumé and make important professional connections in the computer science world. It can also serve as a way to determine which career path or technological specialization may be of interest.

    Complete Degree-Specific Core Classes

    As students prepare to begin taking upper division classes, they should ensure they have completed the necessary prerequisites for junior and senior level computer and technology classes before the end of the second year.

    Begin a Portfolio

    Depending on the type of computer science work a student hopes to find after graduation, they may consider taking on projects to improve their skills and build a portfolio. For example, if a student is interested in computer programming, they may want to work on developing an app. If they envision a career in web design, they should take this time to begin building a web site.


  • Year Three Milestones

    Aside from taking upper division coursework, students in their third year of an online bachelor’s degree program in computer science may want to start taking steps to increase their odds of success after graduation. Students should consider membership in a professional association and begin developing their résumé or finding a mentor in the specialization or field they wish to enter.

    Join a Professional Computer Science Organization

    Several organizations and associations exist that are tailored to computer science professionals and students. These groups typically offer members the opportunity to network with peers, stay up-to-date on industry news and post job openings. Many also offer discounted rates for students.

    Determine a Preferred Career

    At this point, students have typically decided on an area of computer science in which to specialize. Students should begin enrolling in classes that support those interests and connect with others already working in that field to get a better sense of what to expect following graduation.

    Maintain a Good GPA

    Most upper division computer science classes will require students to maintain a minimum GPA in order to graduate. Students should consider continually meeting with their professors if they feel like they are falling behind in class.


  • Year Four Milestones

    The fourth and final year of an online bachelor’s in computer science program is often spent completing any remaining required courses and applying for jobs or graduate programs. Students should be sure to note any important graduation deadlines during this time.

    Pre-Graduation Check

    At the beginning of the final year, online computer science students should check in with their advisor to make sure they have completed all the necessary courses and maintained a GPA that will allow them to graduate within the timeframe set forth.

    Apply for Graduation

    Review and submit the graduation application, along with any necessary fees, signatures or other required materials for bachelor’s level computer science programs.

    Apply for Jobs or Graduate Programs

    When applying for jobs or graduate programs, computer science students may want to reach out to professors, former colleagues from an internship or connections made through professional organizations for references and guidance. Their university may also have resources to help graduates navigate entering the workforce or continuing education.


  • Graduation Requirements

    If online computer science students have maintained the academic track set forth when they entered their bachelor’s degree program and have met regularly with their advisor, the graduation process should go smoothly. Graduation requirements may vary among programs, but students will generally need to submit an application for graduation and show proof of their fulfillment of course requirements.

    Complete Required Semester Hours

    Most online bachelor’s degree programs in computer science require a minimum of 120 credit hours, comprised of core classes, degree-related core classes, electives and upper-division classes.

    Satisfy Required University Core Curriculum

    Most students will complete the core computer science classes during their first two years of their bachelor’s degree program. Postponing required core classes may impact a student’s eligibility for graduation and delay their progress.

    Faculty Approval

    Students will typically need a faculty member or even the dean of the college to sign off on their graduation application. In order to receive this approval, students must have met all the requirements set forth by the university and computer science program.

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After Your Degree: What to do with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science

In a society increasingly dependent on technology, a variety of career options are available for those who have earned their bachelor’s in computer science degree online. These professionals are often in high demand for developing and building mobile apps, data centers, networks and information systems. Computer scientists typically research and design technological innovations and find new ways to implement existing technology. They can work across diverse industries like education, healthcare, science and business. The specialties below are a few examples of careers that may be available for graduates with this degree.

  • Database Administration

    Database administrators, or DBAs, typically work to utilize, store and organize specialized technology. They often work with others to create and secure databases and may specialize in areas like customer service software.

    Job Growth (2014-2024)

    11%

    Median Annual Salary (May 2015)

    $81,710 per year

  • Software Developers

    Software developers are typically responsible for designing and developing user-facing applications and the underlying systems for software. They are often employed by computer design firms or software publishers.

    Job Growth (2014-2024)

    17%

    Median Annual Salary (May 2015)

    $100,690 per year

  • Information Security Analysts

    Information security analysts typically develop ways to protect computer networks and systems at a company and may serve as a teacher for colleagues about ways to keep their information safe. This job often entails handling security breaches and observing information technology trends.

    Job Growth (2014-2024)

    18%

    Median Annual Salary (May 2015)

    $90,120 per year

  • Web Developers

    Web developer’s typically design and create websites. Duties may include technical aspects like coding and non-technical responsibilities like overseeing the content, graphics and audio on a site. Web designers may work independently or they may collaborate with designers and writers to help with a site’s content and layout.

    Job Growth (2014-2024)

    27%

    Median Annual Salary (May 2015)

    $64,970 per year

Core Principles Learned in an Online Computer Science Bachelor’s Program

Bachelor’s in Computer Science

  • Applications of Information Technology Computer science students will typically gain the necessary skills for using technology in order to organize, analyze and communicate information. They will often have a working knowledge of hardware, software, office applications, information security and ethics and the internet.
  • Computer Systems and Architecture Data representation, assembly language, central processing unit architecture and memory architecture are some of the concepts usually covered in computer systems coursework. These topics can help computer science students gain an understanding of the basic concepts of computer architecture and the factors that influence the performance of a system.
  • Fundamentals of Programming Graduates will typically be comfortable with Java programming language and will be able to design, implement, test, debug and document computer programs. Specific concepts often include object-oriented programming and principles of concurrent programming.

PHD in Computer Science

LEARN MORE ABOUT ONLINE PHD IN COMPUTER SCIENCE

Master’s in Computer Science

LEARN MORE ABOUT ONLINE MASTER’S IN COMPUTER SCIENCE

Additional Resources

Students and professionals in the fast-paced field of computer science may benefit from joining professional organizations or associations. Members often network with peers, find mentors to help further develop their skills and gain access to the latest industry information.

American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)

ASIS&T works to marry information science practice and research by finding and sharing new theories, techniques and technologies. Members have access to webinars, research and professional development content, and networking opportunities.

Association for Computing Machinery

This organization is made up of computing educators, researchers and professionals who engage in dialogue and strive to improve the challenges faced in the field of computer science. Members, including both students and professionals, have access to the organization’s online learning center, industry news and job postings.

Association of Information Technology Professionals

This association is a national organization with local chapters around the country. Their goal is to advance the field of information technology through professional development, support of information technology education and national policies. There are student and professional membership options available.

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.


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