Just like the party guest in The Graduate who provided the unwanted career advice, “Plastics,” a well-meaning relative or friend of the family might seriously suggest to a young student, “Computers, that’s the future.” They’d be wrong, though – computers are the present, and there’s not a single aspect of life today that doesn’t involve them.
For new college students and working adults alike, a degree in Computer Science looks like one of the most sure bets for a sustainable, secure career. The field is wide open, and no matter how many people enter Computer Science programs, there are still not enough programmers, analysts, and technicians to meet the demand.
Computer science would seem like an ideal field for studying online, and many students are choosing online degree programs. Whether undergraduates, degree completion, or second-degree, online programs are exploding – 22% of graduate students nation-wide, and 11% of undergraduates, are learning completely online, with rates as high as 35% in rural states like Kansas.
Value Colleges, the independent online guide to the smartest investment in higher education, has put together this ranking of the Best Value online computer science and information technology degrees to lead this growing segment of the student population in the right direction. Online education is still associated in many people’s minds with worthless diploma mills, but Value Colleges seeks out the most reputable, most affordable, more reliable online educators among regionally-accredited public and private colleges and universities.
We rank programs according to three overall metrics:
- ROI – Scorecard
- Salary data Reputation – US News Overall Score
- Cost – Per credit hour price
The Value Colleges formula assures students that they are choosing the programs with the best combination of price and quality, and that their degree will have real-world value on the job market. That is the Value Colleges promise.
Oregon Institute of Technology
The Pacific Northwest’s only public polytechnic university, the Oregon Institute of Technology is an important part of the fabric of the region’s industry and research. Founded shortly after the end of WWII, Oregon Tech’s original mission was to provide practical expertise in technology for returning veterans on the GI Bill, but gradually grew into a full-fledged polytechnic university. The polytechnic model is recognized for intellectual and educational rigor, excellence, and value, with most polytechnic graduates benefiting from a significant return on investment.
Oregon Tech’s significance in computing and engineering is well-known, and their computer science programs have been recognized as among the finest in the region. Working IT professionals seeking stronger credentials and advancement in their careers find Oregon Tech’s online Information Technology degree an ideal compliment to their working schedule and personal life. Oregon’s Tech’s online bachelor’s program provides a thorough, experiential education in the fundamentals of information technology, from web development to systems analysis, and OT’s connections to Oregon’s tech industry gives graduates a tremendous boost on the job market.
Florida State University
A U.S. News & World Report top 40 public institution, Florida State University is widely known as a best value and one of the best choices in the south for STEM related degrees. Originally a seminary, after WWII FSU was transformed into a research university, and today is counted among space and sun-grant institutions. With a history of student activism and academic excellence – including dominating the state in Rhodes scholars – FSU is one of the leading institutions in the nation.
As a significant STEM leader in the South, Florida State offers a number of strong online degree programs in their most in-demand areas, including a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree. FSU’s BS is a degree-completion program, with students applying with an associate’s degree or full prerequisites earned from FSU or a community college. For students who are ready to go, the degree can be completed in two years, and FSU’s incredibly low tuition rate makes it a bargain.
Cost: $215 per credit
Southern New Hampshire University
One of the best-known names in online education, Southern New Hampshire University comes by its reputation honestly; founded in 1932 as a business and accounting school, SNHU proved itself early on with educational excellence and entrepreneurial spirit, winning accolades as one of the most innovative institutions in the nation. SNHU is one of the fastest-growing universities in the nation due to its highly-ranked online program, with its 60,000 online students far outnumbering its traditional on-campus population.
Cost: $320 per credit
University of Illinois at Springfield
A small, public liberal arts institution, the University of Illinois at Springfield was founded as an upper-division campus for adult students to complete bachelor’s degrees and earn master’s degrees, and while they now admit freshmen students, UIS’s commitment to adult education remains. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top 10 public regional university for the Midwest, UIS is also an early adopter of online education, offering fully online degree programs since 1999.
UIS offers an online Bachelor of Science degree completion program in Computer Science for students with the first two years’ worth of coursework and prerequisites. UIS’s Department of Computer Science has been recognized as one of the best in the region and is a partner with the NSA and DHS in cybersecurity, reflecting their commitment to excellence. UIS’s low tuition rate and strong reputation makes it a top choice for online students in the Midwest.
Cost: $358 per credit
University of South Florida
The University of South Florida, a major public research university, is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a top public institution. Not only placed at the highest level of the Carnegie Foundation’s classification, USF is also one of the National Science Foundation’s top 50 institutions for research expenditure, making it one of the most productive STEM universities in the US. Once the southern-most public university in the nation, USF is also one of the most diverse American campuses.
USF operates many top-ranked online degree programs, including the online bachelor’s completion degree in Information Technology from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. With one of the nation’s top computing departments, USF provides students with a practical, career-focused and market-ready information technology degree program at one of the lowest price points in any region, making it a program to watch.
Cost: $211 per credit
One of the most prestigious institutions in New England, Northeastern University has a long history of professional education. Originally founded at the turn of the century, Northeastern began like many adult education programs of the time, with night classes at a YMCA, but innovative degrees and a model cooperative education program – combining classroom education with real-world employment from corporate partners – Northeastern’s reputation has grown to the equal of any of its elite Boston neighbors.
Northeastern has also become one of the most trusted online educators in the nation, leveraging their expertise in professional education and their deep industry connections to build online degree programs with real job market value. Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies offers a fully online BS degree in Information Technology; unlike bachelor-completion programs, the entire IT degree can be earned online, making it a top choice for New England computer professionals.
Cost: $504 per credit
Brigham Young University - Idaho
A Church of Latter-Day Saints institution, Brigham Young University-Idaho was founded to meet the educational needs of Mormon believers as they settled the Rocky Mountains. Though less well-known than the more famous Brigham Young University in Provo, UT, BYU-I is a mid-sized teaching university with an overwhelmingly LDS student body and a reputation for educational excellence alongside strong religious devotion.
BYU-I offers numerous online degree programs to meet the needs of its students, many of whom have difficulty reaching campus due to the terrain and rural population. One such program is the BS degree in Computer Information Technology, a degree-completion program that gives students a thorough grounding in computing for career readiness. Due to a high level of support from the LDS church, BYU-I’s tuition rates are exceptionally low for a private university, giving its graduates – especially LDS members, who pay very little – a strong ROI.
Cost: $320 per credit
Colorado State University - Global
Colorado State University, Colorado’s land-grant institution, was bringing practical agricultural and applied science education to the Colorado territory even before statehood, and remains one of the best public institutions in the west. With the expansion of the CSU system, Colorado State became the first public university system in the US to create a fully-online, independently accredited institution: Colorado State University-Global. CSU-Global is not a division, school, or college – it is a fully independent university in the CSU system, a testament to CSU’s dedication to providing access to professional and technical education to the working adults and professionals in Colorado.
CSU-Global offers an online bachelor’s degree in Information Technology designed to help working computer technicians and prospective computing professionals prepare for their careers. CSU’s tuition guarantee (no increase in tuition rates during a student’s college career) and consistent tuition rate for in-state and out-of-state residents makes their online degree one of the best deals in the West.
Cost: $350 per credit
University of Massachusetts - Lowell
One of the top public institutions in New England, UMass Lowell ranks second only to the UMass flagship in Amherst in quality and reputation, with its rise in U.S. News & World Report one of the fastest in the history of the ranking. UMass Lowell’s strengths in engineering, business, and education have made Lowell one of the most best values in the nation, with a high ROI and strong job market reputation.
UMass Lowell’s reputation has grown especially due to its high quality online degree programs, which have helped to make UMass Online one of the foremost online educators in the nation. Through UMass Online, Lowell’s Division of Online and Continuing Education offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree program that is widely recognized as one of the best programs in its field. UMass Lowell’s low cost and high reputation make it a trusted investment for New England students.
Cost: $370 per credit
A small, private, Southern Baptist-affiliated liberal arts university in rural North Carolina, Campbell University is best known for its law and pharmacy programs, both considered among the best in the region; both schools have been recognized as having the region’s highest licensure-exam rates in their respective fields. In the 20th century Campbell has expanded and increased its reputation throughout North Carolina and the South.
Like many other colleges in its class, Campbell has been reaching out to a new student body through online degree programs, and now offers many fully online Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Applied Science degree programs. Students who want to earn an online Information Technology degree can choose between both BA or BAS programs, depending on the kind of education they desire (a more traditional liberal arts education, or a more specialized technical education). Campbell’s growing reputation and reasonable online tuition make their Information Technology degree a program to watch.
Cost: $410 per credit
Dakota State University
Dakota State University is a small public college serving the eastern region of South Dakota. Originally a normal school (teaching college), DSU really began building their reputation when their focus turned to technology and sciences. Today DSU is well-respected throughout the region for their emphasis on computer science, technical education, and professional studies, their motto being “Technically, We’re Better.”
Dakota State has made the most of their reputation with a strong slate of fully online degree programs, taught by the same faculty as their on-campus programs and offering students a high level of support and guidance. Students can earn an online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree, and a 4+1 program allows students to work toward a bachelor’s and master’s degree at the same time. Dakota State’s low tuition makes their online degrees a low-risk endeavor.
Cost: $271 per credit
A small, private Catholic institution, Regis University has been recognized as one of the top regional universities in the West and a proven value. In the Jesuit tradition, Regis is dedicated to both educational excellence and social engagement, with divisions such as the Center for Service Learning and the Institute for the Common Good providing charitable activity for the region.
Regis is also known for their professional education, as well as a highly-respected set of online degree programs in business, professional studies, health, and computer science. Online students can earn an ABET-accredited computer science degree from Regis, the only such degree program in the region, and the only fully online, ABET-accredited program in the nation. Regis’s reputation makes it a trusted name in the industry.
Cost: $470 per credit
Missouri State University
Missouri State University, like many state universities, was founded as a teacher’s college, but expansion throughout the 20th century has made it the second-largest research institution in the state. Missouri State is especially known for its College of Business, which is one of the largest and most reputable business schools in the Midwest. As a regional public university, MSU has used online degree programs to get its education to more people who need it.
MSU offers a fully online BS degree in Information Technology Service Management designed especially for working adult and professional students. Online students are guided by Adult Student Support and have all of the advice and mentoring necessary for the program. ITSM students learn not only the technical aspects of software, database administration, and systems development, but also skills such as tech support, education and training, and consulting, for a fully-rounded, job market-ready degree at a low public tuition rate.
Cost: $285 per credit
California State University - Monterey Bay
Part of the illustrious California State University system, one of the nation’s foremost public higher education systems, CSU Monterey Bay is a small public college in beautiful Seaside, CA. The Monterey Bay branch of CSU is young, founded only in 1994 to meet the educational needs of the area, and in that time it has served a diverse student body made up predominantly of non-traditional and working professional students.
CSU has developed one of the most comprehensive, highly organized online education systems in the US, with all of the CSU schools working together through CSU Online to provide the best possible options to California’s online students. Online students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Monterey Bay, a degree completion program that requires general education courses to be completed successfully before admission. CSU has some of the lowest tuition costs in the nation, making it a tremendous value for aspiring computer scientists.
Cost: $264 per credit
Southeast Missouri State University
Originally a normal school, Southeast Missouri State University has grown over the last century and a half into a significant feature of the higher education landscape in the Midwest. Named a top 30 regional public institution by U.S. News & World Report, SMSU is a mid-sized university on the rise. Much of SMSU’s success in recent years is owing to their online degree programs, which have been featured by U.S. News & World Report for quality bachelor’s degrees, business programs, and support for veterans.
SMSU offers a fully online Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems. This USN&WR-recognized degree can be earned completely online, with intensive computing and mathematics courses, minor opportunities, and general education requirements. In their mission to make education accessible, SMSU keeps tuition at one of the lowest rates in the region, making them a prime choice for Midwestern students.
Cost: $265 per credit
Clayton State University
Part of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is a small teaching university in Morrow, GA, a suburb of Atlanta. Clayton State is recognized both for its highly diverse student body, and for a student population overwhelmingly made up of non-traditional aged students. Clayton State is a top choice for working professionals in the Atlanta area, a major metropolitan city growing to rival Los Angeles and Chicago .
With their emphasis on adult and professional education, it’s no surprise that Clayton State has been developing their online degree programs in recent years to reach a student population that needs the convenience and flexibility of an online degree. Clayton State’s Department of Computer Science and Information Technology offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree that brings together resources from across the University System of Georgia. Clayton State’s incredible tuition rate makes it a bargain.
Cost: $220 per credit
George Mason University
Founded in 1952 as a branch of the University of Virginia, George Mason University has needed less than a century to take the prestige and reputation of its parent university and add to it accessibility, becoming the largest university in Virginia and in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Its location has made much of the impact on GMU’s growth, but so has its commitment to educational excellence and its adopting of online degree programs.
George Mason’s connections to government and private industry have allowed its technology and computing programs to prosper, and they are one of the nation’s best choices for an online degree. GMU offers a fully online adult degree completion program, allowing online students to earn a Bachelor in Applied Sciences degree in Applied Science, Technology, and Innovation. GMU’s reasonable tuition rate keeps it affordable, but their excellent job-market prospects and ROI make George Mason University a value at any price.
Cost: $462 per credit
Central Washington University
The fastest-growing public institution in the state of Washington, Central Washington University is a university with a bright future. Founded as a normal school at the end of the 19th century, Central Washington today is a premiere teaching college and budding research university, with strong liberal arts, business, and professional programs. CWU is also a designated Hispanic-serving institution, with a sizable and growing Hispanic student population
Central Washington offers an online Bachelor of Science degree program in Information Technology and Administrative Management. This is a degree-completion program, requiring either an associate’s degree in a technology field, or a bachelor’s degree in any field for students looking to change careers. With two specializations – Administrative Management or Retail Management and Technology – CWU’s online degree is a perfect choice for working adults moving into IT careers.
Cost: $393 per credit
Penn State World Campus
A Public Ivy (public university with the quality and reputation of the Ivy League), Pennsylvania State University is one of the most respected and recognizable major research universities in the US. As a land-grant university, Penn State’s original focus was on agriculture and applied mechanics, but through the 20th century it grew into a dominant force in the northeast.
Penn State’s stature has only grown in the 21st century as the Penn State World Campus has emerged as one of the leading voices in online education. An early adapter of distance learning, Penn State has operated fully online degree programs since 1998. Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology offers a fully online Bachelor of Science degree designed for career-readiness, adding to Penn State’s reputation for value.
Cost: $542 per credit
A small, private Catholic institution, Lewis University was founded as a technical school specializing in aeronautics, quite a departure from the traditional Catholic liberal arts colleges. Those beginnings in applied science and technical studies helped Lewis grow into one of the top regional universities in the Midwest, with copious professional and technical programs and a strong slate of adult learning options.
Lewis has perfected the accelerated online degree for working adult and professional students; their computer science department boasts 100% job placement for their graduates. Lewis’s Adult-Accelerated Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science prepares students for careers in the field with short, 8-week courses and solid student support. With the academic excellence of a Catholic university, and the convenience of an online program, Lewis is still on the rise.
Cost: $599 per credit
Old Dominion University
Originally a branch campus of the College of William & Mary, Old Dominion University today is the dominant public research university on Virginia’s coast, a highly-ranked, highly-influential institution with one of the largest student bodies in the region. ODU is also one of the nation’s foremost online educators, having become a household name since beating most every other public university to the punch in the 1990s.
Old Dominion’s long and growing tradition of online learning carries into all of its online degree programs, including the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree. ODU’s rigorous, intensive online program prepares students for real-world problem solving with hands-on, realistic assignments and cutting-edge theory, all for an incredibly low cost for Virginia residents, and only a few dollars more for non-residents, making ODU a bargain anywhere.
Cost: $325 per credit
University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Part of the nationally-respected University of North Carolina system, UNC Pembroke is a rare historically American Indian institution in the eastern part of the state. Founded to provide teacher education to the local Lumbee Indian tribe, today UNC Pembroke is quickly becoming one of the best-known institutions in North Carolina, thanks to a concerted campaign to attract students with Pembroke’s strong support network and affordable tuition.
Like many other regional public universities, UNC Pembroke has embraced online education, and their programs are gaining national exposure for their excellence. Pembroke offers a fully online Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Information Technology, with an optional specialization in Industrial Administration. Applicants must have an associate’s degree to begin this degree-completion program, which has one of the lowest tuition rates in the region.
Cost: $213 per credit
Oregon State University Ecampus
The largest university in the state of Oregon, Oregon State University is a major player in the higher education landscape of the Pacific Northwest. As one of only two universities designated as a land, sea, space, and sun-grant institution, OSU’s research profile is world-class and its education is informed by some of the most important and influential work being done in the sciences, technology, and other fields.
Oregon State is also a significant online educator, with U.S. News & World Report ranking their online bachelor’s programs in the top 5 nationally, and more than 40 fully online degree programs to choose from. The OSU Ecampus offers a BS in Computer Science designed for working professionals who already have a bachelor’s degree and wish to move into a computer science career. Full-time students can complete the program in one intensive year, making OSU’s online computer science degree a fast and affordable way to a career change.
Cost: $470 per credit
Troy University is a large, multi-campus public university spread across Alabama. Like many public universities, Troy was founded as a normal school, but Troy’s innovative and entrepreneurial character has led it to create its own university system focused on professional studies, adult education, and outreach to military personnel and veterans. As part of that mission, Troy has a highly developed online presence that has earned attention from U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review.
Troy University offers dozens of fully online degree programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science. This degree can be completed completely online, from general education to upper-division, with strong student support (including tutoring and advising) and a secure job market presence. Deep connections throughout Alabama mean students can expect to find their Troy degree to pay off.
Cost: $338 per credit
Saint Leo University
A private Catholic institution – the oldest in Florida – Saint Leo University’s reputation is built not only on Benedictine education, but on their history of military education. Saint Leo was a pioneer of distance education for military personnel and veterans, beginning during the Vietnam War and continuing until today. Saint Leo’s status as one of the largest military educators led directly to the creation of the Center for Online Education in 1999, getting Saint Leo into online education at the forefront.
Saint Leo offers a fully online Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, including all general studies and upper-division major courses. With a specialization in Information Assurance, Saint Leo’s online program is taught by experts from industry, government, and the military for a full picture of cybersecurity, forensics, and more. Saint Leo’s reputation is world-wide, and their wide network of partners assures students will find job market success.
Cost: $470 per credit
University of Maryland - University College
The mission of the University of Maryland University College, when it was founded in 1947, was to provide adult and continuing education courses at an extension campus of UM College Park. By 1970, when UMUC became an independent institution, it had become evident that adult education was a critical part of the higher education landscape, and UMUC was perfectly positioned for the growth of both adult education and online education in the 21st Century.
UMUC offers a fully online bachelor’s degree in computer science that is designed for traditional undergraduates, working adults, and experienced professionals alike. Student can enter the program with up to 90 transfer hours, or begin with none, learning all of the theory, mathematics, and technology involved in computer programming. UMUC’s low tuition makes it one of the best bargains in the Northeast.
Cost: $284 per credit
University of Minnesota - Crookston
Part of the University of Minnesota system, UM Crookston is a small public teaching university in the beautiful rural Red River Valley region of western Minnesota. UM Crookston began as an agricultural college, and that history of agricultural science and applied sciences has continued throughout its history, with technical and professional programs gradually added to meet the educational needs of the region.
Part of providing education to a rural area is making it accessible, and online education has completely transformed that process, so Crookston is making significant inroads in bringing more than a dozen fully online degree programs to students throughout Minnesota. That includes the online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management. With a generous transfer policy and no out-of-state tuition, it’s a bargain anywhere.
Cost: $436 per credit
Florida Institute of Technology
Florida has long been a center of aeronautics and the space race, and it was in this spirit that the Florida Institute of Technology was founded in 1958 as an engineering school. Close relationships with the US Navy, NASA, and other organizations helped Florida Tech become a research leader in fields such as optics, biology, robotics, and computer science, and earned it the status of one of the top private universities in the South.
Florida Tech also has a strong online presence, including many fully online Information Technology degrees. Online students can choose from two bachelor’s options: a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration Computer Information Systems, for students more interested in the business potential of computer science; and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems, a more technical program for programmers and systems experts. With Florida Tech’s excellent reputation for graduate income and ROI, online students will find their degrees an investment well-made.
Cost: $510 per credit
Austin Peay State University
Named for Tennessee governor Austin Peay at its founding in 1927, Austin Peay State University was originally a normal school before growing into a junior college and university over the course of the 20th century. APSU’s real success story, however, has come in the 21st century, as it has become the fastest-growing public institution in the state of Tennessee and achieved national notice as an up-and-coming research university.
Much of APSU’s growth has been due to its adult learning outreach and online degree programs. The Department of Computer Science and Information Technology offers a fully online bachelor’s degree program in Computer Science, with three possible online concentrations: Information Systems, Internet and Web Technology, and Database Administration. Tennessee is quickly becoming a destination for cutting-edge computing, and APSU can get online students in on the ground floor.
Cost: $363 per credit
Colorado Technical University
A large, for-profit university in Colorado Springs, Colorado Technical University was originally founded to provide education opportunities for military personnel and veterans, but the institution has really found its niche in online education, with well over 90% of their students earning degrees fully online. As a regionally-accredited, U.S. News & World Report-ranked university, Colorado Tech has earned the reputation that eludes many of its for-profit competitors.
Colorado Tech offers a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree program that has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a top online bachelor degree nationally. This 184-credit degree can be earned completely online, from first year to graduation, and covers all of the necessary foundational courses, upper-division courses, and electives. Students find Colorado Tech’s low tuition rate one of the best values in the Rocky Mountains and beyond.
Cost: $325 per credit
Arizona State University
Widely considered the most innovative university in the nation, and higher education’s most inspiring success story, Arizona State University has seen a rapid ascent from regional public university to the largest university in the US. While other institutions have built their reputations on exclusion and elitism, ASU made their name on cutting-edge educational methods and inclusive admissions, and as a result have become the most imitated model of the 21st century.
ASU is also an acknowledged leader in online education, having put together an incredibly impressive suite of online degree programs. Those programs include a fully online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from the world-renowned and highly-ranked Fulton School of Engineering. Whether entering as a freshman, a transfer student, or a degree-completion student, ASU’s online program provides everything a student needs to enter the workforce at a distinct advantage.
Cost: $633 per credit
A small, private university in rural Bellevue, NE, Bellevue University has kept the needs of working adult students at its heart since its founding in 1966. Always oriented toward helping adult students improve their education and enhance their careers, Bellevue’s profile has increased significantly in recent years as they have embraced online education. With Nebraska’s many rural communities and working adults, Bellevue has become an important name in the industry.
Bellevue University offers two fully online bachelor’s degrees in Computer Information Systems. Students who are already in corporate or professional positions and want to increase their credentials in systems are encouraged to take the Bachelor of Applied Sciences degree; students at the beginning of their career should consider the Bachelor of Science. Either degree includes emphasis in Cybersecurity, Business Intelligence, Networking, and more, and both are offered at Bellevue’s reasonable tuition rate, making Bellevue a solid value.
Cost: $410 per credit
A mid-sized public research institution, Lamar University has a long history of serving the people of southeast Texas. After becoming part of the Texas State University system in 1995, Lamar saw its fortunes rise, and attained national attention for their academic excellence after being recognized by the Washington Post in 2010. Since then Lamar has moved from a regional to a national university in the U.S. News & World Report ranking and has achieved acclaim for its online degree programs.
Lamar’s online degree programs are directed toward working adults, especially military personnel and veterans, and have been designed for absolute flexibility and convenience. LU Online offers a fully online, 4-year Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, a deep and thorough education in the field that provides students all they need for entry into their careers. Lamar’s tuition is exceptionally low, and their student support makes them a secure choice.
Cost: $235 per credit
The second-largest private university in California, National University was founded in 1971 by David Chigos, a retired Naval officer and businessman who wanted to address the need for quality education for working adults and veterans. National’s commitment to access and opportunity have made it one of the highest degree-granting institutions for African-American and Hispanic students, and one of the most diverse (and largest) student bodies in the nation.
National has become a nationally-recognized entity thanks to their copious online degree programs, including the Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from their acclaimed School of Engineering. National’s Computer Science program focuses not only on technical and design skills, but leadership and teamwork, providing their students with career skills as well as knowledge of computer programming and systems. Their growing reputation and strong market position make National an educator to watch.
Cost: $416 per credit
California Baptist University
Noted as one of the most influential Southern Baptist institutions in the nation, California Baptist University has grown well beyond its humble beginnings as a bible college into a nationally-recognized, highly respected university. CBU is particularly noted for its nursing and business programs, but their reputation has increased greatly in recent years with their exceptional, high-quality online degree programs.
CBU’s online Bachelor of Arts in Computer Information Technology degree program is designed as a 48 credit degree-completion program. According to CBU’s website, the major courses can be completed in as little as 16 months with their accelerated course format, making it one of the fastest ways for a working adult with an associate’s degree to complete their computer science degree.
Cost: $547 per credit
Western Governors University
Western Governors University is one of the most forward-thinking, entrepreneurial institutions in higher education today. Formed by the Western Governors Association in 1995, WGU was founded as an online college dedicated to the needs of working adult learners. To that end, WGU’s online courses work on a competency-based model, with students earning credit as they attain particularly knowledge and skills, earning high rankings from U.S. News & World Report and other agencies.
WGU’s College of Information Technology offers 5 fully online bachelor’s degree programs, including a BS in Information Technology with two specializations (Network Administration of Security), a BS in Data Management/Data Analytics, and a BS in Software Development. WGU’s unique course makes it a convenient way to earn credentials, and WGU’s rising reputation makes it a solid choice for working professionals.
Cost: $240 per credit
Kennesaw State University
Only five decades from its founding, Kennesaw State University has grown from a small, regional junior college to a nationally-recognized, large research university offering doctoral degrees and recognized by the Carnegie Foundation. U.S. News & World Report now ranks KSU among national universities, and Kennesaw State’s reputation is growing by leaps and bounds, especially for business and continuing education.
Kennesaw State has made its reputation in part on their excellent online programs; with more than 70 degrees, and the largest Department of Continuing Education in the US, KSU’s dedication to working adult students is clear. KSU offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with four specializations: Enterprise Systems, Information Assurance and Security, Health Information Technology, and Mobile and Web Development. With its proximity to Atlanta and its reputation on the job market, graduates can be sure of a career boost.
Cost: $277 per credit
When it was founded in 1845, Limestone College was the only college for women in South Carolina, and among the few institutions educating women. Limestone is not only a pioneer in women’s education, however; it is a model for evening and distance education for working adult students, with twice as many online and non-traditional-aged students as traditional on-campus students. Coed since the 1960s, Limestone is well-known throughout the south for educational excellence.
Limestone offers many fully online degree programs, including several possible majors in Computer Science: Computer and Information System Security, Information Technology, Programming, and Web Development & Database. For a highly respected, highly diverse, and highly trusted private university, Limestone keeps tuition low and provides world-class career preparation.
Cost: $420 per credit
Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University is one of U.S. News & World Report’s top 30 regional institutions for the South, a well-respected public university known for academic quality and social mobility due to the opportunity it affords its students. WKU has been a leader in fields such as journalism, folklore, and popular culture studies, while its professional programs, such as nursing and business, have shaped the western Kentucky region.
WKU has made online learning a major portion of their profile in the 21st century, developing more than 90 fully online degrees and certificates and well over 1000 courses. Online students can earn an online Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Technology, a fully online program that students can begin as freshmen or as transfer students. WKU’s online programs have proven themselves time and again, with reasonable tuition and a bright outlook for graduates.
Cost: $496 per credit
North Carolina A&T State University
The nation’s largest historical black university, and one of the highest-ranked colleges in its class, North Carolina A&T State University was founded as a land-grant institution focused on agriculture and applied science, a history reflected in the Agriculture & Technology name. NC A&T is recognized especially for their engineering programs, the most prominent among HBCUs.
A&T’s computer science programs are nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the top 20 of the field, and online students can earn a fully online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. Students can begin as freshmen, but A&T also has transfer agreements with community colleges in the region to make transferring credits simple. With one of the lowest tuition rates in the nation, NC A&T is a nearly risk-free investment for working adults.
Cost: $117 per credit
One of the most affordable private universities in the US, Park University has been a bold, entrepreneurial institution since its founding in 1875, when the Park Experiment gathered students for education and experiential learning, with students working on the college’s farm and in the limestone quarry from which the college’s building were constructed.
Today, Park’s reputation is based largely on their deep relationship with the US Air Force, which has made them a notable military-friendly institution. Park’s work educating military personnel has made them a leader in distance education, with online programs such as the Bachelor of Science in Information and Computer Science. Their affordable tuition programs are available in many states in the US, making Park University a wide-ranging value.
Cost: $391 per credit
Daytona State College
Daytona State College made the jump from community college to four-year college just a decade ago, but in that short period of time it has established itself as an institution to watch. DSC certainly owes their growing reputation to their online degree programs, which have brought them acclaim from U.S. News & World Report as the #2 online bachelor’s school in the nation.
DSC’s School of Engineering Technology offers many fully online bachelor’s degree programs in the computer science field, including a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. Daytona State’s online bachelor’s are degree completion programs, requiring an associate’s degree or the equivalent for admissions, and their community college background is still evident in their incredibly low tuition, making them one of the most financially accessible online bachelor’s programs in the nation.
Cost: $120 per credit
Recognized as a top Midwestern regional college by U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review, Columbia College is a private liberal arts and science institution with a loose affiliation with the Disciples of Christ church. Columbia is known as a military-friendly college and a pioneer in military education, beginning distance education courses for personnel in the early 1970s, a stance that directly led to their highly-regarded online programs.
Columbia College’s Computer and Math Sciences Department offers an online Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems degree that combines a liberal arts-based general education with upper-division technical education. This mix of theory and practice is meant to prepare students for their careers as well as further study, while Columbia’s low tuition sends graduates on their way with less debt and more opportunity.
Cost: $290 per credit
A small Baptist liberal arts institution, Gardner-Webb University has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top regional institutions in the South. Gardner-Webb is particularly well-known for their professional programs, especially nursing, business, and social work. In the region, Gardner-Webb is also a major part of the community, recognized by the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification.
Gardner-Webb offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems degree that can be earned completely online from the freshman year, or as a degree-completion program. Gardner-Webb partners with six area community colleges as part of their Pathways program to make admissions simpler for degree-completion students, providing all the support working adults need to finish their college degree.
Cost: $468 per credit
University of Maine at Augusta
A small, regional liberal arts college in the University of Maine system, the University of Maine at Augusta has the mission of providing educational opportunities to traditional and non-traditional students at the associate’s and bachelor’s level. UMA has been recognized as a top regional institution for the North, especially as an online educator.
UMA is part of the OnlineMaine initiative, which uses a variety of distance-learning modes to offer fully online degree programs throughout the state and across the University of Maine system. The Computer Information Systems department at UMA is a major part of the initiative, offering a fully online Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems. Their flexible, working-adult-centered degree program is one of the best deals in Maine.
Cost: $217 per credit
Founded by evangelical broadcaster Pat Robertson, Regent University is a prominent Christian research university that has grown from a tiny communications program to a nationally-recognized institution since 1977. One of the most politically conservative universities in the nation, Regent has gained renown for its educational rigor and accessibility, especially since beginning its first fully online degree programs in 1997.
Regent has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as having one of the top online bachelor’s degree programs in the nation, a category which includes the online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Regent’s online-only BCCS degree prepares students for every facet of a computer science career, along with Regent’s characteristic focus on Christian ethics and faith. Low prices and a wide-ranging network of alumni and partners gives Regent graduates a way to succeed.
Cost: $395 per credit
Franklin University traces its roots back to the turn of the 20th century, when adult education was a new concept and many programs – including institutions that are now nationally-recognized universities – began by meeting evenings in the YMCA. From that genesis, Franklin University has always prioritized working adult and professional education, building a reputation for student support and success, particularly as a military-friendly institution.
Given their mission, Franklin University has developed a high proportion of their degree programs into fully online degrees, such as the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Franklin’s online program is designed and taught by experienced computer industry veterans, making their education market-ready and career-oriented. Students can enter as the first bachelor’s degree, or an accelerated second bachelor’s, assured of a shot at their goal.
Cost: $494 per credit
Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona University is the education leader for the mountainous northern region of Arizona, a large public research university perched at one of the highest elevations of any institution. While NAU is primarily known regionally, many of its online degree programs have been ranked at the top nationally, and NAU is a pioneer in competency-based online education, a model that has spread to many other universities.
NAU offers several online options for aspiring computer scientists or working professionals moving into computer science fields: a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Technology (depending on a more conceptual or a more technical bent); a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Technology management; or a Bachelor of Applied Science in Technology Management. At NAU’s tuition rate, any would make a solid investment.
Cost: $387 per credit
Upper Iowa University
A private university in rural Fayette, IO, Upper Iowa University is best known for its adult and professional education programs. UIU has put much of its energy since the 1970s into distance education, establishing campuses and partnerships in the Pacific Rim and developing an online education program that has earned national recognition from U.S. News & World Report. While it is still considered a regional university, UIU’s outlook is global.
UIU’s School of Science and Mathematics offers a fully online bachelor’s degree program in Information Technology, a fully-rounded, highly-developed program that prepares students thoroughly for careers as web developers, information systems analysts, network administrators, and more. UIU’s 8-week courses allow students to earn their degree quickly, and the online format, combined with UIU’s reasonable tuition, make it a convenient investment.
Cost: $430 per credit
Rogers State University
It’s a misconception that Rogers State University is named for Will Rogers, the legendary humorist and storyteller – it’s actually named for his father, Oklahoma judge and statesman Clement Rogers. Either way, though, Rogers State University represents the culture and character of Oklahoma well, with a strong military connection and a history of pioneering in education and learning, even as an early adopter of online education.
RSU offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Business Information Technology with the option of two specializations: Computer Network Administration, or Software Development and Multimedia. This program is geared toward the use of technology in business and industry, with emphasis on data, security, and finance. At less than $300 per credit, Rogers State is one of the most affordable and reliable choices in the Midwest.
Cost: $298 per credit
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