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The 20 Best Online BS In Computer Science in 2022

BS in Computer Science - featured image

Students in online BS in Computer Science programs study computers and computational systems. Their studies also cover computation, information, and automation, which are vital aspects of contemporary life.

The program of study for bachelor’s in computer science programs covers both theoretical and practical disciplines. Theory of computation and information, algorithms, and automation are theoretical disciplines. The design, implementation, and evaluation of computer systems are their practical aspects. 

Indeed, the best online computer science degree programs enable students to develop both their technical and transferable skills. Proficiency in programming and other technical skills becomes more valuable when combined with creativity, communication, and critical thinking skills. 

Additional Info: The 10 Best Schools For Becoming a Computer Support Specialist: Degree and Job Info


Quick Summarization:

The best computer science degree programs attract students with a keen interest in information technology and its possibilities for finding solutions to contemporary issues. Computer science students develop hard skills in computer systems, programming languages, and software engineering alongside useful soft skills!


Methodology

Computer science graduates have diverse career opportunities in the computer and information technology sectors. The opportunity to make a positive difference in society makes an online computer science degree worth it. 

Earning a BS in Computer Science is a great first step! The online programs on our list are all considered excellent options, owing to these excellent features:

  • Delivers either a 100% web-based or a blended learning format for the convenience of adult undergraduate learners,
  • Through rigorous online coursework, equips students with the academic know-how applicable to the actual field of work, or in preparation for the master’s program in Computer Science,
  • Provides training and education that sharpen a student’s communication, problem-solving, mathematical, and critical thinking competencies,
  • Facilitated through a dependable Learning Management System,
  • Offers credit transfer and runs financial aid programs,
  • Taught by seasoned professors who excel in the field of Computer Science and hold terminal degrees in this discipline,
  • Appropriate academic accreditation.

These 20 online computer science degree programs were chosen for their reputation for academic excellence, outstanding graduate outcomes, and relative affordability. Higher education shouldn’t result in crippling student debt. Financial aid and careful planning are a must!

Please check our Methodology to discover more about the ranking process.

online BS in Computer Science

The 20 Best Online BS in Computer Science Degree Programs

University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland Global Campus

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program at UMGC enables students to gain strong fundamental skills in computer science.  

The online computer science program features a 120-credit curriculum. Online students complete 36 credits in major courses including: 

  • Introductory and Intermediate Programming 
  • Computer Systems and Architecture 
  • Data Structures and Analysis 
  • Advanced Programming Languages 
  • Software Engineering Principles and Techniques 

There are also general education, minor and elective courses. The minor and elective courses diversity the students’ skill sets. Students are well-advised to coordinate with an academic advisor for their program of study. 

Earning this computer science degree in less than four years is possible with transfer credits. Students can transfer up to 90 credits from an associate degree. Graduates can earn a master’s degree in teaching within a shorter time through UMGC’s vertical pathway program. 

This is an affordable online computer science degree, too. In-state tuition is $312/credit hour; military personnel enjoys a discounted rate.

The University of Maryland Global Campus offers diverse undergraduate and graduate degrees via its accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). 

Oregon State University

Oregon State University

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program at OSU is among the best because students build future skills in the present. Graduates are versatile computer science professionals able to thrive in all industries. 

Computer science students complete 180 credits to earn the online degree. But their diplomas don’t have the term “online degree”. Their curriculum and quality of instruction are the same as the on-campus program.  

OSU offers an applied computer science option for online students, too. The applied computer science option has a security emphasis.

Online students tackle courses in:  

  • Network security 
  • Programming languages 
  • Mobile and web development
  • Software engineering 
  • Computer forensics 

Students also discuss the theory of computation, ethical issues, and social considerations in computer science, and cryptography.  

Earning an online computer science degree requires the completion of a capstone project. This is preceded by a three-term series of courses that develop project management skills. 

Students can add a minor or an undergraduate certificate in addition to the computer science degree. Choices include resource economics, entrepreneurship, and cybersecurity. 

Oregon State University is recognized by the U.S. News & World Report for its excellent online undergraduate programs. Its programs are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). 

Colorado State University Global

Colorado State University Global

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program at Colorado State allows students to earn their degrees entirely online. Students, however, benefit from online and on-campus resources and services. 

This is a 120-credit computer science program with a four-year time-to-completion. But it varies depending on transferred credits, enrollment type, and concentration chosen. 

Online students tackle challenging introductory and mid-level courses in: 

  • Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data  
  • Modern web applications 
  • Object-oriented design 
  • Distributed systems 
  • Database systems 

This is a unique online computer science program because of its concentration options. Students choose from: 

  • Computer Science General Concentration
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Concentration
  • Computing Systems Concentration
  • The Human-centered Computing Concentration
  • The Networks and Security Concentration  

Students can also earn a minor alongside the online computer science degree. Choices include anthropology, business administration, and agricultural business. 

Admission into the computer science degree program requires a high school diploma, at least. Financial aid is available to online students. 

Colorado State University Global is the online component of the Colorado State University System with accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). 

Louisiana State University Online

Louisiana State University Online

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program at LSU Online trains students in the challenging subjects of computer science. Students gain the skills in solving computational problems. 

Students in the exceptional online computer science degree program develop their portfolios. Project-based activities contribute to their tangible work samples.

Computer science students complete 120 credit hours to earn a bachelor’s in computer science degree. Up to 90 transfer credits are accepted. 

Online students complete 40 credit hours of major courses including: 

  • Introduction to Computer Programming
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Cybersecurity
  • Programming Languages
  • Operating Systems

This is among the most affordable computer science programs, too, with under $300 per credit! Financial aid is available for online students.

Admission into the computer science degree program is selective. Freshman applicants must at least have a high school diploma with a 2.0 GPA. Transfer students must at least have a transferable associate degree with a 2.0 GPA, among other requirements. 

Louisiana State University, a public institution, is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

Students of SNHU’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program learn industry-standard software development technologies. Earning this computer science degree means gaining skills in software project management and full-stack development. 

This is also an affordable online computer science degree. Students can transfer up to 90 credits to the 120-credit program. 

Computer science students complete courses in: 

  • Programming Languages 
  • Software Development Life Cycle 
  • System Analysis and Design
  • Software Security
  • Software Testing, Automation, and Quality Assurance

Online students choose from one of these concentration options, too: 

  • Project Management for STEM
  • Data Analysis
  • Software Engineering
  • Information Security

Students in the computer science degree program have access to support services. The technology resources include a help desk and cloud-based virtual environments. 

Southern New Hampshire University is among the faster-growing universities in the US. University accreditation is by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), alongside programmatic accreditation. 

Maryville University

Maryville University

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program prepares students for the forward-focused discipline with hard and soft skills. Students earn the online computer science degree by completing 128 credit hours. 

Core courses cover: 

  • Computer programming 
  • Operating systems 
  • Computer architecture 
  • Artificial intelligence 
  • Logic and algorithm 

Computer science majors can earn certifications in software development, data science, or blockchain. Online students gain practical experience in computer science via a capstone project.

Admission into the computer science degree program is selective. But there are no SAT/ACT and application fees required. Transfer credits are accepted and financial aid is available. 

The nonprofit, private Maryville University of St. Louis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). 

Florida State University

Florida State University

Students in the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program gain broad-based knowledge and specific skills in computer science. Programming proficiency is a must for students learning multiple languages. 

Online students earn a computer science degree by completing 120 credit hours. The computer science courses include: 

  • Computer Organization 
  • Software Engineering 
  • Operating Systems and Concurrent Programming 
  • Theory of Computation
  • Secure Parallel & Distributed Programming with Python

Students also complete a software engineering capstone project. 

This is an ABET/CAC-accredited online computer science degree program. Florida State University has accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program at CTU has a 183-credit curriculum. Students complete 88 credit hours in core computer science courses. The rest are in general education, elective, and concentration courses. 

Computer science majors develop relevant skills in courses like: 

  • Problem Solving in Computer Science
  • Principles of Programming Languages
  • Fundamentals of Computer Organization and Architecture
  • Fundamentals of Data Structures
  • Computer Algorithms

Students gain fundamental skills in Python, SQL, Java, and C++ programming. The online computer science degree has a strong emphasis on systems security and project management. 

Online students choose a concentration in the computer science degree program, namely: 

  • Cybersecurity Engineering
  • Data Science
  • Software Engineering

Colorado Technical University is recognized by the U.S. News & World Report for its exceptional online bachelor’s programs. The private for-profit university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). 

University of Arkansas Grantham

University of Arkansas Grantham

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program at UA Grantham trains future software engineers and developers. Students earn the online computer science degree through the completion of 120 credit hours. 

The core computer science courses include: 

  • Programming in JavaScript and C++ 
  • Data Structures
  • Operating Systems
  • Security Operations 
  • Systems Analysis and Design 

Earning this computer science degree also means completion of a capstone project.

The online bachelor’s degree has a 38-month completion time. Transfer students can transfer up to 75% of the degree total. 

Applicants can choose from several start dates with most courses having a monthly start date. There’s no application fee. Financial aid makes tuition costs even more affordable. 

The public online university is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). 

Western Governors University

Western Governors University

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program at WGU prepares students for successful careers in the computer and information technology industry. Students can earn an online computer science degree in 27 months, too! 

This is also an ultra-affordable computer science degree with tuition charged based on a six-month term. WGU has financial aid options including federal government aid. Graduates have among the country’s lowest student debts. 

The online bachelor’s degree has 35 courses including: 

  • Computer Architecture
  • Data Structures and Algorithms 
  • Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

Students progress at their own pace although at least 12 competency units must be maintained every term. There’s a capstone project where students demonstrate their computer science skills. 

Admission into the computer science program requires a high school diploma, minimum. Demonstration of math skills is also required. 

Western Governors University uses a competency-based model in its online programs. The non-profit private university is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). 


Check this out: The 20 Most Lucrative Computer Science Careers


Norwich University

Norwich University Online

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science & Information Systems program has a strong software engineering focus. Students learn both low-level and high-level programming. 

The 120-credit program features a capstone project. Students demonstrate their computer science skills via a comprehensive study. 

The online courses include: 

  • Introduction to Data Structures 
  • Introduction to Computer Programming 
  • Software Engineering 
  • Operating Systems & Parallelism 
  • Embedded Systems 

The computer science degree program has six start dates every year. Applicants must have at least 30 credits from an associate degree. The online computer science degree program accepts up to 90 credits. 

With transferred credits, students can earn an online bachelor’s degree in two years or less. Post-admission math placement tests are required. 

Norwich University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) to offer undergraduate programs. 

Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University Online

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program offers two academic paths. Transfer students should complete at least 30 credits. Freshman students must earn 120 credits to earn the prestigious online computer science degree. 

The online courses in computer science include: 

  • Principles of Programming Languages
  • Data Structures & Algorithms
  • Object-Oriented Programming and Design
  • Introduction to Software Engineering
  • Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science

The online bachelor’s degree program follows ODU’s academic calendar. But online students have more flexibility in their class schedules. 

The computer science degree program is ABET accredited. Old Dominion University itself is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) for its undergraduate programs. 

South College

South College

Students in the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program engage in specialized skills development activities. Soft skills and professional development are also emphasized. 

The online computer science degree program features experiential learning through hands-on assignments. Students also complete two capstone courses. 

Other benefits of the online bachelor’s degree program are small class sizes, accessible faculty members, and math and writing labs. Students can also request tutors. 

Admission into the computer science degree program requires either a high school diploma or an associate degree. Standardized test scores are also required. 

South College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

Franklin University 

Franklin University

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program has a 124-credit curriculum and a two-year completion period. Students can transfer up to 76% of the degree total. 

The 100% online computer science degree program features 6- and 12-week courses in: 

  • Object-Oriented Data Structures & Algorithms 
  • Principles of Computer Organization 
  • Principles of Computer Networks 
  • Programming Language: Principles & Practice 
  • Database Management Systems 

Students earn an online bachelor’s degree upon completion of a computer science practicum. This is among the best computer science degree programs because of its professional faculty members. 

Franklin University is dedicated to adult education and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). 

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program prepares students for successful careers in computer forensics and other fields. Full-time students can earn an online computer science degree in four years. 

The 120-credit computer science degree program trains students in: 

  • Computer architecture
  • Operating systems and administration
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Software engineering
  • Internet applications

Students not only earn the online bachelor in computer science degree but also gain experiential learning. Internships in prestigious companies are available. Co-curricular activities are offered. 

Saint Leo University has accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

Concordia University St. Paul 

Concordia University St. Paul

Students in the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program can earn the degree in just 2.5 years with transferred credits. Freshman students complete 120 credits. 

The online computer science degree consists of 12 core courses. Students can choose between an advanced web app or a mobile app elective. 

Students earn the computer science degree by meeting academic standards in courses like: 

  • Client-Side Web Development
  • Computer Architecture and Operating Systems
  • Software Engineering
  • Database Design
  • Object Oriented Programming in Java

The online bachelor in computer science has a software development capstone project requirement. 

Concordia University St. Paul is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to award graduate and undergraduate degrees. 

Davenport University

Davenport University

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program has a 120-credit curriculum that meets industry standards. Students choose from three concentrations: 

  • Gaming and simulations 
  • Artificial intelligence 
  • Computer theory and algorithms

Most of the courses in the online computer science degree program are conducted online. Students in the gaming and simulations concentration, however, use the on-campus gaming lab. 

Computer science majors can apply for full-tuition scholarships. Students can also earn credits for their Cisco, Microsoft, and CompTIA certifications. The online bachelor in computer science program prepares students for C# certification, too. 

The courses in the computer science degree program include: 

  • Object-Oriented Programming with C#
  • Introduction to Game Design
  • Discrete Structure
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Software Engineering

Davenport University is a nonprofit independent institution with a State of Michigan charter. 

Regent University

Regent University

Students in the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program learn skills in computing systems, programming languages, and database management. The online computer science degree program has a 120-credit curriculum with courses in: 

  • Computer Architecture
  • Operating Systems
  • Programming
  • Software Engineering
  • Information Systems Security

Note that the computer science program has a Biblical worldview in its courses. Regent University, after all, is a private Christian university. 

National University

National University

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program is known for its good balance. Students benefit from a robust academic foundation combined with hands-on learning. 

The online computer science program features 4-week courses in: 

  • Computer Architecture 
  • Object-oriented Design 
  • Discrete Structures and Logic 
  • Digital Logic Design 

Students earn the online computer science degree by completing 180 quarter units. Applicants can transfer credits from community colleges and universities. 

A private university, National University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

University of the People

University of the People

Students in the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program receive comprehensive training in the various aspects of computer science. These include operating systems, programming languages, and database management. 

The online computer science degree program has a 120-credit curriculum. There are proctored courses like: 

  • Web Programming 
  • Operating Systems  
  • Data Structures 
  • Databases 

Applicants to the computer science program can transfer credits up to 50% of the degree total. 

UoPeople offers tuition-free online bachelor’s degree programs through an innovative model. Students pay under $5,000 for a computer science degree. 

A non-profit private online university, University of the People, is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). 


Overview of Online BS in Computer Science Programs   

While there are common aspects between the best online computer science degree programs, it’s important to consider every program unique. The following discussion is a general look at these online programs. 

Admission Requirements 

Admission into the best online computer science degree programs can be highly competitive. Applicants must demonstrate college-level readiness in math, science, and technology. 

Other important admission requirements include: 

  • A high school diploma or GED equivalent with minimum cumulative GPA and grades in specific subjects or an associate degree with minimum GPA 
  • Completion of prerequisites in math and science subjects (e.g., calculus), even a foreign language requirement  
  • Standardized test scores 
  • Placement tests with satisfactory scores 
  • Letters of recommendation 
  • Personal statements 
  • Current resume 
  • Completed online application 

Depending on the online program, virtual interviews between the admissions officers and applicants may be conducted. 

Average Time-to-completion 

Most online computer science degrees can be earned in four years. But students can earn a computer science bachelor’s degree in a shorter or longer time due to various factors: 

  • Part-time enrollment means longer time-to-completion 
  • An accelerated program of study results in a shorter completion time
  • Transfer credits mean shorter time-to-completion 

Credits, Curriculum, and Courses  

The typical computer science curricula consist of 120 credit hours or their equivalent. But the actual number of credits varies depending on the per-course credit, elective courses, and internships. 

While online computer science degrees have different philosophies and concentrations, many share similar core courses. 

  • Computer Architecture
  • Data Structures and Algorithms 
  • Software Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Mining and Machine Learning
  • Networks and Security

Online Learning Technology 

Online computer science bachelor’s degree programs are tech-heavy not only because of the discipline but also because of the delivery. Students aren’t required to make on-campus visits, thus, the extensive use of online learning technology. 

Learning Management Systems (LMS) 

These online platforms serve the needs of both instructors and students. Instructors use it to upload lessons including live and recorded lectures, assignments, quizzes, and exams. Students access it to view whatever the instructors have uploaded, as well as to take exams and submit assignments. 

The virtual classroom that an LMS provides has the added benefit of 24/7 access. Many Learning Management Systems also have built-in collaboration and productivity tools for both students and instructors. 

Assessments and Evaluations 

Computer science majors are subjected to high academic standards due to the STEM nature of the discipline. Academic progress and performance are evaluated using multiple techniques including: 

  • Lessons including exams and quizzes 
  • Assignment submissions 
  • Portfolios 
  • Capstone project 
  • Senior thesis 

Many programs also require students to participate in lectures and recitations during synchronous classes. Discussion boards and forums are also common. 

Internship and Practicum Requirements 

The desirability of online computer science degrees increases with internship and practicum experiences. Hands-on learning strengthens theoretical knowledge and translates it into practical skills. 

Computer science programs usually have specific guidelines for the completion of internships. These can include students connecting with willing companies and completing a specific number of hours. 

Students may also be able to choose the type of computer science internship! Choices include internships in front-end engineering, back-end engineering, and project management. 

Workplace-Ready Skills and Traits 

Computer science professionals possess specialized skills to become successful. Computer science careers demand a combination of technical and transferable skills. Students must then strive to strike a balance between the two skill sets. 

Technical Skills

Computer science professionals possess a wide range of technical skills in software engineering, computational theory, and programming languages. Their skill sets also include top-notch technical writing skills that allow them to communicate effectively with others. Their math skills are also excellent since they design models and test systems. 

Transferable Skills 

Contrary to popular opinion, computer scientists aren’t full-on introverts immersed in the digital world. Their profession demands collaborations with other professionals like software engineers and clients. 

Their transferable skills include: 

  • Problem-solving 
  • Analytical reasoning 
  • Critical thinking 
  • Creative thinking 
  • Communication 
  • Teamwork 
  • Leadership 
  • Organization 
  • Time management 

Tuition and Financial Aid 

While an online bachelor’s in computer science can be more affordable than an on-campus degree, the tuition and other costs can still be expensive. The overall costs range from $15,000 to $85,000 for a four-year degree. 

Be sure to check out ways to save on tuition! Being an in-state student, getting military discounts, and availing of financial aid from the federal government, university, and external sources are recommended.

BS in Computer Science - fact

BS in Computer Science Major Areas of Study

The major areas of study in online computer science degree programs include: 

  • Theory of computing 
  • Artificial intelligence 
  • Programming languages 
  • Software engineering 
  • Computer systems and networks 
  • Vision and Graphics 
  • Bioinformatics 

There are several misconceptions about what studying computer science is all about. When you pursue an online computer science degree, you will learn that computer science is: 

  • A discipline with an emphasis on problem-solving skills and innovation 
  • A theory and practice resulting in programming a computer according to specifications; 
  • A tool that can be used to achieve results through information technology 
  • A skill that empowers students to create ideas, objects, and systems instead of being just consumers of technology 

Pursuing an online computer science degree isn’t about learning to use computers, applications, and video games! Keep in mind that computer science majors are encouraged to create, not just consume. 

Contrary to popular opinion, computer science students don’t have to use computers and their associated technology all the time. Many of the computer science problems we face today require only pencil and paper, as well as a problem-solving mindset. 

Careers and Salaries of Graduates of BS in Computer Science Programs 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth in computer and information technology occupations is 13% (2020-2030). This means computer science graduates can look forward to abundant employment prospects in several industries, from business to space exploration. 

Workers in computer and information technology occupations earn a median annual wage of $97,430 (May 2021) according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is significantly more than the average annual wage for all occupations. 

Network and Computer Systems Administrators ($80,600/year

These professionals are in charge of the day-to-day operations of computer networks including their installation, maintenance, and support. Computer networks include WANs, LANs, and intranets. 

Web Developers ($77,200/year

Their main duties include the creation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of websites, particularly the technical side. Many web developers also create content for websites. 

Computer Systems Analysts ($99,270/year

Also known as system architects, computer systems analysts evaluate existing computer systems and recommend appropriate improvements. These professionals are instrumental in the effective, efficient, and responsive operations of computer systems. 

Software Developers ($110,140/year

Software developers create software and other applications based on the specifications of clients and users. 

Database Administrators and Architects ($98,860/year

These professionals design and create database management systems that ensure safe and secure access for their users. 


Frequently Asked Questions 

Is a computer science degree worth it?

Yes, it is! Think about the abundant employment opportunities in nearly all industries, the high entry-level salaries, and the career advancement opportunities. 

Are excellent math skills necessary? 

Yes, math skills are essential in surviving the challenges of an online bachelor’s in computer science degree program. You must have college-level skills in calculus and other math subjects to understand coding, data structures, and algorithms. 

Is computer science a good major?

If you have a keen interest in technology and computer science, you will find that it’s an excellent major. Plus, you will gain a deeper appreciation for the consumer technology we use on a daily basis. 

Is computer science a difficult discipline to study? 

You may find that earning an online bachelor’s in computer science degree has its academic challenges. With a STEM-heavy curriculum and multiple academic requirements, time management skills and persistence are a must. 

Are online computer science degrees respected?

Yes, but be sure to check that the college or university has either national or regional accreditation. 

Key Points to Ponder

  • Employers in diverse industries value online bachelor’s degrees in computer science because their holders possess technical and transferable skills unique to the discipline.
  • The abundant opportunities for employment and career advancement make earning a bachelor’s degree worth it.

Before you go: The 38 Best Bachelor’s in Computers and Technology Online Schools and Career Guide

Malcolm Peralty
Chief Editor