Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Computer Science 2022

| Kathleen Swed Modified on May 23, 2022

Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Computer Science 2022
Are you ready to find a school that's aligned with your interests?

By pursuing a computer science bachelor's degree online, students can prepare for careers as software developers, system analysts, and network administrators. A bachelor's in computer science provides a solid foundation in a rapidly evolving, in-demand field.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects computer and information technology jobs to grow 13% between 2020 and 2030. This rate is much higher than the 8% national average.

With an online computer science program, learners can attend an accredited program from nearly any location. Additionally, distance learners often benefit from flexible schedules and lower overall costs.

What to Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Program

Online and on-campus degrees share many similarities. The curriculum for distance programs often mirrors in-person classes. The same professors typically teach both courses. Distance learners can many of the same resources as on-campus students.

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

Top Online Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

How Is an Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Different 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 and clubs..

However, some online programs allow students to accelerate their graduation by taking more courses simultaneously. In contrast, on-campus learners often face more restrictions on course loads.

Some public schools allow online students to pay in-state rates regardless of where they live. Other schools may offer special tuition rates 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.

Comparing Online and On-Campus Bachelor's in Computer Science Degrees

On-Campus Online
Total Credits 120 120
Course Delivery and Schedule Classes meet in person at predetermined times. Classes typically meet one of two ways: 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 styles. Others include some in-person hybrid elements.
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 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 $330-$1,690+ per credit $228-$476+ per credit

How Is an Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Different From a Bootcamp?

Aspiring tech professionals might consider the differences between a bootcamp program and an online bachelor's degree.

Bootcamps typically focus on one aspect of computer science, such as web development. These programs take place over the course of weeks or months. Computer science degrees cover a broader set of topics than bootcamps. Additionally, bachelor's students can often cater their degree to specific career interests. A typical bachelor's degree takes four years to complete, resulting in an academic credential.

Though universities and colleges usually offer career services, bootcamps tend to focus more on career support. However, bachelor's programs also offer extracurricular activities and networking events that bootcamps do not usually provide.

Delivery Formats for Online Computer Science Degrees

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

In online learning environments, courses are synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous courses require live attendance through a webcam 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 unique learning styles when choosing an online degree. Regardless of instructional mode, all online students need good time management skills and self-discipline.

Top Online Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

Accreditation for Online Computer Science Degrees

When pursuing an online bachelor's degree, students should always choose an accredited school.

Accreditation ensures that the school follows academic excellence standards. National accreditors review for-profit and vocational institutions, while regional accreditors evaluate public and private schools. Generally, institutions and employers prefer regionally accredited degrees, which maintain more rigorous standards.

Prospective students might also consider an online computer science program with ABET accreditation. While not a requirement, programmatic accreditation verifies that a particular program prepares students for industry careers.

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

Online tuition for bachelor's in computer science can range from $228-$476 per credit, however prices vary widely. Many factors contribute to the cost of tuition. 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 even if they live elsewhere.

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

Online tuition for bachelor's in computer science can range from $228-$476 per credit, however prices vary widely.

Degree-seekers should remember that costs extend beyond tuition alone. Computer science students need certain tech resources — such as internet access, specific hardware, and software programs — to complete their studies. They will also need books and materials.

Computer science students should begin the search for financial aid by filling out a FAFSA. Applicants are considered for federal aid, including grants, work-study opportunities, and low-interest loans. Additionally, degree-seekers can also apply for scholarships through professional associations and local organizations.

Why Get Your Bachelor's in Computer Science Online?

Online education comes with several benefits, including flexible scheduling. Students can access the same computer science bachelor's programs online as they can in person. Below, we consider the pros and cons of pursuing an online degree.

Pros and Cons

  • Flexibility: Distance learners can study full time or part time. They can choose from several course delivery options, including synchronous, asynchronous, fully online, and hybrid.
  • Location: Online students can pursue a degree that fits their situation and career goals without having to relocate.
  • Cost: Online tuition can be lower than tuition for in-person classes, especially for out-of-state students.
  • Campus Life: Students who enjoy lively campus activities like sports and social events may want to consider pursuing an in-person degree.
  • 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 students pursuing any degree need to manage their time, online students must take particular care to make time for their studies while being self-motivated.

Learn more about computer science careers

Selecting Your Online Computer Science Program

Prospective students researching online computer science bachelor's degrees should decide what program features they want to prioritize.

Some degree-seekers might prefer schools that devote significant resources to their online degrees. Some online-focused schools offer numerous programs, online access to student groups, and a dedicated distance learning office.

Prospective students should also think about classroom preferences. Before enrolling, learners can ask counselors about class sizes and the learning formats. Some students like large classrooms, while others prefer smaller learning environments.

Depending on the learner's career goals, they might consider a school with a prestigious reputation. This prestige may help graduates to land more competitive jobs after graduation. Students might also seek out schools with strong career services and an accessible alumni network.

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

Top Online Bachelor's in Computer Science Programs for 2022

Explore our ranked list of the best online bachelor's degrees in computer science. Key points include academic performance, reputation, and availability, as outlined in our methodology in the link below.

#1 Online College in California

California State University-Monterey Bay

School Information
Location Seaside, California
Admission Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 63%
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Founded in 1994, CSUMB enrolls 7,500 students in 34 undergraduate and graduate programs. Students study on a campus located on California's central coast and online.

Computer Science Online Degree Completion

A degree-seeker with significant college credits can pursue a bachelor's degree in computer science online with CSUMB. Enrollees may complete the computer science program in 24 months, taking 44-50 units depending on transfer credits. Students begin the program with a synchronous online orientation. A mostly self-paced weekly format accommodates the scheduling needs of working students.

Enrollees learn to apply theoretical concepts to address real-world problems. Course topics include internet programming, operating systems, and design and analysis of algorithms. The program also offers a software engineering concentration. 

Students can culminate the online bachelor's in computer science with a collaborative project and a proctored test. Eight-week sessions help enrollees complete the degree more quickly. Enrollees must have 120 units to graduate.

Applying to CSUMB

Admission requires at least 60 transferable semester credits and a minimum 2.0 GPA. Post-baccalaureate students can also apply and must meet all prerequisite requirements with a minimum 2.5 GPA. 

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: WSCUC
  • Tuition: $525/unit for all students regardless of residency status
  • Program Length: 24 months
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 40%
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#2 Online College in Massachusetts

Simmons University

School Information
Location Boston, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 81%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Boston's Simmons offers an undergraduate women's program and a co-educational graduate school. The university's 60 on-campus and online programs integrate theory and practical learning methods. 

BS in Computer Science

Simmons designs its BS in computer science for transfer students and other adult learners. The degree aims to produce computer scientists who can problem-solve and develop cutting-edge technologies. Students take live online classes that blend lectures and interactive coursework. Many will need to complete fewer than the 128 credits needed to graduate.

Students explore algorithms, computing systems, and database management. They can use elective credits to customize their curriculum, with a capstone focusing on software engineering. 

Simmons offers an immersive and collaborative digital campus with faculty mentorship opportunities. Students can transfer up to 96 credits into the online bachelor's computer science. Simmons has lowered tuition by 24% to make education more accessible. 

Applying to Simmons

Admission requires at least 17 transferable credits and school transcripts. Each applicant must also submit a college essay/personal statement and letter of recommendation.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: NECHE
  • Tuition: $500/credit for all students regardless of residency status
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 64%
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#3 Online College in Oregon

Oregon State University

School Information
Location Corvallis, Oregon
Admission Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 67%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Oregon State delivers 200 academic programs on two campuses and a strong virtual college. About 34,000 students attend Oregon State for its top-ranked programs, cutting-edge research, and affordability.

BS in Computer Science

Oregon State's BS in computer science offers flexible customization and learning options. The fully online bachelor's in computer science requires 180 quarter credits. Students can take general education credits in various subjects, while core courses develop expertise in web development, software engineering, and data structures. 

A customizable applied computer science specialization focuses on security issues. Learners can also add a minor or certificate in areas like business or cybersecurity. Each enrollee culminates the program with an engineering design and project management project, leaving the program with a portfolio of their accomplishments.

Students can network with industry professionals to build contacts. Oregon State offers a flat affordable tuition rate for all students.

Applying to Oregon State

Admission requires a high school diploma or GED certificate for a first-year applicant and a minimum cumulative 2.25 GPA for transfer students.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Tuition: $403/credit for all students regardless of residency status
  • Program Length: 4 years 
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 39%
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#4 Online College in Colorado

University of Colorado Boulder

School Information
Location Boulder, Colorado
Admission Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 69%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 11% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

CU Boulder offers 90 programs administered through nine academic units. The school develops strong science and technology programs, with five Nobel laureates and nine MacArthur fellows among its faculty. 

BS in Applied Computer Science

CU Boulder offers the BS in applied computer science exclusively online. This post-baccalaureate program suits learners with bachelor's degrees in any major. A student can complete 45 credits in 1-3 years, depending on the degree plan they choose. The program's general education requirements are satisfied by prior bachelor's coursework. 

The curriculum explores algorithms, programming languages, and software development best practices and tools. Enrollees can use 19 elective credits to align the program with their career objectives. Options include courses like data mining and an introduction to artificial intelligence.

Students collaborate with faculty and peers through labs, online forums, and projects. 

The online bachelor's in computer science offers affordable tuition for in-state and out-of-state students. 

Applying to CU Boulder

Admission requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and a minimum cumulative 2.75 GPA. Each applicant must also meet a math requirement, submit a personal statement, and provide two letters of recommendation.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Tuition: $856/credit (in state); $872/credit (out of state)
  • Program Length: 1-3 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 27%
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#5 Online College in Missouri

Central Methodist University-College of Graduate and Extended Studies

School Information
Location Fayette, Missouri
Admission Rate 100%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fayette, Missouri's CMU offers a comprehensive catalog of online degrees for working adults. Students receive a rigorous education that is flexible and affordable. 

BA and BS in Computer Science

Students can pursue either a BA or BS in computer science online at CMU. Both 120-credit degrees require a general education core. The 37-credit major provides practical training in areas like networking, database systems, and data structures and algorithms.

Students can learn Python or Java programming languages. Enrollees may use elective credits to build expertise like web page design or web programming or pursue training in mobile application development or game programming. CMU internships allow learners to further develop their practical experience.

Graduates can leave the online bachelor's in computer science able to evaluate systems, diagnose problems, and implement solutions.

Applying to CMU

Admission requires a high school college prep curriculum with a minimum 2.5 GPA or a GED certificate and SAT or ACT scores for first-year students. Each transfer student must have a minimum 2.0 GPA and school transcripts.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Tuition: $260/credit
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 36%
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Questions About Online Computer Science Programs

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?

The cost of an online computer science degree varies depending on the school's location, public or private status, and prestige. Generally, students can expect to find tuition that ranges from $228-$476 per credit.

Is a computer science degree worth it?

With a computer science degree, graduates qualify for high-demand jobs in software engineering, web development, and network systems. The BLS reports a median annual salary of $97,430 across all computer and information technology occupations in 2021.


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