Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Degree Programs

Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Degree Programs

Find top-ranked online master’s in computer science degree programs for students looking to qualify to work as cybersecurity specialists, software developers, and data scientists.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Computer Science Master’s Degrees

Those looking to improve their opportunities for advancement and earning power in the technology field can earn a master’s of computer science.

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Whether on campus or online, students can expect to take classes like the theory of computation and advanced algorithms, as well as topics like virtual reality, operating systems, and cluster computing.

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Most programs take about two years to complete, and some universities offer accelerated degrees.

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Required credits from 30 to 45 hours, and many programs offer either a thesis or a graduate-level capstone path.

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Graduate students can also apply for assistantships where they can garner experience and receive hands-on education. Graduates will qualify to work as cybersecurity specialists, software developers, and data scientists.

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Learn more about what you can do with a master’s in computer science.

Best Online Master's in Computer Science Degree Programs
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How do we determine the best online computer science master's degree programs?

Methodology

Pursuing your degree online doesn’t mean you need to settle for an inferior school. Today, most universities and colleges offer online degrees, and many respected schools are seeing significant growth in their numbers of online students.

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence — i.e., the academic impact of faculty and alumni associated with a school — gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. The combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. For our online degree rankings, we focus on the academic influence of faculty and alumni in the specific disciplines we’re ranking.

If you are serious about finding the best online colleges, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Degree Programs

  1. #1

    University of Southern California

    Los Angeles , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    16%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    40K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    Online Degrees

    MS in Computer Science

    Concentrations

    • Computer Security
    • Data Science
    • Scientists and Engineers
    • Software Engineering
    • Required Credits: 32
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  2. #10

    Florida Atlantic University

    Boca Raton , FL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/24

    Online Degrees

    MS in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. #11

    DePaul University

    Chicago , IL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    19K

    Online Degrees

    MS in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 52
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $18K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    70%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1290/27

    Online Degrees

    MS in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. #13

    Old Dominion University

    Norfolk , VA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/21

    Online Degrees

    MS in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 31-34
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. #14

    Texas Tech University

    Lubbock , TX
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    35K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1165/24

    Online Degrees

    MS in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 31
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  7. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1325/29

    Online Degrees

    MS in Computer Science

    Concentrations

    • Cybersecurity
    • Data Science
    • Required Credits: 31
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  8. #16

    Mississippi State University

    Mississippi State , MS
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    20K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1175/26

    Online Degrees

    MS in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 31
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Computer Science & Engineering
    • Required Credits: 31
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  9. #18

    James Madison University

    Harrisonburg , VA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    21K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1205/25

    Online Degrees

    MS in Computer Science: Information Security
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: 2.5 years
    • Format: Online
  10. #19

    University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

    North Dartmouth , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1090/21

    Online Degrees

    MS in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 12
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  11. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1363/28

    Online Degrees

    MS in Engineering in Cybersecurity

    Concentrations

    • Computer Science Track
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  12. #22

    Nova Southeastern University

    Fort Lauderdale , FL

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1175/24

    Online Degrees

    MS in Computer Science

    Concentrations

    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Computer Systems
    • Data Science
    • Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
    • Real-World Computing
    • Software Engineering
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  13. #23

    University of West Florida

    Pensacola , FL

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1170/25

    Online Degrees

    MS in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  14. #24

    Georgia Southern University

    Statesboro , GA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    24K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/22

    Online Degrees

    MS in Technology

    Concentrations

    • Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 12 months
    • Format: Online
  15. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/23

    Online Degrees

    MS in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  16. #26

    Columbus State University

    Columbus , GA

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    980/20

    Online Degrees

    MAT in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 39
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Applied Computer Science

    Concentrations

    • Cybersecurity
    • Modeling and Simulation
    • Software Development
    • Traditional
    • Required Credits: 30-34
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  17. #27

    University of West Georgia

    Carrollton , GA

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1000/20

    Online Degrees

    MS in Technology

    Concentrations

    • Applied Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 24 months
    • Format: Online
  18. #28

    Southeast Missouri State University

    Cape Girardeau , MO
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    9K

    Online Degrees

    MS in Applied Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  19. #29

    Troy University

    Troy , AL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1010/21

    Online Degrees

    MS in Computer Science

    Concentrations

    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Computer Network & Security
    • Software Development
    • Bioinfosmatics
    • Distributed Systems
    • Cybersecurity
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  20. #30

    Eastern Kentucky University

    Richmond , KY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    98%

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    12K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/23

    Online Degrees

    MS in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require some adjustment. While you’ll generally learn the same content and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, the medium will likely require you to manage much of this experience independently. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, your ability to harness the technology at your fingertips, and your ability to focus on the lectures, lessons, and assignments at hand. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take it upon yourself to build relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier is actually getting there. Taking the commute out of the equation means getting to class should be a lot more manageable. But that’s where it ends. In general, your online courses will incorporate the very same materials, concepts, and testing methods as would a traditional classroom.

And in many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning or working with remote learning technology for the first time, online college may even be a little more challenging for you. For a few insights on how to manage this new experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable institutions and less-than-reputable for-profit schools. Accreditation gives you the power to differentiate between the two. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency which indicates that a college or university is meeting standards of quality, credibility, and currency. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university which is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. When seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that students opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited, you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer. In many cases, you will be required to navigate a bureaucracy in which some of your credits will be transferred and others will be jettisoned. However, provided that you have attended an online school with the proper regional accreditation, you should have plenty of options for transfer.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript or resume differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

While some employers may express concern about making the adjustment from online education to in-person workplace collaboration, many other employers will view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st Century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will require some adjustment.

While there is much that can be supplanted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing which can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual classroom setting. As you make the adjustment to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face is overcoming this difference in order to the get the most out of your classes. Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. First and foremost, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities—educational experiences that you can complete on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Prospective Grad Students