Most Affordable Online Master’s in Computer Programming Degrees

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Code your way to career with success through one of the nation’s most affordable online Master’s in Computer Programming degrees.

Are you fluent, or hope to become fluent, in complex software languages? Do you envision yourself designing, implementing, and managing systems? Are you equally happy to work by yourself, hammering out code, as you are to collaborate with a team of developers and designers?

Then an advanced degree in computer programming may be just for you!

Top 10 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Computer Programming Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Bellevue University Bellevue, NE
2 California State University, Fullerton Fullerton, CA
3 West Virginia University Morgantown, WV
4 The University of West Florida Pensacola, FL
5 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL
6 University of Michigan-Dearborn Dearborn, MI
7 Columbus State University Columbus, GA
8 Purdue University Hammond, IN
9 University of Florida-Online Gainesville, FL
10 University of Maryland University College Adelphi, MD

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What kind of master’s in computer programming degree should you get?

While each of these programs ensure you a sturdy foundation in computer programming fundamentals, such as design and languages, they each vary a bit in emphasis and structure.

For example, while some schools provide broad-based degrees in computer science that allow you to specialize in programming, others focus solely on software design and implementation.

Furthermore, some of these programs operate through coursework-only models. Meaning, you’ll take several rigorous courses without having to present a thesis or capstone project. These are great options for those of you who aren’t interested in research. And for those who are, many of these affordable programs are also research-focused, requiring a thesis to graduate.

Whichever program offers the best fit, know that all of these degrees can be completed fully online.

Online education is both a flexible and affordable way to advance your education and career. For that reason, be sure to check out College Choice’s Most Affordable Schools for an Online Graduate Degree.

What can you do with a master’s in computer programming?

There are many opportunities for someone with an advanced degree in computer programming. Whether you want to work by yourself, designing efficient and innovative systems, or with a team to create a great product for your company, a Master’s degree in Computer Programming will help you get there.

Graduates from the programs below, for example, have gone on to secure rewarding, high-paying careers in:

  • Software Development
  • Computer Systems Analysis
  • Database Administration
  • Network Systems Management
  • Web Development
  • And much more

How much money do people make with a master’s in computer programming?

With an advanced degree in computer programming you are on your way to a lucrative, stable career.

Software Developers with a master’s degree, for example, make on average $78,100 a year. However, that number leaps up with years of work and management experience. Principal Software Engineers make upwards of $134,870 a year.

Not only is the pay good, but so is the outlook. The need for those with an advanced degree in computer programming is always on the rise. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the need for software developers to grow an astounding 24 percent in the next few years.

What are the requirements for an online master’s in computer programming?

A Master’s in Computer Programming will take between one and two years to complete, with most programs averaging closer to two years. In the first year of your program will gain a foundation in programming principles while being introduced to the wider world of computer science.

Then in your second year you will have the opportunity to take specialized classes that pertain specifically to your interests and career goals. These classes may cover everything from compilers to game and simulation development, user interface experience, and software architecture.

Finally, some of these programs require an internship, thesis, or capstone research project in order to graduate. We’ve been sure to note these.

What are the most affordable online master’s in computer programming degrees?

Though some of these programs are offered through huge research universities and others through smaller polytechnic colleges, they all share one thing in common: they are the most affordable online computer programming degrees in the nation.

To determine the most affordable computer programming graduate degrees, we first looked at all programs across the nation that offer the degree online. From there we examined tuition and credit hours rates to determine those with the best value.

After such exhaustive research we found that these degrees are not only the most affordable but some of the best ranked too!

Our figures and information come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.

2018 Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Bellevue University
    Location

    Bellevue, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Bellevue University specializes in innovative, returning learner education. It is based in Bellevue, Nebraska but has one of the best online schools in the nation. More than 10,000 students attend Bellevue.

    Features

    At Bellevue University, when you earn your online MS in Computer Information Systems you will have the opportunity to specialize in software development. Additionally, you will learn how to build, integrate, and manage complex computer technologies. Some of the classes you’ll take at Bellevue include:

    • IT Strategy and Policy
    • Cloud Computing
    • Survey of System Development
    • Software Development

    Notables

    Bellevue is one of a kind in its mission to provide open access education to all U.S. citizens. The University is therefore known for its affordability, its student-centric approach to education, and for being market focused.

  2. California State University, Fullerton
    Location

    Fullerton, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Fullerton campus within the 23 member California State System is the largest with its enrollment of more than 40,000 students. Offering more than 200 academic programs at all degree levels, CSUF is a research-based university.

    Features

    CSUF’s College of Engineering and Computer Science offers a Software Engineering graduate program that is both affordable and online. This STEM-designated program can be finished in as few as 17 months. It teaches students software standards such and implementation and management of processes. But you will also learn crucial aspects to programming such as legal and ethical issues, communication technique, and research methodology. Students have graduated and become:

    • Project Managers
    • Computer Programmers
    • Software Developers

    Notables

    Just last year U.S. News & World Report recognized CSUF as a top national university. It also named the school one of the nation’s “most innovative” institutions. Furthermore, CSUF is known for its diversity and for being among the top colleges to graduate underrepresented students.

  3. West Virginia University
    Location

    Morgantown, WV

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Fullerton campus within the 23 member California State System is the largest with its enrollment of more than 40,000 students. Offering more than 200 academic programs at all degree levels, CSUF is a research-based university.

    Features

    CSUF’s College of Engineering and Computer Science offers a Software Engineering graduate program that is both affordable and online. This STEM-designated program can be finished in as few as 17 months. It teaches students software standards such and implementation and management of processes. But you will also learn crucial aspects to programming such as legal and ethical issues, communication technique, and research methodology. Students have graduated and become:

    • Project Managers
    • Computer Programmers
    • Software Developers

    Notables

    Just last year U.S. News & World Report recognized CSUF as a top national university. It also named the school one of the nation’s “most innovative” institutions. Furthermore, CSUF is known for its diversity and for being among the top colleges to graduate underrepresented students.

  4. The University of West Florida
    Location

    Pensacola, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of West Florida is located in Pensacola. It is part of the wider State University System of Florida and is known for its research activities, facilities, and contributions. Nearly 13,000 students attend UWF.

    Features

    UWF’s Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering offers a MS in Computer Science degree that can be paired with a specialization in Software Engineering. In this program you will focus on the process, specification, analysis, design, verification, and validation of software management. Classes include:

    • Software Engineering Foundations: Java Programming
    • Software Engineering Process
    • Database Systems
    • Software Design

    Notables

    UWF is a well ranked and highly regarded university. Not only is it counted among the best colleges in the southeast by The Princeton Review. It is ranked a “Best College” by Money Magazine.

  5. Florida Atlantic University
    Location

    Boca Raton, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Florida Atlantic University is located in Boca Raton, Florida with additional campuses throughout the state and a highly regarded global campus too. FAU is a member of the State University System of Florida and home to over 30,000 students. Organized into ten colleges, FAU offers more than 180 degree programs.

    Features

    There are two ways to study computer programming and computer science at FAU. You can enroll in the non-thesis track, which requires more coursework, or the thesis track which ensures you graduate with a portfolio, project, or paper in hand to show future employers. Both tracks allow for considerable customization with an advisor. Core courses include:

    • Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis
    • Computer Operating Systems
    • Stochastic Models for Computer Science
    • Introduction to Microprocessor Systems

    Notables

    U.S. News & World Report consistently includes FAU on its annual “Best Colleges” rankings. The university is known not only for its academic strengths but its high retention rates, its financial resources, affordability, graduation rates, and more.

  6. University of Michigan-Dearborn
    Location

    Dearborn, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Dearborn member within the prestigious University of Michigan system specializes in engineering, computer science, and management programs. With around 10,000 students UM Dearborn offers around 130 degree programs. It is a public research university located just 30 miles from the larger Ann Arbor campus.

    Features

    What better (and more affordable) place to earn a computer programming degree then from an elite engineering school such as UM Dearborn’s? This MS in Computer and Information Science program combines theory and technical skills to prepare you for a professional career in software design, development, and management. You can even specialize. UM Dearborn offers over half a dozen concentration areas, such as:

    • Information Systems
    • Data Management and Analytics
    • Systems Software
    • Software Engineering

    Notables

    UM Dearborn’s College of Computer Science and Engineering is considered among the best in the country. Likewise, its graduate programs and the University as a whole are regionally ranked. Students at UM Dearborn also benefit from having access to all the same resources, events, and services as the larger Ann Arbor campus.

  7. Columbus State University
    Location

    Columbus, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Columbus State University is located in the Georgia city of the same name. It is part of the broader University System of Georgia and is thus a known hub for research activity. Nearly 8,000 students attend Columbus State.

    Features

    At Columbus State you will evaluate various types of simulation paradigms, designing and creating your own, and producing solution to real-world problems. The university offers an MS in Applied Computer Science degree with concentration in Software Development. Through this program you will manage, measure, design, implement, and test systems. Graduates have gone on to acquire jobs as:

    • Software Architects
    • Web Developers
    • Game and Simulation Developers
    • Network Managers

    Notables

    The Columbus State campus is home to a vibrant research scene. For example, campus houses two renowned facilities: the Omnisphere Theater, a planetarium, and the Mead Observatory. U.S. News & World Report ranks the university among the best in the South.

  8. Purdue University
    Location

    Hammond, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Purdue University is a public research university based in West Lafayette, Indiana. It is a flagship university that provides more than 200 degree opportunities to its 40,000 students. Purdue boasts a prestigious reputation as a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance.

    Features

    Purdue’s online MS in Computer Science degree provides concentrated focus in programming through its online learning program. You can enroll in either the thesis or non-thesis track, and you can work closely with an advisor to uniquely design your own plan of study. However you create your academic experience, Purdue’s coursework covers a range of topics, including:

    • Networking and Operating Systems
    • Software Engineering
    • Computational Science and Engineering
    • Programming Languages and Compilers

    Notables

    Purdue is obviously known for its academic excellence, but its research activity and contributions have fostered equal attention. Purdue maintains close alliances with the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the U.S. Departments of Defense, Energy, and more.

  9. University of Florida-Online
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Florida is located in Gainesville and enrolls more than 55,000 students. It is, hands down, one of the most elite universities in the state of Florida. UF is comprised of 16 colleges and schools and has another 150 research centers scattered across campus.

    Features

    Through the UF Edge online learning campus you can earn either a Master of Engineering or a Master of Science in Computer and Information Science and Engineering. At UF you will not only earn your degree from a prestigious university, but you will graduate fully equipped to design, implement, and manage complex softwares. You will graduate ready for a career in:

    • Software Application Development
    • Computer Systems Analysis
    • Database Administration
    • Web Development

    Notables

    Though UF is strong in many areas of research and education, its most prominent programs are in engineering, computer science, agricultural science, and ecology. And as a whole the university is nationally ranked by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Washington Monthly, and many more.

  10. University of Maryland University College
    Location

    Adelphi, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Maryland University College is located in Adelphi, Maryland. UMUC is a mammoth university with more than 68,000 students on campus and 90,000 students served worldwide. There are more than 120 academic programs offered at UMUC, spanning all degree levels.

    Features

    UMUC offers an Information Technology Master’s Degree with Software Engineering Specialization. This 36 credit program will teach you the ins and outs of building large, complex systems. Once you complete your core courses in systems architecture, IT project management, and systems analysis, you will take specialization classes in:

    • Relational Database Systems
    • Software Verification and Validation
    • Usability Engineering
    • User Interface Implementation

    Notables

    UMUC is one of the world’s largest distance-learning universities. In fact, its online programs are often well-ranked by U.S. News & World Report, among others. And the university is ranked first for its service to military vets by The Military Times.

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