Online Software Engineering Degrees

Earning an online bachelor's degree in software engineering can lead to a rewarding career. Here, we list the top programs available.

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Millions of Americans use software applications on computers and other digital devices to enrich their daily lives. Major technology companies rely on software engineers' technical expertise for innovation. They work in many industries designing indispensable technologies, including computer applications, mobile apps, video games, and operating systems.

A bachelor's in software engineering prepares the next generation of inventors and innovators. Students develop expertise in areas such as programming languages, software design methods, and computer architecture and data structures. Graduates may experience stellar job prospects according to Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) projected data. Software developers with just a bachelor's degree and no experience earn a median annual salary of $107,510.

This guide provides information such as degree requirements, tuition costs, certifications, and scholarship opportunities for software engineering students.

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Common Questions Asked in Software Engineering Programs

true Q. What does it take to become a software engineer?

Software engineers hold at least a bachelor's degree in software engineering, computer science, or a related major. They need strong computer programming skills and hands-on experience.

true Q. How many years does it take to become a software engineer?

Freshmen typically complete a bachelor's in software engineering in four years. Students can accelerate degree completion by transferring credits from other colleges.

true Q. What is the salary of a software engineer?

A software engineer makes a $107,510 median annual salary, according to the BLS. Pay varies depending on factors such as experience level, location, and employer.

true Q. Are software engineers in demand?

The BLS projects a 22% job growth rate between 2019-2029. The projected job growth for all occupations stands at 4%.

Why Get a Degree in Software Engineering?

Graduates with a bachelor's in software engineering can enter a job market with good pay and employment growth prospects. Consumer demand drives a steady need for software developers. The software industry employed about 1.5 million developers in 2019, and the BLS projects a need for 316,000 more software engineers between 2019-2029.

Software engineers with expertise in coding languages such as Go and Scala enjoy among the greatest employer demand, according to job site Hired. Engineers with cloud engineering skills such as Google or Amazon Web Services (AWS) also fared well landing job interviews in 2020. Employers sought out software engineers with backend, full stack, and frontend experience the most.

Most software developers work for computer systems design, manufacturing, and software publishing companies.

How Much Does a Software Engineering Degree Cost?

An online bachelor's in software engineering's cost depends on factors such as school, location, and program length. A sampling of online software engineering programs shows students pay between $228-$688 per credit, or $29,184-$82,560 in total program tuition.Students can expect to pay more if they live out-of-state, but an increasing number of schools charge flat-rate tuition regardless of residency.

Online learners avoid relocation, transportation, and childcare costs. All degree-seekers must factor in costs for supplies such as books and computer technology. Learners can decrease tuition by completing general education credits at cheaper community colleges. Some four-year colleges offer generous transfer policies, allowing learners to transfer an associate degree or a block of credits to accelerate degree completion.

Prospective students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine what financial aid they can use to pay for their education.

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

How Much Do Software Engineering Majors Make?

While software developers make a $107,510 median annual salary, professionals with the most experience make more than $164,590. The lowest 10% of software developers earn about $64,240. A closer look at BLS data shows the five top-paying states for software developers as Washington, $138,400; California, $137,620; New York, $122,300; Massachusetts, $119,790; and Washington, D.C., $119,630.

Employers place a premium on software engineers with machine learning experience. They earn a median salary of $113,000, according to March 2021 PayScale data. A machine learning engineer with just one year of experience earns a total compensation of $94,140.

Learners may want to consider other well-paying jobs for software engineers, including data scientist and cybersecurity engineer. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $96,000 and $97,000 respectively, according to March 2021 PayScale data.

Courses in Software Engineering

A bachelor's in software engineering prepares enrollees for careers in areas such as software development, database administration, and quality assurance. The curriculum gives learners a strong computer science background that blends theoretical and practical experience. Students complete between 120-128 credits covering topics such as C++ programming, system administration, software design, and mobile application development.

The best online software engineering programs include state-of-the-art laboratories where students can engage in hands-on projects from afar. Degree-seekers learn to use the industry's latest software development tools. Internships at Fortune 500 companies and smaller firms give students hands-on experience and the opportunity to network. Software engineering programs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) ensure the highest standards.

The following lists three software engineering courses that represent a sample curriculum.

Certifications and Licensure for Software Engineering

Software engineering students use certifications to highlight their technical proficiencies. Certifications give job-seekers an edge in the job market because employers value these credentials. The following lists three certifications for software engineering students.

OCA certification helps build knowledge of Java and provides the foundation necessary for certification as a professional Java developer. Applicants complete beginner Java SE 8 training and pass the corresponding exam. This certification demonstrates a developer's ability to use the C++ language in object-oriented programming. Applicants complete required training and pass an exam. Software engineers with this credential know how to develop, deploy, and maintain AWS cloud-based applications. Applicants must hold at least one year of implementing AWS cloud solutions. They must complete a multiple-choice or multiple-response exam.

Scholarships for Software Engineering

Various organizations establish scholarships to help students pay for tuition and education-related expenses. Eligibility requirements vary depending on the scholarship and funding source. Criteria include students' academic performance and financial need. The following lists three scholarships for students pursuing software engineering bachelor's degrees.

Scholarships for Software Engineering
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship Program

$40,000 plus internship Amazon established the fund to help underserved populations complete computer science degrees. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA and plan to pursue a bachelor's degree in software engineering or related field.

Google Lime Scholarship

$10,000 Google uses this scholarship program to help cultivate future innovators. Current undergraduates pursuing a computer science or software engineering degree qualify. Applicants must demonstrate leadership skills and strong academic performance.

Society of Women Engineers Scholarships

Varies SWE offers several scholarships for women pursuing degrees in engineering or computer science. Applicants must establish need, provide transcripts, and plan to attend an ABET-accredited undergraduate program on a full-time basis.

Online Bachelor's in Software Engineering Programs 2021

  1. Altierus Career College-Tampa

    Tampa, FL



    Alterius Career College offers a 12-month Computer Information Technology diploma program which is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Graduates will gain the skills needed to install, troubleshoot and administer both hardware and software. They will also comprehend the professional, legal, ethical and security concerns that impact IT administration. This program is hybrid, requiring 1 day a week at the campus in either Norcross, GA or Houston Bissonnet, TX. Additional coursework offered through TestOut® lab simulations will provide students with real world experience and training. The curriculum requires a total of 240 lecture hours and 80 lab hours in the following classes: Computer Networking Fundamentals, IT Helpdesk Support, Computer Hardware Concepts, Computer Ethics, Intro to Linux/Unix, Network Infrastructure and A+: PC Operating Systems The curriculum also includes employer-desired certification preparation and a voucher for the CompTIA A+ exam. New programs start every 5 weeks, allowing a student to begin when it suits their life and schedule. When on campus, students will have access to resources such as the library resource center and computers, tutoring and bookstore.

  2. University of Illinois at Springfield

    Springfield, IL



    The Department of Computer Science at University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) offers an online Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science for aspiring software engineers. Bachelor's and master's degrees are offered on-campus and online, should a student wish to continue their graduate studies at this same institution. UIS offers 1,681 majors online and computer science is among the top enrolled programs. The program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Computer science is the core of the 120 hour curriculum, with 36 credit hours in courses such as Data Structures and Algorithms, Foundations of Computer Science and Programming Languages. All online learners must complete 30 hours of 300-400 level courses at UIS. To further UIS' spirit of educating public servants and leaders, students are required to view a minimum of 4 ECCE (Engaged Citizenship Common Experience) speakers series events which encourage students to be active and engaged citizens. Applicants must complete a provided statement of purpose form, have a minimum 2.0 GPA , 2 semesters of Java Programming Experience and 1 semester of each of the following: Statistics, Calculus and Discrete or Finite Math. If students don't meet these requirements they are able to take them at UIS. International students and students with extensive work experience may have different admission requirements. Before registering, students should contact their advisor to map out their course of study and determine which 12 hours of electives (3 courses) they would like, based on their area of interest.

  3. Liberty University

    Lynchburg, VA



    Liberty University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology through the School of Business. The program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Liberty is well versed with online education as it has had distance learning programs since the mid 1980's. There are 4 concentrations to choose from depending on where you would like to take your career: Application and Database Development, Data Networking and Security, Gaming Design, and Web and Mobile Programming. Each concentration will take 120 total hours and typically 4 years to complete and half of major and related courses must be taken at Liberty. You must have a 2.0 GPA and a grade of C for all upper level courses in your major. Courses at Liberty are eight weeks long and there are eight different start dates each year. Students can log in when they choose, offering a great degree of flexibility to schedule their course work around their life. Liberty is an evangelical university and they "Train Champions for Christ." 12 credit hours are required in classes such as Survey of Old & New Testament and Christian Life & Biblical Worldview. Online students can become immersed in the university culture by joining the social media community Yammer. Yammer provides the potential to network with other students, faculty, staff, and alumni. In addition, students have access to webinars and tutorials to help them navigate the registration process, student resources, dropping and adding courses, and other administrative functions.

  4. Bellevue University

    Bellevue, NE



    Bellevue University's Bachelor of Science in Software Development is designed for someone who is currently a computer programmer and/or lacks the necessary credentials and experience needed to take their career to the next level. Bellevue works with area businesses, experts in the field and IT employers to gain a solid understanding of what employers are looking for, thereby confirming that graduates have the skills needed to excel in this field. The program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The project management coursework allows for certification in the CompTIA Project+. Online learners have the opportunity to participate in online forums with their peers, access online tutoring and have access to support tools, library resources and tech support services. Students will learn programming by practicing with applications such as Java and Ruby on Rails. Applicants must have one of the following to apply to this program: Associate degree, 1 year of computer programming experience or a minimum of 60 semester hours with a minimum grade of C- from an accredited institution of higher learning. A student must complete 36 credit hour requirements in the major. Credits may be earned at Bellevue or another institution. Potential classes include Business Telecommunications and Information Security and Database Connectivity. To obtain a Bachelor's Degree, a student must also take general education classes and electives for a total of 127 credits. In addition, all Bellevue students must complete the Kirkpatrick signature series which is a total of 9 credits that focuses on US specific topics such as citizenship and American democracy. Bellevue University is an open admissions school, therefore, contact an admissions counselor to see if you have the solid understanding of computing necessary to enroll in this program.

  5. Troy University

    Troy, AL



    At Troy University, you can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science degree entirely online or in a hybrid format. Whether you wish to prepare yourself with useful technological skills to enter the workforce, or plan to continue your education in graduate school, Troy has a highly diverse computer science program for you. Even with a large student body of over 18,000, Troy offers a synchronous cohort learning program with small classes, various science organizations, weekly study groups, and other beneficial organized online or in-person learning activities. Unlike many other computer science programs, Troy often requires students to work in groups to complete projects. These special team-based projects include training and exploration in video game design, cell phone apps, web applications and graphic design in digital media. You will need 120 credit hours to complete this bachelor's degree, including general studies courses, the major and minor core curricula and the appropriate electives. Most full-time students can complete the degree in about 4 years. Graduates of Troy's applied computer science program move on to careers such as software engineers, business intelligence analysts, database administrators, web developers, information security analysts and data warehousing specialists. For incoming students with previous college credit, the Academic Evaluation Center will determine if any or all of your credit can transfer toward your B.S. degree at Troy. You may also earn academic credit through Credit by Examination, including DANTES, CLEP general and subject exams, the International Baccalaureate exam, and Advanced International Certificate of Education exams. You can also earn credit for previous learning experience including military service, state recognized police and corrections academies, and certificates or coursework recognized by the American Council on Education.

  6. University of Florida

    Gainesville, FL



    The University of Florida's 100% online bachelor's degree in computer science is a great way for any budding software engineer to get their start. The program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. UF online students pay a special online tuition price. This is a 120-credit program that should take a student about 4 years to complete, assuming they're taking a full course load. Full-time attendance is None, however. Students are free to complete the program at their own pace, taking as few as 3 credits per semester and even taking 1 semester off entirely without penalty. Like campus-based students, online students at the University of Florida work closely with advisors to tailor their college experience and are eligible for an array of financial aid options including loans, grants and scholarships. Before applying, applicants must meet UF Online's prerequisites, which include a minimum 2.0 high school GPA and acceptable SAT or ACT scores. To graduate, students must maintain a C average while completing all 120 required credits. Graduates of this program have gone on to careers spanning the technological spectrum. All students are encouraged to delve into how to solve computational problems paving the way to careers including computer programmer, computer systems analyst, and information systems manager.

  7. University of Wisconsin-Stout

    Menomonie, WI



    The University of Wisconsin-Stout (UW-Stout) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Information and Communication Technologies. This program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is in collaboration with Wisconsin Technical Colleges. This is 1 of 15 online programs offered at UW-Stout, a polytechnic university with a career-focused mission. Of the total 9,600 students enrolled, 2,000 are online students learning in 49 states and 20 countries around the globe. Each online student at UW-Stout has an advisor and program director. Additinally, online learners have free online tutoring and a writing lab where they can receive valuable feedback. In order to graduate from this program, a student needs 120 credits: 32 of which must be from UW-Stout. The credits are broken down as follows: 40 credit in general education, 25 in professional studies, 15-24 in the elective track or minor (online minors include computer networking systems and design, web technology, and enterprise technology), and 40 credits in technical specialty or transfer. It is estimated that over 99% of online learners in the programs transfer in prior credit. An A.A.S. or A.S degree in a field related to the major is desirable. Effective fall 2018, there will be an information security management minor available as well.

  8. Park University

    Parkville, MO



    For those looking to become a software engineer, Park University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Information Systems. Park University is a private, liberal arts, four-year school and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Park's degree program provides the potential to work in a variety of sectors including government, nonprofit and business. Students must select one of the following minors: business administration/management, geographical information systems, graphic design, leadership, organizational communication and statistics. This degree requires a minimum of 120 credit hours to graduate (at least 36 credit hours must be upper-division, 300 or 400-level) and a cumulative GPA of 2.0. A student is required to earn a minimum of 30 credit hours at Park; including 63 hours of degree-specific core curriculum courses and 39 business core courses. Most students complete the degree in 4 years, but for those with a tighter time table, there are accelerated 8-week terms available. Students are offered 5 start dates throughout the year, allowing them to fit it into their individual schedule. Park University has a strong military commitment, as illustrated by the discounted tuition rate for those currently serving and transfer credit for prior military training and experience. Park University's Zero Textbook Cost program provides students studying online free electronic textbooks. Park's Academic Support Center is free and open to all, offering subject and area tutoring, writing help, online writing resources and the step up mentoring program which allows students to work one on one with a mentor.

  9. Murray State University

    Murray, KY



    Murray State University and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) have partnered to offer a 100% online Bachelor of Science in Business Computer Information Systems. KCTCS offers all of the lower-level requirements for the degrees and the degree is then finished online through Murray State. This program is Accredited by AACSB-International: The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The Computer Information Systems program is two-fold as it is a business degree and a technology degree. Students have a wide range of career possibilities including managing projects, creating new software, training users and designing systems. The emphasis is on both people and machines as team work and people skills are encouraged. Potential careers include e-commerce developer, systems analyst, technical sales and computer operations manager in a wide range of industries including insurance, education, and service industries. Total hours of study at Murray State is 42 which includes 20 hours of business core courses including Principles of Finance, Fundamentals of Operations, and Strategic Management. 13 hours of Computer Information Systems Courses including Topics in Information Systems, E-Business Programming, and Advanced Database Management Systems. Murray requires 9 hours of Computer Information Systems Electives including Systems Planning and Enterprise Resource Planning. Finally, Murray requires a 2.0 Cumulative GA to graduate.

  10. Davenport University

    Grand Rapids, MI



    Founded in 1866, Davenport University is a private, not-for-profit university with online degree programs and multiple campuses throughout Michigan. As an online or on-campus student, you can earn a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. With this degree you are prepared to work with and adapt to new progressive technologies and use them to solve real-world problems. You will take foundational courses in algorithmic and applied theoretical methods and focus on areas such as computer vision, artificial intelligence, modeling and simulation. If you have a desire to create and write software and work independently or with a team, a degree in computer science from Davenport may be a good fit for you. Davenport graduates move on to work at notable companies in the computing industry, including Google, Apple and Microsoft. Additionally, this degree prepares you for specialized work in finance, telecommunications, education, and the automotive industry. Students at Davenport choose between concentrations in artificial intelligence, computer architecture and algorithms and gaming simulation. You must complete 120 credit hours to graduate, which takes most full-time students 4 years to complete. To be extra competitive in the job market, some Davenport students also pick up the recommended, but None, minor in mathematics. Additional degrees in the computer science field are also available online through Davenport, including Bachelor's of Science degrees in Digital Forensics, Technology Project Management, Cyber Defense, Network Management and Security and Computer Information Systems. Transfer students may earn university credit through prior experiential learning, certification programs such as the College-Level Examination (CLEP), DANTES, Credit by Exam programs and military experience. Davenport also accepts transfer credits from accredited programs which they evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

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