Online Computer Science Degrees 2021

By ACO Staff with contributions from Emma Yenko, Reese Lopez

Published on September 16, 2021

Online Computer Science Degrees 2021

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Computer technology fuels the growth of diverse businesses and industries nationwide. Graduates of accredited computer science programs often choose from well-paying career opportunities.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer and information research scientists earn a median salary of $122,840 per year, which is much higher than the median salary of $39,810 for all occupations. Computer and information research scientist represents one of the many positions available to computer science degree-holders.

The BLS projects employment for computer and information technology professionals to increase 11% from 2019-2029, which translates to more than 500,000 new jobs. This guide explores common requirements and benefits of earning a computer science bachelor's degree online.

Questions for Computer Science Students

Q. Is a computer science degree worth it?

A bachelor's degree in computer science often leads to high-paying careers with ample opportunities for growth and advancement. Graduates can pursue roles in various professional arenas.

Q. What kinds of jobs can you get with a computer science degree?

Professionals with a computer science degree can pursue roles including systems analyst, web developer, software tester, and database administrator.

Q. Does computer science pay well?

According to BLS data, computer and technology professionals earn a median annual salary of $88,240, which is much higher than the median salary for all occupations.

Q. What is the difference between computer science and information technology?

Computer scientists develop and design the software programs and hardware configurations that information technology professionals use and maintain.

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Why Get a Degree in Computer Science?

Students can earn a computer science bachelor's degree online from some of the most prestigious private and public institutions in the nation. Online learning can offer many advantages, including flexibility and affordability.

Computer science majors often secure financial assistance from sources including their college or university, software and technology companies, nonprofits, and state and federal agencies. Financial aid helps make earning a computer science degree more affordable and allows learners to minimize debt.

How Much Does a Computer Science Degree Cost?

Several factors influence the cost of earning an online computer science degree. Although many schools charge online and on-campus students the same tuition rates, distance learners often save money on costs associated with housing and transportation.

Many online computer science programs follow an accelerated format, offering courses in six-week or eight-week terms. Students in these accelerated programs typically graduate faster than their on-campus peers, allowing them to quickly enter the workforce and begin earning an income.

In addition to tuition costs, online students should consider the cost of a computer and internet service when budgeting for school. Some institutions provide online learners with a laptop, the cost of which is typically included in the tuition rate.


Calculating the Cost of a College Degree

Students can find information about the cost of earning a computer science degree on their prospective program's website. Learners may contact the school for details regarding expenses, such as books and supplies. Online enrollees should also consider the cost of using remote testing centers. Students can use the following calculator to estimate the cost of their education.

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do Computer Science Majors Make?

Computer and mathematical occupations include software developers, network security analysts, database administrators, and user support specialists. According to BLS data, companies providing computer systems design and development services hired the most computer and mathematical professionals in 2017. Software publishers paid these professionals the highest average salary of $103,160 per year.

The highest-paying states for computer and mathematical professionals include Washington, California, Virginia, and New Jersey. Professionals in the District of Columbia earn the second-highest average salary of $106,790 per year.

Professionals in the field can improve their career prospects and earning potential by earning an advanced degree and receiving specialized training.

Courses in Computer Science

A bachelor's degree in computer science typically requires about 120 credits, including approximately 60 credits of major coursework. Foundational courses cover topics such as human-computer interaction design, programming languages, operating systems, and algorithms and data structures. Many computer science programs offer concentrations in areas such as computer networking, health informatics, and software development.

Online computer science degrees usually feature the same curricula and requirements as on-campus programs in the field. Colleges and universities develop curricula based on specific academic goals, so available courses vary by computer science program. However, most students in the field take the following classes.

[tabs] [tab-item title="Data Structures and Algorithms"]

This course explores topics such as algorithmic complexity analysis, graph algorithms, and recurrence relations. Degree-seekers become familiar with analytics tools they can use to parse data structures and algorithms. Students learn how to create different types of algorithms in order to solve computer and programming problems.

[/tab-item] [tab-item title="Computer Programming"]

The course introduces fundamental programming concepts such as operating systems, web applications, software engineering techniques, and data abstractions. Students learn programming languages, such as Java and C++. Learners develop skills in database design through hands-on training, individual and group projects, and classroom instruction.

[/tab-item] [tab-item title="Computer Forensics"]

Students learn how to conduct thorough computer forensic investigations. Coursework covers topics including data recovery techniques, operating and file systems, types of computer crimes, and criminal techniques. Students develop analytical and investigative skills they can use to detect and counter unwanted digital intrusions.

[/tab-item] [/tabs]

Certifications and Licensure for Computer Science

Computer science and information technology professionals do not need a state license to practice. However, professionals in the field can earn industry-recognized certifications to demonstrate expertise with specific products and niche areas.

The International Information System Security Certification Consortium administers this certification. The credential is ideal for security analysts, systems administrators, and network security engineers. Candidates must pass an exam covering seven security domains, including cryptography, network and communications security, and access controls. This credential demonstrates that the holder can design, maintain, and troubleshoot wired and wireless networks. Candidates need at least nine months of networking experience and CompTIA A+ certification. Candidates must pass a test evaluating their knowledge of cloud computing best practices, hardware and visualization techniques, and critical security concepts. Candidates for this certification from the IEEE Computer Society must have completed at least two years of college coursework in computer science or a related field and two years of relevant work experience. The certification exam tests knowledge in software design, testing, construction, and requirements.

Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Programs 2021

Independence University View School Profile Salt Lake City, UT $18021

Undergraduate students can earn a bachelor of science degree in software and mobile applications development completely online. The program takes 36 months to complete and is designed with a focus on post-graduation employment in the tech field. That means there are few or no electives that don't directly pertain to employable skills. Students will learn the latest technologies and techniques involved in software development and programming, software security and testing, software development, application development and systems analysis. They'll also receive instruction in operating systems, the development of mobile apps, web page programming, web server programming, database programming and employment-specific skills like entrepreneurship and workstation administration. Previous graduates have landed positions like IT entrepreneur, mobile app developer, software engineer, software developer and computer programmer. Among the major employers and partners affiliated with Independence University are LegalShield, Liz Reynolds, Cengage Learning, Columbus Community Hospital, Brand Makers and the American Red Cross. Students receive a tablet and laptop to use for school, both of which they keep after graduation, and all books and supplies are included with the cost of tuition. There are no hidden or extra fees. Non-tuition benefits include tutoring before graduation and refresher courses and career services after graduation. Those seeking financial aid can receive help in doing so and scholarship money is available. The school offers monthly starts, so applicants don't have to wait for the arrival of a new semester, and in many cases, they can transfer in previously earned credits.

Brigham Young University-Idaho View School Profile Rexburg, ID $2009

The computer information technology program at Brigham Young University-Idaho is a 120-credit program that can be completed 100% online. Upon completion, graduates will be qualified to pursue work as network engineers and architects, IT managers, database administrators, computer systems administrators, webmasters, web developers, computer and information systems managers, computer software engineers and developers. The skills students learn, which are in high demand in both public and private organizations of all sizes, include the design, development and management of systems used by corporations, government entities, nonprofits and small businesses.The curriculum includes mostly core and major courses and culminates in either a senior project or an internship as well as a senior practicum. In all, there are 40 credits of foundation courses, 51 credits of major courses and 29 credits of electives. Concentrations or minors from the business department are available for those who choose. Online classes have the same learning outcomes as those taught on campus, and students can expect a comparable level of interaction with instructors and classmates. Students who have not received at least 15 credit hours of on-campus instruction must complete the PathwayConnect program to be accepted into the program. Financial aid is available, as is help with applying for aid. There are also several scholarship programs, including BYU academic scholarships, talent scholarships, general scholarships, internship scholarships and scholarships based on recommendation or nomination. There are also more than 20 outside scholarships not offered by BYU. Distance learners enjoy the same services as their peers on campus, including academic advising, tutoring, counseling and career services. The university is affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

University of Illinois at Springfield View School Profile Springfield, IL $9493

Upon completion of the computer science bachelor's degree program at the University of Illinois at Springfield, graduates will be prepared to pursue graduate studies in a variety of related fields of study. Those planning to enter the workforce right away will have the knowledge of both core theories and fundamental skills needed to enter the job market immediately after completing the program. The program's core requirements provide the foundation for computer science knowledge, but elective choices vary by student and are chosen under the guidance of an academic adviser. In order to be considered for the program, applicants must have completed at least 30 semester hours of credits with a GPA of at least 2.0. Those credits must include two semesters of Java programming, as well as a semester each of statistics, calculus and finite or discrete math. There are prerequisite courses that can satisfy those requirements for students who don't have the appropriate academic background. Both the requirements and academic intensity are the same for distance learners as for on-campus students, but online learners will use the Blackboard learning management system to communicate with peers and professors, receive and submit assignments, participate in discussions, receive updates, check grades and view presentations and lectures. Prospective students who are unsure if online learning is right for them are invited to take the school's online learning assessment test before they commit. All three U of I schools contribute to the combined U of I distance learning program, and the degree earned online is identical to the one students would have received had they taken traditional classes on campus.

Liberty University View School Profile Lynchburg, VA $23800

The bachelor of science in computer science cybersecurity program at Liberty University is delivered through the School of Business. It stands out from other computer science programs by concentrating on protecting data, defending systems and identifying and repelling cyberattacks in the corporate and government spheres. The program, which is based on the longer-running "residential" program that's taught on campus at Liberty, includes instruction not just in computer science, but in information systems and sciences, as well as programming, problem solving and algorithms. Upon completion of the program, potential careers include network security administrator, security software developer, security engineer, security analyst and cryptographer. On average, the 121-credit-hour program takes 3.5 years to complete, but as many as 75 percent of credits can be transferred in from qualifying schools. Students will use the Blackboard learning management system for most of their coursework and the instructors are the same faculty members as those who teach on campus. The program boasts supplementary accreditation from the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. Although the program is meant for transfer students, applicants are required to complete a high school self-certification form to be considered for the program. Distance learners have access to a range of services, including more than 750,000 journals, peer-reviewed articles and e-books, as well as the online writing center and access to the physical library any time they want. It's important to note that distance learners are charged a range of fees, including a technology fee, that do not apply to on-campus students and that are not included in tuition.

Bellevue University View School Profile Bellevue, NE $6840

There are 2 possible tracks for the computer information systems degree program at Bellevue University. The BAS program requires 120 credit hours to complete and the BS track is a 127-credit-hour program. With the exception of credit requirements, the programs are the same. The BAS track was developed for corporate students, while the BS path is designed for students planning careers in the computer information systems market.No matter which track students choose, they'll leave the program prepared to design computer-based processes, systems, components and programs and then implement and evaluate their work. They'll also learn how to identify and analyze problems in order to develop computer-based solutions. The goal of the program is to prepare students with marketable skills that enable them to keep a business or other organization's systems running smoothly and according to the organization's goals. The 3 central areas of study are management of information systems, computer programming and database and information systems. Among the possible career choices for graduates entering the workforce are software developers and programmers, computer network architects, computer systems analysts, database administrators and network and computer systems administrators. All of those careers average 6-figure salaries or close to it. Distance learners have access to career services and academic advising, same as students who attend classes on campus, as well as library services, tutoring, labs and the writing center. In many cases, transfer students can apply credits they've earned elsewhere to their degree at Bellevue, and there are also opportunities to gain credit through prior learning experience.

Park University View School Profile Parkville, MO $11730

Students who successfully complete the information and computer science program at Park University will be prepared to move onto graduate school or immediately enter the workforce in a variety of tech- and business-related fields. There are 5 specialty areas for students to choose from, including data management, information technology, networking and security, software development and computer science. Students are able to select more than 1 specialty if they choose, and those who opt for the networking and security specialty will take CISCO Certified Network Associate (CCNA) coursework in preparation for the CCNA certification exam. Depending on the chosen specialty, the program takes 46-58 hours to complete. The program is regularly updated to keep pace with changing technology and techniques, and it is designed specifically to prepare students for real-world careers, including database analyst, web programmer, information technology project manager, software engineer and applications programmer. The school also works to help place interested program participants in regional internships. Staff is on hand to help with financial aid applications, and the school also offers several scholarships, including endowed scholarships, freshman academic scholarships, competitive freshman scholarships, scholarships for transfer students and a range of other specialized scholarships. Online courses, which run for 8-week terms in an accelerated format, start 5 times a year, which means students don't have to put off enrollment to the beginning of a new semester. Distance courses are accredited by the online-learning assessment agency Quality Matters. Discounts and special programs are available for military personnel and other qualified applicants, and distance learners have access to the same student services as on-campus students, including tutoring, library services, writing services, academic advising and counseling.

Davenport University View School Profile Grand Rapids, MI $17544

Students who complete the computer science BS program at Davenport University will be qualified to enter the workforce in a variety of exciting fields, including gaming, artificial intelligence, computer vision and language design, robotics and autonomous systems. Graduates of the program report landing jobs with organizations like Google, Microsoft and Apple, as well as in the health care, telecommunications, finance and automotive industries. The average computer scientists, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data cited by Davenport, earns $77,550 a year. Davenport graduates report an employment rate of 91%.

Upon entering the program, students can choose one of of four optional specializations: gaming and simulation, artificial intelligence, mathematical modeling and computer architecture and algorithms. No matter the path, financial aid is available - in fact, more than 95% of Davenport students receive financial assistance. Financial advisers can guide students through the process of securing grants, scholarships and loans, as well as Davenport institutional scholarships, Davenport Foundation scholarships and several other awards offered by the school. In total, Davenport offers more than $15 million in scholarship money a year.

The school accepts transfer credits from colleges, community colleges and in some cases even high schools. Students starting college as freshman can begin to earn credit while they're still in high school, thanks to statewide articulation agreements with career centers, tech centers and high schools, as well as through the college's dual enrollment program. High school students can even earn credit through participation in AP and IB programs, as well as through specialized testing.

Dakota State University View School Profile Madison, SD $4297

Students who graduate from the Dakota State University computer science program will emerge with a bachelor of science degree and the skills needed to begin work as programmers, analysts, software engineers, penetration testers, software developers and tech startup entrepreneurs. Throughout their course of study, students will work with cutting-edge software and technology like DSUnix, Solaris, Irix and Linux, while also enjoying access to the security, anti-hacking and networking tools available through the Information Assurance Lab. Every professor who teaches the computer science program at Dakota State University has a PhD in computer science. The school puts a heavy focus on tech and related education. For example, DSU maintains an honors program called the Center of Excellence in Computer Information Systems. The program enables deserving students to become leaders in both the design and application of IT tools as they're used in education, business, government and industry. There are also several clubs and organizations, which are open to distance learners as well as on-campus students, including the Gaming Club, Computer Club, programming contests and LAN parties. Financial aid exists specifically for computer science students. Distance learners will complete most of their coursework through Desire2Learn (D2L), which is a course management system that gives them access to lecture notes, assignments and exams. Online students can set their own schedules and they'll have the opportunity to work with their student peers in a virtual classroom. Transfer students can apply qualifying credits from qualifying schools to their degrees, and distance learners enjoy the same student services as their on-campus counterparts, including career services, library services, academic advising and counseling.

Pennsylvania State University View School Profile University Park, PA $16952

The Penn State World Campus' bachelor of science in software engineering program requires 126 credits to complete and combines design projects, experience in software development and classroom study. The program focuses on computing skills, engineering principles, software construction and project leadership. Students will learn to use modern technologies to develop software for embedded systems, web applications and mobile applications. Coursework is challenging, and includes subjects like object-oriented methodology, computer programming, software security, software design and software validation and verification. Senior year includes a capstone course series that was designed with input from the industry. The senior capstone enables participants to plan, create, implement and manage their own software systems. The capstone project, like the entirety of the program, is collaborative and requires cooperation between classmates and instructors. Upon graduation, students will be qualified for positions as sales engineers, computer systems analysts, project managers, user interface designers, software developers, systems administrators, software testing engineers and video game designers. Online learners are not required to log on at a specific time, but they are required to complete weekly discussions, assignments, readings and even some group work. Students will communicate with instructors and each other through email, video conferencing, phone calls, bulletin boards and social media. The school offers help with financial aid, both for new students and transfer students, as well as tuition assistance for unemployed students and a range of special programs for military personnel. Penn State also offers and supports several scholarship programs and maintains a web page dedicated specifically to scholarships, eligibility requirements and application details.

Northern Kentucky University View School Profile Highland Heights, KY $9000

At Northern Kentucky University, students looking for flexibility in their academic schedule can choose from a variety of program formats to earn a bachelor's degree in computer science. Part-time, full-time, accelerated, hybrid and online options exist for the majority of coursework. All students begin their studies with an introduction to informatics, including topics of networks and data communication, elementary programming and web development. Following this, classes explore object-oriented programming, data structures and algorithms, operating systems and theory of computation. There are a number of math courses necessary for completion, and as a result, many students opt for a minor in mathematics. Aside from these requirements, students are able to choose from concentrations in artificial intelligence, computer graphics or computer security. Overall, an average of 4 years is spent satisfying 60-63 credit hours. In order to graduate, a minimum 2.0 GPA is required. There are a number of on-campus and online services to assist students in their academic journey. The Student Success Center is host to the Veteran Resource Station, health and wellness opportunities, counseling supports, the International Education Center and TRIO-Student Support Services, which aid first-generation college enrollees. The Department of Computer Science also offers field-specific resources, including career advising for the tech industry, student organizations, on-campus competitions, internship opportunities, and a virtual co-op program. In order to be admitted to this program, students must fill out the school's online application, submit ACT scores of 18 and higher or an SAT equivalent, as well as have successfully completed Kentucky's pre-college curriculum.

National University View School Profile La Jolla, CA $13016

National University is a nonprofit, veteran-founded learning institution providing students with opportunities to finish their undergraduate education through hybrid and fully online formats. The program to earn a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science calls for fulfillment of a minimum of 70.5 general education credits and 76.5 field-specific credits, with 45 hours being completed on campus. Additionally, students receiving their degree in Nevada must pass a state constitution course. Overall, graduation entails a total of 180 credits with a 2.0 GPA. This grade average is also required for admissions. Curriculum, which covers topics such as programming, algorithms, digital logic and database designs, trains students to enter the workforce as assistant analysts, manufacturing engineers and software developers. Those interested in pursuing graduate studies in order to take on positions as program supervisors or network administrators can enroll in a transition program. In order to qualify you must possess a 3.0 GPA and register for graduate courses during the final 6 classes of your undergraduate program. Courses last for 4 weeks and only 1 course is implemented at a time. Online learners can take advantage of a variety of resources including tutoring for writing and math, bookstore access and technical help. Career Services is host to an online job portal connecting you to employment and internship openings. The school offers a number of scholarship opportunities such as the Transfer to Success award, which is granted to those transferring from a community college in Nevada or California with a 2.0 grade average. Military members and their dependents receive tuition discounts.

Western Governors University View School Profile Salt Lake City, UT $5780

Western Governors University's online programs utilize competency-based education, which affords students the flexibility to work through curriculum at their own pace. Once you have mastered course content, you can take an assessment and move on. There is a flat rate for each 6-month term, allowing students to pack as many credits into a semester as they find possible for the same amount of money. As a result, completion of the 120 credit hours needed for graduation takes anywhere from 6 months to 3 years. Those interested in entering careers as computer systems analysts, software engineers or web developers can opt for this online format to finish a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. You will explore core topics of calculus and communication, as well as IT-specific coursework covering programming, data structures, artificial intelligence and network security. Tuition also includes certifications in CIW Site Development Associate, ITIL®1 Foundation Certification, CompTIA Project+ and Oracle Database SQL. Applicants must possess a high school diploma, submit transcripts, interview with an enrollment counselor, demonstrate knowledge in pre-calculus and take the Readiness Assessment if necessary. Once accepted, students are connected with a program mentor. You are expected to talk on the phone weekly to discuss registration, plans of study and resources that will assist in your studies. These include the Pearson MyMathLab and Skillsoft Library, which are intended to supplement IT curriculum. Students can also join an Online Student Community in order to build peer relationships, participate in virtual study groups and engage in networking opportunities.

University of Maryland-University College View School Profile Adelphi, MD $6816

The University of Maryland University College's program to receive a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science is available in hybrid and fully online formats. Students will engage in projects such as building 3D worlds and creating Java programs in order to prepare for employment in software engineering, systems analysis and application design. Following the completion of 120 credits with a grade C or higher, you will also be equipped for certification in Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Oracle Certified Java Programmer. Curriculum familiarizes students with data structures, operating systems, programming languages and web applications. Classes are delivered through the web platform Learning Experience Online, which uses an interactive calendar, audio messaging and progress tracking to help learners maintain academic success. You can also utilize free tutoring, writing assistance, library access and webinars focused on study skills and time management. Incoming freshman need only possess a high school diploma to be eligible for admissions. The transfer tool can be used to determine how credit from community college, military or work experience, international studies and credit-by-exam may count toward undergraduate work. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and there are multiple start dates throughout the year, thereby allowing students to begin and work through coursework at their convenience. The school is committed to reducing student costs by offering the majority of textbooks in a free, e-book format. There are tuition discounts for military members and federal employees. You can use the scholarship finder to narrow down your search for qualifying financial awards.

George Mason University View School Profile Fairfax, VA $8204

Students interested in pursuing careers in network administration, web development or computer graphics can work toward a bachelor's degree in information technology through fully online studies at George Mason University, which is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. You will select an emphasis in database technology and programming, health information technology, information security, network and telecommunications or web development and multimedia. All options require students to maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA throughout the completion of 120 credits in foundational, IT core, concentration-specific and capstone coursework. You will become familiar with database foundations, operating systems, Java programming and web design. Phone appointments are available through the Center for Academic Advising, Retention, and Transitions to assist online learners in class registration and financial aid opportunities. Career Services helps to develop resumes, search for job openings, and prepare for interviews. You also have access to communication with an after-hours nurse if any medical issues arise. The Student Support and Advocacy Center provides guidance for diet and nutrition, relationship concerns and stress relief. There are financial awards specific to IT students such as the Armed Forces Communications Electronics Association Scholarship and the Harbitter Family Endowed Scholarship. Prospective students will submit SAT or ACT scores and transfers must be able to demonstrate a 2.85 grade average in their academic history. It is encouraged that you have participated in extracurricular activities and community service. Additionally, you are more likely to be considered if you possess 4 years of high school math, including pre-calculus.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana View School Profile Natchitoches, LA $5180

Northwestern State University of Louisiana's eNSU Global Campus was the first virtual learning institution established in the state. Here, students can enroll in online studies to earn a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems (CIS). The program, which is accredited by the Association for Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business International, entails 120 credits in general education, business core curriculum and CIS coursework to prepare students in web design, database systems and software development. You will also select a concentration in application development, networking and system management, web development, core programming or cyber security. All students have the opportunity to join the Association of Information Technology Professionals, which provides field experience and networking opportunities through participation in regional and national conferences. Upon completion, graduates are equipped to pass a variety of certifications for Cisco, CompTIA and Microsoft. Alumni enter into positions as computer programmers, network administrators and software developers. You will access coursework through the learning platforms Moodle and WebEx, which is a tool used for online conferencing and live class sessions. The Student Help Desk is available to assist in navigating these systems and both on-campus and online learners can utilize free tutoring services. Students enrolled in 100% distance education pay the same flat-rate tuition, as well as avoid out-of-state fees. There are a number of discounts available for veterans, members of the National Guard, senior citizens, firefighters and other service members. Incoming freshman and transfers must possess a minimum 2.0 GPA for admissions and SAT or ACT scores will also be taken into consideration.

Fort Hays State University View School Profile Hays, KS $3789

Graduates of Fort Hays State University's online bachelor's degree in computer science can qualify for positions as systems engineers, operations managers and capacity analysts at companies such as Google, Dell, Disney and Netflix. Courses are delivered through the web platform Blackboard Learn in 8 or 16-week formats and utilize video lectures, discussion posts and group projects to keep students engaged. While working through the 120 credits required for graduation, you will become knowledgeable in database design, computer graphics, operating systems and software engineering. The school aims to provide online learners with an experience similar to their on-campus peers. You can participate in the Virtual Student Senate, take advantage of study abroad opportunities or maintain a 3.6 GPA to be a member of the Honor Society. Access to resources such as Smarthinking tutoring services and TigerTech technical support will assist in your academic journey. Career Services prepares you for the professional world by assisting in resume writing, interview skills and job exploration. Residential applicants are required to possess a 2.0 GPA and non-residents must be able to demonstrate a 2.5 grade average. All prospective students will need to submit either an ACT score of 21, an SAT score of 980 for tests taken before March of 2016 or an SAT score of 1080 for tests taken after March of 2016. Online learners pay less than half of out-of-state tuition rates. Incoming freshman are eligible for a number of first-time student scholarships and all enrollees can check throughout the year for additional school-funded awards.

Georgia Southwestern State University View School Profile Americus, GA $3886

Georgia Southwestern State University has teamed up with WebBSIT to offer students an online option for completing undergraduate studies in information technology. The degree program, which is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, requires fulfillment of 120 credits with a grade C or higher. You will explore curriculum including web development, digital media, systems analysis and professional ethics. Those interested in emphasizing business will take courses in accounting and marketing, while a concentration in multi-media focuses on audio-video production and 2D design. Upon graduation, alumni find work as network administrators, multimedia designers and database administrators. To add more flexibility to your schedule, there are options for both 3- and 4-year plans of study. During this time, online learners can take advantage of virtual tutoring through the web platform Upswing. You can also submit assignments to the Writing Center for feedback prior to turning them in. The First Year Advocate is available to connect students to other resources, as well as assist in time management and study skills. Additionally, anyone enrolling in distance education will consult with a WebBSIT adviser prior to registration in order to discuss core curriculum requirements, transfer credits and financial aid. In-state and out-of-state enrollees pay the same tuition rates and there are scholarship opportunities specific to incoming freshman and transfer students. Admissions eligibility calls for a freshman index of 1940, which is reached through a formula that accounts for both GPA and SAT or ACT scores. Most applicants hold a 3.0-3.15 grade average.

Saint Leo University View School Profile St. Leo, FL $20760

At Saint Leo University, students may earn a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science online. This program is ideal for students who would like to pursue a career developing commercial and industrial applications or computer models. It's taught by computer science experts who have worked in high-level positions all over the world and follows a curriculum based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Association for Computing Machinery, 2 well-known organizations that focus on educational and scientific computing. To apply for the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, prospective students are required to submit their official high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. This program consists of 120 credit hours, with major courses including Theoretical Foundations of Computer Science, Introduction to Information Security, and Database Concepts and Programming. All students who enroll in this degree are required to specialize in information assurance and take courses like Disaster Recovery, Computer Forensics and Penetration Testing. Students may also choose from electives such as Applied Data Mining and Linear Algebra. Those who are considered outstanding may be inducted into the Omicron Chapter of Upsilon Pi Epsilon, an international honor society for students earning a degree related to computing and information systems. Throughout this program, many students land internships with organizations such as Tech Data Corporation, Verizon and Pasco County Sheriff's Department. They also participate in co-curricular activities like Computing Club and the Computer Gamers Club. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Saint Leo University, most students work as software engineers, computer scientists, support programmers or system software developers.

Old Dominion University View School Profile Norfolk, VA $6330

Old Dominion University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. This degree was designed to expose students to computer science theory while allowing them to participate in projects that focus on problem-solving in business and industry applications. Prospective students are required to submit their ACT or SAT scores and official high school transcripts. This 120-credit-hour program consists of core courses such as Introduction to Software Engineering, Principles of Programming Languages, and Advanced Data Structures and Algorithms. It also includes advanced math and statistics courses, such as Probability and Statistics and Linear Algebra. Transfer students are required to complete at least 30 credit hours at Old Dominion University in order to graduate with this degree. While some courses will have live meeting times, others will be accessible at any time. Online instructors at Old Dominion University adhere to the university's regular academic calendar and may have specific times for scheduling assignments and exams. There are a variety of resources available for students enrolled in the online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, including online tutoring and study sessions, online writing workshops and tutorials, and online access to OCD libraries and partner libraries. Tech support is also available 24/7 for students in this program. To graduate, students must hold a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all computer science courses. Graduates of this degree program often work in software engineering, IT security analytics, database administration, computer science or web development.

California State University-Monterey Bay View School Profile Seaside, CA $5472

California State University-Monterey Bay offers a degree completion program in computer science. The program, which can be completed 100% online, prepares students for careers as mobile app developers, software engineers and technology project managers. It takes 24 months to complete and is available to transfer-ready students from community colleges, or to those who have already earned a bachelor's degree in another field. In those cases, degree holders are still required to finish the program prerequisites. All applicants must have at least 60 semester credits of transferable courses, and students must have taken several individual courses to qualify, no matter how many credits they're transfering. There are also several recommended courses. Applicants who complete the recommended courses will receive priority status.Applicants who are accepted will follow a cohort-based model, and in order to make sure all students receive individualized attention, each cohort is limited to 25-35 students. Not only do students regularly participate in video conferences with peers and instructors, but as part of the program they connect with professionals who practice in the field. Both full-time tenure-track faculty and industry professionals teach the program's courses. Students will study subject matter like database design, algorithms and programming while learning to solve real-world problems through the practical application of theoretical concepts. In an effort to make graduates more marketable, students develop a portfolio and a capstone project that highlights their individual accomplishments. Students can start in the spring or fall, and will take a single class for eight weeks each before moving onto the next course.

Oregon State University View School Profile Corvallis, OR $8715

The bachelor of science degree in computer science at Oregon State University is a professional, post-baccalaureate program that is designed for students who already hold a bachelor's degree in another area of study. Applicants aren't, however, required to have any computer training. No general education courses are required and students can start during any term, in which there are 4 per year. Although the program is offered by the College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, it's delivered completely only through the university's Ecampus. There is significant flexibility in terms of duration and workload, thanks to 1-year, 1.5-year, 2-year, 3-year 4-year track options. The program emphasizes career development and progress through newsletters, networking opportunities, meetings with recruiters and projects designed to enhance employability after graduation. There's also the Career Showcase, which students participate in twice a year. There they'll meet recruiters from more than 20 companies ranging from startups to large corporations. Many students come into the program with existing degrees in humanities and social sciences, as well as science and math, business and engineering. The school cites data that demonstrates a high demand for graduates with computer science degrees. Online students receive many of the same support services as students who attend classes on Oregon State University's physical campuses. Among them are academic advising, counseling and library services. Distance learners are also welcome to take a tour that gives them a preview of what online education is like at the school. In total, more than 23,000 students from around the world take classes at Oregon State University Ecampus.

Wilmington University View School Profile New Castle, DE $10620

As the name implies, the BS in computer and network security degree at Wilmington University focuses on securing data, systems and information, which is currently among the most in-demand skills, according to data cited by the university. In fact, the industry is experiencing 12.6% job growth. The 40-course program requires 120 credits to complete, but incoming students can finish it much more quickly by transferring outside credits or even transferring an entire associate degree. The program is recognized by both the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency. The program will prepare students for careers in cybersecurity by teaching them the critical-thinking skills needed to thrive in the field and the communication skills needed to communicate their work to employees, managers and other stakeholders in the workplace. In addition, the program prepares students to sit for several certification exams, including Security+, Network+, Linux+, A+, CISA and CISSP. Upon completion, graduates will be prepared to pursue dozens of different position in the field, including ethical hacker, network analyst, penetration tester, security engineer, security specialist and network defense technician. Classes start every 8 weeks, which means applicants don't have to wait for a new semester to start in order to begin the program. Coursework is delivered through the Blackboard learning management system, which students will use to receive and submit assignments, check grades, communicate with peers and instructors and receive updates. Students don't have to log on at any specific time of day, but classes are not self-paced and students are expected to check into the system 3-5 times per week.

Baker College View School Profile Flint, MI $9000

Industry professionals helped develop the computer science program at Baker College, which can be completed online as well as in the classroom. The concentration in computer programming prepares students to work with engineers and software developers to create, test, maintain and modify the codes that power computers in fields like automation, smartphones and self-driving cars. It's a 120-hour program that focuses mostly on major courses but also includes concentration courses, general education and a single elective course. There's also a concentration in database technology, which is an online-only track. That option teaches the fundamentals of working with Oracle databases and all associated tools, as well as how those databases function in businesses and other organizations both large and small. That track follows a similar curriculum as the computer programming concentration. Every online learner will be assigned to a virtual classroom, where they'll submit assignments, seek answers to questions and join discussions, just as they would in a traditional classroom. Assignments have deadlines, and online classes do have set beginning and end dates, but distance learners have considerable flexibility. Virtual classrooms, as well as the school's library network, remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As a private college, Baker offers a variety of financial aid options, as well as several grants, loans and scholarships. Students also benefit from a range of services, including OneStop, which is a central destination for things like transcripts, ADA support, career services, billing and scholarship information. Students also benefit from a academic resource center and learning support services.

Mercy College View School Profile Dobbs Ferry, NY $17772

The 120-credit BS in computer science program at Mercy College is delivered through the School of Liberal Arts and can be completed 100% online. Students will learn how to design programs after developing a practical understanding of how computers work, not just an understanding of theory and background. Participants will learn C++ and Java programming skills, computer architecture, software engineering, computer networking and operating systems. Students will work with mathematical models to solve complicated software problems and learn how to write programs on different platforms that are intuitive and user-friendly. The program focuses heavily on security and protocols for the guarding of data and systems. The program also teaches the business end of the industry, as students will learn how to write business reports and technical manuals as part of an organizational team. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be qualified to pursue work as analysts, programmers, help desk professionals, network administrators, software engineers, game programmers and other related fields. The program's curriculum includes major courses, major electives and foundation courses. Coursework is delivered through the Blackboard learning management system, and students are supported with a range of IT support services. Distance learners have access to online academic advising, career services, an online learning center and financial assistance designed just for online education. They'll stay plugged in through Mercy Connect and have access to a variety of library services. The school has developed a digital guide to financial aid that prospective students are encouraged to use before enrolling or seeking funds. The school supports scholarships, grants, a work-study program and a direct loan program.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee View School Profile Milwaukee, WI $8091

The 100% online applied computing program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee splits its focus between the core competencies of the computer science and the business skills needed to apply the program's teachings in the real world. It achieves that goal with coursework that promotes the development of concepts like ethics, legal issues, IS strategy and project management. The program culminates in a capstone course that offers students the opportunity to apply the concepts they studied in a real-world setting. The capstone is designed, in part, to help graduates demonstrate professional competency to prospective employers while showing hiring managers that they understand technical innovation and understand how to adapt to issues that are likely to arise in the next generation. Upon graduation, students will have the skills and background needed to pursue a range of occupations that command median annual salaries of more than $80,000 and are projected for double-digit job growth, including information security analyst, computer information systems manager and application developer. Although distance learners are never required to visit campus, they are invited to participate in their local campus' graduation ceremonies. Distance learners have the flexibility that comes with not being required to log on at any specific time of day, but all students have due dates and deadlines that must be met. Students will communicate with instructors through a variety of technologies, including Skype, course-based discussion boards or simply over the phone. Some courses offer opportunities to participate in group projects, and the Virtual Lab provides access to all the software and programs needed for online learning. Any distance learner who encounters technical problems will have access to a variety of IT assistance.

Austin Peay State University View School Profile Clarksville, TN $6216
Virginia International University View School Profile Fairfax, VA $9408
Franklin University View School Profile Columbus, OH $11856
University of Houston-Victoria View School Profile Victoria, TX $4576
Brandman University View School Profile Irvine, CA $12000
Hodges University View School Profile Naples, FL $13200

Emma Yenko

With an undergraduate degree in communications and a master's in education, Emma finds writing for the education vertical to be the perfect niche.

Reese Lopez

Reese Lopez is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience in the education field. After earning his BA in English from Evergreen State College, he worked as an English language instructor and tutor before joining Affordable Colleges Online. Reese lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also writes fiction and performs in the local music scene.

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