A computer science degree prepares graduates to work as computer scientists, software engineers, programmers, and software developers.
In these in-demand fields, computing professionals create software programs, improve computing programs, and test the operation of software systems. The theoretical and practical training gained during an online bachelor's computer science program apply directly to the workforce, building valuable transferable skills. Information technology professionals also work in cybersecurity, database management, and IT project management, growing fields that offer above average salaries for professionals with a bachelor's degree.
An online computer science bachelor degree trains students in fundamental skills such as different programming languages, mobile and web development, and network communications. Many programs prepare students to earn in-demand certifications that increase their competitiveness on the job market. Whether earning a computer science degree to change careers or to finish a bachelor's degree, these programs offer the best online bachelor's computer science programs.
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What are the Best Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Programs?
Though all the colleges and universities listed below vary in size, location, and emphases—some are small, liberal arts colleges and others are elite, research universities—all offer the best online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degrees in the nation.
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
Best Online Computer Science Degrees: Ranking Methodology
Here at College Choice we've thoroughly examined extensive data in four key areas:
- academic reputation
- credit hour cost
- retention rate (which is an indicator of student satisfaction)
- and average early salary of graduates from the respective programs
What we then arrive at concrete, tangible evidence of the best online BS in Computer Science programs in the nation. 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.
See our rankings methodology page.
Oregon State University offers a post baccalaureate computer science degree for students who already hold a bachelor's degree. Designed for professionals pursuing a career change, students complete the fully online degree with 60 credits of coursework. The curriculum includes courses in programming, software engineering, mobile and web development, and computer systems. One of the best online bachelor's computer science programs for students seeking a career change, full-time students on the accelerated pathway earn their degree in as little as a single year. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA and meet the math, writing, and communication prerequisites to gain admission.
The online computer science bachelor degree at the University of Florida offers a fully online pathway to the degree. The 120-credit curriculum includes classes in software engineering, programming, operating systems, and a senior project in computer science. In addition to computer science courses, the program includes classes in the humanities, social sciences, and foreign languages. The program admits students with between 12-59 transfer credits who have a minimum 2.5 GPA and complete geometry and calculus. Transfer students with over 60 credits must meet the same requirements and complete additional math and physics prerequisites.
California State University
The fully online bachelor's computer science degree at Cal State Monterey Bay emphasizes computer science theory and information technology practice. Students complete core classes in computer mathematics, programming languages, and network communications, with a group capstone project for seniors. The program admits students with at least 60 transfer credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Incoming computer science majors must complete at least 30 credits of general education courses before enrolling. A degree completion program, Cal State offers a 24 month pathway to a bachelor's degree, with students completing one course at a time on an eight week term schedule.
Regis University offers an online computer science bachelor degree that trains students to design and implement computational solutions. The program requires 128-133 credits, with the option to complete a combined bachelor's and master's degree in computer science for 152 credits. Computer science majors take classes in computer architecture, software engineering, computational theory, and ethical leadership in computer science. Seniors also complete a capstone course. Applicants should hold a high school diploma or equivalent, transfer credits from a regionally accredited institution, and evidence of work experience. The program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET).
Pace University offers a bachelor of science in professional technology studies with tracks in computer forensics or business technology leadership. The fully online degree completion program lets majors earn a bachelor's degree in as little as two years, depending on their prior college experience. Pace's curriculum blends technical theory and real-world problem solving skills, and faculty members bring forensic and telecommunications expertise to the program. Applicants must transfer a minimum of 56 credits to enroll in the program. Pace ranks as one of the best online bachelor's computer science programs for students interested in IT management.
The online bachelor's computer science program at Florida State builds core competencies in programming, computer organization, and operating systems. Computer science majors gain proficiency in C, C++, and Assembly Language, and work with several other programming languages. Students who fulfill the general education requirements through transfer credits can complete the 120-credit bachelor's degree in two years. As a BA program, students must complete 9 hours of humanities and history, plus a minor. Transfer students can apply up to 90 credits toward their computer science degree, and students can choose to take on-campus FSU courses to meet the graduation requirements.
The online computer science bachelor degree at Old Dominion lets students enter the program as college freshmen or apply up to 90 transfer credits toward their degree, making it one of the most flexible programs. ODU emphasizes experimental techniques, theory, and hands-on laboratory experience in the computer science program. Computer science majors take courses in programming, computer architecture, data structures and algorithms, and theoretical computer science, building professional skills that transition to the workforce. The 120-credit bachelor program requires a minimum 2.0 GPA overall and a cumulative 2.0 GPA in all computer science courses. ODU offers a tuition discount for Virginia residents.
The bachelor of arts in information technology at the University of Denver offers a fully online degree with a focus on systems analysis, networking, web design, and programming. Students learn how to build websites and databases, and use quantitative reasoning and interpersonal skills to advance in the workforce. IT majors complete classes in quantitative reasoning, programming and data structures, database fundamentals, and web fundamentals. The program also includes a two semester integrative project, where students design and submit a project based on their core coursework. Applicants must hold at least 27 transferable credits from a regionally accredited institution and complete three years of work experience before enrolling.
University of Illinois-Springfield
The University of Illinois at Springfield offers an online computer science bachelor degree which builds a strong foundation in computer science. Incoming computer science majors take an entrance assessment to determine their appropriate course of study. Majors typically hold a minimum 2.0 GPA and have 2 semesters of Java programming experience and complete prerequisites in calculus, math, and statistics. The 120-credit degree includes classes in computer organization, programming languages, operating systems, and 12 credits of computer science electives. Seniors also complete a software engineering capstone course. Majors can also choose a software engineering or systems security and information assurance concentration.
University of Nebraska-Omaha
The University of Nebraska Omaha offers a bachelor of multidisciplinary study program with a concentration in information technology. Students build skills in programming, data management, and networking during the 120-credit degree completion program. The curriculum includes courses in programming on the internet, managing the database environment, and project management, building technical and professional skills. IT majors also choose two secondary fields, which they can complete through transfer credits. UNO's flexible transfer credit policies, which allows up to 96 transfer credits, makes it one of the best online bachelor's computer science programs for students with a high number of transfer credits.
Troy University offers a bachelor of science in applied computer science with specialties such as cyber security and advanced programming. Applied computer science majors complete classes in programming, database systems, web-based software development, and operating systems, preparing graduates for computer science careers or a graduate degree in computer science. Troy accepts both first-time freshmen and transfer students with 24 or more college credits, and the university offers a free transfer credit evaluation to determine how many credits prospective students can apply toward a degree at Troy. Admitted students complete classes on a nine week schedule.
The online bachelor's computer science program at Dakota State University trains students to master programming, computer engineering, and computer problem solving. The 120-credit program includes courses in software security, Assembly Language, parallel computing, and systems analysis and design. DSU also ranks among the best online bachelor's computer science programs because of its affordability, including a discount for South Dakota residents. Graduates demonstrate proficiency in data structures, programming languages, and software engineering, pursuing careers in software development, systems administration, and programming. DSU's Center of Excellence in Computer Information Systems also offers opportunities for students to build skills in IT tools.
Virginia Beach, VA
The fully online bachelor's in computer science program at Regent University prepares students to analyze and design computing systems, understand programming languages, and logically solve problems in computing and networking systems. Online students at Regent complete courses on an eight week schedule, and full time students receive a tuition discount. Computer science majors take classes in mobile and smart computing, software engineering, and ethics for computer science, along with 12 credits in information systems technology. As a Christian university, Regent's 120-credit program includes general education requirements in Biblical studies and the making of Christian leaders.
Southern New Hampshire University
The online computer science bachelor degree at SNHU trains students to master different operating environments, programming languages, and software development. The flexible program lets students complete classes at their own pace, using the university's eight week course schedule. The 120-credit degree includes classes in software testing, computational graphics, operating environments, and a computer science capstone. Computer science majors can also concentrate in information security or software engineering. SNHU accepts up to 90 transfer credits, does not charge an admission application fee, and offers math assessments that let students earn up to six math credits for a $50 course assessment fee.
Southeast Missouri State University
Cape Girardeau, MO
Southeast Missouri State University offers an online bachelor's in computer information systems for students interested in software development careers. Majors complete 124 credits, with 40 credits in information systems and computer science, 6 credits in mathematics, and up to 36 credits of electives. All computer information systems majors complete the requirements for a minor in business administration, making the CIS degree one of the best online bachelor's computer science programs for providing valuable business workforce training. The program emphasizes the design and development of applications and services, using technology to create customer-friendly solutions, and using CIS to connect businesses with customers, employees, and suppliers.
The online bachelor's computer science program at Saint Leo University includes an information assurance specialization, where majors gain computer forensic, network security, and penetration testing skills. The 120-credit program emphasizes problem solving with hardware and software, information security, and artificial intelligence. Computer science majors also take a senior capstone course to demonstrate their knowledge. The capstone lets students develop, design, and implement a computing solution in any computer science area. Applicants submit official transcripts for high school and college, plus any standardized examinations and professional training programs, which may qualify for credit.
The bachelor of science in management with a concentration in computer information systems at Fisher University ranks as one of the best online bachelor's computer science programs for students who want to integrate business training with computer science. The program emphasizes the role of technology in business, with courses in web and application programming, system and network fundamentals, and database design and management. The 120-credit degree also incorporates a computer information focused internship for seniors. Students can also combine the degree with a minor in computer forensics to broaden their understanding of computing systems.
Lamar University offers an online computer science bachelor degree which trains majors in programming languages, data structures, information systems, and software engineering. The 121-credit program, designed for first-time freshmen to complete in four years, includes 48 credits in computer science, with elective options in computer game development, simulation technology, multimedia processing, and artificial intelligence. Lamar offers a tuition discount for Texas residents and a tuition price plan for eligible students that sets a guaranteed tuition rate for four years. Computer science majors complete the ETS computer science field exam during their graduation semester.
Columbia College offers a management information systems major which blends a theoretical background with practical skills. Columbia's program offers a variety of electives and business courses so that students can tailor their program around their interests, while building valuable skills for the workforce or a graduate program. Management information systems majors study software development, database design, and web programming. The degree requirements combine 30 credits of computer information systems core classes with 21 credits of business core requirements, offering one of the best online bachelor's computer science programs for students interested in business and management.
Colorado Technical University
Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Technical College offers an online bachelor's computer science degree where students can complete mini modules to earn college credit for material they have already mastered. The flexible program also lets students customize their electives around their interests. CTU's program requires 183 credits on the quarter system, the equivalent of 121 semester credits, with core programming classes in Python, SQL, Java, and C++. The curriculum emphasizes theoretical and practical knowledge, methods, and skills, by teaching the science and theories behind coding to make systems run smoothly. CTU offers related bachelor's programs in software engineering and data science.
Herzing University offers a fully online bachelor of science in information technology degree that prepares graduates for in-demand certifications such as CompTIA Security+, Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), or Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP). On average, students complete the 120-credit program in 36 months, with 49 credits of core classes including programming logic, network security, information technology project management, and cloud computing. The program combines a strong computer science curriculum with a focus on infrastructure, making it one of the best online bachelor's computer science programs for professionals interested in IT infrastructure.
University of Maryland Global Campus
The online computer science bachelor degree at the University of Maryland University College trains students to design and optimize computer software and hardware systems. Computer science majors study programming, algorithm optimization, and the theory behind modern computing, with an emphasis on Java, C++, OpenGL, Octave, and MATLAB. The curriculum includes classes in data structures and analysis, computer systems and architecture, and image and signal processing. The program prepares graduates to pass certification exams to become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) or an Oracle Certified Java Programmer. UMUC accepts up to 90 transfer credits toward the 120-credit degree.
Daytona State College
Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona State College offers an online bachelor of science in information technology, which prepares graduates to work in IT, network security, digital forensics, databases, or programming. The curriculum covers operating systems, digital security, databases, and web systems. Designed for students who have met the general application requirements, majors complete the program in five semesters. Program applicants must hold an associate degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA to gain admission; applicants with at least 60 transferable credits may also apply for admission. Information technology majors can also choose to specialize in web systems programming or cybersecurity and cyber forensics to specialize their degree.
City University of Seattle
City University of Seattle offers a bachelor of science in applied computing that teaches the fundamentals of computing and network technologies. The program's curriculum meets the requirements for in-demand certifications such as the Cisco Certified Network Associate, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, and Certified Information Systems Security Professional. Applied computing majors complete coursework in human computer interaction, data management communications, operating systems, and information security. The program also incorporates a senior technology capstone, where students apply the knowledge gained during their degree. City University uses the quarter system, and the degree requires 180 quarter credits, or the equivalent of 120 semester credits.
The accelerated online bachelor's in computer science program at Lewis University trains students in the study of computers, data systems, and information networks. Incoming students with coding and programming credit can qualify for prior learning assessment credit, and Lewis accepts transfer credits toward the degree. Computer science majors complete 28 core credits, 12 elective credits, and a six credit capstone sequence. The curriculum includes classes in object-oriented programming, operating systems, and client-server computing. Students meet the capstone requirement by completing a software systems project, a computer infrastructure project, conducting research in computer science, or taking a computer science internship.