Best Online Bachelors in Computer Science Degrees for 2023

Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science Career Options & Salary

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Are you considering a career in computer science? If you enjoy working with computers and have an aptitude for learning how new technology works quickly, a bachelor’s degree in computer science may be a good fit for you, especially with the continued increase in online services, online communication, online data transfer, and more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 12% from 2018 to 2028. That’s much faster than the average for all other occupations.

Depending on the specific degree earned, graduates in this field can pursue a wide variety of exciting career paths. Some of the most prominent professions in the field include:

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  • There are several reasons people choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science. First and foremost, it’s usually the entry-level degree for the field. Most employers expect candidates to have, at a minimum, successfully completed an undergraduate program in computer science or a related field. While some entry-level positions are available to those with associate degrees, these jobs typically pay less and offer fewer opportunities for advancement in the future. Those without an undergraduate degree should also realize they will be competing with those who do have one, potentially making it even more difficult to find employment.
  • Earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science is essential for individuals interested in pursuing team leading and management positions. The most advanced employment opportunities generally require candidates to possess a master’s degree, which cannot be attained without first earning a bachelor’s degree.
  • Many computer science professionals require one or more certifications to be successful or advance in the field. While requirements vary, it is not uncommon for certifying bodies to limit candidates based on level of education. A bachelor’s is usually the minimum requirement for these.
  • Additionally, it has become easier in the last 10 years to earn a degree online. Tech degrees, such as one in computer science, are even better suited to the online learning environment and schools can provide online students everything they need to be successful in their careers.


  • There are a few reasons some may hesitate to earn a bachelor’s in computer science instead of settling for an associate degree. One factor is time in school. Most full-time undergraduate students need at least four years to complete the coursework. Part-time, online students may need up to six years to meet graduation requirements. It is important to realize, however, that an associate degree is not enough formal education to qualify candidates for many jobs in the field. You may gain entry only to find that you are stuck in a low-level position.
  • It is also worth noting that many computer science professionals pursue graduate degrees. This often makes it easier to find work, ensures qualification for certifications, and increases salary prospects. Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that employers tend to pay employees more when they have graduate degrees. Not only do professionals with a master’s degree make more money each year, but they also become more marketable. While a bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum education requirement, it may not be enough to secure the higher-level job or pay you desire.

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What are the Best Online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Programs?


University of Florida

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,381
    • Out-of-State: $28,659
  • Net Price: $10,075
  • Retention Rate: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 89%
  • Total Enrollment: 53,372
  • Undergrad Students: 34,931
  • Grad Students: 18,441
  • Diplomas Awarded: 287
  • Grads Salary: $75,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 17:1
  • University of Florida

Florida State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $5,656
    • Out-of-State: $18,786
  • Net Price: $12,815
  • Retention Rate: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 84%
  • Total Enrollment: 43,569
  • Undergrad Students: 32,543
  • Grad Students: 11,026
  • Diplomas Awarded: 200
  • Grads Salary: $65,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 21:1
  • Florida State University

Auburn University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,826
    • Out-of-State: $31,986
  • Net Price: $24,028
  • Retention Rate: 92%
  • Graduation Rate: 79%
  • Total Enrollment: 30,737
  • Undergrad Students: 24,505
  • Grad Students: 6,232
  • Diplomas Awarded: 108
  • Grads Salary: $73,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 20:1
  • Auburn University

Arizona State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,348
    • Out-of-State: $29,438
  • Net Price: $14,653
  • Retention Rate: 86%
  • Graduation Rate: 66%
  • Total Enrollment: 74,795
  • Undergrad Students: 63,124
  • Grad Students: 11,671
  • Diplomas Awarded: 598
  • Grads Salary: $73,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • Arizona State University

Florida International University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,565
    • Out-of-State: $18,963
  • Net Price: $8,988
  • Retention Rate: 91%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Total Enrollment: 58,836
  • Undergrad Students: 49,049
  • Grad Students: 9,787
  • Diplomas Awarded: 241
  • Grads Salary: $66,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 25:1
  • Florida International University

Oregon State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $12,188
    • Out-of-State: $31,579
  • Net Price: $21,444
  • Retention Rate: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 69%
  • Total Enrollment: 32,312
  • Undergrad Students: 26,644
  • Grad Students: 5,668
  • Diplomas Awarded: 650
  • Grads Salary: $74,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • Oregon State University

Colorado State University-Fort Collins

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $12,331
    • Out-of-State: $31,613
  • Net Price: $17,609
  • Retention Rate: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 70%
  • Total Enrollment: 32,428
  • Undergrad Students: 24,792
  • Grad Students: 7,636
  • Diplomas Awarded: 130
  • Grads Salary: $70,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 16:1
  • Colorado State University-Fort Collins

Regis University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $39,610
    • Out-of-State: $39,610
  • Net Price: $27,785
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Total Enrollment: 6,310
  • Undergrad Students: 3,197
  • Grad Students: 3,113
  • Diplomas Awarded: 49
  • Grads Salary: $83,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 11:1
  • Regis University

Oklahoma State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,244
    • Out-of-State: $24,764
  • Net Price: $14,763
  • Retention Rate: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Total Enrollment: 24,535
  • Undergrad Students: 20,323
  • Grad Students: 4,212
  • Diplomas Awarded: 38
  • Grads Salary: $71,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • Oklahoma State University

Lewis University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $35,472
    • Out-of-State: $35,472
  • Net Price: $20,022
  • Retention Rate: 80%
  • Graduation Rate: 70%
  • Total Enrollment: 6,437
  • Undergrad Students: 4,306
  • Grad Students: 2,131
  • Diplomas Awarded: 127
  • Grads Salary: $73,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 14:1
  • Lewis University
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Certificate Vs. Bachelor’s

While an online computer science degree program and traditional undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as certifications offer many career benefits, there are some distinctions worth noting. Bachelor’s in computer science degree programs are offered by higher education institutions, whereas certification programs are generally offered by associations, product vendors, or software firms. In-person and online computer science degrees are intended to offer a holistic view of the field and cover a wide variety of related topics, as well as including general education. Certifications, on the other hand, expect professionals to verify a specific set of skills to ensure proficiency in a single component or area such as software engineering, computer systems, programming languages, software development, computer architecture, computer programming, data structures, web development, data science, operating systems, artificial intelligence, software systems, or even project management in computer science or IT.

For many computer science professionals, an undergraduate degree and certifications are necessary for a successful career in the long run. Every job will have different requirements and the decision of which certifications to earn will be largely based on your ultimate occupational goals. Pay close attention to certification program requirements, as many require you to already possess a bachelor’s degree.

There are also some professional or CS master’s programs available, but enrollment is limited to individuals who have already completed an undergraduate degree and sometimes even a master’s degree. This type of program is intended to further build on a foundation in computer science as a whole, but often the majority of instruction is focused in a specific area or even a specific program or vendor product.

What Computer Science Degrees are Available?

There are two primary types of computer science bachelor’s degrees available. Specific program titles will vary from institution to institution, but most colleges and universities offer Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degree options. While all of these programs help to prepare graduates for employment in the field, there are several important differences you should be aware of, such as the fact that arts degrees are more commonly available through online learning platforms, partially because they require less hands-on science education and transfer more easily to an online format.

Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science

BA programs are generally designed to offer exposure to a variety of liberal arts subjects, including humanities, English, social sciences, and foreign languages. They are flexible and easily customizable with elective course options. Because of this focus on other disciplines, students tend to take fewer credits directly linked to computer science.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

BS programs, on the other hand, are usually more focused on a specific scientific or technical subject. The primary concentration is on building practical expertise, so less time is spent exploring liberal arts subjects. Because programs generally require more credits in computer science, students have fewer opportunities to explore topics outside of their major.

The type of computer science degree you choose will ultimately depend on the job you hope to attain. Some example programs include:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Mathematics in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Security in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts

Admission Requirements to Enter a Computer Science B.S. Program

Most colleges and universities have requirements that potential undergraduate students must complete before being admitted, whether they intend to attend online or on-campus. Every institution is different, but the most common requirements include:

  • Official High School or Computer Science Associate Transcripts
  • Application and Fees
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Statement or Supplemental Essay
  • Scores from College Entrance Exams (SAT, ACT, etc.)

Depending on your institution, there may also be a number of program entrance requirements. Some programs only accept sophomores or juniors who have already completed their general education and have certain course prerequisites. These vary but may need to be completed before officially designating computer science as your major. Prerequisite courses are usually basic, classes you will take at any liberal arts school.

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science?

Generally speaking, most bachelor’s degrees in computer science take approximately four years for full-time students to complete. Traditional programs usually consist of 120 credit hours of coursework, or approximately 40 college courses. It is important to note that some institutions offer accelerated degree programs, often designed to help students earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree simultaneously and in less time. Some high schools also offer college credit for certain courses, which can shorten the graduation timeframe.

It is important to realize, however, that students enrolled part-time are unlikely to graduate within four years. Those taking only a few classes per semester typically graduate within five to eight years.

Potential Careers in Computer Science with a Bachelor’s Degree

There are numerous employment opportunities available to individuals who earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Some of the most popular job options include computer programmer, computer and information research scientist, information security analyst, software developer, and web developer.

Computer Programmer

Computer programmers are responsible for writing and testing code that allows computer applications and software to function properly. They also turn program designs into instructions that can be easily followed by computers. Additionally, these professionals test new applications to ensure they produce expected results. The average salary for a computer programmer is $63,000.

Computer and Information Research Scientist

Computer and information research scientists are responsible for inventing and designing new approaches to computing technology. They also find uses for existing technology that’s already available and they study and solve complex problems in computing in a variety of industries. The average salary for a computer and information research scientist is $114,200.

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts are responsible for planning and carrying out security measures to protect a company or organization’s computer networks and systems. Additionally, these professionals must be able to adapt to the continually changing type and number of cyber-attacks. The average salary for an information security analyst is $71,700.

Software Developer

Software developers are responsible for designing and creating computer programs. Some professionals focus on developing applications that allow people to complete certain tasks when using technology, while others develop underlying devices and network systems. The average salary for a software developer is $71,200.

Web Developer

Web developers are responsible for designing and creating websites. They can be responsible for the technical aspects, such as performance and capacity, as well as how the site looks. Additionally, these professional may create written content and monitor the website’s speed and user traffic. The average salary for a web developer is $59,300.

Salary by Occupation

Occupations Entry-Level Mid-Career Late-Career
Computer Network Architects $82,500 $110,200 $131,900
Computer Programmers $55,800 $70,300 $85,900
Computer Systems Analysts $56,100 $71,200 $85,300
Data Engineer $77,100 $103,900 $114,500
Data Architect $68,700 $108,900 $131,300
Information Security Analyst $59,800 $82,000 $101,700
Security Engineer $71,600 $100,600 $116,000
Information Systems Analysts $57,100 $70,800 $80,100
Game Designer $61,300 $76,700 $98,600
Web designer $50,500 $66,900 $77,200
Data Scientist, IT $74,300 $98,500 $142,400
Mobile Applications Developer $60,700 $87,600 $107,900
Systems Administrator $51,400 $63,900 $75,200

Frequently Asked Questions

Advancing From Here

Options for advancement vary depending on which specific computer science occupation you seek. Many professionals choose to pursue graduate degrees and various certifications in order to qualify for management positions. Continuing education is also a great way to become a more competitive candidate for promotions. Years of experience also tends to play an important role when looking for career advancement opportunities.

Are online degrees the same as the ones found on campus?

For the most part, yes. Though online programs may sometimes be less expensive than those found on-campus, colleges and universities have spent the last decade or more perfecting the adaptation of their degrees onto an online format. Because of this, outcomes for online degrees are now just about exactly the same for those who complete their degree online and those who complete their degree on campus.

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

This depends on the amount of time you are able to put into the degree. While those who attend full-time can usually finish their degree within four years or less from their start date, this is not always possible. Many students who choose to attend school online do so because they have responsibilities they feel they cannot ignore, even to attend school. If you choose to attend your online program part-time and only complete classes during the regular school year, it can take as long as eight years to complete your entire degree program.

Why get a degree in computer science?

The best reason to obtain a degree in computer science is the fact that there are currently so many opening in various industries within this field. There are currently millions of open cyber security jobs, and the industry just keeps growing as we create more mobile devices, expand the Internet of Things, use the web for more tasks than ever, increase our reliance on databases and big data, and more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the field will grow for the next decade and beyond, so this is just one excellent reason to get into the field.

Should I earn a BA or a BS in computer science?

As with many questions regarding your education, the decision is up to you and depends on your needs. However, we can provide you with some focus as you deicide the answer. A Bachelor of Arts will be more focused on humanities and is more likely to allow you access to a greater variety of elective. On the other hand, a Bachelor of Science will focus in on engineering and science specifically. How does this affect your choice? If you know that you want to go into a highly technical career in which the engineering and science aspects of computers and technology are going to be a part of your every day, then a BS is probably the right choice for you. If you are unsure of your future career or you plan to double major in something closer to the humanities or want to leave your options open, you might want to consider earning a BA.

Do the same faculty teach online and on-campus courses?

This, of course, may depend on the school you are attending. You can feel free to call the computer science or engineering department of your prospective schools and ask them who teaches their online courses. Or, if you’re just mildly curious, the fact is that most online programs are created and/or updated by faculty who are currently on staff. While emails might be answered by TAs, the programs themselves are nearly always taught by the same teachers who work on campus. They may record a year of classes and use those videos until the curriculum changes, or they may record them every year for synchronous courses. Either way, a qualified teacher is behind every online course at accredited universities.

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