Top Online Computer Science Colleges

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Find the best schools to earn your computer science degree online, and learn more about what these institutions and programs offer.


Our 2016 computer science rankings showcase the top online colleges offering the best undergraduate computer science programs this year. We based our calculations on the quantifiable factors that we believe contribute to the ideal online learning experience: program cost; student-to-faculty ratio; and institutional financial aid, acceptance, retention, graduation, default, and default rate. Learn more

Top Online Computer Science Colleges

RankSchoolStudent to
Faculty Ratio
Aid Rate

University of Florida


About the Program

The University of Florida has one of the best online computer science programs in the country, and the school prepares graduates for a career in several different fields. Students have the freedom to tailor the degree to suit their interests: the university offers a variety of electives and students are encouraged to pursue internships, co-ops, and other research opportunities. The core curriculum includes:

  • Five math classes
  • Two physics courses
  • Technical writing
  • 11 required computer science classes
  • Six elective credits

The school also accommodates transfer students. Transfers should check with the department to ensure that all previous classes are equivalent to UF programs. Students who earned at least a 4 on the AP or IB computer science exams are given credit for the introductory Fundamentals of Programming course. Full-time students are placed on an eight-semester plan, though you can take classes part time as well.

Online Experience

Distance learners receive one-on-one advising to help them acclimate to school. Like those attending classes in Gainesville, online students have access to the university’s academic, technical and administrative services. Students watch lectures on one of UF’s two online platforms: Sakai and Canvas. On Sakai, students can also view grades, assignments, tests, forums, and other resources.

$112 per credit in state
$500 per credit out of state
Gainesville, FL 32611
(352) 392-3261
Program Page

DePaul University


About the Program

DePaul’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science follows the university’s quarter system: students take classes in fall, winter, and spring terms, and can also opt for courses in the summer. Students are required to take exams with a proctor, but the rest of the degree is completable online.

Online students watch videos of course lectures and are required to submit assignments alongside on-campus students. Students in the program learn essential information about computing, data storage and information systems. Four-year students complete two capstone projects in their time at DePaul: the sophomore capstone tests their abilities with complex material, while the senior capstone requires group collaboration on a substantial project of your choice.

Online Experience

DePaul uses two web platforms to integrate students with the curriculum. Most course materials are hosted on D2L, which is where you find your homework, grades, class documents, and the drop box for turning in assignments. The school also uses a program called Campus Connect. Here, students can pick courses, view financial aid options, and browse the latest news from around campus. Lectures can be viewed online through the college’s Course OnLine System, which posts a video within two hours of the class session.

Additionally, DePaul gives distance learners access to the same tutoring and administrative resources that residential students receive. Remote students can use the library’s digital media platforms and can get virtual tutoring services through the department’s Computing and Digital Media Tutoring Center.

$585 per credit hour online
1 E Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 362-8000
Program Page

University of Illinois at Springfield


About the Program

Illinois-Springfield offers online students the opportunity to obtain a BS degree in computer science or in computer science information systems. Core courses include:

  • Computer Organization
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Foundations of Computer Science
  • Introduction to Operating Systems
  • Programming Languages

The computer science department has additional admissions requirements beyond those stipulated by the university. Students applying to the CS program must have earned a minimum of 30 credit hours of lower division courses at UIS or have a GPA exceeding 2.0 from an accredited college elsewhere. Those who cannot meet either criteria may still apply if:

  • They have two semesters of programming experience with Java
  • They have completed at least one semester of discrete or finite mathematics
  • They have completed one semester of statistics and calculus

Computer science students are also required to complete the university’s Engaged Student Common Experience capstone project to graduate.

Online Experience

Courses are mostly taught asynchronously, though some require real-time discussions. Students and faculty members interact through email and over Blackboard, the university’s online learning management platform. On Blackboard, students can submit assignments, check grades, and use discussion forums to connect with classmates.

Students from 49 states may enroll at UIS online; Maryland residents are currently ineligible to apply for the school’s distance learning programs.

$358 per credit hour online
One University Plaza
Springfield, IL 62703-5407
(217) 206-6600
Program Page

Gardner-Webb University


About the Program

Gardner-Webb is a Baptist institution in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. The school offers distance learners a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems and provides instruction in information technologies, as well as business and management courses through the business college. The program prepares students for jobs in several fields, including:

  • System Development
  • Internet and Network Technologies
  • Information Management
  • Business Consulting

To graduate, the school requires that you take 33 upper-division credit hours, at least 15 of which must be taken at Gardner-Webb. Students complete a capstone project in strategic information management as part of the curriculum.

Online Experience

Gardner-Webb is a Blackboard school and teachers use the program to facilitate class interaction and to post grades, assignments, lectures, and other noteworthy information.

Online learners should note that Gardner-Webb’s Dimensions program, which requires residential students to attend regular religious sessions, is not a part of the school’s online curriculum.

$403 per credit hour online
Main St
Boiling Springs, NC 28017-0997
(704) 406-2361
Program Page

Champlain College


About the Program

Champlain’s Bachelor of Science in Computer & Information Systems is designed for working professionals. Coursework is completed entirely online and classes are taught in seven-week increments so that you can progress through material quickly. Students are encouraged to take classes at their own pace and are not expected to adhere to a cohort schedule. Additionally, Champlain makes it easy for transfer students to earn a degree, allowing undergraduates with up to 90 credits to transfer into the CIS program.

Champlain also helps students obtain additional certification prior to graduation. Students can earn a specialty certificate in several areas of study, including:

  • C++ Programming
  • Computer Forensics & Digital Investigations
  • Computer Networking
  • Java Development
  • Linux Administration
  • PHP Programming
  • Software Development
  • Web Design
  • Web Programming

This program allows you to specialize in subfields you find interesting and the certificates bolster students’ resumes as they apply for internships and jobs.

Online Experience

Assignments have due dates, but lectures are entirely asynchronous. Course lectures are posted in a discussion forum and students can access archived lectures all semester long. Students can also take exams when it’s convenient for them and usually have a range of days to complete a test. Online classes feature a limited number of students, allowing faculty to dedicate time to helping each person according to their needs.

Students communicate with each other and the faculty over the university’s Course Content forum, which facilitates collaboration for group projects and discussion topics. Instructors are also available over Course Content’s email system.

$641 per credit in state
246 S. Willard St
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 860-2700
Program Page

Florida State University


About the Program

Florida State’s computer science program introduces students to a number of languages and concepts. Graduates of the program are fluent in C, C++, and Assembly Language, and are exposed to Java and HTML, among other languages. The program provides a broad background in computing, programming, database structure, computer organization, and operating systems.

Program requirements include:

  • 120 credit hours
  • A minimum of 45 hours at the 3000/4000 level
  • At least half of all credit hours must be completed at FSU
  • The final 30 credit hours must all be completed at FSU
  • Coursework includes an embedded minor in mathematics and physical sciences

Distance learners who have completed the prerequisites and general degree requirements can finish the degree in two years of full-time study. Part-time students can expect to complete the program in four years.

Online Experience

Most courses are taught asynchronously; classes requiring synchronous lectures or group work are clearly marked in the syllabus. Online students follow the school’s semester-based calendar.

FSU online uses Blackboard to host classes, post grades, and spark discussions between instructors and classmates. Testing is conducted either over Blackboard or remotely via proctors at an external site. Instructors who schedule proctored tests are required to provide exam instructions for students on the first day of the semester.

$216 per credit in state
$721 per credit out of state
222 S. Copeland Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1037
(850) 644-2525
Program Page

California Baptist University


About the Program

Cal-Baptist’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Technology is built for working professionals looking to switch careers. The school places no time limit on transferrable credits and prepares students for upper-division coursework with as few prerequisites as possible. The program ensures graduates are well-versed in programming, design, networking, and security and management.

CBU’s program is built for students who already have some college experience. Admissions officers prefer applicants to have 24 units of credit prior to applying to the department and an accelerated program is available for distance learners looking to graduate quickly.

Online Experience

CBU follows the semester system and the CIT program breaks each semester into two parts: full-time students take two courses per session while part-timers take just one. CBU uses Blackboard to host classes and to encourage discussion between students and faculty. Grades, assignments, course news, and campus information can all be found on Blackboard.

Students also have access to CBU’s career services center and can use the university’s digital library materials remotely. The school also provides tutoring, Microsoft Office Support, and tech help to distance learners.

$511 per unit
8432 Magnolia Ave
Riverside, CA 92504-3297
(951) 689-5771
Program Page

Stevens-Henager College - Ogden


About the Program

Stevens-Henager provides distance learners with an opportunity to earn their bachelor’s in computer science in as little as 30 months. The computer science degree comes with an emphasis in networking and information systems security, and it prepares students for a career in information technology. The program trains students for several technical positions, including:

  • Network and computer systems administration
  • Information security analysis
  • Computer systems analysis
  • Computer and information systems management
  • Database administration

Classes are taught both asynchronously and synchronously through “Campus,” the school’s web-based platform.

Online Experience

A foundation of Stevens-Henager’s mission in online education is to ensure that distance learners have the same access to campus resources as resident students. Faculty members are available through their email or the school’s teacher-student chat rooms, and there are no office hours to adhere to. Online students can use the same digital library materials and tech support as on-campus residents, and they also can meet with a student advisor.

Students get a laptop when they attend Stevens-Henager. Laptops are issued to students before their first day of class; graduates get to keep the computer as a gift from the college.

1350 W. 1890 S.
West Haven, UT 84401
(801) 622-15671000
Program Page

Oregon State University


About the Program

Oregon State’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science is a post-baccalaureate program designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree. The flexible program allows students to pursue their degree on four different “tracks,” which take between one and four years to complete. Full-time students can complete all coursework in just one year. As a post-baccalaureate program, the program only offers computer science courses; no other classes are required.

To apply, students must satisfy three admissions criteria:

  • Students must have a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field
  • Students must have completed college-level algebra
  • Students must have a 2.25 GPA or better

A background in computer science or engineering is not required; students with degrees in the humanities and social sciences compose the largest proportion of the student body. Students not seeking a degree can also apply to take classes in the program to get a basic understanding of the field.

Online Experience

OSU uses a web-platform called Canvas to host lectures, discussion forums, grades, and class assignments. The school transitioned to Canvas from Blackboard in the past year; the school’s administration posted a video explaining how to use their new program.

All courses are offered each term, which allows students to take the classes they want when they want them. Distance learners have access to OSU’s robust support network and can prepare for a career in the field through project-based learning and the school’s networking events.

$470 per credit hour online
1500 S.W. Jefferson
Corvallis, OR 97331
(541) 737-0123
Program Page

Charleston Southern University


About the Program

Charleston Southern’s Bachelor of Technology program is designed for students who have already obtained their associate degree. CSU admits students with up to 89 transferrable credits, allowing distance learners to graduate within two years. To be eligible for admission, prospective students must:

  • Have a certified associate degree with specialization in an approved, tech-related field
  • Have experience with at least one computer language (C++ or Visual Basic preferred)
  • Test into CSU’s Math 111 Algebra course; previous algebra experience may be accepted as well

Students are encouraged to pick their own cognate (concentration) in business, computer science, or information systems. In addition to core courses, students take online classes from instructors in the cognate of their choice.

CSU is a Baptist school and part of the program’s mission is to prepare students to “articulate the ethical and social issues encountered in the profession from a Biblical World View.”

Online Experience

CSU uses Blackboard to enable web communication between students and faculty. Distance learners have access to digital media services and can get tech and Blackboard help remotely. All online materials are available through your student account on the university’s myCSU platform.

$490 per credit hour online
9200 University Blvd
Charleston, SC 29406-9121
(843) 863-7000
Program Page

Additional Schools


Old Dominion University


Dakota State University


Thomas College


California State University - Monterey Bay


Georgia Regents University


Valdosta State University


Limestone College


Troy University


Texas A&M University - Commerce


California University of Pennsylvania


Southeast Missouri State University


Navajo Technical University


Dowling College




Trident University International


Texas A&M University - Kingsville


National University


Baker College of Flint


Westwood College - Los Angeles


Colorado Technical University


Columbia College


University of Advancing Technology


University of Maryland - University College


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