2015 Top Online Colleges for Computer Science Degrees

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Our 2015 top online colleges offering computer science degrees include some of the most selective schools in the nation, including Stanford University and Columbia University. All 10 schools are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and have some of the lowest acceptance rates, highest enrollment rates, and highest student entrance exam scores.

Our top 3 schools are very selective, with acceptance rates under 20%. Many of these institutions also have a history of academic stature and good reputation, which correlate with post-collegiate success. With 12 online computer science master’s degrees and 7 certificates, Stanford University offers the most online computer science specializations, including concentrations in Artificial Intelligence and Biocomputation.

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All ranked schools are ABET accredited.
Rank College Annual Tuition Computer Science Degree Levels Offered Acceptance Rate
#1 #1 Stanford University Annual Tuition $30,150 Computer Science Degrees: Master's and Certificate Acceptance Rate 5.69%
#2 #2 Columbia University in the City of New York Annual Tuition $27,450 Computer Science Degrees: Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate Acceptance Rate 7.42%
#3 #3 University of Southern California Annual Tuition $24,836 Computer Science Degrees: Master's and Certificate Acceptance Rate 19.84%
#4 #4 Carnegie Mellon University Annual Tuition $48,360 Computer Science Degrees: Master's and Certificate Acceptance Rate 25.49%
#5 #5 University of Florida Annual Tuition $16,580 Computer Science Degrees: Bachelor's Acceptance Rate 46.55%
#6 #6 Georgia Institute of Technology Annual Tuition $5,100 Computer Science Degrees: Master's Acceptance Rate 54.93%
#7 #7 University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Annual Tuition $9,017 Computer Science Degrees: Bachelor's and Master's Acceptance Rate 44.42%
#8 #8 North Carolina State University Annual Tuition $21,951 Computer Science Degrees: Master's and Certificate Acceptance Rate 50.01%
#9 #9 University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign Annual Tuition $11,029 Computer Science Degrees: Master's and Certificate Acceptance Rate 62.39%
#10 #10 University of Washington - Seattle Annual Tuition $17,415 Computer Science Degrees: Master's and Certificate Acceptance Rate 55.23%
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  • Annual Tuition:
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: WASC WSCUC and ABET

Stanford University offers 63 online degrees to students across the country. While the annual tuition hovers around $30,000, there are many financial aid options for students. Students seeking an online computer science degree can choose from seven certificates and 12 master’s degrees at this institution, including an MS in Artificial Intelligence, Computer and Network Security, Biocomputation, Software theory, and Human-Computer Interaction. The computer science curriculum includes introduction to Databases, Operating Systems and Systems Programming, Introduction to Computer Graphics and Imaging, Computer and Network Security, and Principles and Techniques of Artificial Intelligence. Students are required to demonstrate knowledge by taking coursework in AI and applications, computer systems, and mathematical and theoretical foundations. The 45-credit MS in Computer Science includes at least 21 credit hours in a specific specialization area and can be within three to five years on a part-time basis.

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  • Annual Tuition:
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: MSCHE and ABET

Students wishing to obtain an online computer science degree can choose from nine master’s degrees and one doctorate degree at Columbia University in the City of New York. The yearly tuition cost to earn an online computer science degree costs $27,450, but financial aid can help to offset this cost. Available degrees include an MS in Computer Science with concentrations in Machine Learning, Computer Security, Computational Biology, Vision and Graphics, Network Systems, and Software Systems. Students are required to complete a total of 30 points, at least six of which must come from technical courses at the 6000 level. Coursework includes programming languages, operating systems, analysis of algorithms, introduction to computational learning theory, computer networks, and computational aspects of robotics.

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3
  • Annual Tuition:
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: WASC WSCUC

The University of Southern California holds a 91% graduate rate and offers online computer science degrees at the certificate and master’s levels. With more than 90% of students recommending this institution, it is one of the most popular online schools in the country. Students can pursue a Software Architecture Graduate Certificate, or seek an MS in Computer science with specializations in Software Engineering, Multimedia and Creative Technologies, Data Science, and Computer Security. Upon completion of the MS in Computer Science online degree, students will have knowledge in the techniques and concepts related to the application, programming, and design of computing systems. Courses to be completed online include Computer Vision, Security Systems, Robotics, Geometric Modeling, Database Systems, Web Technologies, Topics in Computer Networks, and Computer Communications. Students must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and satisfactory scores on the GMAT or GRE in order to apply for the online program.

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  • Annual Tuition:
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: MSCHE and ABET

Carnegie Mellon University offers a variety of fully online computer science degrees, including three master's degrees and two undergraduate certificates. Master's degrees include the Software Engineering Master's Program, and a Master of Science in Information Technology with concentrations in either Software Engineering or Software Engineering Management. The MSE consists of three semesters over a 16 month program. Coursework includes classes such as models of software systems, analysis of software artifacts, and software development studios.

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  • Annual Tuition:
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC and ABET

The University of Florida offers an online bachelor’s degree in computer science, and has a low annual tuition of $16,580. The BS in Computer Science includes six credits of major electives, 35 credits in core coursework, and 29 credits in foundation coursework. The curriculum consists of classes such as Applications of Discrete Structures, Programming Fundamentals, Information and Database Systems, Introduction to Software Engineering, and Digital Logic and Computer Systems. In addition, special topics, research, internship, and co-op credits may be a possibility for online students, and academic advising and military discounts are also offered for online students.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

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  • Annual Tuition:
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC and ABET

Founded in 1885, the Georgia Institute of Technology offers seven different master’s degrees online to distance learners across the country. The annual tuition is $5,100, and the school offers various forms of financial aid including grants, scholarships. Students can pursue an online Master of Science in Computer Science and choose from specializations such as Computational Perception and Robotics, Machine Learning, Interactive Intelligence, and High-Performance Computing. Courses include Machine Learning, Computer Networks, Artificial Intelligence for Robots, Software Development Process, Computer Vision, and Introduction to Operating Systems. Students must hold a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in order to apply. Students should take note that work experience will not suffice in place of a bachelor’s degree.

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7
  • Annual Tuition:
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NCACSTHLC and ABET

Founded in 1851, the University of Minnesota offers a flexible, fully online distance education program. Available online programs for students pursuing a career in computer science include two master's degrees: a Master of Computer Science and a Master of Science in Computer Science. The former is designed for students interested in expanding their skills but not in the research aspect of the program, while the latter is geared toward applicants interested in pursuing a research degree. Coursework will include areas such as Human-Computer Interaction, Graphics and Visualization, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, and Theoretical Foundations.

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8
  • Annual Tuition:
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC and ABET

The online engineering and computer science graduate programs at North Carolina State University include two master's degrees and one undergraduate certificate. Students can expect to pay $21,951 in tuition each year to earn an online computer science degree, but financial aid might be an option for qualified applicants. Programs include an undergraduate certificate in Computer Programming, a Master of Computer Science, and a Master of Science in Computer Networking. The MCS degree is based on a program consisting of 31 credit hours and does not require a final oral exam or thesis. Students will be expected to take at least three core courses such as Graph Theory, Numerical Analysis, Software Engineering, Operating Systems, Performance Modeling, Architecture of Parallel Computers, and Artificial Intelligence.

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9
  • Annual Tuition:
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NCACSTHLC and ABET

The online computer science degrees offered by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign are accredited by the ABET. Depending on the degree chosen, students can anticipate an annual tuition of $11,029, though financial aid is available. Over 70% of students received financial aid last year. The college offers Master of Science in Computer Science. Students can also pursue one of several certificate programs such as System Software, Systems Engineering, and Computer Security. The online MCS program is a non-research, non-thesis track that requires 32 credit hours for graduation. Online students can earn the degree in as little as three years, but the program must be completed within five years. Courses include Machine Learning, Database Systems, User Interface Design, and Artificial Intelligence.

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10
  • Annual Tuition:
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NWCCU and ABET

The University of Washington-Seattle offers 121 online degree programs at the certificate, master's, and doctorate levels. This institution has an above-average recommendation rate of 96%, ranking it among the most popular online colleges in the country. Students can earn a certificate in Computational Finance. A Master of Science in Computational Linguistics is also offered. Students who opt for this degree must complete 43 quarter credits as well as a master's project, which includes either a six- to 10-week internship or a thesis. The master's degree can be completed in one year if taken full-time or in two to three years if taken part-time. Required courses include Natural Language Processing Systems and Applications, Introduction to Syntax for Computational Linguistics, and an Introduction to Linguistic Phonetics. Students can expect to pay approximately $17,400 per year for tuition.

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Methodology

Available degrees, program data, and tuition rates were gathered from the official school websites and reflect the 2014-2015 school year. Accreditation and non-profit status were collected using the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics or from the official websites of the accreditation agencies. Our full methodology can be viewed here.

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Our tuition numbers reflect data collected from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Recommendation rate refers to the percent of students who said they would recommend this school based on reviews submitted to our partner site, GradReports.com.
This indicates that a school has an annual tuition of $15,000 or less as reported to the National Center for Education Statistics or based on the school's website.