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Top 10 Online Computer Science Degree Programs 2020

College Values Online - Top Degree Programs-01More colleges and universities than ever are offering the online computer science degree. Computer science is one of the most lucrative and fastest growing fields in the modern world. Earning your computer science degree online can be a great way to save money, and keep from having to move across the country to your school of choice. Our ranking spotlights the top ten online computer science degree programs for 2020. All of the degrees in our ranking are offered by regionally accredited colleges and universities and can be completed 100% online. Some of the degrees are designed to transfer into after completing your first two years of college, but most actually offer the full program online. Our ranking methodology took into account tuition, reputation, graduation rate, and 20 year net ROI of graduates from each university. You can find more about our ranking methodology at the end of our article after the FAQ.

Ranking Top Online Computer Science Degrees Available

#1. Oregon State University

Online Computer Science Degree

Oregon State University-Top 10 Online Computer Science Programs 2020

Website
Score: 100

OSU’s online bachelor’s in computer science program is unique in that it is designed to be a second bachelor’s degree. The program accepts students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field. A background in the study of math or a strong aptitude for mathematics is strongly suggested. Students will take courses like discrete structures in computer science, elements of discrete mathematics, web development, analysis of algorithms, introduction to databases, and operating systems.

  • Tuition: $14,970
  • U.S. News Ranking: U.S. News National #139
  • 20yr. Net ROI: $338,000
  • Graduation Rate: 86%

#2. Colorado State University

Online Computer Science Degree

-Top 10 Online Computer Science Programs 2020

Website
Score: 94.56

Graduates from the CSU online bachelor’s in computer science program have become web developers, network and computer systems administrators, computer systems analysts, software developers, and computer network architects. Students take courses like systems security, introduction to statistical methods, object-oriented design, introduction to analysis of algorithms, database systems, and parallel programming.

  • Tuition: $14,280
  • U.S. News Ranking: National #166
  • 20yr. Net ROI: $360,000
  • Graduation Rate: 79%

#3. Regis University

Online Computer Science Degree

Regis University-Top 10 Online Computer Science Degrees 2020

Website
Score: 91.83

In addition to training students to become proficient software developers, Regis University’s online computer science degree addresses issues of social responsibility in computer science, emphasizing the social and global impact of the work. Students will take courses like ethical leadership in computer science; computation theory; probability and statistics; distributed systems; artificial intelligence: neural networks; and computer architecture.

  • Tuition: $15,900
  • U.S. News Ranking: National #202
  • 20yr. Net ROI: $396,000
  • Graduation Rate: 69%

#4. Saint Leo University

Online Computer Science Degree

Saint Leo-Top 10 Online Computer Science Programs 2020

Website
Score: 84.16

Saint Leo University offers an online computer science degree with a concentration in information assurance. Students in this program will take courses like computer systems, programming logic and design, database concepts and programming, computer forensics, and network defense and security. Graduates from the program have worked at companies like Verizon, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Carnival Cruise Lines, and Bisk Technologies.

  • Tuition: $23,030
  • U.S. News Ranking: Regional South #25
  • 20yr. Net ROI: $258,000
  • Graduation Rate: 80%

#5. California State University-Monterey Bay

Online Computer Science Degree

CSUMB-Top 10 Online Computer Science Programs 2020

Website
Score: 82.41

CSU-Monterey Bay offers students the option to complete their computer science degree online. Students who want to enter the program must have completed intro to computer architecture and discrete mathematics courses with a C- or better grade. Students will take courses like intro to computer networks; software design; introduction to data science; software engineering; and race, gender, class in the digital world.

  • Tuition: $19,023
  • U.S. News Ranking: Regional West #26
  • 20yr. Net ROI: $237,000
  • Graduation Rate: 67%

#6. Southern New Hampshire University

Online Computer Science Degree

Southern New Hampshire University-Top 10 Online Computer Science Degrees 2020

Website
Score: 78.2

Southern New Hampshire University offers a bachelor of science in computer science online with concentrations in data analysis, information security, project management, and software engineering. Students can transfer up to 90 credits into the online computer science degree program. The concentrations include courses like structured database environments, resource estimating and scheduling, computer systems security, computer networking, and UI/UX design and development.

  • Tuition: $9,600
  • U.S. News Ranking: Regional South #92
  • 20yr. Net ROI: $213,000
  • Graduation Rate: 64%

#7. Lewis University

Computer Science Degree Online

Lewis University-Top 10 Online Computer Science Degrees 2020

Website
Score: 74.80

If you already have some experience in computer-related areas like programming/coding, you can qualify for the prior learning assessment and get credit for your real-world experience. The total program amounts to 128 credits and includes courses like discrete mathematics, legal and ethical issues in computing, numerical analysis, programming languages, object-oriented programming, and software engineering.

  • Tuition: $32,450
  • U.S. News Ranking: Regional Midwest #20
  • 20yr. Net ROI: $219,000
  • Graduation Rate: 64%

#8. Baker College

Computer Science Degree Online

Baker College-Top 10 Online Computer Science Degrees 2020

Website
Score: 74.09

Baker College offers concentrations in computer programming and database technology in their online computers science degree. Students who concentrate in database technology take courses like database administration, report builder analytics, and database programming. Those who concentrate in programming will take courses like programming for mobile devices, python programming, emerging programming languages, and artificial intelligence.

  • Tuition: $9,800
  • U.S. News Ranking: National #254
  • 20yr. Net ROI: $299,000
  • Graduation Rate: 19%

#9. Central Methodist University

Computer Science Degree Online

Central Methodist University-Top 10 Online Computer Science Degrees 2020

Website
Score: 70.89

Central Methodist University offers both a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science degree in computer science online. Students will take courses like computer architecture and operating systems, data structures and algorithms, computer and information security, scientific computer programming, mobile application development, web page design, web programming, and survey of programming languages.

  • Tuition: $5,760
  • U.S. News Ranking: Regional Midwest #78
  • 20yr. Net ROI: $114,000
  • Graduation Rate: 33%

#10. University of Illinois at Springfield

Computer Science Degree Online

UIS-Top 10 Online Computer Science Degrees 2020

Website
Score: 69.01

Students in the online computer science program at UIS can minor in management information systems, mathematical management, or philosophy. The program features courses like programming languages, introduction to operating systems, software engineering capstone, data structures and algorithms, and computer organization. 90% of students in the program transfer in from other colleges and universities.

  • Tuition: $21,338
  • U.S. News Ranking: Regional Midwest #33
  • 20yr. Net ROI: $90,200
  • Graduation Rate: 51%

FAQ

How can I minimize my student debt while earning my online computer science degree?

There are many effective strategies one can use to minimize the cost of earning a college degree. Attending college online is one of those strategies. Another strategy is to complete your first couple of years of higher education at a community college. Community colleges have the advantage of being incredibly cheap for local students. It’s often the case that a single grant or mid-range scholarship can cover your whole bill, meaning you don’t have to take out student loans.

Community colleges are an integral part of public university systems. In fact, most public university systems count on many students completing their first two years at a community college, and many online programs also prefer students who have completed their first two years of school already. Just be careful to meet all prerequisite requirements for the program you want to enter.

So, attending a community college, then transferring to an affordable online computer science program is a great start for minimizing your student debt. Another strategy is to make sure to fill out FAFSA as soon as possible. FAFSA doesn’t have an infinite amount of money for grants, so the earlier you apply for financial aid, the better chance you have at getting the most aid possible.

If you want to work part time while you’re going to school, do some research on education benefits offered by various companies. For instance, Home Depot, Starbucks, and UPS all offer some form of education benefits to part-time employees.

Will people know I earned my degree online?

No. Colleges and universities don’t specify that a degree was earned online on your diploma or transcripts. This is mainly because colleges and universities strive to make sure that online programs measure up to the quality of their in-person programs, and so they acknowledge no difference between the two styles.

Are online computer science degrees lower quality than in-person degrees?

Not necessarily. There are some potential drawbacks to online computer science degrees, though. For instance, if you’re studying online at a college or university far away from you, you won’t have access to the university’s facilities. So if you want to engage in collaborative research projects that would make extensive use of the university’s computer labs and such, an online degree might be more limiting than you would like.

However, these days, it’s also entirely possible programs will offer you the ability to connect to their computer labs virtually. So really it just depends on what you want, and what’s offered by each individual school. As far as the quality of instruction, classes, study materials, and fellow students goes, online degrees are very much on the same level as traditional programs.

What can I do with a computer science degree?

Almost anything you can imagine. A bachelor’s in computer science plus the right amount of experience will qualify you for just about any job in the field outside academic research. Computer science majors most commonly become software developers. It’s one of the most common and in-demand jobs in the field, and it pays well. There are a ton of niche jobs in the computer science world, including stuff like UX designer, information security analyst, database administrator, and artificial intelligence or machine learning engineer. The way technology is progressing, opportunities for computer science professionals will be nearly endless.

How do I choose the best online computer science program for me?

It all comes down to what you want to do. What are you interested in studying? Pay attention to the courses offered by each online computer science program you look at. What catches your eye? What electives seem interesting? Do they have a minor, concentration, specialization, or certificate you are interested in studying? Computer science is such a broad field, you can’t go wrong pursuing your area of interest. You’ll be able to find work doing what you’re interested in when you graduate. And even if your area of interest is so niche there aren’t many jobs in it, the skills you acquire will allow you to forge your own path.

Methodology for Rating the Best Online Computer Science Degree Programs

Our ranking employed a relative objective system to rank the programs in our ranking. We analyzed the colleges and universities based on four metrics: U.S. News ranking, average 20 year net ROI, tuition, and graduation rate.

Tuition and ROI scores are calculated based on the highest ROI and tuition rates among all the schools considered for the ranking. Schools are awarded more points for higher ROI, and lower tuition. Each of these categories is worth 20 points on a 100 point scale.

Graduation rate is also worth a maximum 20 points on a 100 point scale. The higher the graduation rate the better the score.

Schools placing in the U.S. News national rankings are worth a maximum of 40 points, while those placing in the regional rankings are worth a maximum of 20 points.

Finally, once all the rankings were determined, scores were curved for all colleges and universities in our ranking so that the top scoring school has a rating of 100%.

Payscale College ROI
National Center for Education Statistics
FAFSA
U.S. News

CVO Staff
February 2020

Related:

This concludes our ranking of the top 10 online computer science degree choices for 2020.

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