List of Top Online Computer Science Schools

Learn about the best schools with computer science programs. See school rankings, degree options and school locations, and compare similarities and differences to help you make an informed education decision.

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Computer science programs provide education and training in the design, programming and application of computer systems. Students enrolled in online programs may have a chance to focus their studies on a particular aspect of the field.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Computer and Information Sciences, General
  • Computer Programming
  • Computer Systems Analysis
  • Data Entry Processing
  • Information Technology Management
  • Networking and Telecommunications
  • Software and Computer Media Applications

School Information

Online computer science programs are available through several schools, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Auburn and Colorado State University. For 2017, each of these schools was nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for online or computer science programs.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL

School Highlight: The Department of Computer Science is home to 70 faculty members dedicated to the research of computer science, networking and systems and even artificial intelligence.

Working professionals may apply for the distance-learning Master of Computer Science program offered by the College of Engineering. Students participate in online lectures and must complete the required 32-credit hours within five years. For undergraduates, a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Science is available. Students in this program are introduced to the theoretical foundations and practical applications of the field. It is important to note that the program is most commonly offered as a degree-completion program for students who have already completed 30 credit hours of postsecondary coursework, although other applicants may be considered on a conditional basis.

Auburn University in Auburn, AL

School Highlight: The university offers various information technology (IT) services to assist with student success.

The school offers an online Master of Software Engineering program for graduate academics in the school's Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering. Prerequisites for the program include holding a bachelor's degree or its equivalent. Successful completion of the program requires 33 credit hours, in addition to 3 credit hours dedicated to a software engineering project. Auburn's online graduate engineering program placed at #20 on U.S. News & World Report's 2017 ranking. Although Auburn does not offer an undergraduate computer science degree online, undergraduates can take relevant online courses Computer Applications and Spreadsheet Applications with Visual Basic.

Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO

School Highlight: The Master of Computer Science program is self-paced.

The Master of Computer Science program at Colorado State University is offered through the Department of Computer Science and includes advanced studies in networking and security, software engineering and database systems, among other areas. While students have the flexibility to work through the curriculum at their own pace, the program can be completed in two years, just like the on-campus program. Upon graduation, 70% of students have job offers, some of which come from major companies in the IT field, including Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and IBM. CSU was tied #70 for best computer science programs by U.S. News & World Report. It was also ranked #48 on the list of the best schools for online bachelor's degree programs.

Top Online Computer Science Programs

These schools also offer strong online computer science programs:

  • George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, offers both degree and certificate programs.
  • Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, IL, offers various master's degree program options in computer science as well as certificate programs in various relevant areas of study.
  • At North Carolina State University at Raleigh, students can earn an online Master of Computer Science, which is the terminal degree program for working professionals.
  • The online classes offered as part of the Master of Science in Computer and Information Science program at the University of Michigan in Dearborn are taught by same instructors who are teaching the on-campus version of the class that same semester.
  • At the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in Minneapolis, MN, the Master of Computer Science degree program is skills-based, not research-oriented.
  • Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR, offers an online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science for individuals who already hold a bachelor's degree in a different field. U.S. News & World Report tied the school #8 for its online bachelor's degree programs for 2017.
  • Students in the University of Florida's BS in Computer Science program can choose electives based on their research interests and career goals. The school is based in Gainesville, FL.
  • Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ, offers an online BS in Software Engineering.
  • Through the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee in Milwaukee, WI, students can earn a BS in Information Science and Technology with a minor in computer science.
  • The University of Massachusetts - Lowell was ranked #54 on the U.S. News & World Report list of the best undergraduate bachelor's degree programs for 2017.

Both undergraduate and graduate programs in computer science are available through high-ranking universities across the country.

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