Accelerated Computer Science Degrees

An accelerated computer science program can lead to new career opportunities quickly. Here, we list the top programs.

Updated August 25, 2023

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Earning an accelerated computer science degree can often lead to high-paying career opportunities. Graduates of computer science bachelor's programs may qualify to work as computer systems analysts or database administrators. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects faster-than-average job growth for both of these professions between 2019 and 2029.

Students who pursue a master's degree in computer science often qualify for management-level jobs or leadership positions, sometimes working as data scientists.

Learners with keen mathematical acumen, strong problem-solving abilities, and well-developed communication skills usually do well in computer science programs.

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Featured Online Computer Science Programs

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Why Choose an Accelerated Computer Science Degree

Q. What kind of jobs do you get with a computer science degree?

A degree in computer science often qualifies graduates for jobs in systems analysis, network architecture, software testing, and web development.

Q. Does computer science pay well?

According to the BLS, professionals working in computer and mathematical occupations earn a median annual salary of $91,350. This figure far exceeds the median annual salary of $39,810 for all occupations.

Q. Is computer science in demand?

Yes. Computer science remains a dynamic professional arena. Companies and organizations in diverse industries require the skills of computer science professionals to maintain and secure their digital operations.

Q. What is an accelerated program?

An accelerated program allows students to complete a bachelor's and a master's degree usually within five years rather than the six years learners often need to earn the two degrees separately.

Why Get a Degree in Computer Science?

Earning an accelerated computer science degree allows graduates to enter the workforce and begin earning a salary sooner. An early career start allows professionals to determine their desired computer science focus. Many of the field's postgraduate degrees and certificates require a certain amount of work experience, which is another advantage to earning an accelerated degree in computer science.

Online accelerated computer science degrees typically follow the same curriculum as on-campus programs. The same teachers usually conduct online and onsite classes, giving all learners the same quality of instruction. Online students graduate with a degree that gives them the same professional opportunities as on-campus enrollees.

How Much Does a Computer Science Degree Cost?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, full-time undergraduate students enrolled at four-year public institutions paid $20,598 on average during the 2018-19 school year. Learners who enrolled in four-year nonprofit private schools paid an average of $47,541. Both figures include tuition, required fees, and room and board.

For the same period, the average cost of postgraduate enrollment came to $12,171 for four-year public institutions and $27,776 for private nonprofit schools. Computer science degree-seekers can expect to spend a similar amount for their degree, depending on their chosen school.

Online accelerated computer science programs require less time to complete, allowing enrollees to potentially save even more. Prospective students should also inquire whether their desired school allows out-of-state online enrollees to pay in-state tuition since this can significantly reduce the cost of earning a degree.

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

How Much Do Computer Science Majors Make?

Some computer science degree-holders work in the technology arena as software developers or data scientists. Others provide support services for various types of businesses and organizations.

The BLS combines employment and income data in the computer science field with mathematical occupations such as statisticians and actuarial scientists. In 2019, companies providing computer design and similar technical services hired the most computer science professionals, employing as many as 1.2 million practitioners.

The states with the highest employment levels for this sector include California (640,210), Texas (396,060), New York (265,840), Florida (220,900), and Virginia (218,360). States with high employment levels in specific industries usually offer better professional opportunities in those areas.

In 2020, computer science professionals earned the most in Washington ($122,640), California ($116,820), Virginia ($107,130), and Massachusetts ($105,400). The District of Columbia paid the third-highest salary for professionals in this sector after Washington and California ($113,930).

Courses in Computer Science

Well-crafted computer science programs help enrollees develop valuable technical, problem-solving, and communication skills. Students enroll in classes such as operating systems, database and web system development, and ethical and social implications of computing. Many colleges and universities also offer concentrations in software development, mobile computing, healthcare informatics, and computer networking.

Coursework for accelerated computer science degrees can vary significantly between colleges and universities. However, computer science students often take the three courses below.

Certifications and Licensure for Computer Science

Computer science graduates do not need a license before they can work in the field. However, earning an industry-recognized certification can significantly improve professionals' career options and salary expectations. See below for three possible certifications for computer science professionals.

Administered by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society, this certification tests a candidate's knowledge in software requirements, design, construction, and testing. Candidates must have completed at least two years of college-level computer science courses and need at least two years of relevant work experience. Early career systems administrators can benefit from this certification. Requirements include passing two exams that test candidates' mastery of command line interface, scripting basics, network settings, and other fundamental networking topics. Ideal candidates possess at least one year of Linux administrative experience and a CompTIA A+ or CompTIA Network+ background. Candidates must pass the core exam and a concentration exam of their choice. Concentration exams cover emerging topics in the field such as advanced routing and services, wireless networks, and automating and programming solutions.

Scholarships for Computer Science

Computer science majors often find scholarships at their college or university. Degree-seekers can also explore scholarships from professional organizations, private nonprofit groups, and state and federal agencies with close professional ties and interests in the computer science field. See below for three opportunities available for computer science students.

Scholarships for Computer Science
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

Generation Google Scholarship

$10,000 Full-time students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in computer science or a related field can apply. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and a strong academic record.

Stokes Educational Scholarship Program

Up to $30,000 per year The National Security Agency welcomes applications from graduating high school seniors accepted to an accredited computer science or electrical engineering program. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA and must complete prerequisite courses in physics and calculus in lieu of SAT or ACT scores.

Love Your Career Scholarship

$1,000 awards this scholarship twice annually to learners studying any subject, including computer science, at a U.S. college or university. Applicants must submit proof of enrollment and a 1,000- to 3,000-word essay outlining how they plan to pursue a career they love.

Accelerated Computer Science Programs

  1. North Carolina State University at Raleigh

    Raleigh, NC



    NC State serves more than 36,000 students through campus and online programs. The school offers one of the state's best accelerated computer science programs. Enrollees can earn both a bachelor's and master's in computer science in five years.

    Degree-seekers can apply to the school's master's program while enrolled in undergraduate courses. Applicants need at least 75 undergraduate credits. They also need a minimum 3.5 GPA. Transfer students must complete at least 24 undergraduate credits at NC State.

    Learners receive double credit for up to 12 credits of courses. They can apply earned credits to both bachelor's and master's degree requirements. Candidates who enroll in the non-thesis master's track can earn their degree in 12 months. Students who pursue the thesis master's track can earn their degree in 18 months.

  2. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

    Greensboro, NC



    UNCG offers an accelerated BS-to-MS program. Qualified students can apply up to 12 credits of coursework toward both their bachelor's and master's in computer science degree.

    Applicants need at least 60 undergraduate credits. They also need a cumulative 3.5 GPA. Candidates can apply to the accelerated master's track no sooner than the first semester of their junior year. Students submit an official application to UNCG's master's program.

    Once enrolled in the BS-to-MS program, students must earn a minimum 3.0 GPA in all courses eligible for double credit. These courses include theory of computation and principles of computer networks. Accelerated degree candidates complete the same master's course requirements as other students.

  3. University of Arizona

    Tucson, AZ



    Tucson-based UofA offers one of Arizona's top accelerated computer science programs. The accelerated MS in computer science enables undergraduates to enroll during their senior year. Enrollees can complete a master's degree in just one additional year of study.

    Applicants need at least 90 undergraduate credits. They also need a minimum 3.5 GPA on all computer science courses. Candidates must submit a statement of purpose, two references, and academic transcripts. In addition, they submit a CV or resume.

    Enrollees complete the same curriculum as other graduate students. UofA offers both thesis and non-thesis options. Regardless of academic track, candidates complete 18 credits of core curriculum. Learners study topics such as computing applications. Thesis candidates can pursue various research interests, including artificial intelligence and programming languages.

  4. Michigan Technological University

    Houghton, MI



    MTU serves more than 6,800 students from its campus in Houghton. The school hosts one of Michigan's top accelerated computer science programs. Enrollees can earn a bachelor's and master's in just five years. Accelerated candidates can apply up to six credits toward both bachelor's and master's curriculum requirements. Eligible undergraduate majors include computer science, software engineering, and computer engineering.

    Accelerated candidates apply to the master's program during their junior or senior year. Applicants need a 3.2 undergraduate GPA. Candidates must also submit three recommendation letters.

    Degree-seekers complete 30 credits total. Typical courses cover advanced algorithms and programming languages. MTU offers three degree-completion tracks. Students can complete a thesis, a coursework option, or a project option. Non-thesis students complete extra courses in place of thesis research.

  5. Boston University

    Boston, MA

    BU is one of Massachusetts' top private colleges. The school's accelerated BS in computer science program provides a concentrated course of study. Enrollees can earn their bachelor's in two years.

    Learners complete a minimum of 64 major credits across 16 courses. The program curriculum covers topics such as programming with Java and computer architecture. Students typically complete courses year-round, including the summer semester. Candidates must also complete the BU Hub. This general education curriculum emphasizes skills such as quantitative reasoning and communication.

    Accelerated computer science degree candidates can also move directly into BU's master's programs in computer science or information systems. Students can apply up to two 500-level courses toward graduate credit requirements.

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