Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Computer Science 2023

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Updated December 20, 2022

Online bachelor's degrees give you more flexibility to learn computer science on your terms. Explore our top online computer science degree programs to find the right program for you.

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Individuals interested in computer science careers as data scientists or database administrators often pursue a bachelor's degree in computer science. These programs explore fundamental concepts of technology, computing, and programming, allowing graduates to pursue some of today's most in-demand careers.

According to Zippia, 66% of computer scientists graduate with a bachelor's degree. Most computer science professionals work in technology, Fortune 500 companies, or healthcare.

Interested students can pursue computer science bachelor's degrees online. Some learners choose this route when distance or time restrict their options. Online formats typically offer the same curriculum as in-person programs while providing a flexible pathway toward degree completion.

In this guide, discover what an online bachelor's degree in computer science entails.

Top 5 Online Computer Science Bachelor's Degrees

Below, readers can explore our ranking to find the best online computer science degrees. This list of accredited programs provides a strong starting point for researching computer science programs.

#1 Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Computer Science 2023

Western Governors University

  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • 4 years
  • Online

A private online school in Salt Lake City, Utah, WGU offers undergraduate and graduate programs in business, information technology, teaching, and health and nursing.

Online Computer Science Bachelor's Degree

Western Governors University's fully online bachelor's degree in computer science provides competency-based education that lets students move on to the next course once they demonstrate mastery. The flexible, self-paced program welcomes full-time workers. 

The curriculum explores topics like artificial intelligence, data structures, logic, and architecture and systems. Required courses include a computer science capstone, software engineering, and advanced data management. Students receive the preparation necessary to earn industry certifications while still in school and at no additional cost.

Applying to WGU

WGU computer science applicants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent. WGU also requires completion of a pre-calculus course or a high school GPA of at least 2.75 and a grade of B or better in an advanced math class.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Tuition: $3,625/6-month term for full-time students
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Program Length: Self-paced/varies
  • Delivery Format: 100% Online (asynchronous)
Average Tuition
In-state
$6,380
Out-of-state
$6,380
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
147,866
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#2 Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Computer Science 2023

Auburn University

  • Auburn, AL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Chartered in 1856, AU in Auburn, Alabama, offers more than 150 majors and enrolls over 31,000 students. The school hosts more than 300 student clubs and organizations.

Online Bachelor of Computer Science

Auburn University's bachelor of computer science is a degree-completion program for transfer students. Learners can also complete the program as a second bachelor's degree, in which they must only earn the 60 major credits. 

Offered by the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, the ABET-accredited program delivers all major coursework fully online in 7.5-week terms five times a year. 

Computer science majors complete courses like mobile application development, discrete structures, computer ethics, and software engineering. Advanced electives cover topics like parallel computing and wireless and mobile networks. Students get hands-on experience with computer systems, techniques, and tools. 

Applying to AU

AU applicants need a high school diploma or its equivalent and a strong academic record. Auburn will consider high school GPA, high school coursework rigor, and ACT or SAT scores. Transfer applicants need a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA on all college coursework. 

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $433/credit (in-state); $1,299/credit (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 120 or 60 (as a second bachelor's degree) 
  • Program Length: 2 years 
  • Delivery Format: 100% Online (synchronous, asynchronous, or both?)
Average Tuition
In-state
$10,080
Out-of-state
$30,240
Retention Rate
92%
Admission Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
30,737
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Computer Science 2023

Maryville University of Saint Louis

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Maryville University of Saint Louis enrolls over 10,000 students from 52 countries. Located in Saint Louis, Missouri, the private institution offers more than 90 degree programs. 

Online Bachelor's in Computer Science

Maryville University offers a fully online, transfer-friendly bachelor's in computer science. Students learn popular coding languages and use state-of-the-art tech and tools. The project-based, modular curriculum adapts to changes in the tech industry to cover in-demand skills.

Computer science majors can add one of five in-demand certifications to their degree, including software development, artificial intelligence, or data science. The 128-credit program also offers a blockchain concentration. 

Required classes explore topics like data structures, Java programming, and project management. Students complete a computer science capstone project to graduate.

Applying to Maryville

Admission requirements include a high school diploma or GED certificate and a minimum 2.5 GPA (high school) or 2.0 GPA (college). Applicants must submit official transcripts. The school does not require standardized tests.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $500/credit
  • Required Credits: 128
  • Delivery Format: 100% Online
Average Tuition
In-state
$24,766
Out-of-state
$24,766
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
95%
Students Enrolled
10,979
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
83% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Computer Science 2023

Oregon State University

  • Corvallis, OR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A public research institution in Corvallis, Oregon, Oregon State University (OSU) is one of just three land, space, sea, and sun grant universities in the U.S. Students can choose from more than 200 academic programs.

Online Computer Science BS

Oregon State University's 180-credit online BS in computer science from the College of Engineering's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science emphasizes career readiness. 

The program incorporates hands-on computer experience and regular professional networking. OSU's Ecampus students get access to free online tutoring, library services, and career assistance.

The curriculum includes classes like programming fundamentals, mobile and web development, and social and ethical issues in computer science. Students must complete a three-term course sequence that counts as a senior capstone design project and experience. Online learners can choose from various minors or add an undergraduate certificate in a field like cybersecurity.

OSU also offers a 60-credit, postbaccalaureate online computer science degree for learners with a previous bachelor's degree and strong math skills.

Applying to OSU

OSU requires a high school diploma or GED certificate. Applicants with a minimum 3.0 GPA and complete 15 required subject area courses receive preference. OSU does not require ACT or SAT scores.  

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public 
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Tuition: $403/credit
  • Required Credits: 180
  • Program Length: 4 years

Delivery Format: 100% Online 

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,846
Out-of-state
$29,445
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
32,312
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#5 Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Computer Science 2023

Central Methodist University-College of Graduate and Extended Studies

  • Fayette, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Founded in 1854, CMU in Fayette, Missouri welcomes students from all faith backgrounds and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. More than 4,000 learners take classes through CMU's College of Graduate and Extended Studies.

Online Bachelor's in Computer Science

CMU's College of Graduate and Extended Studies offers an online computer science bachelor's program with options to pursue a BA or BS. Computer science majors develop analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills. They also learn to diagnose computer problems, devise solutions, and understand systems. 

The program includes opportunities to complete internships at CMU's Office of Technology Services and other campus offices. The 120-credit curriculum explores topics like programming languages, database technologies, and software and hardware. 

Students get hands-on experience with SQL, Microsoft Visual Studio, Java, and C##. To graduate, learners must complete a senior thesis and senior computer science seminar capstone.

Applying to CMU

Unconditional admission requires either a minimum 2.5 GPA and qualifying ACT or SAT scores, or a minimum 2.75 GPA and completion of college preparatory coursework. CMU may admit students who do not meet either of these standards on a conditional basis. 

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $270/credit
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Delivery Format: 100% Online
Average Tuition
In-state
$5,950
Out-of-state
$5,950
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
100%
Students Enrolled
3,429
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

What to Expect From Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Degrees

On-campus and online computer science bachelor's degrees share many similarities. The curriculum for distance programs typically mirrors in-person classes, often with the same instructors. Distance learners can access most, if not all, of the same resources as on-campus students.

However, online programs differ from their on-campus counterparts in several key ways. The sections below describe differences such as coursework, format, and cost.

How an Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Differs From an On-Campus Program

The experience differs for online vs. on-campus students. For example, in-person learners can participate in on-campus activities such as sporting events, which typically exclude online students.

However, some of the best online computer science degree programs allow students to accelerate their graduation by taking more courses simultaneously. On-campus learners often face more course load restrictions.

Some public schools allow online students to pay in-state rates regardless of where they live. Other schools may offer special tuition just for online students. Additionally, some institutions charge higher fees for out-of-state or online students, so prospective enrollees should research costs before applying to a program.

The table below compares online computer science bachelor's degrees with on-campus programs.

Online vs. On-Campus Bachelor's in Computer Science Degrees
Online Program On-Campus Program
Total Credits 120-130 120-130
Course Delivery and Schedule Classes typically meet either asynchronously, where learners complete assignments and view lectures on a flexible schedule, or synchronously, with real-time meetings using webcams or other technology. Some programs combine the two methods. Others include some in-person hybrid elements. Classes meet in person at predetermined times.
General Education Requirements Writing and composition; math; cultural diversity; physical or biological science; arts and humanities; world history Writing and composition; math; cultural diversity; physical or biological science; arts and humanities; world history
Typical Time to Completion Four years or fewer, depending on course load Four years or fewer, depending on course load
Admission Requirements 2.0-3.0 minimum GPA; ACT or SAT scores 2.0-3.0 minimum GPA; ACT or SAT scores
Prerequisites Calculus, finite math, discrete math, and/or statistics. Some schools require previous programming experience. Calculus, finite math, discrete math, and/or statistics. Some schools require previous programming experience.
Tuition $300-$700+ per credit $340-$900+ per credit

Sources: Denison University, Franklin University, Maryville University, Southern New Hampshire University, University of the Potomac, Wright State University

Students can expect many similarities when comparing computer science bachelor's degrees online versus on campus. Online programs can sometimes be more cost-effective than on-campus programs, especially for out-of-state students. However, the curriculum, admission requirements, and prerequisites are generally comparable.

Online Colleges for Computer Science vs. Bootcamp Programs

Some prospective students consider computer science bootcamps. These programs offer a more direct route to pursuing entry-level computer science careers. Bootcamps generally last just a few months and may be more affordable than degree programs.

However, bachelor's degrees feature more opportunities to dive into complex topics, which can help learners advance their careers after graduation. Enrollees can also enhance their knowledge and professional development through extracurricular activities, school resources, and networking events.

Delivery Formats for Online Computer Science Degrees

Distance learners can choose from several program structures. For example, some colleges offer computer science bachelor's programs fully online. Others follow a hybrid format with occasional in-person classes or immersions.

Online learning may occur through synchronous or asynchronous delivery. Synchronous courses require live attendance through video conferencing software or other learning technologies. However, asynchronous courses do not require real-time participation, offering more flexibility for students with work or family obligations.

Prospective distance learners should consider their personal learning styles when researching online bachelor's degrees in computer science. Regardless of the delivery method, all online students need strong time management skills and self-discipline.

Accreditation for Online Computer Science Degrees

Computer science degree-seekers should prioritize accredited schools. Institutional accreditation from accrediting bodies denotes a school's adherence to educational standards in its curriculum, faculty, and high-quality higher education experience. Employers and industries typically hold schools with accreditation in high regard.

Programmatic accreditation can also enhance the trustworthiness of your degree. ABET is a renowned accrediting agency that recognizes technology-focused programs with excellent learning outcomes and dedication to best practices.

How Much Will an Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Cost?

Online tuition for bachelor's in computer science can range from $300-$700 per credit, but prices vary widely. Many factors contribute to tuition costs. In-state students usually pay lower tuition at public universities than their out-of-state peers. However, some public schools allow distance learners to pay in-state tuition, regardless of their location.

Private institutions may also charge flat rates to all online students. However, private school tuition typically runs higher than public school rates.

Degree-seekers should remember that costs extend beyond tuition alone. Completing an online computer science bachelor's degree requires access to technology resources like a stable internet connection, specific hardware, and relevant software. Students will also need books and other materials.

Computer science students should begin the search for financial aid, such as grants, work-study opportunities, and low-interest loans, by filling out FAFSA forms. Additionally, degree-seekers can apply for scholarships through professional associations and local organizations.

Why Get Your Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science Online?

An online college computer science program typically uses various digital technologies. This technical aspect makes it an ideal degree for online learning compared to other study areas that require more face-to-face instruction.

Students typically pursue a computer science bachelor's degree online for the convenience of learning from anywhere on a flexible schedule. They can choose from schools across the country that fit their career goals without commuting.

Prospective learners should consider whether online education aligns with their learning preferences. The most successful online computer science students have strong self-motivation, technical, and independent learning skills.

Pros of Online Computer Science Programs

  • Flexibility: Distance learners can study full time or part time. They can choose from several options, including synchronous, asynchronous, fully online, and hybrid delivery.
  • Location: Online computer science degree students can pursue programs that fit their lives and career goals without relocating.
  • Cost: Online tuition can be lower than tuition for in-person classes.

Cons of Online Computer Science Programs

  • Campus Life: Students who enjoy lively campus activities like sports and social events may want to consider in-person programs rather than pursuing computer science bachelor's degrees online.
  • Networking Opportunities: Most online programs work hard to connect learners with peers and professional contacts like alumni. However, on-campus students may find it easier to find opportunities to form these relationships.
  • Time Management: While all degree-seekers must manage their time wisely, students pursuing computer science bachelor's degrees online must remain more self-motivated than enrollees in traditional programs.

Selecting the Best Online Computer Science Degree for You

Degree-seekers should consider several points when searching for the best online computer science degree. Along with tuition and content, prospective enrollees should consider the following:

  • School Prestige: Your future employers will likely consider your school's stature when evaluating your resume. Graduating from an accredited school with an excellent reputation in computer science education can help your application stand out.
  • Learning Format: Online computer science bachelor's degrees may use synchronous or asynchronous delivery. Determine whether you prefer a self-paced structure or a more guided format with scheduled lectures.
  • Admission Requirements: Some schools have more stringent admission standards, like test scores or prerequisite course requirements. Previously earned credits may also transfer more easily to some schools than others.
  • Hands-On Practice: Does a computer science degree offer hands-on learning opportunities through online learning labs? Practical work is a must for computer science majors.
  • Program Length: Online computer science bachelor's degrees typically take four years to complete. However, some provide accelerated options to help you complete your degree faster. Meanwhile, others allow extensions for more flexibility.

Prospective students can use Common App to streamline the college admissions process. The service allows students to apply to multiple schools with one application.

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FAQ About Online Computer Science Bachelor's Degrees

How long does it take to get a bachelor's degree in computer science online?

Usually, students take about four years of full-time study to complete the 120 credits needed for a bachelor's in computer science. However, some programs may allow students to expedite the process.

Is computer science hard?

Like most disciplines, computer science requires commitment and study. Students with skills or interests in math and programming languages may find the subject easier to master.

How much is an online degree in computer science?

An online degree in computer science generally costs between $300-$700 per credit. However, costs usually vary for in-state and out-of-state learners. More prestigious institutions may also charge much higher tuition and fees. Degree-seekers can look for schools that charge per term rather than per credit, allowing them to reduce tuition costs by finishing their degree earlier.

Is getting a computer science degree from an online college worth it?

With a computer science degree, graduates can pursue high-demand jobs in software engineering, web development, and network systems. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median annual salary of $97,430 across all computer and information technology occupations as of May 2021.

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