For some years now, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been warning of a major shortfall in the computer science job market, with some half a million jobs left unstaffed because of a gap in qualified workers. That unfortunate gap appears even more distressing when we consider that the field is growing by as much as 12% per year, meaning that hundreds of thousands of people are missing out on careers that pay as much as two or three times the median salary.
Meanwhile, the US is radically restructuring from an industrial economy to a service and tech economy, leaving many people behind. Because of these important demographic shifts, more working adults than ever are returning to school to build their credentials, learn new skills, and find a way to advance their career or start a new one, and computer science is one of the biggest growth areas in the US.
It’s fortunate that, at the same time, online education has blossomed, growing in recent years from an outlier dominated by shady for-profit diploma mills, into a reliable alternative led by reputable public and private universities and colleges. All over the nation, students are turning to online degree programs – a quarter of all grad students nationwide, and more than a third in some underserved regions.
Working adults often find online degree programs to be the best option available to them, providing the flexibility and convenience they need to work their education in around their existing schedules. With just about every college and university in the nation implementing online degree programs – some from the earliest days of the internet, some hurriedly playing catch-up – prospective students have a lot of options, and difficult choices to make.
Value Colleges is dedicated to bringing students valuable information about the best options available to them, so the Top 50 Online Graduate Computer Science Degrees for 2017 is designed to point working professionals and new college graduates to the programs most likely to get them onto the job market ahead of the pack. Value Colleges features only regionally-accredited, reputable colleges and universities with substantial online programs.
We rank online degree programs according to three measures:
- Reputability (gathered from U.S. News & World Report scores)
- ROI (based on Payscale salary data)
- Price (obtained from the institution website)
With the Value Colleges formula, students can be assured that the Top 50 are the best of the best, and the most likely to provide them with a substantial education, as well as a degree they can build a career on.
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University was one of the spearheads of the late 19th-century movement that revolutionized American education by bringing practical technical education out of the old apprenticeship model and into higher education. Founded by Andrew Carnegie to make education accessible to the workers of industrial Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon has been the model for technology, engineering, and professional studies since 1900, and continues today as one of the top institutions in the world.
Combining the School of Public Policy and Management with the School of Information Science and Management, Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College offers a fully online Master of Science in Information Technology degree program. The Heinz College’s IT programs have been ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report for over a decade, and that reputation includes the online program. Three specializations – Information Technology Management, Information Security and Assurance, and Business Intelligence and Data Analytics – ensure that students are prepared for their careers, and the Carnegie Mellon name promises job market success.
Cost: $475 per credit
North Carolina State University
North Carolina State University is one of the foremost public universities in the nation for STEM learning and research. As a corner of the Research Triangle, the nation’s first tech hub, NCSU helped some of the most prominent names in names in computer technology, including IBM and SAS Institute, build the world we live in today. Ranked as one of the top engineering schools in the world, NCSU is a dominant name in computer science, with some of the most distinguished faculty members in the field.
NCSU has designed a Master of Computer Science Distance Education degree that is geared toward all of their greatest strengths, and carry the prestige of the NC State name. The MCS-DE is delivered through streaming courses, so online students have the same experience as on-campus students, while the MCS-DE requires no thesis or comprehensive exams, only coursework. Online students are also invited to attend on campus, if possible, for the added networking and camaraderie that on-campus courses supply, making NC State’s online MCS the best of both worlds.
Cost: $411 per credit
One of the most elite universities in the nation, Boston University is also at the center of life in Boston, MA, both as one of the city’s largest employers, and one of the leading educators of professional and technical experts in the region. Ranked among the top 50 universities in the world by U.S. News & World Report, Boston University is also in the highest reaches of business and economics, as well as engineering and computer science, strengths that combine to bring the most ambitious students in the world to BU.
Boston University has been offering full online degree programs for just over a decade, and with all of the resources and excellence BU can bring, BU’s slate of online degrees have been recognized among the very best. BU’s fully online Master of Science in Computer Information Systems has been named in the top 5 of its field by U.S. News & World Report, offering more than a half-dozen specializations in the most in-demand areas, including Data Analytics, Security, and Health Informatics. It’s a cutting-edge degree from one of the most trusted names in the world.
Cost: $711 per credit
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is widely recognized as one of the top universities in the world, pulling together some of the most reputable faculty into a system designed for excellence. As a polytechnic institute, Virginia Tech carries the high ROI and intensive expertise that distinguishes the polytechnic model, but as a public, land-grant university, Tech also leads with the mission of providing educational opportunity for all, with reasonable tuition rates and accessible diversity.
Virginia Tech’s online Master of Information Technology program has been ranked #2 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, a significant distinction that underscores Tech’s reputation for excellence. This interdisciplinary program, designed collaboratively by the Pamplin College of Business and the College of Engineering, provides working professionals with the skills and knowledge they need to move forward in their careers, or move smoothly into a new phase. The Virginia Tech name is one of the most trusted in the world, making it a proven value.
Cost: $766 per credit
Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University name is known throughout the world for excellence in research, from medicine to engineering, and as an educator, Johns Hopkins is ranked #10 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. An elite private research university, Johns Hopkins is renowned in fields as varied as music and biomedical sciences, with one of the world’s top libraries and a slew of Nobel Prize, National Academy of Science, and Institute of Medicine award winners among the faculty and alumni.
The Whiting School of Engineering is one of the world’s most respected, including the top biomedical engineering program in the US, and top-tier computer science division. The Whiting School at Johns Hopkins offers a fully online Master of Science in Computer Science as part of its Engineering for Professionals division. Designed specially for high-performing, working professionals in the computer science field, Johns Hopkins’ online program emphasizes real-world problem-solving and professional development. With Johns Hopkins’ reputation and network, graduates can expect employers to compete for them.
Cost: $1293 per credit
University of Massachusetts - Lowell
A large, urban research institution in the globally-respected University of Massachusetts system, UMass Lowell is quickly becoming a prominent institution in its own right. An exceptionally selective public university, UMass Lowell’s focus is primarily on professional and technical education, with some of the region’s most reputable programs, including the highly respected Manning School of Business and Francis College of Engineering.
UMass Lowell’s reputation has risen in particular from its command of online learning, with a distance education program that is approaching and even surpassing flagship UMass Amherst. Lowell’s Master of Science in Information Technology degree program has been recognized as one of the best online computer technology programs in the nation, offering students a 10-course study in the most valuable technologies and concepts in the field. UMass Lowell online graduates will be prepared for senior positions in IT, all at a price and in a format perfectly suited to the working professional.
Cost: $575 per credit
Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top regional institutions in the west, Regis University is a private Catholic institution known widely for its educational excellence and commitment to public service and community engagement through programs such as the Center for Service Learning and the Institute on the Common Good. Regis’ programs are informed by Jesuit values of rigor, ethics, and service.
In recent years, Regis has expanded on its already excellent reputation by building one of the nation’s most respected catalogs of online degree programs. In addition to being one of only a handful of institutions with online ABET-accredited undergraduate programs in computer science, Regis also offers a fully online MS degree in Information Technology Management. With 10 specializations, including Cybersecurity, Database Design, and Systems Engineering, Regis’ online IT Management degree prepares students for the present and future of technology.
Cost: $710 per credit
Florida Institute of Technology
A polytechnic university founded in 1958, shouting distance to the Kennedy Space Center and Orlando, Florida Tech’s main mission was originally supporting technical education for the burgeoning space program in Florida’s Space Coast. Since then, it has become the foremost private STEM research institution in the state, recognized by Bloomberg as having the best ROI of any college in Florida. With top programs in engineering, aeronautics, and business, Florida Tech has earned its reputation.
Florida Tech offers a fully online MS in Information Technology that has working professionals at its center. With an emphasis on security and software management, the Florida Tech MSIT offers students top-tier instruction in the areas that need qualified experts most desperately, including Cybersecurity, Database Administration, and Enterprise Resource Planning. With Florida Tech’s high ROI, and a reasonable tuition rate more like a public university than a private institute, Florida Tech is a world-class value.
Cost: $777 per credit
Florida State University
One of the top public research institutions in the south, as well as a U.S. News & World Report top 50 public university, Florida State University leads the region in public STEM education. FSU dominates professional and technical education for the state, particularly in medicine and engineering, and has been recognized as a leading institution for Hispanic students. FSU has been named a best value by the Princeton Review, and a Budget Ivy by the Fiske Guide.
Florida State has built its online degree programs significantly in recent years, with numerous bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs available. FSU’s School of Information offers a fully-online MS in Information Technology, designed for working professionals in the IT field who want to take their career to the next level. Specializations include technology and networking, data management, and user-centered design, as well as the option for students to create their own specializations. At one of the lowest tuition rates around, Florida State is an obvious bargain.
Cost: $479 per credit
Stevens Institute of Technology
Stevens Institute of Technology pioneered polytechnic education in the US, bringing the engineering and science-centered model from France and Germany to keep pace with the Industrial Revolution. As the first mechanical engineering school in America, Stevens set the standard for applied science education and research for generations, and established the region around Hoboken, NJ as a center of industry. With its proximity to New York City, Stevens provides graduates with access to the largest job market in the nation.
Stevens’ Schaefer School of Engineering & Science is one of the most premiere schools of its kind in the world, and students can access that excellence through online degree programs. Stevens offers a fully online Master of Science in Computer Science that gives students the guidance of some of the most prominent computer scientists in the world, as well as a degree with the Stevens’ reputation. Stevens’ wide network of partners and connections ensures graduates of a high ROI and secure professional career.
Cost: $1501 per credit
University of Southern California
In many ways, southern California is what it is because of the University of Southern California. The first private university in California, and a center of life and learning in Los Angeles, USC is one of the largest and most prestigious private research universities in the world. USC’s influence can be seen throughout California in general and Los Angeles in particular, from law and politics to computer science and engineering – not to mention communication, entertainment, and music, due to the Hollywood connections its location affords.
The Viterbi School of Engineering at USC offers a fully online MS in Computer Science degree that builds on USC’s long history and sterling reputation as the farthest reaches of computer science and research. From helping design the original code of the ARPANET, to developing cutting-edge computer programming language used for Hollywood special effects, USC’s computer science takes students into every aspect of the field. With the USC reputation, connections to the leading companies in the industry, and excellent career preparation, USC graduates have nothing to worry about.
Cost: $1774 per credit
As one of the foremost private research institutions in the north, Drexel University has prioritized applied science and liberal arts education since 1891. Originally founded to provide practical education for the people of Philadelphia, Drexel rose to prominence on its innovative cooperative education program, which combines classroom education with work experience to give students real-world professional experience as they earn their degree. It has also allowed Drexel to build significant partnerships with the business and industry of the region, a boon to graduates.
Students who are already working in the profession can still benefit from the Drexel method online, with Drexel’s fully online MS in Computer Science. In keeping with Drexel’s values, the online MSCS is built around practical expertise and in-depth, experiential learning, emphasizing real-world problem-solving and command of both tools and theory. Graduates can expect the Drexel name to carry a lot of weight on the job market, making an online Drexel degree a prime educational investment.
Cost: $1192 per credit
Originally founded as a teacher’s college, Towson University is still Maryland’s top producer of teachers, though a century and a half of change has made them one of the largest and most respected institutions in the region. A top 10 regional public university, Towson has highly-regarded programs in e-commerce, gerontology, and education, and has been widely recognized nationally as a best value.
Towson offers a fully online MS in Applied Information Technology. Designed for flexibility and usefulness, Towson’s online AIT program is made up of six graduate certificate programs, plus additional courses to complete a master’s degree; online students can complete a certificate in only one year, or continue and complete their MS in two. Certifications/specializations include database management systems, information security and assurance, internet application development, and more, all for a low, public-university tuition rate that has earned Towson Best Value status.
Cost: $525 per credit
Missouri University of Science & Technology
Ranked among the top engineering schools in the nation, Missouri S&T has been cited as having one of the most innovative and impressive labs in the nation for their experimental mine, while their work with nuclear engineering has been ground-breaking. Founded as a mining school, Missouri S&T is the foremost STEM institution in the region, with wide student participation in cutting-edge research, and attracts top students throughout the Midwest.
Missouri S&T offers an online MS in Information Science and Technology, a top-notch program that combines educational excellence with flexibility. Students can earn a fully online graduate certificate in areas like human-computer interaction, project management, and others, along with the option to continue studies and earn a full master’s degree in several other specializations, including computer networks and e-commerce. S&T’s reputation throughout the region make them a solid choice for today’s tech job market.
Cost: $1230 per credit
A top 75 national university, and one of the largest Jesuit institutions in the world, Marquette University is a private Catholic university know for its world-class educational quality and reputation as one of the most prestigious institutions in the Midwest. Originally founded to provide affordable education to the people of Milwaukee, today Marquette keeps up its tradition with nationally-ranked professional programs in engineering, nursing, education, law, and more.
With their “classroom in the cloud,” Marquette offers a fully online MS in Computing, a program that combines the excellence in liberal education that the Jesuit model is founded on – critical thinking, problem-solving, and theoretical knowledge – with 21st century technical skills. Marquette’s online program is designed for working adults, whether they have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or not. With Marquette’s reputation, it’s a low-risk investment.
Cost: $1075 per credit
Syracuse University is one of the best-known names in higher education in the north, recognized for top-quality education and a prestigious faculty. Loosely affiliated with the Methodist church, Syracuse is a center for learning and culture in the region, and operates the renowned Syracuse University Press. Syracuse is well known for their College of Law, School of Information Studies, and the Whitman School of Management.
The College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse offers an online MS in Computer Science. Designed for working professionals in the field, Syracuse’s online platform allows students to build networks and relationships through collaborative assignments and live-streaming classes to combine the best of on-campus and online instruction. This gives students a much more interactive experience than conventional online courses, while the Syracuse reputation gives graduates a leg up on the job market.
Cost: $1443 per credit
University of Maryland - Baltimore County
A mid-sized public university, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, has a mission to bring quality professional and technical education to the region. It has done that job astonishingly well, being named an up-and-coming university by U.S. News & World Report, as well as one of the top undergraduate teaching universities. UMBC’s proximity to Washington, DC, has been a significant factor in its growth and success, providing career opportunities for UMBC’s graduates.
UMBC offers a fully online Master’s in Information Systems degree, designed for working professionals. UMBC’s Department of Information Systems is one of the leading divisions in its field, and online students benefit from the guidance of UMBC faculty and industry professionals. Because of their reputation in the region, and the IT opportunities available in the nation’s capital, UMBC is known across the nation as a best value, a distinction their online Information Systems degree shares.
Cost: $860 per credit
University of Illinois at Springfield
Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a top regional institution for the Midwest, the University of Illinois at Springfield is a small teaching university dedicated to providing educational opportunity for the Springfield area. Originally an upper-division and graduate institution, most of UIS’s programs are geared toward adult students and professional studies, and UIS’s reputation has risen most due to their online degree programs, which began in 1999.
The Department of Computer Science at UIS offers an online MS in Computer Science. While students will take courses in information security and assurance, the overall focus of the UIS Computer Science master’s is software, including design and implementation of programs. Students are admitted on a cohort basis each semester, and the full degree is 36 credit hours. Online students at UIS can count on the individualized attention and support that a small college provides, and the value of one of the lowest tuition rates in the region.
Cost: $362 per credit
Colorado State University - Fort Collins
Colorado State University has been following its land-grant mission to provide quality education for the most citizens possible since its founding in 1870, before Colorado was even a state. Focused on professional and technical education, CSU is also the foremost STEM research institution in the region, building on the university’s original focus on applied science and agriculture.
CSU offers a fully online Master of Computer Science degree draws on the expertise of CSU’s computer science faculty to provide a highly effective, in-demand degree program for working professionals. With courses ranging from database systems to artificial intelligence, CSU’s online MCS is designed for professional life, and as many as 70% of CSU’s computer science graduates complete the program with a job waiting for them. For CSU’s reasonable tuition rate, it’s a solid value.
Cost: $675 per credit
Colorado Technical University
From its founding in 1965, Colorado Technical University has focused on educational opportunity for veterans and working adults, particularly in technology and professional studies. Colorado Tech is exceptional among for-profit institutions in achieving both regional accreditation, and U.S. News & World Report recognition. Colorado Tech’s computer science department is particularly respected, and recognized as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the NSA and Homeland Security.
CTU’s online Master of Science in Information Technology has been acclaimed by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best in the nation. The CTU Information Technology master’s is focused on the software and technology needs of business, including system architecture, security management, and project management. CTU’s reasonable tuition rate compares to most public universities in price, and the convenience of CTU’s programs is a selling point.
Cost: $585 per credit
One of the most elite and accomplished institutions in the US, Northwestern University was founded in 1851 to bring professional education to what was then the far reaches of the frontier, a region in need of doctors, teachers, and leaders. Today, Northwestern has one of the largest endowments in the nation and a reputation as one of the leading private research universities in the world, especially in law, business, and engineering.
Northwestern offers an MS in Information Systems specifically designed to be completed part-time by working professionals in the computer science field. The program is meant to be as interactive and engaging as Northwestern’s on-campus courses, with students working together in a cohort format to encourage connection and teamwork. Students can tailor their specializations to their current careers, or to the career change they want to make, while the Northwestern reputation will make it much easier to make their way professionally.
Cost: $1498 per credit
La Salle University
A small, Catholic liberal arts university in Philadelphia, PA, La Salle University was founded by the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, an order dedicated to the work of Jean-Baptiste de la Salle, the patron saint of teachers. La Salle is a deeply Catholic institution, dedicated to ethics, faith, and community engagement, shown through its work in the Germantown neighborhood and more widely in Philadelphia.
La Salle University has embraced online education in the 21st century, growing their reputation in the field to match their name recognition in the north. Students can earn a fully online MS in Information Technology Leadership from La Salle, an interdisciplinary program that combines technical expertise with management and leadership. Graduates are prepared to meet the needs of business and non-profits more fully than those who only possess technical skills or management knowledge, along with the La Salle focus on the social good.
Cost: $765 per credit
One of the South’s most recognizable names in higher education, Auburn University is one of the two flagship schools for Alabama, a top-tier public research university known for engineering, architecture, and agriculture. Other notable research programs at Auburn include the Mises Institute, an economics research center, and the Old Rotation, the oldest continual cotton planting experiment (rotating cotton and legumes on the same land since 1896).
Auburn’s Harbert College of Business has become one of the leading business schools in the south, and has the ambition to become one of the best in the world. The college has brought online education into the mix in their plan, offering Auburn’s online MS in Information Systems. For working professionals in IT who want to move into managerial positions, or managers who want to move into IT, the Harbert College’s online program combines business expertise and technical expertise to make their graduates the most capable IT managers around.
Cost: $850 per credit
University of Maryland - University College
Unique among public institutions, the University of Maryland University College is an independent adult-education institution in the University of Maryland system. Since it became an independent university in 1970, UMUC has grown into one of the largest educators in the world, thanks to its open-enrollment policy and its move to online education, which it helped define in the 1990s. UMUC is also a noted military educator.
Not surprisingly, UMUC has a top online Information Technology master’s degree. Specializations include Database Systems Technology, Information Assurance, Systems Engineering, and many more. With a faculty made up of knowledgeable, experienced theorists and experts, UMUC has more of a claim than just about anyone to providing the highest quality education in computer science. UMUC’s tuition is kept at one of the lowest rates in the north to provide opportunity to the most possible students, making them a longtime best value.
Cost: $284 per credit
Lawrence Technological University
Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top regional institutions in the Midwest, Lawrence Technological University is a private polytechnic university known for its STEAM programs (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics). Lawrence Tech has especially been recognized for its engineering and architecture schools, with strong programs in computer science, sustainability, and other technology fields. Lawrence Tech is also considered a military-friendly campus.
Lawrence Tech offers an online MS in Information Technology, designed by the College of Management to combine the technical skills of working IT professionals with the management and leadership knowledge they need to advance into higher positions. Specializations in Business Analytics, Information Assurance, and Project Management provide graduates with the business expertise they need to implement their technical know-how in their companies. For a private polytechnic, Lawrence Tech’s tuition is reasonable, making it even more of an investment.
Cost: $930 per credit
Iowa State University
One of the most respected public research universities in the west, Iowa State University began its life as the very first land-grant university, beginning the long American tradition of providing high-quality public education in practical fields to all who qualified. Today Iowa State has turned that history in agriculture and applied science into one of the nation’s most respected engineering colleges and most innovative institutions.
Iowa State was a key player in the invention of the digital computer, and pioneered distance education with their cooperative education programs for farmers in the late 1800s, so bringing those innovations together in their online degree programs only makes sense. Iowa State offers an online MS in Human Computer Interaction, a program at the forefront of computing. Students complete 4 required courses, then specialize with electives from across the computer science field for a flexible, market-ready degree.
Cost: $543 per credit
Georgia Southern University
A land-grant institution in Statesboro, GA, Georgia Southern University lays claim to many distinctions. Founded as a land-grant agricultural college, GSU also served as a normal school before developing into one of the main professional education institutions in southern Georgia. Largely known for their engineering and business degrees, Georgia Southern is recognized for being one of the most productive colleges in the nation for graduating African-American scientists.
Georgia Southern has extended their reach beyond the region with their online degree programs, which have served to grow the GSU reputation quickly in the last decade. Georgia Southern’s online MS in Computer Science is the only program in Georgia to offer a specialization in Data Mining and Data Warehousing, making it crucial to the future of the computing industry in Georgia and the south. Georgia Southern’s low tuition makes it a safe bet for IT professionals to make their way.
Cost: $410 per credit
University of Wisconsin - Stout
Designated as Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, the University of Wisconsin-Stout was founded by James Huff Stout, a politician and educational reformist who brought Manual Training, the forerunner of vocational and technical education to Wisconsin. That spirit remains today in UW-Stout, which focuses on engineering, design, and business. Connections with many industry leaders housed in the Stout Technology and Business Park give students networking opportunities to make the most of their education.
The fully online MS in Information and Communications Technologies from UW-Stout emphasizes current trends and possibilities in IT management, preparing students directly for the job market of today and tomorrow. Concentrations in areas like Enterprise Technology, Digital Marketing Technology, and Computer Networking give students the knowledge they need for modern business technology, all for a low, public-university tuition rate.
Cost: $540 per credit
Kennesaw State University
Once ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top regional universities in the south, Kennesaw State University recently moved up in status to the national rankings, making good on its up-and-coming designation and reflecting its growing status as a research institution. Kennesaw State is still primarily known in Georgia for its teaching and business programs, and for their Department of Continuing Education, the largest in the US.
Kennesaw State’s focus on online education has been one of the main factors in its rise, with degree programs in a number of fields. That includes Kennesaw State’s online MS in Information Technology, a program focused on helping IT professionals move into managerial careers. Concentrations include IT Security, Databases, and more. For Kennesaw State’s low tuition rate, graduates can earn a degree with national recognition.
Cost: $408 per credit
Founded as an aeronautics school in 1932, Lewis University is a private, Catholic institution in the Chicago suburban town of Romeoville. Lewis’s Department of Aviation and Transportation Studies is still one of the most respected in the nation, but Lewis has gone farther in its development as a Catholic college with an exceptional focus on applied science, technology, and management.
Much of Lewis’s reputation comes from its excellent adult education programs, making it a best regional institution in the Midwest according to both U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review. Lewis University offers a fully online MS in Computer Science. Lewis’s program equally emphasizes scientific research and practical experience, with hands-on projects and an intensive capstone project designed for career application. Lewis’s reputation in the Midwest, especially the business hub of Chicago, make it a strong investment.
Cost: $795 per credit
University of Texas at Dallas
One of the foremost research institutions in Texas, the University of Texas at Dallas traces its beginnings back to the research and development wing of Texas Instruments, the tech giant, in 1969. Since then, UT Dallas has reached the highest level of Carnegie Foundation status and become a critical part of learning and research in Dallas. A top 100 public university, UT Dallas has been acclaimed for its incredible accomplishments over a short history.
The Jindal School of Management is one of the best-known business schools in the nation, offering the UT Dallas online MS in Information Technology and Management. Appropriate to its location in Dallas, one of the nation’s biggest economies, the UT Dallas Information Technology and Management program emphasizes the intersection between technology and business. UT Dallas’s connections in the Dallas industry sector offers graduates a significant opportunity for the future.
Cost: $609 per credit
California State University - Fullerton
The California State University system is one of the most prominent in the nation, and CSU Fullerton is one of the jewels of the system. Renowned for its diversity – a Hispanic-serving and Asian American-Native American-Pacific Islander-serving institution – Cal State Fullerton is a major force for social mobility in the region. Recognized for educational rigor and student support, CSU Fullerton is known for making top-tier education accessible for all who want it.
Fullerton’s online programs help a great deal in bringing education to the people, including the CSU Fullerton online MS in Information Technology. Offered by the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, the MSIT has been named the best program of its kind in California by U.S. News & World Report. With an in-depth, career-focused online degree program in one of the most in-demand fields – plus a low tuition rate – CSU Fullerton is a leap forward for working professionals in IT.
Cost: $434 per credit
Illinois Institute of Technology
Illinois Institute of Technology was founded in 1890, part of that era’s dream to bring higher education to people traditionally shut out of college. Inspired by a sermon on the need for affordable education in Chicago, and founded with a donation from the Armour family, Illinois Tech has been a leading STEM educator for well over a century. With the University Technology Park, IIT has grown into one of the leading research institutes in the Midwest, ranked for educational rigor and high graduate salary potential.
Illinois Tech offers an online Master of Computer Science degree equally suited for working IT professionals, new computer science graduates, or working professionals with no computer science background at all. Students can choose a coursework-only track, or create a Master’s Project that they can apply to their careers; and numerous specializations include Data Analytics, Information Security and Assurance, and Cyber-Physical Systems. The IIT reputation presents graduates with a world of opportunity in the Midwest and beyond.
Cost: $1400 per credit
University of West Georgia
A highly diverse institution in rural Georgia, the University of West Georgia began as an agricultural and mechanical school, a tradition that still informs some of its programs. But UWG has made its reputation in recent years by focusing on the need for quality technical and professional education for the population in the region, as they transition away from the older agricultural and industrial economy. Important programs include business, nursing, and technology
UWG has especially invested in online learning, growing their online degree programs substantially in the 21st century. That includes UWG’s MS in Applied Computer Science, a program that earned a spot on the U.S. News & World Report subject ranking in 2016. UWG boasts 100% job placement for their recent graduates, with their program focusing on the practical uses of computer technology, including software development, database systems, and network administration. The impressively low tuition rate makes a UWG education affordable throughout Georgia.
Cost: $412 per credit
North Carolina A&T State University
The largest historically black college in the nation, North Carolina A&T State University is ranked as one of the top institutions in its class. As a land-grant university, NC A&T’s historical focus on agriculture and mechanics has grown into a present as one of the leading STEM colleges in the South, and the most significant institution educating African-American engineers.
NC A&T has also made major strides in online education, becoming a prominent name in the field. One such program – the NC A&T online MS in Information Technology – has been ranked one of the top degrees in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, as well as one of the most veteran-friendly programs. A&T’s program combines technical expertise and management skill to provide students with the abilities they need to move into leadership positions in IT.
Cost: $223 per credit
University of Colorado - Boulder
The flagship of the University of Colorado system, CU Boulder is a major public research university known especially for engineering, business, and law; a new College of Media, Communication, and Information is seen as a model for the future of the communications discipline. In addition to their high academic standards and world-renowned faculty, CU Boulder is ranked for their innovative spirit, and widely known for their environmental and sustainability initiatives, suited to their location in the Rocky Mountains.
With Boulder known nation-wide as a center for the technology industry, CU Boulder’s computer science department is highly respected, and the CU Boulder computer science offers a number of online degree programs – the Master of Engineering in Computer Science, a non-thesis general MS in Computer Science, and an MS in Computer Science with a concentration in Data Science & Engineering. A dual degree program can earn an MS in Computer Science and an ME in Engineering Management is also available.
Cost: $783 per credit
University of Georgia
One of the centers of culture and education in the South, the University of Georgia shares the distinction of being the first public university, giving the historic college town of Athens its unique character over two and a half centuries. UGA is a leader in a wide variety of disciplines, from STEM to the humanities, business to law, and they have been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top 10 national public university.
One of UGA’s most respected colleges is the Terry College of Business, one of the foremost business schools in the south. Through the Terry College, UGA offers an online Master of Internet Technology degree program designed to add management expertise to the IT skills of working computer science professionals. The MIT degree uses both scheduled and self-paced coursework for flexibility and convenience, and UGA’s reasonable tuition rate is very likely to show a quick return.
Cost: $825 per credit
University of Michigan - Dearborn
Ranked as one of the Midwest’s best regional universities, the University of Michigan-Dearborn has an interesting history rooted in technology. Originally founded as an extension of UM Ann Arbor, UM Dearborn was built with a gift from the Ford Motor Company to bring engineering and business education to support the region’s automotive industry. Experiential education and corporate partnership has been at the heart of UM Dearborn, setting them up perfectly for the 21st century higher education system.
The Rackham School of Graduate Studies, and the College of Engineering & Computer Science, have come together to offer the UM Dearborn Master’s in Computer and Information Science degree program completely online. The MCIS is designed for part-time study to make obtaining a master’s degree convenient for working professionals in the field. There are numerous concentrations, including Computer Graphics, Database Management, and Networks & Security. UM Dearborn’s priority is tech, and their reputation is valued throughout the Midwest.
Cost: $791 per credit
Rochester Institute of Technology
A prominent polytechnic institute in New York, the Rochester Institute of Technology is one of the most respected engineering and technology schools in the northeast, ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top ten regional institution. RIT is known for their cooperative education programs, with students alternating coursework and employment with RIT’s corporate and industry partners. This career-focused education has made RIT’s ROI one of the best in New York, and given their graduates a sterling reputation on the job market.
RIT Online’s profile has grown quickly, with their high-quality programs and commitment to making graduates into Change Agents. RIT’s College of Computer and Information Sciences offers two MS degrees from RIT Online: Networking and Systems Administration, or Human-Computer Interaction. With their intimate connections in the field, RIT’s computer science programs are designed for employer demand, and 95% of RIT’s graduates are placed upon graduation in jobs or education.
Cost: $993 per credit
With fewer than 5,000 students, Clarkson University is small, but this private research university is more productive than many schools three times its size. Rated by Forbes magazine as one of the most entrepreneurial institutions in the nation, Clarkson is noted for having some of the highest graduate salaries and one of the best ROIs in its class. Founded as a technology school, Clarkson is a leader in engineering and business.
Clarkson offers an online MS in Computer Science, an interdisciplinary program designed collaboratively between the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science. Students get a thorough grounding in both technical skills and theory, and strong level of support and cooperation between students and faculty give students the mentorship to succeed in their studies and careers.
Cost: $1343 per credit
New Jersey Institute of Technology
One of the most critical developments of the late 19th century was the rise of polytechnic universities, which helped fuel the industrial revolution and what we know as modern technology. The New Jersey Institute of Technology, in Newark, NJ, was part of that movement. Today, NJIT is one of the most respected engineering programs in the north, with a high rating for ROI and graduate salary, and a close relationship with Rutgers’ Newark branch.
New Jersey Tech’s MS in Computer Science is designed to be completed in as little as 19 months fully online. This online degree program is specifically and specially built for working IT professionals to extend their skills and prepare for leadership roles. With three specializations – Databases and Data Mining, Networking, and Generalist, the NJIT program is thorough preparation from an institution called one of the best for money-making by Forbes.
Cost: $1162 per credit
Robert Morris University
Robert Morris University is a small institution focused on professional and technical education, especially business, reflecting its founding as an accountancy school. As a small school, RMU emphasizes educational rigor and excellence, with strong student support and close work between faculty and students, including academic research. RMU is also recognized as a military friendly institution for its support for veterans.
RMU’s online graduate computer science programs are ranked in the top 25 nationally by U.S. News & World Report, a sign of their efforts to build a world-class online education platform. RMU offers four fully online computer science MS degrees: Information Technology Project Management, Internet Information Systems, Data Analytics, and Cyber Security and Information Assurance. With in-depth, intensive instruction in the most current skills and technology, and RMU’s excellent job-market reputation, graduates can expect a solid showing in their careers.
Cost: $870 per credit
Concordia University - Wisconsin
Part of the highly-regarded Concordia University system, a 10-institution consortium of Lutheran colleges, Concordia University Wisconsin is the largest of the system, drawing students with their educational excellence and focus on practical, professional and technical programs. Concordia Wisconsin’s strengths include business, education, and nursing, as well as one of only two pharmacy schools in the state.
Along with the other institutions in the Concordia system, Concordia Wisconsin has made their reputation on adult learning and online degree programs, including the MS in Information Technology offered through Concordia Online. With Concordia’s small size, students enjoy close attention and guidance from their online instructors, while the program is designed for both working adults in the field and new computer science graduates. With an emphasis on problem-solving, management, and technical skill, Concordia University Wisconsin’s online IT program is first-rate preparation for an IT career.
Cost: $682 per credit
University of Louisville
A large, public research university, the University of Louisville is central to learning and research in the state of Kentucky, particularly in medicine. The UL School of Medicine, and the University Hospital it supports, are known for major research innovations, from pioneering the invention of the emergency room and blood bank, to heart and hand transplants. UL’s expertise in professional and technical education is also second to none in the region.
UL’s Speed School of Engineering is one of the longest-established and most trusted in Kentucky, and is steadily growing in national recognition with its high-quality online programs. University of Louisville’s fully online MS in Computer Science is designed for working professionals who do not have computer science degrees, but want to improve their technical skills for career advancement. In just two years of online work, students can find their way into a solid career and return on their educational investment.
Cost: $714 per credit
Dakota State University
A small public institution, Dakota State University is a highly regarded STEM-focused college that helped pioneer educational technology by emphasizing classroom technology, equipping all students with computers, and incorporating programming and computer science into their basic curriculum. Its emphasis on technology has led Dakota State to be recognized by the NSA as a National Center of Academic Excellence.
Dakota State’s commitment to technology appears as well in its online degree programs, which have regularly been ranked among the best. Dakota State offers an online MS in Information Systems that operates like an MBA with a technology focus, giving technical experts the managerial skills they need to move up in their career, or experienced managers the technical know-how to move into the IT field. With 94% job placement overall, Dakota State is a solid investment.
Cost: $442 per credit
Loyola University Chicago
One of the most recognizable names in education for the Midwest, Loyola University Chicago is a large, private Catholic research university known for its significant contributions to making Chicago a world-class city, including medicine, nursing, and law. Loyola has typically been commended for its commitment to community service and engagement, and its professional and technical programs have contributed generations of leaders and public servants to Chicago.
Loyola Chicago offers a fully online MS in Information Technology, building on a long history as an online education pioneer, having started their first online computer science degree in 1998. Loyola’s computer science programs are focused on career application, bringing together management and technical skills with an understanding of the complexities of IT in the internet era. With Loyola’s reputation, graduates can rest assured that their work will pay off.
Cost: $1033 per credit
University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth
Like its sister institution in the UMass system, UMass Lowell, UMass Dartmouth is steadily growing in reputation and visibility, recently earning Carnegie Foundation recognition as a Higher Research Activity institution. UMass Dartmouth is still a smaller suburban campus, but recent innovations, like the opening of the UMass School of Law, is making UMass Dartmouth a force for educational opportunity and excellence in the region.
UMass Dartmouth’s reach is growing with their online degree programs, including the UMass Dartmouth online MS in Computer Science. This fully online program is designed for working professionals, both those with and those without a computer science background; students with a bachelor’s in a non-technical field complete a 4-course online certification to fill in their technical knowledge. With one-on-one faculty support and access to all of the same resources as on-campus students, UMass Dartmouth’s online MSCS is a bargain.
Cost: $573 per credit
East Carolina University
East Carolina University, the third-largest institution in the University of North Carolina system, is a regional leader in professional and technical education. In addition to being the most significant educator for teachers and nurses in the region, ECU’s College of Business and College of Engineering & Technology have grown in prominence in recent years, especially as ECU has invested heavily in online education.
ECU’s online MS in Computer Science is a highly rigorous, thorough education in programming, design, and engineering, as well as studies in theory and problem solving to ensure graduates are prepared for new challenges in the future. A computer science bachelor’s degree or related background is highly recommended. ECU offers its courses at one of the lowest tuition rates in the region, making it a perennial best value.
Cost: $369 per credit
Originally Catholic, Webster University today is a large, non-denominational private institution in St. Louis, MO, focused on liberal arts and professional studies. From an early dedication to diversity and inclusion – Webster was a force in breaking segregation in St. Louis, for example – Webster has grown into a highly diverse, ambitious institution with branches throughout the US and the world. One of U.S. News & World Report’s top 25 regional universities in the Midwest, Webster has also been acclaimed for their study abroad and online education opportunities.
Webster’s online MA in Information Technology Management is designed to prepare technical professionals for managerial roles, including working with teams of technicians, overseeing development and implementation of technology, and integrating business and technology. The 37 credit ITM master’s comes from the highly-respected Walker School of Business & Technology, a combination that makes Webster’s online degree a smart choice.
Cost: $780 per credit
Old Dominion University
One of the most recognizable names in online education, Old Dominion University began as a satellite campus for the College of William & Mary, and remained a small regional institution before becoming one of the earliest public universities to enter online education. From their first steps streaming courses via satellite in 1994, ODU developed their online degree programs to become one of the most known and trusted online educators in the US. Besides many extension campuses, Old Dominion also has a sizable military education program.
Old Dominion offers an MS in Computer Science through ODU Online, regularly ranked as one of the best and most affordable. Designed for experienced professionals and students with a computer science bachelor’s, the online computer science master’s can be earned in a course-work only, master’s project, or master’s thesis format, depending on the students’ needs. With Old Dominion’s low tuition and strong reputation, it’s a degree that presents a clear value.
Cost: $478 per credit
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