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2023 Most Affordable Online Software Engineering Degrees

By the OnlineU team | Updated 8/30/2022
2023 Most Affordable Online Degrees Badge

In today’s technological world, pursuing a career in software engineering can lead to a successful, impressive career. Online software engineering degrees provide experience with programming, UI/UX, and software security. Most software engineering programs are concentrations within bachelor’s degrees labeled as computer science, information technology, and technology development. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, pursuing an online master’s in software engineering can lead to even higher paying positions and more complex work.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Locations Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 Middle Georgia State University Macon (GA) $3,410
# 2 #2 Western Governors University Salt Lake City (UT) $7,550
# 3 #3 Champlain College Burlington (VT) $9,540
# 4 #4 Southern New Hampshire University Online Manchester (NH) $9,600
# 5 #5 University of Maine at Augusta Augusta (ME) $9,862
# 6 #6 Saint Leo University Online St. Leo (FL) $11,400
# 7 #7 University of Management and Technology Arlington (VA) $11,700
# 8 #8 South College Multiple Locations $11,925
# 9 #9 St. Petersburg College Clearwater (FL) $12,057
# 10 #10 University of Missouri Columbia (MO) $12,705
#1
#1
Annual Tuition: $3,410
Annual Tuition: $3,410
Annual Tuition: $3,410

Middle Georgia State University (MGSU) is a medium-sized, public institution. MGSU offers an online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology - Software Engineering, which requires 120 credit hours. Students can complete the program in four years with a full-time schedule. This degree program offers 10 concentrations, including a concentration in Software Engineering. Classes for this concentration include App Development, Network Essentials, Software Testing & Quality Assessment, and Data Structure & Algorithm Analytics. In addition to regular courses, this program requires a capstone project. MGSU prepares students to work at consultant firms, tech companies, communications/telecommunication companies, or in the public sector.

At MGSU, students use Brightspace to access their coursework. The coursework is entirely online, and remote MGSU students can access all university resources.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • Average SATs: 880 -1090
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,852
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 268
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#2
#2

Western Governors University

Salt Lake City (UT)
Annual Tuition: $7,550
Annual Tuition: $7,550
Annual Tuition: $7,550

Western Governors University (WGU) is a large, private university that offers an online Bachelor of Science in Software Development. The bachelor's program requires 122 credit hours and takes between four and five years with a full-time schedule. WGU offers two program tracks: (1) Java and (2) C#. Java Programming is useful for a wide range of technical jobs and software, while C# is a current favorite of large tech centers, like Microsoft and Samsung. In addition to a capstone project, courses in this major include Data Management, User Interface Design, and Tech Communications. Graduates work as software developers, network architects, and, of course, software engineers.

At WGU, students use Handshake to access their coursework. The classes are entirely online and asynchronous, allowing students to have flexible schedules. Online WGU students have access to all university resources.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 72%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 98,630
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 37,509
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
#3
#3

Champlain College

Burlington (VT)
Annual Tuition: $9,540
Annual Tuition: $9,540
Annual Tuition: $9,540

Champlain College (CC) is a medium-sized, private institution. CC offers an online Bachelor of Science in Software Development, which requires 120 credit hours. Courses like Regional Database Design & SQL, Foundations of Cybersecurity, and Operating Systems Architecture prepare students to work as computer programmers, database administrators, and software engineers. In addition to the bachelor’s program, CC offers two specialized certificates: (1) Software Development and (2) C++ Programming. These further improve skills and hireability. This program takes three to four years to complete with a full-time schedule.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Average SATs: 1110 -1320
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,669
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 625
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: NECHE
#4
#4
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600

The Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a large, private institution. SNHU offers an online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science - Software Engineering requiring 120 credit hours. This program accepts up to 90 credits from a previous university, so students can make the most of their time at SNHU. This software engineering program online is a concentration under a computer science bachelor’s. Students take a range of courses, such as Software Security, Mobile Architecture & Programming, and Full-stack Development. In doing so, they build up their portfolio and gain experience in software engineering.

At SNHU Online, students use Brightspace to access their online coursework, which is fully online and synchronous. At SNHU Online, online students have access to the university library and student resource centers. Overall, students can complete this online program in three years or less, depending on transferred credit amount, and go on to work as software engineers, UI/UX developers, and systems architecture designers.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 77%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 86,849
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 19,526
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: NECHE
#5
#5
Annual Tuition: $9,862
Annual Tuition: $9,862
Annual Tuition: $9,862

The University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) is a medium-sized, public institution that offers an online Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems - Software Development. This degree requires 121 credit hours, including 9 credits of upper-level major courses, a required internship, and a professional writing course. Core courses in the Software Development concentration are Software Engineering, Advanced Visual Basic Programming, and Principles of Human Computer Interaction & User Design. Students typically take between three and four years to obtain the degree, and that's with a full-time schedule. UMA is partnered with Project>Login to expand the network of computing and IT professionals.

At UMA, students use Blackboard to access their coursework, which is mostly online. UMA’s online students have access to counseling services, the department of student services & support, and other university resources.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,342
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: NECHE
#6
#6
Annual Tuition: $11,400
Annual Tuition: $11,400
Annual Tuition: $11,400

Saint Leo University (SLU) is a medium-sized, private institution that offers an online Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering. SLU’s bachelor's in software engineering online requires 120 credit hours, and it typically takes students four years to finish with a full-time schedule. Students are highly encouraged to pursue an internship while taking courses, such as Network Theory & Design, Operating Systems, and Software Quality Assurance. A software engineering capstone course is also required. Graduates often work as software developers, computer programmers, and information research scientists, among other career pathways.

At SLU, students use Brightspace to access their coursework, which is 100% online. SLU also provides online students with virtual access to the University Campus cybersecurity lab.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 8,242
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 4,720
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#7
#7
Annual Tuition: $11,700
Annual Tuition: $11,700
Annual Tuition: $11,700

The University of Management and Technology (UMT) is a small, private institution that focuses on distance education. UMT offers an online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science - Software Engineering requiring 120 credit hours, 60 of which are at the upper level. This bachelor’s program has a concentration in Software Engineering, which includes courses such as Computer Architecture and Organization, e-Commerce, and Object-Oriented Software Design.

At UMT, students use blackboard to access their coursework, which is entirely online and asynchronous. This means that students can graduate at their own pace without a set semester-based schedule. Classes are divided into manageable units that can be completed quickly, with support from instructors and fellow students online. At UMT, online students can access all university resources.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 60%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 226
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 112
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
#8
#8

South College

Multiple Locations
Annual Tuition: $11,925
Annual Tuition: $11,925
Annual Tuition: $11,925

South College (SC) is a medium-sized, private university that offers an online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science - Software Engineering requiring 123 credit hours. SC’s program provides experience in algorithm development, software applications, and programming through courses, such as Computer Architecture, Communications for Information Technology Professionals, and Object-oriented Programming. Graduates work as software developers, management analysts, and computer user support specialists. This program can be completed in two to three years with a full-time schedule, including two capstone courses that focus on problem-solving when it comes to business problems and programming solutions.

At SC, students use Canvas to access their coursework, which is entirely online. At SC, online students have access to all university resources.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 355
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 30
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#9
#9

St. Petersburg College

Clearwater (FL)
Annual Tuition: $12,057
Annual Tuition: $12,057
Annual Tuition: $12,057

St. Petersburg College (SPC) is a large, public university. SPC offers an online Bachelor of Applied Science in Technology Development and Management - Software Development requiring 120 credit hours. This bachelor's has a concentration in software development, which includes the following core courses: Advanced Software Programming, Algorithmic Design & Development, and Human Computer Interfaces. SPC covers the fees for networking, programming, and security certification exams. This degree can be earned in three to four years with a full-time schedule, and graduates go on to work as computer & information systems managers, computer systems analysts, industrial production managers, and information security analysts.

At SPC, students use Brightspace to access their coursework, which is fully online and asynchronous. Online students have access to all university resources and advisors for online education.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 73%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 10,306
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#10
#10

University of Missouri

Columbia (MO)
Annual Tuition: $12,705
Annual Tuition: $12,705
Annual Tuition: $12,705

The University of Missouri - Columbia is a four-year, public institution that offers a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology - Software Engineering through Missouri Online. By choosing the Software Engineering pathway, you will practice developing web, mobile, and software applications, which includes lessons on design as well as computer programming and database management. Some examples of core courses include UNIX Operating System, Programming Languages and Paradigms, Fundamentals of Network Technology, and Project and Team Management. A writing-intensive capstone design project is also required for seniors to graduate.

At Missouri Online, the mode of delivery for coursework is 100% online, including all 126 credit hours that are required to complete this bachelor's degree. Additionally, the courses are asynchronous, meaning that students can complete assignments at their own learning pace.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
  • Average SATs: 1120 -1340
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 835
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,423
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Is an Online Bachelor's in Software Engineering Worth it?

In today's tech-based economy, a bachelor's in software engineering may be a worthwhile endeavor. As with any investment, however, the degree’s value depends on personal circumstances, including finances and career expectations.

Software engineers develop a set of skills that are valued across multiple sectors, which means that software engineers are often well paid. In fact, the median annual income for a software engineer is $110,140, which is more than double the median wage of $41,950 for all occupations. Furthermore, the number of software jobs is expected to increase by 22% through 2029, making it likely that a degree in software engineering would be a beneficial long-term investment.

In fact, the median annual income for a software engineer is $110,140, which is more than double the median wage of $41,950 for all occupations.

Still, an above-average salary and favorable job outlook may not be the only important issues to consider. Listed below are some potential pros and cons that can help you determine whether an online bachelor's in software engineering is the right choice for you:


Potential Advantages:

  • Since software engineering involves coding and working with data, pursuing the degree in-person may have limited advantages. An online degree may be a cheaper and more flexible alternative.
  • Software engineers tend to enjoy their work. According to a 2020 Statistica survey, roughly 65% of software developers worldwide reported that they were either "slightly satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their job.
  • Since workers are increasingly expected to freelance, a software engineering degree is valuable when finding employment in the global gig economy.

Potential Drawbacks:

  • A bachelor's degree isn't always necessary for a software engineer to get hired. Coding bootcamps and work experience can be suitable alternatives, especially if you want to avoid student debt.
  • Software engineers have a unique skill set. You may need additional managerial experience and a graduate-level degree if your goal is to become a C-suite executive.
salary potential with a master's in computer science
Data Source: Statista

Common Bachelor's in Software Engineering Courses

A bachelor's degree in software engineering prepares students for careers in IT. Students learn the principles of designing, testing, and implementing software, so they can pursue roles in sectors such as government, financial services, utilities, entertainment, and healthcare. A software engineering degree also prepares students for research careers in software security, reliability, verification, and even artificial intelligence.

  • Data Structures: This course reviews how data is organized, stored, and managed. Students learn about data structure types, including how to apply them and measure their efficiency. By the end, students should also understand how to analyze algorithms.
  • Object-Oriented Design: This intermediate-level course teaches students to solve problems with programming, from debugging software to utilizing algorithms. Object-Oriented Design covers a key approach to software development.
  • Principles of Database Management: This course teaches students how to develop and maintain databases. Students learn about data mining, security, and analytics while being able to differentiate between database types. With an emphasis on data science, this course helps students develop applicable skills across several industries.
  • Programming Languages: Since there are hundreds — if not thousands — of programming languages, this course focuses on the underlying principles involved with their design. It provides an overview of common language types: procedural, object-oriented, functional, and declarative. With this knowledge, students can pursue careers as data scientists, coders, or web developers.
  • Software Engineering: This course often involves working on a team project, where students collaborate to develop and test their software. Ultimately, the aim is to help students gain experience implementing software for a third party.

Funding an Online Software Engineering Program

If you plan on pursuing an online software engineering bachelor's at an accredited university, you can apply for financial aid. Online students can apply for federal, state, and private scholarships as well as work-study programs and student loans. Most of this funding is free, except for student loans, which have a wide range of repayment plans based on the lender involved, so it’s important to consider your options carefully before accepting.

Online students can apply for federal, state, and private scholarships as well as work-study programs and student loans.

It’s recommended that you contact your prospective school's financial aid office to verify whether you qualify for university-based aid programs and confirm that they accept any aid you've already received.

Applying for Aid

The easiest way to apply for financial aid is by filling out the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) form. The Department of Education uses this application to provide colleges and universities with an overview of your financial need. This way, they can determine what kind of assistance you qualify for. If you're a veteran or a student on active duty, you could potentially apply the GI Bill’s educational benefits to help pay for your degree.

Requirements related to in-state residency and enrollment status can vary based on the funding pool. To minimize confusion and leave enough time to verify your eligibility for a program, apply for financial aid before you enroll in a degree program or begin a new semester. This is especially important for online students who might need to meet additional requirements to qualify for a particular funding program.


Where to Look for Additional Financial Assistance

Many tech companies offer scholarships to students pursuing four-year degrees related to software engineering. Below is a brief list of scholarships for students pursuing an undergraduate degree in software engineering:

The ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Arts and Sciences Scholarship

Women and minority students can apply for this scholarship, which is awarded by the Entertainment Software Association Foundation. Applicants must be U.S. citizens pursuing a four-year degree in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) field, especially if your concentration or interest relates to video games.

The Honeywell Scholarship

The Society of Women Engineers makes three annual awards of $5,000 each to underrepresented candidates who require financial aid. Applicants must be U.S. citizens enrolled in a software engineering bachelor's degree program with a minimum GPA of 3.5.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Scholarship

Hewlett Packard Enterprise offers ten students a one-time award of $7,000 ($3,500/semester). Awards are based on financial need and open to African American sophomores pursuing four-year STEM degrees.

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