Colleges and universities have responded to this demand for computer scientists through, among other things, the creation of online computer science degree programs. In case you want to take a look at other affordable online programs, we’ve put together a list of the most affordable online schools.
How much money can you make with an Online Computer Science degree?
A spike in demand for computer science professionals automatically points to the availability of good jobs with excellent pay. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median pay for a computer and information research scientist is $114,520.
Jobs in that area are expected to increase by a whopping 19 percent in the coming years. That means now is the perfect time to get started on your computer science career. Why wait when you have that big of a paycheck waiting for you?
What can you do with an Online Computer Science degree?
Possessing the skills that are taught in a computer science undergraduate program essentially give you the “golden ticket” to the world of informational technology. You can apply those skills in a huge variety of ways. When it comes down to it, you’ll likely be dealing with database systems, cyber security, and programming languages in some capacity. Here’s just some of the potential careers you could pursue:
- Computer Network Architect
- Information Security Analyst
- Database Administrator
- Computer Programmer
What are the Most Affordable Online Computer Science degrees?
So are you ready to get started? We’ve targeted the Most Affordable Online Computer Science degrees in the nation. Our data team based this list exclusively on the cost of attendance. Don’t worry though—we’ve done our homework, and these are all top-quality schools that will point you in the right direction for your career! For those pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science and hoping to get the most for their money, the following degree programs stand out for their online flexibility and low out-of-pocket tuition costs.
See our rankings methodology page.
Fort Hays State University
The university with the most affordable online Bachelor’s in Computer Science is Fort Hays State University, a public university with a student population of about 14,000 located in Fort Hays, Kansas. FHSU has earned a number of recognitions from U.S. News and World Report over the past three years, including two top 25 listings for 2016 in the categories of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans.
This 120-credit-hour program is broken into three parts: 55 credits of general education requirements with foundational classes in computer literacy and mathematics, 39 credits of major-specific courses, and 24 credits of an emphasis track. The curriculum covers upper-level courses such as:
- Data Structures
- Assembly Language
- Computer Graphics
- Operating Systems
Students have two options for an emphasis track. Those hoping to go into business for themselves can take a business emphasis track that includes courses in accounting, finance, and marketing. Those uninterested in running their own business can take the networking emphasis track which focuses on all aspects of computer networking. Fort Hays State University has been regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Baker College is a private, not-for-profit college with a focus on career and professional development. Their flagship campus is in Flint, Michigan, but they have thirteen additional campuses spread throughout the state of Michigan. Baker’s online Bachelor’s in Computer Science is designed with consultation from industry professionals and is periodically reviewed to ensure that course content is maximally responsive to employment needs within the field of computer science.
The programs are focused on demonstrating proficiency in a number of essential skills—not just those specific to computer science but also personal skills essential to employment such as establishing rapport with professional colleagues, functioning well under stress, and developing time management skills. Some of the highlight classes include:
- Java Programming
- Data Structures and Algorithms
- Big Data Analytics
- Emerging Programming Languages
Students at Baker will also have access to their Lifetime Employment Services program, which assists students in writing resumes, job interview training, and also the budgeting and planning necessary for any relocation to find employment. Baker has been regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Granite State College
Granite State College is part of the University System of New Hampshire and is located in the city of Concord. The majority of its 2200 students are pursuing undergraduate degrees, one of which is their Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Innovation which can be taken entirely online, hybrid, or through weekend intensive classes.
This degree program is project-based and requires students to apply what they learn in the online classroom at a worksite—either through a current employer or as a volunteer. You may treat this as a degree completion program if you already hold an associate’s degree. This program will prepare students to work in some of the following careers:
- Software Engineer
- Medical Engineer
- Mobile Application Developer
- Game Programmer
Granite State’s program prepares students to enter the workforce as software engineers, database designers, medical engineers, mobile application designers, game designers, and more. Their degree programs have been regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Troy University is a mostly undergraduate public university whose flagship campus is located in Troy, Alabama. The Troy University System also has three other campuses spread throughout the state. Troy’s online BS in Computer Science is focused on individual and team projects.
This curriculum covers areas such as game design, cell phone applications, and web applications. This makes the program at Troy appealing for those hoping to use their degree to enter the field of entertainment and gaming. Some of your classes might include:
- Programming Languages
- Database Systems
- Object-Oriented Programming
- Artificial Intelligence
Students at Troy can also participate in the campus’ computer science club as well as weekly seminars that cover a broad array of topics in the field. Troy University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Southern University and A&M College
Southern University and A&M College is a historically black public university located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. SU’s campus, where the majority of its 6300 students attend lectures, is located on the banks of the Mississippi River. You’ll earn a BS in Computer Engineering at Southern University and A&M College.
This degree is designed both for those who hope to enter the job market after the completion of their bachelor’s as well as those who want to go on for a graduate degree. Some of the skills taught in their degree program include:
- Software Engineering
- Database Systems
- Management Information Systems
Southern’s Department of Computer Science has partnered with the Raytheon Corporation for a mentoring program, making this program a good choice for someone hoping to use their degree in the aeronautics and defense industries. Southern University and A&M College has been regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
University of Illinois at Springfield
The University of Illinois at Springfield is a public university and member school of the University of Illinois System. In addition to a number of other awards for its online programs, UIS ranked in the top 30 in U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.”
The University of Illinois at Springfield is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The degree program is focused on a solid set of core requirements that make up 24 of the required 120 credit units. Students then complete a final capstone project. Some of the required courses include:
- Computer Algorithms
- Operating Systems
- Programming Languages
For those attending community college in the state of Illinois, UI-Springfield’s computer science department has affiliated with several community colleges in that state. This allows students at those schools to fulfill credits toward their online bachelor’s degree while taking classes at the community college level, thereby lessening the number of credits they need to fulfill when they transfer to UIS.
Trident University International
Trident University International is a private, for profit, and online only university based in Cypress, California. The school has a particularly strong connection with the military and military members make up a significant portion of its roughly 6100 students. The school uses the Trident Learning Model, which emphasizes case-based problem solving rather than standardized testing.
The BS in Computer Science at Trident gives students the opportunity to concentrate their degree in cyber security, which emphasizes network security, cryptography, and digital forensics. Over 120 credit hours, students will also focus on core computer science topics like:
- Computer System Architecture
- Networking and Data Communications
- Information Security and Technology in Society
The computer science department at TUI is a member of Cyber Watch West, a program that disseminates and standardizes best practices in cyber security among member schools. Trident University has been regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Regent University is well known for being founded by Pat Robertson, televangelist and host of The 700 Club. It is a private, not-for-profit Christian university located in Virginia Beach and has a student population of 5,914, a larger than usual percentage of whom are graduate students and distance learners.
Regent’s online Bachelor’s in Computer Science is a 120 credit program: 54 credits in computer science, 49 credits of general education, and 17 elective credits. It is designed to help prepare students for careers in some of the following areas:
- Network Administration
- Data Mining
- Software Engineering
- Information Security
Given its predominantly Christian and conservative orientation, the school will not appeal to everyone, but its online programs have earned it some academic recognition, including a top twenty spot in U.S. News and World Report’s list of “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.” Regent has been regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Dakota State University
Dakota State University is a public university with a student population of 3047 and is located in Madison, South Dakota. In its degree programs Dakota State emphasizes computing and technology and has gained three different recognitions from the National Security Agency, making it an attractive option for those who want to apply their degree in a security or defense setting.
Dakota State’s online Bachelor’s of Computer Science also offers an accelerated 4+1 program that enables their undergraduate students to get an earlier start on requirements for a MS in Applied Computer Science. Over eight semesters, some of your classes will include:
- Software Security
- Parallel Computing
- Operating Systems
DSU’s online classes are presented simultaneously with their on-campus classes and professors are encouraged to design collaborative projects that involve both groups of students. DSU has been regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Located in Denver, Colorado, Regis University is a Catholic college in the Jesuit tradition with a student body of about 9,200. Their College of Computer and Information Sciences offers the only online BS in Computer Science in the country that has been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), one of the premier accrediting bodies in the field.
For those hoping to go on to a Master’s of Science in Computer Science after their graduation, Regis offers a combined bachelor’s and master’s program that allows students to graduate sooner and therefore with less out of pocket tuition expenses. This program features a number of interesting electives such as:
- Data Science
- Computer Systems Security
- UNIX Operating System
Even more, with the addition to 12 extra credit hours to their required 128 credit hours, students can also achieve a minor in mathematics. Some students choose to add on this minor to familiarize themselves with the algorithmic principles that are the foundation of computer science. Regis has been regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.